Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Surprise, Surprise

This morning, I walked up to the school and saw some of the kids dressed in highlighter-yellow jackets. There was a huge, 2-story firetruck behind them. I stopped and stared. A fire safety demonstration?  Why were these kids so lucky as to get to go into the truck, climb up to a top balcony, and rope down the side, landing on thick safety mats?  All I remember from my childhood fire safety demos is visiting the station and watching the guys drive the truck around, stop somewhere far away, and spray high-pressured water in the field nearby. "You can try it," my mentor teacher told me.  I politely declined. Don't ask me why. I don't know if I'm really not interested, or if I'm just upset and the unfairness. Either way, the truck's gone by now. When the 1st graders came back to the classroom, one of them acted out what happened inside the truck. Something about it being really dark inside, and looking around, and finding a direction to walk in. At this point of the charades story, he was dogpiled by two other classmates, and I couldn't hear the rest of it.

Work at school's getting a little bit trickier... for reasons I didn't expect.

Last Thursday was Sports Day at school. I found out late, that I'd be participating in it. I'd be running in a relay race. Oh, really? When? Well, I got most of my information from other students. I'd be partnered with 6th grader?  Ok.... So, in the end, I participated in this race, though I didn't really understand how the race was orchestrated. I didn't understand who won or lost, just took the baton and ran when it was my turn. Don't get me wrong, it was really fun. I'm glad I got to participate. I even got some compliments from some 6th graders after the race. Still, I'd have liked to known what was going on so I could enjoy the race better. I'd tried so many times to get info from the others, but no luck. Let's just mark this down as another one of those "don't ask questions, just do it" moments.

And yet again, I am discovering that the students have to learn and perform English pop songs for some sort of special day in the near future. My mentor teacher told me a bit about it. A few bits of important information here and there. "Actually, you have to do this, but I will help you."  ... I was asked to come up with a list of pop songs for grades 1-2 and 3-6 to learn. Songs with dances were best. I had a day and night to pick the songs, so the next day I came to school with a decent list of songs. Turns out none of them were good. Well, honestly, I thought SOME  of them were good. Not "too fast," or "complicated," like she said they were. She ended up picking a song she knew. The kids don't like it, but I think they won't have a problem learning it. This story is still ongoing. Today, I picked "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" for the 1-2 graders. She OK'd the choice, but I'll have to come up with a dance for it. Well...I hope I can come up with something good, and worthy.

Oh, and so I think all of my classes, from now until the performance day, will be used to practice the song and dance routines. Does that mean I have to make a lesson plan for October...?  I'm looking forward to this upcoming Chuseok holiday. Hopefully it will give me some time to think.

One final thing to mention. The evening of Sports Day, I said my goodbyes to the teachers and got ready to head the bus stop. My mentor teacher stopped me and told me I had to stay. She and the other teachers would first have a meeting, and then we'd all go have dinner together. Ok, I thought. I went to the gym-a-torium to play on the piano while they had their meeting. After awhile, I saw my mentor teacher walking out of the other building, heading to her car. Oh, I thought, maybe she's pulling her car around. I'd better get going. In the time it took me to walk down the stairs into the courtyard, she had driven away towards the restaurant with some other teachers. I called her phone. "Oh! Shannon, what happened to you?"  "I'm here at the school. Did you forget about me?"

Before making this phone call, the kindergarten teacher spotted me and told me to wait for her. She'd drive me to the restaurant. I relayed this info to my mentor teacher, and headed to the restaurant with the kindy teachers instead. After dinner, all the teachers were gathered out front (like usual), laughing and chatting and discussing what they'd do after dinner. My mentor teacher was one of the few who didn't drink during dinner, yet she somehow disappeared. I thought she'd walked off with the first group of teachers who were heading to the noraebang, so I headed over with the second group. When I arrived and saw she wasn't there, I realized she'd forgotten me again. The next day at school, she asked me how I'd gotten home. I told her the other teachers had kindly helped me get a taxi. She explained something about being tired and going to pick up her husband before heading home. End of conversation, literally. No apology. Well, I'm not sure how to take that.....

It's lunch time so I have to stop writing. TTYL

'Til next time,

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