Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Fun at home with Yoonhyun and Yoonsang

Orientation went very well yesterday! I learned how to do the Phonics 2 review that I will be taking over, and also watched a lower level class close to the level I will be teaching in June. The way things work here is that there are two Phonics levels, and once students pass these levels they can move on to the official curriculum, which is organized by colors according to level. Blue level is lowest, and Red level is highest. There are also levels within levels, so you could have a Blue level one, or a blue level 2, etc. The order is Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red.

 I will be teaching a Phonics 1, a Phonics 2, Blue level 1, Blue level 6, and Yellow level 2. The Yellow level 2 is going to be the most fun class I think, because the students are pretty functional in English and so interactions can be more varied and fun instead of the repetitions that are necessary in lower levels.

Yesterday I also got to experience a little Korean-style birthday party. It was our head Korean teacher Sunny's birthday, so our office helper Minji bought a sweet potato cake (seriously like the best thing ever) and we all sang to her. How you eat cake at a party is that everybody just grabs a fork and chopsticks and eats off the whole cake together. So much better than getting a bunch of plates dirty.

When I came home in the evening, my family had bought some milk so finally FINALLY I had some tea!!!!! I made a cup of Earl Grey with honey and it was like heaven. I gave some to Imo too, and she liked it! We drank it together while Imobu and Yoonhyun took Choco for a walk. I tried to speak some Korean with her, but of course I did badly. Still, it was really nice to connect a little more with her. We talked a little about the paintings she had showed me yesterday, done by her cousin Hong Kyoungtack. My favorite is one called Pens 3. It looks like this:

Later I brought out all my jewelry to try to disentangle it, and Yoonhyun was enthralled. She tried on all my bracelets and insisted on putting on earrings for me. She even tried on my lizard ear cuff. We put all the earrings in sets, and she pretended the pairs were getting married. It reminded me of when Mercy would play with embroidery thread families when she was about Yoonhyun's age. 

When Yoonsang came home from playing somewhere, we were still sorting jewelry, so he ate dinner and then was playing a game with cards. I don't know what the name of it is, but it reminds me a little bit of pogs, except the stiff cardboard card things are hexagons or squares. You have to slam one card down on another and try to make the one on the ground flip over. If you do, you win that card. He showed me how to do it, but I pretty much sucked at it. However, I finally flipped one over though after many tries! Yoonhyun was super excited for me: "μ–Έλ‹ˆ 됐어!" In Korean, younger girls call older girls "Unni" which means "older sister" and younger boys call older girls "Noona" which means the same thing. So Yoonhyun calls me Unni or Ebby (that A sound is hard hehe) but so far Yoonsang has only called me Ebby or Teacher, even though I'm not really his teacher. But, I work at Connexus, which is where he used to be a student, so I understand why he would call me that. He is still a little stand-offish, but I think he is just shy.

Yoonhyun asked if she could sleep with me, so we had a little slumber party. Yes, she asked me in Korean and yes I understood!! Moments like that are super exciting for me. I read her some of The Little Prince and tried to translate some of it into super simple Korean. She fell asleep after two minutes though. Hehe.

Last night, I did not wake up at 2:45! I did wake up at 3:30, but went right back to sleep. I woke up at 6 ish, but considering that I went to bed at 9:30, I think that was pretty much 8 full hours! I am feeling almost peppy! Also, I'm drinking P.G. Tips which makes any morning great.

This just in: Yoonsang came into my room just now for the first time, to look at my earrings! He actually does know some simple English, so he uses it when he talks to me :-)

So, today I will observe three more classes, this time modeling the storybook lessons. I will also get to meet with Minji and find out about all the work she does, which I am looking forward to because she seems like such a cool person and I want to get to know her more.

Prayer requests for today:
1. As always, that I will be more awake! I have high hopes for today though, since I got some good sleep.
2. That I would be able to remember and internalize all the information about teaching that I've been getting
3. That I would be braver with speaking Korean, especially with adults. It's easy to talk with Yoonhyun and Yoonsang, but I get scared when I'm going to say something to an adult.

Thanks everybody! I think today if I have time I will try to take some pictures of the office so you can see what it looks like.


  1. Aww a slumber party! Sounds like she's making you feel right at home :)

  2. Ahh Yoonhyun sounds like the cutest. Kids are the best. I'm sure Yoonsang will warm up to you soon :)
    I'll definitely be praying about the speaking in front of adults thing.
    I just keep being reminded that you're there, in South Korea, and you'll be starting teaching soon, and I get so excited for you!
    Love you tons and miss you tons! <3