Lately, we have been studying a lot with the 6th graders. They have a big test coming up at the end of June for Math, Korean (similar to our English or Language Arts classes), & English. (Maybe one other subject too, but I can’t remember.) We’ve been focusing on what they learned last year as 5th graders. It gets quite boring day after day of all the listening tests. One of the review lessons this week was about food. Eun-mi was saying sentences and the students would repeat them. I was in the back of the class looking through story books when I heard Eun-mi say “I like cock” and all the students repeated her… What?!? I was certain I had heard wrong because I wasn’t fully paying attention. Nope! In the next class she said the same thing. I never got to ask her (kept forgetting) what she meant to say… Maybe coke? Or cock, as in a rooster…?
I got to Skype with my mama, papa, and gma Monica!!! It was so nice to see them all. My parents were in Wisconsin for their friend’s funeral (RIP Shane), and I got to Skype with them befor they headed back to Colorado on the Fat Boy. I also got to Skype with my dad, Jessica, and Jamie. Love talking to them! I Skype with them the most, and I think it helps reduce my homesickness a lot. So thank you Von Rudens!! Love you!!
Tuesday Nights… I am very fond of Tuesday nights! My friend Karima and I have made it a tradition to go out for dinner every Tuesday (or Wednesday if Tuesday doesn’t work). We like to try out new restaurants and new foods and talk about anything and everything. It’s also a nice time for us to talk about home when we are feeling homesick… It definitely helps I think. I am so happy and grateful to have met her!! Without her, I am quite positive I would go KRAZY in Korea and suffer from severe homesickness!! Thank you Karima!! 🙂
One day after school, Eun-mi asked me to help with something. She needed to turn in the titles of all the English story books we have in the English classroom. Not an easy task seeing as there are MANY, MANY, MANY English books in our classroom. And because Eun-mi isn’t very fast at typing English, I was the lucky one to get to type all these titles. My fingers got a workout!! Thank goodness for typing class in high school, otherwise this would have taken a lot longer than what it did! Thank you Mrs. Porath for turning me into a speedy typist!!
After my introduction of Simon Says to the 4th graders last week, they are addicted! That’s all they asked for during class this week. “Simon Says Game!” “Brooke Teacher, Simon Says game please!” “Game? Simon Says Game?” Haha
So every night when I go to bed, I fall asleep watching TV. It helps me fall asleep faster. Then I usually come out of my sleep for a few seconds around 2 am to turn it off… There have been a few times where I’ve woken up to something a little unexpected. I consider Korea to be quite conservative. There are many things that are blurred out on shows, such as people smoking, drinking beer, and bloody bodies. The smoking and drinking is only blurred out when the cigarette or beer can/bottle is put to a person’s mouth, but not when it’s just in their hand… Strange. So because of this, I was quite shocked to wake up at 2 am to find soft core porn on the screen. (No, I did not keep it on.) And nothing was blurred out! Haha it seems that TV channels have free reign during the late night/early morning hours. I think it’s safe to say that Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake would have no issues performing over here.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been working with 3 of my 6th grade girls: Jisu, Hyaejong, and Jooyeon. They will be participating in the English Story-Telling Competition in Seogwipo this Friday. I really wanted to go, but I have to teach 3rd graders. Fortunately, I am lucky to have some amazing co-teachers!! They were able to move the girls’ performance times to the afternoon session of the competition AND excuse me from teaching one of my 3rd grade classes (although it was my favorite 3rd grade class… missed those little crazies!). Yay!! Right after 3rd period on Friday, we ate lunch quickly and headed to Seogwipo. There were about 30-some performances, and some had already been held in the morning. Jooyeon and Hyaejong were #23 performing Caps for Sale and they did great!! So proud of them!!
