Friday, November 23, 2012

School Festival

  • Every year, schools all across Korea have large festivals showcasing the talents of their students and giving them a chance to let loose a little bit before the final push of the year (the Korean school calendar ends in December, not June).  There is lots of singing, dancing, carnival-style games, and some great food.
  • The performances were pretty great.  I was really impressed at how elaborate everything was.  When I say elaborate, I mean like those fire torch things that synchronize with music and cannons that shot streamers.  It was a legit show.  Each homeroom class had a little dancing or acting number they did and I was so impressed by how well rehearsed everyone was.  It really looked like everyone was in sync and really getting into the performance.  I can't imagine anything like this at an all boys school in America!  There were many costumes too, the most popular being school girls and dinosaurs.
Some of the dinosaurs dancing
These guys weren't quite as elaborate, but they had really neat masks!
  • There were also the carnival games and a soccer tournament.  Among the games were a three point shooting contest, a screaming machine that measured your decibels, an eating contest, and a horrible contest to see who can stand on a block of ice the longest!  I opted to do the first two and just witnessed the latter two.  It was fun to see my students having fun and enjoying themselves so much.
Not my idea of a fun time!
The Eating Contest. Obviously something shocked the guy in the back. And one of the dinosaurs was participating.
The 3 point contest. I made three out of ten shots.
  •  There was also two food stations.  One had deok-bokki (an amazing spicy deok/rice dish) and sweet potatoes that two students were cooking in an outdoor oven.  I'm not a huge fan of sweet potatoes but I definitely couldn't refuse my students!  They told me to come back anytime and that I didn't need any food coupons to get some :)
  • The best part of the festival was just getting to see and interact with my students outside of the classroom.  So many of them just came to life and it was just wonderful to see them have so much fun.  Even if they weren't able to really speak much to me, their beaming smiles and friendly high-fives said much more than any English they could have told me.  Definitely making seeing my students outside class more often a huge priority for next semester.
  • I got up at a rather unpleasant time this morning, but it was worth it because I got to Skype with some family back home!  Every year, my fathers side of the family comes to my house to have a nice lil shindig so I got to see a lot of the aunts and uncles and my grandma.  It was really nice to see them!  I felt bad because I couldn't talk too loudly since the weather change has destroyed my voice in the morning and I was afraid I would wake up my host-family.  But it was really nice to see them and I can't wait to join them for Thanksgiving next year!
  • I did my appearance lesson for the last time today.  Ugh.  It's a good lesson and all and the students get the picture, but I have taught it so many times!!!  It has gotten a bit old.  But it went well as usual so it was worth it.  Basically we talked about eye colors, hair textures, skin color, etc. then the students had to read each other descriptions of famous celebrities to each other while one person read and another drew, then they switched.  It was good.  I also did my Thanksgiving lesson with my 2nd graders today.  They have come up with some great designs for their turkeys and some great things to be thankful for.  When I get back to school Monday, I'll try and write down some of the more memorable ones.
  • My co-teacher took me out to lunch today.  She asked where I wanted to eat and I said as long as the restaurant had chairs, I'd be fine.  Well turns out the only restaurant in Gwangyang with chairs is actually a coffee shop that has mediocre food so we had to succumb to the floor.  It was tasty though so I didn't mind too much.  
  • Crossfit was great today.  We had another free day where we get to pick our workouts.  I chose to do some kettlebell swings, overhead squats, situps, and double unders.  My pals tried to pressure me into doing more, particularly a nasty set of 100 burpees, and I had to fake them out to get out of it haha.  They just rolled their eyes at me everytime I would cheer them on in the workout.  A few of the shyer ones are definitely opening up a lot more and trying to use more English and stuff and it's great!  It's really one of my favorite parts of the day.  I am definitely going to miss it when I'm not here in the winter!
That's about it.  I might have a new addition to my winter break plan, but I have to see if it will work out before I can commit.  It would be really really exciting though and it is something I have always dreamed about doing and never thought I would actually have the chance!  But I have to see if I can iron out the kinks before I reveal any details :)  Only a month-ish left of school yet and then I start my exciting winter break!  Good stuff!

Happy Thanksgiving! 


  1. Great talking to you too Ben. We all miss you lots, but the blog and skype help out a lot. Looks like the new computer is working fine. Did you win in the screaming machine? Too funny. The standing on the block of ice does not look like fun at all. Glad to hear you could see the students outside of class. I would think that it could only help. We did a little tree pushing and ate too much as usual. Laura is still here, so I guess we didn't scare her off too much. You are going to come back looking like a marine with all of this training... See ya. Dad

  2. Hi ben,
    It was fun talking to you on Thanksgiving - grandma thought it was very cool even without her hearing aide. Sounds like your school celebration was very fun; it's not hard to believe that you enjoyed the screaming contest. Have a good week.