Monday, December 6, 2010

poop is hilarious in every culture...

Check this out, a new post two days in a row!  I bought myself an awesome Hello Kitty notebook today, so, I hope to take notes about random things that happen throughout the day so that I can write about them here, though, I kind of do that on my Facebook already.

I went to E-Mart yesterday to pick up some hangover food and buy some shampoo and conditioner.  I cannot find the Dove shampoo and conditioner that I have come to love anymore, so I had to brave the Hangeul and try and figure out another brand to buy.  Korean department stores are a lot different than Canadian stores.  In Canada, we have people that come up to you and ask you if you need help, in Korea, you have people that talk loudly at you in Korean and tell you what you need to buy.  I usually never give in, but, yesterday I bought myself the Kerasys shampoo and conditioner that the lady was yelling at me about.  The original deal she yelled at me was that if I buy one shampoo, I can get another shampoo for free.  I'm leaving in three months, and the shampoo here is sold in Liter bottles, there is no way I would ever need two liters of shampoo before I left.  I explained this the best I could with English, broken Korean, and hand gestures.  After about two minutes, she realized what I was telling her, and she broke down and told me I could get a shampoo and a conditioner for the buy one get one free deal.  Score.  I, however, did not get a choice about which bottle I got, she just gave me the pink ones.  I think it's for damaged hair... haha.

The great thing about shampoo bottles in Korea is that they come with the lotion bottle tops, the pump spout thingers.  It seems like the best idea in the world, until you have to open them.  Apparently, I am completely incompetent.  When I went to shower last night, I could not get the conditioner open for the life of me.  I was yelling and smashing it against the wall... I tried for at least ten minutes to no avail.  By the time I gave up, I hated that stupid bottle with a fiery passion.  I then got a genius idea.  I unscrewed the lid, used the conditioner on the pump and hose mechanism to condition my hair, washed it off the best I could, then bit down on the mechanism while I twisted the top, and, finally, THE PUMP WAS OPEN!!!  I was so proud of myself that I almost did a victory dance.  All it took was chewing on the insides of the bottle for me to get the pump to work... nice one, Korea.

I guess I forgot to mention the situation we had a few weeks ago between North Korea and South Korea.  It appears as though South Korea was practicing their war games a little too close to North Korea, and north Korea didn't take too kindly to it.  Either way, North Korea told them to stop, and, when they didn't, North Korea decided to flex their "muscles" and they shot up Yeonpyeong island.  Dick move, they straight up attacked civilians.  South Korea, of course, retaliated, and returned fire upon North Korea.  I think something like two or four civilians were killed, and two South Korean military personnel were killed as well.  It was really intense, my co-teachers were watching the live news coverage on their computers, and the mood was really tense (aside from the drama teacher grabbing me by the shoulders, looking me square in the eye, and in her most dramatic performance yet, declaring it was the end.  She kept it up until I asked if I could borrow her cell to call my parents and tell them goodbye, bahaha).  No one seems to be too worried, by my co-teachers have been mentioning that they think the times of "peaceful" coexistence (as peaceful as it has been since the Korean War ended, I suppose... scattered conflicts) is over, and that with the new government that South Korea has right now, that the possibility of war exists.  Apparently the previous government had a "sunshine" policy, as my co-t put it, where they tried to help North Korea, and this new government has a more aggressive approach.  I really hope my Korean friends don't see war, and that this can be resolved peacefully.  I care about so many people here.

I am now going to talk about my English classroom/my job for a bit, feel free to tune out and hum loudly to yourself if you wish.

We got the English labs redone last semester, and they are really quite lovely, and no longer ghetto!  There are, however, three things that bother me about them.

The flag wall
There is a wall with many flags of various countries painted on it.  Countries such as Cyprus and The Maldives... you know, really important countries... and that's why I assume the Canadian flag is missing.  Maybe I'm taking it a little too personally, but, seriously, I think all of the co-teachers they have had in my school were from Canada.  Every time I look at that wall, I want to shake my fist at it.

The world map wall
We have a world map painted beside the flags.  All of the "major" countries on the map has various pictures of landmarks and landscapes painted on them, at least two or three.  All Canada has is a friggin' Canadian flag.  I'm starting to get under the impression that maybe Canada was just an afterthought in this whole "remodeling and representing the world in our classrooms" business.

