Wednesday, December 15, 2010

north invades south...

Not really, but that was apparently the theme of the day.

Yup, we had a whole bunch of drills for what to do if North Korea invades South Korea... FUN TIMES WERE HAD BY ALL!

The first drill involved ushering all of the students onto the sports field and lining them up.  FOR SERIOUS.  Apparently South Korea's policy, if the north were to invade, is to sacrifice the children.  When I saw them all lining up on the sports field, I asked my co-teacher what the drill was for, if it was for a fire or an earthquake or some sort of emergency like that.


It was really for if North Korea invades.  I gave her the most puzzled look that I've ever given anyone and asked her why they were all going outside, I mean, shouldn't you want to HIDE INSIDE not LINE UP OUTSIDE if there are people invading your country?

She couldn't give me an answer.

So, I've decided that I need to figure out which kids I'm kidnapping and bringing back to Canada with me.  I have the list narrowed down to:
My grade one buddy
The fourth grade boy who looks like a chipmunk
The two fourth grade boys who are super adorable and tiny and wear fuzzy sheep slippers
The adorable fourth grade boy who gets so excited every time he sees me, and asks me every question that he knows
The fifth grade boy that I have staring contests with
My super smartie sixth grade girls
The fourth grade girl that always tries to take me to her next class with her
The fourth grade girls who love me and make up songs and choreograph them for me
My fifth grade fan club of girls who love me
And probably some others... like, all 600 of them

Shortly thereafter, I got this uplifting e-mail from the Canadian Embassy:
"Special Civil Emergency Exercise / Exercice d'urgence civil sp├ęcial

South Korea will hold a nationwide special civil emergency exercise today at 14:00 for 15 minutes. Sirens will sound, transport will be stopped and some people may be asked to take shelter in metro stations or basements. Aircraft may be heard overhead. There is no need to be alarmed. On 23 November, North Korea fired multiple rounds of artillery shells at the island of Yeonpyeong, killing 4 people and injuring several more. South Korea responded with its own artillery and has strengthened its military presence in the area. We advise against travel to Yeonpyong, or to the other North West Islands of Baengnyeong-do, Daecheong-do, Socheong-do and Woo-do. We assess that there is no substantially increased risk or danger to those living in or travelling to other areas of South Korea as a result of current tensions. Canadians should be vigilant, monitor ongoing developments, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Canadians are encouraged to maintain their level of readiness to cope with any emergency situation. It is recommended that:
you ensure that your travel documents, including your passport, are valid;
you have registered with the online Registry of Canadians Abroad (ROCA) and/or updated your registration with your latest information."

The drills at 2 pm were less than spectacular.  Really, the sirens just went off a few times, and I may have gotten a bloody nose.

The two weren't related, they just happened to occur at the same time.

The rest of my day went pretty well, I was taking pictures of all my kids again, and they were asking me all sorts of questions, and telling me they were going to miss me, and begging me not to leave, and telling me to come back soon... really, they're the sweetest little beans.

My sixth grader who asked me to marry him a few months ago told me that he was going to come visit me in Canada, so I gave him my e-mail address and told him to write to me if he was going to come to Canada and that we would hang out.  How HILARIOUS would it be if he actually came to visit me?!  For his sake, if he visits Canada, I hope he visits anywhere other than Edmonton, because, really... IT'S EDMONTON.  The only place worse is pretty much everywhere in Saskatchewan and Manitoba...

I gave out my e-mail address to a tonne of my kids, and a bunch of them asked me to sign their books for them... gahhhh, how can I leave these kids behind?

If anyone wants to help pay the airfare for the 600 students I'll be bringing back with me, that would be great, thanks!

Toodles <3


  1. if you haven't noticed they do those practice air raid sirens once a month or so...they only sent out this notification this time because of recent news hype hahaha

  2. How, oh how have I not seen your blog sooner? You're from Canada and you're teaching children in South Korea? That's smashing! I'm definitely going to hit the "older entries" button.

    I don't know if you ever read the diaries of the gentleman from the states who went to go teach kids English in Japan via the JET program, but in case you haven't, I think he has archived that writing at:

    I already narrowed the search down to "teaching" because he has changed the website countless times since he wrote the original entries.

