Day 2 : “Shut up!” and musicals


So it took me 4 days but I realized that I have been writing the days in reverse order….basically I’ve messed up and gone backwards.

But since tomorrow is the last day, too bad.

Today was my first class without my favorite co and with my new co.  It was also the first class that I basically taught on my own. SCARY.  Actually the kids were pretty good today, obviously testing out the new teacher, and I managed to get through it and on time.

However, I was exhausted after teaching 80 minutes straight on my own with kids whose English is the lowest level I have.  But somehow they were very good.

I made them write nametags for her benefit and mine, as well as played an introduction game with candies.

But my second class….it’s a weird class.

Techincally speaking, they are not a bad class. BUT. Half of them act like zombies while the other half won’t stop talking. Then they get into too many fights.

It should be an easy class and at the start of the year it was one of my favorite classes. But slowly, they have begun to descend into madness. Three students have been sent to the Vice Principal’s office-something that DOES NOT happen in Korea.

Several students have had to stay after class and were yelled at by my co teacher/ forced to write lines/forced to kneel on the ground.

I was then told by my co that their homeroom teacher-who teaches them almost all subjects-can’t control them.  She doesn’t give them the attention they need I guess and they don’t like her.  So they act out in my class at times.

One student I know suffers from extreme ADHD. Shockingly enough he is pretty well behaved in my class but he must disrupt his other classes because he was late to class today due to a meeting with the VP.

A problem I see with a lot of my students and co teachers is that unlike what I experienced with my own schooling, is that the teachers here seem to think their duty stops once the children step out of their classroom. Korea already has an issue with the lack of awareness-WALKING (subways from hell at times) driving, etc. And I think because the children aren’t taught any of this at home or at school, it carries on into adulthood.

Even though my students are no longer in my care, they are always my responsibility. I look out for them in the hallway, I scold them.  I help them.  I give them the attention the need that I think other teachers don’t.

Anyway going back to my post-80 min solo session and dealing with my problem class, I had had enough of talking and almost fully said out loud “Shut up.”
In all fairness it was more of a “shut u-” But still they heard. They knew. They used.  I didn’t want to tell them it was a bad word because it’s not. But I couldn’t let them think it was ok to use. So I told them it was a rude word and it hurts people’s feelings.

And then I pretend it never happened.

My new co is really nice. She’s friendly and polite and I think we will do well together. But the whole time I thought to myself…when are we getting back to normal. And then I realized..this is the new normal.

I didn’t realize how much I was attached until the reality hit that I had to deal with a new co teacher.  Last night I couldn’t get to sleep, my heart was beating out of my chest….I was nervous.

Even now, despite knowing my new co is nice and we will be fine, I still really miss my old co. I went to bring him tea and our old fifth grade class escorted me/followed me to his room and proceeded to stay there until he told them to leave.

I will have to get used to it and I’m sure it will be fine. I’m not someone who hates change. As someone who does suffer from ADHD (cleaning my bedroom oh look there’s a missing CD, I should go find the CD but then I have to look through the messy desk, maybe i should clean the desk, but I don’t want to clean the desk if I don’t “clean clean” the desk, but I should clean clean the aparment but if I do that then I need to pick things up off the floor like my bedroom…) I deal with change everyday.

Furniture, clothes are one thing. But when it comes to people…that’s where I hate change. i hate when people leave and or new people come in. I’ve been told I’m unapproachable because I look unfriendly. I’m not going to be the first one to talk to you most of the time and if you are friends with my other friends, sometimes I might seem like I’m excluding you. Truth  is I just hate meeting new people. But this is a job, and for the job I must suck it up, and be friendly.  I did it with the old co, I can do it here.

Moving on to today’s song choices…. #4 and # 3.

At #4 on my birthday countdown list….

One Day More: Les Miserables.

Much like how yesterday “Into the West” was a representation of all of Lord Of the Rings soundtracks…I chose this song to represent all of Broadway musicals.

Why? Because it’s an epic song that kicks song. It’s like the song to end all end songs.

Now before any of you get excited about Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfriend and the disgusting choice of Russel Crow…this is not that version.

This is my favorite version minus the fact that Nick Jonas is apart of it.

I of course love the original, love the 10th Anniversary, but it was the 25th anniversary that I not only discovered who Ramin Karimloo was (and his heavenly voice) but also by then I was old enough to really understand the story and appreciate the music.

I was always engrossed in classical music and musicals growing up.  I guess it was the best music to play for a child? I have no clue. But I grew up on Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, Les Mis, Aaron Copeland etc.

It’s not surprising when you know my mom who has always been musical. But when people find out that my dad (he claims he’s macho/manly and used to be homophobic though in recent years he has become more open and understanding) loves musicals…they are really confused.  And now that I know the relationship between musicals and the gay community…well it all makes sense why their is shock and confusion.

