Thursday, 28 April 2011

Pooh Class!

I am excited to finally post pictures of my kids, Pooh class! There are 18 of them in total and they are all together when my Korean co-teacher Katie and I are together. Otherwise, they are divided into two teams - pink and blue. When I am with them alone, I am with one team at a time. But nine 4 year-olds is still so many. These pictures are from the school website. It was P.E day when most were taken, so they are wearing their funny uniforms. Plenty more pictures to come!

Pink Team
Bosco: A newly emerging favourite. Bosco is always smiling, giggling and having a great time! He is fun to be around, we build blocks together. Also he is super smart.
Brian: Super sweet and shy, gives me daily hugs. Really smart and very trendy. Usually  rocking Levis, flannels and cardigans. Was and instant favourite and still is! Jenny Star's bff. PS That's a perm...

Caleb: Can you see the evil in his face? This kid gives me so much trouble! Likes to throw tantrums and chairs when I threaten not to give him stickers.
Lewis: Natalie's crush/bff. He is a neutral kid I guess, smart and happy. Not much to report...which isn't a bad thing!
Sean: The strangest one by far! I often see him licking the air, dancing, and poking other kids. Avid nose picker.
Linda: Doesn't like to share her legos with me, or much else for that matter. But her mom told me that she pretends to be me at home and talks about me a lot so I guess she likes me!
Jenny Star: Favourite!!! Jenny is the happiest, most mature and probably smartest kid in the class. She is always in a good mood and is so considerate of others. Head and shoulders, knees and toes is her favourite song. Also, she is super trendy and usually wears cute leggings, skirts, knit cardigans and scarves. Her and Brian are bffs.
Hera: Does she look like a bit of a space case in this picture? Because that's sort of what she's like. Doesn't pay much attention in class and is shy. But still cute of course. Favourite book: Brown Bear. Favourite classroom activity: bathroom breaks.
Natalie: Class flirt! She loves Lewis and is always calling his name and following him around. Her mom complained that I don't play with Natalie enough so her and I have become better friends since, ha :)
Blue Team
Mickey: Gives me hugs constantly. He is definitely full of love. Is a bit of a crier when he doesn't get his way though. What a cutie, I can't hold that against him. 
Jerry: Will scribble on his book the whole class, throw it when he is finished, get me all worked up, and then wanna hold my hand as we walk downstairs. Caleb's blue team twin. Good thing he is is smart and cute!
Eric: Such a cutie!! One of my favourites! He is the most excited one to see me in the morning. He is the youngest and is a bit slow, but he makes up for it with this love. LOVES dinosaurs!
Alan: Very smart, mature and serious. Likes to tell other kids to sit nicely and be quiet. Will probably grow up to be that guy in class who always puts up his hand and loves to talk until the professor has to cut him off. You know the one...
Vickie: A really happy and outgoing kid, but also kind of neutral. She has a lot of potential though and I could see her becoming a favourite in the near future..
Grace: The smallest one in the class (along with Eric). But don't let her size fool you! She is really smart and outgoing and is always, always smiling. She rocks some great hairstyles. So cute!
Chloe: I don't really use this word but it's a good one for Chloe, cheeky. She is so funny! She's got more facial expressions than many adults, and is pretty stubborn when she doesn't get her way. Class tattletale. When a kid is being bad, she gives me the look and says, 'Stefany, Katie Teacher', meaning she will tell my Korean co-teacher about it.
Jenny Heart: Jenny is pretty mischievous. She gets in trouble a lot, but has the most genuine apologetic face, so you can never stay mad at her. She's got the best laugh too, so childlike and unreserved. She is really growing on me!
Annie: One of the smartest kids, she remembers more words and song lyrics than anyone else. Is really eager and I can definitely see her becoming and overachiever. Anyway, she is cute and she listens, and if all kids were like Annie then wow, I could probably teach for a very long time.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Coachella Dreaming

If I wasn't living in Korea I would definitely be visiting Planet Coachella this weekend. It is one of the most amazing places I have been to. Last year was my second Coachella and it felt even more complete than the first. If you've never been to a music festival, you might not know what I am talking about. If you've been to other festivals, you might have an understanding of where I am coming from. And if you've been to Coachella, this post is for you!

Planet Coachella
We had to wait in line for 3 hours but it worked to our advantage. We made friends with people from England, Australia, Canada and California before we even got into the festival. We sprawled across about 5 campsites and for those 4 nights we partied, danced and loved life together. 

