Drama Recaps
School 2013: Episode 11
by | January 8, 2013 | 318 Comments

I can’t remember the last time I’ve wanted two characters’ happily ever after more than I do for these two friends. It’s as gripping as any love story and just as sweet… well, if you get past the part where they’re always calling each other terrible names. Boys. We’re onto you, you crazy bastards!


After the crying I-missed-you confession that broke me, Nam-soon continues to trudge along behind Heung-soo on his way home.

Nam-soon finally admits that he did go back to try and find him three years ago, but Heung-soo had moved, so he spent a year haunting all the places where he used to be, where he might show up again.

But it’s not news to Heung-soo, who heard about it from their mutual friends. He pauses, and then looks up, “Let’s just shake it off here—that incident—and then let’s each go our separate ways.”

What? No. Why? *whimper*

Heung-soo: “It’s already gone wrong… you and I… being friends again.” He says every time Nam-soon sees him, he’ll feel sorry. And seeing Nam-soon that way will just make things harder for him.

Urg, you can’t argue with that logic because it’s true, but shouldn’t the fact that you guys just miss each other override that business?

Nam-soon’s face falls, and he can’t say a thing as he watches Heung-soo walk away.

At the same time, Uhmforce tells Se-chan and In-jae to figure it out among themselves which of the boys will have to transfer. And the sooner the better. In-jae asks if it’s really necessary, but Se-chan says there’s no way to cover it up—once the school knows that Nam-soon attacked Heung-soo in junior high, it’s against all the rules to let them attend the same school.

She wonders if maybe the rules are right and the boys are better off being apart. But Se-chan surprises her: “You have to see each other constantly to make amends.”

He calls them lucky, in fact, “because they have the chance to apologize, and can invent excuses to forgive.” Aw, poor Se-chan. They agree to try and think of alternatives in the morning.

The next day the students are starting to show the signs of all the academic pressure. Nam-soon just walks in and notes Heung-soo’s empty seat with a sigh.

Kang-joo calls Ha-kyung out to give her a chance to apologize, which you can imagine goes over as well as getting a porcupine to cuddle a balloon. Ha-kyung lashes out at her friend all over again, wondering if she’s supposed to beg for a spot in the debate competition, when Kang-joo was the one who said she’d lack the skills anyway.

Heung-soo walks up to catch the tail end of Ha-kyung’s rant, but doesn’t say a word.

Teacher Jo sits In-jae down to encourage her, knowing she feels let down by her students in the teaching evaluation. She sighs that she understands what they’re saying, but is hurt because they don’t seem to see her true intentions.

Teacher Jo asks ever so wisely: “Do you see the kids’ true intentions?” Suddenly she realizes she’s only thought about it from her own perspective. He tells her that kids hardly know their own hearts, and they sure as hell don’t know how to express how they truly feel.

“If you turn around every time you hit a wall, you can’t be a teacher.” He advises her to shake the truth out from them, and that repeating that over and over is the work of a teacher.

In-jae asks Se-chan what they’re going to do about Nam-soon and Heung-soo, and Se-chan says they’ll just avoid Uhmforce. Uh, that’s the entirety of your plan? Avoid the enforcer till they graduate? He figures they’ll buy as much time as they can before alerting the boys to the situation, but doesn’t seem to know what comes next.

A little later in the morning, Jung-ho’s friend Yi-kyung storms into class and grabs Ji-hoon by the collar, demanding to know what he did to Jung-ho. The disruption causes backlash with Kyung-min, the girl who’s nasty to Ha-kyung and In-jae and well, everybody.

Yi-kyung gets up in her face about standing up to him, and she says outright that she may have been afraid of Jung-ho, but she’s not afraid of his lackeys. Yeesh, I’m scared he’s going to do something crazy.

She remains defiant, so Yi-kyung reaches behind him and picks up a desk. Whoa. What the hell?

Both Heung-soo and Nam-soon look up… but thankfully the teachers walk in just in time. In-jae orders him to put the desk down and takes Kyung-min out for a chat.

She asks her to be honest about what she wants, and Kyung-min is as bristly as ever, saying that what she wants is for In-jae to do nothing and to stop wasting her time in class. She doesn’t want In-jae to bring Jung-ho back either, or to take anyone’s side.

It’s hard for In-jae to take, but she swallows it and sympathizes with Kyung-min for how much pressure she’s under. And it’s only then that she opens up a little, about how she doesn’t have a mom like Min-ki (listen, that’s a blessing you don’t even know about) or resources like Ha-kyung. She has to do this all on her own.

In-jae thanks her for being honest and says she’ll try to figure out some ways to take less of her studying time away, but what’s most important is that she gives her an open invitation to come and talk.

Kang-joo and Min-ki both agree to the debate competition, but neither is excited about it (Min-ki is naturally bullied into it by Mom). But then the principal tells the teachers that they should send students who will go to Seoul U, who will put the award to better, or more prestigious use.

Both In-jae and Se-chan dislike the idea, not least of which because Kang-joo and Min-ki have already been told they’re competing. Principal Im tells Se-chan they recruited him here because he’s a lecturer, but he snarks right back that his contracted position is technically “teacher.” That gets a smile from In-jae.

Ha-kyung wakes Nam-soon up to yell at him and ask if he isn’t sorry (for sticking her with all the president duties). He answers right away, “I am,” which hilariously deflates the whole conversation.

She huffs, “That’s it? Do you even know how long it’s been since you’ve sat in class like normal?!” Nam-soon: “A long time. And I’m sorry. So I’ll collect the assignment.” Hee, it’s awesomely one-sided (her concern obviously outweighs his), and even Heung-soo breaks into a smile.

Before the teachers even have a chance to tell Kang-joo about the debate competition, she sees a notice posted for an internal competition where the winners will then be chosen to go compete. I don’t see why they didn’t do this in the first place.

Kang-joo pretends to be fine, but cries alone in the bathroom. Aw.

In-jae and Se-chan are so busy that they forget to avoid Uhmforce, and he walks right into the office. They hilariously try to sneak out anyway, even though he’s standing RIGHT THERE.

He stops them mid-tip-toe like a pair of wayward teenagers. It’s just plain awesome. But guys, couldn’t you have done a better job avoiding?

Nam-soon finds Kang-joo on her way out of the bathroom with teary eyes, and adorably tousles her hair like a little kid. He gets a jab to the ribs for his trouble. They’re so cute.

Uhmforce tells the teachers that he understands why they’re stalling, but it’s not something they can change. Either Nam-soon or Heung-soo has to transfer. Oh no, why are you looking towards the door?

Ack, Nam-soon is standing in the doorway, having brought the assignments to turn in. He looks over at In-jae and Se-chan with a stricken face.

Kang-joo tells Ha-kyung she must be happy about the debate competition, calling it rigged, and the other students all agree that it’s disappointing that In-jae would agree to such an obvious switcheroo.

But what they don’t realize is that it’s terrifying news for Min-ki, who is expected to win a spot through the competition but can’t… not if he cheated all this time.

Back to the office, where Nam-soon gets brought up to speed. He offers to transfer, and asks that they not tell Heung-soo about it. But Kang-joo overhears the whole conversation from the hall.

He sits alone up on the roof, letting out a long sigh as he takes in the view. And then he heads down to the cafeteria, where he plops his tray down across from Heung-soo’s.

Heung-soo immediately gets up, asking what he’s doing. Nam-soon just says quietly that it’s just this once, and asks him to sit. Heung-soo complies in his surly way, and Nam-soon just shovels food into his mouth, barely holding back the river of tears.

Arg, Go Nam-soon, why does everything you do break my heaaaaaaart?

Heung-soo can sense something’s wrong, but doesn’t ask, and I swear, it feels like if Nam-soon shovels in one more mouthful, his tears will explode out. But he holds it together through lunch.

Uhmforce tells him that it’ll take about a week for him to be transferred. He just asks to be sent anywhere—he doesn’t care where.

Se-chan calls the boys out of class to go over their test results. He gapes that Nam-soon actually did worse when he was trying than when he’d randomly just fill out his answer sheet. LOL. How is that even possible?

Heung-soo does better—still terribly, but well enough that he could pass tests if he tried a little harder. That makes Nam-soon smile. He asks if Heung-soo could go to college, and Se-chan bursts that bubble right away. Their goal is graduation, not much else.

He throws down an entire ream of paper and tells them their punishment is to fill a sheet front and back for every single question they got wrong. For Nam-soon that’s 142 pages (good lord) and 112 for Heung-soo.

They’re to flip to any page in their textbook and copy it word for word, and adds that if any of the writing is bigger than In-jae’s pinky finger, it doesn’t count. Their twin looks of exasperation have become my favorite thing. Nam-soon asks if they can’t just move desks instead.

Se-chan lets them suffer for about half a page, and then asks if they want an alternative way to fill their punishment. They look up with crazy eyes of gimmeyespleaseohmygod.

He takes them to the gym and twirls a basketball in front of them to embarrassing results. His offer is to count each point as a page, and the boys look at each other like they just won the lotto.

But it’s Se-chan who’s the genius of course, since it gets them playing basketball with each other, and smiling and laughing.

They collapse on the gym floor after a while, and Se-chan tsk-tsks that if they studied half as hard as this, they wouldn’t be in this position. “Park Heung-soo, what’ll you do when Go Nam-soon transfers?” Oh you sneaky.

Se-chan says Heung-soo will have to fill all of Nam-soon’s remaining sheets as well once he’s gone, and then leaves them alone to talk it out.

He finally gets Yi-kyung into the office to set him straight about how pathetic he’s being. Yi-kyung argues that people are being unfair to Jung-ho because they don’t know what his life is like. He says through tears that Jung-ho is a good guy.

Se-chan doesn’t argue, but does make it clear that the reasons don’t much matter because they don’t justify violence. Yi-kyung says he understands, but it leaves Se-chan feeling unsettled about Jung-ho.

Heung-soo finally opens his mouth, but it’s to lash out angrily, “At least you’ll be comfortable if you go. You happy?”

But Nam-soon doesn’t take the bait and answers truthfully that no, he’s not happy, and he’s angry about it too. He stalks off.

Kang-joo catches him on the way out, and asks if he isn’t hungry. He says he doesn’t have money to eat out, so she says she’ll pay, and drags him out backwards by the backpack. Aw.

He gapes at the amount of food, and she says it’s in honor of his transfer. She says Heung-soo should be the one to go, knowing it’s a hollow suggestion, and Nam-soon chides her for even thinking it.

They laugh and eat good-naturedly, when Ha-kyung walks in, perhaps wanting to make amends with Kang-joo. But she takes one look at them together and turns around. Nam-soon makes eye contact with her, but doesn’t say anything.

In-jae and Se-chan make one last-ditch effort to go find Jung-ho at home, but he’s not there. In-jae plants herself on the front stoop, clearly set on sticking it out this time.

Yi-kyung and Ji-hoon have better luck, and find Jung-ho back at the pool hall, and about to get on the motorcycle that caused so much trouble. They ask what he did to get back in their good graces, and for the bike. He says it’s not what he’s done, but what he’s promised to do. Oh no.

They plead with him to stop, otherwise he’ll end up nothing but a gangster. He argues that there’s not much else he’ll be, and pushes them away. Yi-kyung refuses to give in, and grabs Jung-ho by the arm. Ji-hoon grabs the other arm.

Jung-ho growls that he doesn’t much feel like beating them up tonight, and Yi-kyung just pushes right back, “No, tonight we’re going to have to hit you.” I know it’s not exactly warm and fuzzy, but the fact that they’re willing to beat their friend up to keep him from throwing his life away is actually rather sweet.

But Jung-ho does what he does best, and stomps all over their loyal gesture, lashing out at them. He tells them not to think they’re any different, and that they’ll never amount to anything either.

You can tell Jung-ho immediately regrets pushing them too far, but it’s too late, and Yi-kyung and Ji-hoon give up on him and walk away. Aw Jung-ho. Why ya always gotta hurt the ones you love, huh?

Se-chan asks In-jae what she hopes Jung-ho will do, and she answers honestly that she’s split 50-50, in wanting him to come back, but also wanting him to stay away. She notes that Se-chan seems to know a lot about kids like Jung-ho, despite having been a teacher for only a short while.

He says that he did try once, to chase after the kids like Jung-ho, who stayed out of trouble for about a minute, and then he’d chase them down again and again. She asks what happens when you do that.

Se-chan: “You fall, of course.” In-jae: “And what happens after that?”

Se-chan: “I just didn’t get up. That’s why I gave up being a teacher.” She asks what it feels like to give up, but he doesn’t have a chance to answer before Jung-ho’s father erupts in a violent rage.

They’re scared that Jung-ho is inside with him, and Se-chan grabs the nearest brick, ready to break the door down. But Jung-ho walks up, wondering what they’re doing. He grabs the key to go inside, but In-jae blocks the door and pleads with him not to go inside just yet.

Jung-ho sighs that if he just lets Dad hit him a few times, it’ll pass. Oof. And now it’s In-jae’s turn to grab Jung-ho’s wrist, but for her it’s an attempt to hold onto him. She says right now his choices are to go in there and be beaten, or to stand out here in the cold. But if he comes back to school, he might have another choice in life.

He won’t listen to reason, so Se-chan lays his circumstances out baldly—did his siblings run away? Did his mother run too? Jung-ho grabs his collar and raises his fist.

Se-chan stares him right in the eye and tells him to go ahead and hit him. He promises not to do anything about it, and eggs him on.

But Jung-ho, despite all his anger, can’t do it. Se-chan: “You can’t, can you? That’s the evidence that you want to go to school. If I were just a passing neighborhood ajusshi, you’d have hit me. But I’m your teacher, so you can’t hit me.”

He says tomorrow is the last chance he has, or he’ll be expelled. Jung-ho storms off.

At home, In-jae goes down a list of things she wants to accomplish. I hope this isn’t a teacher-quitting bucket list. Among the things still left unfinished are Jung-ho and Nam-soon.

The next morning, Min-ki finally tells his mom that he didn’t apply for the debate competition… and that he told In-jae all about the cheating.

Mom gets this scary look in her eye and sends Min-ki off to school without her, and his brother reaches out a hand from his room to grab a bowl of rice sitting in the hall.

