Monday, February 28, 2011

Glocal Here in Korea

I work near Konkuk University and they recently put up this sign which made me laugh a little. I know catchy, buzz words made from synergizing two words together are quite popular, but all this sign did was make me think of the movie "Up in the Air". In the movie their adaptation of glocal was being able to lay people off virtually so I wonder what KU is doing to adapt glocality into their curriculum.

Wade Kids Academy Graduates

I can't believe graduation day is already here. It's been a year since I've taught Neptune class at Wade Kids Academy. I'm so proud of my little ones. It was a bitter sweet moment saying goodbye to my seven year olds. It will be a little strange not seeing them everyday.

Oh Diego, how I will miss the funny things you say. He looks like such a young man in his cap and gown. He had both his parents there as well has one set of grandparents. They were so proud of him.

The students get this kindergarten diploma that has their picture, the official school seal, and a class picture. Pretty fancy for a kindergarten graduation. Kwang still has his kindergarten graduation picture with him in a cap and gown so I guess this was pretty common even back in the 1980's.

The kids not only sang two songs, but had to recite a speech they wrote. We practiced a lot for this moment. Everyone got over their nerves and did a great job.

Here's the paparazzi; parents all wanting the perfect shot. We went up on stage and did a series of poses. Parents brought bouquets of flowers with some kids leaving with more than two fist fulls of flowers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Giant Soju Truck

I've seen this truck driving around our neighborhood a couple times now. It reminds me of the red bull truck back home, only in Korea instead of a can of red bull there's a giant soju bottle. Hmm do I feel like some soju right now...maybe next time as I can usually only handle it when mixed with beer.

Valentine's Day in Korea

Being a kindergarten teacher may not be my calling, but making fun, crafty projects with the kids sure is fun. Valentine's Day is a relatively new concept here in Korea. They put their own little twist on it as it's a day where the woman in the relationship is supposed to do something special for the guy, typically in the form of a box of chocolates. Then a month later on White Day, March 14th, the guys buy something white for their ladies. This sort of leaves a challenge for same sex relationships, huh. At school the kids had a hard time understanding that they were supposed to write valentines for each student in the class. I'm quite proud of the ones I made above and the kids loved getting them. They also were totally tickled when I explained to them that XOXO meant hugs and kisses. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tamna the puppy from Jeju-do

After arriving at Kwang's parents' house at 3:00 am I was greeted by this little bundle of goodness. His name is Tamna because Kwang's father bought him at a market on Jeju Island. At one time the kingdom of Tamna ruled this small island off the southern tip of South Korea. He's a bona fide mutt but he might have some Jindo in him which is Korea's native breed.

I love the way his ears flop down. He was pretty timid when we arrived, but after all of the love we gave him he opened up quite a bit. Tamna had a dog house in the courtyard though he did not have inside privileges. Every morning I would wake up and find him outside basking in the sun. Jinhae was a good 10 degrees F warmer than Seoul. I couldn't believe that we didn't have to wear winter jackets during the day.

We were a little sad to leave Tamna behind as we both knew we wouldn't be back until Chuseok which is in September. By this time we will not be greeted by a cute, little puppy any more so we had to soak up all of that playful goodness. Having a dog there will still be fun though. Tamna even came with us when we went to visit Kwang's grandmother's grave. He was a little troublesome, trying to steal the food that was set out for honoring the deceased. If only Kwang and I both didn't work so much. A dog would definitely be in the plan if that was the case, especially since our new apartment allows it...oh well. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Wade Kids Academy Celebrates Seollnal with Chicken Fights

Part of our Seollnal celebration was practicing bowing as all children need to bow to their parents during the holiday. Kwang and I did this for his family too, though I should have taken better notes as the kids were learning how to at school.

Another activity we did was Chicken Fighting where you have to hop on one foot with your other leg crossed, while bumping into your opponent, trying to get them off their one leg. I would have to say the girls had it extra hard as it's no easy feat doing this with a long hanbok on.

The boys were pros though!

Wade Kids Academy Celebrates Seollnal by Making Kites

At school we made colorful Korean kites to celebrate the New Year, Seollnal in Korean. The kids were really into this activity and made some great art. All too often our art projects are a set kit where deviation from the design isn't really encouraged, so it's nice to have these small creative projects.

Diego was having sort of a rough time after he broke out with a nose bleed half way through the project. This picture says it all. God I love this kid.

Emily is very much into weird, sciency, non-girlie girl things. Princesses are not on her list of favorites. So it seemed only fitting for her to make a crocodile sort of creature for her flag.

The kids loved taking pictures with their faces in the hole of the kite. Here Kenny added a long green piece so that he would have a beard.