My schedule usually goes like this:
I wake up at 6:30-7:00, get on the Internet to quickly check email, facebook, watch a quick 20 minute show, maybe lay down for another 15 minutes. Then by 7:30, I hop into the shower and freshen up so Ryan can use the bathroom by 7:45. By 8:10 at the very latest, we are out the door to grab some coffee and take the bus to school. 9:30, we are at school printing out worksheets that we've planned/made up. Then the schedule for classes follows:
9:50- 2:10 Ryan and I co-teach 5-6 year olds. (All of them know more than US kids their age-- I see where my mom got off whipping me into shape at 4 years old...)
2:15-4:05 I teach about five to six 7-10 year olds on M/W/F, and then I teach one girl who is around 8-9 years old T/TH.
4:10- 6:00 I teach a 6th grader who is around 12-13 years old on M/W/F, then three 7-9 year olds T/TH.
My hardest classes are with, believe it or not, the five kids that are 7-10 and the three 7-9 year olds. They are all great kids, but they are kind of hard to control. I've got a better handle on them now that it is the second week, but it still is very tiring. I can understand how children can tune out a teacher without feeling bad when they don't understand a second language too well. Some kids are also on the brink of being a teenager so they give me attitude. Strangely, the whole blackmailing of taking away points still works on them.
In my 4:10-6:00 class with the 3 kids, one girl hates studying and ends up coming to my class and crying for a good hour and a half. She doesn't like trying at all. I'll tell her it's time for apractice test, and after about the 2nd word, she ends up crying waterfalls because I won't let her cheat off her friend and she refuses to try using her own brain. It can be very frustrating for me. On Thursday, I gave her a practice test and the exact same thing happened. Then I told her if she practiced with me on the board, she could get 100% on her real test with me in the next hour. Her friend (who always gets 90-100) would try and snatch a marker out of my hand so she could take away points from the only boy in the class while I'm not looking or to write the correct spelling on the board for the girl to see and cheat off of. I had to sternly tell her no and that if she wanted to see her friend cry again, it would be because she wasn't learning the words on her own. It didn't seem to get through to her and taking away points didn't bother her. I had to end up scolding her. :/ By the time the girl I was practicing with had finally gotten a hang of her spelling words, we took the test and it resulted in her crying all over again. Ahhh! I did all I could-- even encouraging, reminding her that she had just gotten it down several times with me, and telling her that if she just put more effort into using her own brain instead of putting effort into cheating she might just surprise herself and be less stressed. Oh well-- I did all I could.
The positive thing from that class was that I got the boy into line. At the beginning of class, he wasn't trying when I asked him to show me the definition of something. Then after missing 8/11 on his practice spelling test, I worked long and hard with him for a half hour on the board and he got 100%! So proud of that kid. :) Things like that make my day.
Another thing I wanted to note was that I got sunscreen from a girl as a gift. I'm guessing for Chuseok? I tried to ask her why but she just ran off, haha I opened it at home and initially thought, "What kid would... OH, of course. It's from the mother." Haha I'm too tan :( I know. But I know when winter rolls around, I'll be less tan.
Some other things about things we've noticed:
It's not very common to see couples with a caucasian and an asian. This is obvious, however it has really been evident lately with all the stares we get on the subway and from time to time, on the streets. The starting gets a little ridiculous sometimes that Ryan and I have a hard time ignoring it. We joke around about both staring at them bug-eyed or waving at them (but of course we don't).
Then there are the girls. They all look so fashionable and pretty. Then they take off their sunglasses and Ryan and I become surprised, haha. I guess the saying, "It's all about the eyes" really does mean something. We've become better at figuring out who has gotten cosmetic surgery (which are a lot of girls we've come across) and figuring out who uses glue to make the double eyelids. Thank you mom and dad for gifting me with double eyelids because I youtubed the whole using glue and pushing it into your eyeball lid ordeal--- got so grossed out. *shiver*
Another thing, which I think is worthy of noting, is when people assume that I can speak Korean. I forget that I'm Asian sometimes and that that's the reason they always assume I can speak their language. It's funny because when I'm in England, I don't think about my ethnicity. When I was in France, I definitely was aware of it. When I'm in the U.S., I am aware around my caucasian friends but also very aware of it even when I am around my Asian friends. (Don't really know why... I have an idea of why I feel this way in the U.S., but maybe that is for another time). It's nice for once to not be aware of whether I'm Chinese or not. Here, I feel like Ryan-- a foreigner. I'm sure his feelings are different from mine since he is actually a caucasian foreigner, but to some degree, I feel like a caucasian foreigner since I can't speak the language and once they realize this, they look at me/treat me the same way they do with him. It's not rude by any means, but there is an underlying feeling you get from them sometimes with the way they interact with you.
Well, in closing, I had an eventful four day weekend and a much needed break. 1) I got to see Artosis and Tasteless (SC2 American casters for GSL). We went to Gwangnaru to watch the finals for GSL and as we walked out of dinner, we saw the casters across the street. I was pretty starstruck, and as soon as the walk light turned green, I ran to get a picture... of their backs, haha. We sat pretty close to them and even got pictures with them :) 2) We went to Everland, which Ryan says blows Lotte World out of the water and is still a knock-off of Disneyland. It was a long ways to get there, but it was definitely worth it. Maybe I'll go back for Christmas. 3) Found our 2nd kitty cafe... cats everywhere! 4) I get paid this week, woohoo! No more having to completely rely on my parents for money, anymore. No more guilt for buying even food or home essentials. I'm too frugal-- even for Ryan, and he's very good about being frugal. Apparently, I'm on the far end because I hate buying clothes that I need for work/winter or even food. But no more!! Hehehe or at least, a little less guilt.
Alright, that's all for now. Hope you enjoyed this post. (And to mom: You'll be happy to know they have 4-5 different kinds of gardens at Everland. Yes, even Victorian gardens albeit a little smaller than you're used to.)
Time for pictures! And of course, the rest of my pictures are on facebook.
The gift I got from my student.
Ryan and I eating Korean bbq.
The gift before I unwrapped it.
Tasteless, me, Ryan, and Artosis.