Valentine’s Day Approaches

As a single lady, I don’t really have any reasons to be super excited that Valentine’s Day is coming, but I do love it because holidays are always a fun thing to celebrate in a classroom.

I’m planning on turning Friday into a mini-party–still working out logistics–but I’m going to bake Funfetti cupcakes with pink icing and I want to make these cookies:

Yummy! ¬†ūüėÄ

And maybe some of these too–I could put together some cookie bags like I did for Christmas. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†We’ll see.

I also want to have them make Valentine’s cards for each other as it’s a cultural experience and it’s not something that’s done here.

Valentine’s Day in Korea is when the girls give chocolates/candy to the boys and a month later on March 14, White Day, the guys return the favor. ¬†Apparently there’s also Black Day the following month (April 14) and that’s for the single people.

You’re supposed to go to the restaurants and order jjajjangmyeong, which is a cold, black bean¬†and noodle dish. ¬†You’re then essentially upping your chances to meet other single people in hopes that you won’t be single the next time it rolls around.

My goal with the treats and Valentine’s party is to make a fun party out of it. ¬†I want them to be able to enjoy the holiday in another way. ¬†I like opening their eyes to different things.
For example, a girl was reading a book about apple picking and there were yellow apples in the book and she thought it was funny. ¬†In Korea, we have one type of red apples and SOMETIMES green apples (and the world goes crazy when they are here), but there aren’t any yellow apples. ¬†I explained to the girl that there are yellow apples too and she thought I was joking, but I pulled up an American grocery store on Google and she was amazed by all the apples. ¬†Not just one kind of red…but a lot of red, green and yes, yellow apples.
I try to also include other countries into the mix also. ¬†I don’t want it to be all about America, but also about other places that I’ve experienced. ¬†I like to pass on as many cultural things as possible to open their minds a bit.

With Valentine’s Day, I want them to know that it¬†can be celebrated any way you want, but especially including your firends and family into the mixture. ¬†It’s not¬†only for boyfriends/girlfriends. ¬†I hear so much about being “lonely”/”don’t want to be lonely”/”Aren’t you lonely” from the older people (my age) that it’d be nice to diffuse some of that before it gets going.

Let’s see…oh! ¬†We watched Matilda the past two movie days (Only about 30 minutes each time)–and usually I don’t do two movies in a row because there are so many out there, but they LOVED Matilda, so we continued on a bit more with it. ¬†(One of my girls in the class found the book in our library and I encouraged her to take it home and try it out. ¬†It’s well above her reading level but she loved the movie and she seemed excited to have it, especially knowing that there wasn’t a rush and she wouldn’t have a test over it.
Ah yes, the point…if you’ve seen the movie or read the book you know there’s a horrible principal called Miss Trunchbull, and later in the movie it lets on that she’s superstitious and afraid of spooky/ghosty things.
This lead to a segway about superstition. A massive word for them, but I talked about it anyway. ¬†We talked about good luck and bad luck and what things people are superstitious about in Korea. ¬†They didn’t know the word superstitious in Korean (I translated it, but they don’t know it yet in their language, but they knew bad luck). ¬†We also talked about how superstitions (or things that are bad luck) can be different in each country.
For example, in Korea, the number 4 is considered to be bad luck, as is writing someone’s name in red ink (symbolizes death), ¬†I talked about some that we have in the US (walking under ladders, #13, black cats) and helped them understand why Miss Trunchbull was freaking out when there was a black cat near her in the movie.

Whew.  A bit long-winded tonight.
We had the movie day on Friday, but I made a note to talk with them about it because they seemed confused as to why this big strong lady was afraid of cats. ¬†One boy just thought she didn’t like cats…but it was a good learning experience.

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More on Korean superstitions here, here and here!!
The first link is a good one and talks about ‘fan death’. ¬†ūüėõ

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Anyway, I’m eagerly awaiting for a package from my mom with the two Titanic books that I ordered off Amazon for my Titanic-obsessed student. ¬†I want to see his face when he gets them so bad. ¬†It’s going to be beautiful.

Valentine’s Day is going to be snack-time (cupcakes and cookies–bagged candy can be pricey and I love baking, so baked goods it is!) and they’re going to make Valentine’s for each other¬†and their parents.
We have two hours…so that should be enough time…right?

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. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†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 ūüėÄ ¬†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!