Tuesday, November 29, 2011


So I had one of my brighter students break down on me today and give up when I pressed her on an answer...I thought, '"This is weird." Pulled her aside after class to figure out what's going on in her life to make her that upset. After some coaxing I got it out of her that she got a bad grade on a Korean writing assignment that she disagreed with. Amid tears and tissues, I explained to her that one bad grade does not make her a bad student. One bad grade does not mean her life is over. Yeah, today sucks but tomorrow and the next day and next day and when she's in a great college etc....she won't even remember this little grade. 

As a consequence, our relationship is better and I've probably taught her something that NO Korean high school teacher would ever have taught her.

There is a big debate right now among Koreans that foreign teachers are not helpful or needed, especially in high schools where students should just be focusing on the test that will make or break their lives. But don't tell me that Korean high school students don't need foreign teachers, even if our most important job is just to give them a dose of reality and teach them how to cope with their overly stressful lives.

In other words, this job is awesome and important despite my serious issues with my coteacher daily... And I've had a great day even though its only 11am. 


:) mlh

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cheongran School Festival!

So last Friday my school had their festival. Basically it was a giant excuse to party, dance, eat and go crazy in school and it was great!

Each class of the first and second grades (10th and 11th grade homerooms) made a theme for their room. There were cupcake cafes, face-painting bars, food vendors, movie rooms, horror houses, gaming rooms, massage rooms, and even DANCE CLUBS! All the teachers and students went around having fun. You had to pay entrance fees, food, or services...But most teachers got special discounts! ;) There were also lots of art pieces, student photography, and poetry on display throughout the school.

In the afternoon there was a big talent show sort-of thing: musicals, a little singing, and LOTS of dancing! I had been practising all last week for singing two songs. I was roped into singing with one of the English Clubs - but I'm glad I did it. We sang "True Colors" from GLEE because everyone is addicted to that show and "Don't Worry, Be Happy!" It went over really well.

Here's the photo album: Cheongran High School 2011 Festival

But after the show and the entire festival day, I couldn't help but think that these girls have so much energy and personality and creativity and talent...That is unfortunately stifled for these three years under the stress of studying like madwomen. But for one day they could let it shine. And it was brilliant.

I have lots of great videos from the whole thing...and I'll add them under here:

Yeah. So they were awesome. I have no idea when they practiced though...It's like they pulled all of this talent out of thin air!

Until later then...I've got a great album underway all about a stroll I took through Seoul. So look out for that soon too!