Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More JIKS hijinx

There's never a shortage of ridiculousness at JIKS. I have for the most part ceased to be surprised by the goings on here.  Instead I have adopted a policy of shaking my head, sighing and occasionally chuckling.  Here's a list, in no particular order the happenings, or mishaps of the last two weeks.

* Last Thursday was Children's Day.  I suppose it makes sense.  We celebrate Mother's Day, Father's Day and (to a lesser extent) Grandparent's Day in the United States. Korea instead has a Parent's Day and a Children's Day.  The school has a policy of celebrating this day.  This year each grade went to a different location for a picnic. Grade four went to Cibodas, a big park south and west of the school.  Wednesday it was sunny.  In fact it hadn't rained in a week.  What happened Thursday?  It poured relentlessly all day.  Not the fault of JIKS, but we all know there is no surer way to make it rain than to schedule a picnic, or wash your car.  The park had a very small covered area to accommodate lunching.  The ride took approximately two and a half hours each way, which left us an hour to sit and eat.  The (chuckle) bonuses of the day?  The teachers had their own van and didn't have to ride with screaming children, that teacher's van stopped at Starbucks on the way, the rain meant we didn't do anything other than walk around and say hello, the Korean moms fed us (it was all cold Korean food, but hey! a free lunch is a free lunch) and we got a bit of overtime pay, though none of us can figure out why and we didn't ask.
courtesy of simonsdinner.blogspot.com.
* Last Tuesday was English Game Time.  I don't know what idiot though this was a fun idea, but it wasn't me. Rumor has it that it's a mutation of English Carnival was a highly effective fundraiser and enjoyable.  This rumor adds that the Korean teachers were threatened and thought it's resounding popularity made them look bad, hence the change to English Game Time. Each English teacher set up a "booth" in the gym.  The kids were divided into groups of ten to fourteen and rotated around in ten minute increments.  Periods two and three were for grades one and two, then periods five and six were for grades three and four and finally periods seven and eight were for grades five and six.  Still following me?  Period one was set up time, so we effectively taught all day.  No off periods, no planning, nothing.  No overtime for this day either (scratching my head). I explained my game twenty-five times minimum.  The teacher next to me had a microphone and speaker, plus I was in the center in the gym at the eye of the noise hurricane. I had to shout to be heard and lost my voice yet again.  The bonus that wasn't: we got free pizza provided by the school but I was still on my doctor enforced carbohydrate prohibition. I mentally applied the overtime pay to Tuesday to be less spiteful about it.
Courtesy of miamicountysertoma.org.  Kind of like this but more booths and a smaller gym.
* The Friday before English Game Time was "Creativity Festival 2011".  We were thrown off my this one because it wasn't on the calendar and was only announced on Monday. No one could quite make out exactly what the point was.  Regular classes were cancelled.  There was an assembly in the morning where several local Korean community members made speeches and music was played painfully loudly.  Next, each child affixed a post it note with their dreams/hopes to a helium filled balloon and let it go.  I don't know what the children were supposed to get out of it.  A coworker and I laughed at the people who let them go too early, and then cringed at the environmental impact. After the assembly, the kids went and worked on "projects" though I can't tell what, if any, was the uniting theme. They made things ranging from plastic bottle CD racks to pipe cleaner flowers.
Courtesy of last.fm
* This Friday we will, allegedly, be celebrating Teacher's Day, which falls on the following Sunday officially. Two weeks ago we were told we'd all be going to Cibodas for a hike.  I whined a bit since that was were grade four was going for Children's Day, but then with the rain we didn't get to see it.  As of Monday this week, the hike was off but something else was pending.  Today I've heard two versions of contention.  One: the principal is unhappy that several primary teachers have complained about him, though no one had since his arrival in August.  He's cancelled everything.  Version two: There's no money in the coffers for transportation or lunch.   Either way, today's rendition of plans is that there will be an assembly Friday morning and then we can go home.  It's a waste of everyone's time and money to have to come in at all, but at least we get to go home early  (theoretically, I won't believe it until it happens).


  1. I prefer Spanish teachers day, when we get cava and tapas to enjoy at snacktime :)
    Come back to Spain Melissa!


  2. Cava and tapas tops cold Korean kim chi every time. SIGH