Pictures From My Trip to Daejon and My Kids

First I’ll get the fun stuff out of the way.

I had to drive to Daejon today at 8 AM (couldn’t get permission from the principal to leave during the day the day before) which was less than spectacular. Mainly because it ended up being a huge waste of time because of a technicality in the contract, so I have to go back tomorrow. I did get some decent pictures, as well as some awful ones.

On the road to Daejon. All major road signs pertaining to cities or places of interest graciously provide English subtext to the Korean.

All of the pictures were on the way to Daejon, except the last one. We were stopped at a light on the way back and I saw this wonderful instance of Konglish. I’m fairly certain the shop should be called Richard Prohair, unless there is some intensely subtle Korean play of words going on here. Part of the difficulty rises from the fact that R and L both share the same letter in Korean (ㄹ). Also, the only I in Korean carries the English ‘ee’ sound. Mystery solved.

My two co-teachers. Jieun is on the left (I finally nutted up and asked specifically how to spell her name, since I was tired of guessing and I gave her the address, so she may be reading and I may as well spell it right). Michele is on the left. I spend most of the time with Michele, but I do split time with them occasionally.

The English Zone where I teach these beasties every day at 1 PM:

I left the pictures of the kids a little bigger than my other pictures, so if you click on them you can get a close look. Saying they’re all beasties is incorrect. It’s mostly just the boys. The girls are all well-behaved. The worst trouble maker is in the front right, hiding under the bench to avoid the picture. The worst part of the class is just the worst one or two really take away from my ability to do anything productive. I have to sit at least one or two people at the very front of the room in a chair so I can physically hold them down while I teach to keep them from running around. The boy in the aisle not facing the camera chose the name Magic Tree for himself. Perfect. When the kids made fun of him, he said he wanted to change his name. When I asked to what, he replied “Tree magic.”

The one just right of center in the front in the pink is Stela. Tell me that’s not too adorable. She’s the only one I really know in this class. She actually knows quite a bit of English. The skill level takes a gigantic jump from the first class to this one. Most of the students are really good.

The boy in gray with glasses in the second row just left of center is David. He’s really bright. The boy who’s dead center with the blue and red shirt’s English name is L. It used to be Al, but he didn’t like it, so he dropped the A. Kids in Korea really tend not to give a lick about their English names, at least not until they get a little older, so silly names are common.

The one in pink and white on the extreme left front is Arianna. She looks really sad/bored. I had to leave for this one class to go teach with Jieun. Perhaps she was depressed about that. The boy in the third row middle’s name is Crow. In front of him is Flora, who is pretty bright, as well as the girl in front of her, whose name I can’t remember right now.

Same class, but I got a kick out of the kid in the back flipping off the camera. Plus Arianna looks like she’s in a little less abject dejection.

This is my last class with Michele for the day. In the second row on the left are Jessica and Jenny. Third row behind Jenny is Sunny. There are at least one Sunny and Jessica in every class I teach. Both are popular names due to the Korean K-pop group Girls’ Generation, or Sonyeosidae (also commonly referred to as Korea’s ‘nine angels’). If you could pack every cute Asian girl stereotype into nine women, they would, and did, form this group. This group is retarded popular in Korea. It’s not uncommon to see even middle-aged to elderly men singing along with their songs. I still can’t decide if that’s endearing or creepy. Here’s one of their music videos: It’s worth nothing that ‘gee gee gee‘ is the sound a Korean heart makes when it beats, rather than the American ‘thump thump’.

Michele has one less class than Jieun, so I go down to help teach this last class of the day. They’re the best English speakers, so I know their names and personalities a bit better. The girls from left to right, front to back are Diana, Kelly, Jennifer, Lisa, and Sunny. The boys in similar order are Nick, don’t know, don’t know, Harry, and Danny is the tall one in the back. Not pictured is Butch who came in late. I get a huge kick out of his name. While the class is really fun, I also feel like once Jieun leaves, they feel like they can do whatever they want, because I’m probably not as strict with them as I should be. It might end up being about a 60/40 work between work and messing around when Jieun isn’t there. It’s just that by the end of the day I’m too tired, and they’re just fun and insistent enough to make me not particularly care a whole lot. They are almost all pretty enthusiastic about learning though, which is good. Today they had a listening test and they kept begging for more chances to hear the recording because they wanted to get everything absolutely perfectly right.


2 Responses to “Pictures From My Trip to Daejon and My Kids”

  1. 1. The kid flipping off the camera is the best part of my weekend.
    2. Arianna looks like everything disappoints her, so maybe it’s not just you? She’s adorable.
    3. Once I got stricter, even at college level, everyone just had a better time.

  2. Hahaha that kid in yellow flipping off the camera is priceless.

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