Any excuse for canceled classes…
…is a good day in my book. For some reason, October has been Festival Month at my school, which resulted in 3.5 glorious days of canceled classes. These school “festivals” consisted of a Field Trip, Chorus Day, Sports Day and what I will call “Flea Market Day” because I’m not sure what it actually was. Here’s a look at what goes on in my school when the kids are finally allowed to do something other than study. Oh, and excuse the quality of pictures, capturing the elusive “Korean Smiling Face” is not an easy feat, so most of the photos are candid.
Field Trip: After mid-terms, all classes got to go on a field trip. I went with my main co-teacher, and one other 2nd grade class to something called the Daegu Cultural Center. All I knew was that the kids were going to play some kind of sports, and do some kinds of arts and crafts. What would my role be in this excursion? Who knows. My co-teacher and I shared a taxi over, and after separating all of the students into their activities – Basketball, Soccer, and Dance – I quickly learned that our role was to sit in a break room and gossip while we ate all of the delicious snacks the class leader’s parents had prepared for us. Apparently the staff of the Cultural Center has to watch the kids while we relax. After we’d sat for long enough we strolled around and took pictures of the kids…then we took a nap on a bench outside… Just in time we heard the Principal was on his way so we quickly headed over to the kids and looked busy. Once he arrived we showed around and then went into the break room to eat some more. After lunch time the kids did arts and crafts, with a choice of painting ceramics, making cell phone charms, or learning magic tricks. Overall not the “cultural experience” I had been expecting, but a very relaxing and pleasant day for us teachers.
Chorus Day: After having a slumber party at my old co-teacher’s dorm in Keimyung University, I meandered over to Seongseo Cultural Center for what was supposed to be some kind of “talent show” day. Like all over events that take place at school, no one had really been able to explain to me what the students would be doing, but it ended up being a singing/dancing contest. Each class did one group song, and then the 3rd graders were allowed to do solo acts, like rapping, playing guitar, and playing the piano. All in all pretty similar to what takes place in school back home, with a few acts being pretty entertaining, and the rest just being Ok.
Just in case you were wondering what middle school Korean boys rapping sounds like:
Flea Market Day: I’m still not sure the purpose of this school festival, but the festivities included setting up a flea market in the front of the school, and having a cooking contest in the cafeteria. For the flea market, all kinds of odd trinkets and unwanted clothes and books were being sold while the kids cooked mandu and tteokbokki. Everyone made a big deal about it, and even the teachers went outside to buy a few things. All the while in the cafeteria, groups of students had little cooking stations set up and were making all kinds of fairly appetizing looking things. Like all contests, the Principal and V. Principal were the judges for the day. Whatever the purpose, I had fun taking pictures and having shortened classes for the day.
Sports Day: The biggest and best festival of the year is without a doubt Sports Day, or what we would call Field Day. All in all, a very similar event with all different kinds of races. Each class chooses a funny class uniform, makes a bunch of signs, and cheers for their team. The only race that was a little unusual to me was one called “Bridge Race” (or something). For this race all the kids in the class bent over and with the help of 2 other classmates, the smallest kid in class ran over the backs of all the other students. When they got to the end of the line everyone had to run to the front and make a new line, and then loop around and go back. Looks like all the kids had a lot of fun and enjoyed probably their last day of freedom before preparing for finals for the last 2 months of the semester.
So that’s what’s been going on in school this past month. Other than that my life has pretty much consisted of going to dance during the week, and taking it easy the past couple weekends. We’ve been saving our energy because we’re getting ready to go to Seoul for Halloween weekend to see our friends compete in a Battle of the Bands.
And if you haven’t had enough of my dance videos yet, I’ll leave you with the last few routines we’ve done in Jazz class. Can you find me? Enjoy!
*Can you remember any festivals or school events from your childhood days? Tell us your experiences in the comments!*