The many signs of the crazy Kids

11 10 2009

What a week. 2 weeks ago I went along to a demo class conducted by Matt and Mrs Yun, my old Co-teacher. They conducted a lesson based on signs, different kinds, colours and finishing up with the kids creating their own signs.

I took inspiration (ok, ok, I basically copied) the lesson idea and here I am, posting the results.

I gave each class approximately 25 or 30 minutes for the sign creation, working in groups of 2 or 3 kids. These are my favourites so far. The good, the great, the terrible and the downright WTF! Please enjoy, click on any image to be taken to my flickr page with the pics in much higher quality and size.

Becareful! BoNoBoNo No Study Don't Sleeping in My Class Teacher, No Kill Student

No Love in School Don't Eat Chewing Gum Don't Touch Me Don't Say You Love Me

Don't Kiss No Frustration No Killing Don't Study

No Escape (From Hamtae Middle School) No Big Earrings No Naked No Drinking Soju

No Anger Don't Draw Signs No Make-Up No Sexy Girl

No Crazy Be Careful My Friends No Make-Up No Crazy

Don't Poo Don't Sleeping Don't Crossdress No Head Shot

No Vomit Don't Killing No Self Camera No Pissing

No Ddong Chim No IceCakie Don't Ddong Chim No Killing

No Alcohol No Farting

As you might expect, generally the quality of the artwork from the girls is better than the boys. The boys did most of the killing, naked, farting etc. I know I had a blast doing this with my students. I’ll have to dig up some more of their Engrish artworks to show.

Strange goings on of the week, or Swine Flu and my school

1 10 2009

Crazy week. At least its almost finished, and finished with a bang. Its Chuseok, or the thanksgiving holdiay. A long weekend where everyone goes back to their hometowns to spend time as a family. Where the women cook and clean all day and the men drink soju and play games.

But I digress.

Last week was the start of Swine Flu in my school. It all began on Thursday, with one first grade girl being diagnosed. Friday was even more peculiar, with some sad school related news and some more swine flu. We were up to 6 confirmed flu cases, all girls and all within the same class.

Now, which of these 2 events would you consider to be most important. 6 kids (about 4% of our students) coming down with swine flu, or the funeral of somebody who most people at the school haven’t met.

Yup, the funeral wins out. The school is closed early to allow all the grieving teachers to drive to Wonju, maybe 90mins away, to attend the funeral. Swine flu? meh. All they did is call a guy in to singlehandedly spray random bits of school with a random liquid.

Now, this week. Exams. Sitting on my arse watching youtube video’s and generally being frustrated that everyone is so busy and stressed and I can’t do a think about it.

Did I mention youtube video’s? I found a new favourite. Its called “Mr Belly Man”.

Anyhow, exams are now over as of 9.55am this morning. 6 exams total, spread over 3 days, with a 4 day long weekend at the end of it. Could be much worse. Many other schools are having their exams after the long weekend to give the kids extra “study time”. Traditionally that has been my schools approach but this time round they gave the kids a break.

As of today our swine flu statistic stands at 9 diagnosed. 8 first grade kids and a single third grader. Any bets on if it will get better or worse?

I do find it a bit ironic that after travelling overseas we were subjected to a 7 day quarantine period, just in case. While now this school has 9 confirmed cases, meaning that everyone has been exposed to confirmed cases, but nothing really happens. Actually, thats not quite true. I was given a beautiful blue face mask to protect me. Its uncomfortable and hot.

Still, long weekend, into Seoul, delicious foods, some touristy things, hopefully some great pics. Should be fun.

English Village a Gogo

9 09 2009

The unbelievable has happened. Its finished (almost at least). The English Village is finished (or should that be finishy?).

Before I went on vacation the decision had been made to change our newly refurbished computer room into an actual English room. Of course this all occurred after the datacenter style raised flooring and cabling all went it, but so be it.

From Hamtae English Village

They’ve spent a huge pile of cash, to redo the room for my exclusive use. We have all the new toys to play with, and not a single explanation of what the toys are or what they can do.

From Hamtae English Village

The idea is that the kids come to me for our English classes. No more me travelling around the school, into classrooms where the computer may or may not work, where kids spend half their time sleeping or ignoring me. Finally, POWER!!!!!!!!

