kids

Taking part of grading a bunch of my students’ workbooks,...



Taking part of grading a bunch of my students’ workbooks, Ben burst out in laughing when he read, “I’ve gone horseback riding once. The horse was terrible.” All the other students wrote, “I’ve gone horseback riding once. I fell off the horse.” I think you had to be there, but we still can’t stop laughing about it. Now whenever something is “terrible,” we just say we “fell off” of it. Yeah, I knew this couldn’t be explained in words…


I really enjoy eating breakfast with the kiddos. I can’t...



I really enjoy eating breakfast with the kiddos. I can’t believe I’m only going to do it 14 more times. Only 14 more days of repeating, “No talking,” “Eat fast,” “It’s delicious,” “Nom nom,” and “Hoo Hoo.” “Hoo Hoo” is what I say when the food is hot and I want them to blow on it (often rice porridge or chicken gravy).

I like mandoo days when half of them want to give me a dumpling each, so I end up eating something like eight mandoo when I am supposed to have the child-size portion of three.

I will not miss when the kids drink their milk too fast and vomit afterward. Has only happened three times (Lucy, Jacob and Ruby), but wow, it’s tough to get the kids to finish their breakfast when you’re cleaning up vomit. “It’s okay, finish your food… even if I can’t…”


My new kindergarten class is still a challenge but I love them...



My new kindergarten class is still a challenge but I love them more everyday. We have good days where we seem to be able to communicate everything. We have bad days where I’m shouting “No speaking Korean!” and they’re shouting “No speaking English!” back to me. “English time!” is a popular phrase.

But they are very sweet. When I was sick a few weeks ago and had a sore throat, Sophia (in Korean, of course) said, “Teacher, throat hurts?” and then rubbed my throat with her soft little hand. She didn’t have any magical healing powers, but I teared up as I nodded because it was so sweet.


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.

As a treat, I taught James how to play MASH during a one on one...



As a treat, I taught James how to play MASH during a one on one speaking class. He drew a spiral in the middle and everything, just like a pro. After I read him his “fortune,” he laughed for about five minutes straight and shouted, “TEA-CHUR!!!” The look of joy on his face was all the warmth I needed on this surprisingly cold Spring day.

Then, even though we were all alone in the room, he whispered, “Teacher… MASH… girls game?” I shook my head and said, “No, just kids game.” He shyly smiled while reviewing his “future.” After class, he ran to show his dad what we did. His dad owns the hagwon I work at. D’oh!


I teach some of my kids from a series of Science books called...













I teach some of my kids from a series of Science books called “Blue Planet.” I can imagine some benefits from learning English from Science books —but not from a teacher that has a Liberal Studies degree. Science is not one of my strengths. Case in point: I told the kids that sharks were mammals. Oops.


I put all the gifts and notes from my students at my desk, as...



I put all the gifts and notes from my students at my desk, as proof that someone loves me. I like to imagine that the other teachers are secretly jealous, but I know in reality they don’t notice the odd trinkets and origami figures that clutter my desk.

I have just gotten over (I hope) a bout of stomach flu. Thanks goes out to all sympathetic friends and family, near and far.

Intense home sickness comes and goes. I have thirteen weeks left in Korea. I frequently have dreams about flying home and celebrating with old loves… root beer, thin crust pizza, white gummy bears, Neapolitan milkshakes and some activities of the NC-17 variety.


Cutting cookie shapes with the new kindergartners. Brand...





Cutting cookie shapes with the new kindergartners. Brand spankin’ new kindergartners who ever never spoken English a day in their little lives. They speak SO MUCH Korean! They have been my biggest challenge so far, but I’m hoping that someday soon they’ll be my favorite.


It’s interesting that the kids will ask me to turn on the...



It’s interesting that the kids will ask me to turn on the air conditioning before even entertaining the idea of taking off their coats. Don’t think that this train of thought remains only with the young. I have caught a few Korean co-teachers use their hand-held fans at their desks whilst wearing their huge Eskimo-esque bubble jackets.

It’s such a cliché, but I’m simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by Korean culture/thinking.


Happy White Day

Valentine’s Day (February 14) in Korea is the day that women buy chocolates for the men. This was unfortunate for me because I teach more boys than girls. In majority of my classes, there are only one or two girls. Fortunately, it snowed on Valentine’s Day this year and I didn’t have to teach any afternoon classes. The next day when the boys asked where their chocolates were (those spoiled brats), I just shrugged and said, “I ate it. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Sorry!”


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