After a slight adjustment in plans, Mike ended up coming over to mine yesterday. Saturdays have continued their toxic trend thus far, and so we opted to just not even try to go outdoors. We did some grocery shopping, where I was forced to buy a 24 pack of toilet paper because there wasn't anything smaller and nearly had to cave in on the six pack of soap, before Mike spotted a three pack on the bottom shelf. What the fuck. I'm one lonely person. I don't need all of this shit at once.
Also bought some kind of posh rice (because I wasn't able to find any cheaper) for my new rice cooker. Someone on one of the expat forums said living in SK is like having 50 million mothers. Sometimes it feels that way. I was on my way out the door on Thursday with Coteacher when The Most Beautiful Woman in the World came rushing out of the admin office. She said something very excitedly to Coteacher, and Coteacher asked me if I had enough blankets to be warm at night. I said yes, I have three, and my ondol is top notch. She said, well maybe you need one more. I said, well I really don't think so, as I'm not even using one of them at the moment. She said, yes, but what if you have a guest? Well I wasn't about to explain that my guests usually sleep in the bed with me, not that I have any recently or for the foreseeable future. So I just said, well I can buy a blanket......
Well, if you need one, you just let her know. Okay. Okay. Then, do you have a rice cooker? Well, no....
Korean hysteria. She will get for you! She will get rice cooker! It will come soon!
Well, I mean, I was planning on just running to Home Plus and picking one....
No! She will get for you! She!
So sure enough, Friday I was walking out and Coteacher comes running and screaming down the hall: "Liz! Liz! Riiiiiiiice cooooooooker! It's heeeeeeeeeeeeeere!" And there, it was. I went down to the admin office, where four women explained to me in Korean/mime how to use it all at once.
What you do is, you put the rice and water in. Then you plug it in. Then you press the button.
I have a diagram if it gets too confusing.
So, Mike came over and we lesson planned for a bit, and then we listened to a radio play version of Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas while Mike uploaded files he brought for me onto my computer, and I cooked rice for curry and cleaned the kitchen a bit. Mike also downloaded "Black Books" onto my laptop a couple of weeks ago, so we watched a few episodes of that and had some coffee before he went home. None of that was necessarily in that order.
We've been talking a lot lately about teaching, and how kind of fucked up this system is. Not the SK public school system in general, but the incorporation of the native teachers. We're trying to think of anything we can to make it better, but let's face it -- we're not exactly experts. We've come up with a plan that might be a little more fun than the textbooks, if we can get it to work. Since Mike works at an all girls school, and me at an all boys school, we thought it would be cool to get a couple of cheap web cams and microphones and let our classes talk to each other through Skype. The kicker is, if they say even one word in Korean, they have to hand the microphone over -- English only. I'm not sure if that would be, as Mike put it, "the perfect recipe for a silent hell" or if it would just cause total chaos, but I think if we can plan it out enough, it's worth a shot.
I'm also getting really tired of coming across boys in my class who still can't read English and having my coteachers tell me it's because their concentration is bad. It's entirely possible that is the reason for some of them, but I'm willing to bet it's not the main cause with most. I'm not sure how aware or unaware the ROK is of learning disabilities at this point, as it's still an incredibly shaky issue back home as well. The problem is, I don't have enough confidence in my teaching abilities to take this on just yet. I did a lot of work with my younger brother and cousin, who are both dyslexic, when they were learning to read, but a classroom full of kids who don't speak English is a different ballgame entirely. I'm going to work on it though, see what I can come up with as far as lesson plans, and then pitch the idea to Coteacher for an after school class for these kids. I don't even care if I don't get paid for it -- it's too important. If these kids are going to be expected to continue learning English for the rest of their academic careers (or lives), then this has to come first. It can't just be bypassed, or blamed on the kids.