Archive for the ‘second grade girls’ Category

Final Friday: Part One

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Club class was cancelled yesterday. I was really sad because I actually really enjoy club class this semester, and all of the students in my club class. Those extra two hours were really beneficial, and with my co-teacher we sat down and figured out exactly which utilities we needed to called and one-by-one checked them off our list and made plans to go pay and cancel each of them on Tuesday. Yesterday the floodgates opened and a deluge of third grade students (8, actually. Hardly a deluge but considering how often they leave their hallway for “superfluous” things, it really was a deluge). In the last two periods, three of my former YDAC girls visited and gave me sweet letters and presents, and we chatted about the future and keeping in touch.

One of my favorite third grade boys who the others call “Gazelle” due to his big eyes and freckles has been visiting me during multiple free break periods, sitting down to chat for ten minutes at a time then running back up to his classroom, then repeating the same process. He started coming to me earlier this year for help with a project he was doing, and now that the project is completed he just enjoys talking to me. He told me that most foreign teachers do their job and do it well, but are not always kind and warm-hearted. The third grade students at CPHS love me because I teach well, but I also care about the students, help them by doing extra work, and always smile. I nearly lost it. At this point two other third grade boys (these students, actually) came in to shake my hand and say goodbye. They looked at Gazelle, shook their heads, and told him not to cry. He told me that he might anyway.

Today I met one of my club class girls – probably my favorite club class student. She’s the one who wrote me this note, and is one of the three second graders in the class. She came in and hovered over my desk and hesitantly asked me if I you knew 미숫가루. I didn’t, so we looked it up on naver dictionaries. 미숫가루 [misutgaru: powder made of mixed grains, roasted and ground grains]. Huh. She then told me to wait a minute, shuffled with something on the ground that I couldn’t see, then ran over to the water cooler. She then came back with a cup full of grain tea. She explained to me how she had made it (two spoonfuls of grain, a spoonful of sugar, water, and a little milk) and nervously watched me drink it. I exclaimed that it was good (because it was) and gave me a 40 gram bag of 미숫가루 that was 국내산 (a Korean-made product), and gave me a sweet letter.

It is not even 9 am. How am I gonna make it through this day?

Em in Asia! 2013-07-10 02:46:29

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Someone told all of the second grade girls that my last day was today. I’ve had hordes of second grade girls run up to me looking anguished while I stop them and explain that no, I will be teaching here until Friday. Goodness graciousness.

Also I received a really nice mini-booklet of notes written by each student that students in class 2.3 compiled for me with my face on it. Unlike 2.9′s cake, I get to savor this one.

rolling paper



Pet Peeves

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

It annoys me when my students complain a lot, which is something they’ve been doing more and more frequently.

Teacher I’m tired!

Teacher, English is too hard!

Teacher, our school is a jail!

Teacher -

I understand that they are frustrated, and this time of year is especially difficult, but complaining never solved anything. Well, you know, except when it does. Squeaky wheel and all that.

In order for my squeaky wheels to get some grease, this week I’ve been teaching a lesson on annoyances and pet peeves, and how to complain in English. Politely. We start by watching a video showing some very annoying things and having students vote on whether or not it’s annoying and telling me why, playing annoyance human bingo (I show 25 pictures, they write them down on a bingo sheet, then they must interview each other to find students who think thing is annoying.) Then finally, I have them write down their annoyances on a piece of paper using three sentence structures:

My pet peeve is _________.

It annoys me when ____________.

It drives me up the wall when ______________.

It’s been really interesting reading their answers. The following are the noteable ones from eight of my ten second grade classes. Interestingly enough, most of the responses listed below are from female students. The female students on average were more interested in playing with the structures and expressing their own annoyances, while the male students were more likely to just use vocabulary we had studied in class. Some of the following are funny, but there are also a few sad complaints.

It drives me up the wall when my friend is annoyed and just express her annoyance though she doesn’t tell me the reason.

My pet peeve is being woken by song in the morning.

It drives me up the wall when I must take care of babies.

It drives me up the wall when someone acts like a fool.

It annoys me when Ethics teacher gives questions to me in class.

It annoys me when I’m soaked with sweat after showering and wearing clothes.

It drives me up the wall when parents inquire my report card.

It drives me up the wall when insects creep my body or my bed.