The class gets their test results, and the whole class groans about their English test that Jung-ho screwed up. Uhmforce interrupts their morning to call Nam-soon out of class. Oh no, already?

Heung-soo stands outside the teachers’ office, not knowing what to do. Se-chan finds him there and notes that he must really not want to do the rest of his punishment alone. He adds casually, “But Heung-soo, have you ever seen an assailant and a victim playing basketball together?”

Inside, Uhmforce gives Nam-soon the transfer papers. He gets ready to sign, and write down the reason why. Heung-soo walks in…

Uhmforce tells him to come back later, but he says there’s no reason why Nam-soon has to transfer. “I’m not a victim. And Go Nam-soon isn’t an assailant. We’re just… friends.”

Eeee, he said they’re fwiends! Heung-soo continues: “[friends] who were just unlucky… and now, we’re in the middle of working it out.” A tear rolls down Nam-soon’s cheek. How can you only cry the one tear? I’m a blubbering mess.

Uhmforce turns to Nam-soon to ask if that’s true, and he just wipes his tears. Uhmforce gets the story straight for the record that there are no attackers or victims here, and then smiles broadly. Aw.

Nam-soon comes out of the office and thanks Heung-soo. He counters that he didn’t do it for free, and says it comes with a price. Oh no. If you say the price is to stay away from you, I’ll cry. Again.

Nam-soon tenses up, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Heung-soo: “You do ALL of them. The front-to-back sheets.” Hahaha. Oh phew. Nam-soon breaks into a smile behind Heung-soo’s back.

And then they walk down the hall, each of them smiling a tiny smile that the other can’t see.

Min-ki’s mom comes to school to railroad In-jae, insisting that Min-ki was mistaken and that he will be competing after all. Dude, this mom scares the crap out of me.

In-jae says it concerns her more that Min-ki doesn’t want to compete, let alone the cheating, and says that she’ll discuss it with Min-ki. His mom barges into the principal’s office to say that Ha-kyung’s mom is on her way in, and that with the midterm scores the way they are, something must be done. Oy. I don’t like the sound of that.

The class is still reeling over their test grades, and the kids argue among themselves that In-jae can’t let Jung-ho back in class now, and that her bringing him back to school is basically the same as throwing the rest of them away. Way to be dramatic.

Yi-kyung is the only one upset about it, but it’s all moot anyway if Jung-ho doesn’t come back. And then two seconds later… Jung-ho walks in.

At the same time, the teachers are gathered for an announcement: Grade 2 Class 2 will no longer have two homeroom teachers. Se-chan will take the class solo, and In-jae will teach her subjects, but no longer be in charge of a class.

Se-chan is ordered to announce it to the kids right away, and he bristles, “What if there’s an objection?” He gets the VP to reconsider if the kids object. Maybe on any other day, but today, I’m not so sure…

Min-ki gathers up the courage to confront Mom on her way out, about wanting to go to a different school. He wants to study broadcasting and journalism, and become a PD, but talking to her is completely useless. She just nods and says he can do that after becoming a judge. Dude. LISTEN.

I’m terrified that Min-ki’s going to do something drastic.

Se-chan and In-jae walk into class, and In-jae smiles to see Jung-ho sitting in his seat. The other students aren’t as happy, of course, and Kyung-min calls them out for it, “Why is Oh Jung-ho back?”

He speaks up himself and says Teach came to his house and told him to come back. Naturally, the kids jump to the conclusion that it was In-jae alone, which the two teachers and Jung-ho don’t realize.

Se-chan then announces that In-jae won’t be their homeroom teacher anymore, but quickly adds that their opinions matter most and the outcome can change. He asks for anyone who objects to speak up.

But no one does. It catches Se-chan by surprise more than anyone, and In-jae swallows back tears as she says she hears them loud and clear.

She turns to go, when Nam-soon raises his hand, “I object.” Young-woo raises his hand, and then Heung-soo, and Ji-hoon. Aw. She thanks them, but they’re just a few, and not enough to change the verdict.

Se-chan runs out after her, and finds her clearing out her desk. He says the kids are just being like this because of Jung-ho, and asks her to give them more time. But In-jae says resignedly, “A teacher rejected by her students doesn’t have the right to be a teacher.”

She walks out, and Se-chan chases her down, yanking her back to face him. He argues that it’s not the kids, but a messed up system she’s fighting against. In-jae: “Whether it’s the kids or the system, I can’t do it anymore. No, I don’t want to.”

He grabs a hold of her wrist and refuses to let go, and she finally bursts out, “Why are you holding on like this?! You’re a hundred times, a thousand times more competent than I am!”

Se-chan: “Because… you’re the teacher I wished I could be. You… are the teacher I tried so hard to be but couldn’t become… you are that teacher.”


This show—one friendship on the mend and one hoodlum off the streets, just in time to throw my heart right back in the wringer. It hurts, but it hurts so good. I suppose it’s a good thing for the drama that we don’t get one moment’s peace, but right now I’d give anything for half an episode where no one is on the verge of being expelled/fired/transferred. Just to give the heart a rest.

I think they did a really good job of building towards this moment with In-jae, because it doesn’t feel like she’s giving up for no reason or that she’s just reacting in anger or hurt. She’s been struggling against this problem for as long as we’ve known her, and we’ve watched her optimism get chipped away bit by bit. It’s heartbreaking to see her give up, but it feels honest—she has nothing else to fight for if the kids don’t want her there. It’s the last blow for someone who held on with nothing but her sincerity and her love for the kids. Being told her teaching methods are bad is something she can swallow, but being rejected as their mother hen—that leaves her with nothing.

But the great parallel development to In-jae’s trajectory downward (ie. when the idealist has to face reality), is Se-chan’s trajectory upward. She’s brought out the best in him, and we’ve watched him go from the guy who couldn’t be paid to care about anyone but himself, to someone who goes out of his way to herd in the lost strays and mend broken bromances. I love his bad cop routine with Nam-soon and Heung-soo. It’s the perfect thing to get them to side with each other, by giving them a common foe. Also I think he enjoys driving them crazy.

His two confessions in this episode were the most honest that we’ve ever gotten from him—that he did try once, and never got back up, and that In-jae is about to repeat his mistakes, even though she’s already the kind of teacher he could only dream of being. For one, I love that someone finally acknowledges that she’s an amazing teacher. Her doggedness and her capacity for empathy might seem extreme, but for kids like Jung-ho and Nam-soon, it’s the difference between a lost life or a hopeful future. I just hope that Se-chan can convince her that she makes a difference, or better yet, that the kids can do so themselves. I’m worried, but they’ll come through, right?

I’ll just spend the wait until next week’s episodes riding on the high from Heung-soo’s friend declaration, which for me is up there with any big declaration of love in dramas. I know they won’t be skipping down the street hand-in-hand anytime soon (or okay, ever) but it’s the first massive step out of the go-our-separate-ways plan. I hate that plan. It’s stupid. And now that Nam-soon has his first shot at really mending that relationship beyond just righting wrongs, I can actually imagine them being happy someday, just like regular kids who smile and laugh and fight over girls and basketball and other non-life-and-death things. Someday.


318 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thank you for the recap!

    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      Maybe because I’m all caught up in the emotional vortex of this drama, but why do I feel like it’s the best show I’ve ever watched?!

      Gah! My FEELS!

  2. kbap

    Thank you so much for the recap! All these characters kill me ;u;

  3. funnylittlefishy

    OMFG this episode T____TTTTT

    the basketball T^T

    the kang saem wanting to be like jung saem T^T


    school 2013 owns my soul

    • 3.1 hallyukid

      I swear it gets better by the episode…When Heungsoo was stopping Uhm Force from transferring Namsoon I was literally squealing at the screen saying “Please say chin-gu please say chin-gu”. And then he finally said it, he said they were friends out of mouth…i was just too happy. The fact that he said they were in the middle of making up just put a big ole smile across on my face. I love them…they need a couple award

      • 3.1.1 secretlyaddicted

        Couple award. Amen.

      • 3.1.2 inxomnia

        Damn straight they need a couple award. I don’t want any student romances because Heung Soo and Nam Soon are enough for my giddy little heart.

      • 3.1.3 tazanya

        everything in my heart wanted to hear that word chingu, i was like please please please lemme just hear that one word and i know everything will be all right.

        the build up to this was so long and hard and arduous and REAL just made the pay off so great

  4. Scarlet_Surrender

    thank you for the recap..

  5. rainbow

    thanks 🙂

  6. MeeisLee

    I swear, “crazy bastard” is the new “I love you.” I’m going to start using it on my friends :).

    • 6.1 inxomnia

      I kind of get the warm fuzzy feeling whenever they say that because I know that’s like their pet names for each other haha

      • 6.1.1 Shahera5

        I just wish the subbed version I’m watching used that language. I don’t think it’s including anything as a moniker. Grrr.

  7. TS

    Blooming Bromance!

    Struggling Sis-mance!

    Torturous Teach-mance!

    (Okay, that last one was a bit weak…)

  8. beckster

    why do I have this terrible feeling that someone’s going to die by the end of this drama…? I don’t want them to there’s a couple of characters that are making me worry….

    • 8.1 beckster

      them to *but*

      • 8.1.1 jhoana


    • 8.2 blahblahblah

      My vote for Min Ki.

      • 8.2.1 anais

        I’m hoping nothing goes seriously wrong for Min Ki himself but just enough to scare his mom into submission. She’s evil. She’s the sort of mother who destroys her children.

        If I had been in Injae’s position, the moment Min Ki confessed, I would have run to the principal’s office and had Min Ki’s mom threaten to be exposed for the fraud that she is. Because she is. And she dares act high and mighty before Injae (who still needs to learn how to teach her subjects better). And I would not have let Kangjoo remain mistaken.

        I want a Minki mom doll to poke, poke, poke with pins and needles.

        • yumi

          I don’t think MinKi’s mom is evil.

          She is seriously mentally unbalance and in deep denial about some–beyond the fact that her older [?] son is mentally disturb and needs help.

          • anais

            She’s mentally unbalanced. She’s in full possession of herself psychologically. Just because one’s in denial doesn’t mean one’s psychologically unhinged. Her values, however, are twisted and drive her to commit not so small acts of wrong. That is evil. Evil is not some foreign thing. It’s grounded in the everyday.

          • anais

            She’s NOT mentally unbalanced, that is.

          • yumi

            I wouldn’t debate the existence of evil. The question doesn’t interest me.

            MinKi’s mom may not be unbalance in some worldviews but in my west viewpoint, she is unbalanced. Her priorities are out of balance. She hasn’t got a relationship with ‘objective’ reality.

            Or as they say in Vegas, she is not playing with a full deck.

          • anais

            I too am coming from a Western perspective. That’s why I call her evil.

            And even by Western psychological standards, Minki’s mom actually has a very good grasp of her objective reality. Otherwise, a good percentage of Korean (and Korean-American) parents would be deemed unhinged.

            All that aside, it seems we can agree that we don’t agree with (even disapprove of) her value system and her methods.

        • allykat

          Min Ki’s mom seems “evil” to most of us watching this drama only because our values and our idea of being a parent are extremely different especially in the Western perspective.
          But to her, she thinks that she’s right and that it’s okay for her to be like that.
          I find that her actions (not that I approve of them because she needs to cut her son some slack and hear him out for even one second sometimes) could be driven by:
          1. the fact that her older son is mentally ill
          2. the need to live vicariously through her son’s success. Maybe she’s one of those people who never was able to get to the goal that she wanted and by pushing that goal onto Min Ki, then she can somehow make herself feel better about the past
          3. the pressure to keep up an image in front of the school and in front of the other parents – the lady has more power than even the principal at this point if she can make things that are advantageous to her position happen. She can’t fold – she’s already built her image up to this point and I feel like she enjoys the attention she receives from the other parents who try to follow her example.

          • inxomnia

            There has to be something wrong with her if she has a son locked up in his room from her crazy ways and yet she STILL thinks she’s right?

            I agree with you on her motivations, but by no means do I deem that a normal mentality. As cliche as it is, a lot of people do learn from their mistakes and become better people for it.

      • 8.2.2 nomaden

        Me too…and it would break my heart to pieces. Like this drama is already doing. Every. Episode.

      • 8.2.3 lalalot

        I also get those vibes from him but I hope I’m wrong. Min Ki 🙁 He’s such a nice boy and I just want him to make it through.

        • Joy

          I seriously hope Min Ki stands up for himself. I think I wouldn’t be able to stop crying if he killed himself. Please, Drama, don’t kill Min Ki :C

    • 8.3 Fangy

      i’ve the same feeling too!!

      and I also worry that it would be Minki (so far the one with the highest ‘potential’ for a suicide victim). He is too kind to stand up against his mom, too caring to run away from home… if pushed further, suicide seems like the only way to escape from his mom’s clutches 🙁

    • 8.4 vipkate

      i feel so to but i think Minki is most probably be the one to either commit suicide or will have an accident..

      but i hope no one dies…

  9. heayun

    GAH, the cafeteria scene T_T Reminds me of how the obligatory k-drama scene where the guy/girl asks for one last date before they end up leaving the other. And the friend confession? I squealed louder than I ever have for a love confession. Who needs romance when you have bromance?

    I too am terrified for Minki. You’d think his mom would learn by now, looking at how his brother turned out. I’m seriously scared he might consider committing suicide ._.

    • 9.1 TS

      I agree. And to skip the Kang-Joo & Nam-soon date (let’s face it, it was), her feeding him seemed like an echo of k-drama scenes where women who like a particular man keep feeding them dishes and giving them extra food if they can.

      There’ve been some intense eye contact – even if not gooey, but still intense – between Heung-soo and Ha-Kyung: perhaps the initial suggested pairings were wrong?

      Now that the bromance is on track, but the sismance is falling apart, what better way to create tension than to have Kang-joo and Ha-Kyung fighting over Nam-soon while Ha-Kyung’s also getting confused by her attraction to Heung-soo?

      Anyway, looking forward to next week! Did anyone see a preview? I didn’t see one on viki.

      • 9.1.1 Alex Mottis

        Awww, I wouldn’t want Ha-kyung and Kang-joo fighting over one (or two) guys. Plus, I’m getting kind of invested in the potential Ha-kyung/Nam-soon romance 🙂

        • TS

          I was, but it seems to have fizzled out since episode 6, at least on Nam-soon’s side.

