Quiet Endings and Lunar New Year

24 Jan

Well, this is the last week of Book Club at Gyeonggi English Village. After today, the weekday reading classes for young Korean students will be no more.  The program will continue for our Saturday students, but this is the last day we will see our familiar itty-bitty weekday faces.

I have been teaching in the Book Club for just a few months.  While working with young children requires a lot of hands on attention and can sometimes be challenging, I am really glad that I did it.  Even in their most ornery moments, the youngest students have an innocence about them that can’t be replaced.

We had a little party celebrating our last days of Book Club.  We ate food, played some games and then parted with a simple good-bye present.  When it comes to that moment when it is time to say good-bye I often am met with an unexpected surge of emotion.  This time was no different. One of my littlest students left after her last class and then turned around and came back knocking at the door only to say when I let her in, “I’ll miss you!”  Very sweet.

It’s been a good experience working with book club.  It is different from other camp-like programs at English Village. The parents bring their young students to class and then wait for them to be finished.  This gives us an opportunity to interact with them, often about their children or simple questions about the program and learning English.  Many parents are generous and bring treats to the teachers before class ranging from fresh fruit to teas and coffees.

The Saturday program will continue on – a simple day of morning classes and then an afternoon of reading books to visiting students. Last week when reading a story to some of our young afternoon visitors, I had a bit of a reality check.  The story was called Click, Clack Moo:Cows that Type.  A cute story if you’re inclined to check it out.  Often while reading a word or two comes up that needs to be explained in the simplest of English.  In the midst of reading I thought, “Oh no!  They probably don’t even know what a typewriter is!”

Now mind you, I remember the typewriter well. I learned to type on one in high school.  I still remember the feel of clicking the keys and then hitting the lever to make the carriage return.  It was a bit of a shock to notice this familiar but antiquated machinery was like a dinosaur to them.

When it came time to explain, the older brother of the group made it easy for me.  As I pointed to it and asked who knew what a typewriter was, he simply stated, “It is an old computer.”  Sure!  That will work.  An old computer, indeed.

As this week comes to a close we are preparing for a little break at English Village.  Next weekend is the lunar new year, a big holiday in South Korea. Koreans  typically spend the holiday with friends and family leaving city streets quiet and desolate.   The holiday itself is this Thursday and Friday, but English Village teachers are off for the week.

I’m grateful for the break before returning to a different schedule of teaching.  Upon return I will continue to teach the little ones their Saturday classes, continue working the weekend and then teach our Middle School camp-like programs a few days during the week.

It is a quiet day with grey skies as we slowly slip into the weekend.  The last day of book-club has fizzled away with just a Saturday’s work before the long break.  A quiet winter good-bye for now!  And feel free to write… it’s always good to hear from you!

4 Responses to “Quiet Endings and Lunar New Year”

  1. bill biver (@BBiver) 01/24/2014 at 19:04 #

    Enjoy your time off baby doll………..Love Dad

    • Mary Anne 01/25/2014 at 00:43 #

      Nanci, always enjoy reading your blog. It’s very interesting. I could relate to your book club report having taught first and second graders for years. Hopefully, you won’t miss book club, too much. Happy Lunar New Year! I will have to send my Korean friends at home a greeting. Keep warm! 🙂

      • nancieteresa 01/25/2014 at 11:17 #

        Hi Mary Anne! I bet you can relate after teaching first and second grade! I just finished my Saturday work day and now am looking forward to a nice break! Thanks for writing!

    • nancieteresa 01/25/2014 at 11:17 #

      thanks Dad!

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