Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Only two more days to go...

Two more days of class that is, and then only three more of non-class (which I shall enjoy significantly more!) and then I'm home! Glorious, glorious home!

So this has been a bit of a sucky week, for all sorts of little reasons, but not really any big ones, and with many little happy moments to keep me uplifted and to stop it from being a REALLY sucky week.

One of these such moments was samgyetang (삼계탕, a sort of spring chicken soup where you get a whole little chicken thing in a stone hot pot stuffed with rice and cooked in a delicious soup), photo stickers and a strawberry ice-cream sundae at Love Story (a cafe) with Lara. The food was delicious of course (the samgyetang restaurant we go to ALL the time is awesome) although it was weird to get cherry tomatoes as part of the fruit in our sundae and cornflakes too, and taking sticker photos with lots and lots of glitter was an excellent way to burn off some energy between courses. Here is one of the results! Sorry for the awful webcam quality - still without a real camera. Looking at some of the features on cameras I am considering buying, I figured out that it might have actually frozen on the day of our teachers' trip since apparently "freeze-resistance" is something that Korean camera makers consider important.

Another thing that made me happy this week was newspaper that my second year kids made during our winter camp. We did activities for articles for it each day, like making up their own country (which the girls promptly decided to name after their favourite drama "Dream High"), and telling each other's fortunes, and then they had to write another 'newspapery' piece as well, so I gave them 20 minutes at the end of each two hour class to work on what they had. I'm not going to sugar-coat it, my kids aren't the most brilliant in Korea, and it wasn't anything that's going to rock the world, but I was really proud of how well they did, and how they all helped each other out to get everything done on time, and in the end I really didn't have that much editing to do to put it all together. My co-teacher Paige took some photos so everyone was in it or contributed at least two or three things, even if it was just a few sentences. So it was great, and I was really happy, and they've seemed pretty impressed with it themselves as they've picked up their copies this week.

However, I then did something really stupid - I gave our Vice-Principal and Principal each a copy, because I thought they might like to see what the kids had been doing (even though most of the kids undoubtedly have better English and the VP and P probably couldn't even read the whole thing without a dictionary). First came the VP, who grunted non-committedly and immediately pointed out that we were infringing copyright by using a picture of Kim Yuna and a movie poster. Fair enough. Then the Principal. Before he even opened it, out came the red pen, and he started nagging my co-teacher about how it didn't look professional enough because the margins were wrong (I'd basically just printed everything out back to back and then stapled it down one side). Next, flicking through it, he complained that I should have written the date on it and I hadn't put in page numbers - ok, fair enough too, shame on me for not taking a four day project seriously enough. Then came the kicker - he told us to fix it up because he wanted to distribute as a school product to show off our English program. BIG WTF moment. Never mind that half of it is something that will ONLY make sense to the people who actually went to the class, since half the articles are about an imaginary country. Oh and he complained that the puzzle page that Dae-Ho had done was too hard to do because it was too small.

Pain. In. The. Butt.

So anyway, I escaped at that point because I had a class to go to, but my poor co-teacher had to stay and listen. Actually, I guess it's karmic irony really, because earlier in the year the VP had told me that he expected me to write an English newspaper for the school and waved one from another school (that he had clearly not read himself) in my face that had turned out to not actually be written by a teacher, but by the students of a very prestigious girl's high school with a rigourous English language program, which I had docilely agreed to and then forgotten as quickly as possible, as it was a ridiculous demand and I already had been volunteered into running the Super Duper English club every week. But still. So I did a bit more editing, and sent it off to Paige, but I have no idea what she can do about the puzzle (which we don't even have an electronic copy of) so I guess she's got a busy few days ahead of her until she leaves (very thankfully I'm sure!) on her much-needed holiday.

My new 'visa'
Oh and yes, this was right after the lovely day I had on Tuesday, which constituted of my VP calling me a bitch (I think he meant to say "busy"), walking out on my flabberghasted face when I didn't respond, then telling me ten minutes later that he expects me to tutor him one on one once the new semester starts which I flatly told him he would then have to either pay me extra or take it out of my teaching hours because that's not my job. Oh and then I ended up having to cancel my afternoon class (which on the upside at least meant I got to the gym) because I spent my whole lunch break waiting at the Office of Immigration for two hours and fifteen minutes to get my visa extended. Which turned out to constitute writing on the back of my ARC (alien rego card) with a texta and covering it with sellotape. Yes, sellotape. Thankyou for justifying the 30 000 won and more than three hours getting to and waiting in your ridiculous office.

Anyway, basically, I have now learned to keep things to myself, and after a really pointless day yesterday, the silliness of sticker photos and good food with a good friend was much appreciated ^_^ Thankyou Lala chingu~~~!

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