5 Little Monkeys

I thought a quick update was due as there have been a few events in the last month of so.

First, I got a new student named Andrew. My five little monkeys have now become six. Andrew seems sweet. Quiet and shy, but nice and a good worker. His energy is much lower than the others, but I´m happy he is a sweet boy and following along with the group. He is absolutely IN LOVE with Lucia.

I had my first Open Class rehearsal last week. It was fine, albeit stressful, like most things that would appear to be fun end up being a huge production at work. For those of you who are not familiar, Open Class is essentially a class that the parents watch. But, since everything has to be perfect and error free, we have to rehearse this particular class, like a performance. Particular games are chosen and the kids have to do a lot more repeating than usual. It is a lot for us teachers to remember. We are also not allowed to tell the children why we are rehearsing, which is very confusing for them. The whole thing is totally insane.

But hey, just got to get it over with and try and do a good job and then there are no more highly stressful events until my contract ends.

We did have a field trip last Friday which was a lot of fun. We went to this park/outdoor garden with a museum. There were hundreds of other kindergarten students there as well, all dressed in their matching uniforms and backpacks. I had a great time spending some one on one time with my kids and felt overwhelmed by the affection and love they showed me. At lunchtime, many of the children brought lunches for me to eat, which included beautiful homemade kimbap. The kids like to feed it me me and giggle, ¨Teacher, eat!¨ Apparently it is a sign of respect for the oldest person to eat first. They all wanted me to eat the lunches they bought.

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The only real sad part of the trip was that the kids were never really allowed to play. They did a lot of walking in herded lines, stopping and starting. The kids were antsy—there was no big field to run in, and they did NOT let them play on the jungle gym! Totally nuts. Still, it was a lot of fun and definitely some bonding time for the kids and I.

(Beautiful homemade kimbap/inari fromm Tommy´s mom)

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We also have a song contest this Friday….none of us are ready. Crossing my fingers on that one.

The weather has been gorgeous. Mid to upper 60s and sunny. It´s been painful being indoors but I plan on spending the whole weekend doing outdoor activities if possible.

In yoga class, the instructor, who I love, is this cool 40-year-old woman who is fit and amazing looking. She likes to push me to do more, and also like to hit my stomach and yell ¨panja!¨ which means suck in. One time, she told me I looked skinnier—-what´s not to like?

Otherwise, I´m just starting to dig into applying for grad school and also planning my summer vacation to Tokyo, followed by S.E. Asia in September for 3 weeks. Starting in June my life will start to get quite a bit busier as I prepare to make the transition from being a full-time Kindergarten teacher into being a backpacker and then starting my new life back home. Hard to believe I only have about 4 months left in my contract!


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