          • Fangy

            Namsoon was too busy mending his broken bromance with Heungsoo earlier… now that he sees light in the tunnel with Heungsoo, probably he will turn his attention on Hakyung :p

            The show can’t purposefully let him notice Hakyung and allow him to do nothing afterwards. He is probably the only one who could talk sense into Hakyung.

          • Alex Mottis

            I agree with Fangy, it seems that Nam-soon’s been busy solving his problems with Heung-soo to focus in anything else, and haven’t they showed that Kang-joo and Nam-soo are just friends? I don’t know, Ha-Kyung and Heung-soo haven’t interacted that much, and I feel that they’ve already established ~something~ between Nam-soon and Ha-kyung, so if they’re not planning to do anything about it, then I’d say it was kind of a wasted storyline

        • lizzzieQ

          Yea, a Namsoon romance triangle with the two girls seems too predictable. I would prefer KJ out of the picture.

          I just think it would be too cute if Heungsoo can help connect Hakyung and Namsoon in some way. I mean we’ve seen that Namsoon has his clueless moments. And with his soul/bro-mate back maybe Namsoon can benefit from his advice or prompting. I like the chemistry between Hakyung and Heungsoo (whatever little interactions there’s been), which is good if this is the girl who’s going to end up with his Namsoonie~

          Beyond that I would love to hear what’s going on in Hakyung’s head soon. She’s being a rather tiresome friend now tbh.

          • TS

            I think namsoon is ditching the presidency and hakyung based on the preview for the next episode.

        • eternalfive

          Yeah, I’m still very much invested in the Ha-kyung/Nam-soon pairing, even though they haven’t been a lot of screentime together for the past few eps. I really hope that we get to focus on other storylines and characters now that the main bromance is on the mend (although there’d still better be a lot of bromance… :D).

      • 9.1.2 heayun

        Yea, this episode leaned more towards Namsoon/Kangjoo and Hakyung/Heungsoo. What was with that STARE between HK/HS in the hallway? I thought they were doing away with the lovelines? Hmmmm…..

        • jaejoongie

          yeah, what’s with the stare
          their chemistry is really good though, ever since Ha Kyung-Heung Soo scene when Heung Soo was smoking and Ha Kyung snatched it away, i could see Ha Kyung and HS but not Kang Joo and Nam Soon, KJ-NS relationship seems like childhood friends or brother-sister

      • 9.1.3 pigtookie

        I wouldn’t object to the alternate pairings (or maybe they want us to think that way) but I find Ha Kyung and Nam Soon rather cute too, so we shall see. I don’t think we’re going to get much romance but it could be a part of the final conflicts as we head into the end (unless this is ending soon, i really don’t know).

      • 9.1.4 yumi

        Interesting you mentioned the ritual of the food sharing romance trope in k-dramas. All through the Nam Soon and Heung Soo lunch scene I kept excepting Heung Soo to put food on Nam Soon’s tray. By rights it should have been Nam Soon doing that gesture but he was too far gone to expect more than him swallowing without choking or bursting into tears.

        I agree with you about the possible reconsideration of the romantic pairings. I thought Heung Soo and Kang Joo’s early misunderstanding set them up as a possible couple and Nam Soon and Ha-Kyung were the first to get a little beyond each other barricade [if we don’t count Ha-Kyung’s friendship with Kang Joo–and she isn’t so we can overlook it] I thought that would make them a couple-but . . .?

        • Alex Mottis

          The show has ignored the romance storyline, so I’d say it’ll develop in the following episodes, especially now that Heung-soo and Nam-soon seem to be fixing their friendship 🙂

      • 9.1.5 Bea

        If there’s a romance in this drama please let it be Kanjoo and Namsoon. I don’t really like Hakyung (since the very beginning, for no reason, sigh), and before the drama started the poster I saw had Injae, Sechan, Kanjoo and Namsoon closer to the camera: http://www.dramabeans.com/2012/11/school-2013s-teasers-and-posters/

      • 9.1.6 inxomnia

        I don’t really need or want a student-couple. I just think it’ll bore me and won’t have the depth and development I’d want… I don’t know, maybe I’m just so immersed in the bromance that I don’t want any of the girls becoming the focus of their affections haha

        • TS

          Maybe Min-ki will date that cute ditzy girl who slept late because she was doing her eyebrows?

          • inxomnia

            That would be so very random ahaha. Give him something good in life.

            Or pair Ji Hoon with someone, he a cutie.

        • Dee Dee

          I don’t know if any of you feel this too, but I think that a lot of the girls are extremely annoying. I can’t help but be uninvested in their lives. The list of dislikable girls in Seungri High is endless: Kyung Min, Hakyung, Other Smart Girls, DANI …

      • 9.1.7 Dee Dee

        I really hope that School doesn’t take that turn and become some romance melodrama. School is so amazing because it doesn’t need lovers to drive the show. The friendship, the heart and the genuine feelings felt by all the characters in this drama are what keep us addicted. It would be incredibly disappointing if the writer went off to create a love triangle plot.

  10. 10 crazedlu


    I’m still on total gush overload from this episode. Kind of a little bit early, but it’s already on its way to my Tops list. Some friggin’ good confessions and lovely character moments for everyone in this ep.

    Augh. So. Good. I’m still welling up inside with love and overflowing and stuff.

    Heart. Just heart.

  11. 11 Ace

    Thanks! I’m kinda happy that KoD ended (ah, I’ll miss Siwon’s character) because if it got extended then I don’t think I could handle 3 dramas every Monday & Tuesday. Also been waiting for subs of this episode together with FBND…

    • 11.1 Ace


      1. Min-ki’s mom is scary. And I hate her more than any bitchy kdrama mothers-in-law out there. I kinda wish that Min-ki would lock himself in his room too just to teach her a lesson. I hope everyone finds out that Min-ki cheated on his essays. And that it was his mom’s idea. I’m more creeped out by her than the gangster-type of villains. Find a therapist Min-ki’s mom.
      2. The school’s principal sucks. I know a lot in admin positions have a hard time making tough decisions but she’s either making decisions to make her look good or just because she’s scared of what the parents will do.
      3. I thought I was gonna hate Uhmforce because he was gonna transfer one of the lead bromantic pair, but I’m glad things turned out like that and that he was happy that the bromantic pair admitted to being fwiends.
      4. Nam-soon and Heung-soo’s bromance are currently better than any romantic pairings I’ve seen in kdramas. Ah, Best Couple award goes to them this year, I’m pretty sure.
      5. Aw. Heartbroken for In-jae. I would’ve loved to have a homeroom teacher like her who cares a lot about her students.

      • 11.1.1 anais

        Minki’s mom should be subject to the scorn of her peers.

        Best Couple award for Namsoon and Heungsoo, awwwwww yeah!! Totally. I love the incredibly romantic music they play whenever those two have heartfelt moments. At one point, I even expected a back hug.

        • TS

          OMG, me too!

        • inxomnia

          She evokes so much violent thoughts in me. I JUST WANT TO HIT SOME SENSE INTO HER. GRR

  12. 12 denise

    i soo wanna see Kim Woo Bin lead a drama.

    • 12.1 jhoana

      me too <3

    • 12.2 TS

      A sageuk would be awesome. Kim Woo Bin, in long open shirt and pants, top knot, a long sword, oooooooooo!!!

      Or maybe dressed up as a Shilla prince?

      OMG, I’m getting all flustered thinking about it…

      • 12.2.1 funnylittlefishy

        IDK about sageuk, but i could definitely go for woobin in something besides a school uniform… not that i don’t love him in his student roles i just don’t want him to be type cast into a corner…

        • heayun

          He said in an interview that he would like to play a serial killer. Puahaha.

          • mysterious

            He’d be good at it too! With that intense stare of his, he could make the cops’ blood run cold.

    • 12.3 Funkypicklez

      We’re getting there. Lets be patient calm girlfriends. He’s under Sidus. Sidus takes amazing care of their actors. Most of the top actors and actresses in Korea have been through Sidus at least once in their career. He’s in good hands ^^

      • 12.3.1 TS


    • 12.4 inxomnia

      Same! I don’t want him to be typecasted, but I don’t want to see him in a romance comedy so soon because he does intense sooo well.

      Coming from someone who didn’t think he was hot to start with. I sooo retract my words HAHA.

  13. 13 Dongsaeng killer

    I cried for all the boys this episode. NS and HS own my tears but even Jung-ho made me cry – his life is so awful 🙁 And then when the kids didnt stand up for In-jae at the end I cried angry tears and wanted to go in and knock some sense into their heads. On one hand it was heartwarming that her lost sheep raised their hands but the rest of them who in their anger refused to……argh. I know that’s what being a teenager is like – the sense that only what is happening now is important and nothing else matters but the lack of foresight ……arghhhhh.
    This show kills me in the best way possible

    • 13.1 Dongsaeng killer

      Then the last scene with both SC and IJ, why must I cry show????? Why?

      • 13.1.1 unnibear

        same here..am I glad that my roommate’s not here coz I was crying most of the time! XD

    • 13.2 TS

      What does Dongsaeng mean?

      • 13.2.1 anais

        Younger sibling. But can be used by anyone older to someone younger.

        • TS

          Thanks! Korean culture is just fascinating!

          • anais

            Probably no more so than any foreign culture may be to an outsider, but that still doesn’t mean Korean culture isn’t fascinating. 🙂

          • TS

            I know, but I’m not watching any dramas from other countries and excitedly noting similarities to my own. 🙂

    • 13.3 Smile134

      I cried a lot in this episode too, mostly in the very last scenes between In Jae and Se Chan. It’s like watching In Jae’s hope for the kids finally got broken down. She invests in not only her time, energy but so much hope and belief for them, and what does she got back? Right now it seems like almost nothing. It’s not wrong to feel that I hate those kids for being so selfish and lack of foresight (like you said). How could they possibly think that In Jae was able to make the whole essay contest if nobody else behind pulled some strings? And how could they just want to expel one student not even considering what would be waiting him out there in life? If they hate Jung Ho that much, stand up to him first. But no, nobody ever did, they just started talking back to him when there was someone (Nam Soon/Heung Soo) who could get their back.
      Everybody was a teenager once, but I swear to god that when I was a teenager, my friends and I weren’t that short-sighted and cruel.

  14. 14 Joanna K.

    thank you for the recap!

    I live for the recaps of School 2013 every week.

  15. 15 Minnetter (aka: Min)

    I watched this episode and almost cried at the end of it, I was so upset that the kids are such herd thinkers… one of them complains about Injae and the others just chime right in so it makes me super glad that my two faves – Heung soo and Nam Soon aren’t so mindless.

    • 15.1 alua

      I agree… I find the ‘rest of the kids’ pretty lame, they are such flip-floppers. If one of them used their own brain for a second rather than just parroting what some person in the class shouts out in one moment, they would realise that Injae doesn’t favour one kid over the rest, but that she has tried to help several, including some that hate each other. Plus that Se-chan is helping too. I’m glad Nam-soon and the rest raised their hands… the other members of the class need to start thinking for themselves and being honest too.

      It’s good to see though that Min-ki is starting to question things. I think, for him to admit that he didn’t write the essays s, was a huge thing. And he told Injae – so he’s bound to be the next one to raise his hand. (Though I’m worried about what he’ll do next – if he’ll flip and do something potentially dangerous.)

      • 15.1.1 Mina

        I think Minki (the character, not the actor) is a prime candidate to attempt suicide. Suicide is a big problem in Korea’s students, and I, for one, would love to see how this show would tackle such a topic.

        • dbfan

          Oh god! When gf said that Minki might do something dangerous, suicide was the first thing I thought of and I really hope that doesn’t happen.

      • 15.1.2 inxomnia

        That moment was so heartbreaking. This whole drama is so heartbreaking. GAH.

    • 15.2 Smile134

      I agree, too. These other kids who jumped to the conclusion about In Jae were just stupid. When they chose to not attend either Se Chan’s or In Jae’s class like the principal requested, I did hope they had brain and at least knew how to judge a situation. But now I just see them as a bunch of selfish and brainless kids.

      About Min Ki, I hold on hoping that he’s not gonna attempt suicide, or at least not do it for real. He’s a kind and smart kid, just not strong enough to stand up against his mom. Suicide is the last option. I hope he will seek out Se Chan for help, or can point out his brother’s situation (not attending Yale but imprison himself in his own room). It will be a huge crash to his mother credibility, and she may stop threatening/controlling his school.

  16. 16 Dita


    That’s it

  17. 17 stellar

    lol idk what they were talking about when they said no more lovelines for this show. HEUNG-SOON FTWWWW!:’)

    • 17.1 dbfan

      Lol! Seriously though, replace Nam Soon with a girl or vice versa and we have our typical kdrama romance, except now it’s bromance. Whoot! bromance ftw!

  18. 18 asianromance

    Thanks for the recap! So many tearworthy moments! My eyes are a bit sore from using my blanket to wipe them.

    -Se-chan saying how school was giving Heung-soo and Nam-soon an opportunity to forgive/be forgiven.
    -Heung-soo and Nam-soon at the cafeteria -the feeling of eating a warm meal with his beloved friend (for what could have been the last meal together ever) overcomes Namsoon. =**(
    -Kang-joo finding out about the essay content and knowing that it was done to give the top students a chance to add to their resumes.
    -Jung-ho’s scene with his friends and how he had hurt/insulted Ji-hoon so bad that even the steadfastly loyal Yi-kyung left him.
    -In-jae holding onto Jung-ho literally. What a contrast it is from when Se-chan grabbed his wrist because of the cell phone incident.
    -Jung-ho saying that it wasn’t that he hated school, but that school hated him.
    -Heung-soo telling Uhm-force that he and Namsoon are friends.
    -Most of the class turning on In-jae.
    -Se-chan’s “confession” at the end – much more romantic and thrilling than a romantic confession. In-jae inspires him!!

    And so many happy moments:
    -In-jae and Se-chan trying to avoid Uhmforce so they didn’t have to make a decision on who to transfer.
    -Se-chan torturing the two kids.
    -The basketball scene: Se-chan is really trying to get them to hang out as much as possible.