It drives me up the wall when I see cells picture in biology textbooks.

It annoys me when my leg muscle cramps are sudden.

It drives me up the wall when I stay with someone who are selfish and use abusive language.

It drives me up the wall when I’m constipated.

It annoys me when I watch a show and Father comes and turns the channel to a fishing program.

It annoys me when math questions are not be solved.

It annoys me when I see the person who long time no shower.

It drives me up the wall when he bites my arm. [...what?]

My pet peeve is someone speaks me with nervous tone.

It drives me up the wall when someone sings song very careless.

My pet peeve is bring no spoon when in cafeteria.

It annoys me when my character die in the game

It annoys me when someone play piano at night.

It drives me up the wall when I can’t do what I want.

It drives me up the wall when there are too many tests and too much undone homework.

It drives me up the wall when there is a hair on my bed.

[From the same girl - note, there are frogs that live in the rice paddy right next to the dormitory] My pet peeve is frog. It annoys me when the frogs crying. It drives me up the wall when the frogs appear in front of me.

It annoys me when I smell people’s smell.

It annoys me when people talk to me or treat me when I am concentrating,

My pet peeve is baby hair.

It drives me up the wall when JW show me his middle finger.

It annoys me when I was angried about trivial things. [meta...]

My pet peeve is someone ransack my personal thing.

It drives me up the wall when [people] say [I am a] pig. I’m not pig. Pig is CW.

It drives me up the wall when people make fun of me.

It annoys me when people who lend me the money don’t pay back money.

It annoys me when you say to me a “black” [this comes from a student who has darker skin, and thus is told all the time that he is "black." Based on my experiences, and my friends' experiences (both Korean and foreign) I can say that shadeism issues are rampant in Korean schools.]

It annoys me when people don’t understand me.

My pet peeves are girls who love me.

The First of the Last (Classes)

Monday, December 10th, 2012

This time of year’s always difficult, and it makes me glad that though I’m disorganized in every other aspect of my life, I’m intensely organized when it comes to my class schedule. If I hadn’t been, as there’s two weeks left in the semester, I wouldn’t have realized that this is my last week with most of my second grade classes and I wouldn’t have planned accordingly.

While I will be at CPHS for another 6 months, I won’t teach the second graders anymore. The Korean semester starts in March and ends in December, which means that the F*bright foreign teachers always start and leave halfway through the academic year. While I’m grateful my schedule is the way it is as it allowed me to go straight from university to Korea without a multi-month delay, it can be annoying. The students will graduate and move up a grade, which means that while I have a new incoming batch of first graders to teach, I lose my second graders because they become third graders, high school seniors, and focus on the college entrance exam. It’s sad all around.

For the second graders I did a lesson on yearbooks. Thanks to my lovely parents (<3) I was able to get scanned photos from my high school yearbook and bring in a CPHS yearbook and compare and contrast them.

Senior year picture. The students say that I look younger now. Can you find me? Hint – top left.

We then went over yearbook signing traditions (in Korea there’s a similar thing called “rolling paper,” but that’s separate from yearbooks. The yearbooks are only for graduating seniors) and I taught them some common acronyms like “TTYL,” “LYLAS,” etc. I then had them come up with their own acronyms that they could use to describe their own CP experience. I had made “yearbooks” with their class pictures on B4 paper and printed out one for each student. They then used their own acronyms and the ones that I taught them to sign each other’s “yearbooks.” Here are my favorite acronyms thus far (4/10 classes done):

IS – In Seoul (i.e. after CPHS they’ll all meet in Seoul, where the best universities are)

CID – Chicken in Dormitory

HACKLOT – Have Chicken A Lot

ROC – Rob of Convenience Store (i.e. they buy everything)

WITM – What is Today’s Menu?

DWWU – Don’t Wanna Wake Up

LT – Lunch Terrible

FCTSKY – From CP To SKY (SKY are the three top universities – Seoul, Korea, and Yonsei)

ILSSM – I love 순대 (sunde), 순대 (sunde) loves me (Sunde is a food that CP is famous for… it’s… well, you can look it up.)

