tids and bits

November 2, 2010

In no particular order.

It is definitely fall. The air is crisp and the wind now has quite a bite. The sky is clear and the leaves are changing making the mountain look like a patchwork quilt.  I love it. However I am debating whether or not to turn on the heat. On the one hand, warm floors.. mmmm. on the other, it really does get very hot very quickly.

I’ve been wanting to do a bit of knitting at work, but I’m going to be way too busy. I am finishing up the directions for all the worksheets in my workbook. (I just found out the school might even pay me! I really didn’t do it for that, but if it is true, bonus) I will also be working on the second year’s writing workbook. They won’t actually have the book in their hand, but I would like to organize the worksheets and next year have a real writing portion of my class.  – I also need to get an essay written about co-teaching in Korea and I’ve gone a bit insane and signed up for http://www.nanowrimo.org/ Yes I will try to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month. Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it.

In other news, the first years are having their speaking test next week. It means I don’t have to prepare for classes, but it also means that the testing season is upon us. That means the students are somewhat less than attentive in class. Today they had a major math test after school. I didn’t know it was a biggie, so when my students would sneak working on their math in class, I got a bit angry. I think it bothered me so much because usually this was a great class, that usually works pretty hard in class. So I told them I was a bit disappointed. After class, one of the teachers said “oh, they have a huge math test today” Well. I felt pretty bad. So the next class I made a deal with the students, if they worked hard and really worked, not just filled out the worksheet as fast as possible, I would let them have the last ten minutes. They still couldn’t concentrate on English. Sigh.

I haven’t decided what to do for winter camp yet. I still have two months, but I like having a theme. I’ve done “The Wizard of Oz” and “It’s Murder! in the summertime”  The theme has to be interesting, plus I have to be able to make activities and worksheets that the students can use and enjoy. I want my camp to be fun. At least that is what I try to do.

And as I said before, I’m learning how to knit. I don’t understand how I can make a mistake on every single project. It really is simple.  Sigh. Perhaps my novel for novel-writing month could be about a gremlin that gets onto knitting needles and messes up things.


A day in the life

October 29, 2010

I’m writing this because I have been scolded for not posting in a while.

So I’d like to talk about my average day.  This is what it is like to be an English teacher in Seoul. I’m going to talk about Wednesday, because I usually don’t go out much on Wednesday night, so it is a very ordinary day.

I usually wake up about 6:30, turn on some tunes and turn on the coffee. Then I hit the snooze button and sleep for an extra 10 minutes. So then I have to hurry and get in the shower and get dressed.  I leave the house at 7:30, and walk to work.   That early in the morning, all the hofs and restaurants are closed, but there are sleepy-eyed people waiting for the bus, and cyclists and cars keeping a ghost town vibe to a minimum.  Then I get to The Hill.  In summer I always get a bit sweaty trudging up the last 10 minutes of a vertical incline.

I get into the office along with all the other teachers. Mr. Ahn, who teaches Philosophy, sits next to me on my right, and Ms. Che, one of my co-teachers sits on my left. I say hi to everyone, and turn on my computer, then grab some coffee, and say hi to the other teachers. I’m able to speak enough Korean to be pleasant.

Mr Ahn doesn’t speak any English, but he is kind and gentle, and he always smiles at me.  He is also an excellent dancer and will sometimes share a dance video with me.

I usually have a class 1st period, so I collect the worksheets I’ve prepared the day before, look them over and get everything else I need.  I usually only need chalk, and most of the time it is already in the classroom.  The bell rings at 8:10 and all the other teachers and I leave the teacher’s office and head to the classrooms. In Korea, the teacher’s don’t have their own classroom; we travel.

I have 4 classes everyday.  Usually I have one beginner’s class, an intermediate, and an advanced in the first year( freshman) classes and second year (classes. For first year classes I have total freedom for my classes. I can do what ever I want. This is awesome, but some days I feel a bit of pressure to come up with something interesting and informative and will get them talking.   I usually have the class do group work, mostly because it is easier to control the class and easier to keep the students awake.

