Friday, May 7, 2010

Children's Day!

Wednesday was Children's Day. I spent last week telling my students how in America, we don't have Children's Day. At first, they were pretty horrified, but then they started thinking of things America DOES have (a list that included Halloween, hamburgers and no hagwons) and I lost all the sympathy I had garnered.

The best moment came courtesy of a group of particularly vocal sixth grade girls. I stopped at their table during class to check on their progress and the boldest of them said, "Teacher, give me vitamin!" (We occasionally give out vitamin C tablets as prizes, which I think is hilarious, since that WOULD NOT FLY back home.)

"I don't have a vitamin," I told her, pulling out my pockets to demonstrate that I had no vitamins.

"Then give me candy, Teacher."


"Teacher, pleeeeeeeease give me candy!" she begged.

"I don't have any candy," I told her.

"But Teacher, we want caaaaaaaandy!"

"Why should I give you candy?" I finally asked.

The girls thought this over and finally said, "Teacher. Next week Children's Day. Give me Children's Day present!"

I thought it over and decided that was a pretty valid reason for wanting candy, with bonus points for actually vocalizing their reasoning in English. "In two weeks," I told them, "it is Teacher's Day. Will you give me a Teacher's Day present?"

"Oh yes, Teacher!" my students chorused.

"Okay," I said. "Come to my office tomorrow and I will give you a Children's Day present."

They came by my office the next day, almost giddy with excitement, and I gave them each a fun sized Twix bar, which was like hitting the jackpot. They thanked me profusely and promised me lots and lots of flowers on Teacher's Day. I grinned for the rest of the day.

Since Children's Day is a national holiday and Tuesday was my school's anniversary, I had a five day weekend, which was AWESOME! I had originally planned to do some traveling, but ultimately, in a very this-is-why-you-can't-have-nice-things sort of way, I stayed home so I could finish unpacking and clean my apartment. BEING A GROWN UP IS SOMETIMES NOT FUN!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Monica dropped off the seven or eight boxes she'd been storing for me while I was home. I immediately rooted through them, looking for my school shoes and gazing lovingly at all my books, and then left everything sitting in a heap the middle of my apartment, just to make things a little more interesting when trying to navigate my way to the bathroom first thing in the morning. This weekend, I *finally* unpacked the boxes, reorganized my wardrobe, yarn stash (no more yarn in the kitchen!) and kitchen; cleaned up the mess that sprung up around the boxes; and cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom. Not as much fun as jetting about the Korean countryside, but looking at my apartment no longer makes me want to weep and/or claw my eyes out, which is a good thing.

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