Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Episode 49: In Which DFM Has A Special Moment Involving Candy And A Child And Gets Adopted By A Korean Family

Today was supposed to be a picnic day. I was told to wear something "relaxed" so I showed up in my track pants and T-shirt, but the picnic got cancelled because it was too windy out. Luckily I suspected something like this might happen and I brought a change of clothes. My mother would be proud.

All the kids were in their red sweat suits in preparation for the picnic, so they were all confused about the protocol and seemed to be extra wild. They were still as cute as ever though.

Just some extra pics I threw in here because they make me smile.

Some of the five year olds have started taking Tae Kwon Do. A few of them will do random demonstrations like this guy, but mostly they just try to punch me in the leg or stomach or testicles.

There is one class of five year olds that is especially wild, and this table is usually the center of all of the action - if someone is crying you can bet it came from this table. Usually the boy on the left of this picture has taken some one's crayon or scrunched up her picture. Today though, the girl on the right figured out that if she used her teeth she could take apart the plastic cases on all the crayons, lose the ends, and break the crayon inside. Soon the whole table joined suit; it was a disaster.

There's nothing special going on here, but I like how the boy doing the splits is perfectly framed between the two heads in the front.

If John Kimble were teaching this class the caption would read, "how many whistle blows?" "THREEEE!!!!" (I wish the teacher were holding up two fingers instead).

Hurray! Home time!

I didn't get a picture at the time because I did not want to ruin the moment, but this girl above (picture taken on a different day) was waiting for her bus after school, and she tried to formulate her own sentences using very limited English. She said "candy," and then pointed at her back pack and said "bag," which I took to mean that she had candy in her bag. Then she took some candy out and gave me a really tasty lollipop. As an English teacher it felt good to see her trying her best to communicate with me when before she could not communicate at all. I'm now motivated to learn even more Korean so that I can experience this joy too. I also realize that I need to learn some more verbs. The whole moment was something that a picture could not have captured even if I had taken one. I think it is best summed up with the statement, "you know Peggy, I think they like me. More importantly I think they like English."

After climbing I was invited to Sung Bok's home for another Korean meal. Apparently my visit was a big deal, and his mother prepared a feast for me. I felt bad that I couldn't eat it all, because she had obviously worked very hard on it. His father told me that because of me his whole family was studying English very hard and that this made him happy. He also told me that I was now part of the family and was welcome in his home any time, for the rest of my life.

After dinner "the men" went out to play billiards. Many Koreans play a form of billiards called "three cushion." There are no pockets, and you can strike any of the balls as long as it hits three cushions before... actually I have no idea how it's played. Sung Bok's father played three cushion with the pool hall's manager, while Sung Bok and I played your standard six pocket version of pool.

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