Wednesday, September 15, 2010

K Pop!

Classes this week have been going really well. Ok, so mostly well. I had one activity totally bomb- I had a premonition that it would so I had kind of prepared a back up (go me!). Turns out that 3rd graders can't really handle the Kimbab English game (speed dating game)- but they could handle a rock paper scissors tournament style game using picture cards. Must say that my coteacher made this game WAY better than I had anticipated by adding the competitiveness and bragging rights- she deserves alllll the credit.
Students pop out ten cards from the back of their book, all with pictures on one side and a number on the back.
They hold up one card each and take turns saying, "How many (object on card) do you have?" Then they play rock, paper, scissors (they never learned to say 'shoot' here so they just throw it down on 'scissors'... threw me off for a while). The winner gets to say how many they have "I have seven (object)" and they stick their tongue out at the loser in a playful manner. The winner puts their card on the table, moving them down to nine cards, and the loser just moves their card to the back of the pile, so they remain at ten. The ultimate winner is declared when one student has no cards left in their hand!
The kids ate it up, they loved it!

I taught grade four students today. Probably the best classes I've taught so far... maybe ever? I don't really feel like explaining what I did right now- but it was brilliant. Again much credit goes to my fabulous coteacher. I think we're starting to get the swing of things and figure out how to "tag team teach" as the kids say these days.

Every day at my main school- oh, I work at two different elementary schools. Shinheung m-w & fri and Dongmyoung on thursdays- so every day at my main school, at about 1:50 pm a group of 5th grade girls invades my little office. They try to teach me Korean, and of course I play dumb and ask them what everything means in English. Today they navigated me to a K-Pop site on Naver... they put on a song and proceeded to sing and dance for me. Most adorable thing everrrr.

I never thought elementary would be this much fun, but it is! It's a good way to stay young, although it can be a crazy amount of work. The beautiful thing is, no homework to correct! You would have to be crazy to assign homework and correct it- I have about 22 classes, all with different students, about 30 in each at my main school. My other school is VERY small, 60 students total in a k-6 school. Anyways, 22 x 30 = 660 students every week. I know one kid's name and that's because everytime he sees me he quizes me on it.

Let's talk about my current favorite Korean food. Takalbi or dakgalbi... 다갈비. I typed that myself.
It comes out in a giant deep dish pan- a sizzling mass of chicken, cabbage, thick noodles, and cheese if you ask for it (지츠 = chee-suu = cheese). You cook it at your table for about 5 minutes, until all of the cheese melts and the chicken is fully cooked. By the way, a lot of Korean restaurants will have burners in the middle of the tables- so you actually cook your own food. It's great. When the food is done cooking you can make miniature wraps with lettuce or sesame leaves, add some garlic, chili paste, or kimchi to the mix and stuff the whole thing in your mouth. SO GOOD. It almost has an indian curry flavor, but it's still spicy and Korean. You gotta try it.
Seriously the best thing ever.

Tonight I have a dinner meeting with my main school. I've just been told that it entails a lot of alcohol; Koreans love their alcohol, and lots of food; they also love their food. It's my first meeting so I'm pretty excited about it. I'm just hoping I can sit with the teachers that can speak a little english. Koreans get anxiety when foreigners aren't talking, but many of them are too shy or not competent enough with their English to attempt conversation. The fact that I know my silence makes them uncomfortable can create some seriously bad conversation. I talk about totally mundane and ridiculous things because I feel like I HAVE to be talking.
Dear Korea,
Sometimes I would rather sit in silence than have terrible conversation... silence doesn't mean I'm unhappy.
Sincerely, Aaron---And Mike.

Anywho- things have been going well this week. Brian and I continue to create some magical quotes which I should add to the quote page... I just forget what's said before I can write it down.