    I do hope that we can consider Nam-soon and Heung-soo’s storyline mostly wrapped up now. I loooove the bromance, but I’m itching to get to know the other characters – especially for Min-ki to really confront his mother. Ha-kyung’s mother’s pressure on her is a bit more insidious- how will she deal. And what does Kang-joo plan to be when she graduates?

    • 18.1 anais

      At some point, Jung-ho must realize that he made the school hate him. If he really wants to get out of the miserable situation he unfortunately was born to, he needs to learn that he has exacerbated his own misery by coping as he has.

      • 18.1.1 yumi

        I loved school so much I went forever and when I got all the degrees that made sense I decided to teach.

        I felt I need to say that before I point out that school can be a place of torture for those found to be less than by their peers. Teen age peers are vicious and most teen suicides have an element of school located peer-torture involved.

        So I think it is possible school hate Jung-oh first and hated him viciously. Only a damaged person keeps loving something that tells them they are less than..

        • anais

          I think the implication is that Jung-ho acted out from the get go. He didn’t recognize that that’s why school didn’t love him.

          Let’s not put Jung-ho in the role of the bullied. He is bullied indeed at home, but he is the bully at school who drives others to misery. Let’s not forget that.

          And that’s in part why Sechan was able to stop Jungho. He showed Jungho that he was fast becoming what made him most miserable.

          • yumi

            What I got from the episode is that there are socio-economic/class factors that are affecting at least four of our bullies/gang members/tough guys.

            Jung-oh’s insult to his minion was that the guy’s mother washed dishes for a living and is father is sick in bed.

            Nam-soon father is a drunk who doesn’t seem to be in the picture much
            Heung-soo mother seemed to have had some kind of disability
            Jung-oh’s father is a drunk

            The school bows to the will of the parents with the most perceived clout.

            Even when Ha-Kyung was studying at a private academy she had to wear a uniform from a better school not to be harassed.

            When I look at the background information, I feel safe in assuming that Jung-oh home life made life in school difficult for him until he was strong enough to beat his enemy to a pulp.

            I might be wrong, but . . .

          • anais

            I think the interesting contrast is Namsoon. He was once Jungho but he chose not to continue to be. True, his father is neglectful, not physically abusive. But the message is clear that the students must learn not to be defined by their circumstances. A hard lesson to learn, but that’s what the show is preparing for Jungho.

            The socioeconomic disparity wasn’t lost on me either, and I am thankful that I did not continue in the Korean system and benefited from the American. I didn’t learn until much later that a teacher had targeted me precisely for my financial background. Nonetheless, I was oblivious to it and thrived.

            Within the past year, I was in charge of the most remedial students. They constantly voiced that they were dumb or had been told repeatedly they were dumb (their word). One girl was being mentally abused by her dad. I refused to let them continue to think of themselves as such, to let themselves be defined by other people, and to let them use that as an excuse for their shortcomings, so much that when a new student referred to himself as such, the other kids told him no. More than half those students are out of the remedial track now, including the mentally abused girl. At least one is already in the top track. I’m so proud of them.

          • Carole McDonnell

            @Anais, I understand what you’re saying. But you are way more patient with Jung ho than i am. I taught remedials as well and troublemakers etc…but — maybe it was the American system– but the remedials I dealt with were not bullies. Self-loathing, yes. Not caring about school, maybe. Acting up maybe… but they were never bullies or cruel. And mostly they weren’t picked on by the rest of the school. (Only the disabled kids were looked down upon, but no one picked on the disabled kids and the disabled kids didn’t bully anyone.) Of course, maybe it was because the entire school was lower socio-economic and the town had a population of 20K so everyone pretty much knew everyone else’s family.

            But watching this….my patience with Jung ho is wearing dangerously thin. How much damage is a bully allowed to do to the lives and future of other folks before we can say, “Seriously? Saving your life isn’t worthy destroying countless lives and careers.”

            I know TV trains us to always hope and hope for the bully to change — even if bully has destroyed so much in his wake but after all the spate of suicides in the US brought on by bullies and bullying that I find the whole “there’s a wounded little boy in there..let’s keep suffering so he can be saved” thing a bit too much of an eye-roller.

            If Jung ho gets enlightened, it BETTA be before he totally destroys careers and people. Who sets up folks to be beaten up? I worry for Nam-soon’s ribs and liver and spleen …the amount of times he’s been beaten up by Jung ho.

            Many people had crappy school experiences but not everyone becomes a mean bully.

          • anais

            Wait, @ Carole McDonnell, you think I’m being patient with Jungho? I’m a bit confused. Would you by chance be mistaking me for Yumi? Cause I hear her as saying I’m being too harsh on Jungho (@Yumi, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so please correct me if I’m wrong.) I definitely want to hold Jungho accountable. I’m the one saying his background doesn’t excuse his behavior, even if it can explain it.

          • yumi

            @ anais

            It’s not about having patience with Jung-Oh. He’s a pain and he’s dangerous.

            I’m glad I’m not his teacher, I wouldn’t have the patience or optimism to keep at him.

            What I support is the truth of what he says about school hating him first. I BELIEVE THIS.

            In the American system, the kind of treatment that Jung-Oh get is analogous with the treatment the many minority students receive in the education system. I know Jung-Oh isn’t a minority but the bias against his circumstance seems to be parallel. Many minority students start kindergarden bright and eager to work and by third grade hate themselves and school because of the unconscious bias teachers, even the ones with good intention bring into the classroom.

            Why is everyone so down on Jung-Oh alone.

            I find the class clown destructive and his behavior borders on sexual harassment.

            Just as bad, and probably worse [if you overlook the physical danger associated with Jung-Oh] are the bratty, nasty, self-involved, entitled, high achiever. They act as if they are the only ones entitled to an education. The fact that the way they want to be taught leaves out 2/3 or the class from being involved does not matter as long as their needs are met.

            Say what you want about In-Jae’s teaching but people were awake and they were learning. If the S-university presumptives wanted to they could have learned something also, but since all they want to learn is to fill in the right oval, when they are not being taught that they react as if class time is wasted. NO IT IS NOT. Other students are learning, and since those students’ parent pay taxes, and the students made the effort to show up, then they should be taught.

            As wonderful as it is to teach to the brightest, [and its so tempting] it is important to teach to students who struggle or shut down defensively. The bright ones, in many cases, will survive without you, but the ones out in deep water need you.

            In many way it issue may be that those student should be in that class. The smart bratty one. Send them home to learn on the internet. 🙂 Just kidding. Maybe.

          • asianromance

            @ anais I think part of what made Go Nam-soon not follow Jung-ho’s path is Heung-soo. Heung-soo’s Nam-soon’s age, but he was the more mature and responsible. And crushing Heung-soo’s leg and ruining his friend’s future was a cold wake-up call for Nam-soon to live life quietly. I think Go Nam-soon could have ended like Jung-ho if Heung-soo had up and left Go Nam-soon for the soccer life (in real life, some close high school friends just drift apart because they’ve grown up, because of distance, because of different responsibilities, because of new relationships.)

            I can’t say whether Jung-ho was lucky or unlucky not to have experienced what Go Nam-soon and Heung-soo experienced during that leg-crushing moment.

          • anais

            @ Yumi,
            Totally send them to the internet. That’s how Sechan taught and made most of his money, right?


            As I said elsewhere in these comments about the way teachers are assigned where I work, the toughest kids deserve the most experienced teachers.

            Injae was set up for failure, but obviously we’ll get her triumphing by the end. So in a few more episodes, perhaps we’ll have a very different conversation.

            The one thing I do want to emphasize is that the S-girls’ snottery? It’s a reflection of the larger Korean society. They’ve been taught those values and those values get reaffirmed constantly. Though Korea is technically no longer an aristocratic society, it’s still highly classist in ways the average American would have a hard time stomaching. Only a couple years or so ago, I taught a Korean student studying in the U.S. He’s a chaebol heir, the only son. He told me in all sincerity that he thought slavery was perfectly acceptable. Slavery in Korea was outlawed only 117 years ago, as a part of the 1894 kabo reforms. I’ve come across a 21st century poll indicating that a majority of Koreans would gladly revert to a monarchy (even as much as I find that poll suspect, that’s what it said).

            Not defending the girls at all. Just providing context.

        • anais

          @ Yumi,

          I totally agree with most of what you’re saying. About the class crown, the self-entitled S-girls, etc.

          I can even see what you mean by believing Jungho’s statement. I saw him differently, primarily through the filter of my own experience that includes bullies at a far younger age. Yes, pre-kindergarten bullies.

          And even our take on the philosophy behind Injae’s teaching doesn’t differ. The only crucial difference seems to be you see her as being good whereas I think she’s not there yet. I’ve no problem with her decision to reach out to the kids less advantaged. I’ve a problem with her not putting the entitled girls into their place and failing to convince them that she has something valuable to offer them, even within the parameters of Korean educational and value systems.

          • yumi

            @ anais

            I accept we agree on many things.

            But I don’t think I said I think In-jae is a good teacher. What she is doing is but but how In-jae is doing what she is doing is an experiments that doesn’t have enough result to judge the conclusion. So, surprisingly I haven’t formed an opinion on her execution but I support her.


            1) She has proven to be effective on the lost boys.

            2) It is clear she is a new teacher with great heart and plenty of ideas that haven’t had the opportunity or support to implement those idea. When I was working on my teaching credential for secondary education the mantra of the program was it takes three years to learn to teach effectively. I doubt she has had three years. When I went into the classroom, I had a master teacher to guide and support me. All she had is a numbers hungry principal who spends all her time telling In-jae she is not good at every opportunity and putting up obstacles when In-jae tries to improve. In fact I’d say In-Jae is being bullied by the administration.

            So I think we agree that In-Jae is a person in the process of becoming a teacher.

            Where we might disagree is that I don’t think she is ruining the academically advanced students’ chance to go to S-university or advance in life. She is teaching them to think, not just answer questions is a prescribed way. How can that ruin a person.

          • anais

            @ Yumi

            Where we might disagree is that I don’t think she is ruining the academically advanced students’ chance to go to S-university or advance in life. She is teaching them to think, not just answer questions is a prescribed way. How can that ruin a person.

            I don’t think that. The S-Girls are ruining their own chances. I just wish Injae would SHOW them that they are ruining their own chances at both S Univ and life. Elsewhere I said the girls will learn the hard way that they need more than good test scores to succeed in life. And, by success, I mean not just attaining elite status but true self-fulfillment and happiness.

            I think we differ only on our assessment of her teaching efficacy. I think she’s had enough time to accomplish more whereas you are more generous in your assessment. (And I’m glad you brought up the 3-year learning period. It’s true.) But neither of us would have put Injae in that situation in the first place. I wouldn’t set my teachers up for failure like that. And I would have quashed the S-Girls so fast.

      • 18.1.2 TS

        Yeah, Se Chan pointed that out to the other minion (can’t remember his name). But these boys aren’t going to get that point so easily.

      • 18.1.3 asianromance

        That was what was really sad about that line – maybe his home situation made him a little more prickly and sensitive than his peers as a child he just assumed all of school hated him, when they didn’t hate him but was not as warm as it may be to an easily angered child.

        And then he retaliated against this perceived threat and got real hate in return (which corresponded with how he felt the school felt about him)- like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        • anais

          That’s what I heard when the teachers, especially Injae (I think), said that perhaps the school didn’t hate him but rather that the school might have hoped he’d become different. And that’s what I meant by acting out. I know too many kids like Jungho. Heck, I grew up with one such, with whom every single approach earned me some misery or another. From toddlerhood. Gah.

          • yumi

            Perhaps I know too many schools and principals like Victory.

  19. 19 queencircles

    Gah that scene where they ate quietly just got me. Nam soon kept shoveling food in his mouth to keep from crying. So good!

  20. 20 queencircles

    And I do love the boys together when they’re annoyed at Se Chan. These actors are fantastic with the subtle movements and looks. They are so great together, at both the happy and the sad moments, and the in between.

  21. 21 white

    i hope to see more ha-kyung and nam-soo here

    • 21.1 Tha

      I actually think that Kang Joo suits both the boys…ha kyung does nothing for me….

      • 21.1.1 news

        I don’t mind that there aren’t any romantic pairings so far since that’s not the central focus for this drama. The fact that its doing so well without one goes to show that a Kdrama doesn’t always need a story to be about love between a male and female protagonist to be successful.

        What I’m disappointed about in Kdramas are 1) varied and well-written female characters, 2) the lack of good friendships/relationships/storylines between females. The bromance here is awesome, so touching it makes you remember them and want to come back for more. Not so much for the girls.

        But if romantic pairings had to happen, I also think Kang Joo suits Nam Soo more. Ha Kyung as a character does nothing for me either. Objectively speaking and this is also a criticism on the writing of her character, not that she isnt having a hard time or doesn’t deserve love, but I really don’t see what is attractive about her character that would make either NS or HS fall in like with her. Not only that, but she doesn’t have any excuse to treat KJ, her supposedly best friend, the way she does. If I were KJ, I would’ve dropped her friendship like a hot potato a few episodes ago.

        • news

          Oops IPhone typo…I meant 1) lack of varied and well-written female characters.

          • Mia

            “1) lack of varied and well-written female characters, 2) the lack of good friendships/relationships/storylines between females.”

            hah! I couldn’t agree more! seems to be a universal problem in the world of TV and film but it’s very obvious in kdrama
            my heart loves the bromance, but my head says where are the girls?

  22. 22 MhsC

    I like that there are diff. reasons behind the school’s over achievers , though I really don’t like the mean girl. Ha kyung is pressured by a goal of getting into Soul U , having a sweet mom telling her not to be bothered by it but acts otherwise. She also does not have this kind of goal the Minki has , of what she wants to do in life. She really needs a backstory more ’cause there are times when I don’t understand her.
    Minki on the other hand is pressured by his mom without even asking him what he wants. I like that he has a dream , that he tried to stand up against his mom . I like Minki but am afraid that his mom , the pressure , the current situation of his brother and his dream will lead him into suicide.
    Lastly , I understand why the mean girl wants to straighten up the things regarding In Jae and Jung Ho , because in her own point of view I think they are distractions to her . Distractions in a way that they hinder (In Jae’s teaching , Jung Ho being a nuisance) her in getting high grades for she worked hard for it without any resources or without any mom pressuring her. She is toooo much though , lashing it out on In Jae . She lacks consideration at times and most of the time just a selfish mean girl.

