Saturday, November 22, 2014

An Oboe Recital and Demo Classes

It's my third November in Korea and the weather is getting cooler.  We still haven't dipped below 32 so naturally I find the weather to be really pleasant these days.  I've only used my heat a few times so far.

Suji, the suburb where I live is well known for being home to many affluent families and even some famous celebrities. (Gong Yoo and Juwon, can you believe it?) It's not surprising that many of my student's parents are doctors, lawyers, dentists or the like.  This past week I was invited to a concert by one of my kinder student's moms. She is an accomplished oboist and gave free tickets to everyone at LCI.  So, last Wednesday some of us piled in a car and braved Seoul traffic for an hour and a half to make it to the concert at the Seoul Arts Center in Gangnam.  Gangnam Style!!! The music was beautiful and she played with such emotion. Afterwards we all got a picture together.  Then, the six of us crammed back into one SUV for the ride home. My butt still hurts just thinking about it  >.<

One of my my coworkers who is Korean American had a cough so she watched part of the performance from outside the auditorium.  Now, Jessica Teacher and myself were the only foreigners in the audience.  My coworker overheard other concert-goers saying, "Wow, she must be really famous! Americans even came to the performance~"  I'm glad I could lend my distinguished presence to the event. Hahaha!

The rest of the week was a bit more stressful.  The Korean school year starts in March and parents are  already starting to enroll their children in next year's kinder program.  Unluckily for me, since I've been teaching at LCI the longest, and for Megan, it means we have to do Demo classes.  What is a demo class? Well, I have to teach kids I've never met before who are at various English levels while their parents sit in the back of the room and watch.  Maybe it doesn't sound so bad, but I get so stressed out being the center of attention.  It doesn't help knowing that my performance determines whether or not the kids will come to LCI next year.  (Under Pressure! dun dun dun duh duh dun dun) Some of the kids that come do really well and participate a lot.  Others are completely terrified of being in a classroom or they're completely terrified of me because I'm a foreigner and they've never met a foreigner before.  I know I'm big and tall, but I'm not that scary, I promise!  We usually take the kids to the play gym for a few minutes first so we can have fun together.  Once I crawl around with them in the plastic tubes and go down the slide they warm up to me really fast, though ~ ^^

In anycase, the first demo class is over and there is just one more next week.  Deep breaths and it will be over soon. As Wilson Phillips said so expertly, "Hold on, for one more day."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Halloween! (Long Time No Post)

Hello friends and family!

It's been over two years since I last posted anything here. Oh the shame!

My third Halloween has come and gone at LCI and our school does Halloween really big.  The entire week leading up to Halloween is spirit week complete with crazy hair day, sports day, pajama day, and backwards day.  I rocked crazy hair day with a long and curly fire-engine red wig.  I was surprised how many of my students seemed to think my hair grew a foot and changed color overnight.  My second grade class didn't believe I was wearing a wig until I took it off as proof.

I was busy decorating the classroom all week with my student's artwork, and some of my own, for the classroom decorating contest.  We made masking tape mummies, witches, ghost windsocks and some jack-o-lanterns.  All the time I invested definitely paid off because I won the competition and the kids enjoyed all the decor.  Give me some construction paper, scissors and glue and I'm a happy camper.

The Thursday before Halloween all the teachers stayed late and decorated the entire school for the big party the next day.  The school director bought us lots of pizza and beer for dinner.  Ashley and I were in charge of turning the play gym into a creepy haunted house for the kids.  We blocked out all of the light using big black sheets and black paper.  After the transformation was complete, we ventured through the obstacles we created and got a little scared ourselves.    ^^

Halloween day finally came and I transformed into Minnie Mouse, ears and all.  I think my students enjoyed my costume but kept calling me Mickey Mouse.  For some reason, my students all think Mickey and Minnie Mouse are both called Mickey.  Mystery still unsolved.  In my class I had two Batmans, a Spiderman, a Power Ranger, a blue Ninjago and a witch.  Too cute for words, but getting six little people to pose nicely together for a good picture is nearly impossible.

Ashley and I hid in the haunted house for almost two hours and scared all the students who dared to enter.  I had a lot of fun jumping out from behind a black curtain and yelling, "Boo!" It's really enjoyable to see which kids are brave enough to enter the haunted house and if they can make it all the way through.  There are five boys and just one girl, Hayun, in my kinder class this year.  The boys like to act tough, but when it came time for the Haunted House, Hayun was the only one to fearlessly enter and conquer the darkness.  All the fun came with a price, though.  Ashley and I are now covered in bruises from crawling around in the plastic tubes.  But given the chance I'd do it all again.