Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dodge Ball…Korean Style (2 May)

As of today, my working day starts at 7:50am instead of 8:50am.  While the very early start, especially in winter, can be tough, it’s also great to finish school at 15:50 instead of 16:50.  The total number of hours hasn’t changed but, mentally, the day now feels shorter.  As a bonus, to ease us all into this new schedule, this week is mid-term exams so little mental effort is required.   As an extra bonus, from my perspective anyway, today is also a staff sports day or rather…sports afternoon.

Catfish’s school, and others, often seem to do staff bonding activities.  My school, however, is special – seriously!  As a specialised high school, my teachers honestly have a lot of extra lessons and therefore more work, which means little time to really socialise all together.  Today is one of the rare occasions when my colleagues will all change into their sports gear and have a friendly competition involving games of volleyball and dodge ball.  It’s been years since I’ve played volleyball and, let’s face it, I’m not the most athletic person around but I’m pretty much game for anything and willing to have a go. 

Figuring Out the Rules

The Kiwis and I are placed on a team with 6 other teachers and we simply follow the instructions of when to serve and where to stand.  It’s a confusing two games but still fun.  After a brief snack, we’re soon setting up for dodge ball – a game that proves to be far more complicated than I anticipated.  With limited explanations, we’re well into the second game before I finally figure out the Korean rules. 

Each team chooses a “queen” whom all of the team members have to protect.  However, we can’t let the other team know who this chosen queen is so we also have to have a mock queen with whom to attempt to mislead the opposition.  If we’re hit by a ball, we stand on the outside of the square and we can help to catch and pass the ball to our teams – this was the confusing part as it differs significantly from the rules by which we played at summer camp in the US, which is my only other experience with playing dodge ball.  Overall, however, it’s an entertaining afternoon of friendly competition and my teams walk away with a prize each – a tube of toothpaste. 

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