Sunday, August 26, 2007

8/21/07 Tuesday night

Many good things happened today. Today = good day =)

First, camp went well. Although my teacher and I underplanned and had a lot of leftover time in our lessons we recovered pretty well by improvising and adding new games. I also did a lot more actual work than I did yesterday but was much less exhausted. Also, the children ARE treating me like a rock star and I LOVE it. Their favorite new pastime is to crowd around me during break time and pepper me with questions in Korean. Since they have figured out that I understand Korean, they throw question after question and at first it was crazy but I really enjoy that they are interested in me. Some of their peers responses to their questions are much more interesting than mine.

(All the student parts were in Korean)
Student: how old are you? 11?
Me: twenty-three. (Hold up 2, then 3 fingers)
Students: GASP WOWWW but she looks so young!!

S1: are you married?
S2: she’s too young to be married!!!
S1: oh, so do you have a boyfriend?
S2: once she has a boyfriend, then she will think about getting married every day and then it’s just a short while till she gets married

S1: look at her toes!!! She has 2 rings on her toes and one ring on her hand.
Students together: that must mean she has many boyfriends!

S1: are you from miguk (America) or wehguk (foreign countries, in general)??

S1: where do you live?
S2: didn’t you listen, she lives in America and comes on a plane everyday
Me: my family lives in NEW JERSEY
S1: are you sure you’re not from Canada?

S1: you are 23, and you lived in America for 23 years. That is almost your whole life. But you are very good at understanding our language (Korean). That means you must have studied it very much. This is very good. Good job for you. (He said this in a most grandfatherly tone with his hands clasped behind his back)

S1: I know you speak Korean. Today in our lesson you spoke in Korean to our teacher 4 times and then altogether today you spoke Korean 11 times to the other teachers.

S1: speak Korean to us!
Me: if you speak perfect English, I will speak Korean to you
Students: silence …

Student (after studying my jewelry and toes for a bit): so, you like *shiny* things, huh?

Also, I got my first (hopefully not only!) present today from a student! She was girl in my group yesterday who speaks NO English but was the one I secretly spoke to in Korean because she kept asking me questions. She brought me a clicky pencil and it was wrapped so prettily I felt bad opening it!!! She always tries to sit next to me and hold my hand and I love her!!! She is so sweet and I always whisper things to her in Korean because I want her to understand what is going on. I did it today after saying thank you to tell her I will use it well and I was overheard by the other students who thought it was great.

I also had my first seeing a student outside of “class.” I was at the corner convenience/stationery store buying some gift bags when a boy from my group came in with, I guess, his older sister.

Me: Hello!
S: hi
Me: (in Korean) do you live near here?
S: yes, you are speaking Korean
Me: well, we’re not in school, so outside of school I can talk to you in Korean
S: this is good; will you be at school again tomorrow?
Me: yes, of course
S: good

Then he went to buy ice cream and I told the store guy that it was on me and to add it to mine when I paid, and I told the students (again in Korean), “teacher will buy the ice cream for you, eat it deliciously!” and the ajussi was like, wow this is your lucky day! And then he discounted my tab almost their whole ice cream because he thought I was such a nice English teacher. =)

Next good thing = no teacher meeting after camp. Just free lunch on the school!!!

Next! Bryan (fellow GIK buddy) came to Chicago to visit me today!!! Yay!!! It was pretty hot but better than the past few days. You can definitely tell it’s slowly getting cooler. We walked around this place downtown that reminded me of myeongdong in chuncheon a little. There were lots of stores and young people.

Also, a chuncheon friend texted me and Rosie called so I feeled (omg I just really did type “feeled”) FELT very special and loved. Also, Angel-in-Us Coffee shop has the BEST ice green tea latte that I’ve had so far in Korea. Although it was also close to the most expensive. So far I’ve had iced green tea lattes at dunkin donuts, deliatti, Paris baguette, tous le jours, and vending machines. The angel-in-us was the best, then tous le jours and deliatti tie, then the other two. But I’ll have to keep trying them to be sure. =) Also the angel-in-us had the least amount of ice and it was the most well blended other than dunkin. =)

Bryan caused a ruckus with a group of middle school or younger high school girls, who kept circling us and yelling “hello” and whispering and I thought it was cute and he should wink, but he did not appreciate it. Lol. I’m sad I won’t have a fan club that thinks I’m so 멋있어 at my school like he will at his co-ed middle school haha. I bought a white skirt (it’s too hot to wear pants to school!) that was originally 69,000 won and was on sale for 29,000 won AND was 1 of 2 skirts left and the only one in my size! It was fate. Haha. I also bought lots of pretty stationery to write to people with. So I’ll go do that now. Ok im exhausted and my (non double) eyelids are falling down. Good night.

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