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Adventure Fridays…

I’m writing this at my Friday school Kongcheun Elementary 공촌초교. Kate is sitting next to me after an unexpected trip here from her Friday school Jangho Elementary 장호초교. How did we arrive at this pleasant surprise? The story, I will tell…

This morning early, at about 8:20, Kate and I were picked up by Stephane (pronounced – [Stef-awn] – A 40 something single Korean man who enjoys going to singles night at his christian church. His nick-name is Stephane from the time he spent working as a missionary in a French speaking country. We drive the 25 minutes to my school Kongcheun listening to Korean Christian ballads and not really talking much at all. This is all part of the Friday Routine (if you can call it that). I get out at my school and walk up to find many extra cars in the parking lot. (No longer are we on a normal schedule – from here on out it gets more and more random). I walk in to find Principals from other schools, VP’s from other schools and other high up administrators from the ministry of education in Samcheok. This was somewhat expected because today I was teaching in a Demonstration Co-teaching class. We practiced for this last week so that students were well rehearsed. I walked around a met some of the “powerful people” and then we practiced a bit before the class at 10:10. The back of our classroom filled up with observers and we taught a most perfectly rehearsed class. Even the Korean teacher, who doesn’t speak much English, said most of her English directions without having to look at her script. We were all pleased. Then they started to move desks in for some bigger meeting, so I left and went back downstairs. One of the supervisors for Elementary Ed in Samcheok (who has introduced himself to me now, 3 – 5 times, he drinks a lot and already smelled of soju at 9am this morning) came into the office and asked me to come upstairs to discuss our lesson. I obliged and went to sit in on an hour meeting (ALL IN KOREAN) about my co-teacher’s and my class. It was very exciting. :( Then I waited another hour doing nothing but chatting with Kate on gmail about how confused we both were, then ate lunch – a sprawling traditional Korean meal (made by the school cafeteria) including raw octopus, wheh (raw fish), snails, Noodle soup with beef (all I ate) and of course – rice and kimchi. Everyone ate and was merry for 15 minutes and then left. Seriously, it was that fast.
After everyone left, I sat and started to write this post. Then I hear “Chad? ” Whoa it’s Kate!!

Kate’s day was less surprising in the morning. No large crowds of important people or raw Octopus. But, because her principal was at MY school, they had a very relaxed day and decided to out to eat and go fishing. Fishing however is MAN’s Activity, so she was banished to the joy of Kongcheun. Stephane wanted Kate to come fishing, but no one else did :) So they all went out to eat, then drove her to my school and said “Go find your boyfriend”. Then, “Hitting Bong” (seriously, that’s his nick name – his last name is bong) came in and told us we are going to dinner with him and his principal. Then we find out it’s the whole school in celebration of the morning. Now everyone is cleaning up the school, and we are sitting here bored and slightly confused. This is the tale of pretty much every Friday… It’s always an Adventure.

If anything else crazy happens we’ll be sure to update this post. But for now, wish us luck!

October 16, 2008   Comments Off

First Day at Jang Ho

Today was not only our first days teaching but alsp our first days at our Friday schools! Big Day! My school has about 30 students and I am only teaching 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th. My biggest class had 6 students. Amazing.

The third grade class was wonderful, 5 little girls who were amazing at English speaking. After class they dragged me to the floor with them to play a dice game (pictured above). You throw a dice up and grab others from the floor while the dice is in mid air. There are levels of each throwing and grabbing seqence. . . They are really good at it and I am not. It was nice to just play with the students. At our other school there are many more students (a whopping 120) so there is less playtime with the teachers. I loved it. I had friends at lunch. :) Friends that do things like count to three and chant “Teacher is beautiful.” I need to train Chad to do that. ;)

After the 3rd grade girl crew I had the 4th grade boys. They requested English names and due to their giggly manner I found it appropriate to name them after my Dad and his brothers. Tom, Bob, Dave and Jim. There was a problem with my Dad’s name. . . “Bob” sounds like “Bap” which means rice in Korean. So, the kid felt like he was the staple food group instead of a strapping young Korroch. Robert sounded too much like robot so we settled on John. I call him John Bob.

Finally I got semi-ditched by my co-teacher for my last class. I am training the 5th grade on Peter Piper. They actually liked it. I hope to get lots of tounge twisters into them.

Happy Weekend!


September 18, 2008   1 Comment