I’ve decided to challenge myself to recap The Queen’s Classroom, the newest MBC drama, remakes of Japanese drama Jyoou no Kyoushitsu.
I have a really fond memory about school & my teachers. One of my teacher was really harsh and *cruel*; she gave tests anytime she liked and didn’t care whether we’re ready or not. She only gave two scores: zero (big fat 0) or full mark (100). She had no mercy at all. And if she found any of her student cheated, she gave zero score not to the cheater, but the person the cheater cheated from. And she would kick both students from the class. She believed that the cheater wouldn’t cheat if this person didn’t give her any reason to cheat. So smart students were very agitated and they did everything they could to hide their paper. Unreasonable reason? Of course. Unfortunately, one of my best friend got zero mark because of this; and I remember her tears as our teacher took away her test paper and kicked her out of the class.
Although she’s harsh, but deep down she cared for her students. She wanted all her students to succeed, although her teaching way was too inhumane for her students. But she taught us to be ready in all situations – to take tests anytime whether we’re ready or not. And for not blaming others or situations if things don’t go our way.
My teacher reminds me of Teacher Ma Yeo Jin, the main teacher portrayed in The Queen’s Classroom. Hence, watching this drama does bring back lots of memory. =)
So let’s start.
The Queen’s Classroom Episode 1 Recap
The pilot episode starts with Ha Na’s first love story:
Sim Ha Na (Kim Hyang Gi) and her boyfriend (I assume he’s her boyfriend :D) are kissing in the park while sitting on the swings. Ha Na asked if he got her text message. In which he replies yes.
She then introduces herself (today is the first time they meet? – so he’s not her boyfriend?) and says that she’s in Class 3 and he tells her he’s in Class 2. Too bad they’re not in the same class, but as he’s in the next room, she said it’s okay, she’ll see him often.
The boy then delivers the news that he’s going to Canada for study – heartbreak T_T The boy asks if he can frequently contact and keep in touch with her. Ha Na replies of course. And he smiles. He gives Ha Na a couple bracelet. –The End–
The real story begins now.
Ha Na wakes up and she smiles as she remembers her first love (which confused me, was it her first love story or was it just a dream?). She receives a text message that their classmates Kim Do Jin kissed Seo Eesoo. But Do Jin then said that he’s going to study abroad. Unable to accept the heartbreaking news, Eesoo is apparently causing a ruckus and crying.
Her friend asked which class she’ll be in, she told her she’s in Class 3. Ha Na is shocked and collapses on the bed.
Later that night, Ha Na burns the letters he sent her (okay, so he’s his boyfriend) and all their pictures. And she narrates:
“Alcohol or drugs are not only prohibited to the under-aged by law, but also very harmful to the health. To me, an elementary student, the only thing I’m able to do is curse with all my heart.”
She told to herself that he deserves to get a lightening strike in Canada. She looks at the bracelet with heavy heart.
Her words are quite powerful, as it’s raining with thunder now. And she asks why it’s striking here not there (in Canada).
Her sister thought that Ha Na is scared because she feels like her 6th grade future seems dark. She sighs. Her mum tells her that sixth grade is the first battle she’ll have to win in order to make it to college in Seoul.
The next day, still a rainy day, Ha Na runs to the school and says that she has erased that boy from her memory. A brand new day, the first day of 6th grade, she will make the last year of elementary school a perfect year.
On her way to school, a car stops and Ha Na’s friend Go Na Ri (Lee Young Yoo) opens her car window. She invites Ha Na to go to school together in her car. They’re very excited as this year is the first year they’re in the same class together.
A mysterious woman is looking from the upper bridge, holding her black umbrella, she has a very dark vibe and cold face. Then she walks away.
The thunderstorm stops as they arrive at school. Sunny day means the first day of school will be a great day, right? Maybe yes maybe no. Depends on their class’ classroom teacher.
The students line up and Teacher Goo with a bat on his hand asks the students to dry their shoes and umbrellas before they enter the building.
Na Ri and Ha Na starts discussing about their new teacher. Their friend said that her nickname in the previous school was “Witch”. The nickname sounds really scary.
They meet Teacher Yang and bow to her. She asks if it’s a good idea for the students to hold their opening ceremony gathering in the playground. Ha Na said it’s not a good idea since it’s completely wet and teacher feels the same way. She promised she’ll pass this on to the school’s Vice Principle. Teacher Yang cheer for Na Ri & Ha Na; she seems really nice and close to the kids.
In class, Na Ri asks her friends’ help so she’ll receive the most votes for the class President. Her strongest rival: Kim Seo Hyun (Kim Sae Ron) – she was Class 5-1 President, a very smart student, has the best grades in school. Seo Hyun loves to read and prefer to read her books, hence, she never had any friends.
