Friday, October 9, 2009

Episode 23: In Which DFM Teaches Children How To Speak Korean Incorrectly, And Plans To Exploit Children For Economic Gain

Anyone waiting for an exciting update of my week will be disappointed. The long weekend made me realize how hard I had been working and how much I liked resting. Consequently, the first two days back at work were tough to get up for. However, by Thursday I was back in the groove and doing well enough, although all I did was work and climb and go to my English club.

The air pollution in Seoul seems to have attacked my lungs quite hard this time around, and I've been hacking up green phlegm for the past two weeks (I hope you weren't reading this at breakfast). It makes me appear and sound sick, but I feel quite fine otherwise. I'm not surprised though, as it was also after a month that I had a similar experience during my first visit.

Probably the funniest thing that happened this week was that I heard from Elise, one of the English teachers about whom I wrote recently, that one of the children's mothers told her that her daughter was always talking about me at home. While this was quite flattering, the girl also apparently copies everything I do and say (again, quite flattering). Unfortunately, that also means she copies my accent when I speak Korean. Apparently her mother heard her speaking Korean with a Canadian accent one day and asked her why she was speaking that way. The girl told her mother that "DFM teacher talks like that." She thought that I was an expert at Korean because I could play Korean "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Bless her heart.

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Every Friday I have to teach a unique class to each of my six different classrooms. While my job is to teach art, a previous teacher at this school decided to make this day a special day, which means I have to come up with the entire thirty minute class on my own with no art supplies. No other teachers for the company have this class. I'm not complaining, mind you, but it does make it hard to ask for extra ideas when no one else has any experience.

I've been managing alright so far, but I was looking for something a little more active than what I normally have the students do. Typically I just have the kids sing some songs, watch a few funny "educational" videos I find, and play some simple games. The "gymnasium" is about the size of your average house basement, so with over twenty students in each class a number of the games I would have wanted to teach are out of the question. This brings me to dancing.

For the past few weeks I've been toying with the idea of teaching country line dancing to the kids. I figured it was an easy way to teach/practice "left," "right," "turn," etc, and it was one of the few things I could do with the limited space. That said, I would not be using actual country music, as I generally can't stand it.

It does feel weird to teach line dancing though. When I was in elementary school I used to hate the dance unit. It usually involved line dancing, which I felt was so boring I might die in the middle of a kick-stomp-clap section. The teachers used to feed me some ridiculous line about how "we lived in cowboy country," and "you might go to a wedding and now you can join in." It was, of course, a load of rubbish. Even if I were at a wedding (which I also hate), and a line dance broke out, I just wouldn't dance at all.

I can say though, that the dancing went over well enough this week. I suspect this had something to do with the fact I only did it for about ten minutes, as opposed to wasting the entire 30 minute class every day for two weeks, like my teachers used to do. Also, I use a combination of Latin music, blues rock, and "oldies" music in place of the standard country songs. I'm even now thinking that with some work, I might be able to turn this line dancing thing into an Asian craze. Hmm... I could even take these kids on a World Tour...

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