Sleeping students is not a big problem in my class, but then I keep them moving a bit, and usually if a student puts her head down, it’s because she is sick or had to work late.  Most of my students are pretty good about participating, although I do have to remind them to speak English in the groups. I generally like teaching the classes. I have a co-teacher in each class:  The same teacher all day, and I think I get along with them all.  They usually help me by translating if I ask, and helping the students after they get in their groups.  So I enter the class, explain the tasks, put helpful vocabulary on the board, and put them in groups. Then my co-teacher and I go around the classroom helping the students with their tasks.  After they are finished, usually for the last 10  minutes I have the students give a presentation. Most of the time, they are pretty good about volunteering, but sometimes I just have to pick the team that starts ( I use eine meinie minie moe)

Second year classes are a bit different. I have a book that I have to follow. To encourage participation, we have 10 points that we give out. This can turn a B into an A, so the students are pretty keen to get them. They get them by either talking to me at my desk in the teacher’s office or by doing a presentation in class.  They are pretty good about participating even in the non-point generating activities.  I really enjoy talking to them at my desk. I’ve learned a lot and some of my students are really interesting people.  Yeah, I do love them. They are pretty cool.

Between classes I prepare for other classes, read, surf the internet and next week I’ll be re-doing the instructions for the workbook I wrote for next year. I also have to think about what I want to do for winter camp. The school says they think I work hard, but I don’t feel like I do really. I love making worksheets and creating activities, and I love being in the classroom.  It doesn’t feel that work-ish to me.

School finishes at 4 and this semester I don’t have any extra classes.  So I say good-bye to everyone, and chat a bit, and then leave. Some days I go to the market and get some veggies to cook up, and sometimes I go to E-mart. Right now they have avocados at Costco and I bought some of course. I go home, and make some more coffee because it is my favorite addiction, change into something comfortable, cook dinner, and go online to watch tv or a movie.   I used to go out a bit more often, but lately I’ve been staying home and learning to sew and knit.  I really enjoy knitting, there is something a bit meditative to it.   I sometimes call home or friends, and sometimes I chat on messenger or face-book.  I clean the kitchen up, and around 11-ish I go to bed.  I wake up at 6:30 and do everything over again.

Right now it is getting cooler and crisper, and the leaves are changing.  Tomorrow is Halloween, but this year I don’t have a many plans. I’ll meet some friends for dinner on Sunday, and Saturday I plan on going to Dongdaemun and Kyobo, and I will spend some time in a coffee shop watching the people go by. I have to go into Itaewon and pick up a couple of calling cards because half of my family don’t have Skype, and then depending on how I feel, I might put on some dancing shoes, or I might just call a friend to grab some dinner.  I won’t know till I get there.  Next weekend I will not go anywhere or talk to anyone. I try to have at least one day a month where I turn off the phone, and the computer and don’t get dressed.

And this is my life right now. True it isn’t very exciting, but it is enjoyable.


On compassion and just deserts

October 7, 2010

I was talking with a friend while we were walking to the subway after dinner. We had eaten at a Vietnamese/Thai fusion which was awesome by the way.  And as we were winding around, the conversation wended as the are wont to do on a beautiful October evening in the middle of the week. We talked about our days and weeks and plans and then we started talking about ideas.

I’m reading a book – Justice by Michael J. Sandel.  It is more about political philosophy, and one of the philosophers that he discusses is John Rawls. He has a distributive justice idea, that I’m not sure I fully understand enough to explain, but one of the ideas he has is that we don’t really deserve all the things we have earned.  I tend to agree. I don’t really “deserve” my job.  A lot of my good fortune in life was not from my work, or even my talent.  I was born in a country that speaks a language other countries want to learn.  I didn’t earn that, I didn’t work for that, it isn’t even a great talent. I just happened to be born into that language, and that makes me valuable.  Don’t get me wrong, I do work hard at being the best teacher I can be.  I worked hard for my degree, but again, I was lucky to come from a country that gives second chances for education. It isn’t something I choose, it is just the way my society runs things.

There are many people smarter than I am, who work harder, and who have more talent than I ever will. Yet because they were born in a different situation, they will not be able to work as a teacher in many countries, whereas I can.  I don’t “deserve” this good fortune. If I acknowledge this, I have to acknowledge the other side. Many people in worse situations don’t “deserve” them either.

As a teacher it is easy to forget this. It is easy to like the students who like you, and who like your subject.  It is much harder to realize that the students who don’t like English, who have other talents, some talents that are not as valued as English or Math skills, are also deserving and worthy.  I admit that there are students that frustrate me. They seem truculent and uncooperative, they don’t want to participate.  I have to remember that I felt the same way in many of my classes in high school ( actually I was a horrible student in high school – I think I may have even driven a few teachers to drink).  I have to remember that the “bad” students aren’t bad people, that the students who aren’t talented in languages aren’t untalented in life.  I try to have compassion for them. Notice I said try.