Ha Na tries to say hi to her, but she looks away. Then, a cute energetic boy comes. He’s Oh Dong Goo (Chun Bo Geun). He looks really happy to be in the same class as Ha Na. Unfortunately Ha Na doesn’t think so.
The students then go to the auditorium for the opening ceremony. Madame Jeong and Teacher Justin congratulate Teacher Yang for successfully convince the upper teachers to move the ceremony from the playground to the auditorium. Madam Jeong complains that their school principal is too old-fashioned as it’s very rare nowadays for school to have a formal gathering like this.
The mysterious woman is walking confidently towards Teacher Yang, Teacher Yang friendly welcomes her.
In the auditorium, the students and the teachers are listening to school principal Yong’s welcome speech.
“Communication is made up of ‘So’ which means opening up your heart and ‘Tong’ which means connecting with others. Therefore it means, if you want to connect with others, in other words, if you want communication, we have to let go of our initial perception first.”
Looks like her welcoming speech is way too long as the students are yawning and looking really bored; one teacher is mimicking her speech, Teacher Goo is playing with his smartphone and says that in this smartphone’s era, it’s not easy to listen to that kind of speech. The school principal will retire next year so Teacher Goo smiles and says that “therefore… it’s right…” (her favorite’s words), all these will end too.
Teacher Song Young Man (Lee Ki Young) warns Teacher Goo to pay attention and if he displays too much intelligence without any regard for the time and place, he may lose his teaching job. He obliges and puts away his smartphone.
Teacher Song looks around and notices that one grade 6’s homeroom-teacher (Class 3’s teacher Ma) is not present. Teacher Yang passes on Teacher Ma’s message and said that it’s more efficient to spend time preparing for her class instead of going to this useless ceremony. Seems like Teacher Ma is the first teacher who’s daring to break the school’s tradition.
Cue to Class 3’s class and Teacher Ma enters the class.
Back to the school auditorium, Teacher Song introduces San Deul Elementary School’s homeroom teachers.
– [School Principal] Yong Hyun Ja (Yoon Yeo Jung)
– Class 1: Goo Ja Song (Jung Suk Yong). He’s 49 years old, head teacher of grade 6. His life goal: turn around life by earning a lot in the stock market.
– Class 2: Yang Min Hee (Choi Yoon Young). She’s 27 years old, a newbie teacher who’s been teaching for 2 years. Class motto: Be excited & happy.
– Class 3: Ma Yeo Jin (Go Hyun Jung)
– Class 4: [Madame] Jeong Hwa Shin (Jin Kyung). She’s 42 years old – this year is her 17th year as a teacher. She’s very friendly. Her motto: Don’t forget the parents.
Class 2 students look extremely happy with Teacher Yang; while Class 3 students are puzzled why their so-called scary teacher is not there.
After the ceremony finishes, they go back to their respective classes. Na Ri’s friends are trying to convince their classmate to vote for Na Ri. Ha Na looks a bit tired and sleepy, but Dong Goo cheers her up and she accidentally knocks her pencil case.
The school bell rings and the classroom’s door is opened. Class 3 students, let’s meet their homeroom teacher, Teacher Ma.
Ha Na smiles at her but Teacher Ma gives a very cold expression as she walks to her desk. She asks everyone to sit down, Dong Goo says that they don’t know where they should sit. Teacher Ma says that the seat allocation will be allocated later so for now they can sit wherever they want.
Everyone sits down and Teacher Ma asks them to clean all their stuffs from the desk as she’ll give them a test. A test on first day of school? The students complaint and tell her that she hasn’t introduced herself to the class. Teacher Ma say that they already know her name as she’s introduced during the opening ceremony. The students nag that she must introduce herself directly and she doesn’t even know their names.
Unbeknownst to them, Teacher Ma knows their names, personality types, their hobbies, achievements, family, weight, height etc.
The students are shocked and can’t say anything. Teacher Ma tells the class that they’ll have test every Monday and the class President will be picked according to the test’s scores. 2 students who receive the lowest scores will be the class president. Na Ri and the class disagree and say that class president is the class’ representative, so student who receives the best grade is the one who’s supposed to be their class president.
Teacher Ma asks them the responsibilities of class president. They mention all good things about class president, but Teacher Ma emphasizes that the class president’s duties also include all dirty work such as cleaning the bathroom, preparing the class, etc and she believes the worst students are the best candidates. She does this so the best students can focus on their studies.
Students who receive best grades have many benefits, they can choose to seat wherever they like, they don’t need to do any cleaning tasks, etc.
One student says that this is discrimination.
Teacher Ma: “Those who win in the competition get special benefits, and those who lose get discriminated against”
This rule applies anywhere, isn’t it? She asks the students, in reality, how many people do they think receive this kind of special right and live happily?
Only 1%! 1 in 100.
She challenges her students (her class has 24 students) to grab this special right .