    I love school … I love the bromance but I guess I am in need more of Ha Kyung’s back story ….

    • 22.1 XX

      I’m glad I’m not the only one getting a suicide vibe from Min-Ki. I really hope he doesn’t. He’s a good kid but his mom be crazy.

      • 22.1.1 cv

        Yea, I’m feeling that vibe too. I hope he doesn’t turn into his brother.
        To be honest, I really hate the mother. I don’t think she cares what her kids think–almost like she wants them to have/live the dream that she never had. Sucky thing is, she need to realize her kids don’t have the same dream as her.
        I hope Minki can in the end stand up to his mom and make her realize she’s making him crazy.

      • 22.1.2 Ace

        Yeah, the mom’s the biggest bully of them all. So she’s top jjang then? 😛

      • 22.1.3 Carole McDonnell

        There are all kinds of horribleness in high school, alas. And the troublemaking kids are the ones who take up so much of a teacher’s time that if teacher’s aren’t careful, they ignore subtle implosions right under their eyes. I’ve been worrying for Min-ki and Ha-kyung for a while now. Troubled kids aren’t easily seen when there are squeaky wheels like Jung ho making such noise.

      • 22.1.4 asianromance

        I got the suicide vibe from his mom more. That woman is crazy enough to commit suicide to ensure that Min-Ki will feel guilty and indebted to her for eternity.

    • 22.2 TS

      Actually, I now get the desperate vibe from her. In-Jae was amazingly, and inspiringly, kind to her. If Jung ho hadn’t returned, and that business with the essays, perhaps she would’ve voted for in- jae to stay since injae promised to teach to help her concerns.

      • 22.2.1 anais

        But she’s always been desperate. That hasn’t changed. The only difference is that she’s becoming more like Hakyung in not apologizing for it. Some day these kids, they’re going to have to learn that you need more than a degree of S-Univ to live fulfilling lives. Things like human empathy.

        • TS

          You’re right, she needs to learn better behavior.

          However, I feel like I understand that mean girl’s crankiness and frustration more, not that I agree with it. I had the competitive vibe from her, but I didn’t realize she felt so unsupported.

          In comparison, I know Ha-kyung feels unsupported, but at the same time, she’s got access to tutoring and anything else she wants to do to make things happen for herself. And Ha-Kyung’s mum *does* interfere to make things work out for her more.

          So, I guess my own empathy is kicking in, lol.

          • anais

            Ah! Got it. Do you remember an earlier episode when the top girls tried to lure Ha-kyung with Sechan’s secret trick book from the Hak-won? That scene clearly drove home for me that Ha-kyung’s better off than the other girls. The girl said she had to go to a lot of trouble to get that book from a cousin, and I was so sad for them and their desperation for so many reasons.

        • TS

          @anais, Yes, I remember that!

    • 22.3 Mina

      lol, i just posted above how i think minki is a prime candidate for suicide without reading this comment. if it’s a vibe we’re all getting, maybe they would go there?

  23. 23 KZ

    This was one of my favorite episodes of this drama so far. Se-Chan has really become one of my favorite characters and I loved his confession at the end about In-Jae being the teacher he always wanted to be. And damn, when Nam-Soo was choking down his food holding back tears, got me in the feels.

  24. 24 anna

    Se-chan stole this episode for me! I love In-jae’s storyline too, but Se-chan really stepped it up in this episode. He’s the voice of reasons, who would have thought so?

    • 24.1 mysterious

      I know, right?! Se-chan, the voice of reason?! I am amazed at his growth. At the beginning when he saw Nam-soon getting the daylights kicked out of him by Jung-ho, he did nothing. Now he is actively trying to keep Nam-soon and Heung-soo together. And the real kicker for me? He was the one who got through to Jung-ho!! He was able to see what it really was that upset Jung-ho. JH’s friends and In-jae had a role as well, but it was Se-chan who had the biggest impact on Jung-ho this time. This just shows that Se-chan was once a good teacher and wants to be again; and Jung-ho wants to be a good kid, but just doesn’t know how. This is the first time I have found myself rooting for the “villain”.

  25. 25 Funkypicklez

    Aww. You didn’t mention the part where HeungSoo actually turned around to see if NamSoon was following him and when he saw that NamSoon wasn’t, it was like HeungSoo silently gave him permission. To me that was the part that really solidified the “love confession” that took place in the teacher’s office before. Keekeee. 😀 I knew it was possible. Yes!!! Their relationship will never be as carefree as it was in middle school but I am confident they will be able to recover and use this pain to realize the depth of their importance to one another and use this new knowledge to further deepen their relationship.

    This episode was so beautiful. (>_<)

    Gah. I can't even focus on the teachers or JungHo storyline.

    But I do worry for MinKi. The kid is so sweet and so caring. So wiling to sacrifice. Every shot of MinKi away from his mother is of him helping out other students. Usually giving last minute study sessions to the class clowns. 🙁 Because School is so amazingly written in such a realistic manner and suicide is a HUGE problem in Korea, I do believe that his character will take drastic action soon. And I'm glad. His character deserves to be fleshed out more.

    To wrap everything up: EXTENSION PLEASE.

    • 25.1 Mika~

      That’s stepping into some seriously dark territory… not that we haven’t been there already. Oh gosh, you guys are totally right… But does Minki really have to attempt suicide before his mom finally gets it? I’m struggling to think of how we can possibly have a somewhat happy ending, and how I can ever just be happy watching that bromance between Heungsoo and Namsoon, if Minki kills himself. Because I won’t be able to. Minki, please just go run away from your mom or something like that… don’t commit suicide.

      • 25.1.1 Funkypicklez

        I think we may get a pretty serious attempt at suicide but I highly doubt that the writers will make it successful. Honestly I would feel too bad for the mother. I know that it sounds crazy. Pitying the mother who is forcibly putting their kids under all these stress and literally driving her kids insane? But it’s not the mom that’s the problem. It’s the whole Korean system. The mother honestly truly has her kids best interest at her. She just wants her kids to be respected in the Korean value and unfortunately in Korean society the school brand is EVERYTHING. In Korea, there is no system of transfer. No surprises like in America where Cornell may reject you but Harvard takes you (not that Cornell is a bad school:P). And finally Korean society is really messed you the sense that they don’t even acknowledge you as a person if you haven’t attended a prestigious university. It becomes quite troublesome during marriage times.

        Only a few people on here will understand the truth depth of this issue. Only then can you truly pity the mother and start to understand her goals evenif all her methods are terribly wrong and har,ful to the kids.

        All in all, it was just a long way of me saving, please don’t kill of MinKi writers. 🙁 Just help him to “wake” his mother up and realize education doesn’t mean happiness no matter what the society says.

        • TS

          Maybe an attempted suicide? But really, I’d like Min-ki grandmother or someone senior in the family come in to calm things down.

        • anais

          Minki’s mom and other people like her ARE the society that create this problem. She’s not separate from it in any way. In perpetuating these norms, she is part of the problem.

      • 25.1.2 Laeah

        It’s not simple. I grew up with a parent similar to MinKi’s mother and he did not understand until I was laying unconscious in a hospital bed from my suicide attempt. People try to be heard out but when nothing gets through it can lead to a really hopeless road.

        • anais

          Laeah, I just wanted to say in all sincerity that I hear you.

          • nomaden

            Me too, Laeah.

        • JoAnne

          and me – for so many reasons

    • 25.2 yumi

      The thing about suicides is that they often come out of left field committed by someone off the radar. I’m wondering about the life expectancy of the very strong, very determined mean girl.

  26. 26 kil

    I’m confused. is everyone sure it is bromance and not actually a gay romance developing between Heung-soo and nam soon? in this show

    • 26.1 XX

      This may be a guy thing. Maybe an Asian guy thing because me and my best friend are super tight. We’re close knit. I mean there was one point where my parents asked me if I was gay because we hung out so much (and Asian parents be tripping bout homosexuality in general). Trust me though, the bromances that happens in dramas, when you’re a guy watching Korean dramas like me it’s like watching yourself hanging out with your bros.

      • 26.1.1 TS

        Are the girls in Asian culture intense like that with each other?

        When I lived in Thailand, I saw men holding hands a lot over there. I thought it looked weird, but then, I’m not from that culture.

        Also, are Asian cultures fairly segregated still? I sense a lot of traditionalism despite movies like Killer Girl K, with the insistence on age rank. And traditional cultures tend to have more intense friendships within the genders because that’s who you see the most.

        • anais

          Yes, even now, there’s a lot of subtle and not so subtle gender division. There’s even a saying that girls and boys ought to be apart starting at age 7. It’s come down from ye olde Confucian Joseon times.

          But I do think that modern western cultures tend to be more freaked out about overt show of affection between friends of the same sex. There are entire treatises about the intense same sex friendships that existed even as late as the early 20th century. Just recently, there was a photo monograph on male-male friendships, and even I was disconcerted by the physical intimacy of every single photograph. And there were lots of photos.

        • Ncllassie

          Yes, we are 🙂
          Me and my best friend used to hang around….very much the way Nam Soon and Heung-soo. I slept over at her home maybe three nights of the seven. I lived alone at that time.
          We ate together…and because we went to different univ and later different job, we had time together after work and until morning. We would talk until late at night.
          And the hugging or hand holding? We do them all. Even after this time, a very old me, when we meet, the hugging will be repeated as many as poss:-)
          Her gran at one time did ask pintedly whether we are ‘going out’ as, you know, special friend (like a boyfriend-girlfriend type).
          Nah, we are normal 🙂 We now both have families and girl, it does take time to bring them all together they way were because for the most part of last decade we live thousands mile apart.
          So, yes, boys and girls in Asia can have that close (even closer than blood relation) ties. And no, it’s not sexual.
          I have a close friend, here, in UK and we, one day, had to discuss my urge to touch her or to hold her hand and how it would be interpret here in the west. An urge…not that I ever do ti without her consent 🙂
          We had a good laugh about that different Asian-British perspectives.
          She knows how dearly I think of her, and she allows me to hug her once in while 😀

          • TS

            So, then I wonder: how will Heung-Soo’s noona feel about Nam-soon living at their house, eating their food (that she probably works 3 jobs to provide) and probably getting Heung-soo into trouble? Because let’s face it, Nam-soon’s a bit of a catalyst.

    • 26.2 bjharm

      the ‘love’ between male best friends and female for that matter, often is stronger than family bonds, you see that theme pretty much in every Asian drama you likely to watch. In korea there are families where you are expected to always talk formally and you are certainly not encouraged to speak your mind or horror your real feelings. That what your school friends are for, you tell them what you never [not allowed too] speak about to your father or family, you even more shock actually call them by name!

      • 26.2.1 Alex Mottis

        Thank you for your answer, that’s really interesting, because as a mexican, in my country it’s quite weird to see guys fighting like this and crying for each other, and basically hugging and being all lovey-dovey together. In girl/girl and girl/boy friendships it’s common, but due to the mentality in my country being that close it’s kinda weird in boy/boy friendships. At least with my guy friends, things like this would never happen, and if they did, it’d only be when they’re drunk enough to not feel ashamed

        • heayun

          Yea, in Korean culture, guys (who are straight!) are very touchy and lovey-dovey. Even more-so than the girls with girls, at least where I’m from.

          You should watch the BTS for this show. The guys (namely Jihoon, Yikung, Namsoon) are super lovey-dovey off-camera. xD

          • Alex Mottis

            Lol I’m going to look for them, because I unexpectedly fell in love with all of them 😀 they’re so pretty and cute

            And I’ll have to ask my friend when she comes back from South Korea what she thinks about this

    • 26.3 Ace

      Nah. I got more gay vibes between Frodo & Sam in Peter Jackson’s films than in any kdrama bromance (though I was pretty sure it was a one-sided love between Yeo-rim & Geol-oh)

    • 26.4 Alex Mottis

      Lol Even though I know that’s not the case, I can’t help but think “Just kiss!” whenever they’re fighting

      • 26.4.1 anais

        I know. Totally!!!

    • 26.5 anais

      Oh no!!! Korea is an extremely homosocial society, especially amongst men. No, it’s not gay romance, no matter how much some fans might wish it to be. It just reads that way to us who don’t live in that society.

    • 26.6 yumi

      There are scene that truly play like a romance and if this were a western drama, I’d say gay romance. But it is k-dramas so bromance.

      I’m not sure the reason it seems to have a romantic potential to my western eyes is because the west rarely goes into the emotional depth of male friendships is this particular way.

  27. 27 dtp_jnr

    I still think In-Jae is a bad teacher, a good Guidance Counselor? YES Teacher? Hell NO…..That’s the only problem i have with this drama, the fact that they keep trying to pass off In-Jae as a good teacher when she’s not……

    FINALLY, Heung-Soo and Nam Soon got over that huge mountain (props to devil’s advocate Se-Chan)….I almost cried when Heung Soo saved Nam Soon by saying their “friends”…..ah my ice cold heart….If only it were normal i would have cried at that scene…..

    The cafeteria scene was heart touching also, you could see all the emotions going on in that silence and eating….

    Ji-Hoon is a really good friend, that bad click are making their way into my attention……

    • 27.1 bjharm

      She bad in a korean school system I agree to that, her ideas seem more western based. Koreans have a huge slant to the idea of the one being less important than the many {I sounding like spock from star trek} and its ok to screw the life of one troublemaker than risk the chances of the class as a whole. And that all she was guilty of, slightly lessening the classes chances on a whole to save the ‘life’ of another. But are teachers like her needed? then the answer is YES or nothing well change and the system would go on unchanged and I think you agree the way they showing the korean school system here, it well past time something changed.

      • 27.1.1 anais

        Even in the West, she’d be a bad teacher. For a number of reasons. Honestly, I’m not a trained teacher (as in no teaching degree) but, whenever I encounter a teaching challenge, I come up with a way to address it at a minimum and to completely surmount it usually. And promptly. It doesn’t take me days and days and weeks and weeks to figure out a better way to teach the kids. I can usually figure it out over night. I’ll lose sleep, make a fool of myself, do almost anything including jeopardize my own health in order to command my students’ attention and to get them to enjoy either the subject or learning. (The only exception: I will not read or watch Twilight.) And all despite having had my share of kids who made me cry, in front of other teachers. But the kids will never know that.