Then Jisu was #30 performing Are You My Mother? She was so incredibly nervous to perform, but I didn’t realize how nervous until after her performance. I wish I had brought some deodorant for her.. Poor little thing. There was a 3-minute time limit for all performances and we had to cut a lot out of her story so she would fit in the time frame. She must have said a line that we had cut out because one of the judges held up his hand to her, which threw her off for a second. Jerk! The judges were given a script for each story so they would know what the kids were supposed to be saying if they messed up or needed help. I just can’t believe one of the judges would do that! Regardless, I still think she did great!! Proud teacher right here! 🙂
Saturday morning, I headed out to start Olle 12. (As all of you Packer fans know, our awesome quarterback’s number is 12… Which is exactly why I wore my Packers shirt for my hike today.) I took the bus down to Daejeong, the town where I teach, to catch another bus that goes to the start of Olle 12. I wasn’t sure what bus stop to catch this bus at, so I went to a convenience store to ask. The lady kept saying everything in Korean with some hand gestures. The only word I was catching was “anja,” which means “sit down.” Why does she want me to sit?! I need to catch a bus. After about 5 minutes of this, I was just too confused and was heading out the door when she ran out from behind the counter and stopped me and had me sit at one of the tables in the store. It was then that I realized what she was trying to tell me. She lives on the road that I need to get to and will take me when she gets done with work at 9 am. Good thing I brought my book. While I was sitting there, there was a small group of girls, I’m assuming were in middle school. They left, but then came back a few minutes later with another girl. They all stood there staring at me like they wanted to say something, but were just talking to each other in Korean… Awkward. They left again and came back with 2 more girls, one of which was one of my 5th graders. She said “hi” very quietly and then they all left again.
Not too long after that, I was deep in my book when I heard “Sam?” (Sam is short for sansangnim or teacher.) I looked up and there is Shinjin with his jaw dropped, shocked to see me here. I said “Hello! How’s it going?” He’s one of my 6th graders and is on the lower level when it comes to English, so all he said was something in Korean… Not directed at me. It seemed like he was talking to himself about how crazy it was to be seeing me here. (I am usually only ever in this town to teach.) Then there was one of my third grade girls behind him, which turns out to be his sister. I was surprised because, besides the fact that they are both pretty chunky, I don’t think they look much alike. They bought me an ice cream treat. It was chocolate ice cream in a balloon, which looked very similar to a condom. They cut the tip off for me so I could get the ice cream out, and then they left. Such a strange ice cream treat!!
At 9 am, the woman took me in her van to the start of Olle 12. The whole ride there was awkward. She kept asking me a million questions in Korean. I tried explaining that I don’t speak Korean, but that didn’t stop her. She still tried. I understood a few things she was trying to ask me, if I had climbed Hallasan yet. And we also found out that her child is in one of my classes, no idea which grade at all. I know I shouldn’t feel bad, but I felt very rude because I couldn’t answer her. I just hope she knows how grateful I was for the ride.
After she dropped me off, I wasn’t quite sure where the start of Olle 12, just that it was close. Then I saw a man that was wearing some hiking attire. I had assumed he was going on Olle 12, so I said, “Olle ship-ee?” He then said, “What?” Shocked I said, “You speak English?!” I made a new friend and we hiked Olle 12 together. He corrected me on how I should have asked where Olle 12 was. We also talked about many other things. His name is Pyeongyeong Yu, but wanted me to call him by his English name Bryan. He lives in Seoul, but used to live in Dallas, Texas in the 90’s and in Italy for a while working for Korean Air. He still works for Korean Air and gets free flights, so he comes down to Jeju every once in a while to hike the Olle trails. We talked about what it was like having his son start kindergarten in Dallas and a funny story about his wife getting hit on by a salesman in Italy. A very nice man and it was so nice having someone to hike the Olle with. We exchanged emails and he’s going to show me around Seoul if I ever get up there.
That night was girls’ night with Sarah, Becca, and Karima! First Sarah, Becca, and I had dinner at Baghdad Cafe. Yay for chicken makhni and garlic nan! Then Karima joined us later for talking and tea. Then we headed to the batting cages to hit a few! To end the night, we sat in Rotiboy for bingsu, gelato, and people watching! Lovely, relaxing night out with the girls!
On Sunday, we all went to the foreigner’s market. Everything is homemade. I purchased some lovely pottery, a pizza brat (lil spicy, but delicious!), and a cinnamon bun. Yum!!
I must not forget… A shout-out to the 2 best fathers a girl could ask for on Father’s Day!!! Love you so much Dad and Papa!!!