Archive for May, 2010

Last week I accidentally made a lesson for Lesson 5 instead of Lesson 4. I didn’t realize that until I taught my first class. It’s okay. I’ll just cover lesson 4 next time. Looking on the bright side, Lesson 4 looks like it’ll be easier to plan.

So for Lesson 5, I went over the expression “look on the bright side”. I made a PowerPoint presentation with a picture of the “dark side” or bad side and the “bright side” or good side. I gave each group a bad situation and they had to think of the good side of the situation. Some of them were kinda funny!

  • You lost your wallet:
    Look on the bright side. You have no money but your friends have money.
  • Your computer broke:
    Look on the bright side. You can study more and get an A.
    (no more Starcraft !!)
  • You broke up with your girlfriend/boyfriend:
    Look on the bright side. She was crazy.
  • The weather is too hot outside:
    Look on the bright side. You can dry your clothes very well.

I literally laughed out loud at the last one. My students were like, “Teacher, what’s wrong?” and I told them it’s a good answer I just didn’t expect them to be so practical. I was thinking of something like “We can eat a lot of ice cream”. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent answer. Way to look on the bright side!

For my Grade 3 classes I taught them how to set up a time to meet and how to make suggestions. They went around the room making appointments with other students. Then when I called a time they had to find their appointment and ask each other a question. One of the questions was “What kind of hairstyle should I get?” and one of the boys refused to participate. I told him to read the question and he was like “NOO!” like I offended him or something. I asked him “Why?” and he said,

I’m am very, very, very handsome!!! Haircut NO!!

LOL it was just an activity. Poor kid freaked out like I was gonna cut his hair in the middle of class. Anyway, he has a bowl cut and looks like Friar Tuck so I would suggest a more stylish ‘do.

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What is Sports Day? I’m not quite sure. But, most elementary and middle schools have one every year. Classes compete against one another in various games and relays. Each class selects a costume or theme for Sports Day. We had about 3 Superman classes.

Students in class costumes

I walked around and talked to every class and took pictures of students cheering and competing in the sports events.

You better run.. run.. run..

Jump over the stick

Scooter ..?

Run on top of your classmates!

I was asked to participate in the teacher’s run. I didn’t know it was a race and a team relay! So, I actually had to run. Luckily, our team won and we each got a 10,000won gift certificate!

After Sports Day at my school, I went over to Daegu Stadium to watch the IAAF Pre-Championships Meet. Track and Field competition. Daegu is hosting the World Championships next year, so this is a pre-championship competition. The main attraction of the event was none other than Usain Bolt!

Look at him go!

Even faster in person!

100m in 9.86 seconds

Great way to spend the day and start a long weekend!

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This week, the first graders at my school finally got their uniforms! They look so cute and official. Lots of the boys seem to have gotten haircuts too. Too cute!

I’m only teaching Monday and Tuesday this week since Wednesday is dun dun dun SPORTS DAY! I’ll make another post later about Sports Day, since at this point I’m not really sure what it is yet. Wednesday night I’m watching Usain Bolt in action at the Daegu Pre-Championships! Then on Thursday my school is closed (no classes) and Friday it’s Buddha’s birthday. I admit I’m a bit distracted by the fun-filled days to come and I can feel that my students are too. We’ll see how my Grade 3 classes turn out this week!


K.. my first class was terrible. At first I could put up with a little chatter then they just weren’t paying attention and weren’t following directions. That was it! I let them have it. After the bell rang I made them stay put and I asked them,

“What did you learn today?”
They responded with, “Making suggestions, making appointments..”
Then I said, “You have one more thing to learn today… HOW TO BE QUIET B!*#%$!”

I didn’t say that last word though. I made them sit and be quiet for 3 minutes after class. Three minutes isn’t much, but I stared into their souls and watched their mouths for even the slightest movement. I stopped the timer anytime someone made an attempt to talk (or breath). Then one girl dared to count down the last few seconds.. of her life!! Oooh my class nearly died. I gave them another talk about classroom behavior and expectations then I released them so they could have lunch. Now onto the rest of my classes…

My next class was right after lunch. They were more well-behaved maybe because my co-teacher prepped them for my arrival. They tried harder but they were just as distracted as my first class. But, I didn’t have to try as hard to get them to participate since they seemed to be more afraid of me than the last class. Though I did send a few kids to the back of the classroom and had a one-on-one chat with them. They seemed genuinely sorry since I could see them squirm under my gaze. Anytime I said “…BOYS…” they cowered in fear and returned to their seats. Amazing! I didn’t think they would fear me (almost) as much as the Korean teachers or at least anywhere near that.

I'm in awe of my co-teachers

Does this sound too tough on my students? No, I don’t think so. I’m normally very kind and good-natured in class. But, my students already know the consequences when they don’t listen. So, this is our agreement. I only have to glance their way and they know to keep quiet. Makes things much easier to manage when classes are a bit rowdy.

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Lost in Translation

I keep getting random text messages and they’re all in Hangul. Not sure if any of them are relevant or if they’re just spam. I spent all night translating them just to make sure. Google translator-style!



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I have yet to update my Travel and Lesson Plan pages. I’ll get on it sometime this week since I’ll have more free time. I have to write about my Seoul, Busan, Daejeon, Gyeongju, Haeinsa, countryside trips… exhausting.

This past weekend I took an afternoon stroll through Seomun Market with one of my friends. We had noodles at the noodle cart then some pastry snacks some kind of ppang and hotteok yum. We couldn’t find the hotteok stand for the longest time.

Korean slap chop haha

Hotteok! At first I thought people were saying 'hot dog'..

We ended up walking to Dalseong Park, which was just about a 7 minute walk. The park was hilarious. It had some animal exhibits, like zebras, ostriches, tigers, lions, bears, and elephants. But the animals looked so depressed :(. Their exhibits were very sparse and not at all like the animals’ natural habitats. It was pitiful, but we couldn’t help but laugh at how pathetic it was. Other than that, the park is pretty nice and it would be fun to have a picnic there sometime. The churros were also pretty good.

Sad elephant 😦

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I’ve noticed some changes in my life since I became a full-time English teacher:

  • I use simpler vocabulary and shorter sentences. After years of developing my speaking and writing skills, it’s all coming undone by teaching English. Go figure.
  • I use my hands a lot when I talk. I must be great at charades now.
  • My facial expressions are extraordinary. I could compete on a short flags/twirl flags team with these facials!
  • I find chalk dust on myself in random places.
  • I praise people for everything.  You got a new hair cut? Great job!
  • I feel like correcting everyone’s English, which is an annoying trait.
  • School has taken over my life!! I think about it all the time, talk about it all the time, and worry about it all the time.
  • My students are like my kids – sometimes I hate them, but there’s a special feeling in my heart that reminds me they aren’t all that bad.

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California is the freakin best. I love Korea but I miss California :(. Sure there are some things I don’t miss, like earthquakes, the Governator, UC bullshit, LA traffic, gas prices, and brushfire season. But I love being in California and being from California.  Katy Perry’s new single California Gurls reminded me what I’m missing out on – a California summer. I love the freedom of summer, the fun, the sun, and of course celebrating my birthday. I have so many good memories of my California summers. I hope I can have a great summer here in Korea!

My friends back home are already enjoying summer weather. I wish I could be there too. Thanks for rubbing it in, Katy Perry. I don’t even like her music but this song is catchy and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic.

You could travel the world
But nothing comes close
to the golden coast

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