Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some July Happenings

A Proud American in the Parade

Nothing super eventful has happened in the last month. But I thought I'd post a short recap of July.

The semester officially ended! July 19th was my last day of teaching the majority of my students. I was happy to leave the sixth graders but it was sad to finish with the third as they are so stinkin' cute!

So, now that the semester has ended, it's time for summer school...yeah. So for three days, I had to teach a "summer camp" which consisted of three different grades. The planning was a bit chaotic as the leader of the summer camp does not speak much English. One of the days I decided to make a 'cooking day' where we talked about different foods all over the world and I had them make puppy chow. If you can imagine, 25 third graders, powdered sugar, melted chocolate, chocolate Chex cereal and peanut butter; I'm sure you can visualize the outcome. The kids LOVED it but the room was a disaster!!!

Once the official camp was over (the school hosts one just so they can get money from the district office) I have to teach my 'vacation classes.' Not much differs except myself and Belle are the ONLY teachers in the school. So, for 13 days, I have an hour and half of third grade and then and hour and a half of fourth grade; while Belle has her own classes upstairs. Our classes end at 12:10pm, but we have to stay until 4:40pm because my principal is such a stickler...

It's doesn't sound so bad, teaching three hours a day, sitting for five. However, about two weeks before these classes started, I was told to plan for two classes of first grade. I had never taught first grade nor did I know what to do with them for three hours and no co-teacher. But I planned the 19.5 hours of material thankful for the two week notice which is rare.

Well, five days before these classes were to start, I was told that now, instead of two classes of first grade, I was going to have one class of first grade and one class of third. Oh super, another 19.5 hours to plan because the stuff I planned for first grade was not level appropriate. Oh, but it gets better. Three days before the classes start, once again, things had changed. I was no longer going to teach first grade. But one class of third and one class of fourth! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!

I was so irate I stopped planning. As I write this, I have just finished day seven of these classes just winging every lesson. I'd have to say, I think I have a hidden talent for making up lessons on the spot and fun games to go along with them with random material I find in the classroom. A skill I know I inherited from my dad. He was always making up games with us as kids :)

All in all, the vacation classes are kind of terrible. The kids don't want to be there at all. Most of the kids in my classes are the trouble makers that I know were sent to me to babysit. It's their summer and they want to be out with their friends. Not stuck in a room with me speaking only English. Poor kids...

July 28th was mine and Andrew's 1st wedding anniversary. We wanted to do something special so I called and got reservations atop the Galaxy Hotel for dinner and a view of the beach. The fireworks festival is going on at the same time so I thought it would be romantic to dine and watch fireworks on our anniversary! be honest, the food was terrible but the view was nice. We also said no gifts. Well, me, loving any holiday where I can give presents, I of course broke this pact. I looked up the traditional first wedding anniversary gift, and it said paper. I knew just the thing!

In our downtown area we often stroll by a caricature artist drawing anyone who would stop. I begged Andrew to do this countless times but he always said, "later." So I took matters into my own hands. I took a photo of the two of us to this artist and in a mix between English, Korean and charades, I told him I wanted a picture of us drawn wearing traditional Korean wedding hanboks. He shook his head and told me to come back in an hour.  To his defense, the picture I gave him was SUPER dark because the printer at my school is terrible but I thought it was obvious that the girl in the picture was me. Well, when I looked at the drawing I just burst out laughing! Maybe he doesn't draw many westerners because we look Korean. We both have black hair and dark brown eyes. When I gave the picture to Andrew he laughed and said, in all seriousness, "Is this us?" Anyways, makes for a special memory of our first year of marriage and living in Korea.
The 'Korean' Lacy's!

As I mentioned before, the Pohang fireworks festival is going on at the beach next to our apartment. Well, there was a Facebook invite going around that they wanted members of the foreigner community to walk in the opening parade. There wasn't much interest until it was revealed that we would be given a free t-shirt and glow stick. I'm in! Andrew just laughed and said he'd sit out and take some pictures; so my South African friend Kate and I showed up at the designated spot, got our t-shirt, glow stick, and country flag and took our place in the parade! I mean, how often do you get to walk in a parade? And in a foreign country no less?! We had to! All the other acts in the parade stopped and did performances. Sadly, we just walked behind a bag piper from Texas, waving our flags and smiling at all the little kids who were probably wondering why their English teachers were in this parade. The walk was a short 20 min, kind of awkward, but worth the shirt.

That's all for now. There will be one last post before we leave Korea and then off to Europe for just shy of eight-weeks!