Monday, August 23

"You have big eyes"

8:07 pm same day – August 10th

I’m keeping up with this religiously right now – only because there’s really not much else to do. After I wrote that this morning I fell back asleep for a while – I woke up around 10 – and then woke up at 1:53 PM. I even got chilly enough to get under my covers – turns out the “sheet” we bought last night is a duvet cover – haha so… I’m practically sleeping on the mattress, but you know I was tired enough that I could have slept anywhere. So I’m back at my apartment – waiting for Rim to come get me – she’s teaching until 9, so I’ve got about 45 minutes. I met James today the other director I’d corresponded with before flying over, and also Lucy, and Sun (male) both are so sweet.

Honestly, the feeling I had today was one I can’t even begin to describe to someone who hasn’t been a minority. I am one of the only Americans these students have probably ever seen in person, so it was weird, I felt like a celebrity they were poking their heads in just to get a look at me. The students were giggling and acting shy. They were even as honest to say – “You have big eyes” and “a big nose”. Which I didn’t take offense to, because comparatively speaking I have HUGE EYES and my nose, well….I guess it sticks off my face more then theirs do, but I don’t think I have a big one. Anyway, it was interesting. I enjoyed meeting the students and am very impressed at how much English they know.

So million dollar question –
How do you teach English to students that speak Korean if you don’t speak Korean?
I was told the ideal situation is one where the English teacher is completely oblivious to the their native language. They are forced to speak to me in English,b/c if they try Korean, I can’t help but give them this helplessly blank look. I have various levels of English speakers – the youngest ones today were around 9-12 ranging in grades from 3rd-middle school. I can’t figure out what middle school is here b/c 16 is still middle school. My first 2 classes were younger kids, the third was the more advanced English class, and the last was a very intelligent class, but ones who were very shy to speak English– my goal with them was to get them talking. Honestly, I don’t feel great about today, but I didn’t leave going, “How in the heck am I going to do this for a year?” So overall, I’m pleased and feeling much better than I was this time last night. Tonight Rim and I are going to grab a few other things for the apartment. My living room is bare with only a refrigerator. Rim mentioned maybe going out and getting something to hang things on – and a bookshelf, maybe even a little table.

I'd certainly welcome having somewhere to sit other than my bed or the floor. :)

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