Strawberry milk in the coffee... I'm undecided about this one, still.
Uh. Work is boring me to tears, because they've suddenly decided to cancel all the afternoon classes. I'm also way, way, way sick, which I'm going out of my way to hide from my coworkers, out of fear of being carted off to the hospital and given a shot in the "hip". It's apparently not working, as Coteacher informed me (as we left the office together today) that, "Everybody is so worried, asking about you."
I hate teaching when I'm sick because I don't really want someone who's sneezing and dribbling and wheezing all up in my face at any given moment, and all up your face is what I am when I'm teaching you.
I had my second session at the study center tonight. One set of twins is coming around quite quickly, and the other is split halfway between being overly polite and eager to get the right answers, and just sort of beaming in my general direction and not actually saying anything. Literally split in half, as in one does the first and the other does the latter. My non-weirdo high school boy just basically sits there stressing himself out for no good reason. They're all still far too reliant on the Korean teacher for translation, which shows that they probably haven't had a ton of interaction with their 원어민 without translation. I'm pushing them really hard to put away the electronic dictionaries and stop asking the Korean teacher " _____ 영어로 뭐에요?" I jump in whenever I can, when I hear this, and cut them off. The Korean teacher seemed to pick up on what I was doing and excused himself from the room halfway through after we started working. He's awkward, but a good sort. And the students really like and trust him.
I explained to them tonight that, it may seem weird at first, but that we can work together to understand each other -- they don't always have to rely on anything other than just my brain and their brains. We can work it out. I said, sometimes it probably looks silly to people on the outside, because we might say strange things or make strange motions, but we can do it. I can understand you. Just try. The key is just getting them to stop freezing up as soon as they try to ask me in Korean, and I don't know the word they're asking about. I remember this with my boys at school when we first started, but now those guys make no qualms about going into full on mime, I'll-use-any-vaguely-related-English-word-I-can-think-of-to-get-my-point-across mode.
Ah. They're good boys. Tonight the woman who runs the place tried to drive me home, but I did my best to explain in a weird English/Korean combination that I want to help her, not make more stress for her. But today it's very cold! Yes, I know, but I'm a grown up and I'll survive the walk to and from the bus. She still made the non-weirdo high schooler put on his shoes and walk me to the bus. Which really embarrassed him. Poor guy.
It's so nice to be in a teaching environment where we can do actual activities that don't descend into total chaos without constant circling and monitoring, where we can all participate together as a group. It really, really, extremely ups the amount of English being spoken during the session. I feel like I actually have a shot at affecting my students' English levels in a real way, for once.
And, far from making me more exhausted, it's actually been quite a relaxing experience so far. Far more so than going and sitting through two hours of struggling to understand Korean class was. So I'm not too worried about getting burnt out. I'm still a little worried about keeping one set of the twins straight, though, although I did spot a helpful freckle on one of their earlobes tonight. I'm sure it will come with time.
Gah. All I do these days is talk about teaching. Here. Have a random super-Korean mirror self-cammed photo of my amazing new "big sizee" coat to make up for it. I'm a big fan of taking photos of myself after I've just woken up these days. This was in the women's "rest" room at work, where I spent all my free time today laying on the ondol trying sweat out the illness and not smear my mascara. Sexy.