Welcome to another update post.
Since my last update we have started (and by the looks of it just about finished) the rainy season in Korea. It started very abruptly, like some flood gates had been opened two Sunday’s ago and it rained for about four days straight without letting up. Since then it’s been on and off with crazy high humidity.
It would be one thing if the rain offered some relief from the oppressive heat, but instead it turns everything into a sauna. And this is all compounded by the fact that the AC at school is kind just hit or miss. Luckily our office is pretty much always comfortable but the kids rooms aren’t guaranteed AC.
But something about the combination of the rain, the heat, and the fact that it’s almost summer vacation has given the entire school this lazy summer vibe. I like it. It feels familiar.
Things have been simultaneously calm and crazy at school. The kids finished their exams about 2 weeks ago and so the entire month has kind of just been wrapping things up and doing fun games to keep them entertained. Because of some incomprehensible reason they are required to come to school for two weeks after exams even though they won’t be tested on any of the material.
However, I have heard horror stories from other teachers about this “post-exam hell” and how horribly rowdy the kids can get. And maybe I’m just lucky, or I’m not giving my kids enough credit, but it really hasn’t been that bad.
To be fair I’ve only done games the past two weeks, and the game this week is particularly fun. So I suppose it doesn’t take all that much effort on their part to engage. But even my “bad-boys” (I use that term affectionately these day. I think we’ve reached an understanding.) loved it.
It’s basically just a game where they have to read some song lyrics and then guess if it’s a Korean song translated into English or an American song. And they can get extra points if they know who sings it and the song name. It’s a blast. My head teacher even asked me to send it to her which made me feel pretty good^^.
My relationships with the kids are in a pretty good place. My little girls are lovely as always but I’ve gotten to know the other classes and their quirks really well now so I look forward to all the different classes for different reasons.
The little girls I can count on to be sweet and try hard at whatever I’m doing that day. The little boys will give me enough energy to power the entire country. The grade two girls still have a bit of their sweetness leftover from grade one but they are also starting to develop their own distinct personalities. They’re my most ambiguous group. I still haven’t quite figured out what they love and what doesn’t fly. The grade two boys on the other hand are amazing. They try really hard in class and they also like me a lot. So out of all of my classes I probably have the most fun with them.
Then there are the grade 3 girls. They are hilarious. They can joke around like we’re friends and they make me laugh all the time. But it is impossible to convince them to be interested in anything that they don’t decide to be interested in on their own. They’re tricky. Sometimes incredibly apathetic. But they also like me a lot, so they try at least a little bit for me sake.
And of course my infamous oldest boys. They are difficult. Some days they’re too loud, other days they’re too quiet. And each class, I’ve come to realize, is different in its own unique way. The silver lining though is that I’ve made a few buddies in each class who help to get everyone else at least on the same page. Particularly one class, my favorite of the older boys classes, is a riot. It seems like that class got every one else’s class clown. Their English level is extremely low, but when they get into a game they give it their all. It’s like watching a game show. I love them.
My relationships with my co-workers (other than the English teachers) is slow going. But my Korean is getting better little by little so I’ve been able to have a few little conversations with people recently. I’m hoping that the word will spread that I can speak a liiiiiiittle Korean and then maybe people will talk to me more. Because I really would love to be able to make small talk with everyone at lunch. That’s practically my main goal in studying Korean at this point. I just want to be able to gossip with the other teachers!!!
Outside of work things are going pretty well. I’ve gotten a little more connected at church and some friends from Seoul stayed with me this past week so that was fun. I’m cooking at home more, trying to be healthier, and trying to spend less money. I’m starting to feel like I actually have a handle on my life as a real adult with a real job.
But speaking of spending money, I’m heading to Singapore in a few weeks! The plane tickets are bought, hotel booked, and my friend is going to meet me at the airport. I can’t wait! Expect lots of posts and pictures from that trip in the next month or so.
Homesickness has kind of made itself known for the first time in the last month. And it’s manifested itself in the form of me craving to listen to Christmas music. Bizarre. It’s not that I want to go back to America or my hometown necessarily, I’m just starting to miss my people a lot. I’d like that comfort of familiarity for a little bit. I’m trying not to think about how hard Christmas and Thanksgiving are going to be.
I think it’s the familiarity of the summer heat that is making me miss home a bit. Winter and spring were new and exciting experiences but summer heat I’m very familiar with. So it feels a bit like home, but it’s not.
But all in all, I’m still incredibly happy here. I still love Daejeon, I still love my school, my kids, and my co-teachers.
Tomorrow is the last day of school before summer vacation and then we begin the great unknown that is English camp and summer desk warming. I’m excited for the break and for the chance to get super ahead on my lessons. I’ve very much enjoyed not having to do any lessons planning at home these past few weeks so I’m hoping that I can plan pretty much the rest of next semester during my two weeks sitting at school during summer vacation.
That’s about it on my end. Things are good here, and I hope where ever you are life is treating you well too! Thanks for reading! ^^