Although I really like the second grade students and am looking forward to getting to know them a lot better this year, part of me is sad that I won’t be teaching the first grade students. I really liked this group of students when I taught them during the winter camp and was looking forward to teaching them this semester so I feel somewhat torn that I’m not able to teach both groups. I’m very vocal in asking the kiwis to remind the first graders that they’re welcome to come and chat to me anytime and that I hope they’ll come and visit me from time to time. More than that, I can’t really do.
I’m pleasantly surprised when I arrive at school this morning and am soon met by a first grade student I whose name I actually remember. He’s brought me a folder with several cool postcards and posters about
and tells me that he is part of a volunteer group called “Friends of Korea”. I’m touched that he’s thought of me and has taken the time to come and talk to me and give me such a cool gift. Korea
The rest of the day passes in a bit of a blur as I attempt to work out lesson plans – something we didn’t really have to do last year – since there are three teachers for the second graders and we have a textbook from which to teach. By 5pm, when the kiwis go home for the day, I’m still sitting at my desk working and at 6pm I reluctantly pack up my work and prepare to shut down my computer when Mr Jeong returns from his last class for the day. He seems surprised that I’m still at school and tells me that he’ll be in the office until 9:30pm anyway. My enthusiasm seems to confuse him further – particularly since it’s a Friday evening - and he asks if I’m heading down to dinner with the rest of the teachers and students. I’ve already made plans to meet Catfish for dinner at 7pm but am touched by his constant thoughtfulness. He’s one of many teachers I truly respect.
At 7pm, I meet Catfish at our favourite Vietnamese restaurant, Hoa Binh, where the cute guy who works there seems to have been banished to the kitchen while we’re there. Catfish seems disappointed that she won’t be able to see as usual but it only dampens our spirits momentarily. Dinner, as usual, is the delicious fresh spring roll platter.
After dinner, we pop into Lotte mart to use the restroom. Catfish has just had her eyes tested and has taken a bit of a shine to the optometrist who did her eye examine. She tells me that this is about the eighth time she’s walked past the front counters of Lotte mart today. As we head towards the main exit, on our way to Coldstone, Catfish clearly has admirers in the cell phone department and from the optometry counter. I can’t help but tease her about being a magnet in
even she disagrees. Fortunately, we can both laugh about this as we head to Coldstone, the best ice-cream place in Gunsan! Korea