        Also, you cannot let kids detect lack of confidence. They smell it so fast. That’s different from acknowledging that you may not have all the answers. That’s not at all a bad thing. But she lets them see that she doesn’t know and doesn’t know if she ever will, all the freaking time! She does waste a lot of the kids’ time and energy.

        I’m not saying that she ought to stop reaching out to the lost lambs. She, however, is creating a situation that makes targets of those lambs she so desperately wants to rescue. She needs to figure out a way to get a significant majority invested in rescuing the lambs together. And the best way to show the value of school is to teach well. To get the kids to enjoy the subjects and/or the learning process. Not for the grades, college apps, future earning power, but for the pure enrichment.

        I absolutely agree that Injae would be a fabulous counselor.

        • magnus

          In the West she wouldn’t be a bad teacher because the classrooms wouldn’t be set up this way. Her trying to adjust her teaching style and be receptive of the students and their needs would work perfectly if she was put in a Western school that had different class placements and most of the students in the classroom were of the same intelligence.
          Regulars, Honors, AP, and Remedial classes if you need them. You can even retake a subject the next year or earlier than you should if you’re over or under-prepared.You can change classes if you find the current one is too easy or too hard at any point in the year if it’s necessary. She’s not a bad teacher. The system is just screwy and she can’t do anything about it, which is sad.

          In this class there are students who can get into prestigious universities mixed with people who barely understand what’s going on. She literally can’t win. No teacher can. They can cater to the over achievers or attempt to get the kids who have a hard time to understand the subject more but never both. They will be failing no matter what.

          • Tanya B!

            @magnus Although I might agree the system is very muh flawed, Korean Education System is regarded as one of the best in the world. Having said that, and appreciating a lot American school system, I don’t thik that dividing kids according to their intelligence is the best option…and it does not reflect reality at all. In my country, and may other countries around the world, you usually get classes mixed up, and teachers have to struggle to get the best of them. I think that the best teacher is not the one that can make the most or advanced students or even the ones wh make progress with the less advantaged ones, but the one who is able to concile all the different backgrounds and have everyone learning at their own pace.

        • magnus

          Her levels of concern though are well suited for a counselor as well. She’d be brilliant as a mother bear English teacher too, probably at a Regulars or Honors level.

      • 27.1.2 yumi

        I don’t think she is a bad teacher from a western standard. A lot of her experiments are straight out of western pedagogical research. She is trying to teach for life, not for the test and one seems to care beyond test scores.

        In American schools homeroom is not important in the students’ lives. It wasn’t in mine. It is just the place you leave your hat and get information from the bureaucracy. The students then leave for individual classes where there is an academic match to some extent with their classmates.

        I was told that in Korea the class stay together, which mean the intellectual variable can be enormous. It is hard to teach to all.

        • anais

          I think the show wants to depict her as a stand-in for Western pedagogy. A Mr. Keating. But Mr. Keating knew how to teach and inspire. Indeed for life.

          She, on the other hand, often breeds insecurity and doubt. Even in kids who’ve been receptive to her. She doesn’t experiment or research. She’s tried out one idea and given up on even that.

          She is no Mr. Keating.

          • Fasr

            Whut? She did experiment. She never got to see any results or continue because they kept pushing her from all angles. The kids, the principal, the parents. I see her portrayed as someone trying to do good but is suffocated by the system, exactly as what Se-chan said at the end. Who cares whether she’s trying to be Mr Keating or whatever. She’s trying teach her kids, get feedback by listening to them, willing to re-evaluate her methods and adjust to their needs. She fails a lot of times but still, she triiiieeeess.

            I can’t stand how so many people just see her as useless. Eff that to be honest. And all this clamouring over the bromance, missing them so much when they are out of focus for just a few scenes dammit I like those kids too but the fact that Ha-kyung gets so much hate, and people going ew cooties at the thought of her touching their oppas, (lets be honest the real reason some of you don’t want romance in this drama is not because it’s unrealistic, it’s because it takes away time from your hot guy x hot guy time) when all she is, is severely underdeveloped, makes me think most people on this site (not you anais, going an a tangent, a very annoyed tangent here) are just a bunch of latent misogynists. Ugh. /ramble

          • anais

            We’re totally seeing different things, then. Not being confrontational here. Genuinely, what besides the group poetry project did you see her try? Did I miss it completely? Am I suffering from some memory lapse?

            She’s great for wanting to put the kids first, not just for the test scores but for life. She’s excellent in being willing to listen to the kids and to reevaluate her teaching. She IS commendable for wanting to reach out to the lost kids. Her priorities aren’t wrong.

            However, I see her being stuck. Being willing to try and actually implementing effective methods are very different. The first will help someone achieve the second, but it’s no guarantee. I find myself thinking that, were she not saddled with such a split class, she’d be excellent for the lower level kids who need her much more. Argh… I just wrote and erased several times, “For those kids, I’m confident she’d be excellent.” Why did I erase it? Because she still hasn’t seen results with them as a group. Not just with the grades but in outlook. You can’t blame just the kids, the principal, the parents, or the educational system. She’s teaching them Lit, a subject that’s ready made for kids to like, even love. I teach both Lit and History. Believe me, it’s much easier to teach Lit and to get kids to really, really like it.

            Injae has the potential to be an awesome teacher, but she clearly needs better teaching skills and confidence in her teaching.

          • Fasr

            Can’t remember exactly but I think she tried something else before that? and she got shut down quickly. Maybe I just remember wrongly. It’s fuzzy but I had this impression even from before that she’s been experimenting. I was frustrated that she stuck to the group poetry method but it’s not like we had any time to go beyond that, the story couldn’t afford that many changes at the pace they’re going so I chalked it up to strorytelling.

            Not sure how it is where you teach, but maybe the problem here is that they’re trying to teach Lit for exams? I guess you can make that fun for both uninterested and S-Uni aiming students, but it’s not like Kang-sem had everyone wide awake in his class and he tried, with that Big Bang song. I guest my first instinct is to give Jung-sem the benefit of a doubt. That if she has more time and freedom and not so much pressure from kids and school and parents to do this and that, being pulled in different directions at once she could get there. She could be a great teacher. It really frustrates me when people don’t see that and just call her a bad teacher (not saying that you did, but I’ve seen it many times).

            Sorry I sounded confrontational. I was just pissed after weeks of having people bashing her for being weak. And also having other female characters hated on.

          • Dita

            Totally agree with Fasr.

            As for me, I think there’s no perfectly bad teacher or good teacher. Yes, she’s lack in some points, but that’s not the reason to say that she’s a bad teacher. I think this drama wants to tell us about the process Teacher In Jae to be a teacher that accepted by all her students. And we know it’s not easy.

            I know what it feels, when someone or somebody call you bad teacher/incompetent teacher. It hurts. A lot.
            Just saying. 🙂

          • Mina

            Maybe Mr. Keating became Mr. Keating because his experiments flourished in a society receptive to such kind of inspirational life lessons. But In-jae is in Korea where everything, and I mean everything, is against her teaching principle: even the kids whom she hopes to inspire. And the kids’ ambivalence towards her method isn’t just because they’re lost little lamb, it’s because they live in a society that perpetuates a vastly different, rigid thinking process about school, university, and success.

          • ladysarahii

            On the one hand, I agree with this.

            But I also think she was given a difficult deal… basically she had very little experience, was given a notoriously difficult class — with bullies who are twice her size — and told to straighten them out. Once she couldn’t do that, she was labelled a failure and never expected to do better.

            However, if she was a better teacher, I think she probably might have been able to make something work.

            Still heartbreaking though, because I’m not a teacher, but I see myself as more of an In-jae than Se-chan, for real.

          • anais

            @ Mina, Mr. Keating went against his society too and ultimately was punished severely for it. The selfish parent (who’s just as oppressive as Minki’s mother) and the cowardly, 1950s/1960s-conservative administration (just as cowardly as Victory High’s) made him into the scapegoat for his student’s death. His students, however, were immediately receptive to him from first class onward because he was so willing to flout conventions and have confidence in his own mode of being. Of course, he didn’t have Korean College Exams, snotty S-girls, or Jungho to contend with. The character most like the snooty girls was Cameron, but his peers effectively neutralized him.

      • 27.1.3 dtp_jnr

        Western Standards she’s also bad…..You do not risk the future of many who are working hard to solidify their future for the future of 1 who is deciding to throw his/hers away especially when that 1 is a hindrance to the many…..No sensible teacher should do what she does…..

        Speaking from someone who schooled in both a western country and a strict conservative cultural country (similar to Asian countries), i can say in either end of the stick she is a bad teacher…..She should be a Guidance Counselor not a teacher…..And if i were still in High school i would never want a teacher like her but would want a Guidance Counselor like her….

        If you’re planning on going to a good college or even writing SAT/ACT you would not want her as a teacher cos you would most likely fail unless you’re really smart and don’t need a teacher to teach you for you to understand….Why? Cos her teaching isn’t helping those at the top of the class as she makes her lesson to a standard that the lowest people in the class should get which doesn’t do anything positive for the top students…Students come to school for Knowledge ultimately and if a teacher can’t give that then she has no right to be a teacher……

        That’s why when i was in high school, students were put in classes according to their intelligence hence the slow students don’t hinder the smart and studious ones. Everyone in the grade (regardless of class) exam was standard (the same) hence there was no “lets make the exam easier so that the lower ranking students would get some”…The exam that was challenging for the top A class students would also be challenging and more for those in classes B-G….Cos they are preparing you for college eventual exams and college itself…..

        In Summary, no matter what country in this world i put In-Jae, she would most likely still be considered a bad teacher….

        • Hamster428

          As you say, students should grouped according to levels. But when Seungri High doesn’t, that’s a systematic problem, not Jung saem. You are saying she is sacrificing the smart kids for the slow ones, but then should she sacrifice the slow ones then, just cuz they’re slow and therefore worth less? The point Show is trying to make is that there is no easy answer as a teacher, as Jung saem expressed “what level am I supposed to teach everyone at?” The school should reform and group their students instead. Do they really not do this in Korea? It seems if you need to qualife for certain high schools, logically it follows that you should qualify to be in certain classes.

          • anais

            I’ve said this in a prior recap, but I absolutely agree that the problem is systemic first and foremost. The principal ought to have known better than to assign the most difficult class to the least experienced teacher, a first-year teacher in fact. Especially if one of the most experienced teachers has given up on those very same kids.

            Where I teach, the least experienced teachers are assigned to the kids who need least guidance, the top students who are self-motivated and already know how to study effectively. The kids who need most guidance get the most experienced teachers.

            Teachers have a learning curve too, and even the best teachers become better with experience. So I do not envy Injae’s position. In the next month, I’ll be taking on a mixed level class of at risk students for a year, so I’m very keen on all the lessons to be learned here.

            I do hope the drama will show how Sechan and Injae learn from each other’s in-class pedagogy (not just the outside the classroom mentoring) to develop a teaching method that is instructive, engaging, and even inspiring. Frankly, Sechan’s method would bore me to tears too (really? a projection of English-Korean translations? Doesn’t matter whether it’s of Big Bang’s lyrics. It’s a projection in a dark room. No wonder kids fall asleep). And Injae’s would annoy me and make me feel cheated. There are ways to combine the best of both methods.

          • dtp_jnr

            “what level am I supposed to teach everyone at?” That right there should not be a question a teacher should be asking cos the answer is plain and simple “a standardized level that doesn’t play to the slow kids ability or the smart kids ability”….In her case her standards are to the slow kids ability which shouldn’t be AT ALL….

            When i was in high school i usually jokingly asked my teachers if they could make the exams easier but deep down i knew that would not be of any help to me in the future cos when writing college entrance exams they wouldn’t be writing it easy for me….If you teach at an easy level to your students, you’re putting them in a bubble which would be burst by the reality of college entrance exams. Hence those that may have done better on the exam if taught appropriately, would have lower scores hindering their future……

            I don’t think you understand what i meant by our classes where according to our intelligence… This was done so the slow students get tougher attention so they can keep up with the other levels. Hence during exams it’s the same thing given to class A that’s given to class G…..The exams were written not to help class G but an exam that would be challenging to class A, B & C….that’s whet a standard should be like and that is teaching…..

          • anais

            @dtp_jnr – “what level am I supposed to teach everyone at?” That right there should not be a question a teacher should be asking cos the answer is plain and simple “a standardized level that doesn’t play to the slow kids ability or the smart kids ability”

            Actually, it’s not that simple. There is a question to knowing who to pitch to. You can’t just aim for the middle because that just ends up alienating both.

            And it is right for her to be asking that question. A teacher ALWAYS ought to ask that question. I do, every time I take on a new group of students. And I tailor my delivery to each different class, even if they’re supposedly at the same level. I never end up teaching the same class twice, i.e., all my lessons end up being different based on the class, so I am always baffled when other teachers say they get sick of teaching the same lesson repeatedly.

          • yumi

            The issue is not just levels but also learning styles.

            In teaching to mixed levels you need towork your way through the depth of material so that there are questions that struggling students can be challenged by yet be successful at. Then you incorporate questions that more advance can be challenged by and succeed at or run the risk of not getting–because knowing that you need to know more is a good thing.

            Also it about presenting materials in different way so that you auditory, visual, kinesthetic etc learners all get a chance to shine.

            I usually do a class response to the work mid-way and at the end of the semester and invariably there are some exercises that some students felt change their approach to the work that other students found to be useless. If an exercise work for a significant percentage of the class it stays despite the few complaints.

            My issue with the discussion in that everyone is looking at the “troublemakers” behavior. Few people are recognizing that the high achievers’ behavior is just as problematic. If their needs aren’t be catered to they act as if nothing important or valuable is being done.

            Their classmates also deserve to be taught, even at the risk of the top student being bored at some point.


          • Ace

            @yumi: I loved your explanation and completely agree. I’m not a professional teacher as some commenters here are, but I’ve taught some grade schoolers and some high schoolers at Sunday School so my take is to e a *facilitator*.

