Lazy Thursday

Well, Thursday is here. It has turned into one of my longer days, de to the schedule change (again), but while I teach five classes and stay until 6 PM, they’re only 45 minutes each, so they’re not too terrible. The worst part is that it’s the fourth week, so pretty much all of my classes, except my advanced class which uses a different book, have nothing left to do. The fourth week is pretty much all me coming up with materials or activities to do for my classes. Not super hard, but while most of the kids will take most of the class time to do something, there’s always a couple curve breakers that finish 15 minutes in and get a little antsy. Yesterday, I had a student finish early and complain that there wasn’t any more studying to do. When was the last time you heard about a kid complaining that they wanted to study more? Not much I could do about that one. I just kept on going around helping other kids.

Tuesday was much better than I thought it would be. I really turned it around on my last class. There’s only 16 students (compared with 40 student sized classes my friends teach that’s nothing), but they can be extremely hard to keep focused. Tuesday I came up with assigned seats, so they couldn’t chit chat with their friends, then made a point of rewarding the few good students, hoping the rest would follow suit, as well as really coming down on the kids who wouldn’t listen (I made some kid hold his chair over his head for like five minutes). When we were reading and doing book work, they were much quieter. Not silent, but I wasn’t borderline shouting just to hear myself, so a drastic improvement. That and kids were actually volunteering to read and answer questions. Much more managable. I escaped that class without a pounding headache for once. Hopefully today it will be more of the same.

Hapkido’s been going well. I got my green belt Tuesday, and I didn’t even have to take a test. Actually, last night kind of pretty much sucked. The first half hour was just half an hour of sprinting back and forth across the gym, loser had to do ten pushups. I ended up doing around fifty pushups. Towards the end, when the sprints incorporated army crawling, walking on all fours, crab walking, etc… I managed to beat out some of the girls, so I didn’t end up just doing push ups all night.

After the sprints, I broke off with one other black belt to show me more advanced versions of some of the falls I already know. I know how to do them from a standing straight up position, but now I’m learning how to jump up into the air and then fall down. I’m pretty goddamn sore. Especially after running for half an hour, I was so tired that after maybe 10 minutes of practice, my arms especially became so tired they wouldn’t even hold my weight up when I fell on them. I definitely feel it this morning in my shoulders and back. I guess that goes with the territory once you start moving up from the most basic stuff.

I was really excited about bungee jumping this weekend, but the longer I go without hearing details back from people, the more I feel like it’s just going to fall apart and nothing will happen. I hope not, but I’m being realistic. I mean, there are plenty of bar conversations that end up this way. “Oh man, let’s totally go do X next week!” and everyone is all in agreement, but then it just never happens. That seems to happen even more in Korea. Not just drunk promises, but totally sober ones. People here are either too busy or flaky to stick to a plan.

If it doesn’t happen, I’m not sure what this weekend will hold. Mayhap I’ll go to Bucheon. I haven’t been there in a month and a half at least, and there’s an all you can drink event for just 12,000 won, so there’s a very strong possibility I’ll end up there.

Also, I finished translating the little children’s religious comic book I mentioned a long ass time ago. It only took like 30 minutes. I’ve just had other stuff on my plate and hadn’t gotten around to it. I hope to very soon start posting pictures and translations.

Some funny conversations with students (and my co-teacher) from this week.

A student singing ‘I Will Follow Him’.
Me: Where did you learn that song?
Student: Sister…
Me: Your sister?
Student: SISTER ACT!
Me: Good movie! Thumbs up.

Student: Give me 5,000 won.
Me: No.
Student: Give me 1,000 won.
Me: No.
Student: Give me 100 won.
Me: No.
Student: Give me 1,000 trillion won.
Me: I don’t have that much money.
Student: Give me infinity won!
Me: You don’t know how to haggle, kid.
Student: What?

I walk into my co-teacher’s office.
Diane: I saw you last night. In my dream.
Me: What was I doing?
Diane: You tried to kill me.
Me: How?
Diane: You broke the window and used a piece of glass.
Me: Ha!

Student: Why don’t you play with name witheld?
Me: We’re not friends.
Student: But WHY?
Me: We’re just not.
Student: But you used to be friends.
Me: Not really.
Student: Why?
Me: Grown up stuff. No big deal.
Student: But he’s from America and you’re from America, so you should be friends.
Me: And you’re from America. (This is Yuri, the girl who lived in NJ for two years. If you ask her she identifies equally as Korean and American — don’t rain on her parade by explaining the intracacies involved with obtaining legitimate American citizenship).
Student: But you’re a grown up and I’m a kid.
Me: So we’re not friends?
Student: No.
I make a sad face and pretend cry.


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