There is one Brazilian boy in our school, and he is in my 3rd/4th grade English camp. This morning when his mother dropped him off just before 9 (I'd never met her before), she asked about additional classes for him. Her first language is obviously Portuguese, so she had to use what English she knew to communicate this. I don't remember how, but at one point it came out that she also spoke French. I told her in French that I speak a little french, and then it began. There I was, using my limited French knowledge to communicate some basic things - a fun challenge.
My co-teacher had to leave during the morning, but she told me that she passed her second exam (that big test she was studying for during the past few months)! Since she left before lunch, I was glad I had still picked up something from Paris Baguette this morning, even though I thought she'd probably take me to lunch. But the head third grade teacher was here today with a group of younger students, and she told me to come for lunch at 12:50. So I ate lunch with those two teachers and their young students right in her classroom.
Tuesday, August 5
A third grader came into class about a half hour late this morning, just absolutely bawling. She could hardly catch her breath she just kept crying and crying. One student asked me for a cup, and then she ran down the hall to get her some water. I tried to comfort the crying girl, but when you have no idea what's wrong and you can't communicate anything - it's pretty hard. She wasn't physically hurt, so something else must have upset her. With my attention completely on this girl in the back of the room, the two boys in class started hiding under the desks and it was kind of a free for all. I left the girl for a bit to get the class working on something, and then brought a blank detective ID and detective handbook for the girl to start coloring/making (she was gone yesterday). I figured giving her something to do would probably help get her mind off of things and calm her down, even though she hadn't stopped crying yet. So that set us back a bit of time, but so I just skipped an activity and game.
I wasn't sure if the head teacher would feed me lunch again today, so I still picked up something at Paris Baguette this morning. Since we didn't eat until one o'clock yesterday, I waited until then just in case she came. Just around 1, the head teacher knocked on the door and had me come eat with the kids again. Beef curry and rice.
Wednesday, August 6
Class went well today with both groups. There were cookies and juice involved at the end, since we read Who Stole The Cookie From The Cookie Jar? today. There was a rank smell coming from the trash cans. Between classes I did some digging around and smelling. I finally figured out it was actually in the paper drawer of the recycling bin. Somebody (cough student cough) threw their entire peeled hard-boiled egg in there last week! Yuck. So I put it in the trash bag, tied the bag, and set it in the hallway. All of the paper left in recycling still reeks of rotten egg, but hopefully over time it'll go down.
Near the end of my last class, today's attendance taker came back in and asked if I had lunch plans. I tried to explain that the head third grade teacher invited me to eat with her students on Monday and Tuesday, so maybe she would ask me again. Otherwise I brought something. Then he said the Vice Principal wants to have lunch with me and him, is it okay? Ah, okay. So I was supposed to go down to the main office after I finished with this class. Why did the VP want to have lunch with just me and this first grade teacher? I figured I should send a message to the head teacher, just so she didn't order an extra lunch for me or something. So I did, and then headed downstairs. There were actually five of us going to lunch, and the head teacher was one of them! We went up to the university's cafeteria - another delicious and enormous $5 meal.
Thursday, August 7
The Brazilian boy was absent again today - he hasn't been in since Monday, I guess he's really sick. Bummer that he's missed most of this week. Today's attendance taker invited me to lunch with she and another teacher after class. We went up to the university again like yesterday. After lunch we had coffee in the main office, which we did yesterday too. The Principal was with us today, not the VP, but he was served coffee first in a real cup on a saucer - like the VP yesterday. And then the rest of us got coffee in paper cups, sitting on the opposite side of the room from the Principal.
Friday, August 8
Today was a fun, relaxed last day of camp. It was so surreal when my sister and grandma knocked on the door five minutes after I finished the last class, even though I'd known they'd be coming for some time now. Here we are!
We had a delicious shabu-shabu lunch around 3, and we'll head back into Seoul in a little bit. I'm not taking my laptop with me on our ~2 week trip, so the blog will be a bit quiet for the next two weeks.