Busy Busy

Oi vey.  What a busy few days (and days to come!)

Granted, I’ve brought it on myself, well, most of it and thankfully, I actually don’t mind too much.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

Let’s see–oh I’d say that this will probably be a short post because it’s late and yada yada, but let’s be honest here.  That’s rarely ever how it turns out, haha.

I think it started with last weekend, so let’s start there.

Saturday/Sunday–Ultimate Frisbee Halloween Hat Tournament
-Individual players sign up and are put onto teams (doesn’t matter about your skill level–these are for fun)
-3 games Saturday
-2 on Sunday, but we advanced to the semi-finals and eventually to the finals (2014 Champs! Woot! Out of 20 teams as well), so that was a total of 7 games that weekend.
They weren’t necessarily in a row, but spread out throughout the day on Sat and Sunday.  Each game is roughly 50min to an hour.
-I got a Wonder Woman shirt (+cape) off Amazon and that was my costume.  It fits really nicely annnnd I can wear it to our Halloween party at work on Friday!  Hoorah!

Monday
-I had ordered some stuff from Fabletics (who are amazing btw) and it arrived!  Oh happy day!  Granted, they don’t ship here so my mom shipped it over (along with some mac and cheese and some Italian Seasoning)
-workity work
-went to the gym and I tried a new machine that killed my arms (yay!)

Tuesday
-workity work
-So, I have asked my bosses at work twice if I could make CDs for the students that I teach because we’ve done quite a few English songs in the year that I’ve taught the class.  The first time I asked they said no pretty quickly because I want to charge 2,000won ($2) per CD.  I needed to buy quite a few songs from iTunes and I was going to make a lyric booklet so they could follow along if they don’t remember it from class.  So, purchasing the songs plus labor, I thought that was a steal of a price.
However, they said no at first because they didn’t want to charge the parents, even though the CDs are optional (and I did a sample survey before I asked to get an idea on how many kids were interested and I had over half my kids interested).

Anyway, we got the new lady to help with organization/parent contact/seamlessness, etc (I’m fairly sure that I’ve mentioned her?).  She had asked us about two (three?) weeks ago to tell her if we had any questions or suggestions to make the school better, so I brought up the CD again with her and it got approved.  She wanted me to make them for free as well, but I stood firm on my 2,000won and she said it was ok.
She had me write up an email to the parents (to be translated into Korean) to explain what we were doing and she gave it to a few other classes that are roughly the same level as my classes.  40+ cds later…I think it was a hit.
So…that’s going to be my weekend, haha.
I’m still excited about the CDs, but the number of them is a bit daunting.  Apparently we have some blank CDs around the school somewhere that they said I can use, so I plan to do that if they’re available.  I bought a set of 10 tonight anyway because I wanted to make sure everything downloaded properly and also to get a bit of a head-start on the madness.

Oh, also with the cost, I think that the kids will be more appreciative if they have to pay for it rather than just get it for free.

Anyway, so last night I started working on the lyric book that I’ll be printing and putting together at some point in the next few days.  It’s nearly finished now, but I just need to add the last few songs and format it a bit differently.  On the final CD, I have 24 songs.  :D  We’ve done about 85-90% of them in our classes and I put a few extra ones on there.
I’m also going to get some bags and make the packaging really cute so it looks nice when I give them out.

Wednesday (today)
*put laundry in
*made a batch of brownies (stage 1 of the Halloween treats)
*cleaned/put away dishes
*hung laundry to dry
*workity work
*grocery store–bought those CDs I mentioned and some misc food
*made a second batch of brownies
*decorated the first batch into a Graveyard Cake/brownies
*put away laundry and started another load
*cleaned more dishes and decorated the second batch of graveyard brownies
*worked on the lyric book for the CD
*cleaned the kitchen and the floors

Graveyard Brownies

One of the graves is empty because I couldn’t keep my hands away from the chocolate-y goodness.
Oops :D  Good thing is goes with the theme…right?  Right.

