on the other side of the world….
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See Mom, that voice degree wasn’t for nothin’! :o)

A few weeks ago we got an email from our coordinator Chance that read, “Some of you may have heard about a planned “Korean Performance” that is to be put on by us EPIK teachers. If you haven’t heard, this is being planned by the Samcheok Office for December 18th. I don’t want to influence any judgements, so I’ll try to keep my language neutral and unopinionated here. They want us to put on a Korean performance, singing songs or giving speeches in Korean.”

A long string of emails between the other EPIK teachers followed… complaining about how we signed up to teach English and not dance and sing like English monkeys and about how if we don’t do a performance they might take away our banana privileges (as English monkeys) and how we wish we actually were paid in bananas because they’re probably worth more than the won right now… etc.. All said, no one was pleased with this idea.

Over the next couple of days, reports came in from other EPIK teachers about their schools asking (or telling) them to perform. Two Fridays ago Teacher Kim came to our house after school to give us our subpoena to the dreaded performance. She understood how awkward it was for us but said the Principal would be very sad if we didn’t do a performance.. (so, we had to…) We talked with some other teachers and came up with a plan to sing only the choruses of a few Korean pop hits and dance like fools. We put it together last Monday, rehearsed it on Wednesday and had the performance on Thursday evening. Here are two videos from the evening… try not to laugh too much. :)

All in all the evening turned out to be just fine. Everyone who performed was nervous and everyone messed up a bit, so it was entertaining. Although we were in a nice hotel conference room, with round tables and glassware (with forks/knives!!), and the entire administration and other school principles were there… it was fairly laid back and everyone understood how hard it was for the EPIK teachers to do this. So, our humorous rendition of k-pop songs was greeted warmly. (Thank goodness!!) And hey, we each got 20,000 won in gift certificates and two boxes of traditional Korean cookies for our performance!!

We all were dreading it, but it turned out well and now I know the words to a few choruses of Korean songs. It’s strange coming from singing classical music in foreign languages everyday (in college) to this… but I’d like to think everyone could hear all the training over the terrible sound system :)

All for now…

Here are some links to the songs we covered in our mix…
“Arirang” (Traditional Korean Song.)
“La La La” (SG Wannabe)
“Nobody” (Wondergirls) — (the youngest girl in this group is 16.. oldest 20. whoa!)
“Ochada” (Brown Eyed Girls)


1 CJ { 12.21.08 at 9:10 am }

Jane and I just had a good laugh! Thanks for making our Sunday morning so happy. :)

I’m gonna miss you this week! Christmas just won’t be the same.

Love you both!


2 MJ { 12.22.08 at 4:45 am }

Oh the things you do to make your mother proud!
Love you,