Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have no idea what's happening. With anything. Primarily with my school. Today has had some ups and downs. Firstly, the drama with Friday. Friday is our school's foundation day so we have the day off. Or so I thought. This morning my co-teacher Paige told me that the Vice-Principal had decided that actually, only the students have the day off but all the teachers should come to school, so if I wanted to take the day off I'd have to use one of my leave days. Ok. *Big sigh* This was a little disappointing as I had been planning to go to Seoul and go shopping in Myeongdong while everyone else was at work and generally just revel in the relative quiet compared to the usual weekend rugby scrum. For those of you not familiar with this sporting term, it's when the players all bunch together to get the ball, except in this case instead of a group of heavily muscled men crashing into each other as they scrabble for a tiny ball, it's about two thousand people pushing and elbowing each other for a) space or b) a bargain. It's also waaaaay nastier because everyone has heels, manicured talons and/or a huge handbag to bring into the fray. Add into this the crazy religious people predicting your afterlife in hell and the couples walking arm in arm coat-hangering half the crowd and the people randomly stopping or moving much slower than anyone else and you've got one of the most frustrating shopping trips you'll ever have. A standard Saturday there is seriously worse than the New Year's sales in Sydney. *sigh* The things one does for Forever 21.

Anyway, so as Paige was apologising for giving me this awful news even though it was the VP being an arse and not her (I hadn't made a fuss about it, she was just apologising because she didn't want to be at school either and  knew what I was thinking), my other co-teacher Ms Kwon told me that the VP had also decided that since I went on the 2nd year camp last year (actually we stayed in a rather nice hotel on the coast), I shouldn't be allowed to go again THIS year and would have to instead stay at school for 3 days and deskwarm. Despite the fact that unlike most teachers, I actually WANT to go! This is because the students from Ms Kwon's homeroom 2-2 and the next class down 2-1 are some of my favourites from last year's Super Duper English club and I could also have helped (vaguely) Ms Kwon out a little. So a little disappointing, especially since I've been telling the girls in those classes that I'm going with them - one of them even told me that she was going to do nail art for me on the bus! So much for that. *Double sigh*

However, this was not the end of the matter! At lunch, the school secretary guy Mr Jeong (the teacher that does most of the actual organisational work at the school) had found out about Friday and asked me what I was doing. When I told him that both Paige and I were told we have to be at school he harrumphed a bit and said he would check. He worked his magic and lo and behold! We don't have to come in after all. Huzzah for Mr Jeong! He's a lovely man and his English is actually good enough for us to talk, and I think because I helped him fill out a form for his daughter's enrollment in some prestigious boarding school somewhere in the UAE last year he tries to look out for things like this where he could easily just not bother.

Anyway, so that was the down, then up for the morning. Keeping in tradition of ending my posts on a positive note (and I need to focus on the positive after having class 2-8 today who are keeping up their own tradition of being noisy little ratbags), I am most elated because the five students from my special English after school class who we entered in an English essay/speaking contest ALL won prizes! One of them won the top prize of extra points towards her academic record (these count towards their high school entry scores) and the others won 2nd place awards from the company that runs the competition with our Education Office. You might remember me bitching about having to check and rewrite five 1 to 2 page essays over three days on top of all my other work a while back, so I'm happy that the hard work (both mine and theirs) paid off and they did well. I actually wanted to run out and buy them a cake to celebrate but Paige pointed out that the other students might be a bit upset since we hadn't even told them about the contest so I fought the urge.

Other highlights of my week have been the consistent answers from the 1st year boys about what makes people sad - I asked them why a young girl in a picture was sad and most of them answered "because her dad/mum/baby died". It became much funnier during the next activity on giving advice with class 1-5 when I asked them what you say when you can't really give advice to fix someone's problem, and gave their own example back to them as "my dog died yesterday".  They thought that I said "dad" and also that I was serious so the whole class went quiet and looked horrified except for one boy who shouted out "OH NO! TEACHER! SORRY!"

Today a student in class 1-8 also told me that he was happy because his friend Dong-Wu is very ugly. And then another told me that his partner, Jeong-Bin, was an octopus, upon which the whole class immediately launched into their best octopus impressions.

But the funniest thing I heard today has to have been the compliment from Ms Kwon: "Your forehead is looking very wide and shiny today! It is very beautiful!" haha she's such a sweetie ^_^

Off to go blot my giant shiny forehead, over and out!

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