TOTE – Turn on the Egg (i.e. the Olleh wifi egg)

LLT – Love Lunch Time

LS3 – Let’s Study/Sing/Sleep

YSC – YS is Coming (YS is Awesome Mr. Kim’s first name, this class’s homeroom teacher)

COW – Chicken Over Wall (The students aren’t allowed to have food delivered, and there’s a fence around school property, so students get chicken delivered to them “over the wall.” Apparently this is a pretty popular phenomenon at most schools, as evidenced by my friend Sam’s more extreme example of rope chicken)

EIS – Everyone in Seoul (similar to IS)

BUIC – Break Up in Christmas

NB – No Boys (remember, this is a super conservative co-ed but gender segregated school)

SOS – Sick of Studying

RTC – Run to Cafeteria

CPH – Chicken Pizza Heungbu (the CP trifecta: Heungbu is the name of our bakery).

These are all from my girls’ classes… I’m excited to see what the boys come up with, but I’m not excited to teach more last classes.

수능 날 갑자기 오고 있고, 슬프다…

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Today’s been full of surprises.

Normally I have first period free on Mondays free, but because of the 수능 (Suneung – the college scholastic aptitude test), we dedicated sixth period entirely to cleaning, and moved our sixth period classes up to first period, which is when students normally have individual study time. I found this out ten minutes before first period, but luckily I had had everything planned, so the only thing that I lost first period was my coffee drinking time.

It’s currently sixth period, and I’ve seen all sorts of strange things. The teachers are having the students clean with a fine-tooth comb. That’s not just an expression – I wouldn’t be surprised if I did see students combing the hedges. Earlier when walking through the second grade hallway I saw half of class 2.5 scrubbing the floor with tiny sponges. They had the sponges pressed under their indoor sandals, and were scrubbing the floor as hard as they could, creating giant soap suds. From where I’m sitting, I can see a student using a broom to clean the cobwebs out of the corners of the ceiling, something that doesn’t normally happen. Another student is taking a bucket of water and sloshing it down the steps of the side entrance to the main building. Students are scrubbing each individual step, then using a broom and dustpan to scoop up the residual water and place it in a second bucket. I wonder if they ever switched the buckets, and if so how long it took anyone to notice.

My first period coffee drinking time isn’t the only thing the 수능 has caused me to lose, I found out today that my lunchtime conversation partners, the three second grade girls I meet and exchange pronunciation tips and expressions with on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, will lose what little precious free time they have left, and starting on Wednesday will have English listening practice during their lunch periods. It doesn’t seem to matter that they have been doing that for the last two semesters, listening to a taped English voice and practicing listening questions is more important. I don’t mean that with any malice, it’s just the truth – when you’re a third grader, most if not all of your extracurricular activities, no matter how beneficial, disappear and you focus on test taking strategies.

I didn’t realize that this would be our last time together, though I anticipated that it would be sometime soon. I got to the abandoned room (labeled as the “special teacher preparation room” – as it’s the same room where I have my teacher’s workshop, and where I met students for YDAC preparation  I think I’m the teacher that’s used this room the most) where I normally meet the students a little early and edited a paper while I waited. I heard the telltale shuffle that precedes my students’ arrival, their haste to get to the classroom just barely outweighed by their concern for safety as they run in ill-fitting sandals and thus quickly move their feet vertically across the floor while barely moving their feet horizontally, and chuckled to myself. A few seconds later they burst in, looked at me, and screwed up their faces in exaggerated anguish.

Hi girls, it’s okay that you’re late, but I have some sad news – I can’t meet you on Friday.

TEACHER SO SAD. Today is our last day.

Wait, why? Today is our last day? I can’t see you on Friday but I can see you on Wednesday.

No no because we are soon 3rd grade, we have listening practice every lunch. So. Today is the last day.

…Oh. Now I’m sad too.

Teacher we want to thank you, because before we talk to you we are very shy students.

Haha no you are not.

Hmm maybe with other teachers no, but with foreign teachers we are shy. It is difficult to speak English. However, you help teach us funny expressions, and you gave us confidence. Now, we are not shy to talk to foreigners, and that is a wonderful thing. We prepared for you a present.

They then gave me the present – a headband, because they notice that I wear headbands a lot (pretty much everyday), and they thought this headband would match my personality and fashion sense well. They also presented me with three letters, one from each girl.

When you read our notes, try not to cry.

I’ll try not to. You must promise to talk to me every time you see me, and email me!

Got it.

That not crying thing? I’m barely keeping it together.

What Makes You Happy?

Friday, July 13th, 2012