It's simple: You pick a subject out of a hat, and you've got seven minutes. You don't worry about grammar or spelling -- the point is to show us your feelings and your thoughts. That's a hard seven minutes, too. No "Teacher one more please one more!" about it. The pressure is part of what pushes them to finally just come out and say what they have to say in English.
So. Let's see what that is, today.
HoYong. Subject: a building.
A building that I want to live in future. My building in a future is in Canada. It has large of garden and has a little farm. The house that I'll live has Green gable and 3 floor. In my house there is living room, 4 bed room, hobby room, kitchen and a dining room. I'll live with my wife and 2 sons.
Sangwon. Subject: my future son.
In future, maybe I'll have a son. I will make my son active, healthy, polite. I will ask my son "what do you want to be when you grown up?" and I'll teach that.
KangMin. Subject: my favorite tv show.
I don't use my computer except doing homework. So I usually watch TV shows a lot. Among the TV shows, my favorite TV program is baseball game which is played by SK Wyverns because this team is my favorite team. When I was sixth grade in my elementary school, I was addicted to watch baseball game. So my favorite TV is baseball game. I usually watch it for 3~4 hours except Monday because Monday has no game.
SeongMin. Subject: my favorite thing.
Almost people have many favorite thing there lifes. For example, boys like soccer, baseball, play, computer game. When I young, I enjoy that, but now I decide my job and future so I want to make better thing. Recently I contact with many difficult and interesting hobby. So I find that my favorite thing. First, my favorite thing is watch a movie. Because I like read, but, when I read a book, I use a lot of time, so I like watch movie. Also, my favorite thing is talk to my friends, because, when I talk to my friends I'm interesting and know friends opinion.
Hyeog. Subject: a memory from childhood.
When I was young world have many surprise things so I have a lot of thinkings. For example people in the TV so TV show the person. Now I think this. It's an innocent child. And this world always reminds me of an incident in my primary school days. This world is mystery when I went to school first. School is very mystery world. New rules and new persons and so on.
Jiyoon. Subject: my future daughter.
In the future, I'll bear my daughter. So I'll teach to her many things. First, I'll teacher her about my life. So I'll make realize her. Second, I'll do anything for her. For example, give my love, buy the toy.
Yonghwae. Subject: what I really hate.
I hate insects! They are really really disgusting. And also, their wing sounds like "buzz-" are really noisy. In addition, harmful insects like mosquitos and flies are my enemy. They disturbs my sweety sweet sleep. Because of these reasons, I hate insects.
Sihyeon. Subject: my favorite grandparent.
To start write about my favorite grandparent. Actually I don't have any choices. Because I have my mother's mother and my father's grandparent. So I choose my father's. My grandparents live in Mokpo which is not developed. The country. So they breed many animals. Normally cows and dogs. Sometimes they breed rabbits too. Because there are many animals, so they catch them and show them. When we go there, they are enough to make us feel comfortable and it is not a city. One more thing about them. They are farmers. They do a farm work with some machines. So it is to good to go there and I love their lives.
Jiho. Subject: a problem I have.
My problem is that I don't talk too much. So this problem is fatal my life. Because I want to make many friend but I'm very quiet. So I didn't make many friends. Second, my future is
Now. Here is where Jiho finished writing. Because Jiho is very quiet, and it's quite difficult for Jiho to express anything, in either Korean or English. I've known Jiho for almost three years now, and I've always kept an eye on him. It took me a long time to get him to be comfortable around me, because I'm the number one teacher who's likely to put Jiho on the spot, due to the activities that my class involves. So I've had to kind of maneuver and manipulate my way around ever calling on Jiho, or falling on him to be the one to read or speak. He's one of those kids where it's not like he's quiet because he doesn't have anything to say, or there's just not much going on. And, it's true, those kids do exist. But Jiho catches your attention even though he's quiet. Whenever I've addressed Jiho since he was a first grader, he's hardly ever said a word out loud in response. But every time, there's a look that crosses his face that's like a fucking struggle. I can see him wanting to speak, and not being able to.
I really empathize with Jiho, because when I was just a couple of years younger than Jiho, I went through a phase where I just basically didn't talk. To anyone about anything. And it wasn't necessarily because I didn't want to.
But. Do you know what Jiho did today, when we were all sitting in a circle reading and talking about our answers together? Jiho didn't stop when he got to the end of the middle of that sentence. Jiho kept talking, all on his own, in English. Off the top of his head. He explained how in the future, he wants to be a professor, but being a professor requires you to speak in front of a lot of people. And he doesn't know if he can do that, because he can't even talk to his close friends now.
I told Jiho I was the same way when I became a teacher. That I was fucking terrified to stand up and talk to the class for the first time, and how it was really difficult at first. I'm not fucking around either -- it was literally my biggest fear when I was preparing to move to Korea. Not the language barrier, not culture shock, not the food.... I was most afraid of having to speak in front of that many people that often for that length of time.
I told Jiho not to worry about it -- I was dead shy all the way up through university. I still am, really, even today. When I meet people for the first time, or even when I'm in a comfortable group of friends numbering more than three or four, I mostly stay pretty quiet. But standing in front of a room full of judgmental little strangers and speaking for 45 minutes at a time? Piece of cake. Not a problem.
Okay. So we all know Jiho is the favorite of this camp. Sihyeon is close on his heels, because he's got the cutest little face and he loves his farmer people grandparents, just like I do. Hyeog seems to be edging on to saying something quite deep there, and it should be obvious that Yonghwae and Seongmin are the comedians of this batch.
Basically, I love them all. No surprises there. Maybe later today, or tomorrow, you can look forward to the gossip stories they wrote about each other, one sentence at a time.