Summer Doldrums

Pictures first:

The hallway leading to fifth and sixth grade science labs. They look a lot like chemistry labs in high school. I couldn’t take pictures of the rooms because classes were in session, and I didn’t want to distract them. My fifth and sixth graders are always bringing weird stuff to class. Paper they made, moth eggs, ducklings, etc… Ducklings were the best. I had been teaching for maybe 20 minutes before I was like “What the hell is that cheeping sound?” and then noticed the boxes in the back of the room. Needless to say, the rest of the day was pretty much playing with ducklings.

The school’s library. The cool place to be.

Unknown, Kevin, and Moses Joe.

A dance act just before the game with fire.

Asian Elvis is in the building!

During half time, the dance act came back on, and the ajumeoni joined them. She got quite jiggy with it.

A pretty landscaped waterfall at Haesong Seashore Camp.

The busiest moment of the day at my gazebo. Rather than helping sort the children out, I decided it would be more beneficial to take a picture.

More of the quiz game.

A shamanistic sacrifice to the god of wind at Wolmido.

This little piggy went to the market, this little piggy was sacrificed to the god of wind…

Sucks to your asmar, Piggy. Name that reference and collect ten cool points.

After a couple minutes, a couple of the audience members came up and put money in the pig’s mouth. Why does she look so happy? Ajumeoni just made $20 for dancing with a pig head, is why.

So, today was the summer solstice. Longest day of the year, apparently. At least in America. I’m not sure if it’s different here. It’s 8:16 PM here and almost completely dark. I can’t believe it doesn’t stay light longer than that during the summer. Especially since Cheonan is slightly south of Columbus. It wasn’t even hot today. Nor that humid. The rainy season should be coming any day now, from what I’m told, thought most people are now saying it only lasts like two weeks. How disappointing.

School has been pretty boring, hence the title. After the open classes, we’ve switched to a new schedule. I guess parents think that switching every class at the half hour wastes time. Now I teach on the third floor every Tuesday and Thursday for an hour, fourth floor Monday and Wednesday for an hour, and the normal half hour switch on Friday. The fact that we’ve basically got a week and a half left of the unit, and the large amount some classes have left to do in their books, added to the fact that I’ll only see each class three times a week, means that some of my classes will be doing almost nothing but book work for the next week and a  half.

When reading the stories, one of my favorite things to do to joke around with the kids is respond to them reading as if it was a conversation.

David: “She is beautiful. I want to marry her.”
Me: Marry who?
David: :: Points to me ::
Me: Me? “Her”? No! I’m a boy!
David: Marry “he”! :: Points to me ::
Me: Marry “him”.
David: Marry him.
Me: No thank you.

Monday I had to stay late and teach the last class, though it was my day to leave early on the new schedule, because Diane had to go do something at Oseong. I acquiesced and taught the class, with the understanding that I’d leave early today. Then, right after my “last” class, Diane said she had to go to Oseong to teach because I guess they didn’t have anyone for the last class. I was so upset, I ended up walking into my last class and just saying “No Diane today. Free time!” It wasn’t like I couldn’t just do what I had planned to do Thursday, which would make completing the work on time a little easier, but I was kind of unpleased with once again being told I had to do something literally two seconds before I was meant to be doing it.

I also found out about the plans for July. We’ll start a new unit, obviously. The third week of July is going to be hell. School will be out, but we’ll still be teaching, because it’s after school. Schools get breaks, but hagwons don’t. However, the third week of July, there’s some kind of “English camp” which no one knows anything about. It’s something the school is offering, so it has nothing to do with my program, but I’m apparently obleeged to be an instructor, though no one knows exactly who or what I’ll be teaching.

The kicker is that it’s from 1-5 in the afternoon. Not that that’s bad. Diane originally thought that meant we had no after school classes, but Amy corrected her to let her know that we would in fact have them, starting at 8 AM and going until noon. Harsh. The only good news is that after that week of hell,  I get my ten day summer vacation. I have literally no idea what I’ll be doing. I’ve got a very romantic idea of just taking a KTX to Busan and spend the next ten days wandering my way home however I can manage it. I’ve always thought it would be a fantastic experience to go to Europe by flying into a random city, then just going wherever without planning any specific trips, hotels to stay at, etc… I guess this could be like a dry run. I suspect I may be sleeping in jimjjilbangs the entire time, as they’re cheap and offer a shower. It’s either an 8,000 won jimjjilbang or a 40,000 hotel room for a night.

Even though money is something I don’t have to worry about  at all, it’s impossible for me to shake my cheapness.


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