Vacation Intensive Program at English Village

It’s that time again here at EV: It’s VIP time.

I got out of having to do VIP in January because, at the time, I had been asked to be in Adult Special Programs. Then, I got pneumonia and missed most of January anyway.

First, a little FAQ about VIP:

What is VIP?
VIP stands for “Vacation Intensive Program.” Even though we’re already a year-round camp (sort of), VIP occurs twice a year during the school’s breaks; one month in the winter, and one month in the summer. The summer VIP just started on Monday, July 29th.

Who enrolls in VIP?
Students of all ages, from first grade through middle school. We usually get mostly Korean students and a handful of Japanese and Chinese. This time, it’s mostly Korean with a few Japanese, one Russian (whose parents are Korean), and one Italian (whose parents are Korean).

How is VIP different from OWP?
In OWP, students come and stay between 3-5 days. During VIP, they stay for the whole month. While it is more intense, it’s nice that we can actually get to know our students because they don’t leave after just a week. VIP is more intense because in addition to classes all week, there are “houses” (sort of like the various houses in Harry Potter; students are grouped and compete in challenges against other houses), there are clubs, there are evening activities EVERY night (including Saturday and Sunday), and there are field trips on the weekend.

This VIP is also different from others, because enrollment has been lower than other times. Special Programs has 3 or 4 different programs going on throughout the month, and they actually have more students than we do in VIP. It’s normally the other way around.

So, how’s it going so far?
It’s overwhelming. Not because it’s intense, but because we don’t have enough teachers (I taught 42 students by myself this week in a room built to accommodate 30). It’s also very disorganized, and therefore frustrating and maddening at times. Teachers are overworked, stressed out, exhausted, and wondering if we’ll actually get paid our overtime or not (a perpetual problem here at EV).

The good news is that the teaching part is still fun, and (most of) the kids are great. Also, I’ve been feeling okay this week.

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Here’s a breakdown of my week:

Monday – I worked 8:50am-9pm, with one hour for lunch, one hour for dinner, and one hour of devo during the day.
Tuesday – Same as Monday, except I went grocery shopping after 9pm.
Wednesday – I worked 8:50am-6pm with one hour for lunch and one hour of devo. At 6pm, I had to meet with my language exchange partner, and then at 7pm I tutored my colleague in French. I worked out from 8-8:45pm, then went home, ate dinner, and spent time preparing my lessons for the next day.
Thursday – Same as Wednesday, but I had dinner at 6pm (and now I’m writing in my blog!). At 7:30 I teach a stretching class for an hour, then I’ll go grocery shopping.
Friday: I’ll be working from 8:50am-9:00pm with one hour for lunch, one hour for dinner, and one hour of devo during the day.

I’m the House leader as well as the leader of the Dance Club, so I have to spend my lunch and dinner hours preparing for House and Club sessions.

I’m tired.

This weekend, on Saturday, we have to go back to Gangnam for one more eye appointment for Glenn and then will probably do dinner in Itaewon, and on Sunday is the second performance of the Weekend Band.

On a completely different note, Glenn was in a commercial last Saturday. He performed in the Weekend Band’s first performance in the morning, and from 4-10:30pm he was shooting the commercial, along with 3 of our colleagues and some other random foreigners. It was a Chinese commercial for cookies, and I hung out on the set for most of the evening and took some pictures of everything. Click on the link below to see pictures!

View Photo Gallery

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