Thursday, June 28, 2012

Eddie Walk for PE

Joe and I get to co-teach P.E. and art with the kindergarteners.

We get and hour and 15 minutes and no one cares what we do.
Last month I decided that we should take the kids outside before summer got here and it would be way too hot for any outside activities.

Joe and I decided that a nature walk would be fun. We live and work near a few parks and the "Tan Chan". It is a stream that flows through the city and there are walking/running paths along it as well as basketball courts, tennis courts, play equipment that encourages people to be active.

Every morning and evening we take Eddie for a walk along the Tan Chan. He gets to be off his leash and run around. There is a park with a soccer field and a few places where Eddie gets to jump across rocks in the stream. Eddie LOVES his Tan Chan walk. It's about 2 miles long and takes us about 30-40 minutes.

When Joe and I decided to take the kids on a nature walk we thought that the Eddie walk would be perfect. We would walk about a mile, stop on the soccer field to kick the ball around, then walk the other mile back to school.

 For the record, my team won. 2 to 0. No big deal. It's just a game. But my team won. 

 This is Brian and Alex.. As soon as we ran onto the soccer field Brian got caught up in Alex and they both did a HUGE face plant. You can see all of the dirt on Brian's face and shirt. I had to turn around because I was laughing so hard. As soon as they hit the ground a huge puff of dust formed and Brain stood up covered in dirt. Hilarious!

 The loosing team with their team captain, Mr. Joe.

 This was my favorite part of our walk. The kids had never really jumped on these rocks before. They acted like the had to jump across the Grand Canyon. They were SO cute.
One little girl needed a little help. She held Joe's little finger while she jumped from rock to rock. They were all really proud of themselves when the got to the other side.

Joe helped some of the slow movers across.


 Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to be able to live in such a great location.

You can almost see our aprtment in the background. Its the building second from the right.


It was a great little adventure. The kids seemed to really enjoy the walk.
I think all of the kids said that their favorite part of the walk was jumping across the rocks.

Science Experiment

Joe is the science teacher. He is not thrilled about his new position. He used to teach math and vocabulary and he had much more fun.

With his new job he "gets" to do a science experiment twice a month with the kindergarteners.
Most of the time the little experiments work.

 Doesn't Mr. Joe look thrilled!

 Alex helping pour in the apple cider vinegar.

 Jun and Clara helping fill a balloon with baking soda.

 Let's see what happens......

 Ohh......Ahhhhh. Very impressive if you ask me.

This was last weeks science experiment with Earth class. I have asked multiple times if Joe has anything to add, he is adamant that there is NOTHING to say about science experiment.

I know he hates this part of his job.
The Korean staff come in and tell him to pose with the science "equipment" and he is not good at being fake.

The kids seem to enjoy it. I can't say that they understand what is going on. They DO know that any experiment with baking soda and vinegar is going t be awesome!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Kryptonite

Let me begin this with the admission that I am not good with blood. I don't know when in my life I became so repulsed by the sight/smell (yes, I can honestly smell blood when I see it, ewe) of blood. Just typing this is making my stomach clench up and I am getting that gag feeling in my throat.

I broke my nose in 7th grade and I definitely think that having to hold my head up and blood flowing down the back of my throat had some negative effects on my ability to deal with blood. But I can't say that that moment sealed the deal on my inability to be around blood. I try hard to put on a tough persona when I HAVE to, but if I could I would run away and hide at the sight of blood.
That being said.....

These Korean kids get more bloody noses then a coke whore on a seven-day binge. I have never in my life seen or been around so many kids with bloody noses, on a regular basis. One girl, Claire, has had a bloody nose every day this week. I want to help them, my heart says to grab a tissue, (and a pair of latex gloves, a mask, an apron and a huge bottle of iodine) and plug up that nosebleed. But my stomach is warning me not to get close.

Daniel gave me a run for my money today.

Daniel is in first grade. I had him as a kindergartener last year. He is one of my favorites. He is just a very sweet little boy and I have a soft spot for him.
A few weekends ago, Joe and I were at an outdoor eating area in a bar. A white car pulled up on the street in front of us and a little boy shot out like a rocket. It was Daniel. He can running into the bar yelling my name.
"Ms. Stephanie, Ms. Stephanie!"
He gave me a big hug, chatted for a little bit then ran back to his mom's car.

Here are a few pictures of Daniel and I over the last few months;

As cute as he is, he almost killed me today! I didn't get hurt, he did! And in true little kid fashion he was unscathed and I had to sit down and catch MY breath. It was a traumatic experience.... for me. Like I said, the kid was FINE. 

