Saturday, June 9, 2012

Open Classes, Dinners and Meditation

Last week, my co-teachers and I had our second open classes for the year.  The first one last month was for the parents to come and observe the class and give feedback to the teachers.  The one that took place this last week was an open class for other teachers and the Principal and Vice Principal to come and observe.

The observations were not specifically for me, but rather for my two co-teachers, but indirectly of course I was being observed  as well.  Open classes are a big deal--and Korean teachers spend weeks planning for them, rehearsing them with the kids and then 'performing' in front of their supervisors.  I say performing because that's what it feels like, it doesn't feel like the normal classes we do everyday. We ended the afternoon with a box of Mister Donut doughnuts and then out to dinner with the teachers and the VP who observed the classes. 

Before coming to Korea, I'd heard a lot about these dinners where you go out with colleagues and eat and drink until the wee hours of the night. It's part of the job, so I'd heard.  I was dreading them at first, but this having been my second one, I have to say they aren't too bad.  And actually, I end up getting home earlier than I would on most nights when I go out.  I don't know if it's just my school, but the dinners tend to stay short and to the point.  Eat, talk, drink, leave.  The food was fantastic though, and for nothing else, a free meal of that sort is always welcome^^. We had an awesome five course traditional Chinese meal. 

I was stuffed and exhausted Friday evening and as a result we had a late start Saturday morning. David and I have been talking about doing a bike tour of Korea so we went out to test our legs yesterday in 30 degree heat, biking from Banghwa to Yeuido and back. We took a small break in Yeuido eating an ice cream and playing in the fountains with all the Korean kids.  

The Korean parents camping out by the fountains and all the children at play.
The bike ride itself was enjoyable, only now though do I regret not having put sunscreen on my arms.  They are totally red :(.  The evening was Korean classes and our first attempt at Korean meditation at the Seon International Center in Omokgyo.  We found out that every Saturday night they do a Dharma talk and walking and sitting meditation for beginners in English.  For a first experience, it was alright.  Difficult trying to keep my mind focused (for two hours!) but I did feel relatively calmer by the end of the evening (although I don't know if it was calmness or exhaustion).

Already 3:00pm now, and today has been the perfect chill day.  Gotta get ready now for my Culture Class tomorrow.  Teaching 2nd graders about the USA.  

Wishing you all a good week.

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