            In my public high school, there were levels (lowest to highest sections as the students were segregated based on their grades during the previous school year) so I could really remember some bad teachers there as they were the ones who couldn’t present the lessons in a way where most of the class could understand it or enjoy it (remember those teachers who only faced the blackboard not the students and constantly just writes on the board everything that’s on the textbook but still makes you copy it on your notebook? Hand. Cramps.) I get that some of them had the knowledge of the subjects they’re supposed to teach, but they just don’t know how to present them to us in a way that we’d understand and remember.

            So back to being a Sunday school teacher, as we coudn’t segregate the students based on their ‘intelligence’ levels as they were so few and you don’t really do that in Sunday School, I was constantly challenged on how to make all of them understand and remember and apply what I wanted them to. So I facilitate and get their attention by keeping things simple and short (as some students can’t focus on a subject for more than 10 minutes), make activities/games/workshops that is relevant to the discussion, have a short q&a session where they ask you to clarify stuff they don’t understand, etc.

            Also, I would say that learning also depends on the students and they shouldn’t just rely and put the blame on the teachers when they fail at something. Students should always have an open mind and be accountable for their studying habits or lack thereof. I remember back in college when I failed/got low grades on some of my courses because I wasn’t open to learning the subject or sometimes I just didn’t like the professor or how they teach. At least in college, you could drop the course and enroll in the same one but with your preferred instructor. But in high school you couldn’t do that. You get stuck with the teacher assigned to that particular subject so it’s up to you if you want to get high grades despite getting that particular bad teacher. It wasn’t easy for us back then unlike high school students now who has access to all manner of resources via internet, laptops, smart phones, etc. Back then we go to the library, manually copy classmates’ notes, photocopy notes if you have extra money. Somehow, I’m sorry for the current students as I feel they’re being coddled/spoon-fed a lot by both parents and teachers and so they become lazy and lack the drive to succeed, and just be selfish as a human being. I call them the ME! ME! ME! generation.

            Lastly, idealistically the school administration, the teachers, the students, and the parents should all be united to make things better but things can’t be helped in the real world. There’s school politics, schools-as-businesses (making money from low quality textbooks to school events/activities), parents that just don’t care or like Min-ki’s mom who cares tooooo much, indifferent teachers like Se-chan initially, some teachers who have obvious class favorites…the list goes on. In SK, I guess you could add society’s pressure for students to get to the best universities, and in other Asian countries that’s also true but not as extreme in SK as portrayed in the drama. But it all still depends on the individual’s drive to succeed or what level of success they want. Not on how high their high school SAT grades were, or what top university they graduated from.

            I still have a lot to say but I’ll stop here for now (but saves this rant/rave on Word so I could work on it later on and add further thoughts).

            Anyway, go School 2013! Hope you’ll be able to make a difference in student/parent/teacher viewers in Korea. Also, I love the comments on this thread even if I don’t necessarily agree on some things.

          • anais

            @ Yumi, I DEFINITELY think the S-girls are a huge problem. I would have nipped that bud so fast. It was with them that my issue with Injae really solidified.

            The first time I took issue with her is how she handled Jungho using physical force on her. I’m a tiny, tiny person, even by Asian standards (may have been the second shortest maybe 2x in my life), and for a number of reasons have been bullied physically by GUYS!!!! So I’ve learned to defend myself enough that most guys don’t dare mess with me. Nonetheless, though I think I would have handled myself differently, had I been in her shoes, I was still willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

            But when she shrank from the S-girls snottery (I know, not a word but seems perfect here), I lost respect for her. So my issue with her isn’t that she’s chosen to teach for life not to the test, to try to get as many of the kids as possible rather than the select few, etc. It’s that she hasn’t taught in a way that humbles the self-entitled and that wins over her target audience. Were she better, I think more of the rest of the class would have stood up for her when Sechan asked, even if she’d still failed to win over the S-girls. (I think she won over Ha-kyung after that first test. Truly smart kids would have done well regardless of the format and Ha-kyung – at least the show seemed to suggest – was smart enough to recognize that she wasn’t as good as she’d thought herself. Same with Minki.)

        • anais

          I’ve thought more about this challenge of teaching to different levels within the same class. And how I’ve handled it.

          I do keep the standard high and use the advanced kids in such a way to be productive for both the advanced and not so advanced kids. For example, the advanced kids usually understand the material readily but intuitively. So I challenge them to break down how they came to their understanding. In an advanced class, I may get one student who’s able to articulate this thoroughly. If there is such a student, wonderful. Everyone learns the critical thinking process. If not, I teach them the process and ask them to work individually, in pairs, or in groups as appropriate. If I make it a group challenge, I make sure to place at least one advanced kid in each group and they then become invested in making sure everyone in their group is on the same page, especially if I turn it into a game or a contest.

          Sometimes minor rewards are attached. Sometimes the losing team has to do something mildly embarrassing but mostly funny. I do try to make them see that we are in this world together, whether or not we like or want to admit it, and that it’s in our best interest to strive to bring everyone up.

          Occasionally, I get an uppity advanced level student who won’t cooperate. I make sure to show them they still have a thing or two or a whole lot to learn. It’s even better when, unexpectedly, a less advanced student shows the advanced kid(s) a thing or two. It’s empowering for the less advanced and humbling for the arrogantly advanced. Enough such exchanges teach the arrogant kids new respect for those they looked down on previously. It’s lovely when that happens.

          • TS

            I wish Injae had done this.

    • 27.2 TS

      What s with crying and eating in K Dramas? When I cry, food is last thing going down.

    • 27.3 Ruth

      I don’t think we were ever actually supposed to believe that she was a good teacher. It’s more likely that we just wanted to believe it because she’s a good person. I mean, since the beginning we’ve been told that she’s lacking. She’s been a substitute teacher for 5 years because she didn’t pass her teaching exam. The only reason she became a home room teacher was because there was no one else to do it. When Se Chan tells her that she’s the teacher he wants to be, I’m positive that he’s not talking about her teaching techniques. He’s talking about her tenacity and her desire to be better as well as her love for each of the individual kids. Part of In Jae’s development actually has to do with her becoming a better teacher. Honestly (and not surprisingly), In Jae and Se Chan together make one heck of a great teacher. Apart, they’re both still too lacking to be much more than mediocre (and, in some cases, downright sucky).

      • 27.3.1 anais

        I wholeheartedly agree with your reading.

      • 27.3.2 anais

        You know, your comment just made me realize how much I’d love to hear from someone who’s a principal / an upper level academic administrator and the challenges s/he has faced. I’m very blessed now to have an administration that supports me fully. To have administrators and colleagues who are so wonderful that they make me want to be better. I’ve been in situations where that hasn’t been the case.

        Clearly, this show is as much about empowering both teachers and students as it is about teaching and learning.

      • 27.3.3 yumi

        Thanks for this, ” Part of In Jae’s development actually has to do with her becoming a better teacher.”

        I have been so caught up in the discussion on pedagogy I’d forgotten to step back and look at this form the dramatic arc perspective.

        Part of In Jae’s development actually has to do with her becoming a better teacher.

        I don’t think School 2013 is mean to be about the student growth solely. It is meant to be about everyone’s development.

        Being a good person having good intention does not make you a good teacher. Good intention without effective skills make you a burn out. Evidence: Se Chan’s past experience.

        Skills without commitment and empathy makes you an effective tutor (maybe) but not a true teacher. Evidence: Se Chan.

        If In-jae doesn’t buck up her wet eyes will only earn her burn out status.

        I think the point in the drama [for everyone with a storyline that gets time on the frontburner] is that these characters are lacking and will ultimately find their missing piece.

        Teacher Umh and Teacher Mysterious [what does he do? He’s in the gym, he’s in the office, he was Se Chan’s old teacher but I have no idea what his official function is. His unofficial function seems to be being omniscience and wise] are fully developed people. That is why their story is not being told.

        We see In-Jae has begun to change Se Chan. Ultimately she needs to recognize the value in some of his perspective and change. Her stubbornness and tenacity has been a double edge sword.

        To bring in the now completed King of Drama. When Go-Eun was resisting Shin-ha script changes, Anthony stood by Go-Eun but told her the difference between a professional and an amateur was that professionals continue to question themselves [or some such thing] and amateurs never did.

        In-Jae only began to reexamine her approach in the face of the students lack of buy-in.

        But I have faith In-Jae will learn. How can she not? She’ll in school twice a week. hahaha.

        • Ruth

          So interesting that you drew the parallel between KoD and School. I can totally see the similarity between the Go Eun / Anthony relationship (the professional one) and the In Jae/Se Chan relationship.

          I’m also really diggin’ how the other teachers (at least some of them) in addition to Uhmforce and um…the old teacher…who’s awesome, but I don’t know his name…are supporting both In Jae and Se Chan as they develop.

      • 27.3.4 bjharm

        you hit on why she was made homeroom teacher, the headmaster has already marked that class as hopeless, but needing to cover her own butt, and the schools so she picked the weakest and newest and thus most expendable of her teachers to take over as homeroom, thus setting her up to fail and take the blame, rather than the school as a whole. This is backed by her always kicking the feet out from under In Jae with each new episode

    • 27.4 asianromance

      I think she would have made a great elementary school teacher. I think if some of these messed up kids had a teacher like In-jae during their elementary school years, they would be less messed up. These kids need a good foundation and when you reach age 17/18 and real life is right around the corner, you don’t have time to build the foundation.

      And she seemed less stubborn and more inclined to reflect on and question her methods in episode 11, so I’d give In-jae a break. It seems like it’s her first year teaching (and I’m not sure if they do student teaching practicums in korea).

      And if she can keep Jung-ho from going to jail and being a further burden on society – that maybe the students will indirectly reap the advantage of not having to fund his stay in maximum security prison.

      • 27.4.1 anais


        I’d even venture to say that, had Injae been assigned to any other typical high school class, she would have fared well enough that she’d have become a great teacher over time. She’d have had time to try out different methods. I still maintain her learning curve isn’t all that great now, but she has the potential to reach the heights. The right spirit guides her. The problem is this class w/ all its attendant politics + her lack of experience/skill and confidence.

        I think of the other new female teacher. She sucks. I wish she’d get fired but she’s one of those sheep that never strays and follows all too well. She’d be the first to go. Also to go immediately would be the VP. The principal – I understand her but I still want her gone. It’s a pity that Victory High doesn’t have a more supportive principal who empowers the teachers. But such a principal’s life wouldn’t be easy.

  28. 28 ilikehim

    Errrrrrrrr. I DISLIKE Ha-kyung.
    I have never felt or connected with her struggle but her characterization is pushing me to dislike her.
    Even if she did plan to make amends with Kang Joo, it seems like she is just doing it NOW that she is in the debate competition. Otherwise she would still be lashing out.
    They are only friends when things go swimmingly and her way. I would hate to be her friend.

    • 28.1 Alex Mottis

      Yeah, her character seems kind of forgotten, I mean, they’ve only showed us one or two instances in which she was nice, but almost all the time she’s petty and jealous. I think once the struggle between Nam-soon and Heung-soo it’s settled, there’ll be more opportunity to flesh out her character more. She’s a girl fighting against her family’s expectations, we just need to see a little bit more of her internal life, instead of just seeing her react in an angry way whenever someone has better luck than she does

      • 28.1.1 MhsC

        I agree re: Ha Kyung
        We need more of her back story … Without it , she’ll just be the superior girl without any consideration about other people …
        I just need an episode or two that will show us Ha Kyung and more of her struggles , her internal conflicts and how she became the way she is now … I know that they are already showing us how her mom treats her acads but I need more of how internalizes those things . *sigh* I want to like Ha Kyung but I can’t .

    • 28.2 mysterious

      I totally agree. I cannot stand Ha-kyung. There has been some speculation about her with Heung-soo and Kang-joo with Nam-soon. I will forgive anything and I mean ANYTHING other than the writers putting Heung-soo with Ha-kyung. Even if Kang-joo doesn’t end up with HS (and it looks like that isn’t going to happen, though I wish it would), as long as Ha-kyung doesn’t end up with MY . . . er, uhm, I mean with Heung-soo, then I can let everything else go.
      On a side note, this episode had me laughing so many times with the boys, Se-chan and the looks they gave him, especially when he offered them a way out of doing all that writing. Then it made me cry with HS stopping the transfer and Se-chan deserves a standing ovation for how he gentlely guided HS to the realization that Nam-soon was someone he really didn’t want to lose. And then it made me mad with Ha-kyung (can’t stand her), Snippy-Girl (whose name I don’t even care to remember), the principal, and etc.

    • 28.3 inxomnia

      I agree. I’ve never connected to her from the get-go because I can’t relate to that. I mean, in a sense, my situation is probably closest to hers compared to everyone else (y’know, being a bully or gangster and all lol) yet … I’m no hardass or snobby b.

  29. 29 rhia

    Every episode of school has me waving my arms in front of the screen, scrubbing my face from the tears, and hugging a pillow and making the heart sign with my hands. AGH. I love you, drama! (And Go Nam-soon! Come here, baby, noona will hug you and protect you.)

  30. 30 Mika~

    I want to see Heungsoo and Namsoon be regular kids and fight over… basketball, sure. But girls? NO. Next thing you know, we’ll be in the middle of a melodramatic romantic comedy with a broken bromance (which hasn’t even been mended after the first rift yet!), and I’ll never be happy with the ending because I wouldn’t possibly be able to choose sides.

    Getting back on topic, I absolutely loved the developments with Namsoon and Heungsoo this episode. Heungsoo said they were friends! And that they were in the middle of making up! SQUEEEEEALLLL!~ Namsoon’s huge grin and Heungsoo’s small smile when they were playing baskteball? Se-chan is a diabolical genius!

    Speaking of Se-chan, I really admire his aplomb when he handles difficult situations – he always has this confident smirk on his face when he deals with Jungho or the principal… but it’s rather interesting how he only shows his emotions when a problem for In-jae arises. Is this a hint at an upcoming romance? Personally, I don’t really see much romantic chemistry between them, though they work exceptionally well as partners and colleagues. I wouldn’t be up in arms about it, but I guess I’d just prefer it if Se-chan kept on platonically admiring In-jae as the teacher he aspires to be, rather than romantically admiring her as the woman he aspires to date.

