Thursday, November 20, 2008

First Snow in Chuncheon

Well, it snowed this afternoon while I was teaching . . .

Not really anything like the snow that other parts of Korea (nice post Brian) have been seeing . . . but it did get the students a little worked up.

However, one of my favorite memories of life in Korea in the almost four years that I've been here was when it snowed for the first time when I was working at an all girls high school in Incheon city (2006).

The girls went absolutely berserk. Many ran outside to play in the snow for the few minutes of free time they have during the 10 minute intervals between classes.

And then there were the girls who were in gym class. In Korea, for money and space reasons, it seems like many schools don't have a gym.

The bizarre thing about seeing the girls outside in the cold temperature is that there was a gym--it's in the grey building you see on the left in the background. I'm not really sure why they couldn't have class inside . . .

The high school I worked at had two buildings. The first grade and some of the second grade students were in this building.

I have a rather, ahem, unconventional style of teaching. The other classes next to mine, across from mine, and down the hall from mine could hear the screams, yelling, and laughing whenever I was there teaching. The Korean teachers, while they liked the fact that the girls were having FUN AND LEARNING ENGLISH (a revolutionary idea here), didn't like how loud my classes were. So after the first week of classes I was moved back to the main building and into the library/media classroom that was isolated from the other classrooms.

This is where the principal stands (see picture above) when addressing the troops--oops, I meant students. Though after seeing the girls lined up in ranks I think the two could be interchangeable terms some days in Korea.

I felt sorry for the girls . . . it was cold.

I thought I'd put up a pic of when I first arrived at the girls high school. I walked outside to see the entire first and second grades lined up in ranks. The third year (seniors) all remained inside 'locked' in their classrooms studying for the nightmare national university exam.

In this pic (below) the girls are actually doing an army drill exercise for creating evenly spaced ranks. I couldn't believe it the first time I saw this in Korea . . . although seeing the girls being put in 'pain/stress positions' that I had to do during basic training in the Canadian Army Reserves shocked me even more.

This is the typical sort of stress position. Sometimes students are sitting, kneeling, or standing with their arms in the air.

Anyways . . . back to the happy memories . . .

The general addresses the troops . . .

The best day of my entire three years working in the public school system in Incheon was on Sports Day at the girls high school. I'll have to blog about that some time in the future.

I love this picture!!!


1 comment:

Jeanette said...

Jason! wow! we also had first snow yesterday morning@@ it was soo cold!we had fiest snow in November in 1988. but i think Chuncheon is much colder than here. Take care~~;) Jeanette