i’ve neglected our little blog here for almost a month. many apologies, but our routine has been all out of whack during the month of february. now that school has started back up in earnest, i’m sure we’ll be back to more posts since our afternoons are sometimes spent trying to look busy on an office computer.
a little february recap: the school system’s schedule is so bizarre here. we had “winter break” in january, which was all fine and dandy, but then all elementary school students (and staff) were required to come back to school for a sparse 2 weeks in early february, to wrap up any end-of-the-year details and to practice for the unnecessarily elaborate graduation ceremony each grade gets before advancing to the next. this results in a bunch of kids who don’t care, who are ready to move on because they’re essentially done being sixth graders (or whatever grade they may be) and bunch of teachers who are desperately trying to come up with a handful of irrelevant lessons that will keep the kids contained for 40 minutes with the least damage done to their spirits and classrooms.
david and i both went back to school for about two weeks. in that time, i taught 3 days on “cultural lessons” (aka we played games) and david taught for 2 days. part of me kept thinking: “what a colossal waste of time,” but then the other half of me would think, “i’m getting paid for this?!” so i just put in my hours and kept quiet.
after graduation on february 17th, the semester ends and everyone finds themselves on “spring break.”
at the end of february.
when it is still freezing cold.
and we just got back from winter break.
some english teachers get stuck with arbitrary duties at this juncture, but many of us found ourselves blessed with more vacation and free time than we knew what to do with. david and i decided to take a journey up to seoul for an extended stay. we explored the city and even booked a day tour up to the DMZ (demilitarized zone). i think i’ll do a seperate post to describe that mini-getaway, but suffice it to say we loved it. seoul is a fantastic city, and it was great to get some extended time up there to explore.
march 2nd marked a new year, and so david and i went back to our schools on that friday, feeling nervous and uncertain. many teachers have changed schools, and we knew our offices and schedules could look drastically different. i have lots of new teachers in my office, and most of my day was spent trying to figure out who i would actually be working with as my new coteacher. my schedule got completely changed in the middle of the day, but the end result looks like i will be teaching all sixth graders, with a new teacher who is my age. she seemed a little nervous about working with me, but i feel pretty good about it all. or, at the very least, i’m trying hard to be optimistic.
the next few months will be a haul after all the off-time we’ve had in the past 2-plus months. this semester is longer than the last one, with basically no breaks in march, april, may, and june. i think we’ll be teaching through most of july also. but the good news is that we will be home in august (whether to stay, or just to visit is still tbd, but we’ll keep the world posted once we know more). plus, the weather is getting warmer. i hear the spring season and the cherry blossoms around korea are lovely.
so there’s a rundown on the latest in our little corner of the world. hope this post finds yours well.