St. Patty’s Done Has Come and Gone

I’ve made it through one more week here at my new job. It’s starting to get more and more routine. It’s a bit easier and easier every day to get prepared for the kindergarten class. Afternoon is pretty easy, too. Especially since the classes all have books. So I kind of go in and do some pages then bullshit around with the kids. I just spent all of last week doing colors, one to ten, and animals with my first graders.I also spent the last couple days teaching them the days and their order, plus today, tomorrow and yesterday. The days are still a little sketchy, but one kid knows them, the months, and can read fairly well. He’s a bit higher than everyone else.

On Wednesday, I kind of bitched out my older class. They were being pretty disrespectful and just really refusing to get anything done. There are six kids in the class and I kicked four out of class, one at a time, for just being too talkative, and being difficult to manage. At the end of class, when there were just a couple minutes, I didn’t yell at them, but I was definitely bitching at them. I just kept asking them what was wrong with them and why they were having such a bad attitude. They asked what a bad attitude meant, so I told them in Korean, and I used a rather rude expression to say it.

Thursday was much better with them. Two of my favorite students come on Thursday. Beth and Dorothy are great students. They’re interested, already have a good level and they are easy to work with. Plus they have great senses of humor. I was explaining the grammar of “have been…” with verbs and adjectives, so I asked them to give me adjectives and one girl said “yellow” to screw with me. So I told them that yellow can mean someone is scared, blue is for sad, green is for envy, etc… We had our five minute break and when I came back Beth had written a little poem on the board. “I feel blue. I feel yellow. I feel green. I don’t like crayons. -Super B” Badass. Also, I asked Beth if she called herself Super B because of the word “superb”. She didn’t know it, so I showed her the translation in my phone and her response was “Oh, yeah. That’s me. Superb Super B.”

Friday we had a monthly birthday party. Once a month, the hagwon has one big birthday party for the kids with birthdays that month. It was really only like 15 minutes, but it was funny. I should’ve taken some pictures. I’ll endeavor to remember that for next time.

Friday night was Cheonan’s big St. Patty’s Day party. There were maybe 50+ people at Dolce, which is a pretty good number. Busy and lots of people to talk to, but not so crowded you can’t get around. The Halloween and Christmas parties were so large that it was a hassle getting a drink. I had a funny conversation about taxi etiquette with a British friend. Of course, in the States it’s SOP to just get in the back, but in England it would be rude to ride in the back unless you had to because there was more than one person riding. They just get in the front. Getting in the back seems very anti-social and distant, like you don’t want to talk to the guy providing you with a service. In Korea it’s a mix. I’ve seen people riding in both the front and back alone.

Anyway, St. Patty’s Day was good. Stayed out until 6 AM. Woke up at 4 PM. It’s hard dealing with that. Like, what the hell do you do with your day when you wake up at 4 PM? Well,  I went for a drive. I picked a road and just followed it for like an hour. It went straight from downtown to the country. From a busy city street, to a small highway, then back down to small residential streets and finally a winding mountain path that eventually turned into a dirt road. It was about then that I decided to turn around. I drove a bit on the dirt road, but it was bumpy as all hell.

I stopped at a Buddhist temple that I’d heard people reference before and checked it out. I had a nice little surprise. When I got to the temple, there was a really big tree out front with a sign, so I checked it out. Turns out it is Korea’s first walnut tree. A Buddhist monk fro China brought it with him and planted it 700 years ago. It’s literally the mother tree of all walnut trees in Korea. Only in Korea. You know in America people would not give two halves of a shit about something like that. But in Korea, that temple is famous and known all over the country.

Drove home afterward, and it was already night when I finally made it back home. I watched a Korean horror movie. Shit. I don’t know why I even continue to download Korean horror movies. In general, Korean movies are really good, but all the horror movies I’ve seen have been just god awful. After the movie I went back to Dolce for a birthday get together for a friend. Almost everyone I know was in Seoul for a going away party, but after St. Patty’s Day and the pretty much month or two straight of going to Hongdae every Saturday I needed a break. Plus, I hadn’t seen the birthday boy in awhile. It was just a nice relaxing time. Nothing crazy. Just sitting around drinking a bit and shooting the shit.

Sunday’s schedule is pretty much zero. Just got my language meeting later tonight. Nothing else until then. Just gonna relax and watch Jersey Shore. Maybe do some light reading.

Here’s the Facebook album for the pictures I take on my phone, which will be a lot. It’s got a couple pics from Kid’s College and a good number from my little drive. The area would be a lot more beautiful if it wasn’t still so winter-y and dead looking.


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