I like watching two dramas at the same time – a new one that’s currently airing and an old one to watch while I’m waiting for episodes/subs. In the middle of Dream High, I started watching 건빵선생과 별사탕 (SBS 2005), which is literally translated as Biscuit Teacher and Star Candy but is often also known as Hello My Teacher. Oh my gosh. I love this drama so much. I can’t even articulate how much I love it, especially the adorable, happily-ever-after ending. It’s easily one of the best dramas I’ve ever seen!
Summary: Twenty-five year old Na Bori (Gong Hyojin) isn’t your typical high school teacher. She takes over as homeroom teacher to a bunch of rowdy seniors – at the same school she herself was expelled from. Why? To teach alongside her first love, art teacher Ji Hyunwoo (Kim Dahyun). But Bori, who doesn’t have the qualifications to teach at the prestigious school, doesn’t get hired as a real teacher. Instead, she gets hired as a personal babysitter for the school principal’s undisciplined, unscrupulous stepson Park Tae-in (Gong Yoo). Tae-in treats her with contempt at first but her warmth and quirkiness wins him over. And soon, Bori becomes not only his teacher, but also his best friend, mother figure, and… first love?
Thoughts: First of all, I’m a sucker for a good teacher drama. I fall for them again and again (e.g. Dream High, Gokusen, Ohitorisama, etc.) so I couldn’t pass this one up. At first I was concerned by the fact that Gong Yoo (who was 26 at the time) was cast as a high school student when he doesn’t really look… youthful. Plus I’d already seen Coffee Prince so it was a little weird to think of him in a school drama. And, to be honest, I wasn’t a huge fan of Gong Yoo at first… but now I am. I was sold by his performance. His acting was on par, his character was heartbreaking and endearing and sweet all at once. I think if I’d seen this drama before Coffee Prince I would have enjoyed his performance in Coffee Prince better. As for the plot, there isn’t anything extremely special about it but then again, this drama is about relationships (and not just the romantic kind). It’s about how to grow as a person, how to treasure someone, how to find out what’s important to you in life. I loved that.
I’m proud to say that I understood a lot of this drama without subtitles! The vocabulary was quite simple, but here are some that stood out:
- 보리 건빵 (n.) = barley biscuit; “Bori” means barley in Korean so Na Bori’s nickname was 건빵 선생 (Biscuit Teacher)
- 쎔 = 선생님
- 외삼촌 (n.) = maternal uncle
- 새엄마 (n.) = stepmother
- 결혼 약속 (n.) = engagement (lit. “wedding promise”)
- 취하다 (v.) = to be drunk
- 유학 (n.) = studying abroad
- 조카 (n.) = nephew
- 아내 (n.) = wife
- 남편 (n.) = husband