She asks, so how does the 99% live? Discrimination and burdened. Like most of their parents. Even though police change the rules, they will still live like this.
Hwang Soo Jin (Byun Seung Mi): “Studying isn’t the only way to success. Don’t idols rule now?”
Teacher Ma coldly answers that if they’re born with that kind of talents and receive support from their parents; then, what are they doing in this public school?
She bluntly tells them that just like their parents, they’re not anything great. *that’s hurts*
The test starts. They have 20 minutes to answer Grade 5’s questions.
In the middle of the test, Ha Na is in trouble as all her pencils broke. She wants to ask for help and calls Teacher Ma, but Dong Goo beats her. Dong Goo hilariously asks to go to the toilet, but Teacher Ma asks him to manage his time better and if he can’t hold it, then he can finish his “business” on his pants. She tells him that she’s not going to let him rebel against her. And neither do his classmates. They look at Dong Goo, annoyed, because his nagging ruin their concentration.
Ha Na is still in trouble and Na Ri tries to pass her pencil to her, but Teacher Ma sees it.
She tells her class that “affecting others due to your own personal reasons will be considered that they don’t want to take the test and their test paper will be taken back immediately”
20 minutes over, the students stand at the back of the class, waiting for Teacher Ma to call their names based on their grades.
Kim Seo Hyun gets the first place with full 100 points. Kim Tae Song & Choi Bin Ah tie in second place.
Na Ri receives the fifth place and she looks relieve and happy. Ha Na looks reallly nervous and believes she fails the test.
One by one receives their paper back and the last 3 standing are Ha Na, Dong Goo and Eun Bo Mi (Seo Shin Ae).
Bo Mi smiles and relieves when Teacher Ma calls her name. That leaves Ha Na & Dong Goo as the class’ presidents.
Their first task: cleaning the restroom from lv1-4. Their class is in charge to clean the restroom for the first week of school.
Ha Na’s friends blame Dong Goo because he was really playful earlier and his action caused Ha Na unable to take the test properly (as her pencils all broke, her test paper is blank).
Dong Goo tries to cheer her up and apologizes to her while they’re cleaning the restroom. Somehow, he becomes curious and tries to peek for her underwear. Ha Na is really upset and angry; they fight using the brooms until Dong Goo falls down on top of the rubbish bags. He offers to take the trash out and tells her to go home. Ha Na says that they still need to clean the third floor, but he says that the teacher told him that they don’t need to clean that restroom.
Ha Na happily leaves the school. Dong Goo looks from the upper floor as she leaves and then while holding his “supermonkey” toy, he cheerfully invites him to go clean the third floor restroom. Aww, that’s too sweet. So he lied to her for a good cause. Maybe he knows that Ha Na has after-school academies / class.
Ha Na runs and hurriedly enters her class. Her friends are already waiting there and they talk about this Witch teacher. They heard that this “witch” sulks in her students’ energy and after a year she’ll become younger but her students’ skin wrinkle badly. huahahah… Ha Na begs their friends for not telling today’s test score and the witch teacher to their moms because she doesn’t want her mom to know that she receives 0 on her test.
At school, Teacher Ma is still at school, photocopying something (probably the material for next day). Standing in darkness, she enjoys her cup of tea. She looks really scary and like a witch.
Dong Goo finally finishes with his tasks and go home.
Principal Yong enters the school and surprised to see Teacher Ma walking towards her. Apparently, the school lights are on because of Teacher Ma. She tells Teacher Ma to take it easy on the first day of school and to go home.
Something feels really mysterious here as she asks Teacher Ma to take care of it well since she knows the situation now. She believes Teacher Ma understand the meaning behind this. (*what kind of situation?*)
Next day, Class 3 Class Presidents are preparing for lunch. They argue as usual and Teacher Ma snaps at him to hurry as the students are really hungry.
Ha Na accidentally drops the curry huge saucepan on the floor while she tries to pass the heavy saucepan to Dong Goo. Teacher Ma asks them to divide the food equally and because they don’t have enough food, then only the students who received first – fourth best scores get their lunch.
Chaos and uproar from the rest of the students. Teacher Ma asks if it matters that they don’t eat because they throw away this much food everyday anyway. They can blame the class presidents and themselves for not getting good scores (reality really sucks).
Dong Goo and Ha Na serve the food, the students line up based on their scores.
The majority of them get their lunch without curry and obviously look really upset.
They eat lunch in silence.
Soo Jin takes picture of her lunch – rice, kimchi and side dishes (without curry). Her classmates want to upload it on the internet and report it to the Department of Education. Ha Na apologizes and Na Ri says that everyone could makes mistake.
Seo Hyun, still reading her book, tells her classmates that they’re doing useless things. (she’s the wisest here, what will they gain when they report this to Dept of Education? probably nothing). She asks them to leave her out if they really report this to Dept of Education.
