Health Food!

18 07 2009

Most days, one kid or another’s mom drops off some sort of food for the teachers. Most of the time it’s a sugary sweet treat, but this week somebody cared enough to bring us health food. With vitamins even!

*Non-nutrative food varnish and flavor enhancer may increase risk of heart disease, rectal leakage, and space madness.

*Non-nutrative food varnish and flavor enhancer may increase risk of heart disease, rectal leakage, and space madness.

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Yummy, Teacher!

8 07 2009

Today one of the kids at our school brought in the coolest show and tell ever:

Not just cute, Korean shit cute

Not just cute, Korean shit cute

Later, there was a fire downstairs, but the two incidents do not seem to be related–for now.





The New Kindies

31 05 2009

As requested, here are a couple of pictures of our new kindergarteners. Not so new, I suppose, since we’ve been teaching them for three months now.

Baby class.

Baby Class.

Back row: Sara, Pauline, Rosie, Eric, Daniel. Front row: Alice, Chelsea. With K: Steve Young. Not pictured: Katie.

When they are naughty, they are sent to Baby Class.

When they are naughty, they are sent to Baby Class.

Back row: Steffani, Olivia, Clara, Lina, Grace, Catherine. Front Row: Brian, Jun, Peter, David.





So Now What Do We Get to Panic Over?

28 05 2009

Yesterday was my Open Class (Jake’s was last week), an event where, after several weeks of panic, Korean style, the students’ parents sat in our classes for a total of 40 minutes, watching their children be, well, children.  No matter how hard they try to squeeze it out of them, darnit, it turns out a five year old’s will to party is much stronger.

But my kids were awesome.  They sang their songs, did their dance moves, answered my questions, sat nicely, and no one cried or went crazy.  I am so proud of them (and me!) for doing such a good job.  And they were handsomely rewarded with, what else? 20 cent toys from China that probably broke on their way to the bus.  But I digress….

Today is the final day of Open Classes, and I believe tonight there will be some to much celebrating.  We’ve been on the wagon for so long, I am kinda nervous–like first date nervous–to hang out with Sirs Vodka and Tonic again.  What if they have changed?  What if I have?  What if we don’t have anything to say to each other?  Who am I kidding?

We are officially under three months to go here.  We have decided not to go to China this summer, and just tour around Korea a bit.  We have made a very grown-up decision here (Let the Record Show!!) to save money for the future blahblahblah instead of gallivant about Asia, especially considering that we have already had two fabulous vacations in the last 6 months.  And truly who knows how long it will take us to find gainful employment?  I worry that all the fruits of our sacrifice here will disappear into the ether shortly after our return home.  Any suggestions?

We are going to hike Mt.Fuji before coming home though.  It will be early September, and I hear that it is a night hike with a summit sunrise.  We are so excited.  I am really looking forward to clean air, crisp winds, and views.  I did not realize how ingrained my need for open space was.  We are nestled into a foggy, smoggy valley here, and even on hikes we are lucky to see to the next ridge over, at best.  My mom always said that cloudy days made her claustrophobic, which I totally understand now.

This weekend we will visit a local temple/museum/park with some friends.  I am looking forward to doing something out of the ordinary.  These past two months has been a lot of business on the weekends and not a lot of playing.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and does not spend too much time missing us.





Mangoes

28 04 2009

My kindergarteners are all around 3 years old, and seriously are the cutest things at school, save for Jake.  I have been teaching them the basics, like “May I go to the bathroom?” “May I have some water?” “Please” “Thank you” etc.  This week is basic vocabulary-building with fruit.  So it’s appleappleapplewatermelonwatermelonwatermelonplumplumplum until they get it.  It’s fun and easy and I love to see their excitement regarding strawberries and the like.  But today we got to “Mango” and they didn’t know what it was, so I decided to teach them an alternate pronunciation (Maaahhnn-go!) and a corresponding dance move.  Watch the whole video to see what I mean.





A Breath of Sweet, Grumpless Air

1 04 2009

Save for some minor drama that is currently happening at work, which, (and, except for that one time when we were yelled at by drunken *21-year-olds about God knows what) blissfully does not involve us, the office is humming along smoothly, and dare I say it– happily.  I am not sure if it is because of the impending weather change, the absence of the Pint-Sized Grumpy Koala, the *Ohio State Smirker, and the *Back-Up Rush Drummer Dreamer, or if everyone’s nipping a wee pint at lunch, but….something gloomy and dark has definitely lifted off of the collective spirit of our school and I found myself thinking about wanting to think about maybe possibly skipping merrily to work yesterday.  Just for a second.





Conjunctivitis

26 02 2009

Today was the next to last day with our students before a new session starts and we get a whole new batch of cute little pestilence bearers. After the winter break it seemed as though we had finally acclimated to the revolving door of respiratory infections that go along with elementary education. With the constant cycle of recovering from an old cold while catching a new one, it’s like our bodies reset themselves so that the old 80% became the new 100%. So, in spite of our drippy noses and the occasional bout of coughing, we’ve been working out regularly and feeling pretty good about things. Well enough to even figure out how to do our taxes.

Accustomed to our seeming immunity to illness through constant sickness, we were a little surprised when we woke up this morning and found that someone had been kind enough to wedge itching powder under our eyeballs and then glue our eyelids shut. Following a long, squinty day we managed to keep our eyes open long enough to find our way across the street to a doctor.

Turns out we’ve got a mild case of the old pink eye. Who knows, maybe we can get head lice and ringworm next to close out the complete dirty kid trifecta.

On the plus side? Korean health care continues to impress.