The descriptions of famous historical landmarks
It's really great that the rest of the walls are covered with famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, the Louvre, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Sydney Opera House... but the descriptions of each place leave me scratching my head.  I have no problem reading them and understanding them, but I think I am the only one that can.  The students sure as hell can't.  I have trouble getting them to say FISH instead of PISH, and they have crazily complicated descriptions of these landmarks accompanying the pictures.  For example, this is the excerpt written under the Sydney Opera House:

Inaugurated in 1973, the Sydney Opera house is
an architectural masterpiece of the 20th century
that brings together multiple strands of creativity
and innovation in both architectural form and
structural design.

Good choice.  I'm sure the children are thoughtfully reading this and nodding their heads in agreement.

We have these flip charts in the back of class that we use to spell out words for the students sometimes.  They're kind of cool, but also kind of annoying at the same time, because I just prefer to write on the board, but I guess they're designed to help the students sound out the words... sure.  Anyways, these flip charts have been a part of my classroom for the past three months, and they have become an indicator of the vast difference in maturity levels between the fifth grade and the sixth grade classes (my fourth graders don't even acknowledge their existence).  My fifth graders spell out interesting phrases like "big sky cow" on the flip charts.  Every Monday and Tuesday I have a brand new nonsensical phrase on the charts.  Then, comes sixth grade.  Yes, every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday I have to yell at multiple classes because they spell out things like "sex fuck" and "fuck shit," and then sit at the back of class distracted by their "genius," and leave them for younger kids to see.

I love the weather getting colder, because the kids start trading their inside slip on shoes for adorable stuffed animal slippers.  So far, I have seen sheep, cows, giant fish, cats, space ships, dogs, and pigs.  I love it!  And I totally would have killed to have been allowed to wear stuffed slippers around the school when I was their age.

I taught fifth grade today, and I love my fifth graders, they're really funny and sweet, and they generally enjoy participating in class.  Today, however, I managed to learn something from one of them!  Actually, I learned it from there shirt.  As it turns out, Dre loves lambs.  Everything I ever needed to know about American hip hop, I have learned from the clothing of Korean fifth graders.  Really, though, English shirts are RIDICULOUS in Korea.  Someone needs to check these things out, like, they should be hiring foreigners to spell check and grammar check the shirts before they're printed, or something.  I, for one, would love that job.  Hire me to look at shirts and laugh my ass off all day... and then correct them, of course.  Unless they are particularly ridiculously hilarious, then I'll just leave them, even though that would reflect on my skills as a proofreader.

Every two weeks, I have to teach a ridiculous "song" from the textbooks.  Sometimes, the song is a blatant rip off of a well known song (like "Puff the Magic Dragon" or "Love Potion #9"), other weeks, the songs are a ridiculous mash of sounds and jumbled together words that do not even have any semblance of music.  A good example is a song from a few weeks ago in my fifth grade class:

I wake up in the morning.  And I get up out of bed.
I look around and see.  Oh!  I'm in the future house.
This is a living room.  And that's a bedroom.
This is a living room.  And that's a bedroom.
Oh!  What a wonderful thing!  I'm in the future house!
Oh!  What a wonderful thing!  I'm in the future house!

Try to imagine a tune for that.  Oh... you can't?  That's right, because there WAS NO TUNE!  Seriously.  It was just sentences being mumbled together, and some "music" that didn't match up to how the words were being said at all.  Some days I am actually too embarrassed to teach the song, and I make my co-teacher do it.  I just can't handle it, they're awful!

I will leave you with two little stories from my classes today... and apparently two other unrelated stories.
We were doing a short spelling test to prepare the students for the final exam tomorrow in each one of my fifth grade classes.  One of my boys didn't know how to spell any of the words, so he just wrote "Tara" over and over again for each one of his answers.  I was tempted to at least give him a few marks... I think that was probably his plan.

We were reviewing the colors white, red, and brown today, and for each color, the picture on the CD-ROM was of a pile of paint being squeezed from a paint tube.  As soon as the picture for brown showed up, all of my students would giggle uncontrollably.  It looked like a coil of poop.  OH THE JOYS of teaching elementary school, poop is hilarious no matter what language you speak.

Also, the fifth grade boy who cleans my office, who is one of my favorite students and also one of my smartest students, found a dead cockroach on Friday, and he tried to throw it on me.  Not impressed, he's lucky he's so charming and adorable.

Oh, and, apparently I have a few students who go to an English academy that one of my friends works at, and he informed me that in their conversation class, he asked the students what they wanted to talk about, and apparently they wanted to talk about me... how adorable is that!

Okay, this has been ridiculously long, I apologize...

Toodles, everyone <3

No comments:

Post a Comment

please leave me some love <3