6 Jul

Ah, a moment of relaxation.  It is 10ish Korea time on a Saturday night.  I am typing on my new to me gateway laptop computer listening to the sweet sounds of  Elton John is echoing on my computer speakers and I am enjoying a coconut water “juice box.”   I can hear fireworks shooting off in the not-so-far distance, a delayed fourth of July celebration of some English Village American teachers.

This week is a bit of an echo of my previous “Adjustments” entry.  No tears this week, but still the neck is tight.  I have come to the conclusion that mostly I am … tired.  I mean… bone tired.  I have added some regular walking to my weekly routine and it does help me feel better.  Nonetheless I still have the kind of tired that it feels like a good night sleep just won’t cure.  But don’t worry, Mom, I am okay!

This week has been a  mostly typical English Village work week.  We had two different groups of 300 or so Korean children spend three days and two nights with us. Our first group of kids were elementary school children.  They really were an exceptional group with excellent English skills and generally well-behaved.  Our second group were middle school students who, aside from their own tiredness from recently finished exams, were in many ways above average middle school students.  They were mostly fun to teach and when they weren’t asleep, they were good English speakers and participated well in class.

After the previous two weeks of teaching adult and college age students, it was very clear to me this week that children, no matter how good they are, just take up so much more energy.   It is typical when we begin our classes with new students for them to ask us questions about ourselves.  They will usually ask where we are from, if we have a boyfriend/girlfriend, and our age.  When they ask my age I often ask them to guess.  At the beginning of the week, they will guess years below my actual age of 42 and will gasp and be shocked when I reveal my actual age.  But by the end of the week, as my face and body have experienced some wear and tear from the week, their guesses creep close to my actual age. By that time I am indeed worn out.

This past week we have been piloting new lessons in my content area.  At English Village all teachers are assigned to one content area.  Mine is Media and Entertainment. Collectively, we learn and teach two or three lessons related to that topic. Every 6 months or so we create new lessons for the new term.  Currently we are phasing out our previous lessons and introducing the new ones.  I created one of the lessons for the new semester.  It teaches our students about animation.  In the lesson they are introduced to three different types of animation – traditional animation, computer animation, and stop motion animation.  They are given examples of all types and learn the basics of how they’re made.  Then they get to make their own flip book! I found a great flip book example of local music superstar Psy’s song Gagnam Style.  We show it in class and the kids love it! It has been satisfying, sometimes challenging (and dare I mention… tiring…) to practice and introduce this new lesson.  So far the students have been really engaged with the lesson and it seems to be a success!

I did my best to treat myself to a little outing today in Seoul – exploring what exactly it is that will help me relax a little bit and “take the edge off”…  I went to one of the local palaces in Seoul known for their traditional architecture, Changdeokgung Palace, built in the 1400s.  When I arrived as there wasn’t an English tour for another two hours, I just bought a general ticket and took a look around.  It was a good reminder of the history and tradition of Korea and it was nice to take a little break in the city and see something different.


But in the end… I was still tired.  My intention for tomorrow is to  just take it easy.  Really.  No bus trips to Seoul.  No cooking up a storm, cleaning the bathroom or rearranging the drawers in my apartment.  I promise.

So tonight I leave you… tired… but hopeful… for restful and restored days to come.  How are you these warmer days of summer?(unless of course you are in Australia!)  It’s always great to hear from you!

Top photo is a snapshot of a cute little painting featured in a calendar I saw in our student health clinic.  I just love its simplicity and color palette.

3 Responses to “Restoration”

  1. Sarah 07/06/2013 at 16:00 #

    i am tired too! haven’t read one of your blogs for a long time bc i am too darn swamped! but i am also determined to have some down time, and i enjoyed this blog. get some rest!

    • nancieteresa 07/06/2013 at 16:04 #

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for the note! Good to hear from you. You rest up as well!

  2. bill biver (@BBiver) 07/06/2013 at 19:49 #

    you go girl! Love, Dad

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