Saturday, January 7, 2012

Not A Game Filled Winter Camp

If you look around on peoples blogs and social media updates, you will find that many ESL teachers in S. Korea have to teach over the winter and summer vacations. You will even see many complaints about it and exaggerations. "What the heck is going on out there?", you will ask. Let me break it down for you.

I can't speak for every teachers situation, but if they are in public school it should be similar to mine. Keep in mind that this particular situation is middle school. I was told to teach a 2 week out of 6 week vacation period Winter camp class. 4 periods in 1 day from 8:30am to noon. (Remember that classes don't normally start on-time.) Not exactly backbreaking work...I also still have 4weeks left to fool around and get to know my city or visit friends or travel!

Many people also create camps that are filled with movies and games. Do they do this the whole 2 weeks? I have no clue, but it sure seems like it the way some people talk. I hadn't planned on that at all. I had planned to have a full lesson all pertaining to vacation. I started with getting to know each other of course and jumped right into dream destinations or sights to see. I hadn't made any paperwork at the time because I didn't want camp to be a total bore.

Well, during the second break of the first day I peeked into the other classrooms to see what was going on. I've never taught a camp for a public school before so I didn't want to be too easy or too hard. I saw many teachers had worksheets and were reading from books. Some teachers had even made the students sit with their desks in a circle. 'Ok,' I thought,'I can totally do this!'

The students cried about wanting to watch movies and play games and I made a rule for them. If they spoke in only English by Friday, I would show a movie. That's right. All English. The first week was rough for them. Some of the students had come from the lower level and some from the higher. All of them were "first" graders though. (U.S. 7th grade) I had to remind them all the time to only speak English all day. It did seem like they enjoyed my slide shows and the little activities I had planned, but I ended up assigning homework because I felt that they didn't speak enough English. 

I know. I am a harsh teacher!! Anyway, they almost cried when I gave them the weekend homework. It was so long hahahaha  Oh well. I was out and enjoyed my New Year! When I came back on Monday all but two students had done the homework and of those three had not really finished because they didn't write complete sentences. We went over it in class and continued the "vacation" learning. I even had them make scrapbooks of their dream vacay. I assigned more homework for that night but didn't want to make anymore demands.

This week was awesome because the students were trying so hard to speak English they were actually yelling at each other when they said simple sentences in Korean. They played the games that I'd assigned and tried to do good on the projects given to them. I was proud of them so I did show a movie on the last day. They had said they were sad that camp was over because it was "funny". They may not know the difference between fun and funny, but I let it go because we laughed  a LOT in there. They found out that I speak more Korean then I let on and they decided to try much harder in English because of it. I don't plan to speak any Korean in the year, but since I had to do the camp alone (which is normal) I used it a little bit. A really little bit just to bring home the point.

Well this was a long post but I hope you can get a feel of what you'll be expected to do in a camp. It's really a free reign as far as I'm concerned. It was fun and I'm glad they had it. I don't feel like it was an unreasonable request because I was hired to be a teacher and so that's what I'm going to do. Teach.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year~~~!

So my friend is still in town until New Year's Day. We had decided to shop around some more on New Year's Eve because she just barely got initiated as a JunKi Junkie. ;p
I also wanted to buy more hot guys for my room. We went back to Myeongdong and I got socks galore. I even found Hangeng socks!!! Excitement~~! We went into the underground mall too and then I figured we should hit up Dongdaemun.  It was great. We found a lot of cute outfits and such. I ended up buying a skirt only, because I'm not supposed to be shoppin' yet. I'm supposed to be paying off my debts first! (Will do a finance post later.)

We ate at the burger king in one of the malls and then looked at some more outdoor stalls. Yet again we were swamped with "FreeeeE HuuuuugS"~~~! It was hilarious. We got love confessions, I'm so happy to meet yous, Please hug me toos, etc. I don't know if I've said this before but those kids give great meaningful hugs! I'll hug them all again next year in the spirit of cheer :D

So we went back to the hostel and changed for what? Duh!! Clubbing~~~~!!!!!

lol We walked around Hongdae looking for a poppin' club. I wasn't sure where to go, but thanks to some facebook friends I knew where NOT to go. We picked one with a fairly long line and waited. It started to snow! It was so cool! I love snow. I was in a cute dress and booties, no stockings, but I wasn't that cold. My coat is amazing. I notice that Asians in general seem to love stockings, but I hate them because they itch and if they snag something that's it. Ruined. 

Needless to say I got a lot of "wow" but I was ok with that. We got to the head of the line and were going to show our passports as ID but they guy just stamped us and told us where to pay. My friend went in front of me and the cashier Kissed her on the cheek!! We were shocked because it was not expected at all! We paid and went inside. Luckily my friend's sense of humor is ok because I know some that would have been mad.

We got inside and had to pay and extra 5,000won for coat check :( I really miss clubbin' in China. They must not drink enough here! (just kidding) So we took our free shot and hit the dance floor. The music was ok, but I could tell they were waiting on the countdown. The place was fairly packed and a lot of people were just standing. I started dancing anyway and my friend joined me. We pushed our way towards the dj booth that was on a stage. People were on the stage doing random motions that I'm guessing they wanted others to follow.

Soon the countdown happened and we were showered with white confetti. Some guy had come over to us and told me to "do this!" *places hand over his mouth* So I did. He kissed my hand and I was crackin' up. I know people do New Year's kisses for good luck, but I never expected that! It was sweet because it was fairly safe ahahaha no diseases for me. We kept dancing and the music got much better. About 2hrs later the dj says something and the crowd is enjoying it. Then the lights on the dance floor go out....

Ummm what kind of? lol I just laughed about it because I've never experienced that before. We kept dancing in the dark and it was really funny because the bar still had light and so every now and then people would see us dancing with someone and go "whoa! Do you see those black girls?!" My friend and I are used to that by now so we enjoyed ourselves overall. Some people took pictures with us, my friend got a lot of kisses on the hand and we left into the New Year.