Sunday, February 22, 2015

Pre Japan Happenings

So before I update on Japan (which was awesome and therefore will take forever to write about), there were lots of things that happened last week that I should address before the trip. 

In case you were wondering, the song and dance for the retirement party went well! Even when I apologized for not memorizing the song, the rest of the teachers were nice and said it was no problem, since I was the best dancer haha. 

Everyone seemed happy that we did it, and it turned out well. I'm glad I joined it, it was actually quite fun!

The principal was sick so we didn't have to go to the noraebang after all, but it's still a possibility for the next staff dinner, which will happen soon, since we have to welcome all of the new teachers to our school. 

First of all, we got this awesome pastry at work
which is actually super popular in Japan. Yum
It's basically cake. 

My babies had their graduation last Friday

Young Ah gave me a pretty mug ! Now my morning
coffee will be that much brighter!

We had a bad dust day last week. Ugh. 

Cesca and I discovered that we chose the same dress for work

I broke my headphones...

We had the beeeeeeeest soup on Thursday. It had mandu
and beef and ricecake in it, because you're supposed
to eat ricecake for the new year (Lunar New Year)

Graduation means one thing for the subject teachers: Balloon setup...

When I come home from Korea, I'll be able to put "Can make intricate balloon flowers" on my resume...

We had to head over to the district office for the ceremony, since my school isn't big enough to hold both the classes AND the families.

There was a minor problem with the robes.
Apparently the company sent robes that were
much too big

Frankly, I can't believe they wear robes for
elementary school graduation 

more balloon setup

It turned out quite nice

my kids getting ready

3rd graders practicing their handbell routine

They even had an ocarina choir play a few songs

and some younger students sang in chorus

handbells with glowsticks

Finally, the actual graduation started. On the back, the students' names were displayed, along with their dreams for the future. There were, as always, some real gems. Quite a few wrote things like doctor, designer, cook or singer. I also had a few that were really cute and sweet. One wanted to help kids without dreams find one, and another wanted to draw cartoons, another wanted to be the #1 search item on NAVER (the Korean google), one wanted to win a Nobel Prize, another wanted to be an inventor like Edison, and another girl wanted to be a CEO. Go kids!

They sang a goodbye song

After, the kids showed us a video thanking all of their teachers and such. In the credits, they even thanked me, their "beautiful, golden haired English teacher." D'aaaaaw.

After the ceremony, we got to hang out and clean up. Surprisingly, some of my students rushed over to me to ask for pictures or to introduce me to their parents. This didn't happen last year, mostly because I had only taught the kids for a few months. But I've had this group for a year and a half, and I think I developed a nice relationship with them. I really wasn't expecting any attention, but to be asked for pictures was really nice. Some parents complimented me on my Korean (even tho I just greeted them...) and one mother even exclaimed in beautiful English "Christina, you are SO beautiful!!!" It definitely made me tear up. I couldn't whip out my own phone to get pics with them, but hopefully some of them will send them to me haha.

I'm gonna miss those little monsters...

One of the homeroom teachers had extra flowers
so he gave me some haha. Cute.

Afterwards, I hung out with the subject teachers. We went to a Chinese food restaurant, where one leaving teacher lamented that it must be hard for me to always have to sit with them at staff dinners. My co teacher explained that I can understand what's going on, but it's usually too fast for me to be included. He also explained that I'm studying Korean to hopefully be useful later in the US, like in the government or in DC. All of the teachers oohed and aaaahed at this idea, and one exclaimed "Like the CIA!?!?!" and then they discussed how I might get sent to North Korea. Haha. It was fun. It's nice to see the progress I've made with them, and that I'm able to answer simple requests or questions. Yay!

The subject teachers also  received a cake from the students. Please note that MY name is NOT on there, even though I'm a subject teacher...

Regardless, the teachers decided for some reason that I should take the cake, despite my protestations that I live alone and couldn't possibly eat it all before I left for Japan in the morning. It still ended up in my hands. Oh well.

Turns out it was a tiramisu and it was delicious.
I shared with Sarah and Cesca, but we couldn't
even manage half... oh well.

One of my sweet, great at English students
gave me a note for myself and Young Ah,
wherein she asks Young Ah to translate it for me haha.
It basically says we had a short but fun time together,
I think. That's the gist I got.

And thus, the eventful and exhausting graduation day ended, and after staying up way too late with Sarah and Cesca, we headed off to bed, ready for the next great adventure, Japan!!!


Despite not actually liking the drama, I really liked the OST to Secret Garden, so I was listening to that last week. I am especially partial towards this Sung Shi Kyung song, because he's just a great singer. 

So yeah, the OST is great. Drama, not so much. But hey, good songs are good songs. 

Non Secret Garden related...

I'm apparently into ballads lately, since I'm also obsessed with this song, especially when it's sung as a duet by my two favorite ballad-ers ever. 

This song is super beautiful and sweet. It's called "Two People" and is about how, even though life will be hard, we, two people, will be a shelter for each other. Excuse me while I go sob in a corner...

Stay tuned for some awesome Japan pictures and stories!

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