Show me the money (for this job of wrangling 5th graders)


I know..I’ve neglected this blog for almost 4 weeks now but in all honesty I have some damn good excuses.

Starting with the Mozart Concert/BTS weekend-it took me a week to recover from that and I was barely able to keep up with lesson planning. All I wanted to do was sleep.

Then I got horrendously sick from some sort of nasty virus/infection thing. I was bed ridden for four days though I did at least try to come into work but was quickly told to go home and rest.  I almost went to the hospital because my fever hadn’t been getting any better and I almost started to cry in front of my 5-1 class (which is like the worst class).

After that it’s been a lot of money calucating with a ton of events, concerts, visits coming up as a I try to fudge with my budget on what I can and cannot do. It’s hard.

Trying to find a flight that is less than 2000 is a changing game. And because the website is in Korean I can only do so much without needing me co worker to help me. sadly any price I see on the weekend I can’t get because …I’m at home.

Not to mention still dealing with my classes.

Today was a low spot. My first period class didn’t feel like paying attention. Most of them spent the time looking at their desk, looking at the floor. And even when I’m giving them the answer they won’t speak louder than a whisper.

My second period class however was worse. They wouldn’t stop talking, talked over my co teacher (she’s started to become a little more strict but by strict I mean she simply tells them things in a stern voice an that’s it -no consequences) so I had to take control of the class. They were wasting time -we spent 60 of 80 minutes doing basically nothing but a few drills. They either didn’t remember or didn’t feel like reviewing last chapter.

I told them in the beginning of the year that things build upon other things…so they need to ask for my help. What drives me nuts is the students clearly can’t do it, but don’t even bother to ask for help. I can give as much as they need.

I try to remember back to when I was a student-how did I act in the class that I hated the most? (Which was Math by the way). I would have to ask for help because otherwise I would sit there, not know the answer and if I was called on, unable to answer and thus embarassed. And my teachers gave me a lot less help -really expecting me to do the majority of it on my own.

But the students just won’t ask for help. They sit there looking confused or doing nothing until I have to volunteer to come over to help. Most of them have no interest in improving either. At least last year the students that I helped made vast improvements and were quite proud of their accomplishments. This year it seems the trend is to no care. And I guess if you are getting passed and not being grading ,really why should they care? The only thing I can do is keep them after class to finish work they did not do during class. It’s become relatively effective which is good but still the same students  sit there knowing they are going to be stuck during break doing their work, instead of asking me for help. It’s Lesson 5-they know better by now. I can’t coddle them like my co teachers.

As for my blog…with all the insanity happening soon I am going to suspend the weekly schedule until I have some free time again to post reguarly.  I will do my best to post as much as I can.

Like this weekend…I have Dream Concert! I will get to see VIXX and EXO! My two favorite groups. After that there is a Suwon concert that has Astro, Up10tion Mamamoo (who is also at Dream concert-so excited to see them!) and of course EXO again. That is followed by the VIXX fan meet …and then my friend is finally coming to visit! So my June is already looking pretty packed full so hopefully that will gie me something to write about.

Also I started really getting into this season’s Show me the money 5 – rewatched all of season 4 and even stared season 3 . Some of my students seem to like the show as well-which is on at 11 pm and contains several instances of swearing. #koreanparentingatitsfinest


(Concerts) Here, (Concerts) There, (Concerts) Everywhere


When 5th grader Korean male students notice your hair first thing…it can be very confusing initially. It happened consistently last year as well as this year. I really thought the girls would be the ones to say anything but it’s always the boys.

You don’t realize how much your students pay attention to you. I only see mine for class once a week (though I will see some in the hallways).

When I think back to my own school days, would I have noticed a change in teacher’s appearance? I’m not sure but I most assuredly would not have mentioned it if I had.

This shortened week has been a little difficult but not to the point of anger. Between the zombie kids, kids who lost their coupon book, the weather, the stupid humidity that suddenly showed up (and then suddenly disappeared leaving a now chilly 60 degrees) and the fact that my concert is on Friday two days felt like an entire week of work.

I’m grateful that I chose to leave for Busan tomorrow rather than try to leave tonight. Because my friend is staying with me on Friday I had to do a major cleaning. For about 3 weeks I’ve been in and out of winter/spring clothes transferring mode because the weather has been so bipolar. So I had clothes all over the apartment-that combined with the nasty yellow dust that swept in last apartment looked like a group of raptors had been living in it.

I stayed up all night and 8 1/2 episodes of Downton Abbey Season 6 I was (almost) finished. And I woke up feeling like a truck had hit me.

So I will relax (with the nasty weather outside) and finish packing, and get things kind of in order for Saturday.

My weekend is going to be a lot of concerts…I just won’t be going to some of them.

My concert happens to be the same weekend that BTS is holding their latest concert. Over the span of 13 months this is the third solo concert series in Seoul. Seems a little excessive especially considering all the things they have been doing the last year.

So some of my friends will be going to that concert instead of mine on Saturday while one of my friend is going on Sunday so she will be able to make it. But hopefully we will be able to meet a little afterwards. My co teacher asked me if I’m nervous. I’m really not-I don’t get nervous for concerts because we will be performing as a group. I’m sure if I had been a soloist that would be very different. But I’m more excited than anything else. I’m glad we will be having two concerts because we worked really hard for this.

