Instant message from my co-teacher

Things like this make everything worth it…

“i’m lucky teacher because i met you!”

Awww Moment

I teach grades 3-6 in an elementary school. Up until a month or so ago, I taught 6th grade twice a week. It was cut back to once a week so that the 6th graders could prepare for their national exam that they had last Tuesday.

Last Friday was my last class with the 6th grade students until September. My co-teacher knew they had been very stressed out over the exam so she wanted me to have fun with them. We played a “Name That Tune” game using Korean pop (K-pop) songs. They were able to listen a clip of the song that used English and they had to write down the name of the song and the name of the band. They also had to list the English words that they heard. Apparently they loved it because my co-teacher told me that yesterday they were begging to play again.

She also told me that she gave them a sheet of paper and asked them to write down things they thought the class was missing. 20-30 students said me. Awww!

End of the semester

I love my 3rd graders. They are all so sweet and very eager to learn. It’s their first year learning English and are just now starting to learn phonics and the alphabet. We had so much fun today. This is the last week of the semester so I won’t see many of them again until September. I’m going to miss them.

Chicken fight!

Today’s 5th grade lesson was “How about playing baseball?” We showed a PowerPoint (PPT) that displayed the image above. I asked my co-teacher what they were doing and she said they were having a chicken fight.

Huh?

Anyway, you just pick up your foot and then start ramming into the other person. I know this because my co-teacher had students demonstrate for me. I have decided that I just need to start bringing my camera with me to every class because you never know when to expect these sort of things. It was amazing and hilarious and I just thought I would share it with all of you.

Part 2: Things that just don’t seem strange anymore…

Because the first post was so popular, here are more things that just don’t seem strange [about Korea] anymore…
  1. You start telling people they should “take a rest.”
  2. Blue eyes can put others into a state of hypnosis.
  3. A single bar of soap can kill the bacteria on the hands of 1,000 people.
  4. You’re getting used to fruit flies buzzing around your head.
  5. You love buying food in the supermarket that is scotch-taped to something else.
  6. The wait staff likes to cook your food and feed it to you.
  7. You cross your arms in an X every time you say NO or disagree about something.
  8. You think you’re back in university after hearing loud drunks stumbling home at 4am on a Sunday morning… but then realize its 50 year olds wearing suits.
  9. Koreans seem to be able to find anything from “www[dot]daum[dot]net” but you’re not even sure what kind of site it is.
  10. You feel like you’re playing Frogger every time you walk to school or have lunch in the cafeteria.
  11. Parking a car means turning off the engine.
  12. You find yourself chopping vegetables while sitting on your bed because there is no counter space.
  13. Your fate is often determined through a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
  14. People just love to watch your groceries go through the checkout.
  15. Clerks in the stores stand at attention and ready to pounce on you with customer service.
  16. Dishes and ironing are taking up too much of your spare time.
  17. You’ve-ah started talking like-ah this-ah.
  18. No matter where you are standing, you are always in an old lady’s way.
  19. You actually prefer bowing to saying hello.
  20. People only need to walk one block to reach a convenience store or PC room.
  21. People politely start public trash piles rather than littering everywhere.
  22. You find yourself disappointed in the equipment offered at the free public park gyms.
  23. You still have no clue how the garbage/recycling system works here.
  24. You’re already losing your motivation for temple-stay and learning fluent Korean.
  25. Everyone is very impressed with your chopstick skills and kimchi-eating ability.

*I didn’t write any of these myself, but they pretty much sum up life in Korea. *

You can find the original post here:

Things that just don’t seem strange anymore…

Carnival of Drifter Tales

3 Months in Korea

I know I’m extremely behind on posting. I felt so bad about it that I decided to make a video to make up for it. Even though I’ve just started month 5 in Korea, I made this video using short clips I took during my first 3 months here. Enjoy!

June 23, 2011

Let’s fast forward to the present so I can tell you about the day I’ve had…

The students are all preparing for their final exams so all they’ve been doing in class is reviewing previous lessons and taking practice tests. My co-teacher and I had some time to chat today. The topics were broad and included fruit, Costco, the movie White Chicks, Texas, Las Vegas and In-N-Out Burger.

I mentioned how I can’t keep bananas in my apartment anymore because they attract fruit flies. It’s really sad because most other fruit here is really expensive, but it looks like I’m going to have to start eating fruit that I can keep in the fridge.

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I was so excited last week when I saw blueberries in the grocery store, but the price tag kept me from buying them. They were 5,980 won ($5.50) for about half a pint. Yikes! I mentioned this to my co-teacher so she immediately pulled up the GMarket website (sort of like a Korean version of Amazon) to try to help me find cheaper blueberries. No luck.

I mentioned that I might try Costco this weekend so she started telling me all of my options for getting there (subway, bus, taxi). She even wrote out instructions for the taxi driver in case I decided to take a taxi. I posted them below if anyone is interested. The first line is a landmark near the Costco in Busan in case the taxi driver doesn’t know Costco. The second line is just Costco written out in Korean.

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Later, my co-teacher confiscated a handheld fan from one of the students. You know… the kind you spread out and wave at yourself to cool you down. It was really cute (like everything here tends to be) and had 7 baby chicken heads on it. This led to her think of the word “chicks” and then she got really excited and told me that she really likes the movie White Chicks. She said it is “soooooo funny!” I don’t know why, but that warmed my heart. I love that she loves this movie! haha

She then started telling me about her friend (another Korean elementary school teacher) that moved to Oklahoma. She showed me pictures that she sent her and one of the pictures was her husband posing in front of the University of North Texas, which is the university I went to. I then tried to draw Texas so I could explain that UNT and the University of Texas are completely different and she laughed pretty hard at my drawing and said, “Really?” I’m still not sure if she was laughing because of the shape of Texas or because I’m terrible at drawing.

She also showed me her friend’s pictures of Las Vegas, which included a picture of In-N-Out. And that led to us looking at Korean blogs posted about In-N-Out… and then Five Guys. I told her about the In-N-Outs that opened in Texas recently and all the buzz it’s caused. After class I sent her the videos below, to which she responded, “after see the youtube, i really want to eat the burger, eh?”

After 4 classes, it was time for lunch. My first thought after walking into the lunch room was, “What the H is that?” I am pretty sure the rest of the teachers felt the same way. One of our dishes was some weird meat thing that was all smooshed… it looked like red mashed potatoes with little bits of peas and potatoes. It was actually pretty good, but looked rather sketchy. Sometimes I wish it wouldn’t be awkward if I took my camera to lunch with me.

So I feel like I have rambled on enough (maybe too much), but I was rather proud of one of my 5th grade students today. He decided to be clever and change the words of a Korean pop song to suit how he felt about today’s testing. He changed the words of Big Bang’s  “Love Song” from  “I hate this love song.” to “I hate this test.” I was impressed. At least he gets the meaning, right??

What a random day!