You have failed and now you must Daegu!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Well. Daegu is essentially where I left it. Su-jin is happy that I'm back and no one at school has started complaining yet.

Last Thursday was a retirement party for our Principal. It was also a going away party for one of our Vice Principals. The principal was a good enough guy. He seemed to like me well enough and I never had an issue with him. The vice principal either hated my guts or didn't like English very much. Either way, I was essentially a pariah to him. I was relieved to see him gone as were most of the Korean teachers working here.

We just met the two new principals. They seem like decent enough guys. If I didn't know better, I'd swear they have a huge mancrush on me. Like Sellers has on Devin Hester. Either way, I'm looking forward to our first drunken party. We'll see if these guys have what it takes to swing with the big boys(whatever, I'm still Two Can Sam).

The party was fun enough, but when it was time for my office to sing, everyone left but me. They called for our table and I found myself sitting alone. I had to sing. By myself. In Korean. I did my best. I can read reasonably well these days, but I can't read fast enough to sing with a karaoke machine. The chorus and the English I had cold, but the actual verses were really tough. I needed some help to get through the song and shamed myself in the process. I may never recover from this....Whatever, everyone was wasted and only remembers that I sang something.

Pictures will be posted, but for now, just a link. I only wish I was in Busan to participate. I guess they wanted the sign to say "Beach Festival."

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tonight was my last official duty as an English teacher at Wa ryong Elementary School tonight. I had to go to a Dinner/Meeting for the English camp teachers. It was Korean style sushi. Before I continue with this update, I have to mention that I am on medication for my guts. I've had a problem with my guts for a while and finally had a chance to have it looked at by a doctor. The neighborhood doc, Dr. Cho, specialized in gastro-intestinal disorders and his English is more than adequate. You should have seen the look on his face when I told him my guts were hurting. I thought he would leap up and shake my hand. Either way, he's given me meds for a few days to return things to normal. The catch is, no dairy and no alcohol for 3 days. I couldn't drink at this meeting. The principal kept needling me. "Matthew, hui(fish) is delicious with soju." "This isn't wine. It's juice." Yeah, thanks, it's my choice. To have snarky guts and take meds for them. Thanks again.

Either way, we had dinner for 2 hours and then discussed the English camp. Most of it was positive, especially about me. I'm sure if I showed up hung over and fell asleep the other teachers would have let someone know about it. I got positive reviews. Good. Most of the other teachers didn't. I say they were set up to fail. They were used to teaching older students and they didn't have much teaching experience anyway. It takes at least 6 months at this job to figure things out in the classroom and have confidence. Most of the teachers at English camp had only been in country for about 5 or 6 months. The only "atrocity" committed was one of the teachers falling asleep for 2 hours on the last day of camp. The man was tired. What's the problem?

Vacation is 3 days away and counting.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Summer camps finished! Now, I'm just relaxing, hanging out and waiting for my flight.

The summer camp at my school couldn't have gone better. The kids had fun, the teachers worked hard and our performances were about as good as could be expected. Mission accomplished! The only headache was the schedule. We were told to show up at 8:50 in the morning for a "Group Meeting." When I see"Group Meeting," I read, "Coffee Break." Apparently "Group Meeting" means "review." I walked into the room at 8:50 and the Korean teacher shoved a book in my face and yelled, "Matthew! Review!" I responded with a "What? Go away? What are you doing? Don't point that at me." I was really surprised. I asked the woman running the camp about this and she swears she told me. I disagree. Whatever.

Camp went well. I showed the kids the new PAINFULLY HOT English room, taught some summer vocab and screened a video of Mr. Bean swimming. That's how you teach English.

1 week until I fly. Woo hoo! Things to do next week. 1. Transfer money into my American account. 2. Go out to dinner with the teachers from my school. 3. Go to Incheon. 4. Pose next to the MacArthur statue. 5. Go home.