November 30, 2008

I worked through most of October: the post-Silleuksa YES programs

The 4th Program (our second): Sports Day

From the left: Sue-bin Kim (now a friend of ours), Ms. Park, Me, Jihye (John's co-teacher)

This time at Yeoju English Stars we simply went to a local elementary school and played sports with the kids all day long. I thought it would be lame but I ended up having a ton of fun goofing around with the kids. Not to mention the excellent company - we were with a group of people who had become our friends and also some of our favorite Korean English teachers (including my co-teacher this time!) I'd say the highlight was listening to John and Billy commentate on the final event of the day, a "mission relay" race in which the groups raced each other around a giant "track" completing tasks at each station they encountered. At my station, I made little kids get dizzy and then carry a cup of water and dump it it in a bucket a few yards away. This was not my idea but I kind of wished it had been - the little kids looked like the drunken Korean men I see around all the time. Hahaha! But whenever I was waiting to instruct the kids, I was laughing, too: Billy is ridiculous! He got up on the mike and did not stop talking for the entire relay. Eventually John joined him and it got even funnier. They started asking each other questions like, "Billy, do you think the weather will play a factor in this race?" And Billy answered, "John, that is a great question. I wish I had thought of it. Maybe we can get someone down on the ground to answer that for us....Hey Mya! What's the weather like down there?" Haha....that was the most sense Billy made, I think. The rest was just actually ridiculousness. For example: "I don't know that you could call this a relay, John. It's more of a....a, um, I mean I guess it is a relay."

Earlier we tried to teach the kids how to play American football, with limited success. However, it did give me a chance to bond with one of my students (I think he was the only one from Daeshin in the program). His name is E Ju Ho, but we all know him as T.O., after the professional football player. The kid rocked at the game! He was so good! Now he signs all his papers T.O., which is kind of adorable.

We also had the opportunity to enact a devious plan to give our friend Rob a nickname we had concocted days earlier: Lob the Lobster! The best part about this nickname is that it works at least 2 ways. The first is making fun of the Koreans because they cannot say their r's unless they're supposed to be pronouncing an "l". The second is making fun of Rob because he dropped a game-winning touchdown pass despite having been a tight end on the Bills practice squad. Oh man it was too good: he now has a lobster claw hand gesture to go with his fancy new nickname.

The 1st Annual YES English Festival

Okay, the long and short of this is as follows:

Every single foreign teacher in Yeoju had to come up with an activity to do in a booth they would be given for this festival. The luckier of us 1) were given more than twenty minutes to figure out what we were going to do and 2) didn't have our brilliant ideas shut down by our co-teachers more than twice.

Then, they wanted a performance out of us. Since it was to be held in mid-October, we ordered a bunch of Halloween costumes and put on a fashion show and did some skits. I was a bunny rabbit, and John was Batman.

It ended up being a decent amount of fun, despite the fact that, due to co-teachers with a decidedly "can't do" attitude, my idea of finger-painting devolved into playing word games and John's idea to make slime eventually became a water balloon toss. And, I actually enjoyed hopping across the stage like a big goofball. When John's turn came around, he carried a South African he had just met across the stage. I kid you not, there was a resultant photo opp. with Batman after the show. Haha, ohhh John.

John and one of his pets having fun at his water balloon booth.

Alex and her co-teacher, Sojung.


Me as a bunny, before I made my bunny ears.

The legendary John as Batman. Oooh this lady made me mad. Who does she think she is? Hahaha.

Two of my pets. The first is the infamous T.O. (real name: E Ju Ho), a first grader, and the second is a third-grader, whose name I always forget.

It's the teacher's turn! I taught some other English teachers how to play Halli Galli, which was one of the games at my booth. The Korean sitting on the left is Gwak Juhwan who I've mentioned previously. He teaches at Daeshin High School and has been an invaluable friend to me at work. Next is Marcelle, the South African who teaches English at John's High School, and then on the right there is Wilber (yes, with an "-er") who teaches English at Daeshin High School. If you're wondering about the toilet paper, you should know that often Koreans will carry it around with them. That's because it's not uncommon to find a bathroom with no toilet paper at all, plus they use it instead of tissues.

...And one more for the road!:

The 5th Program: Gyeongbokgung

My group and me outside the throne room.

Gyeongbok Palace is the royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty and it's located right in the heart of Seoul; that is, if Seoul had a heart. There's no real downtown to Seoul. There are just different areas named after notable streets. (oh man, it occurs to me that this is pretty ironic considering Koreans don't use street names - they use landmarks) But the point is, it's this giant palace hanging out in the midst of a metropolis.

To be honest, this program was a bit of bust. We were all busy and tired when we very hurriedly planned it, and then it was raining and freezing cold on the actual day. But the palace was amazing, and I was working with a co-teacher who loves to take pictures so now I have some action shots of John and me teaching. Hooray!

Still in the middle of Seoul.

John, teaching away.

The gate.

The throne room.

The party house.

Outside the palace complex and next to the National Folk Museum of Korea. Cuties!
A screen displayed inside the museum. Beautiful, huh?

Jewelry for your hair.

Dragons and phoenixes....awesome.

Alex on the bus. Also awesome.

And now YES is over until next fall! It's too bad, really - we had fun and made extra money - but it's nice to have our weekends back.


Daddy Beanie said...

Dear Sarah Beanie-
Boy this looks like a really amazing thing you idd, this YES thing. Is his the first time we have seen you with your kids? Wow. It looks real now. In fact, looking at you and John doing the teaching thing is pretty inspiring. What a ride. So, even though it is February and I am looking at October, it is the coolest thing to see you in action. I don't know how you got to be who you are, but it's pretty darned cool. Love you. Dad-Bean.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Beanie,

You guys look like you are having so much fun.

Happy Birthday tomorrow!!!!

I love you lots and miss you.


Jeanne_only said...

hy sarah,

my name is jean,i'm 16 years old

i'm really2 want to go to the korea,i'm falling love with this country

my dream is work and live there,

and i want to be a english teacher there,

but iam indonesian people,
is it possible to me if i being a english teacher in korea?

well,my grammar and my vocabulary still not enough but i will learn

do you have some advice for me?

Sarah said...

Hi Jean,

I'm glad to hear about your interest in teaching in Korea. I think it's a worthy goal and your English is coming along very nicely! Unfortunately, Korea only hires native speakers of English so here may not be your best option for teaching English. You may want to look into teaching English in another foreign country. I hope that's not too disappointing for you!