    Click "Penny Arcade Remix." Hilarious stuff.

    Thanks for following, can't wait to read more!

  3. okay #1) scary.
    #2) the kids sound totally adorable.
    the end.

  4. Alex: Oh, I know they have them every month or two months or whatever, but they made SUCH A HUGE DEAL about this one. Usually everyone just goes about their normal day to day business or whatever and they all just ignore the sirens, but yesterday, they actually made the kids stay inside and they made all sorts of announcements, messages were sent out... it was pretty ridic. And, I swear, the sirens were even quieter than usual. Maybe I was just a little disappointed. all of that ridiculousness, and nothing!

    Jas: Thanks for the website, I will check it out immediately. Also, I love Penny Arcade, so I can just imagine how awesome the Penny Arcade Remix would be! My older entries are kind of limited, because my blogging attempts of yore were kind of sparse, mostly because I just documented it all on my facebook. I think over winter vacay (what little I have of it), I'm going to try and make a summary of my year in facebok posts and put it up here... some hilarious stuff happened and didn't make it into my posts.

    Jess: They totally made it out to be a bigger deal than it really was, I find it really funny that the embassy sent out that e-mail, actually. All of the OH EM GEE NORTH KOREA drills here remind me of the drills they used to do in the US during the Cold War... except NK and SK are a lot closer than the US and the former USSR. The idea behind it is scary, the prospect of war, which seems to be looming closer due to the current government in power, but people don't really take it seriously at all down here.
    And, yes, my students are cute as all get out. I'm totally going to bawl my eyes out on my last day of teaching here, it makes me so sad to have to leave my cuties behind.

  5. Your life sounds like a blast. I'm sorry you have to leave all your fun kiddos!

  6. Those kids sound adorable,your going to be really busy if you decide to smuggle them all out hehehe.

  7. My kids are cuties, I'm so glad I'm taking pictures of all of my classes before the semester ends, my co-teachers thought it was a little odd at first, but when I explained that I wanted pictures of the kids as keepsakes, they thought it was cute. And, yes, smuggling 600 kids out of the country is going to be quite a chore, but I'm up for the challenge. I just have to find a suitcase big enough...

  8. Sounds like interesting times in South Korea. Are you glad to be getting out of South Korea now that there's all this military hoopla or is it just hoopla? Your kids sounds adorable!

  9. Awww it must be really hard leaving the kids behing and saying goodbye - specially if you have just got used to them! They sound like a lovely bunch of kids though!x

  10. My jaw dropped when I read this!!! I cannot believe that - Are kids really sacraficed? Man - I need to get out of my US bubble more often. It is so crazy to immerse yourself into other cultures and learn.

    Im folowing you! Cant wait to read more sweets!

  11. Oh my! That is so interesting. My boyfriend use to teach at Korea so it's crazy to think he could of been there when all this was happening. Stay safe!

  12. Yeah, there's been a lot of tension and posturing on the part of North Korea this year... the sinking of the South Korean warship when I first got here in March, and now the shelling of Yeonpyeong island. Things seem relatively calm, and there has been increased securities on the part of South Korea as a result of these incidents, but, talking to my co-teachers, they seem to actually be worried that war is close at hand because of the policies that this new government has set forth in terms of dealing with North Korea.

    I'm still sad to be leaving, things are relatively safe here, but, at the same time, it's going to be a relief not having to worry about what North Korea is going to do next. I think, though, that since I've built all of these connections with people here, there's always going to be a sense of worry for me in regards to what the North will do next.

    I really hope that, if it happens that the North does attack, that they really don't line the kids up outside. I seriously felt a sense of panic when I saw that... my poor kids!

    It is a really weird feeling being in a country that has all of these sort of tensions, though. Nothing like this happens in Canada!

  13. Hmmm...that is a bit odd to say the least. Maybe Kim Jong Il has a soft spot for kids?

  14. Haha, and they're hoping that by lining the kids up outside, that he'll change his mind and stop the invasion!


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