Thursday, April 30, 2009

good work!

I forgot to update to mention that 수진 and myself did great on our presentation to the officer from the Province. Actually it wasn't quite as big as I thought it would be, maybe only 12 people watching the lesson. The officer had a lot of good things to say, but I think he was a bit too idealistic. Obviously with only a 50-minute class you are not going to be able to accomplish everything... so some days will focus more on grammar or sentence formation or vocabulary, and some days will have alot of speaking, or writing, etc. But because he only saw one class, he couldn't see the scope of everything I have done. Nonetheless, he really liked the class... especially the video that we made for the class starring myself, 수진, 혜진, and 5 of the students (with 희옌 working the camera). Because we are the only high school with a native teacher in Gimcheon (of 11 or 12 high schools) I think they really wanted to see my lesson to see whether they should consider the effectiveness of a native teacher at the high school level.

I got into a bit of a disagreement with my best Korean friend last night. Today we had a birthday celebration in the morning and then 민채 is monitoring the mid-term exam for students, so we haven't had a chance to talk. I'm always the the type to forget disagreements overnight, so I hope we can make up today.

Yesterday we started mid-term exams. They will last for a week... but the students work very hard all day studying so we are only having about 4 hours of exams each day and then school ends early. After school yesterday about 30 teachers went out to a restaurant near 직지사 and had a great lunch. Then they had a big field out behind the restaurant where we could play a game that was a cross between volleyball and soccer. Yes, you're confused. Let me explain. It is on a volleyball court... with two differences. Firstly, the net is about 3 feet off the ground. Secondly, its on dirt, not sand. Then you use your feet and/or head instead of your hands. Between each hit, the ball can bounce once legally if it is within the boundaries, and your team can have 3 hits, like in volleyball, before you have to send it across the net. There were many other activities to keep everyone happy... such as playing with puppies, picking herbs, playing a traditional gambling game, drinking beer, and talking in the shade.

I've been slacking on posting picutres... so here are some that I have on my work computer:

The photo that all of the teachers took together. On the top row, the 3rd man is 이종식 and the fourth man is 한상철. Both of them co-teach English classes with me. In the 2nd row from the top, the third teacher is 서태오. He took me and some other teachers out to dinner one night, then showed us his miniature airplanes in action and took us back to his house to meet his wife and have tea/fruit. On the far right of that row, the first woman is Ms. 조 the music teacher. She is getting married in three weeks and I'm excited to go to the wedding. On the end is 조경숙. She is a 2nd grade English teacher and has 1 class with me each week.
Third row from the top: the 3rd teacher is 정학영. He is the head of all of the English teachers and picked me up on my first day. At the end of this row there are six women. So, here they are, in order. (1) The health teacher (2) the chemistry teacher 진은겅 (3) 츼예진, one of my best friends here. She is in Japan right now on vacation... in Osaka (4) 신희옌, the biology teacher. Or is she the Chemistry teacher? I can't think today. She's really nice too and I spend alot of time with her (5) my main co-teacher and good friend 배수진. She always helps me when I have problems learning how to live in Korea and is always thinking of ways to help me (6) my best Korean friend 정민채. She always helps me study Korean and is probably the one person here who never tires of speaking English to me. I think even the English teachers sometimes get tired of trying to speak English to me, but she will speak to me for hours, even though she is not an English teacher and has a hard time expressing herself at times.
On the bottom row, the two men in the middle with light pink ties are the vice principal and principal. The first man on the left is the Japanese teacher. He introduced me to his daughter once and was really happy to see her speaking to me in English. I was impressed that his daughter, who is maybe 13 years old, speaks better English than my high school students. The first among the last three teachers in the row is 김명환. He has taken me out to dinner and is always very nice to me. His english is quite good, especially considering at his age it was not taught much in school. Next is 이인민, who co-teaches 12 classes with me each week and instructs me in tennis. Last is 김태슨, the PE teacher. He is good at every sport and is very friendly. He gave me presents to send home to my family (i'll mail them soon) and he took me out to a great dinner once. (Not featured in this photo is the secretary who plays hackeysack with me).

I didn't mention these three in the last photo because I had this photo. We are enjoying the cherry blossom trees behind my school. First is 허민, a math teacher who is a few yeard older than me. Next is 박주원, he also picked me up on my first day and is a 3rd grade (12th grade) English teacher. He is pretty cool and always wants me to introduce him to women. On the right is the statistics teacher 옌구. We sometimes have lunch together and teach each other words in our languages, even though i forget most of them because I don't write them down.

This is the new teachers on the first day. They've all been named in the above photos, so I won't waste my time doing so again. But we all get along well because we are new teachers who started at the same time. Actually, I remember my first day 혜진 was very nice to me and always helping me know what to do and where to go during the ceremony, even though I had never met her before.

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