Kian in Korea

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Adjusting

I think the kids were even cooler today than they were yesterday. It's cool how they are super eager to learn English now that I'm here. Sung said she was shocked to see some of the students who never bothered before totally trying hard to be able to talk to me. One of the kids is the school's basketball star and he asked me to come to the gym at lunch and play with him! I did, and they were all excited to have me play with them even though I stink at basketball.

One thing I really like about the schools in this country is how hands-on it is. In America you can't lay a finger on a student without worrying about getting sued. Here, the students want to hug you (well, me? I don't know why), you smack them on the back of the head (lightly!) if they misbehave, and when one extremely agile little kid intercepted a pass on the basketball court, I picked him up and raised him over my head to show him what I thought of that. These kids love any sort of attention as long as somebody is actually paying attention to them.

Whether I love the attention back is beginning to be an issue! It's embarassing to walk down the halls and have the kids scream (scream!) every time I walk by. I can't lie, it's kind of fun feeling like a celebrity, but I'm worried the other teachers will get angry at me for disrupting their classes- but it's not my fault, I just walk past the door and suddenly there's ten kids running after me. I'm not even safe in the teacher's lounge. I was standing by the window to get some air and some of the sixth grade girls playing outside saw me. All you could hear for the next ifve minutes was "You're so handsome! I love you!" and the next time I dared to peek outside, they had drawn a big heart in the dirt and stood in formation alongside it. WEIRD!

I'm really starting to consider just staying at this school even though my original plan was to teach at a high school. I like it a lot and I'm actually interested in seeing what kind of progress I can help them make. I think it would be good practice learning how to deal with little children, too- it's not something I think I'm very good at right now. I'm sure in a month I'm going to love all these kids and won't want to leave. Also, the other teachers are starting to overcome their shyness with me and are actually trying to talk to me in English (most younger people know some English but they are extremely shy about making mistakes so they won't say a word). I'd hate to just be here a month when everyone is so happy to have me here (my co-teacher said she couldn't sleep at all the night before I came because she was so excited to meet me- I thought this whole thing would just be a crazy job, but I didn't realize that this is really important to Koreans to have native English speakers).

Other things: Taking your shoes on and off every time you go anywhere is really annoying. I bought my first pair of slip-on shoes (Vans!). These ones are currently my "inner shoes" for at the school, but as soon as I find myself some decent slippers (most of the male teachers just wear sandals like what you'd wear in a hotel bathroom, but with socks), I'm going to use those as my inner shoes and the Vans as my "outer shoes" because they are so easy to take on and off.

Today, after classes were over, all the teachers got together and went bowling (my team got second place, no thanks to me: I bowled 71 the first game and then 78 the second, haha) and then had dinner. We had samgyopsal (삼겹샬), which is fried pork slices cooked on a special platter in front of you. It's extremely fatty, but tasty. With it we had soju (소추), which is Korean rice liquor. It tastes like a very mild sake and has a very low alcohol content. Food is incredibly cheap. A full, big, delicious dinner will cost 3 or 4 thousand won, which is 3 or 4 dollars. Last night I had shabu shabu, which is actually Japanese and on the expensive side- 10 thousand won, but in America shabu shabu is like thirty dollars a person.

OK, that's all for now- if I stay at this PC cafe any longer I might run up a huge bill of, like, two dollars. ;)

3 Comments:

  • Kian I love you!!!!!!!!!!!

    <3 Bertha Geraldine Augusta.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:38 AM  

  • jepcomkian jooneh delam they are only 9 or 10 years old they don't know better, haha . love you mom

    By Anonymous maryam Maleki, at 11:40 AM  

  • Great, all we needed was for your head to get bigger... this could be a problem!

    By Anonymous Golmar, at 7:42 PM  

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