Stay Humble

6:20 AM Jessica Montgomery 0 Comments

Lecture, lesson plan, lecture, taekwondo, lesson plan. Today has been full. A good full. I'm becoming closer to the friends I've made here, I'm learning more and more about my true role here, and I'm starting to feel a slight sway towards confidence. I'm so happy to be placed in Daejeon -even though I haven't really experienced it! The people I've been meeting are fantastic. I think it's safe to say that my group is the best. [Go Daejeon!] Hopefully we will all still be able to stay in pretty close contact after we're placed. After a week of attachment and reliance, a sharp drop off could be fatal!

Today, after a lesson planning workshop, we had the opportunity to learn the basics of taekwondo. There was stretching, and running, and hopping, and jumping. Kicking and punching, yelling and "huhh-ing". But mostly, there was sweating. haha
It wasn't until after our lesson that we were told that our instructor is..pretty much a national celebrity. He has trained many national teams and has appeared in many videos; all the while being unbelievably humble and gracious. He told us the of the cycle of the black-belt: "See my belt?", he said as he pointed to the white fringe beginning to appear on its ends. "This means you go back to the beginning." He was referencing the stages of Taekwondo belt acquisition and that even the greatest teacher must remain humble. Beautiful. Definitely a highlight.

My lesson plan group has been cruising along and tonight we finally finished. Originally our topic was supposed to be Hanji (Yeah, we don't know what it is either...) but then it was changed to "suggestions". As I'm so inclined to do, my group is using me as a way to make the class laugh. Our lesson plan is this: We introduce a comic strip featuring me and the two other girls in my group. The comic strip is about me wanting to lose weight and asking for advice on how to do so. The two other girls give me "suggestions" of what I can do using target language (new phrases presented such as: "You should...", "Why don't you...", "How about you..").  The comic strip is quite ridiculous and sure to make the class laugh (our class of adults -let alone middle schoolers). After the strip is presented we ask the students if they noticed a pattern of speech and participate in choral repetition. Following is a practice activity: divide the class into groups and have them discuss scenarios we give them. For example: "Melanie is going on vacation to New York. She hates big crowds. What should she do?" The students will have to come up creative solutions/suggestions to the problem using the phrases presented. After a few minutes we will ask for volunteers to share their advice. During the production stage the students will create comic strips of their own. [I'm paraphrasing the lesson of course -I've gone over it too many times within the past two days and need a break!] We present tomorrow!

Here's a taste of the ridiculousness that will be shown on a large projector in front of my class and a panel of EPIK administrators....


Haha...yep!

I'll post the strip in its entirety later. I want to keep this as much of a surprise as possible! hahaa

Living out of a suitcase has been...fun. I dare not complain. My room's a mess, yes, but when is that different than normal? My room mate is lovely and I hope to visit her in her town once we both settle in. She's stationed way up by North Korea. *gasp* Yep, I'm going. 
Tomorrow we meet with our MOEs and finally find out our placement! A few people have already received emails from the teachers they are taking over for. One of my friends is teaching at 3 schools! 3! Yikes, I hope that's not the case for me... But! I'll take whatever is thrown at me I guess. I'll be happy bussing between three schools and coming home to a closet. At least it will be my closet, right?

Tick-tock-tired.

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