Tomorrow
-put away laundry away
-grade tests
-workity work
-trivia night–These are held monthly and I went to my first last month and our team came in last, haha.  We were then able to choose a category for this month’s.  We chose Harry Potter because we wanted to go with something at least one person in the group is very solid on (er…me.)  Another girl wanted to do a vampires in movies category, but we figured it might be too broad of a topic.
Now that it’s tomorrow I’m a weeeeeee bit nervous.  I mean, no pressure or anything, right?  haha.  Maybe I’ll try and look up more trivia questions online before work.  I looked some up a few weeks ago and it really could go either way.  It depends on how obscure the questions are.  If they start asking dates or about that one character who sneezed in book 3, it’s gonna be bad.  If it’s general knowledge, I should be alright, haha.

I also need to make up some sort of routine for my classroom’s activity/dance to Thriller for the party on Friday

Friday
-make sure I have a routine set up for the party today
-bring Graveyard brownies to work
-Halloween Party (which could be a hot mess)–The past parties have been pretty structured and organized, but the new lady, whom I normally think has a lot of good ideas changed the plan this time and it’s a bit chaotic.
Normally, all the students come at their normal classtimes (2-4/4-6/6-8) and we split the kids up and rotate activities every 20 or so minutes.  Each teacher has a different activity and the kids experience everything.  After the last one, we gathered everyone into the largest classroom to have food and drink.  Then dismissal and repeat with the next group of kids.

This time, the new lady said the kids can arrive anytime between 2:30-7pm.  They’re allowed to bring friends, which is normal, and their parents, which is new.  We had a meeting today but we never got an exact amount of time that the kids will be in each room.  Anywhere from 10-30 minutes.  Also, she was saying she was going to have the food at the front desk (with the computers)…so not sure how that’s going to work.
Anyway,we shall seeee.  Should be interesting.

Then she wants all of us to go out for dinner together afterward, so that’s the plan.  Finish the party then head out to eat.

Saturday/Sunday–out of town–A good friend of mine is leaving Korea and is having a get-together at her place.  She’s from South Africa but she ended up meeting someone here, getting married and now they’re moving to the US together (he’s American.)

Anyway, it’s late and my laptop battery is dying.  So, on that note.  Goodnight!

Eric Thomas

This guy was on a running playlist that I love and I finally figured out his name.

Eric Thomas.

I’ve listened to two of his Youtube speeches and I’m so, so in love.

Here’s a good one.
This is a bit long, but it’s worth it.  Put it on when you’re cleaning or something, but just listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjry7sm4rP8

“There are things that come to workers that don’t come to those who just wish.”

“You want what I have but you’re not willing to do what I do.”

Here’s another, shorter bit.  This is the one on my workout playlist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64vXec-pKA4
It’s about a guru and being successful.
Watch.

Halloween Preparations

I thought I was finished but I had a few more things to share, but the other post is getting a bit lengthy, so I’m making another :D

So, Halloween is coming up and I decorated my classroom for it.  The kids helped with the paper chain during their break time over the course of about a week.  They tried racing eachother at opposite ends and it was pretty fun.  They also loved when we stretched it out and they saw how long it was :)

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(Mom–that 3D Vampire you sent me is on the front of the door and the kids love jabbing their fingers in his mouth, haha)

Also, depending on their behavior throughout the week and if all of the work from the week is caught up (and er…how tired I am by the end of the day on Fridays) we’ll watch a movie at the end of class.  They have to do a worksheet with it and write down any English words that they hear as well as answer some questions on the back, so it’s not all fun.  They still love watching movies and this month I’ve been letting them watch kid-friendly Halloween movies.  Our classes are two hours long, and they usually only watch the first 20-30 minutes (depending on time) of the movies, but I think it lets them get the idea, and they write down the name of the movie, so I guess technically they could download it at home.
We’ve watched “Halloweentown“, “Hotel Transylvania” and most recently “Frankenweenie“.  I only was able to show Frankenweenie to my oldest kids (and…it was actually a bit darker than I expected for a kids’ movie) because the other ones were super slow workers this week and we had a lot to get caught up on.  The second class also had major homework issues this week and I was a wee bit irritated with them.
Frankenweenie and Hotel Transylvania are super cute though and I actually want to go back and watch the rest of Frankenweenie because I/we never got to finish it.

