Service, Swastikas, and….Storms!

(If you’re a teacher, please read the end and let me know what you think!!)

On Wednesday, I was looking for teachers to eat lunch with during 3rd period–I was starving, and also had to leave early for my ARC.  I’m telling you, within half an hour, every teacher in the school knew that I was hungry!  The teachers who had just gotten back from lunch felt so bad, and kept trying to find things for me to eat.  Even yesterday, one of my co-teachers talked to me about how hungry I had apparently been the day before!  They’re overly considerate, I’m telling you.

I saw my second swastika today. Apparently they had them first over here. I’m not sure what kind of store it advertises, but I’ll let you know if I ever investigate. (**Update: They are a religious symbol.)

The first night here–cell-phone-less, internet-less, and completely unaware of where we lived or how to get around our city–we (native English teachers) all found P.C. bangs so we could figure out a place to meet up.  Funny story: Francesca and I were at two that were right next to each other.  So we chatted online, trying to figure out where the other was. Um, right next door!  Oh, so P.C. bangs: internet cafes, for roughly 1,000won/$0.95/hour.  Gamers love them.  Also, internet-less aliens, such as myself.

Oh, right, my story.  So I go in, and the boy behind the counter does not speak a word of English, and the only Korean I know is “Hello, nice to meet you, thank you, I am from America, I am a teacher.”  Not entirely helpful. I (was pretty sure I) knew it was $1,000won/hour, so I handed him a bill.  Then we had a 5-minute exchange of I don’t know what.  Me trying to say “Can I just sit down at one of these computers and do my thing?” and him trying to…tell me it cost $1,000won/hour?  I finally just sit down. A few minutes later, he comes over and hands me his cell phone.  So I talk to his friend, who knows a few more words of English: “Computer,” “hour,” and… “hello,” maybe?  That exchange goes on for another five minutes.  I finally just hand the phone back to him, having established absolutely nothing.  I still am not quite sure what the confusion was. I gave him 1,000won, so I was confused–was it more?  I think the deal was, he didn’t know that I knew it was that much? Or maybe you were supposed to pay on your way out?  No idea.  BUT, after the phone conversation, the desk-boy puts a soda on my desk, bows and says, “Service,” and that’s the end of our communication!

I felt bad, because I wasn’t upset at all, just really confused, and it was all sorted out–a timer on my computer counted down the hour I had bought.  But hey!  I couldn’t have argued it even if I wanted to.  “No, no, I am a teacher! Nice to meet you! Hello hello!”  He might have just called his friend again, and round two.

Oh yeah, so the typhoon.  Usually just hits the south–Busan/Pusan.  But this one came up the peninsula.  My head co-teacher told me 3 people died the next day from swirling debris–the wind was a bit ridiculous.

Our school lost power, apparently for the first time ever?  So no one knew what to do or what was going on!  No bell, and NO A.C.!!  Problems.  The power came back around 10.

Culture Clash

Oh hey!  So apparently, teachers write their cell phone numbers on the board the first day of class!  My teachers were talking about how their students were calling them yesterday morning, asking about school and if they had to come in–whaaa??!  I told them that simply does not happen in America.  Some professors give you their number, but grade-school?  No sir!

Tonight I’m going out with my three co-teachers who are roughly my age.  I think the plan is Korean pizza–which has sweet potatoes on it!  I’ll let you know how it goes :).  Also, Ryan is going into Seoul to pick up Becca–who ended up in a teeny-tiny little town about 2 hours east of Seoul.  So we are rescuing her for the weekend!!  I’m excited.  I think tomorrow night we’re going to a soccer game in Munhak Stadium (which is only about a 20-30 minute walk from where I live–so clutch!).

Teaching Idea

My setup is:  I teach 1st and 3rd grade (7th & 9th in U.S.), and I see 20 classes of 40 students per week.  Because there are so many students and only one of me, 2nd grade (8th) does not have conversation classes, and the other grades only have 1 conversation class per week. Make sense? So basically, I need two lesson plans, or one lesson plan with varying difficulty.

Anyways!  Next week is Introductions–I introduce myself, basically.  Not too much teaching, but the class’s focus is speaking and listening, so it will work, and I’m making it interactive.

The following week, my head co-teacher wants me to teach prepositions.  I was struggling for a bit–I mean, really, how interesting are prepositions?  NOT VERY. But!  Now I’m excited!  Why?  Because we’re going to play I Spy!!  That’s right, I made some I Spy pages, courtesy of Scholastic’s website, and they let you print them off!  I’m still working it out, but I think I will divide the class in pairs (they sit at tables of 8, so that will be easy), and give them each a set of instructions to read to the other student, “i.e. what is above the bird, and next to the star?”  Or something along those lines.  Whichever pair can find the most, wins!!  Wins the pride of winning. 🙂

Haha, maybe I’ll make them do the Hokey Pokey, too.  They will learn In and Out!!  And American culture to boot!  Those poor 9th graders!

Also, maybe a version of Simon Says.  Again, put them in pairs, and give commands like, “A’s arm under B’s chin; B’s hand above A’s head.”  Maybe?  We’ll see if I can work that out.


One response

  1. In response to the “teaching idea” part of your blog…we totally do stuff like that to teach prepositions 🙂 Except a lot of my kids mix up “I” and “you” (which if you think about it, English is totally confusing…since you ask someone, “What do you want?” what else would they think except that they are “you”) so one of my kids especially will come up to me and say “you want to go to the bathroom” or something like that and it always takes me a minute to realize what’s happening 🙂

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