 Waterloo crew
We shared not only great times but also Cheez-Its <3, Sparkz, Goon and Tecate!
 We spent our days running around from band to beer tent to Camp Shred to band to beer tent to Camp Shred and somehow managed to mostly stick together and find each other amongst the 75,000 people at the festival.

"Every festival needs a Mawby"
Camp Shred mess!
Luckily the party didn't end there! We spent 3 nights in LA and were able to meet up with the different groups of friends we made at the festival. Amongst the best memories are bonfires on LA beaches, doing yoga with Natalie, Joe and Jimmy in their rented Venice Beach Apartment, running into Jeremy and dancing with him to Steve Aoki (the surprise guest) at Cinespace and getting tattooed at High Voltage, where LA Ink is filmed.

Haha, look at those tired faces!

Jeremy and I looking our best

I really wasn't in that much pain
Goodbye breakfast at Ihop. So tired. 
 I don't know if these pictures captured the moments that we all experienced on Planet Coachella in April 2010 but pictures rarely do. I hope everyone who makes it to Coachella this weekend has the best time and I know I will make it back there someday in the near future. If you've got some extra money laying around next spring, make good decisions and travel to Planet Coachella!!

Love Notes

I got this drawing from a girl named Michelle who is in my 7 year old (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) Supsok class. I got it a while ago and meant to put it up earlier... Anyway, it was the first thing that I received from one of my kids and it made me smile a fair bit. I felt sort of silly getting excited about it but it's nice to know that (some of) my kids really like me!

The 7 year old Supsok classes are now enjoyable! The kids are great and even when they are really distracted I feel like they know what is going on and I can communicate with them a bit. And they are full of love. The 6 year olds (Tuesdays and Thursdays) still don't like me much, don't know what's going on, and don't like coming to school.

I don't think that I mentioned before but these kids go to Korean kindergarten every day from 9-3 and then come to our school for an hour and a half of English. I don't really blame them for acting the way that they do, they are probably more frustrated than I am.

Overall, teaching is getting much easier and I am getting into the routine of things. I can tell how long certain activities will take and how long I will have the kids' attention for, which makes planning classes easy. Also time is flying by! Which is both a good and bad thing...

I'll forgive her for spelling my name wrong :)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

MGMT and Palaces

You know when you're drunk and you make excited plans to do something awesome? Well that's how I ended up seeing MGMT. I was out last weekend with Adrienne and Lesley, two teachers from another school and they told me that MGMT would be playing in Seoul on April 1st. I've seen them live twice before, both times at Coachella, and I wasn't too impressed but I do really like them and got excited at the thought of seeing live music. I thought about it later and decided that $100 wasn't worth it and that I wouldn't go. But before I got a chance to tell Adrienne and Lesley I got a message saying that the tickets had been bought! I thought it was kind of funny and I am not a flake so of course I went to the show.

I had to take the subway by myself because Adrienne and Lesley got off work earlier than me and they needed to go pick up the tickets thirty minutes before the show. After work I pretty much ran home, got changed, stopped off at the convenience store for some Soju and energy drinks and ran to the bus (you have to take the bus to get to the subway stop). Soju is like vodka but sweeter and not as strong and maybe too easy to drink. You can get away with drinking on the bus but the subway is different. Also I was by I came up with this ingenious solution.

2 energy drinks + 1 bottle of soju - contents of 1 tea bottle = fun subway ride

I got to the show and Adrienne met me outside with my ticket and told me to buy a couple of cans of beer from the vendors. I've never seen anything like that - tables filled with beer and Soju outside of a venue. As far as I know, there wasn't a bar inside so it was pretty convenient. MGMT came on right away and they played a really good show! I had so much fun! They ratio of new to old songs was probably about 60/40 which is decent. And they played Congratulations which is my favourite song off the new album so I was happy. I think the first time I saw them wasn't great because nobody really knew who they were yet and the second time they had become really big but we were too far back to fully enjoy the show. The crowd in Seoul was perfect!

Lesley and I
Not sure why we took this picture

On Saturday my friend Brandt and I did some sightseeing in Seoul. This is his second year teaching so he knows his way around the city quite well. I didn't have anything in mind that I wanted to see so we walked around for a few hours and checked out Gyeongbokgung Palace. It was so quiet and beautiful and a really interesting contrast to the noise and energy of Seoul.

I once again had a really fun weekend and now back to reality...another week of work. I am slowly getting into the routine of things and getting used to working full time. I'm also realizing how good I had it at home with my two very, very relaxed jobs!