Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Korean Surprise: Graduation

Last night I was talking to one of my friends and she said "Oh you guys have graduation tomorrow, right?"

It was news to me.  Although, I knew graduation had to be coming up at some point.

This week has been exhausting.  Although it's not technically the school year, everyone has classes this week.  Apparently there are laws that the students have to be in school for a certain amount of time, so they throw in this random week of classes that are ultimately meaningless for the students.

So, you can imagine how fun it is to try to have classes with students who know that it's a waste of time. 

This has been one of the craziest weeks of classes since I've been in Korea.  As I was leaving school last night, one of my classes of boys was literally hanging one of the boys out the window. They were hanging onto his upper body and his legs were dangling out the window--it was quite the distance down. 

So that nearly gave me a heart attack, but I think accurately sums up the kind of energy I've been dealing with in the classroom this week.

When I got into school today my co-teacher told me "Today is the graduation ceremony.  So no classes today."


Although, technically I had a little warning on this one.  But I definitely welcomed this surprise with open arms--especially since today I would have had 5 class, all with the boys.  

Gradation was definitely different than it is in America.  No caps and gowns, for one.  A few speeches and awards were given out, but I think it's definitely not as big of a deal as it is in America.  I didn't teach the 3rd grade students, so I feel like I would have been more sentimental about it if they had been my students.  But mostly it was a long ceremony that I couldn't understand any of.  Soooooo that was that. 

Still, today was great because my supervisor told me that the vice-principal said that next week I don't have to go into school.  I wanted to clarify this to make sure I wasn't misunderstanding, so I asked her what I should do next week.  She told me "Maybe just enjoy outside Korean culture."

No complaints here.  She also told me that the two weeks after I only have to go to school from 2-5:30, and I only will teach one class from 2-3:00.

So, that is awesome, and I'm quite frankly really lucky to have a school that's letting me do that instead of just desk warming for 8 hours a day. I'm pretty lucky. Scratch that.  I'm really lucky.

This job has its stressful moments.  But at the same time, we have it amazingly well as EPIK teachers.  Our jobs aren't THAT hard, especially compared to teaching back home in America. It's going to be tough to get back into a routine when the new school year starts in March, but for now I'd prefer not to think about that :)

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