Scrabble time

Annyong haseo!

Lindsay here. We had a good day here in Gwangju. It was my easy day at work, when I get two breaks from teaching. But because the kids were in some kind of competitions later in the day, we got two extra breaks.

OK, random photo of Reed being posted here for those of you wanted to see more. Also check out: http://picasaweb.google.com/jlnhampton/BabyReed?authkey=IoSfN0IpBtQ.

Is he not the cutest thing you have ever seen?

Back to life here in SoKo:

I feel I am bonding more with my students. Especially my seventh period kids, who I see every day. It was touch and go for awhile. I had a few kids fall asleep on me a couple weeks ago and I realized I was boring them to tears–no, drool–with our English books.

After learning how much time they spend at school, I have eased up on them. For example, Frank, a smart sixth grader who sits on the front row and cracks jokes, told me that after he attends our school from 8:30 to 4:30 he goes to “academy” from 5 to 10 p.m. I laughed. Frank, always the jokester. But he wasn’t laughing this time. Neither were any of the other students. It was very matter of fact. The other students shrugged their shoulders. They also go to academy. Some for English. Some for math. Some for science. And always on the weekends.

It’s a terrible life, looking onto it as an outsider, an American. But to them, it’s all they know. No big deal.

So I’ve decided to make seventh period, an extra class for them, more fun. We play hangman, hot seat, and, today, Scrabble–a major success. Not only do we have fun, but we speak English the whole time.

“Teacher, you are my friend,” Jane, a tall sixth grader with jet black hair and red-rimmed glasses told me today. I don’t think teachers are supposed to be friends with their students. But I don’t care. They think I am cool. Who am I to correct them? Plus, it’s easy to see why I am their friend when the other Korean teachers will hit them (hard) if they misbehave.

After class, Jane stood in front of me, bent at the waist and dropped her head, a deep bow to show her respect. I was touched. I have a fan. And a few friends.

My other kids are great too, about half of the time. Check out this video of the kids singing the Beatles today.

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