Elementary school

A Korean Elementary School Tour

I’m currently in my third year teaching in the EPIK program. Due to cutbacks, I was reallocated from a girl’s middle school to an elementary school in a nearby district. My current school, Guduk Elementary (구덕초등학교), is a moderate to smaller sized school.

The English Department is one Korean teacher…and me! There’s your org chart.

I really enjoy working with these little ones. A very different experience than teaching middle schoolers who just want K-Pop. That’s it. K-Pop.

I thought I would take some time to shoot a video of the innards of the school to share with you all. The narrative in the video will explain the rest. Enjoy!


Sports Day Triumph (in drag)

As a kid in elementary school I always looked forward to Track and Field day. For one whole day classes were cancelled and all the students were allowed to display their athletic talent (or lack thereof) in a series of olympic-like events of their choosing. While some kids(usually the same fatties that hated P.E. class) pissed and moaned about having to spend the entire day pitted against their peers in physical competition for nothing more than the chance to earn a shitty ribbon, I took it quite seriously and wanted nothing more than to dominate and bring home as many shiny blue first place ribbons as possible.


phobia.

Only a few people in the world, my closest confidants, know this fact I am about to publicly declare. It is not something I am proud of and it is a downfall I must work on daily. I can handle a lot of gross things, disgusting bathrooms, cleaning out the cat box, hearing from my mother about how I was conceived.  But there is one thing I just can't deal with.


Socks. Yup, those nasty things on your feet.

punishment.

A friend shared this documentary about corporal punishment in South Korea today and it is so shocking and disturbing I was moved to write about, and infact I am quite embarrassed to be working in an educational system where so many teachers beat their students AND think its okay. It is not okay. Under no circumstances, should a child be beaten, no matter how bad or undisciplined they may be. I have never seen any teacher do this to a student in my school, nor can I imagine any teachers here hitting the kids. I don't even know what I would do if I saw this, it is incomprehensible to me that this is so common in Korea and was lawful until very recently. (I remember when it changed last semester and I was told not to hit my students, I thought they were joking. Turns out we don't have the same sense of humor...)

open class.

So, I moved to Korea and supposedly I teach children English, but where is the proof you say? My pictures are mostly of fun escapades and cute children playing around, what actual English do I teach them? How is it possible that someone like me could be a teacher?! (Let's just say if I can do, so can you)

on the streets.

In this big city, loneliness is somehow inevitable, as you walk amongst a sea of black hair and incessant clicking heels. Sometimes though, as I walk past each person, I feel I get a half a second glimpse into their world as our realities are intertwined, if even for just that fleeting moment. The strong scent of aftershave follows the gentleman dressed like Ron Burgundy and lingers for a few more steps. I have a feeling he just came from that love motel but it is anyone's guess. As my ipod provides the soundtrack, in my head are a million different stories about that man and how he came to be at that very place, at that very moment, intersecting paths with this foreigner.

Reason #1 why I love my job...

Went out last night to celebrate a good friendship and have my last drink of alcohol for a month (after eye surgery it is recommended to not drink because the blood vessels in your eyes swell when you do) and I never go out on school nights. Woke up on time for school (if my normal 10 minutes before I need to leave is "on time") with only a slight hangover which is a surprise after that bottle of Cook's Champagne! I taught 5 classes this morning, with the students doing roles plays (ie. I don't have to do much) and am now getting ready to head up to the nurses office for a little cat nap. Nothing wrong with that in Korea, they all do it. Totally one bandwagon I will jump onto! Naps are the best thing ever created, hands down.

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