Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fashion Week

20 Days of living in Gurye remain.

My how time flies. I am currently writing notes to all 120 2nd graders and select 1st and 3rd graders. (1st graders are the devil, I don't teach 3rd grade, but taught them last semester as 2nd graders) I've gotten pretty close to some of the kids, and some of the notes are pretty hard to write; I get pretty sad. I was really surprised. I guess friendship is kind of like just sneaks up on you.

I have 3/5 classes done. Only 2 more! (50 students!)

News flash: I live in a farming community. AKA, the middle of a rice field. Saturday was the first day of rainy season. Result? Monster mosquitos. I've never seen any as big as these. They're, like, Amazonian! Thankfully, the fat suckers are slow. But the bites are painful! I sleep in pants, a long sleeve shirt, socks, gloves and a shirt wrapped around my face. My host mom gave me insect killing spray, so tonight I chased a mosquito around my room, spraying the death-spray all around my room until the thing dropped to smacking height. Needless to say, there is a cloud of poison lingering as I type this.

And the bug-killing-spray trucks make daily rounds in the evening. The residents here like the poison fog. As the truck passes, kids run to play in the fog and the older people go for walks in it. My co-teacher (an older gentleman) said, "Of course. It is a great place for walks because there are no bugs."

of course. duh.

Anyway, here's what I've been doing to contribute to the conversational English growth at Gurye High School. I taught "Fashion" words (such as pants, shirt, suit, leotard, heels, hat, etc.). Students had to then make two outfits: for men and for women.

I did this project with 3/5 2nd grade classes. My first graders don't deserve to have fun. The tall, skinny boy - In-ho - is dressed up as "Lady Gaga." You'll know when you see him. He was so funny. I've never seen any boy so excited to dress up like Lady Gaga.

I'm always amazed how into it they get.

Aren't the cute!? See why it's hard to say goodbye!?

This weekend is the Fulbright ETA final dinner, so I'll be going to Seoul for that. It's the last time we'll all be together. Officially. Wow. Sorry, it's just a little surreal (and painful?) for me.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Oh My, What' you've missed!

I've been very busy and haven't updated in a while. So here's a little summary of everything that's been going on!

City Officials Elections
June 2nd was election day for smaller city positions. Thank god. I can't imagine what it would be like for a major election. Two weeks before the election, I was finishing up a run on a quiet Wednesday morning. Then, suddenly!! "oldies" Korean pop music blaring from the street! It's probably the worst "pop" music I've ever heard. Turns out, the most common method of campaigning in Korea is for (a) the candidate to make a propaganda song and (b) have the song play 13-14 hours per day from speaker-rigged trucks.

Me on a damn music truck.

It was hell on Earth. For 13-14 hours a day these stupid trucks blared terrible, annoying music and blocked roads. Sometimes, two or three different candidates would compete on the same corner, so you had THREE stupid trucks blaring terrible, annoying music at the same time and place.

It's over. And for this, I'm grateful.

My Birthday
It went really well! Thank you everyone who called and sorry for everyone who tried but didn't get hold of me. ><>

Mad for Ads Lesson
I taught ads to my Juniors. I gave them weird inventions to which they had to make an advertisement. (Goodbye, American magazines!) Here were some of the best.

Invention: "Portable Pet Potty"

Invention: Mouth Mask

Saying Goodbye
My time in Gurye/Korea is running out. I'm starting to realize that I'll have to say goodbye to everyone. Oddly enough, I think it'll be especially tough with my 2nd graders (Juniors). This past Wednesday, I was walking with two 2nd graders in the hall when one of them started tearing up and said, "Teacher! I don't want you to go!"

Gosh. Don't make this any harder than it already is.

Salac Waterfalls
This Friday (11 June), I came to school and barely had my computer on before a non-English-speaking teacher said, "KBS [Korean TV NBC] come Gurye! You, Students, TV show!"

Oh boy.

Turns out, the show features off-the-beaten-trail things to do in Korea. And, sure enough, Gurye was next on the list of features. There's a waterfall just outside of Gurye that's a popular swimming place in the summer. So, KBS wanted to film some students playing in the water. Oh. And me.

It was really fun! Here's a short, ROUGH, video summary!

Jeju Half Marathon
Not sure if I mentioned this, but I'm running another half marathon in Korea.... tomorrow. ^^ Sunday (13 June) morning I'll be running 13.1 miles in Jeju (the island off the coast of the mainland) with a few other Fulbright friends. Wish me luck! I'll let you know how it goes!

Anyways, thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!