10 June, 2006

Morning Kinder Picnic, May 31st

The picnic was on the calendar months ago for Saturday, May 27th. The parents were invited, and we teachers spent most of our afternoon time in April and May choreographing a special performance of Puff the Magic Dragon. The 27th came, and as we were dragging ourselves out of bed earlier than we ever do on Saturday mornings, the phone call came, canceling the picnic due to rain. I hadn't even looked outside. Julian decided with the parents to reschedule for the 31st, a day we were supposed to have off due to elections. We had been planning on spending the day at the Dano Festival and were a little frustrated by the sudden lack of day off, but we sucked it up and went with the plan.

Fortunately Wednesday morning was lovely--sunny without being too hot. We drove to a recreational area in the mountains about twenty minutes out of town, checked out the facilities, and waited for the families to arrive. I had a good turnout from my class--eleven of twelve of my kids showed up with their moms and a couple dads came as well. It was really interesting, and in some cases eye-opening, to meet the parents and see the kids with them.

When everyone was assembled, two park guides split us into groups and took us on a nature tour around the mountain that lasted over an hour. They had the kids find different shapes in the plants, draw things they heard, and try to throw pine cones into a circle. It was fun for them. The parents documented every move of their children with the latest in digital technology. Back at the picnic area, we dug into box lunches of gimbap along with watermelon and other little snacks and treats the parents lavished on us.

After lunch, it was time for the long-awaited, much-anticipated performance of Puff the Magic Dragon. We had three kids on wood blocks, three with triangles, a pirate, three 'noble kings and princes', a Puff, a Jackie Paper, and a chorus doing motions throughout the song. The parents loved it so much that they made us do it a second time.

Marc then led a couple lively rounds of Red Light, Green Light and Red Rover, Red Rover. Following that, we got everything packed up and into the cars just before the sky opened up and dumped torrential rain on us. Below are some additional photos from the day. A note about the picture immediately following: these women have to be two of the world's most beautiful and most fashionably dressed mothers. The one in the blue hat, Sally's mother, has a penchant for earrings and has kept me well-supplied with large Korean earrings.

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