Lucky 59

Time to blog about one of my favorite topics: food! A couple of weeks ago a shop on my way to school closed down. Nothing new, seeing as how the galbi restaurant near my house was turned into a meat market overnight, and now I find myself hearing "moooos" in the early morning. However, this time the shop turned into something I have been eagerly awaiting - Western food! While my area in Daegu does have some of the usuals, Mr. Pizza, Outback Steakhouse, McDonalds, and so forth, those are all about a half hour walk away from me. So when I saw the name of this new place, 59 Pizza, I quickly made my way home and googled it.

I've been under the impression that pizza in Korea is expensive. Cheese sure as hell is. But at 59 Pizza you can get a large pepperoni pizza for, get this, 5,900W! While the opening date was on December 17th, I wasn't able to be one of the first customers due to a lack of cash... even today my pizza was purchased on borrowed funds, but that will change come Thursday. So after school today, and a crummy lunch, I decided I would give the place a shot. I was debating whether I should wait until my students were all home, but whatever, they probably assume I've eaten there three times already.

I walked in and the lady was really nice. A bunch of those flower arrangements that are always present with the opening of a new restaurant/store/etc were along the wall. All I had to do was point to the picture of the pizza I wanted (they don't really have a dine-in area) and the size. Larg-e of course, since it's only 1,000W more than a regular. Now I'll have a few meals other than spaghetti this week, hooray. I was afraid the pizza box would scorch my hands as I walked home, but that was not an issue as the box has a cute little handle on it:

The pizza smelled good the entire walk home. It felt like the longest walk ever. I felt guilty walking home with my pizza box, like a typical waegook, too good to eat Korean food. Which is actually not the case, but they probably think that. I didn't want to pass the restaurants near my house, like the orange restaurant though, so I walked down a different street to get home.

As I am writing this I am on a full belly. The pizza met my expectations, although they weren't very high. One peculiar thing about it was the sesame seeds in the crust. Still can't decide whether those are worth complaining about. It definitely didn't have the grease like pizza back home, but still it was pretty tasty. For only $5, who could say anything? I restrained myself from eating the whole thing, so I am looking forward to cold pizza tomorrow. :) Take a look for yourself:

It's possible

I should be blogging more... especially about school. People ask about it and I always give very vague answers. So here goes...

This week was the second week of having to create my own lesson plan since we finished the textbook. Last week I did a cultural lesson on Thanksgiving, and this week the lesson plan was about predictions, and I used astrology to demonstrate it a bit. Wednesday was the first day I had to teach the astrology lesson and I was really nervous since I hadn't exactly planned it well... I just used a lesson plan I created over the summer for my TEFL class. It was designed for a small class and for an hour whereas my classes are twice as large and only for 45 minutes. To make matters worse, my guinea pig class has the lowest level of English proficiency. To my surprise when I handed out the group activity they all got right to work on it before I could even explain the directions. I asked my co-teacher if we should stop them but she said to just let them work. They did a great job! I was really impressed, and happy to see the students so engaged.

For both the Thanksgiving and prediction lesson plans I made sure to relate it somehow to Korea. For Thanksgiving our activity at the end of class was to create a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting Turkey Day and Chuseok. Before I introduced the Western way of astrology I first talked a little bit about Chinese astrology which is what they are familiar with. I told the kids that I am a rabbit and they quickly began trying to figure out how old I am, but they will never know O:) It was really funny listening to them try to pronounce the zodiac signs.

The happiest part of my day had to be when I was exiting the 2nd grade teachers' office when I heard an unfamiliar voice say, "Hi Rachelle!" I looked over to see the girl that is proclaimed to have the lowest English grade in the school talking to me. My response: "You can speak English?!?" She tells me a little. I was in shock! She then grabbed on to me and told me she loves me, hehe. One of the worst male students in the school happened to be nearby and he was trying to tell me she is a bad student. They both were slowly going back and forth at it in English (for me I'm assuming, they could do a much better job in Korean I'm sure). It was time for them to head to class and when I saw my co-teacher I told her about it. She told me that the girl likes me and is trying to speak English. Originally I was told to not make her participate in class, so she would just sit at her desk at the back of the room with all her markers and pens drawing. She is quite an artist (if anyone saw the Van Gogh Starry Night picture I put up, it's hers), and draws pictures of nearly naked cavemen... we're talking intricate details. Which reminds me, one of my co-teachers confiscated a "graphic novel" from a student and I had a hard time not laughing when she showed me one of the drawings.

I still just can't believe that that particular student spoke English to me today! She was pretty indifferent towards me in the beginning, but I would always smile at her in and out of the classroom and apparently it changed her attitude for the better. She is part of the guinea pig class and I saw her working diligently on the group assignment. It upsets me that sometimes teachers don't give enough credit to the students. Unless they have a learning disability, they are probably capable of learning, if motivated.

I heart middle school!~