In November, in addition to doing many, many other things (hence minimal posts) I hosted my dad on his first visit to South Korea and then in January I had a visit from my friend, who’s teaching English for JET in Japan (and hence has way more vacation time than me and can go visiting her friends teaching in other countries). In hindsight, these were actually pretty bad times. When my dad came, it was the end of a term, and therefore I, as an HI, had many meetings and other odds and ends to do before the new term in addition to making those NIE classes I posted about. And then when my friend visited it was the first week of Intensive classes.

So now, especially because CDI Yeongtong has three new teachers who will be seeing Suwon and work through fresh eyes, I would like to reflect on how its interesting to see things through other people’s eyes. With my Dad, I went to a lot of places that I had already been too, including Hwaseong Fortress. We also went to Gyeongbuk Palace in Seoul. Most people say that after they’ve been to the Palaces, Hwaseong Fortress isn’t really worth seeing but my dad said he like the fortress better, that it was architecturally more impressive (… or something like that. He said this several months ago.) Personally, I like the Fortress. You can’t do archery at any of the Palaces (to my knowledge).

My dad was also struck by the complete disregard for stoplights that some driver’s here in Korea exhibit. That once bothered me too, but I’ve been here too long to still be concerned with it. Now I just make sure to get out of the way of those motorcycle delivery guys ‘cuz they don’t stop for nothing.

Of course, seeing the world through others’ eyes doesn’t mean I have to limit myself to just newbies to Korea. Recently I’ve been showing my students videos of sitcoms that are relevant to the lessons we’re learning (they really are, I promise!). For my intensive class, I showed them the clips from the Colbert Report where he sings in Korean (previously posted). This time around they found it HILARIOUS (although it was kind of funny since they understood it based on reading the subtitles, not by listening to Colbert’s Korean) and asked me to play it every class. Which I did because they were enjoying it so much that I couldn’t help but not get sick of it.

In my Master’s reading class last term, we read several books that I read in school, including The Giver. One of my students loved it so much, he bought the sequels and read Lois Lowry’s book, Number the the Stars (and blogs about both books, although I am not supposed to know that but that’s what happens when you log onto your blog from Teacher’s computer). He was really passionate about the injustices in both books. It’s always nice to have a student that really gets into the stories we read. It helps you teach better, but also helps you appreciate them even more. Inspiring kids to write blogs and read more books is what teachers and children’s book authors are all about.