    As for In-jae being ousted, I’m feeling pretty ambivalent towards the class as a whole. On one hand, the drama pretty much portrays them as multiple bratty Kyungmins, ungrateful towards such a loving and supportive teacher, but on the other hand, their complaints aren’t completely unreasonable. I understand why they see it as this huge betrayal from In-jae, because Jungho’s been this bully who’s tortured the class over and over again, and it makes In-jae look like a huge hypocrite (in addition to the whole essay contest thing) if she’s been promoting harmony and peace and she just goes off and invites the bully back into the class. I really wish the students could just know the whole truth and maybe even give Jungho a chance to reform himself.

    • 30.1 owl

      The students are forced to be way too caught up in the school’s politics which is not their fault at all, and their ambivalence is, to a large degree, because of that. Even the two homeroom teachers drag the students into it beyond what seems reasonable or realistic. I would hate to have to make the choices they are forced to make. It wouldn’t necessarily reflect how I felt about a teacher or a test, but I would just be annoyed that I (and the other students) had to play the game. Plus the politics can change at any given time. How does any of this make the students feel safe?

  31. 31 AnnaBanana

    Its ridiculous how much I teared up in this episode…..

    And I don’t even cry when I watch or more accurately, attempt to watch melodramas that are packaged to be the ultimate tear-jerkers.

  32. 32 momoi

    lol I haven’t seen a single episode and am only reading the recaps and I find myself getting sad or cheering the characters on. Haha imagine if I started watching it. The drama seemed a bit dark for my take, but I think how real it is is one reason people like it.

  33. 33 kd01942

    I’m so in love with this show uguguhg it is heart breaking, my mother looks at me like I’m crazying while I’m awwing and almost crying at all these moments but anywho..Thanks for these and all the others that you guys do!! 🙂

  34. 34 Ruth

    There’s a lot that I’d like to put here, but honestly, I’m emotionally wrecked by this drama. It’s going to take the rest of this week to recover, I think.

    There was just so much in this one that it’d take too long to really do it justice.

    One comment I do want to make is about the realistic portrayal of the ebb and flow of high school relationships. These teens (and all teens that I’ve been or met) have such dramatic highs and lows. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons (Jung Ho) and sometimes not so much. No matter the reason, however, it’s still important to the one experiencing it.

    I’m glad that we’ve avoided, so far, a real romantic angle. There have been several places where it could have taken a detour, and I’m glad that the writers have stayed on course with the friendships and the other interpersonal relationships. If there ends up being romance down the road, I hope that the writers are VERY careful about integrating it into the story rather than just doing some slapdash treatment.

    As much as I love the main bromance and the burgeoning friendship between In Jae and Se Chan, I find that the peripheral relationships between the other students and teachers are what really bring vibrancy and life to the drama.

    So, yeah…I could go on. But, you know…my heart and all.

    • 34.1 bjharm

      they do show a lot in k-drama that you so busy with study at school you simple do not have the time or engry for romance. That why you have so many 30 year old virgins running around in k-drama I guess..lol But I sure in real life all those teenage hormones are not going to let a little thing like studing for 12 hours a day stop you !

      • 34.1.1 TS

        Yes, in something not censored there’d probably be a pregnancy by now.

      • 34.1.2 Ruth

        I’d be interested to see a drama that REALLY dug into the lives of students. Although School 2013 really strives toward realism, there’s only so much that you can cover in such a limited time as well as get approved for airtime. I’m not sure that mainstream kdramaland is ready for teen pregnancy yet. Suicide it can handle. Teen sex, not so much.

    • 34.2 Nana

      I think Jungle Fish 2 was really good in that aspect, they tackled on suicide and even teen pregnancy. It’s my favorite high school kdrama so far 🙂

  35. 35 cv

    Thanks for recap!

    I have to say, this episode really got to me. I cried at the happy, sad, and silly moments–basically through the whole episode.
    My goodness, the bromance between the two boys finally in it’s mending stage. 🙂
    I’m sad to see that Minki’s mom is a real character I love to hate and do. She’s pushing him to hard and doesn’t realize the impact on him. Didn’t she learned anything from her other son who she pushed so hard to do well in school that he won’t even come out of his room? Maybe she need a reality check when she looses Minki too? I just hope they don’t do anything with him wanting to commit suicide but have him really stand up to her.

    Now that the main characters is doing well, I hope the show take the time to developed and wrap up their stories also.

    I love how se-chan confesses to In jae about wanting to be a teacher like her but couldn’t.

    Can’t wait until next week! This is one good drama and doesn’t even have a tiny bit of romance at all. :p

  36. 36 Almontel

    i just love this series…always something new on each episode…it’s like an onion, the more you peel the more you get a revelation..

    and it’s really great that each one has a story which makes us really connect with the story…

    i can’t wait for next week’s episode…and i’m sure that the extension will be a blessing in disguise for sure…the way this series has been unfolding..

    no boring ep since the start…

  37. 37 yumi

    Thanks for the recap.

    Teared up during the let’s just eat scene.

  38. 38 Laeah

    I honestly think Min Ki is going to commit or attempt suicide soon. His mom is so damn frustrating. Carry out not only her misguided hopes from herself but also trying to mold him into the son his older brother should have been. I don’t see how he can survive especially if he finds out to what lengths his mom went to. I honestly think he’s going to get to a point where he think death is the only option left as sad as that is. I know, because I have been in the same situation with my own parents and it literally drove me insane.

    The principle too is just psycho. She’s so concerned about her own well being that she doesn’t care who the hell she tramples on to keep her position. She doesn’t even dislike Min Ki’s mom for anything except that she has power to control her. The principle needs to be out and the Uhm teacher needs to step in, tbh. Someone needs to expose her corruption.

    As for JongHo, I hope he really straightens out this time.

    On the positive side:

    Loving the interaction between In Jae and Se Chan, both have what the other needs and lacks and I think they are much better as a team. They already seem like a pair of parents with a flock of kids. haha! I wouldn’t mind some romantic flavors between them, even if romance isn’t a focus!

    Still loving Heung Soo and Nam Soon, so happy they are “mending” and starting to grow back together. It’s nice to have some sort of resolution there as the drama starts to tackle other parts that been out of focus for a while.

    • 38.1 Alex Mottis

      I’m really scared for Min-ki, but I’m not quite sure about him trying to commit suicide (or at least that’s my wishful thinking :/). Maybe he’ll just give his mom a scare or maybe his brother will finally react, I don’t know. It’d be too sad if he were to try to take his life

      • 38.1.1 Laeah

        Well if this show is going for the realism it claims to be – suicide is the leading cause of death for people under the age of 18. Sad truth. Maybe if more people watch this in a drama and react, change might be sparked even in small ways.

        • Laeah

          Those stats are for Korea, btw

          • Tanya B!

            I’m very sad to make a sidenote to say that this year Korea ranks second in those stats after Chile :/

        • Alex Mottis

          Oh, you’re right about those stats, I forgot about them 🙁
          It’s a really sad thing, and if the show tackles it right, as you say, hopefully people will take notice and start doing something about it. I hope the thought crosses his mind and someone does something about it, to teach people the signs and what needs to be done in order to help

  39. 39 owl

    So much awwness. “I’m not the victim, He’s not the perpetrator. We’re just friends in the middle of making up.” If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was girls talking. Which makes it even better. Gah! This episode really brought it all home~

  40. 40 twentyonebuds


    • 40.1 twentyonebuds

      I see plenty of meat for an extension! There are so many stories I want to see played out and so many characters I want to get to know 🙂 I love how the writers handled the Namsoon Heungso bromance and I and that declaration of “we’re just friends” was so so perfect! I am happy to have them take a happy, angst free backseat now 🙂

      I’m just in love with this drama!

  41. 41 cheekbones

    Yay for other characters’ story developments. Not that I have a complaint about Namsoon – Heungsoo storyline (in fact, I can’t get enough of them).

    I think now they can pay more attention to the others that the two boy leads are on their way to friendship recovery. What with the extension and all, they need other storylines to develop.

  42. 42 Bengbeng

    gosh! i never realized i was crying so hard till i can’t breathe anymore. I think i cried from the first screencap to the end of you comments, huhuhuhuhu, this drama is soooo great!!! who knows that a drama even without great couple romance would be this great! I miss my highschool life!!!! bring it back bring it back!!!

  43. 43 yumi

    “Because… you’re the teacher I wished I could be. You… are the teacher I tried so hard to be but couldn’t become… you are that teacher.”


  44. 44 wunderbar

    WOW, this episode is great. It seems like it’s Se-Chan’s episode. Can’t wait to watch it with Eng subs!

    girlfriday, I love this line you wrote: “Eeee, he said they’re fwiends!”. So. cute. 🙂 Glad that the two boys have made up.

    Se-Chan & In-Jae make a great pairing. Is there gonna be a love line between them? I’m re-watching Baby Faced Beauty, just for the DC and JNR scenes! But JNR’s hair there is awful…

    I didn’t watch Dream High 1 & 2, but in Master of Study, there was no love line for the teachers.

    • 44.1 lizzzieQ

      Totally, I’m starting to looooove Sechan. For all his fail-ly, swarmy, snarky, teacher-inappropriate behaviour, he is a man of steel and handles difficult situations really well.

      And in all honesty, i was squealing exactly like GF haha. Fweeeeennnddss <3 And then they had to smile like idiots walking down the hallway and make my heart burst.

    • 44.2 bjharm

      the real funny thing about JNR’s hair style in BFB was that is was very popular in Korean salons! I swear a month after it started the same hair style seemed to pop up on a lot of other dramas too.
      Frankly with her pale skin simple black striaght hair suits her best I think 🙂

  45. 45 Bu Young

    I really love this episode.
    While everyone else might have given up on Oh Jung Oh, I can’t bring myself to hate him or want him to leave. Like you said earlier it’s easy to get rid of the bully character, but this story needs him…he needs this story, if that makes sense lol. I’m not giving up on Jung Oh either because it’s not like he’s just being bad to be bad but because of what he’s been through, how he’s gone through his life with the parents.
    Yes, Namsoon’s home life is very much like Oh Jung Oh’s but at least he has Heung Soo and he knows Heung Soo’s all he has, but Jung Oh, in my opinion, doesn’t realize that Yi Kyung and Ji Hoon (and me) are all he has yet.

    Ahhh, I could write a whole essay about this drama really. I’m just going to end it at my #1 otp are Heung Soo and Nam Soon then Nam soon and Kang Joo, then Kang Joo and Heung Soo lmaoo.

    • 45.1 Bu Young

      Hyo Young, by the way, doing a great job of portraying Kang Joo. I’m honestly shocked because I wasn’t expecting a lot, haha!

  46. 46 Ilona

    I’m not a slash fan, but why I slash them so much? xD That torture in their eyes and pain. OMG xD

    • 46.1 Whatsthescenario

      You are not the only one. I keep waiting for them to just look into each other’s eyes. Call each other “crazy bastard” one more time and just start kissing. I fully expect Heung-soo to push Nam-soon against a wall and go to town. But *sigh* a girl can only dream. These boys have 100X more chemistry in just a look and a fight between bros than A LOT of traditional Kdrama couples I’ve seen.

  47. 47 dany

    Thank you.

    • 47.1 dany

      I wanted to say this for a long time- Why are these guys walking around town wearing only school uniforms??? It’s freezing outside…. So we get it, they are students, the drama is about high school students, just give them winter coats or something, for goodness sake, it’s WINTER!!

      • 47.1.1 TS

        And the girls don’t even wear tights. On Gossip Girl in the US, when they showed the school girls going into class in NYC winters, they always had cool bright tights on, and coats over the uniforms.

      • 47.1.2 Chrissie

        LOL I said the same thing on Twitter. It’s not even as cold as it is in Korea but there is no way i’ll be going out without a coat or tights if i wore a skirt like those kids are. It’s unreal. Are coats forbidden for the kids in school? WTF?

      • 47.1.3 asianromance


        The day of the exam must have been super cold because during that scene when Nam-soon and Heung-soo were locked in the shed and they were like breathing out large, billows of breath. But I didn’t see the kids with tights or jackets or gloves at all! Can the show not afford outerwear? The only person ever dressed appropriately for the cold weather is Nam-soon, but only when he’s doing his delivery job. Even In-jae and Se-chan should put on a scarf or something.

  48. 48 jude

    AGH!!! Those two crazy bastards!!

    Love love everything about them. From the bromance confession (Who would’ve thought the declaration of friendship made me cry so much, even more than the declaration of love?), the bromance tearful eating scene (Heart.Break), the basketball game (So cuteeee!!! I want to squish them -and Se Chan- together) and lastly, their twin look that always makes laugh both in this episode and previous one.

    Now that we’ve got bromance going on, can we also get a dash of romance. Not Namsoon and Ha Kyung, but Heung Soo and Kang Joo. They’re going to be a cute, cute couple XD

  49. 49 sophia

    omg i cry cry and cry again….i actually really got frustrated but jung in jae in the first few episodes too, but you can’t help but get to love her optimism despite the tomatoes that are being thrown at her. But I actually think it might be good for her to just leave 1.) to let the kids see how different it is without her and 2.) hopefully to have them be the ones bring her back just to show that a teacher like her does make a difference and also make her realize that her optimism does matter.

    every episode just gets better and better…

  50. 50 mysterious

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I think Kwak Jung-wook is doing an amazing job as Oh Jung-ho. I liked him in White Christmas but he is just blowing me away in this show, especially this episode.

    • 50.1 Dita

      I can’t believe that he’s Jung Maru from SUFBB… 😀

      He’s totally different.

      • 50.1.1 melonhead

        That’s exactly what I thought. I had to check twice to confirm he was the same actor. He’s played so many different types of high school teens that the range of acting is really impressive. Too bad he doesn’t get as much credit here since he’s acting as the bully.

      • 50.1.2 Mika~

        Goshdarnit! I was just about to get on here and tell everyone that but I guess everyone found out like, four days ago.

        But seriously, I was floored when I realized that Kwak Jungwook was Maru. I mean, Oh Jungho and Maru are such different characters – one’s an aggressive bully and one’s a snobby, pretentious wimp! – and it takes a really good actor to portray different personalities so well to the point that the viewers won’t even recognize him! I mean, maybe the glasses and hair helped, but Jungwook is just an amazing actor for being able to pull off both roles… Props to him!

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