As every Monday, we started off the week with the 6th graders. With the combination of students misbehaving and no discipline, the 6-4, 6-5, and 6-6 class are getting worse and worse… Little devils!! The 6-2 and 6-1 classes are still pretty good, but they have their days. On the other hand, the students in the 6-3 class are little angels!! All thanks to their homeroom teacher! She heard (just like every other 6th grade teacher heard) that the kids were being a little out of control. Now she sits in the English classes. That’s all it takes and the kids behave like the best students you can ever hope for! She doesn’t even have to do anything. She sits at a desk in the back of the classroom and reads a book. Her presence alone is all that is needed! I am so incredibly thankful for this teacher!!!
Yoga is still amazing! Our instructor will normally come around and move people if they’re not in the pose correctly. She hasn’t been coming over to adjust me as much anymore, which makes me feel good because that probably means I’m doing the poses well on my own! (Or maybe I smell and she only comes over when she has too…? Haha.) My knees sometimes bother me after walking a long time on an Olle and sometimes at yoga. My left knee was really bothering me one night and apparently she could tell. She came over and “massaged” my knee… More like digging her bony fingers in my knee. She sometimes gives really nice massages when she can tell something is bothering you, but sometimes it feels like torture! It feels good afterwards though! Just not sure if that’s because she actually made it feel better or if it’s just relief that’s she not digging in my knees anymore.
My school had it’s first fire drill this week! It seemed like their was order as the kids were walking out of the school, but as soon as they got outside, it was like a stampede! They all ran for the playground across the soccer field and just hung out or played on the jungle gym. Then some teachers were walking across the soccer field carrying a stretcher. When they got closer, I noticed that there was actually a kid on the stretcher! Haha I asked my co-teacher why they did that. Was the kid actually hurt? Or just practice? She kind of giggled and said “I don’t know.” I’m assuming just practice, because some of the teachers carrying the kid had big smiles on their face.
This week was filled with new games…
Soccer– I made up a game for the 5th graders and called it Soccer. I put a picture of a soccer field up on the board and put 8 pictures on each side (the same pictures for both teams). Teams would take turns “kicking.” One student from each team would stand up and each take their turn saying a sentence for one of the pictures on the screen. They would have to say “I want to…” and do the action for their sentence. We would continue going back and forth. The goal of the game was to say the sentences for all the pictures on their side and they would score a goal. The only thing was that they had to remember what their teammates already said because they couldn’t repeat what someone already said and they couldn’t tell each other what to say. It actually went a lot better than I planned and they really liked it!
Questioners and Helpers– The 6th graders don’t get a lot of opportunity to get up and do active games in English class. Ever since Eunmi left, Sunghee and Seunghee are really hesitant to do any activity that involves the kids running around the class. I think the students NEED a little craziness every now and then, so I had to do a lot of convincing to play this game. There are 6 teams. One student from each team will go on the hallway and they are called the Questioners. While they are in the hallway, I pick one of the remaining students from each group to be the Helpers. No one is supposed to tell the Questioners who the Helpers are when they come back in. The Questioners are to come in and ask one person from each group (except their own group) “Can you help me with my survey?” If they asked the correct person (the Helper- which is a secret to them), the Helper will respond with “Sure, I can” and the Questioner’s team gets a point. If they ask the wrong person, the student will reply with “Sorry, I can’t” and the Questioner has to move on to a different team and do it all over again. It definitely was chaos! But Sunghee and Seunghee gave me compliments on how well it went and how much fun it was for the students!! Good to hear!
Waiters– For the 4th graders, I played Waiters with them… We all pretended to be waiters. I had them all rip out the cards in the back of their books that have food and drinks on them. I then collected everyone’s cards and put them in a big pile on some desks in the back of the classroom. This are was called the “kitchen.” With their partner, they would take turns taking each other’s orders. The Waiter would have to ask “What do you want to eat/drink?” Then they would write down what their partner wanted on the marker boards. Once the order was finished, they had to run back to the kitchen and grab the cards with the pictures on it and bring it back to their partner, saying “Do you want…?” I thought this was great! It involved them talking, writing, and associating words and pictures!! And they got to run around! What was even better was that they LOVED it!! They all wanted to stay later and continue playing! 🙂
Simon Says– Okay, so this game isn’t new, but the 3rd graders have been BEGGING to play it! My little crazies (the 3-1 class) loves it sooo much! Normally for class or any activities, they are kind of crazy and they’re minds are everywhere. When we play Simon Says, they are so incredibly focused. So Simon Says lasts a long time in that class because they are concentrating so hard not to mess up! They always want me to stay longer and play, but I say I can’t. So little Minseong (a little trouble maker sometimes… he’s the one that started the boob gesture in the spring) took it upon himself to be “Simon.” As Hosun and I were leaving class, we heard him try to be English-speaking Simon. Haha that didn’t last long and soon Korean-speaking Simon came out. At least he tried! Too cute! 🙂
My birthday present from some amazing Colorado folks arrived this week!! Mi mama sure knows her daughter well… Brown sugar & cinnamon Pop Tarts, Flipz white fudge covered pretzels, Cheetoes (!!), Twinkies (This is right around the time when Hostess was filing for bankruptcy, so people were scrambling to get their last Twinkies!), Donettes (little white powdery delicious donuts), Sweetarts, Skittles, Burt’s Bees mango lip balm, Christmas socks, Farkle, Scrabble Slam, and some Bath & Body Works lotions (but these are for me to give to my co-teachers for Christmas)!!!!! Amazingness!!