Let’s see…we’re also having a Halloween party at school next week.  Halloween isn’t celebrated here but it’s growing in popularity and you’re able to see more costumes and decorations for sale than a few years ago.  Also, most schools and especially the hagwons (after-school academies, which is where I work) put on holiday parties for the kiddies to make it more fun and to expose them to other cultures (and because they’re great advertising for the schools, ha).
At our school, the kids still come in at their usual times but they are lumped into groups and spend 30-40 minute intervals in each teacher’s room.  Each teacher prepares a different activity (to be repeated throughout the day for an unknown amount of students because the kids can bring friends).
I’m planning on teaching them a dance to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’.  I still haven’t decided if I want to teach them the official dance (which I’d need to learn) or just make something else up on my own.  Last year I did more artsy projects with the kids but it’s a lot of work when you don’t know how many kids you’ll have and trying to make sure you have enough supplies/trying to speed up the slow ones and provide some other entertainment for the speedy ones.
My plan is to show them the video and get some Christmas lights or something so we can turn out the lights in the room.  Then learn the dance and do it again and again until they’re exhausted.
I taught my students a routine to ‘Splish Splash’ awhile ago and they loved it.  It got them out of their chairs and it’s a great break from the usual.  They actually requested it on Thursday and we had a spare 10 minutes or so so we busted it out again.  haha :)
I’m also planning on making a graveyard cake because we usually have food as well.  We haven’t had a meeting about the party yet (er…it’s next week) and normally I’d be a bit concerned, but you sort of get used to the whole ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ system that’s in place.  Anyway, I can’t seem to get chocolate cake to turn out properly without boxed cake (maybe it’s me or maybe it’s my electric-style oven) so I’m going to do iced brownies instead.  There isn’t anything like this (ie: seasonal/festive baked goods) so they’re going to freak out.  I kind of wanted to make 3 of them because we have 3 sets of students (2-4, 4-6 and 6-8PM)…is that excessive?  haha.  Ah well…we’ll see how I feel when it gets closer.  I bought a jumbo pack of brownie mix at Costco, so I have the supplies…we shall see.

Allllllso…at my apartment, I have my door decorated like a mummy which was kind of fun.  I’m also thinking about putting a plastic pumpkin full of candy on the door handle on Halloween day/night with a message in Korean about taking some/Happy Halloween, etc.

Anyway, that’s really it for tonight.  I’ll leave you with some pretty fall foliage pictures from around my area.

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Annnnnd goodnight!

Ramblings

Thanks for all the comments :)

I’m not sure if this makes me “old” or not, but I generally really enjoy solitude.  I enjoy my own company and could spend a day or a whole weekend just reading or doing random things like baking or going for a walk around my neighborhood/area.
Living in Korea is in a way like a second college experience, or it can be if that’s what you choose for it to be.  Anyway, I keep busy with Ultimate Frisbee, traveling, brunch, classroom decorating, sightseeing and a bunch of other stuff, but going out drinking seems to be a major way to socialize and…it seems to be more and more often that I’d rather just watch a movie in my pajamas or try out a new recipe than participate like that.
I must have an 80-year-old soul or something, ha.  Or maybe it’s with the cooler temperatures, but I just don’t really like going out drinking anymore.  Now that I have a Kindle (did I mention this?!) and my gym membership, I feel pretty at peace with the world.  I have a few fitness goals that I’m trying to achieve and drinking definitely doesn’t help.

Anyway, just rambling and hoping that I’m not alone, ha.  I’m playing in a Halloween Hat Tournament this weekend and we played 3 games today.  Not sure if it was the three games or the uncharacteristically warm weather this time of year or the combination of the two, but after a shower at home I was wiped out.
I’m at a coffee shop now getting some work done mainly because I had to drag myself out of my house otherwise I’d have been asleep by 8pm (and likely lively and awake at 3am, haha).

Back to the Kindle…I’m so happy I got this thing.  I still have a thing for new books and bookstores, but this is so nice.  I can get books at a tap of a button (er…mildly dangerous…), adjust the lighting, no cramped wrists from holding big books open for hours at a time AND I love the dictionary feature.  I just press the screen over the new word and it gives me a definition right then and there for it.  It also stores the new words and you can quiz yourself later if you so choose.