Ha Na sees Teacher Yang in the school corridor, looks really upset and she peeks inside the teachers’ room.
Teacher Yang disagrees with Teacher Ma’s teaching. She disagrees that she discriminates and gives privileges to students based on their grades. She asks Teacher Ma to explain.
Teacher Goo also has the same thought and if the parents are aware about this discrimination issue (a very sensitive issue), then they’ll have to give proper and reasonable reason.
Teacher Ma asks if the real problem is the discrimination or the parents (that they parents know about the discrimination issue).
Teacher Jung chips in that the parents can make serious noise and complaints.
Apparently, teacher Yang heard this lunch trouble not from the parents, but from the students itself; so Teacher Jung tells her that it’s not a big deal then. She thought Teacher Yang receives a complaint from the parents.
Teacher Ma bluntly tells her to take care her class first before involving herself in other class’ problem.
As she’s on the way to do her class president’s task, Ha Na sees Teacher Ma talking to Se Hyun. She offers her to take something and she believes Seo Hyun will pass with flying colors. She asks her to consider her offer. Seo Hyun politely replies yes. Both Teacher Ma & Seo Hyun see Ha Na.
Teacher Ma threatens her to tell her classmates and if they want to complaint about anything, please complaint to her directly. Ha Na is stunned.
Cue to Ha Na’s family dinner. Her mom asks her if her teacher is really scary. She almost says that, but decides to say that she’s very pretty. LOL
Her father receives a text message, he takes a quick look, then put her hp down.
Her mom asks if Na Ri becomes class president and Ha Na answers that she’s the temporary president. Her family is surprised but proud and believes that she leaves a good impression. Her dad asks if they need to pay money (or give any bribe) if she continues to become a class president. She says that the position ends next week and she has no intention to become class president.
The next day, Ha Na & Dong Goo work together cleaning the restroom and they finish quicker. They walk home together and he introduces his friend “Miss Rosa”. He named that “supermonkey” with red coat “Miss Rosa” huahaha.
Ha Na asks if he’s worried about next day’s test and he says that he’s thinking of giving up grade 6. He believes Teacher Ma doesn’t like him so he won’t take the test. He doesn’t have any intention to study.
At home, Ha Na diligently studying for tomorrow’s test. Somehow she thinks about Dong Goo and if he really skip the test. But then, she says to herself why do I care about him? She promises to get a hold of herself and continue studying.
The next morning, the students politely bow to Teacher Ma and they take the dreading test.
Ha Na opens her pencil case and her pencils are sharpened, ready for today’s test. But Ha Na’s stomach hurts and it ruins her concentration.
Dong Goo doesn’t come to the class and Teacher Ma appoints him as this week’s 1st class president.
Ha Na asks Teacher Ma to go to the restroom because she can’t hold it; Teacher ma says that she can go but she has to end the test now. Ha Na sits down, clutching her stomatch. Seo Hyun speaks up for her; but Teacher Ma says that if she lets her going to the restroom, how can she makes sure she’s not cheating? Because she can’t follow Ha Na to the restroom. Seo Hyun assures her that Ha Na won’t cheat.
Teacher Ma replies “rules are meant to be followed. Going to the bathroom is fine, but it means the end of the test”
Seo Hyun “I don’t think any rules are more important than people. Even though I know that you are teaching perfectly well each day, today I think you are wrong. Arent’ you just trying to bully Ha Na now?” (Yes, preach it Seo Hyun!)
Teacher Ma then asks her to go with Ha Na. But if she leaves, it means that it’s the end of test for Seo Hyun too. Seo Hyun says it doesn’t matter for her and she holds Ha Na’s hands, takes her to the restroom.
On the way, Ha Na can’t hold it any longer, she lets go Seo Hyun’s hand and she does her business on the corridor’s floor. Embarrassed, she cries. Seo Hyun calmly supports her and tells her to go to school clinic to change her underwear. Ha Na says she’ll go alone and Seo Hyun offers to clean the floor for her and to keep this a secret.
A white butterfly is flying in the school’s courtyard and it enters the building. A mysterious background music is playing as Teacher Ma looks at the butterfly with another cold expression, probably this butterfly reminds her of something from her past.
She sighs and walks away from the butterfly.
The next day, Dong Goo comes and asks Ha Na if she did well on the test. He “prophecies” that she did well.
Teacher Ma enters the class and reveal the top scorers.
Kim Seo Hyun once again receives the top score with full mark. And the second place goes to…
Teacher Ma tosses the paper on the floor.
And announces that the last place is…
Kim Seo Hyun.
The students are stunned.
Teacher Ma: “Since you are that smart, you were at least prepared to do this much when you stood up bravely for your friend, right? Those who rebel against me will become President regardless of their grades.”
The Queen’s Classroom with English Sub on Viki
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