I lasted almost two full years but it appears that I’ve now almost completely fallen off the blog bandwagon. My apologies. I’ve been super busy studying for the GRE, running 10k’s, and planning and plotting. I have photographic proof for those that don’t believe me about the running thing. If I wasn’t the one doing it, I wouldn’t believe me either.
Last weekend was rough. I signed up for a 7k leisure walk with the Daejeon Walking Federation Saturday night. It was a nice walk by the river with a few friends and a few hundred Koreans. I did this with the goal of “loosening my muscles” for the 10k race the next day. It was a great time until I had to wake up at 5am, still having shooting pains in my feet from the night before. This was not my best idea but I survived. As I always do. I need to buy new shoes.
I love my job. I’ve always liked my job, but I full on love it now. My students are hysterical. We have been having so much fun in my classes and (I really, really hope) they are learning a tremendous amount as well. The instability of my schedule from my first year has leveled out substantially in the last 6 months so I’ve been able to build much stronger relationships with each of my 18 classes. Each class is super productive now and I can really only attribute that to having a more stable schedule with them. We see each other the same time, every week, every month. Before it was changing weekly, often daily. It’s hard to force routines when you are surrounded by chaos. I’m also teaching TOEFL now which is really enjoyable. There is actual substance to our lessons now. I almost feel like a real teacher now, not the “foreigner hired for entertainment.” Not in that my job requires the same effort as a real teaching job would because it doesn’t. More in that I actually feel like I am inspiring these kids to do better and reach farther. I can see the change in so many of them and that’s exceptionally cool.
How do I inspire my students, you ask? I try to be creative and different for each class...
Like hanging their stuffed toy by his tail. This is a full-blown crisis situation when you’re 11 years old.
You don’t grow up as a youngest sibling without learning a thing or two about the art of pestering people to get your way. I pretended that I was going to shoot it across the room bungee style but didn’t actually do it, of course. That would have just been mean. I’m funny, not mean.
I’m sometimes amazed that anyone trusts me with their children. Seriously.
Tonight, in my only movie class of the week, I let my young ones watch E.T. It was surreal to watch a room full of children from a completely different generation and culture be just as engrossed in this movie as I was when I was their age. They even caught a few of the jokes that I know I never understood as a child. And they loved all the sarcasm. I was surprised at how much of it they picked up on. It was really, really cool. This movie was such a huge part of my childhood (even had the stuffed E.T. doll) that sharing it with them and seeing them appreciate it in the same way I once did, was really awesome.
I’m done here for now. Have to get back to grading books. I promise to be a better blogger. Tomorrow I am going on a whirlwind trip to Jeju, the island pride and joy of Korea. I’ll have lots to write about then.