Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bring Your Friends to Work Day

Hello everyone! It's been a while, but I promise I am alive and well.  I was super busy the past two weeks as my friends Megan and Nate were visiting.  Sadly, they are back home now, but I suppose that means I can finally catch you all up on what I've been up to recently.  I'll try to give you the highlights, the first of which was definitely my own personal "bring your friends to work day".

One of the things I knew I wanted Megan and Nate to do while they were in Korea was to come to school with me.  Regardless of what I do on the weekends, the majority of my time in Korea is spent at school.  My experience at school has without doubt defined my time in Korea, so in order for Megan and Nate to really get a glimpse of my life, I wanted them to spend a day at school with me.

I knew that there presence would cause quite the commotion, and man, did they ever! Seeing the students cheer and freak out over them reminded me of the reaction I got when I first arrived.  Don't get me wrong, I am still treated pretty well by my students, but my rock star status has worn away a bit over the past nine months.

Thursdays are my busy days, but also my most energetic classes, so it was the perfect day for Megan and Nate to meet my most interesting classes.  When we arrived at school we sat with my principal, vice-principal, and my co-teacher in the principal's office while we were served tea. This also reminded me of when I first arrived because it was the exact same thing I had to do when I first arrived at my school....only this time I got to watch other people deal with the awkwardness.

After that it was off to class, and the first class Megan and Nate met was my craziest second grade boys.  I think it was a good way for them to jump right in. After the energetic experience with the boys, it was time for a calmer class of sweet first grade girls.

 After that, we were off to cooking class.  Yes, cooking class.  There was a special guest lecturer coming in to the home economics class that day, so my vice-principal insisted that we go join the experience with the first grade boys.  Apparently they didn't want us to see the food until it was finished cooking, but we did get to go down for the most important part (eating).  It was fun to see the first grade boys, but also kind of funny...Megan and Nate came from the other side of the world to come to a Korean high school...only to eat spaghetti and garlic bread. Go figure.

My SUPER energetic 2-3 class.  I love starting Thursday mornings with them.

My 1-5 girls.  Love them!

However, this Italian food was apparently only a snack, because after that we went to lunch in the school cafeteria. I think this would be the point at which Megan and Nate realized that Koreans eat A LOT.  Oh, and I should mention they also had been served with plates of snacks before the whole Italian food thing.  No one can say Koreans don't know how to be hospitable!

After lunch it was onto the second grade girls, then two more first grade girl classes.  I'm pretty sure we were all exhausted by the end of the day, but it certainly was entertaining the whole way through.  I loved seeing my students so excited about meeting my friends, and I loved seeing my friends enjoy (or at least be amazed by) their celebrity status.
1-6 girls.  So cute!

My awesomely energetic 2-5 girls.  Love this class!

Although school seems so normal to me now, seeing my friends experience everything for the first time brought me right back to when I first arrived in August.  As I'm coming to the end of my contract, it was a great reminder of just how far I've come in a year, especially in terms of knowing my students.  I could have predicted all of the questions my students asked, and the same students who were way too shy to utter a word to my friends are the same students who now talk to me on a regular basis.  I guess I hadn't fully realized how comfortable my students are with me now, or just how much I know their personalities until I got a reminder of how it all began nine months ago.

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