Daniel was in my class. He was playing around with his pencil case and I asked him to put his pencil case away.
He grabbed his pencils and stood up in his chair.
In one quick swoop, he turned and tried to take a step. His food got caught in the chair leg of the seat next to him.
In slow motion, like a horror movie, he falls to the ground, 1,000,000 extra sharp pencils in his hand.
I stood up as soon as I saw him go down. I knew this wouldn't end well. For either of us.
Daniel hit the ground hard. With a loud thump and a crash of pencils spilling all across the floor.

From where I stood I could see it. A freaking pencil, sharp end first, was launched into his forehead. The freaking pencil was stuck into his head!
I was trying to be the responsible, cool under pressure, not freaking out in a time of crisis, adult. My heart was in my shoes, I couldn't breath. My face went white; I could feel my stomach do a summersault.
Daniel stood up. We stood there looking at each other. Him with a pencil launched into his forehead and me on the brink of a melt down. The pencil fell out of his head and hit the ground with a crash. A small bead of blood began to form in the middle of his forehead.
Catching my breath, I ask Daniel; "Are you okay?"

(You know that moment when a kid takes a big fall and you know if you freak out, they are going to freak out. But just maybe if you play it cool, they will play along with you and not have a nuclear meltdown. I was sure we had reached this point. It was my time to play it cool.)

Daniel looks at me with a confused face and reaches for his knee. Grabbing his knee, he rubs it, pulls up his pant leg and examines the invisible "ouches" he received from his huge fall. With a grimace on his face he says, "yes".
With eyes are big as dinner plates; I asked him if his head was okay.
"No, Daniel, (pointing to my head) is your head okay?"
Again Daniel looks at me and says;
"Yes, but my I have an ouchie on my leg"

I grab a wet wipe and slowly walk over to him to examine what I am sure is a huge pencil size hole in his head.
As I get closer, Daniel starts to laugh. And he even says, "I think my pencil when into my head"
I don't want him to freak out, like I am on the inside, so I say, "I don't know, let me look."

Sure enough the kid has a hole in his head, lucky for both of us, it’s only the size of the point of his pencil. I guess it didn't get launched in there as far as I had thought.

I put some pressure on his head with the wet wipe and had him sit down. That's when Joe walked in and I walked out. He said he heard the crash and saw my face through the glass wall and knew something was wrong. I needed some air and to wash my hands. 

I told the Korean staff to make a note of the accident. I am sure he will have a huge bruise on his forehead from the impact of the pencil. 

I was honestly not the same for the rest of the day. I couldn't shake the image of Daniel hitting the ground and then getting up with a freaking pencil sticking out of his head. My stomach was in knots and I would cringe every time I pictured poor Daniel falling.

Good news is Daniel is fine. And I didn't totally freak out.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Lots of funny things happen when you're a teacher. Kids say and do the funniest things. It is definitely one of the perks of being a teacher. working with comedians 24/7

But one of my favorite things about being a teacher is being able to experience the excitement of "firsts", with the kindergartners.
First field trips, first 100% on a spelling tests or the first time a student reads a book without help.
I love seeing the pride in their little faces and the excitement escaping their bodies in little jumps and wiggles.

Jun lost his first tooth last week.

He was proud.
So was I.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Meet Claire Bear

Joe and I try really hard not to have favorites.

That being said, we have a favorite. Claire.

She has the best little personality. She is really funny and SO cute.

She is very petite and her mom dresses her in the cutest little clothes.

"oh my gosh"

Can you blame us?

Claire loves Joe! She sits next to him in class, pets his arm hair, she puts him in a mini head lock and gives him big kisses on the cheek. It's too cute!

We all got to watch Tangled last Friday. We put the movie on in the conference room so we could  project it onto the big screen.

Claire jumped up on my lap to watch. She was really into the movie, she would cheer when something good would happen, and when a damn broke in one scene she yelled out "oh my gosh!". I was loving watching with her/watching her reaction. At one point during the movie, a scarey scene came on, dark music and a dark forest. Claire screamed "scary!" then hid in my chest, covering her eyes. I melted on the spot. A few minutes later she switched seats and sat by Joe and held his hand through the rest of the scary parts. I guess I was not a good enough protector.

She is a cutie.
I am glad that in Korea I can have special little moment with the kids without risking loosing my teaching license. It also makes me so much more attached to them. But I love it.

A Peak and A Pit

 9 months down, 12 more to go.