Also, I joined a gym about…3? weeks ago and it feels so great to be back at it.  I thought I might have some trouble getting into a routine again because it’s getting chilly outside, but so far, so good.  My gym is just the right size and the guys that work there are all really friendly.  They sometimes walk around and give advice or help on form if needed.  I also got a free, spontaneous cardio/bootcamp workout with another lady from one of the trainers. They don’t offer any sort of classes, so that was pretty fun.  One guy speaks some English, or at least tries really hard and I try out some of my broken Korean too.  (Where is the chapter on muscle groups and gym lingo in my Korean book?).  Anyway, it’s a great environment there and will help me through the winter months.  I’m also already in a routine and my body craves exercise if I go without it for a day or two.
My current fitness goals are to:
*tone up my arms/legs and in general get a bit more muscle definition
*do a pull-up (still working on it–I had a bit of a hiatus after I got back from Japan, and I’m back at it now)

I also want to try this out at some point:

It looks intense, but we all know what incredible shape gymnasts are in…
It also makes me tired just watching it, so that must be a good sign that it’s a good workout, haha.
I keep telling myself that it’s only 4 minutes.  You can do almost anything for four minutes.

Hm…ok, I think that’s all for tonight :D

I have some papers I want to grade before tomorrow’s full day of Ultimate games :D

*2 months til Christmas and 56 days til I’m back in America–first time in nearly two years…!!!
Also, last bit of randomness, but this coffee shop has some saxophone music playing and it reminds me of Christmas :)

Ok, bye!

11 Things I Dislike About Korea–Part 2 of 2

I’ve written about my favorite things (here, here and here) about Korea and this is part 2 of 2 in the things that irk, frustrate and really rub me the wrong way about life in South Korea.

Ka-Ja! (Let’s Go!)

7. THERE ARE SO MANY SMOKERS!! (*waves goodbye to her beautiful lungs*)
Self-explanatory, no?
Ok, fine, fine!  A wee bit of an explanation just in case I want one in 50 years when I read through this again.

This plays into #1 and 6 as well.
This is likely also due to the group-think mentality and peer pressure (see #11) that exists here.  I guess they haven’t had the D.A.R.E. program here and “Just Say No!”
Anyway, cigarette butts litter the street (I’m so punny, ha. haha.) and the smell of smoke is in most bars and restaurants.  I think they are working on banning it in public places, but uh…good luck with that.

I wonder if it’d be excessive to hang up one of those dirty lungs posters with “Don’t Smoke” written on it in my classroom.  They’re a bit young, but it’s never to early to start talking about it.  Anyway, that’s enough of an explanation.

Oh, and here.  (My teachers and university professors would kill me for using a Wikipedia as a source, but there you have it.)

Smoking in South Korea is similar to other developed countries in the OECD, with a daily smoking rate of 22.90% in 2012 compared to the OECD average of 21.13%. However, male smoking is among the highest at 40.80% while female smoking among the lowest at 5.20%.[1]

This also plays into #1 and #6 a bit.

8. Racism and Sexism
I believe this is mostly due to Korea being taken over by other countries so many times and a lack of exposure to different people and cultures.

Russian?”
If you come over and someone asks you “Ruh-she-an?”–They’re not asking if you’re from the country of Russia.  They’re asking if you’re a prostitute.  Yes, really.  And yes, I’ve been asked.  You’ll get it more if you have a lighter hair color and a lighter eye color.

*Black/African-American People
Can I admit this here?  But I honestly don’t know what the preferred term is anymore.  I don’t want to offend anyone by saying the wrong thing.

Oi.  Whew.  I hope someone is with me on this because I feel like some stereotypical white girl or some naive person.  Anyway, I just don’t normally run around classifying people by their color, so it can get a bit confusing when I actually have to do it.  (*runs and hides her head in shame*)

So, anyway, racism is still a really big problem here and is fueled in part by their media/TV shows/K-Pop singers.
I work to correct is when I see/hear about it in my classroom and so far, they seem to be catching on that I have a zero-tolerance “hate” policy.
Anyway, there is a particular TV show here called “Running Man” which is a slapstick humor style show and they’ve been criticized a few times for their usage of “black-face” in some of their sketches.  The shows will get a sort of slap on the wrist, but it’ll happen again later and no one seems to make that big of a deal of it except the foreign community.  Anyway, we’re getting there.
Also, I can’t speak for anyone besides myself obviously, but I’ve heard of issues with getting jobs (jobs asking for only white people and turning others away if they are darker than what they expected during the original interview, etc), BUT not everyone is like this.
It’s like this anywhere though…it’s NOT everyone.  I just want to stress that.  It DOES exist, sometimes more blatantly than others, but it’s there.

