Thursday, May 10, 2012

There's something about Saturday

In all my almost-21 years, Saturday has generally been the best day of the week. While I was a student, the reason was obvious. But now I'm a teacher, and Saturday is still one of my favorite days. And lately, it's not even a day off.

My children's center has programming every Saturday, and I joined the club earlier this year. There's usually a main activity for the day - since I started going, we've celebrated birthdays, had a market day, decorated Easter eggs, and done all kinds of other things. The kids eat lunch there and can stick around until 4 after the big activity is over. Things are pretty relaxed, and I'm really enjoying the chance to hang out with my kids even more. I also learn more about them on Saturdays than I do any other time, and I think it helps me teach better lessons when I know how they all get along with each other.

Enjoying one such Saturday at a festival for Daejeon children's centers.

A few weeks ago, we even had a Saturday lesson with Anna Teacher! No, it wasn't English class... we got to do something I do for fun - cooking! I've been foisting extra baked goods on 법동 for ages, and we finally decided to do something bigger. So I taught food-themed English for a week, culminating in instructions to make pizza. I supplied the dough, 법동 provided the toppings, and the kids brought their creativity to a pizza-making party where they competed to make the most delicious and interesting pizza. They were all delicious, and with traditional Korean ingredients like corn and ham, I'd say they were all pretty interesting too! The kids had fun, the teachers participated too, and I got to share something I love to do with some of my new favorite people.

Putting together a lovely heart-shaped pizza.

Pizza and kimbap, an unexpectedly delicious combination.

Pizza fresh from the oven is way more interesting than
Anna Teacher with a camera.

Cooking class wasn't something I expected coming in here, but "teaching English" this year is hardly confined to worksheets and exercises. One interesting thing about being a foreigner here is that my mere presence encourages people to practice their English. (I imagine this would be annoying if English weren't my native language, but as it stands I think it's pretty fun.) Children will sometimes call out HELLO! and are delighted (or shocked) when I respond. My students have several phrases they use on a regular basis (like "Wow, beautiful!" when something goes well) and they will occasionally point out an object or a color and identify it for me. This sort of practice is really enjoyable, because it's low pressure and very encouraging. I still work hard to teach them during normal classes, but I've come to appreciate that "being" around here is sometimes as effective as "doing" at accomplishing what I'm here for. And as I've felt all my life, Saturday is a really excellent day to just "be."

On another note, I want to thank everyone who has supported me this year! This has been such a great year so far, and it's so hard to believe that I only have three months left in Korea. Coming here was definitely a big step for me, but I knew I wasn't going completely alone. Sharing your unexpected Korea connections, sending prayers, and generally being there for me has been such a great help. My fundraising is also going well - I have about $1200 left to raise by the end of the year, so if you can support me this way it would be greatly appreciated. To give, just click the Support button here or at the top of the page, then "Make A Donation" on that page. Anything you can offer would be wonderful! Thanks again for everything ^^

1 comment:

  1. Despite your convincing photos, I refuse to believe that ham and corn are delicious on pizza, regardless of the culture...