Thursday, October 19, 2006

"ni shi wo de pengyou"

I have a new friend! While walking into school this morning, I saw a teacher-looking lady I didn't recognize, but insa-ed her anyway just to be safe. She looked pretty confused and asked me something in Korean. I gave her my now expert apologetic look of incomprehension, and we were kind of at a stand-off until I figured out that she's a Chinese teacher. We spoke Chinese for a while, and I gave her my phone number and it was all really nice. She is 28, a Chinese woman married to a Korean dude, and she doesn't really know anyone in Korea besides her husband. I told her that I really only know little kids and middle-aged people (I don't count my young co-teacher because I don't think I have much of a chance of becoming her friend), and agreed to make friends with her. She seemed wicked excited to talk to me and wants to take me out to dinner tonight. I think we're going to be besties.

There is a student in one of my third grade classes, a skinny little guy who always jumps out of his seat and screams whatever he wants to tell me, who can't quite get the distinction between "b" and "p." Right now we are working on animals, and today in class he kept pointing at the bear and yelling excitedly, "IT'S A PEAR! IT'S A PEAR!" and I had the hardest time not giggling uncontrollably. Then in one of my 5th grade classes, there is a round little guy with glasses who greets me every single class with a big "Hello everybody! Welcome to Korea!" Teaching is wonderful.

Yesterday I went to HDS (Heavenly Dream School), and had to teach the beginner class instead of the usual intermediate one (Korean-speaking Sara normally teaches the beginners, but she couldn't go yesterday). I didn't find out about this until I had already arrived in Cheonan, so I didn't have any sort of lesson plan or ideas for a lesson. This was kind of bad from a teaching standpoint because the kids don't really know any English, so I couldn't figure out what they had been doing in previous classes or what to do with them. From a non-teaching standpoint, the class was really great, because we just spent most of the time with a map of Korea, with them telling me in Korean/English about where in North Korea they are from and how they got from North Korea to South Korea.

Lately in the mornings when I'm getting dressed, I've been noticing that my shoulders and back are pretty sore. I always wonder why for just a minute and then realize...oh yeah, I sleep on rocks.

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