Just the other day, I was reading a book with my students and one of the characters appeared a bit darker in this particular version (more brown to my eyes) of the book and one of the kids said “Teacher, MONKEY!!”.   The whole class started laughing.  I let them have a short laugh then reeled it in and we had a liiiiiittle chat about it.
We read the same book the next day and not a  word was said and no one laughed at the picture again.

Anyway, I also try and show lots of videos with lots of different sorts of people so they have more exposure, and usually they’re pretty good about it, but it was that particular page that did them in.  I dunno…I guess more talking about different people and as much exposure to different people as I can try and give them.

9. Difficulty to get a decent haircut/Lack of English after so many years of learning it in school (hoooowwww?!?!!)

I’m just confused as to how English can be mandatory in schools from elementary school up through high school WITH major exams in high school that test on English, and yet, no one understands anything.  My main gripe is trying to get a haircut.  Everything else I can be pretty much left alone.
Oh, and I’m trying to get a gym membership and that…just….yeah, doesn’t happen. I’m actually going with a team of friends this weekend and we’re all going to try and push through the language barrier together.  haha.  It’s one of those things that you laugh about after but is incredibly frustrating while it’s happening.

It just reminds me of that ^^, haha  :D

10. ALCOHOLISM/Public drunkenness
Being drunk (or passed out) isn’t illegal here and you can see drunk (and beyond drunk) people (usually old men) stumbling around on most nights of the week.  These ajosshis (middle-aged men) go out for drinks with their bosses and co-workers after work and drink as a form of bonding.

The main issue (or one of many issues) I have with this is that people drink way past their limits because it’s part of the work culture.  It’s seen as incredibly rude to decline a drink (foreigners can get away with breaking this rule), but if your boss offers you a drink…you take it.  The seniors/bosses typically call the shots…and if you have an alcoholic boss…well, I hope you like the taste of your own vomit, or that you learn how to quickly hold your alcohol.

Anyway, again, drinking here is seen as a form of bonding and it’s done like this in social groups as well.   Not just with your co-workers.  (Yes, co-workers go out and get drunk together.  Yes, really.)

This also means that on a Sunday morning (or any morning if you’re up early enough), definitely watch your step.  Seeing vomit on the street is not unheard of.
Maybe that’s the *real* reason that people take off their shoes before entering a Korean (or Japanese) home.

I’m not against drinking or having a good time, I just don’t agree with pressuring people into drinking past their limits.  I also think that people should know their limits and respect them.  Basically, know when to call it a night.
If that makes me a party pooper, then so be it.

Here are a few videos for your viewing pleasure:
http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/how-to-drink-in-korea-in-seven-easy-steps/

Korean Drinking Games:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f7d5VRhLls

Blacked Out Dudes and Dudettes:
Black Out Korea

11. Peer Pressure/Group-think/Hierarchies in the Workplace

I honestly don’t feel like going too much into this, sorry.  It just seems like something that comes up enough in the news as is, but I just wanted to point out its affects on the public drunkenness, smoking, lack of family time/work stress, etc.

I don’t deal with this personally, I just have seen it in action, so I also don’t feel qualified to talk too much about it.  If you’re working for a larger corporation, you’ll get t experience it, but since I don’t, I’m just going to leave it at that.

12. Toilet paper/Soap/Dryers/Paper Towels in the Trashcans in the Restrooms!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQAsZaDYJs0

This goes along with the “messy/dirty” categories from earlier.  Watch the video first and then come back.

Ok, so that’s a pretty standard bathroom in Korea, except the toilet paper in the trashcans can get piled pretty high and sometimes even onto the floor.  Not sure who cleans it or WHEN, but it’s definitely one of my least favorite parts of Korea.  Leaky toilets plus tissue everywhere is not a pretty picture.   And yes, I also put mine in the toilet.  2+ years later and I have yet to have any sort of toilet issues, even in my own apartment.