For me this was more about reconditioning my body, voice and overall skill rather than learning the piece because it’s one of those things where I don’t forget it. So as sick and tired of it as I was on Sunday and even yesterday, today I am starting to feel the sadness of it being over so soon.

For children’s day and the two days surrounding it off I have so I will head south to Busan. It’s been a long time since I was last there. And per usual it looks like ti will be raining again…like all my other trips to Busan; which is why I haven’t really seen anything of Busan other than shopping and beaches.

So that is my super fun weekend.

As for Lesson Planning

So my co2 and I have had been getting along much better once I kind of just let her “discpline” the kids (though this still doesn’t work with our rowdier classes). Though on occasion when the class is completely out of control I will step in but other than that I’m too tired of dealing with them being disrespectful and her inability to control them.

But one thing she did do that seems to be somewhat effective is make individual cards of the key phrases and vocab for the lesson. I let her review with them before hand otherwise we would be diving right into the warm up/lesson which they still wouldn’t be ready for.

She laminates each of them so they last. Then she will put them on the board in a word scramble. She will call on some of the students and ask them to make a sentence out of the words on the board. Usually the students can do it well.

The only suggestion I would make is to not pick the same students over and over as she tends to do. Also try to mix it between students with different levels of skill and participation.  For instance last chapter was all about taste. So she had cards that had the words “sweet” “salty” “too” “Do you want” “some more” and the kids would need to make the sentence.

Easy and a quick warm up to do.

So that’s it. Today’s not too exciting because I’m tired, thinking about all the stuff I have to do .

OH! And the Pyeongtaek Schools (or at least mine) have decided to follow the ban ban on the personal email that Osan put in place starting March 1. So any fellow English teachers in that general area, you will not be able to access your gmail account on the school computer or internet. I was told this was to prevent “sensative information” from being sent out which included job postings. Basically it sounds sketch as hell. We were “issued” a Korean government sanctioned email address. But 1 unless you know enough Korean to figure it out, you are screwed.

So have a good extended weekend if you are a fellow teacher in Korea!


Mournful Talking Love


This week is a short week and I can already tell that my students are ready for it.

Not only did I have non responsive/unfocused students today, but I too kind of am treating these two days as a joke. Not that my teaching as slacked, but I don’t feel the sense of urgency that I usually do.

It’s more relaxed but the difference is I am still trying to motivate and encourage learning where as the students would rather be doing anything else.

Not to mention the subject is a little boring after the fun “taste” lesson. This is one of those lessons that is just okay but still not as boring as the directions lesson.

As for the weekend I had my final chorus rehersal and will be having my concert this Saturday in Seoul! I am kind of relieved because both the traveling and the music itself was starting to wear on me. But I’m also very sad because my Sunday’s will be so free, and I won’t have an stress outlet nor a reason to get out of my apartment.

I’m thinking I will try to fill those with hiking or something of that nature (haha get it? nature? hiking?)

I did happen to pick up the new descedants of the sun soundtrack which I am now obsessed with.

And since this is a short week as I mentioned last week I am adding Music Wednesday to today’s topic.

Music Monday:

As shown above I have become obsessed with the soundtrack for DotS and my favorite song off of the album (which also happens to be playing EVERYWHERE) is K.Will’s Song “Talk Love”. In a show that can become dramatic and heavy at thimes, this song usually helps lighten things up. It also just makes you have a good mood when you listen to it. It’s a perfect summer song and you should add it to your summer playlist!  Another song I loved was Chen (from EXO) and Punch’s song “Everytime” which I won’t add here but you should take a listen to. Not as happy go lucky but still fits the show well.


And due to the fact that I am having my concert this Saturday I have decided to share one of my favorite piece -it was very hard selecting one because I have so many that I really do love (and a few not so much love).  I first sang this when I was 16 and if I remember correctly this was the first major work I ever sang which is probably why it’s so special to me.

I went on to do many other great works, Bach-Vivaldi-Dvork-Rutter but Mozart’s Requiem in D Minor is the only one I remember by heart and will play on my ipod just to play it.

I haven’t sung the piece in 10 years (wow!) and I didn’t know when or if I would get the chance to sing it ever again. But now that I do have this chance I knew I had to make the most of it which is why I dedicated myself to attending practices. I am really going to miss it. Choir was something very special to me in both college and high school, though high school a little bit more.

Though I still have my massive stage fright (trying out the solos I almost started crying …yay) singing in a choir is different. Some people don’t really understand it but it’s not really like anything else. Maybe dancing in a troupe. But unlike sports which relies upon teamwork, choir singing is about coming together as a group rather than group with individuals.

I haven’t had the chance to sing classically for so long that I wasn’t even sure what condition my voice would be in, but I think I managed to hang in there decently well.  Finding a balance between singing classically and having fun a norebang is kind of like heaven for me. Just enough of each to enjoy.


Mozart’s Lacrimosa (Mournful)

The first time I heard this piece I actually didn’t care for it. It wasn’t until I was older that I really felt how moving it was.

(side note if your a music nerd-this was Mozart’s final composition of the Requiem -he didn’t finish it because he died and his student wound up finishing the requiem)