This was actually the best organized field trip we had been on. Nonetheless, Brant put it into perspective. For one thing, Trisha didn’t organize it. And the other thing is that we had a handler from the Folk Village the whole time.The first thing we did was go to the ceramics shop, where we and the children got to make patterns in our own little kimchi pots before they got fired in the kiln. We then headed over to watch a live show.
This is where I had an inspired moment of grand stupidity.
We passed by those Korean seesaws that I have been wanting to try. Kids were trying to get them to work. I told one of my kids, Chris, to stand on one end. One of the kids asked if I was going to push down with my foot. Instead, I jumped onto the other end. Chris was launched high into the air, almost over my head, and landed on his side on the dirt. I honestly was not expecting him to catch that much air. Immediately we were surrounded by ladies asking if he was okay, and I think a few were scolding me for my stupidity. It bothered me for the rest of the day and night.
The show we watched was cool. There were four girls who did what was supposed to be the right way to jump in a Korean seesaw, all along with tricks every time they leapt fifteen feet or so in the air.
During the guy doing the tightrope act, we were led to an area to have lunch. I had not been at the Folk Village since SJ took me at the beginning of Spring. I had wanted very badly to see the seedlings from last time all grown up. And it was truly beautiful. I did notice a plant that made me do a double-take. I looked at the sign, and my suspicions were correct:
Lunch Agassi had made us some good lunches. We had standard kimbap, but she made some special foods for the teachers, including smoked salmon sashimi, sesame fried shrimp and barbecued chicken winglets.
After lunch, we had only five minutes to do whatever we wanted. I took a group of children quickly to one of the mock peasant homes to pet and feed the goats. I had noticed that Koreans, SJ included, were scared of the farm animals here. So this was a prime opportunity to help the children nip this city slicker fear in the bud. I showed them how to find grass and feed them to the goats while petting them under their necks. The smell of the goats made me nostalgic for a nice creamy chevre on toast.
Chris, who survived his one-man seesaw flight fairly unscathed later fell on the way back and got himself scraped up. Eugene, as always, fell behind everyone the entire way. I made sure to give Dan an extra treat for being his partner and being so good at keeping an eye on him. I bought a packet of rice taffy from an old man in costume on the way out, and I shared it with the children on the bus ride back.
Later that day, after I had finished my classes and was getting ready to leave, Julie told me she had to return a call from Chris’s mom. That got me nervous.
The next day, I asked Julie what it was about.
“Oh, she just wanted to know if Chris was doing well in class.”
I finished grading that huge exam I gave to fat kid class, and it was nauseatingly horrible. The highest grade was a 75. So I had my first teacher experience figuring out how to grade on a curve.
I returned the tests today, and I went into detail about the test, what their specific problems were, and how they needed to get their butts into gear if we’re going to go on to the next book. I heard some sniffling in the front row, and one kid was crying by the end of class.
I was right about that being a brutal test.
I heard from some of the Korean teachers that Mr. Min blasted Eric during the Korean meeting yesterday for not being prepared. I wonder if there’s a little conflict in paradise with Mr. Min not liking Eric and his wife being all ga-ga over him.
Brant blew up on Eric this morning when he informed him that he had to pay for a new set of business cards. Brant’s argument was why should he pay to help advertise the school? Eric didn’t respond and nervously walked away. I later told Brant what I would say if I was in Eric’s shoes: “Well, you don’t have to get them then.”
I’m hoping to use this thing about us having to pay for new business cards by having them say what I want on them. Under my name, I’ve already stated I wanted written, “CHAOS SPECIALIST.”
My old special student, Casey, wanted to meet me after school today to help her on an English project. While we were working on it, she asked if I’d be interested in tutoring her for English on Sundays. I agreed and gave her my initial hourly rate to give to her mom. So I may have a new private student. Let’s hope.