Toilets in public places are often in the hallways between the different shops, so a floor of businesses can share one set of restrooms.  They often have some sort of key or doorcode combination that you’d get from the coffee shop/restaurant/etc that you’re visiting.

Most bigger restaurants will have their own restroom, which is usually cleaner.

ALSO, soap is usually bar soap on a stick or it’s sitting in a little dish…that is if it’s in the bathroom at all.  Combined with the fact that the majority of restrooms DO NOT have dryers of any sort nor do they have warm water.  Granted, some coffee shops and chain restaurants will have their own bathrooms that are modern, but most other bathrooms do not.
Example: my last school (hagwon) only had a cold water tap, with no soap or paper towels.  My current school has a cold water tap (also functions as a tall mop sink–mens bathroom has a regular sink but also only cold water).  We sometimes have soap on hand and never have paper towels.

So…picture this, you’re in a building (lacking insulation as well, per the norm) and ready to wash your hands in the frigid water without soap or any sort of warm dryer (or towels). Do you or do you not wash your hands?  Not judging, just posing a question.

Big News in the Life of Me

Ladies and Gentlemen…I have wifi in my apartment for the first time in my life.

Ok, so maybe not that big of news…but still pretty fantabulous.

In my apartments prior to this one (in the US), I’ve had a desktop computer (from 2005-2012ish) and then I got my laptop for when I moved overseas.  I have had internet but never got the wifi setup.  I thought it involved calling the internet guys to come back out and set something up, which would be more of a hassle than just dealing with the cords.  (Wifi/internet guys aren’t included in my Korean 1 textbook).  heh.

Apparently, wifi routers are plug and play/use here (directions and setup are all in Korean though).  Anyway, I had a bit of difficulty with one of the steps because it kept asking me for a password that I didn’t have.  I tried about 15 combinations and messaged one of the guys from the Korea (Expat) MacPC guys’ group on Facebook and one guy got me sorted with all the Korean menus.  Annnnd here we are!

Two main things I’m excited about:
1. NO CORD THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF MY BEDROOM…seriously.  I could do a jig I’m so happy.  The guy who set up my internet originally had the internet cord right next to my desk and then he moved it into the kitchen (two room apartment).  The problem with that was that the cord wasn’t long enough to reach to my desk without cutting straight through my bedroom.
I got used to it, but it was one of those things that sort of rubbed me the wrong way each time I looked at it…for about a year.  So…it’s gone and the cords are all nicely tucked away and I’m not at risk for tripping anymore.  More dance space, too!  Hoorah!

2.  Being able to look at recipes on my computer…in the kitchen.  :D  Hellllllloooooo baking with ease!

Anyway…what a happy end to my night :D  I’m beyond thrilled to have that sorted finally.

Let’s see, also I wanted to do a mini work update/vent (not a real vent, just talking out loud).
So, I’m one of two teachers that do my curriculum at my school and they’ve asked the both of us twice to make sure our schedules are the same.  The first time we saw that we did the same things and trimmed some things out to make it more cohesive.  The second time they said to make sure our schedules are EXACTLY the same.  Yes, exactly.
So, we planned out an hour-by-hour weekly schedule and made sure we do the same activities on the same days.
We gave that to the newer lady that asked for it.  She was brought in to help our directors/school/parents get more organized and on the same page.
Then, I just heard today that our director is going to come to both of us again asking for us to make our classes the same.  I’m getting a wee bit annoyed because I’m not sure how much more our classes can be the same.  We use the same books and workbooks.  The only things that would be different are the way that we teach the material and we use different grammar worksheets.  Aside from that, it’s pretty much a copy.

So, I understand wanting to make the classes the same or similar because there are siblings in each of the different classes and parents want to make sure they are getting the same thing.  I get that.  I’m just getting annoyed with them asking for us to “make it the same” again and again.  I’d rather them be more direct if there is something we’re not doing that they would like us to be doing.
I also do not want to make my class a mirror copy of someone else’s class.  I make my grammar worksheets based on my own student’s needs and what I see that my students have problems with.  As does he.  I’m not going to be doing my students any favors if I just blindly follow a syllabus and don’t address the needs that they have.  Everything is nearly the same except for the things that we’re able to personalize.  Sometimes it’s nice to just let the class flow in a certain direction if the students are enjoying a particular topic and it’s more enjoyable for me if the class has more freedom, but ah well.
Anyway, the classes are pretty much the exact same except for teaching styles and some worksheet differences (teacher preferences).  I dunno.  Just wanted to get that out so it feels like someone is listening.

