10 January, 2006

First day of school

LCI Kids Club, Gangneung, Gangwondo
This morning Liz and I didn’t shower due to the lack of hot water. Fabulous way to start my first week. School starts at ten, but we walked across the street at nine to prepare our lessons. It’s the best commute I’ve ever had. I spent most of the hour shuffling frantically through the pile of ‘curriculum’ books Julian dumped on my desk. When I asked her for direction, she basically told me to sing and dance and have fun. Fantastic. Joseph, the one male teacher, rolled in a few minutes before ten looking like a hobo and rubbing his eyes sleepily. He seems like a cool guy, though, and was probably the most helpful in giving me suggestions. Fortunately, Esther (a Korean woman), a former teacher who does administrative stuff, took my first class so I could observe Liz, who has been here for exactly three weeks longer than I have.

The first floor of the school has three classrooms—Liz’s, mine, and Joseph’s plus an extra room for playing or videos. There are also the teacher staff room and Julian’s office and a main reception area. The second floor has bathrooms, the kitchen, another playroom, and a multi-purpose room which serves as cafeteria, gym, and anything else we need. Julian and her family live on the third floor.

I don’t know how, but I made it through my first day. My biggest task of the day was giving all my morning kinder kids English names and writing nametags for them. During lunch, I noticed that Lindsey was wearing a nametag that said ‘Thomas.’ When I asked Julian why someone had put a boy’s name on her, she told me that he was in fact a boy. I sheepishly apologized but thought to myself that the parents should consider a haircut and something other than pinstriped pants, long plaid coats with fur collars, and berets for their son. But if that’s the biggest mistake I make, I think I’ll be okay.

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