And that is what my friend and I were talking about. Compassion. What does it mean to have compassion? I don’t think it means having sympathy or even empathy with someone. I don’t think having compassion excuses un-social behavior or not working. I don’t think it means we should give students that don’t study or don’t “get it” no matter how hard they try a pass.  I do think that compassion is very different from that.  Compassion is difficult.

As a teacher I try to have compassion for my students, even the ones I don’t really like, or the ones that don’t want to work in my class.  It isn’t always easy.  And I often fail. I’m feeling less than compassionate right now. There is one student that has leveled up. She said she was afraid.  I felt bad, I’m not that scary in the upper level classes. Honest.  But she is a bit of an outcast in her current class.  I’ve been trying to reach out to her a bit, but it is hard, and I don’t want to make things worse.  Some of the students (even ones that I thought were kind of nice and pretty cool) don’t want to sit with her, or let her into their groups. They don’t hide their displeasure at having her join their work-groups.  This student is afraid that it will be worse in the next class, because now, she has gotten used to things in this class. I feel a lot of sympathy for her. As someone not particularly popular in class I also feel a lot of empathy.  I have a hard time feeling much compassion for the girls who bully her.

It comes at a time when several boys had been bullied until they committed suicide in the US. It breaks my heart to see kids that had so much potential, who had so much to offer, leave us so early.  I think they are “deserving” of compassion.  I want to have compassion for those that bullied them as well.  But that seems like I’m saying, oh, those poor bullies, who will think of them. I don’t want to say that. They have done too much damage.

But what is compassion if it is only bestowed on the good guys?

I don’t have an answer.  I try to be a good person. I try to be a good teacher. I try to “earn” my good fortune. I try to be compassionate, not just to the ‘good’ students, but also the ‘bad’ students.  I try to be compassionate to myself.

 


On good girls and bad boys

September 9, 2010

We are continuing our cult of personality in class this week.   I gave my students a long list of personality adjectives, and I even translated them into Korean (with help from my most awesome co-teacher) and had them do a worksheet where they decided which traits were good and which traits were bad.  I then gave them a worksheet where they chose the 5 best traits for a friend, a father, a mother, a teacher and a boyfriend.

I always make the students give a presentation after they fill in the worksheets; I do let them work in groups, and I try to get them to use the time to speak English,  but as soon as I’m out of sight, they start speaking in Korean, this happens even in my best classes, so to make sure they speak a little bit of English, I make them stand up and present their worksheets.

I was shocked at how many students said “mean” and “cold-hearted” are good traits for a boyfriend.  I asked, and they all said, ” bad boys, mmmm good” or some variation. As a teacher who both loves her students and is not immune to bad boy charm, I was in a bit of  a pickle. I do understand, but when I think of a bad boy, I don’t think of mean, or cold-hearted.  I think of a guy with a motorcycle and more than one girlfriend. Fun while it lasts, but something you usually outgrow eventually. The problem was explaining this without scandalizing some of my co-teachers ( I have 5 this semester).  1/2 of my co-teachers would be sympathetic, but some … hmm I’m not so sure about.  So I settled on – A bad boy will take you for a ride, and a bad man (cold-hearted and mean) will take everything you have.  I think that is a good explanation.

In my advanced class, I also have them do a dialog using the new vocabulary words. I was not surprised that the students who liked bad boys would come up with this exchange:

A: “I am sad. I got into a fight with my boyfriend”

B: ” It is obviously his fault”

Because if he is a bad boy, his fault is obvious. Obviously.

I was also a bit surprised but not shocked that students in the advanced and high intermediate classes liked a bossy and strict teacher, but students in the low intermediate and beginner classes liked an easy-going teacher.

Sometimes I have way too much fun in my class, but then I’m very easily amused.


An easy going person always smiles.

September 2, 2010

So this is the second week of the semester.  The first week back I thought my students had used all of their summer break forgetting everything I taught them last semester. But this week they were back in the swing of things.

