Here, the morning's as much about moving in as it is about socializing. One might think the students were reconnecting after having undergone a long summer away at various camps because of the overemotive banter, but no, that's just how they talk. The omnipresent hagwon and proximity of the small town mean that the kids have probably seen each other every day in the past couple weeks. So it goes here.
Note: Unlike last year and the year before, I've met all of these students before as middle school students. I'll need to refresh the memory though, for I haven't taught the incoming girls in a year and, thanks to the shifting boys middle school schedules, there weren't many chances to teach the incoming boys. Still, they are not unknown. And I'm no stranger to them: They gave hearty hellos and greetings when I peered out into the hallway earlier. Let's hope the enthusiasm holds: High school's a hard three year slog in Korea and their English classes are about to get more challenging.