I also really want to make music CDs for my kids with the 10 or so songs that we’ve done in class so they can listen to them at home.  Howeveerrrr, with this same class thing, I don’t think I’ll be doing it because I don’t want to force the other teacher to do it as well.
That also means no caramel apples, no special candy or treats when they do really well.  OI.

Oh!!  Also, more photos from the Daejeombie Runpocalpse 5K were released!
Our photographer was Phil from Phil Photography (www.philwphotography.com)
I’m madly in love with these photos!!

zombie1 zombie2 zombie3 zombie4

I also (man, I need a thesaurus…my teachers would rip this blog apart, haha) made a Powerpoint to show my kiddos about Halloween.
HALLOWEEN ppt

Feel free to check it out :D
I shared it with the other teachers at our school (3 others) so we can keep the…sameness.

Bye!

A Day in the Life of an ESL Hagwon (Private Academy) Teacher

I found this post and loved it, although her life seems a bit more…put together and structured than mine.  I thought it would be fun to write down how a “typical” day goes.

9:30 AM: My alarm goes off and I got out of bed.  I popped some oatmeal in the microwave and checked my email and Facebook.  I had some water, oatmeal and an apple and perused some new books on my Kindle.

10:15 AM: I got ready for work and went to an art store to pick up some white paper for my Halloween door (see the previous post).  (I use this time as my time for errands/work prep/laundry/cleaning/etc.)

11:30 AM: I returned home and started working on my door decor.  I cleaned up my apartment and finished the door.

12:30 PM: I made lunch for myself–spaghetti with leftover cooked chicken from last night.

1:10 PM: I put some apples, oranges, peanut butter and caramel in a bag and left for work–about a 10-15 minute walk.  I had a bag of about 8 oranges and things seem to mold very quickly around here, so I bring snacks in for my kiddos.  I also told my kiddos that they could try out apples with peanut butter and caramel yesterday.

1:20 PM:  I arrive at work, turn on the lights, unload all of my bags and turn on my computer.  (I write the date, the daily schedule and get things set up for the next day before I leave at night).

1:30 PM:  Organized the snacks, drew little pumpkin faces on the orange skin to surprise the kids and started working on correcting some student journals (Kids arrive around 1:50…usually…)  I also fill up my water bottle and get in a quick trip to the bathroom.  (I try to have as many of my materials pre-prepped before the day starts, so my mornings are usually pretty smooth.)

1:40 PM–Greet one of my students and chat to her a bit; grade journals; double check that I printed enough copies for today

1:50 PM–Students start to arrive and I remind them to get water, get out their homework and go to the bathroom.  I write the homework on the board.

2:00 PM–I close the door, remind students that it’s now class-time and to take out their homework. The students put their homework (English notebook and homework folder) on their desk and I check both and make sure they’re keeping their stuff organized.  Each kid takes home two reading books from their level home each night and they record it in their “Book Log” at the start of class.

2:15 PM: Reading time comes to a close and students use one of the four tablets in the room to take a reading test over one of their books.  They can do this by themselves, so I finish checking homework and take attendance.  I bring the attendance log to the front desk (conveniently right outside my door–small school).  I double-check the students test score (typically 3-5 questions) and write it down in their log.  Depending on their score (I take the general flow of the scores into account), I’ll bump them up a reading level, keep them at the same one or drop them down by one.  If they generally do well and bombed this particular test, I might have them take the books home again.
When students finished their book test (and got new reading books from the shelf and copied their homework), I gave them the next assignment for today which was multiple choice and matching grammar worksheet.  (Tuesday/Wednesday work)

2:30 PM: The stragglers are usually all here by now and I try to have all the testing/homework corrections and checking/etc all finished by this time.  I check that the students have copied the homework (again, all routine so they’re pretty good at this now).  If we get a new kid, I partner them up with someone else for about a week (or two…) until they learn the routine and feel comfortable.