I have one student I quite like, even though she is a bit prickly and stubborn.  She has made it clear, I am not a good teacher. The story:  Last semester we had a speaking test. It really wasn’t a speaking test, more like a test for memorization.  The students were given 5 dialogs to memorize, and were graded on a point system 1-10, with 10  a perfect score.   This is the only test I actually administer.  This student did pretty good on the test. I gave her a 9.  I wanted to give her the 10 she asked for, but she made several mistakes in the beginning.  I let her start over, and she did excellent, hence the 9. I couldn’t give her a 10 because that is the perfect score, and she did have to restart the test.  ( She is one of the lower level students, and although I don’t like grading on a curve, I am a bit more lenient for the lower level students than I am for the upper level students).  Anyway, I digress. She was most unhappy with the result.  She did make a valiant attempt to sway me, but I was unconvinced. I was then informed that I was a very bad teacher. She wouldn’t speak to me for the rest of the semester (she did do all the classwork I asked for).  This semester, she decided to forgive me. Until today.

This week we are discussing personality adjectives.  The worksheet has two parts: The first part is a finish the sentence exercise, and the second part is opposites.  The first one is: Kind is the opposite of__________.  I let her group use “unkind”.  10 minutes later I hear “Teacher, finishee”  I know, I am trying to get them to pronounce the final d, but I think it is a losing battle.  Anyway, I digress. I  thought it was rather quick, especially since the lab (upper level) students took much longer.  Well, they used the rule “un” = not, but I had to break it to them that unstingy, unhonest, unrude, unlazy, and unshy were not real words, and they couldn’t use them.  She was most upset.  I am back to being a bad teacher.  I met her in the halls between classes and she turned her face away from me so hard she almost hit the wall.  I am a bad teacher, I did laugh. She tried really hard to not laugh then decided to be angry with my laughter.  I don’t think she is going to talk to me the rest of the new semester.

I do love the way my students use the language though. Sometimes even though it isn’t “correct” it is still pretty cool.  I usually put them in groups and have them struggle with the words and their meanings, or the sentence structures. I want them to own the language, not just get the right answer.  In English, there is more than one way to express something, and I want them to have that power.

So some of the sentences my students have come up with:

A stingy person has a selfish mind.

A lazy person doesn’t like to wake up in the morning/ doesn’t like to endeavor.

An honest person  speaks only truths and does good things

An impatient person tells everyone to hurry up

An ambitious person only wants passion for work, not to be happy. ( I like this explanation, even if it would never show up in the dictionary)

An arrogant person is not modest

A shy person doesn’t like dangerous things. (maybe not, but it is close enough)

An easy-going person is a cool guy /doesn’t like to be upset.

My favorite opposites are:

Kind is the opposite of bad

Stingy is the opposite of shopping/ helping people.

Honest is the opposite of tricky/ illegal action/ hypocrisy

Rude is the opposite of courtesy/decorum

Lazy is the opposite of industry/liveliness/ diligent

and

Shy is the opposite of friendly/stately

I know they are using their dictionaries so some of them don’t really understand the nuances of their word choice. I also know “that’s very creative” is high praise in my upper level classes, so I am getting through to some of them.  My goal is to make English something they can use to express themselves, and of course, have fun. Plus it makes me smile when I grade their papers.


Its a festival!

August 27, 2010

It is Friday. Most of the time, that would be enough to celebrate. But this Friday was even more special.  It was our school’s festival. The 1st and 2nd year students put on a variety of shows, games and events. I was quite proud of them. The teachers that supervise the clubs gave technical advice, but the students themselves wrote, directed, performed, and created everything.

The first event I went to was the F.O.M club’s movies. Now, the students did the script writing, the direction, the camera work, the titles, the music, and the performances.  The subjects ranged from being “wanta” or outcast, bullying in the schools, a very effective ghost story that even had a comedy section in the middle, and a story about teen pregnancy. Although the short film about teen pregnancy had the best production values, the ghost story was my favorite.

After the movie club, I went to the performance. (there was a play as well, but I didn’t get a chance to see it)– The first act was a choir and I was quite impressed, their voices were beautiful, and the harmonies were spot on. To be honest, I my expectations were not that high. This is a high school after all.  After the choir, a guitarist played, then a violin duet, and then a quartet, and then the choir came back and sang an A cappella version of “I love coffee”  A song guaranteed to warm the cockles of my cold black heart.

After the singers the dancers came on the stage. They did all their own choreography, according to the dance teacher. Most of it was definitely  inspired by music videos, but they were so cute and so energetic. I was pretty impressed. In between the dancers sets the flag drill team showed their stuff.

After the singers, dancers, and flag drill team, the students put on a fashion show. Because they are high school students, and are not from the richest area of Seoul, they decided to show off the many ways to wear their school uniform in a fashionable way. They were adorable.

