Friday, March 19, 2010

Also, if you get a second....

If you have a chance you should check out this This foreigner guy draws comics about the funny things that happen to us while living in Korea!! I'll explain a few...

You have to get used to the constant staring and pointing. I've had little kids ask to take pictures with me, or tug at their moms coats and point to me while whispering something. Old men and women have no shame to walk by and look you up and down.

Busses are crazy. The second you step onto one you have to be prepared to hold on tight. It is not uncommon for the bus to still be moving when the driver opens the door to let you off.

Sometimes people pass you up on the street when they are handing out flyers...they know you won't understand most of it!!

I never realized how good of a mime I make!! I know I"ll be going home with the most insane hand gestures. One of which is to cross your arms into an X when something is more water thanks, sorry we're closed...don't go in there.

The busses and subways are almost always completely silent...and many people will stand right in front of the door looking out, regardless of if they are actually getting off or not. The silent part can be a bit awkward when you are the only person speaking on the bus, in English, and then your friend on the phone says something so funny that you snort and start laughing hysterically. Not that uh, this ever happened to me or anything.

Can't expect to find many "Big and Tall " clothing stores here. Lucky for me, I am short, although I am probably a good twenty pounds heavier than the average korean woman my size. I have pretty good lucky clothes shopping. Jeans are a little tough...but even back in the US!!

Kids are AMAZED with the amount of facial and arm hair some of the male teachers have here. Also if someone has light eyes. The other day I was talking about how I am from the US. One of my students said "No she isn't" The other said, "yes she is!!! Look at eyes!!! Very blue!!!" As if that were the only thing to give away that I am American. I also got told once that my skin was like Edward the Vampire because I am so white. Lucky for me, the whiter the skin here the better.

Just a few for now. The funny things that happen to us as foreigners here are endless. I'm sure I'll have quite a few by the end of the year!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Well if that doesn't say "Good morning teacher!" I don't know what does.

Have any of you ever been greeted by a small Korean child by having them poke you right in the butt with their hands in the shape of a guy? I have. Several times. It's a common occurance here actually...happened about three times in the past five days. Lovely. "Good morning teacher!" POKE!

Aside from that, classes have started well this week. We've got a good routine going. I still have problems with two students...but I've just gotta deal and not let them take away from teaching the other kids.

Tomorrow I'm going to be going into a part of Seoul to watch a St. Patricks day parade! Haha it will be quite interesting to see what kind of parade they will have for it here in Korea...I never made it to the one in Chicago, so this should be fun!

Next weekend I will be going with two friends to stay the weekend at a Buddhist temple. I'm very excited about it! We'll get to see how the monks live, what they eat, do, etc. Should be a good time.

On March 31st I'm going to see Bob Dylan. Several of us from my school, as well as a guy from another school will be going to see him in Seoul. Looking forward to it!

This week seemed to FLY by. On Sunday evening I was, just one more day of the weekend would be nice...the next thing I knew it was Friday!! We had cooking today...made fruit tarts. They were delicious, but it was hard to keep the kids from sticking their fingers in the cream and trying to eat the whole thing before we were finished!! Next week we have a field trip. We're going to see a musical. No, it's not Cinderella, or Beauty and the is a Korean musical about....poop. That's right. Poop. I wish I could understand it cause I think it's going to be HILARIOUS...but apparently it is about how pooping is good and everyone does it. Haha I'm sure the kids will love it.

We'll I'm off now. Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

New School year, new students!

So, along with the beginning of the new school year here in Korea, I got five new students between my two kindergarten classes, as well as a new class of kids who graduated from kinder at the end of February.

Last week, the first week of classes in the new year, started off rough. One of the things that changed was the lessons that the korean teachers and foreign teachers teach. I used to do a lot of phonics work, but now my lessons are focused more on language skills, talking, using key expressions, etc. It's a lot easier and more fun to teach honestly! We also switched classrooms, so I no longer teach apple and banana, but we moved to kiwi and lemon. Same kids, different rooms.

I got four new kids in my 6 year old class, Lucy (who I wanted to name Elena, but she liked Lucy better), Jessica, Clara (who lived in France for the past year and speaks French, but limited English!) and Sam, who speaks the least out of the new kids. In my seven year old class I got just one new student, Ellie, who is very smart. I love my new kids, but we are moving at a much slower pace in the 6 year old class now because of the new kids. Baby steps though, baby steps. They all continue to amaze me though with how fast they learn. I'm sure within the next few months most, if not all, will have a good grasp on English!

Since the kids have been with me for two months now, I have a "no Korean at ALL!" rule in my classes. If they speak it, they get one line next to their name on the board, and if they get three lines I take ten stickers. This is a huggge deal, because everyday we reward the kids with stickers. Once they fill up a sticker page they get to pick a prize. The prizes are pretty cool too. So they work hard to earn them, and ten stickers is like two to four days worth of stickers! Last Friday when I started the rule I had two kids who lost ten stickers. One of them didn't seem to care at all, while the other cried silent tears as I took his stickers. (Don't tell anyone, but I really only took five from his book. The poor kid was so sad!) But it has really worked, and most of the kids hardly speak any Korean in class.

Classes today went as normal. There are some good and some bad days, but mostly I enjoy teaching my kids. They are just as cute as can be.

Last Sunday my church had a guest speaker, his name is Nick Vujicic, and he is an Australian man who was born without arms or legs. He travels the world talking about his life, and his mission is to make people believe that anything is possible with God. I really enjoyed seeing him, although at times he seemed a little to preachy for my style. But overall it was soo cool to see him and hear him talk about his life. I mean, we all go through things that challenge us, but this man swims, golfs, feeds himself and travels the world without the use of his arms and legs. Pretty amazing...if you get a chance you should check out his website. It's worth a look.

This weekend was pretty low key. Caught up on some housework, went out to eat a few times, and did some barhopping in a different city. I'm hoping to get outdoors next weekend, its supposed to be pretty nice on Saturday.

Hope everyone is doing well, in whatever part of the world you may be! A special shout out to my friend in Roma...hope you're doing well chiquita! Hehe Sam and I left the US on the same day last December, bound for two completely different parts of the world. She's in Rome au-pairing...and having a great time as you can imagine!

Also, want my family to know I was thinking about you all this weekend as you headed down to Florida to say goodbye to Aunt Jewel. What a great lady, and she will be missed.

That's all for now....kisses and hugs to everyone!