Remember when I said that it warmed up? It only lasted a day and now it’s back to negative-degree weather. 😦 The wind has been so strong and bitterly cold that I’ve been wrapping the big scarf that Rene and Zaaid got me for my birthday around my face to cover as much exposed skin as possible. But alas, it is still uncomfortably cold.
This week has been busy, and a little crazy at times, but good! I wasn’t put on Special Programs this week, so I did regular OWP and we have 2 different middle schools here, totaling around 300 students. Because there are so many classes, we’ve had a lot of teaching hours; Monday, I had only 1 hour of devo and today I had 2. While it’s been a lot of work, I’ve really enjoyed having middle schoolers again and I’ve liked being busy. The only real annoyance this week has been Cinema English. Last night and tonight, I was assigned to the same hotel along with 2 other teachers (one being a Korean intern as part of GEV’s Working Holiday Program). So, we had to herd 76 middle school boys, who are all taller than me, from their hotel to the Concert Hall for the movie. Then, we got to spend 10 minutes just getting them all seated at the same time (you would think that something so simple as sitting down would be easy, but that is not the case when you have 76 fifteen-year-old boys all sitting together). Both nights, it was a challenge just to make them sit down and not get back up again or change seats. Once the movie got going, they were actually pretty well behaved minus a few times I had to shush them. The worst part was after the movie; Monday night, when it was time to go, they wouldn’t stay seated… they kept getting up and/or changing seats again, just like they did before the movie. All of the other kids in the other hotels were fine and got to leave right away, but my hotel so was bad that after everybody else had left, they got to sit there for one minute, completely quiet and sitting still. This was very difficult for them and we had to re-start the minute of silence over a few times before they actually did it. Tonight, because they had been so bad BOTH nights, that after everybody else had left, they got to pick up all the trash in the auditorium. Some of them tried to escape, and others just refused to listen, but eventually we got them all to pick up some trash and then finally, we took them back to the hotel. As annoying as it all was, honestly, I didn’t mind any of it too much because the kids are actually very nice. They didn’t give us any attitude and weren’t rude at all, they just wouldn’t sit still or follow directions.
Although I’ve gotten used to hearing practice gunfire and canons from the South Korean soldiers, we were warned today to not be alarmed if we hear a lot of gunfire this week. The soldiers have to use up any extra ammo from the year, or whatever amount they don’t use is the amount that they won’t be given next year.
I would gladly take gunfire over the Christmas music that has been blasting throughout GEV since about 3 weeks ago. The music alternates between Britney Spears singing Christmas songs and some obviously Korean group trying to sing Christmas songs in English. (You can tell they’re Korean when you know the lyrics should be “silver bells,” or “jingle bell rock,” instead of “sheel-buh bell” and “jinguh-bell lah.”)
Even though tomorrow is Wednesday (my last Wednesday off), I’ve volunteered to help with a mock interview that Special Programs is doing this week with their university students. It will only be 20 minutes and I just have to pretend to be an employer interviewing prospective candidates for a job, then evaluate the student’s English level using a rubric. I volunteered because it sounds kind of fun and will only take 20 minutes of my time. Plus, I’ve got a lot of experience assessing student’s levels – that was part of my job as Student Services Coordinator at English Now! and as part of the Data Team when I taught for PG Community College.
Now for some updates:
- I got my ARC (Alien Resident Card)! FINALLY! This is what I need to get a phone contract and to be able to go to the doctor, dentist, etc. I’m now an official resident of South Korea!
- Glenn is arriving Thursday! I’ve been designated his official GEV greeter (for obvious reasons) and I’ll be greeting him at the back gate this Thursday at 6:30! 🙂 (Everyone is so excited he’s finally coming and can’t wait to meet him! GEV is all abuzz with this news!)
- I’ve somehow earned the reputation of being knowledgeable about fitness, and despite my best efforts to recommend Glenn’s personal training services, I’ve got myself a my first client and I’ll be training her starting next week! (I’ve already got 2 lined up for Glenn!)
- I got a Christmas package from Grandma and Grandpa LaRusso containing presents and Christmas decorations, so I was able to put them up during lunch today and now it really feels like Christmas! 🙂
- I’ve only got one more weekend before I’m off the weekend rotation!
- We have no program next Monday or Tuesday, which means relaxing days on Christmas Eve and Christmas day! (And no Cinema English!)
I’m going to spend tomorrow and Thursday cleaning and at some point, I’ll have to do a major grocery run since I’ll soon have a Glenn in the apartment. 🙂 I started laundry yesterday (bed sheets and towels) since it takes 2 hours to wash a load and about 2 days to fully air dry. You know, as technologically innovative as Koreans are, you would think they’d find a quicker, more efficient way to dry their clothes.
After I finish this post, I’ll be putting up more pictures of GEV. Check them out… NOW! 🙂