The students also had an art showing. We have some very talented kids in our school. They also had games and food.  The students in the book club put on a great event. They had made up a bunch of games with books as the theme. One game was to pull out a word from a bucket, then find that word in a group of books in one minute or less. Another game was to hit a question about a classic book with a dart, then answer the question.  For the travel with books set, they had a bunch of pictures from travel books, and excerpts from them, and you had to guess where the pictures came from. I won, and was awarded a heart sticker and a now and later candy for my efforts. I am the book quiz champion.

This is  a club after my own true heart:

Here are some more photos from the festival


the king in Korea

August 17, 2010

As you know, I’ve been using murder, mystery and crime as my theme for my summer English camp.  So far it has been a lot of fun, and I think the students had a good time and learned something as well.  At least I hope so.

One of the things I wanted to do was have some music as part of my class.  My justification was that music is a fun and interesting way to learn vocabulary in use.  The real reason, is it is summer, and the students should be out having fun. Instead they are in a classroom. I think the reason there are so many private academies and  after school programs, and summer and winter camps, is that they want to make sure the kids don’t have enough free time or energy to get into any trouble.  That is my theory.

So anyway, the students are not at the beach, not at the park, not getting in trouble, not just hanging out in the heat.  They are in my class.  To make life a bit more bearable, I’ve been playing mystery themed games, been murdered more times than is healthy, and introduced some good music.  I could have stuck with pop songs, but a) I wanted the mystery theme to extend even to the music section, and b) I wanted to introduce my students to some music they may not have heard before.

I’ve done songs from the musical Chicago, the theme from the Sopranos TV show, and some blues and country music.  I also went into the past and found Elvis Presley’s Jail House Rock.   I thought it would be kind of fun, but I didn’t expect the reaction I got.

Lots of High School girls bopping along, their feet tapping, they were smiling and laughing.  When I looked at them, they got all serious, paying attention to the lyrics, but out of the corner of my eye, I could see them starting to re-bop and they just couldn’t keep their feet still.  It made me happy.  Some of my “experiments” don’t always work. I’ve had some serious class room fail. But it is alway nice when it does work well.

you can read some other of my writings at http://lifeinkorea.kr/


Well, I’m glad that is done.

August 13, 2010

I’ve decided to stay another year, so of course I have to renew my visa.  Here in Korea for teachers it isn’t that big a deal. It is actually pretty simple.   Although it is a bit time-consuming. Mostly it is waiting for one piece of paper, so that you can get another piece of paper.

First you have to get your new contract. Now through SMOE, it is a bit more complicated, because they are a huge organization.  I had to go to the SMOE office for a re-interview.  I was a bit confused on why I needed to go and re-interview, because my school liked me and I liked my school.  But when you work for the government of any country there are going to be lots and lots of hoops you have to go through, just so that things are consistent.  After the interview I had to wait for the contract to be sent to my school. So I got the contract, signed the contract and then had to send it back to the SMOE office.  Then I had to wait some more,while they did whatever secret ceremonies and processes that they do, and then go back to the SMOE office to get the contract.

Once the contract was in my greedy little hands, I then had to go to immigration. The immigration office in Seoul is really quite efficient.  But if you are renewing, you should go to their website and make an appointment.  The website is somewhat less efficient, but if you follow directions, and sacrifice the right small tokens to the right small gods, then you should have your appointment set up.  Actually I had to get one  of my co-teachers to help me navigate the site, as I’m still quite tech un-savvy

Once at the immigration office, the whole thing would have taken 5 or 1o minutes. But. I forgot the schools licence. Every school that sponsors a visa needs a special licence from the government. Even the public schools.  I brought everything else on the list, but not that one piece of paper.  Fortunately the immigration office in Seoul is pretty nice. They let me call one of my co-teachers who then called the school, and they faxed the licence.  The immigration office accepted the fax, and I was done.  Even with a major mistake on my part, the whole operation took only 25 minutes.  And that should have been the last of it.

But.  I work for SMOE, and they require an additional piece of paper.  I had to get a second health check ( the way I understand it, if you work for a private academy you don’t need to do this) – SMOE mostly wanted the AIDS test and a drug test, but they required the whole series of tests.