Can you believe we have been living and working in Korea for 9 months! Wow. In the last 9 months life has flown by. Work is good, Joe and I are enjoying the time we have with each other, and we really love the new friendships we have made. The last 9 months have been a peak!

Oh my gosh, we have 12 more months! Ahhh, sometimes we miss the silly little things. I miss our big couch. My washer and dryer! Quick trips to Fred Myer where you can grab everything you need in under 30 minutes. Then the big things, 1st birthdays and helping Mike and Debbie with the remodel they are doing on their house. It's hard to think that we have 12 more months away.

June 2013 is the end of our contract. We have not set an exact date. But we agreed with our boss, Karen, that we will leave as some point in June. When things get closer and she finds replacements for us we will have a better idea. I think knowing that this month, maybe even this week, is our 12 more month mark was hard on Joe and I. We had a long week. Not just that I think that our inner teacher calendar thinks we should be starting summer vacation this week too. Every single teacher friend I have on Facebook has made a comment about summer vacation or the last day of this school year. I. Am. Dieing!

But we have SO much to look forward to in the next 12 months....

At the end of this month Joe and I are in a little musical (again) with some of our students. We have rehearsal the next two weekends. That will keep us a little busy. 

My friends, Jenelle and Myriam and I are throwing Leah and baby boy Brown a baby shower! Leah's mom is going to be in Korea visiting for 3 weeks so we planned the shower so that her mom can be a part of it. We have a million ideas and things are really coming together.

Joe's dirty 30th birthday is July 25!~ Can you believe my husband is SO old :) We have some fun weekend plans with all of our friends. I am looking forward to spoiling him. 

Mike and Debbie get here in 5 weeks! They arrive July 27! yay!

We are all going to China together! They are fun to travel with. We have been on a dozen or so trips together and each trip we have made some great memories.
I also get to see the Great Wall. I am SO excited.

Debbie is going to stay with us for an extra week and a half. I am really looking forward to having some mom time. I really miss having her around.

Joe and I get an extra vacation in October. We are thinking about taking a trip to Thailand. No plans made yet but we will be taking advantage of our time off.

Then in December we are going to Hawaii!!!! We love Hawaii. Joe and I have been twice, but this time Mike and Debbie are going to meet us there for Christmas. Because Christmas is on a Tuesday and so is New Years, we get a few extra days off this year! yay. We will get to stay in Hawaii for 10 days. Tickets bought, condo reserved!

After our Christmas vacation in Hawaii we will only have 6 more months left in Korea. I am sure that time will fly by! We will have kinder graduation to prepare for and a new set of kids to whip into shape. And we will be applying to jobs back home trying to figure out what our chapter after Korea brings us.

9 months down, 12 more to go.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Take Your Dog to Work Day

On Tuesday I got to take Eddie to work!
Every morning the kindergarteners get to do some sort of show and tell. Sometimes they get to bring in an actual toy but most of the time is is an oportunity for them to draw, write and speak about a topic. The teachers usually take a turn to show the students how to fill out the poster and speak in front of a group.

This time around our topic was "My favorite animal". It is no secret at BIS that my favorite animal is a dog and my favorite dog is Eddie!

When I found out it was my turn was going to be Tuesday I convinced Joe to bring Eddie to work!
Eddie is a great dog. He has been a good listener and we have trained him to do a few tricks. But Eddie is only 2 and half. He gets really excited around little kids, but he loves kids.
In Korea, it is not common for families to have pet dogs yet. And if families have dogs they are toy poodles or tea cup Yorkies.
Eddie is about 18 lbs. and is considered a "large" dog in Korea.

Joe and I were both nervous but hopeful.The plan was for Joe to hold onto Eddie in my classroom while I went to the gym and talked to the kids.

I showed the kids my poster and talked to them about what Eddie.

 I told the kids that Eddie didn't like big voices and that they all had to sit quietly and not shout at Eddie or he would be scared and bark.I showed them how to touch a dog and how you say hello and to let Eddie smell their hands before they touched him. 

The kids did great and so did Eddie! 

This is Clara, she was the cutest! This is the first dog she has got to see up close. She squealed with excitement  when it was her turn to pet Eddie. You should have seen her face, it was priceless!

I LOVE this picture. Poor Eddie is over it!

Look at my sweet puppy! He did such a good job. He said hello to all of the kids that wanted to but some were too afraid to touch him. Eddie did some tricks and took a few laps around the gym. He was a very good little dog. He even danced for the kids!

Then we all said good bye and Joe took Eddie home.
At lunch time Eddie was passed out in his bed snoring with his tongue out. Visiting school must have really worn him out.