Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yeonpyeong-do, Spelling Tests & Training

[+] For anyone interested in a more in depth discussion of the Yeonpyeong-do shelling than "boom boom two people is die," the always excellent Ask a Korean has a thorough write-up of what happened and why it matters. I particularly agree with this bit:
South Koreans' apathy for North Korean provocations have become quite famous around the world, because it is so difficult to imagine what it is like to constantly live in a state where nuclear annihilation is a real possibility. But once you live in South Korea, there is not much you can do other than ignore the danger.
[+] I spent the afternoon grading the 4th graders test. The verdict: they did well well on the listening section almost across the board and wow, they can't spell for shit, and not even in an amusing way. Some of the lowlights: make: miwl; bank: orlk; school: sacdl; right: ridos. So yeah, that's something to work on.

[+] GEPIK teachers are suppose to go to a two day, overnight training session at the start of their contract, with additional one-day training sessions throughout the year. I went last year, so I wasn't invited to this year's training session when I started my new contract. There's a separate training session for teachers who renew their contracts, but because I switched to a new school within GEPIK instead of renewing at my old school, I'm not technically considered a returning teacher. I slipped through the training cracks and I was fine with that, thank you very much, and very pointedly didn't bring it to anyone's attention and skated by for nine months, but I've been found out now I get to spend December 7th and 8th at the Future Leadership Center in Yongin, South Korea being educated on how to do the job I've been doing for the last two years.

I actually wouldn't have minded going to the GEPIK training back in March. They all sound the same (yay, teaching in Korea! yay, bomb game! both sentiments I agree with, but I really only need to told once, and actually, since I'm in agreement, I don't need to be told at all), but it's part of the job and I get that. However, this particular session is at the beginning of December. The fall semester is over three weeks later, but thanks to the early exam date, the last three weeks of the semester are going to be a bit of a wash. Then it's two weeks of winter camp, which are completely different from the national curriculum covered in the training, three weeks of vacation, one final week of school (which will be a complete wash since, at that point, grades were completed two month before), two weeks of desk warming during what is called spring break, although February and spring are not same same Korea, and then I fly back to America, ostensible forever. This is a case of too little too late, and I do resent having my time wasted.

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