Monday, September 21, 2009

Tee-Eye-Arr-Eee-Dee, Tired

After the wild events of last week, this weekend I indulged in sleep, American television and drawing. Unfortunately it doesn't give me much to write about here, but I think it will help me endure the upcoming week.

While I feel on top of the class preparation, lesson planning and (mostly) teaching my body hasn't quite caught up with my mind. I'm always exhausted by the end of the day, whether it went smoothly or no. Today fortunately was a smooth day in the classroom but a hectic one without. My co-teacher and I spent a good hour and a half trying to turn a 6th grader's Korean essay into English for an English speech contest. Honestly, I'm not sure what purpose the contest serves since apparently all the speeches are re-drafted and altered by the teachers and the students only serve as little robots who regurgitate memorized phrases they couldn't possibly understand. It's a little sad microcosm of the larger problems in an education system which emphasizes rote learning over teaching independent analytical thought. Unfortunately for these children the entire system of lower education terminates in an SAT-like test which determines whether the student can go to college and if so, where. This has created an educational system built on the Kaplan plan: teach the test, not the subject.

Anyway, my apologies for that little aside. Besides sleeping and watching television I did make time this weekend to attend two dinners. Saturday was a welcoming dinner for our newest EPIK teacher and Sunday another EPIK cohort hosted a little get-together in her apartment with some home-cooked western-style delectables. It was all deeply appreciated by myself. I also consumed the first palatable wine I've had in Korea, which in this case had come to Korea via Australia. I don't think you'll be seeing Korean sections opening up in your local wine shops back home anytime soon.

Next time I'll try to provide you with more hilarious anecdotes but for now just enjoy the catchy tones of Lee Seung Hwan's "Superhero", my current favorite K-Pop Hit:

At the very least skip to the end for a fun 80's Exercise Video inspired dance routine. I think this video could also make for an excellent drinking game. The only rule: Take a shot every time a major copyright is violated. Enjoy!

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