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23 March 2005
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KLB - Moving Along


I managed to get up early again and hit the health club. That's two days in a row. It's much better to work out in the morning. Hardly anyone is in the place, save a couple of older women on the treadmills. Also, it's just nice to get it out of the way, go to work and then come home finished with everything for the day. I used to hate going after work. I managed to do so for about 6 months in Nowhere-dong before giving up, but I never liked it much.

Julie's sick. She missed work today. It took about 5 phone calls back and forth with her school before she got the clear. It's never easy to call in sick here. They kept asking her if she could come a little later, as if a few hours of sleep is all anyone needs to get over the flu. Her voice is gone and she sounds pretty cute. After work, I stopped off near Homeplus and picked her up some piping hot juk, which translates as Korean traditional porridge. It's pretty much rice that's been cooked then boiled and vegetables added. Kind of thick and slimy, but very healthy. Koreans usually eat it when they are sick. Their equivalent of our chicken soup. It seems to have worked, that and the Tylenol. Her fever has come down and her voice is already returning.

I had a typical day at work. Cathy pissed me off again, but it's the same old story so I won't mention it anymore. Everything is great with the kids. Damn good kids, I can't say it enough. Got two new ones again today, which is starting to worry me. It's up to 15 in each class now. That may not sound much to an American or Korean teacher, but for a foreigner teaching Korean kids, that's a lot of students. Still, I like all the kids except one, and even he's coming around already. I've never had a job where I've adored all the kids like this. Even the boys are growing on me more and more.

The books have really helped lately. Unfortunately I'm only allowed to use them twice a week according to our new syllabus. I have to teach a "theme" unit once a week again - ugh! Another day is supposed to be for story books, but we only have story books for one class - typical. Then Friday is "game and activity" day - which is fine. I asked Cathy if she could get together some kind of game guide. In my opinion, that would be better than her roaming around the room all day and bothering me. I keep telling her to sit down but she never does.

I know a handful of games that work well with kids. As a matter of fact I came up with a good one today. I called it, "I Made You Laugh!" First you split the kids into two groups, A and B. The two teams stand facing each other. Group A then tries to make any of the group B kids laugh. If they succeed, they yell, "I made you laugh!" and earn a point. Then B teams tries to make A laugh.

I like playing games and doing fun things with the kids, of course. Usually things like that game just pop in my head as I'm teaching and I do them. I love the spontaneity. I hate having to follow some pre-made time-table that really doesn't benefit the kids at all. So much wasted paper. I wish I could just do a variety things every day, say 15 minutes of phonics, 15 using the books/story books, 10 writing in the workbooks or notebooks, and the last few minutes some kind of activity worksheet or game. That's better than doing a different thing each day. For example, now I can't use my books again until next Tuesday, meaning the kids will probably forget what they've learned and I'll have to review - basically teach the same lesson all over - before moving on. Oh well, at least this way these precious books will last awhile. I don't want to have to try to get new ones again.

I guess that's it for today. I'm going to take care of Julie - tuck her in and make sure she's asleep before turning on the Xbox. Hah, just kidding. She's already asleep. Slept about 15 hours today. I'll probably read. I just finished Sex and the City, the book, which was better than I thought it would be. Now I'm starting A Civil Action.

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