Saturday, October 17, 2009

English: It does the body good...

I have an odd way of noticing things. Like being on my way out to Mount Palgongsan to teach for part of the day under the shadow of the Buinsa temple and noticing a milk truck with ESL stamped on the side. I snap a picture and laugh at the irony.
It was just one of those mornings that felt like everything was just in time, where I was doing what I had to do, and reviewed the directions once again, trying to reconcile what I knew vice what I had been told. Often, there can be a huge gulf between the two. Often, sadly I have found the things a foreigner is told is often a huge estimation, not necessarily giving you all of the information. Perceptions of time and distance often vary, and many 'details' are presented with little time to make an informed decision. This has forced me to rely on my instincts on more than one occasion. Like the difference in commuting time. I went with my instincts over the information provided to me. 30 minutes was safer than 10 minutes. Also, the number of classes I was to teach swelled within 24 hours from 4, to 6, to eventually being 8 classes. Minor details...just minor...I still had a great time doing this event.
As I watched the children get pumped up for their experience I marvelled once again at how on a Saturday...children and their parents came out to spend an afternoon to interact in English and be excited about it. I saw parents beaming with pride about the performances their children gave over learning. They were giving it their all. They had as much excitement as if they were at a sporting event. At the end of this event, the student and the teachers all posed together for group photos, and out from every pocket, purse, or handbag...came the cameras. 10 - 15 minutes of being if the teachers were rock stars.
And it is very telling. This is a Saturday in Korea...and yes, they are serious about their future.

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