Thursday, March 13, 2014

3-14-14 White Day, Lunchtime Jenga, Old Students Visit

11 AM: Taught two full classes and I'm still standing. Whee! Curse these excellent meds for healing me so fast. :-) My voice sounds fine, but I feel really laggy.

First class was 2nd-graders with H-Sol Teacher, who is a wonderful lady. This is her first teaching position after passing the exam, so I've actually got more classroom experience but she was solid support. I knew most of the boys, so class went okay.,

For 3rd-graders, I ran them through about 3 games that weren't that interesting, but we did okay. Byunghyun and Byungyoon are in that class, so I got to get used to my geniuses being all in the same basket.

Got lollipops from Proposal Heejoon because it's White Day, the day when guys give candy to their sweeties. February 14th is for girls giving chocolate to their guys, and March 14th is the reverse. Today, when the boys ask for chocolate, I've been cracking them up by asking in Korean, "Today's White Day, isn't it? Give me candy!" Minjoon nearly bent double after hearing that.

Talked more with Dohyun, the boy with cerebral palsy in the special needs room. He's very tall, but he's a 1st-grader...though actually, he might be high-school age because Chanyoung is 17 and at a middle school because there's no high school program for him.

Went to school early this morning and was greeted by Sooncheonnie, the sweet kid from last semester. He graduated a month ago, but it feels so much longer!

2 PM: Just saw Wooseok! Wooseok, Wooseok, Wooseok!

I was just thinking about him, too. Thinking about how I never see him anymore, probably because he's in one of those back homerooms on the tip-end of nowhere. But no. In a startling turn of events, Wooseok is in Sam-ban (3), just one room away from my office.

I could shake him for not visiting! I ran across him in the hall and did the usual 'long time, no see' greeting in Korean. I even told him I missed him, which made him dash back into his class to brag, "Sem misses me. ME. Yeah, I said it."

I was thinking about him partially because I think I've found my new Wooseok: Twin-Eungyo. He's hyper and cute and unpredictable, just lacking the extra finesse Wooseok has. Today at lunchtime games, Eungyo laid out on a table and I thumped his back a few times, like he was a drum. Later, he hid behind Jeongmin and kept poking my shoulder (while I watching), still pretending it was Jeongmin doing it.

That's been one real advantage of lunchtime games with Jeongmin--it's grown into Lunchtime Games With Half the Second Grade. Today he picked Jenga, and we played one game before we were joined by a whole throng of other kids. And Jeongmin's laughing and talking with the whole crew, plus getting the favored position of being the only one who can translate what the boys say to me.

Today, one of the jjangs I never taught--Jaeseok--came to hang out. He seemed pleased/shocked that the boys had a foreign teacher playing with them. He has zero English, but usually when he'd ask Jeongmin to translate something for him, I could understand it anyway. Jaeseok reminded me that Yunho used to call me "Juliet," which was a really cute phase in the life of Yunho.

Jaeseok's a good kid to know, I think. Kids kept rolling in and I'd greet them by name--Gyuseong, Moonshik, Kyeongwon, Eungyo, Dongseok, Geonhong, etc. Every time, Jaeseok would ask them, "Eotteokae ara, eotteoke ara?" (How does she know you? How?) The answer was usually class, but not always. Sometimes I just acquire their names.

White Day continues to be lovely. Candy from several teachers, and from students beyond Proposal Heejoon, we can add Jeongmin giving me candy at lunch, with all the teachers watching. O_O I'm beginning to think he has no embarrassment reflex, because that would mortify most kids. (He came back by again later to confirm that I was still healthy--one of the young male teachers told me in Korean, "That student really loves his teacher, doesn't he?")

On the opposite side of the boldness coin, we have sweet little Computer Jongmin, who dashed into my office, stood fidgeting for a second, then dropped a lollipop on my desk before diving for the door. Gosh. So darling.

One more class! Baby 1st-graders. Then the weekend, when I can plan more!

4 PM: Last class went well. Baby 1st-graders leveraged good behavior against the chance to hear me sing "Let It Go". They actually counted the minutes until class was over, so I could sing them out the door. Soooo precious. This bunch was louder than the usual but still grand. My favorite kid of the bunch looks like Sanghwa and acts like Jinseo and is named Jongmin. Wouldn't it figure. I told him that my favorite students tend to be Jongmins.

Computer Jongmin came back by later, to stand by my desk for two minutes and not say anything. I tried to talk to him in Korean, but he was too shy to answer.

All us teachers were given burgers and coke cans for early dinner--I gave my burger to Yeongchang and my cola to Seonwoo. I told Seonwoo it was "because I love you" which made Byeongjo respond "헐"(heol=expression of disbelief/dismay).

Walk-to-School-Minki told me he got downgraded to C-level. Poor beautiful baby. And Deokjae in grade 3 dropped from A-ban to C-ban, if that can be believed. I only like to see the upward mobility. It hurts to watch any other trajectory.

Jooonsung from the special needs room has been so buoyant lately. On 4 separate occasions, I've gone past him skipping down the hall while singing. Today, he snuck in to my B-level class and sat through it, even filling out the "getting to know you" intro sheet. Sweet.


4:50 PM: On the walk home, I was greeted by 3 very enthusiastic high school who had just graduated from our middle school. They were pleased as pie to say hi to me, though Jimin was the only one of them I actually taught, and they were on their way to see the other teachers in the office. I saw one of the biggest boys in our school from last semester visiting JY-Teacher today. The teacher-student relationships are strong here. You go running back to see your old teachers at every opportunity, at least for the first few months it seems.