I was surprised at how simple the whole thing was.  I went to the hospital, told them what I wanted, and they had me fill out one form, then everyone there seemed to know what they were doing much more than I did.  I got precious bodily fluids extracted, an X-ray taken, and a hearing and eye test.  The whole thing from entering the hospital to leaving the hospital took all of 45 minutes. Pretty good if you ask me.

But. Then I was told to pick up the health check results on Monday.  I went to the hospital after my classes, but made the unfortunate decision to run a few errands on the way.  This was a mistake. When I got to the hospital, the international clinic was closed.  One of the administrators for another section did try very hard to find someone who could help me, but in vain.  I had to return.  So I did, and apparently I have passed all the tests. I will live on for yet another year.

I then had to take the form with the results of my tests to SMOE office.

Now I am done.  Whew!  And I really do think the immigration process for teachers here is awesomely  efficient.

Plus on the other bright side, my summer camp is almost finished!  So now I’m off to take a nap, and then head out for some much-needed R& R.  I think salsa dancing is the right venue for celebration.


Not very interesting, this weekend.

August 8, 2010

Well, first day of Camp was Friday, and I was a bit disappointed in the turnout. Not that I blame the kids, as I didn’t really want to come in on a Friday, after vacation.  I mentioned that Monday might be a better start next time, but then teacher’s really don’t have much power when it comes to scheduling.

This camp is going to be a bit rougher than last, just because there is a bigger gap in levels with the students. I think it just means a bit more prep, and making sure they have a bit more structure for each of the activities.  I don’t mind, but I had hoped to use the extra time for making up some writing worksheets for my 2nd year.  I guess 1/2 days are out of the question.

I like teaching camp, because it gives me a chance to really get to know my students. With 30-40 students a class and 4 classes a day, I sometimes don’t get a chance to really know all the students.  I hate to admit it.  Camp has only 17 or so students and I can talk to them a bit more.

This weekend is a lazy reading/puzzle weekend, so I’m probably not going out much.

I promise another grand-ish adventure next week.


Friday, class fail.

July 24, 2010

I usually like to write about classes that go well. Part of it is my disgusting optimism.  Part of it, I don’t really like to admit when I suck as a teacher.

But. Friday’s summer camp lesson was a total failure.

I have 7 students. 9 students signed up for the camp, but 1 was way out of her league and she un-enrolled.  1 I haven’t seen yet.  I don’t know why she signed up, but since she never came I don’t feel too bad about her not being in class now.

So we have 7 students, and they have been awesome.  They have participated enthusiastically, and when I put up the mistakes on the mistakes were made board, I noticed that some of the more common mistakes were absent.  Yeah, I think they are pretty cool.

So Friday.  I wanted a special super fun awesome class.

I failed.

We started with a minute mystery. When I got to the solution, instead of the Ah, and laughter I usually get, I got Uh? and blank faces. I knew I was off my game.

The theme for the day was BANK ROBBERS!!! – I found a game online that had you plan and execute a bank heist.  So I took a bunch of elements from the game, and made our own heist elements that the students should put together.

To warm them up, I had the song, “Don’t nobody move, this is a heist” by Tony Powers.  I explained heist, but they really didn’t get the song or the video.

So we moved on.

I showed some clips and previews of movies like Heat, Ocean’s twelve, and Point Break.  They hadn’t seen those movies or any of the other movies I mentioned.

I moved on.

I gave them a blue print of the bank, and some characters they could be.  I gave them cards for the equipment they would need.  And put them together to plan their heist.

They didn’t get it.  I tried to help them, and they tried to do it.  But.  It was a failure.

I moved on.

At the end of every  class, we are watching “Castle” – I downloaded the show and I’ve been transcribing the dialog for the students, and we go over the vocabulary and then watch a short clip.

This was no problem, but when the short clip was finished I still had 15 minutes of class.  With not much prepared, and a downhearted and bored class.

They wanted to watch 10 more minutes of the show, and usually I wouldn’t just watch tv or movies, but I made an exception for this class.

The last 5 minutes I apologized, and promised a good class on Monday.

They did forgive me.  And I want to make it very clear, these are really hard-working students. Their level is low intermediate, but they are motivated and in general awesome.  Monday through Thursday we had a lot of fun, and they worked hard at all the tasks I’ve given them so far.  They love the game Clue, and they are really good at speaking up in class.  The failure on Friday was all mine.

On the plus side, a friend had her birthday party, and despite getting lost twice to her house,  we had an awesome time playing Apples to Apples.  It cheered me up.

So happy birthday Julia!