Although “Phantom Of the Opera” is acutally my favorite musical followed by Wicked and then…I don’t even know , this song in particular really represents all the great things about the power of musicals. The emotions, the vocal power, the orchestration….

I’m really glad to have been able to see 3 musicals here in Korea so far : In the Heights, Cinderella, Chess (I totally almost typed Ken) and yes while the main pull for most people is the idols (it’s like a 55% pull for me) I love going to see musicals. I always have. And I was super jealous that I missed Wicked in March-my parents went without me. How Rude.

But I fell in love with Chess. Was blown away by the In The Heights. And Enjoyed Cinderella. Even though there was a language barrier, and at times I didn’t know what was going on, the music and the staging …it all made for a real positive experience. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy seeing Ken from VIxx (twice) and Chen from Exo.  That would be a straight up lie

Rounding out my top 3 songs….. #3 is Slide by the Goo Goo Dolls.

So I grew up in the late 90’s early 2000’s. When I was younger post grunge rock was really popular. And I remember listening to these songs on the radio. But it wasn’t until I was much older that I really fell in love with the Goo Goo Dolls.

The Goo Goo Dolls changed my perspective on a lot of things music wise, appearence wise, emotionally…..

At the time that I “rediscovered” the Goo Goo Dolls, I was very much into music that featured a strong powerful belter who had soul and could perform these amazing vocal runs.  I was more focused on music that didn’t really have super meaningful lyrics. (not that this is a bad thing at all)

But the Goo Goo Dolls and John Rzeznick’s music really taught me that sometimes a powerful amazing voice is always necessary and that lyrics do matter.

The Goo Goo Dolls came into my life at a very important time. I was floundering. I didn’t graduate college when I was supposed to. I started smoking briefly. All of my friends had moved on and I was still stuck at college. But worst of all, my 20th month old dalmatian boxer got Cancer in august, and had to be put down on my birthday.  It really sent me into a tail spin. I felt that I had no one to rely on. But I found comfort and solace in listening to the words that came on my iTunes.

“Dizzy Up the Girl”, “Gutterflower”, “Let Love In” takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.  You feel the pain, anger and despair in Gutterflower. You feel the contentment, the acceptance in Let Love In.  And for me, Dizzy up the Girl took me back to a simpler time of being a kid, waiting for my mom to pick me up from school to go home, change out of my school uniform and do my homework (or not do because I hated homework).

It was what I needed and thankfully it really kept me out of going into a complete dark place in life. Slide connected with me on a level which I think would be a surprise to most people. The song is about an abortion. The boyfriend is telling the girl whatever you want to do, make your choice and I will support you and love you.

Now, clearly I wasn’t dealing with having an abortion. But I was at a place where I felt abanonded by everything and everyone. I felt alone and I couldn’t keep my head above water. But this song, hearing someone say “whatever choice you make I will support you” is something that I was longing to hear. I wanted someone to tell me it was going to be fine, I was going to be okay and they supported me through this time when I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the next day. It gave me hope and whenever I heard Slide, or think of the Goo Goo Dolls, I think of how dark of a place I was, what I did to come out of it and where I am now.  I never in a million years would have thought I would be teaching in Korea.

I hope it’s a beacon of hope for those who are going through a time where they aren’t sure if they will make it to the next day. I understand.

*Side note strangely enough this was around the same time that I also discovered the show Avatar the Last Airbender so now I naturally think of them in one package deal. I know…it’s really really strange to combine them.

So that is all for today! Tomorrow is our last day! Can you believe it? I think i will continue on with these lists -maybe a new one every week unless it’s a special event or something.

I think I’ve settled on favorite TV Series for next week. And I will probably stick with 5-one for each day.

I started to neglect my blog but it feels like it’s a real place where I can talk about the day. It’s not meant to be a journal but something where I can record what my days were like my first year in Korea.

I don’t mind sharing my insanity and embarssment with my readers means I actually have readers.

But at the same time, my friend W (if you are reading this now sorry) found my blog, read it and then told me about it. It embarssed the hell out of me. While it is not meant to be a journal, its more that this is for people I don’t know and will never meet.

You know it’s easier to talk in front of a group of people you don’t know.

Well it’s the same thing here. So if you are my friend and have found my blog, please just don’t tell me about it 🙂

So tomorrow is the last day to the Favorite Song Birthday countdown challenge! I think tomorrow might 1 part be surprising and 1 part not be surprising. Also I think I will add in 3 honorable mentions -songs that either 1. i really like but haven’t liked long enough to count them as favorites or 2 that just didn’t quite make the cut.

**VIXX put out a dance preview…..and I’m pretty sure Leo just gave me a nosebleed with his uh…”dancing”.  4 more days…can’t wait!