For Thanksgiving, Sunghee showed the 6th graders a PowerPoint about everything that we do on Thanksgiving and Black Friday… It was amazing! It put a huge smile on my face seeing all this great stuff that we do for Thanksgiving! It made me want to fly back and spend the day at my grandma’s!! (If tickets weren’t $928743098287, it probably would’ve happened.)
On Saturday evening, Karima and I (along with a lot of help from our house guest, Carolyn!) hosted a Thanksgiving potluck dinner at our house. We sent out an invite on Facebook to a bunch of foreigners on the island. There were only 10 that responded saying they coming and there ended up being 20 people in our little house! It was nice and cozy, filled with friends and food! Karima’s mulled wine was a huge hit!! Carolyn cooked up some scrumptious chicken!! (Turkey is very difficult to find on Jeju. If you want it, you have to order it from the mainland and it’s not cheap.) It was a great night! Then we busted out one of my new games I got for my birthday, Scrabble Slam! That was pretty fun! It turned out to be a really great evening! (And for some reason, when Karima, Carolyn, and I woke up the next morning, we all felt like it was Christmas morning… Haha only 1 month too early.)
Saturday morning, I headed out to do Olle 9. Olle 9 is considered a “Hard” Olle in the pamphlet, but it was a short one. There was LOTS of climbing up and down hills and valleys. The views from the top of the first hill/cliff (Mojil) I climbed were so beautiful!
Walking through the valleys was like walking through a cow pie mine field! There was one point when a little calf was blocking my path and I kept moving forward and he would too, but he would just keep moving along my path and never get out of my way. Haha the other cows were watching me pretty carefully then. And their horns didn’t look too friendly. I finished the 8.2 km trail in 2 hours and 15 minutes!
After I finished Olle 9, Karima and Carolyn met up with me and we started Olle 10 together. We spent a lot of time on the beach where the Olle started and were walking on some really cool rock formations.
We came to a shipwreck! Karima and I climbed up onto it! Once we got up there, Carolyn (who can speak a bit of Korean) noticed a sign that said “Don’t climb” in Korean… Haha woops. Oh well, we were already up there. Everything was all rust colored and there was a rope ladder thing that went down into a hole. A little creepy.
We eventually came to the Yeongmori Coast. (I went there back in March with Seunghee and her daughters.) It’s so beautiful with all the crazy lines in the rocks and the different formations! That’s where we split. Karima and Carolyn wanted to head back home early so they could get started on the Thanksgiving dinner we were hosting that night.
I continued on to finish the course. I eventually came to Song-ak-san, which is a mountain near the town where I teach. It was pretty cool! There were some caves down by the beach that the Japanese military used when they occupied Jeju.
I also walked though the memorial (the actual site where many residents were executed) for the 4-3 (April 3rd) Massacres. (The police on Jeju Island were cooperating with the Japanese in their occupation of the island. The residents rebelled on April 3rd,1948 attacking 12 police stations. The fighting continued until May 1949, resulting in the massacre of tens of thousands Jeju residents and over 75% of the villages destroyed. What it would be like to hear stories from the older generation on this island…)
I also walked through the Japanese air field. There were just some concrete structures out in the fields that looked like a plane could fit in and some other concrete structures where the Japanese military shot down planes from. (I think that’s what they were used for anyways.)
I eventually came to Daejeong (the town where I teach) finishing the 14.8 km trail in 4 hours and 50 minutes. (Walking with Karima and Carolyn slowed me down. It’s a lot easier to take your time and explore when you have friends along!) I saw some of my students! They were a bit surprised to see me in Daejeong on the weekend! Love seeing these little crazies!
Sunday, I took it pretty easy. I did a little Christmas shopping for some family back home. And then I made a little impulse buy… A little Christmas tree and ornaments! I just couldn’t justify spending Christmas without some kind of festive decor! 🙂
Sunday afternoon, I went to my first soccer game! Jeju United vs. Ulsan Hyundai! It started raining right when I got to the bus stop for the stadium… Great! As I was walking to the stadium, I heard “Brooke!” It was one of my 6-3 boys and he’s normally really quiet and doesn’t say much in class, but he said “Brooke! Hello!” very confidently and excitedly! Once I got in the gates, I wasn’t sure where to go. I didn’t know where the people were sitting that I was going to meet up with. As I’m sending a message, my friend Leo walked passed and invited me to sit with him and his friends. Thankfully we were able to find a seat under cover so we didn’t have to sit in the rain. I also saw a couple of my 3rd grade boys in the 2nd half! They gave me a little wave and then headed down to front row to watch the last minute of the game. Good thing they didn’t want to come talk to me, because I accidently got a little drunk sipping on some soju and grape juice… Woops! Then we all went out to Gecko’s to play pool and stuff our faces with burgers and fish & chips!