2:30-2:50 PM: Everyone is working on their grammar and I check through it when they finish.  I use a different colored pen each time I check it.  I make the grammar sheets myself and try to put things that I know they have trouble with or things that I see they have issues with when they write in their diary/journal.

2:50-2:55 PM–5 minute break (not usually for me, unless I’m super quick)
They can have a small snack, work on the puzzle (I got a cheap one from the dollar store so they don’t run amok in the room) or work on a Halloween paper chain that I started up.  They can also finish copying homework and chat with their friends in Korean.  I remind them to use the  bathroom and get water.  (We have a bathroom pass so there’s only one out at a time).
Sometimes I’ll put a funny video or an English TV show clip on via Youtube and the Smartboard (Lucky us!)

3 PM (ish): Put away all of their class folders, pencils, etc.  We read our class book together with “Popcorn Reading”–the students say “Pop!” and pick who will read next.  We started this particular book already so it goes a bit faster today.

3:10-3:30PM–Work on parts of the workbook together

3:30-3:45 PM–They finish the workbook by themselves

3:45-3:50 PM–Cleanup: straighten the bookshelves, put away pencils, class folders (“yellow folders”) and I call them to the door to line up (based on how good they were today) and dismiss around 3:55.

The next class is lined up outside the door and they come in after the first class leaves.

Class 2 starts at 4PM

4-4:30 PM: Same as the first class

4:30-5:05 PM–Read their class reading book and start on their workbook (which is longer and more difficult)

5:05-5:10 PM–Break

5:15-5:45 PM–We finished the workbook for today(not all the way finished–on purpose because I have some kids that are MWF and I don’t want them to be too far behind tomorrow) and then did the grammar worksheet.  The 4PM and 6PM class have a longer worksheet than the first class (except two kids in the first class who are *nearly* strong enough to handle it, so I give the difficult one to them as a challenge).

5:45-6PM–Cleanup, Line-up and the last class comes in

I had two stragglers today and T/TH is a really small class so they got started around 6:10.  I chatted with the first kids as they got their stuff out.

6-6:20 PM (faster…usually)–These kids are older and my most advance (*my* most advanced, not *the* most advanced)
Book tests were finished then we popcorn read their book til about 6:55 then break.

7-7:15 PM–Worked on their workbook–We didn’t do a whole lot in it today because of the whole MWF//T/TH thing and missing students.  Gave them their grammar worksheet and they worked on it til 7:50 (nearly finished)

7:45-7:50 PM: Cleanup: straighten tables, desks, folders and the bookshelf (etc…) and dismiss around 7:55

Sometimes they help write tomorrow’s date on the board and change out the “Today is ______”/ “Tomorrow will be _________” velcro strips but we were running out of time, so we skipped it today.

I tidied up the room (cleaned the desks, straightened the bookshelf again), cleaned off my desk and shut off my computer.
I left around 8:10PM and came home to make dinner.

9:00-10:30 PM–Made a Powerpoint on Halloween traditions for Friday’s class, checked my email, looked at new pictures from the photographer for the Zombie Race, researched teaching certifications

11-12:15 AM (now)–Working on the blog then I’ll clean up from dinner, feed my hamster and get ready for bed

I usually work out in the evenings after dinner (around 10), but I wanted to get this Powerpoint finished.

With my classes, they’re roughly on a similar schedule:
Mondays:
New Vocab
Tuesday:
Grammar + New Book 1 + start on the workbook
Wednesday:
Wrap-up stuff from Tuesday + Book 1 + Workbook
Thursday:
Read Book 2 + Workbook
Friday:
Spelling Game and Tests + Finish Workbooks + Journaling/Movie/Wrap-up

Oh and the kids really liked the apple and PB//apple and caramel combos! :D  I have a “you must try a bite” rule when I bring stuff in.  I say it’s ok if they hate it, but I want them to try it.  They gave me concerned looks when I spooned the peanut butter and the caramel blobs onto their plate, but nearly everyone finished.
I only had enough apples for the first class (which is who I promised it to), but they were a big hit, so I’m going to get more apples for the later classes too.

Annnnd good night!