Tuesday, August 28, 2007

first week of school

ok, so i haven'ts updated in a while. about a week. but i've been busy.

my mommy came last week and yayy!!! it was so good to see her and be spoiled and able to complain and unwinde and not be "on" all the time. also we got to see a bunch of random family friends who live in the area so now i have ppl i can call up and be like, hello please buy me meat even though it is expensive. haha

then we went shopping and stuff on friday and realized that i am too preppy for korea lol. we couldn't find stuff that i liked even though she wanted to get me 2 good teacher outfits and shoes and stuff so she promised to send me stuff i'll like from america, YAY.

i can quickly see how AMERICA is becoming my mecca of all things that are good and wonderful that korea lacks. i hope that attitude doesn't come across to my studetns or teachers tho bc the last thing i want is for them to accuse me of being an american snob or that teacher who only thinks america is awesome and korea is not. cuz i don't think that, i DO like korea a lot it's just different from amercica and my own culture.

anyway, so this week was the first official week of schoool but idont start my normal classes until next week because i need a week of "orientation" lol my teachers are great. they keep pushing baclk what time i have to be at school this week bc im only doing the super advanced 3 swtudent class who is going to an english competition in 2 weeks and then my teacher workshops.

since im coteaching with all the homeroom teachesr (13) i have to workshop with them a week in advance to go over the lesson and coordinate our roles and all that. apparently my school is the gold standard in chicago for teaching english in elementary schools. my host mom was explaining to me why they're bending over backwards for me and doing anything i want and also why they seem so intent on keeping me happy. i honestly think they think if they dont adhere strictly to the contract i can just up and leave. so that's good. i really respect that bc i was totally expecting the typical korean we can bend rules any way we want bc that's how we do things so i'm really happy that things are in black and white. i like it better like that bc clarity is key to me. haha that was so lame.

anyway, on monday i got introduced to the whole school via the morning broadcast. so they ahve a little recordingstudio which they broadcast into all the classrooms to start the day with the prinicpal's greeting, flag salute, anthem singing ,etc. it was kinda creepy that frist day bc it felt so ... socialist? like i could totally see NK doing this and i figurei t's just remnants from right after the separation.

anyway, the principal is this like 50+ year old man who is short and kinda reminds me of a bullfrog. hehe. he kindof like your bumbling old uncle who everyone kinda pokes fun at behind his back. but he is really nice to me and keeps telling me to come to him if i need anything fixed bc he can get it done quickly (which is def true). anway, he totally introduced me as having gone to college at UNC and i was like NOOOOO!!!!!!!

ok anyway, i have fridays off. completely. so that's awesome. if anyone else does, let me know so we can hang out.

so yesterday i had my frist session with the "advanced" special class. it's relaly 3 6th graders who are rthe best at english and are going to an english comopetition in a few weeks. at first i just gave them a more indepth version of my intro lesson for next week and then had them introduce themselves. i asked questions about their interests and then i brilliantly asked them to tell me what they like to do in chicago sincei 'm new here and have no idea. at first they said there was NOTHING fun to do and then i almost cried haha bc that was so sad, and then i told them if there was nothing fun they would scare me off and i would leave and the whole school would be mad at them so they scraped together 3 things:

3 suggestions:
1. go to the library. but the fun thing is not THERE but in GOING there. on the way to the library there is this dip in the road and if you drive into it really fast you feel like you're on a roller coaster for 1 second. ......... hahahahahahha
2. go to the mountains, breathe the air, it is very fresh and clean. ...........
3. go driving on the highway, there are pretty trees lining it

that's about as excited as cheongju is according to my sutdents ... hahahahha so excited i havea yeare to do those things.

one "thats what my student said" as told to me by a teacher
after my broadcast introduction, one class kept discussing why i didnt look american/ aka WHITE. after debating many things, one finally concluded: "well that's what happens when you live in korea for a long time. you start to look korean." (2nd grade)

also, there are no young single pplat my school. yesterday at lunch i asked my coteacher if tehre were any single ppl bc all the teachers i had met were married with kids. and she was like thinking and asked another teacher and tehre appear to be 4 single ppl (in addition to me) one is a man teacher who is 42 and the other three are all 33ish (they said 10 years older than me) and prob not interested in being my friends. then they asked me why i wanted to know. and i said: oh the other GIKs in the area are all boys and i want girl friends. which they interpreted as : the other GIKs are boys and i want to find them girlfriends. and they were all excited and trying to think of young single women they knew. and i was like NO NO NO IIIII WANT GIRL FRIENDS LIKE TO GO GET MY NAILS DONE WITH AND EXPLORE CHICAGO WITH!!! except not yelling. and they were considerably less excited at that idea ...

somehow romantic relationships for perfect strangers > friendship for new english teacher.

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