Tuesday, October 14, 2008

[up in the mornin' and out to school // the teacher is teachin' the Golden Rule]

I was sitting in my office at work (no third or fourth period today because the sixth graders are taking a national test), emailing a friend and reading Mo Rocca 180 when suddenly my office was invaded by fifth graders getting out of music class. At first the peeked around the corner at my desk, and scurried back whenever I looked up. Then they got braver and huddled in front of my computer, trying to catch a glimpse of what I doing. (Luckily I minimized Firefox before they saw the Barack-O-Lantern, which might not be considered an appropriate use of my time.) Finally the bravest of the girls asked how old I was. I told her twenty three* and asked her how old she was. She giggled and fled the office, pulling her friends with her.

This is pretty much par for the course when it comes to interacting with my students. They're fascinated by me; I have signed countless textbooks and notebooks and they flock to me whenever they see me in the halls, usually trailing me like duckings. They love to say hello and shake my hand (Koreans bow when they great each other, so shaking hands is a novelty), but very few will actually talk to me, even if I *know* they understand the question. One of my main goals this year is to get them comfortable conversing in English, even if they make mistakes.

Until then, though, it's a good way to clear them out of my office. "Oh no, she's going to ask us questions! It's just like class, only this time we can escape! Run for it!"

*Funny story there. Koreans count age differently than westerners. You're considered one years old when your born, which means Korean ages are always one more than American ages. I knew this when I went (it's been a joke in my family for ages) but I forgot my first day of school when I was introducing myself and now I feel weird backpedaling and saying no really, I'm twenty four in Korea, I swear.

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