Friday, June 4, 2010

What tension?

The weeks are flying by, and I realized the other day that I only have a short 10 weeks left in the ROK. In order to take advantage of the time I have left, I've been staying quite busy. I wrote in my last entry about the Lotus Lantern Festival, but Buddha's 2554th birthday celebration lasted at least another week. I took myself to Bongeunsa Temple in Seoul to check out the lanterns decorating the temple grounds for the occasion. The pictures do not do the scene justice-- it was really extraordinary.

I've been having a great couple weeks, and I have been very busy enjoying the (finally!) nice weather, working out, going out with friends, and doing a lot of shopping. I feel like it is expected that I say things have been tense here, but Seoul is completely not fazed by the myriad of threats being thrown around by North Korea. Because of the atmosphere here, I forget - probably more than my parents- that I am still in a country technically at war. I did remember (unfortunately maybe too late) early last week when I pulled out my lesson plan and pulled up the class game for my 5th grade students. I had planned to play vocabulary battleship, but after I explained it, I felt really culturally insensitive so I changed the game to "Sunken Treasure" and called them all pirates. Poor planning.

A view of Namsan Tower while shopping downtown last week!

A view of Seoul from a friend's rooftop party

Jamsil Stadium for a baseball game!

I have been enjoying teaching recently, but last Friday was an absolutel nightmare. I have one child - Yu-Bin - who has some problems (don't even get me started on Korea not separating disabled students or students on various levels- I teach them all at the same time). I'm not exactly sure what is the deal with Yu-Bin, but anyway, this kid is always trying to escape from class. On Fridays we literally have to bolt the doors from the top while Yu-Bin RUNS and THROWS himself at the door for FORTY minutes. (There isn't like a place to send him like in America-- like I can't just be like go to the principal or detention- they dont really do that. It's up to you to control their behavior). It's absolutely ridiculous.

So Friday morning, we're playing a multiple choice game (stand in the corner you think is the right answer) and the category for the question was "Famous People" with a picture of Johnny Depp fully clad in Jack Sparrow attire. I had SEVEN students get out on this question- not because they thought it was Brad Pitt or Nicholas Cage, but because they legitmately thought it was BARACK OBAMA. My students think all black people are Obama, but when I said, "Barack Obama is African American" my coteacher goes-- oh, they don't know foreign policy. OK?

As I'm reeling from this, I look up to see a DOG run by in the HALLWAY. This country seriously blows my mind sometimes. Luckily no students see it- yet. I turn around only to see the 4th grade girl in the wheelchair being run around the room FULL SPEED doing doughnuts by this little obese boy. Everyone is screaming. Then, unfortunately, dog is spotted and 75% of my students run out of the room including Yu-Bin which was really unfortunate since this kid requires capturing. I watch helplessly as this dog runs up and down the hall, OUTSIDE, with 30 4th graders after it. One girl as she ran by panting goes- Teachahhh-- Dog-- Fastuh!! I can't even articulate the level of chaos that was happening.

Below is a picture of me with some of my coworkers at a dinner last week. They are always so nice and supportive of me - I am so lucky to work with such wonderful people!

I leave for the Philappines tomorrow for a 4 day solo trip to Boracay. I will be sure to put up pictures and update you as soon as I get back!


No comments:

Post a Comment