From Hamtae English Village

As well as the classroom elements, we have an extensive library. Well, extensive compared to our previous English library of 1 book (actually I lie, its 2 books. They split the first Harry Potter into 2 volumes). They even gave me some sofa’s to sleep/study on.

From Hamtae English Village

Another wonderful thing they gave us are 3, just 3 computers for the kids to “search” with. Of course nothign in English, only Korean. Oh well. Could be worse.

From Hamtae English Village

Overall its been a success so far. The kids are excited to get out of their normal classrooms, and usually barrel in 10 mins before class begins. Luckily my office is next door so I can ignore them until class begins. Its also fantastic to finally be able to rely upon a computer being there, working, with sound etc. The number of times you think it’ll work and then it doesn’t are enough to drive me even more exotically crazy.

Next challenge. Keep it clean in working order when my cleaning crew consists of 3 very giggly 1st grade girls 🙂

Long Time, No Post.

24 08 2009

Wow, its been a while. I’ve been busy. Yes really. Well, busy and vacation. Can’t be busy all the time can I 🙂

Well, we are back from Turkey and a great time was had. I’ve been slowly working on photo’s, lots more required but I’ll get there.

For now you can see the pics I’ve uploaded so far on my Flickr page. Mostly just group shots or pics of the people on our tour.

We arrived back into Taebaek late Sundey night last week. I’d already been told before we left that quarantine would be required. Yes, for leaving the country we got given a bonus week of paid quarantine time, just in case we picked up swine flu on our travels. Not that we went to Mexico or anything, not even like we went to a country with pigs (Turkey is mostly muslim so pork is completely out). Still, extra week it was. Who can say no to that?

Even more crazy, I was told to get a flu test from the hospital before turning up at work, just in case I really did have swine flu but didn’t know it yet.

Of course like all of these ideas, it was made with the best of intentions but little actual knowledge of the facts. We fronted up to the hospital for our tests, spent quite a while trying to get across to them what we were after, got examined by a doctor for about 30 seconds (all that happened was he took our temperature) and that was it. They can’t or won’t do the flu test for us because we are not symptomatic, and the test takes a few days to process (take swab in Taebaek, send to Seoul for processing, wait, wait, go back to hospital for results, get paper certifying we are flu free) before finally go back to school.

We did manage to get an official receipt from the hospital for our “consultation”, all of W1100 or about AU$1.10 which the schools treat as an official test result document. Crazy.

Bottom line? back at school teaching again after about 5 weeks. Its good to be back, but I think every single student is making a joke asking me if I have SI.

Even the VP told me, in English, to wash my hands all the time. Nice thought, but still no soap in the bathrooms.

Korea, Sparkling.

Taebaek Weather, its crazy

15 07 2009

I started the blog by talking about the drought in Taebaek. Well, its over. Has been officially over for a while but with the weather of the past few weeks, its truly over.

First the rain, its been pouring down. Not just light but amazingly heavy rain, lasting hours on end. Days at a time. Amazing stuff.

Just watching the weather roll in over the mountains is impressive. Here it had been raining all day, just stopped for 20 minutes or so and then as you can see the clouds rolled in over the mountains and it all started again.

Here comes the rain...

As a result everything is waterlogged. The small river beside school, normally just a light trickle is now a raging torrent. Pretty impressive and very noisy. As I was taking these pics the kids lost a basketball over the fence and into the water. Within a few seconds it was well downstream.

The full rivers of Taebaek

The full rivers of Taebaek

The full rivers of Taebaek

These were all long exposures taken with stacked filters, a ND400 and a CPL.

The Airforce over Taebaek

1 07 2009

Here in Taebaek we are blessed with an Airforce bombing range just down the road next to our famous Taebaek-san.

What does this mean? Regular low, fast flights screaming down the valleys here heading west to the bombing range for practice.

This time I was lucky enough to catch them with my camera as they flew lower than usual right over our apartment.

Airforce over Taebaek

Airforce over Taebaek

What are they? No idea. If you know please let me know in the comments.

TShirt of the Day “Our pussys, Our choice”

26 06 2009

Oh the joys of Korea. Engrish everywhere. Tshirts especially.

This one was captured by a fellow teacher in our small town, working in an Elementary School (no names mentioned). A 4th grade elementary girl was wearing this all day. Of course nobody except the “concerned” teacher was vaguely phased by this.


I’ve seen similarly wrong shirts, but other than this one (below) I haven’t managed to get hold of any.

From Wierd Stuff