Sunday, 29 March 2009
This is from a Korean academy I used to work at. One student, a young girl, in the class had occasional bouts of uncontrollable laughter, sometimes lasting 10 minutes or more. The first two times were cute, but then it got to be rather annoying. I think this was the 2nd time, and I happened to have my camera with me.
Now that I am all grown up (and sometimes even act like it) I feel as if my students sometimes have the cooties. I love my students, but there are days when I want to have no physical contact.
Last Tuesday night, for example, I discovered that 5 of the 12 kids in my middle school class were sick. Present in class, but sick. Two of them couldn't even talk, which, since it is partly a reading skills class, is rather noticeable. Several students in other classes were also ill; one look at them, a question for confirmation, and that was it--sick students don't get to use the whiteboard markers and I double my hand-washing rate (me washing my hands, though I encourage them to also).
I really don't want to get sick right now, since a) I recently got over a two-week cold, b) I will be moving soon and have a lot to do, and c) I will be getting on a plane soon, and clearly don't want to travel sick. (The interesting thing is that I don't know for sure where I am going; I know it will be to another country, to get a new work visa for Korea, but I'm not sure which country it will be.)
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Saturday, 21 March 2009
Take the "don't" part, for example. I have one elementary class, 4th and 5th graders, who like to sing. One student will start in, humming a popular pop song, and the others will take it up, and, just like that, the whole group is singing along as they do their workbook or write in their notebooks. As long as it is in English, I usually don't mind, though I sometimes I tell them to zip it and focus on the lesson. It's really quite entertaining.
Now for the "do" part. My 6th grade/middle school class. I have been warning them for weeks now that I don't want to even see a cell phone in class, but they--the girls--persist. So last night I confiscated a phone. Enough is enough.
The student in question was quite contrite. She assured me, and I give her a lot of credit for being able and willing to do it in English (though not enough to return her phone, as she might have hoped), that her 'sister' constantly called her. In the last five minutes, deprived of her life link (it was visible, and sometimes audible, on my desk at the front of the classroom), she said, "My phone is sad."
Ha ha:) Double points to her.
I'm interested to see what next week brings, singing and cell phones and all.
Friday, 20 March 2009
Monday, 16 March 2009
My students here in Korea have been passing around pictures of the actors/actresses, and one student recently showed off an F4 notebook/pencil case/pencil set.
One large cell phone provider announced the marketing of an F4 cell phone.
Unfortunately, an actress from the show committed suicide last week, the latest in a series of Korean celebrity suicides.
Sunday, 15 March 2009
Saturday, 14 March 2009
Saturday, 7 March 2009
Only one in four? 25 %? And that is perceived as good?
You know there is a problem when a 25% disapproval rating is perceived as good.
Get a clue, Korea Herald.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
What has really interested me is that both groups just moved into middle school (or 7th grade), and their lives are forever changed. The outward markings of this change are that they now wear uniforms to school; I have had, this week--the first week of the new school year in Korea--a few short discussions with the girls about their uniforms: Do they like them? Whose uniforms are better? (Some of them go to different schools and so have different uniforms.)
Also, there is a current Korean drama, called "Boys Before Flowers", that many students (and people in general) are infatuated with, and it has become a topic of interest in several classes. In the drama there are four main teenage male actors, and the popularity of the show has led them to be referred to as "F4".
A younger elementary student in another class gave me a picture of one of the actors, and when I showed the pic to my newly minted middle school girls one of them appropriated it and said, "I am his [the teenage actor's] wife."
Ah, those teenage years.
Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Sunday, 1 March 2009
When I first came to South Korea I was adamant about the fact that I did not want to live in Seoul or any other large city. I have so far chosen to live in smaller cities on the east coast of Korea, next to the clean ocean air, near beaches. And I have enjoyed, for the most part, the time that I have spent in these places.
However, I have decided that I want more options for myself as far as things to do, and I want to live closer to friends, so, come May, I will make the big move (for me) to the Seoul metropolitan area.
This weekend I interviewed for, was offered, and accepted a hagwon teaching job in the Seoul area. I am quite excited about the increased opportunities that will be available, even if they are a subway ride or two away; Seoul is, after all, the 8th largest city in the world.
Details to be worked out, things to move, all of that will come soon enough (and I will undoubtedly complain about it), but, for now, an evening between the 'what will be' and the 'what is' (work tomorrow), time to contemplate the possibilities of the future . . .