Saturday, November 2, 2013

School Festival & Sports Day

This is about a week late, but I'll post anyway for those who are interested and want to see what late October weather looks like in Gangneung.  Also, some other random thoughts at the end.

Last Wednesday night was the school festival.  I went for a little while and watched a few performances.  It was cool: all the students were required to attend and it was open to other schools (girls' and boys' in the area).  America needs to have festivals like this.  There were flashing lights, pyrotechnics, and smoke for special effects.  It was awesome.  Korean drum performances, singers, dance groups, instrumental groups, etc.

Teams practicing while the school festival was going on.
Then, last Thursday and Friday classes were canceled for the school for sports day.  I ran a 40 minute "King of English" game in the gym with all of the students.  They answered true and false and multiple choice questions in English by moving to different sectioned areas of the gym.  It went really well and the winners got 5,000W gift certificates from Nong Hyup (a bank).

And then the next two days were basically just kids playing jump rope, running relays, playing soccer, etc. outside all day.  America, you should also do something like this.  It was just a great break for students and teachers alike.  Lots of time to bond with your class (and since they travel with homerooms here, they are very familiar with each other.  It's hilarious to see them feeding each other the food their homeroom ordered from wherever (Lotteria, McDonald's, etc.), feeding the teachers - literally, holding their own partially-eaten hamburger up to their teacher's mouth and saying "Eat!" -, sitting on each other's laps, holding hands, etc.  All totally the norm here.

These kids are crazy good at jump rope.  They join in groups of 2, 3, 4... even 7 at a time!

Relay races!
Watching the relay races.
Still playing at night!
Other Random Things:
  • Edited and coached two kids for about two weeks for a speech contest in Gangneung about the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.  Neither won, but it was a good experience for them.
  • Made whipped cream for my coffee by hand from heavy whipping cream that I managed to find at One Mart.  Funnily enough, I read the label in Korean and was super excited and then turned the container over and found it all in English.  Don't know how I feel about that.  Tricked, I guess.
  • I'm currently baking sunflower citrus bread.  Be jealous.
  • I found some fantabulous(!) crackers.  They're very thin, have little grains and sesame seeds in them, and then a light dusting of sugar on the top.  They are phenomenal and I will miss the heck out of them.
  • I've decided living here is kind of like studying abroad at Hogwarts.  I'm boarding in quarters provided by the school, I study things like math (Arithmancy) and cooking (Potions? Herbology?), and have plenty of time for devotionals (Defense Against the Dark Arts! HAHA!).
  • I found a shirt that beats my 'Zombies Eat Your Hard' shirt.  Check it out!  I think it goes great with the two Korean sayings: "Sons! Be ambitious!" and "We need not fear North Korea for we have second grade middle school students."
  • I think I managed to put my fabric softener in the right location today when washing my clothes.
  • I walked somewhere new last night and the weather and view were fantastic and calming.  And then I ran into four of my students who proceeded to try to figure out where I lived and then one of them kept telling me they wanted ice cream (in mostly Korean while I translated back into English for verification.  It was funny to watch his face screw up as he tried to decide if he was confirming what he wanted or not.  When he started spelling out 'ice cream' on his bottle of pop it became even more ridiculous.  Yes, child, I understood you.).  Long story short (though not really anymore...) I spent 2,000W and got all for of them ice cream bars at the One Mart.  I hope that's okay to do?   I call  it positive reinforcement for trying to communicate in English.

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