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Published: November 23rd 2007
Autumn in my Backyard
My part of house is all downstairs of house to left.
#5-HOME AND AUTUMN HARVEST
Well two months now and just about settled in. The week days are very nice and quiet here; inside the house and outside. I am slowly adapting to the unpredictable weekends where I must share my huge ‘under-used-by-me’ lounge room occasionally. I tend to be out for all of either Saturday or Sunday. I always enjoy my walks on Sunday morning. At midday, most of the action is outside. Most of Sunday a few people are coming and going into the lounge room. Behind the house is a large open area near a nice running stream. I enjoy walking there also.
After service in the church (for mostly very old people and young kids) there is food served in a building close by. The atmosphere is very pleasant and sociable outside in the yard with people sitting around and kids playing soccer, riding bikes etc. I hang around for while so we can practice English and Korean together. So altogether it’s pretty nice here and the house and village are very easy to live in with plenty of space. It seems other Foreign Teachers mostly live in tiny apartments in high rises, in uninteresting
Another Country House
The start of harvest in front of this house with curved blue roof near school.
parts of towns; so I think accommodation wise, I am very lucky. Of course, it may get a bit boring around here in winter, so I may do a bit more visiting of other teachers soon. More photos of village in next blog.
CROP HARVESTING AND LEAVES CHANGING COLOURS
I have never really experienced a ‘full on’ Fall with Autumn colors before; only a few trees here and there in China. In Australia in most parts it is 12 months of evergreens. The colors of individual trees and the hillsides here is quite spectacular and I am really enjoying being outside, even if it is a little cold. (We’ve even had a few frosts already). My camera is working overtime and it is difficult to cull back the blog photos. As the apples and rice ripen, the red and yellow also adds to the mix.
It is also autumn harvest time and the valley is alive with cutting, picking, drying and packing. Even the village seems overcrowded with crops drying on the sides of the roads and even spilling onto roads. Mini tractors go up and down the laneways every now and then.
It is usually a
Back lane next to my house
I lve in the lower floor of house with green roof a fair way from traffic noise
two minute car ride from school, but sometimes it’s good to walk home at sunset via a short cut thru the fields, with terraced rice fields, apples and multicolored hills.
UNUSUAL SCHOOL DAYS.
It’s a bit unpredictable at the moment, being end of year. Some classes are cancelled due to end of year or exams, parents days, inspectors days etc. Other days I have extra overtime. The final year class has finished for the year and I have been told that they came first in our county for English. I think that may be due more to my Korean co-teacher than me, because they can only understand about 25% of what I say, but it’s more than when I first came here.
Today we had a camera team from the Department of Education (or Korean equivalent) filming our class as a demonstration class for a promotion video. I was a bit nervous, but after 45 minutes of filming, we were told that they would only use a few seconds of tape!! I’ll try to get a copy of the ‘Bloopers’ tape at least; that could be interesting.
Most of the students are very well behaved most of
very big with all mod cons
the time. The first year class is the youngest and can be the most ‘excitable’ sometimes. However, the other day after they had a Physical Education exam (P.E./ Sport) they were a little ‘extreme’. I walked into a classroom of hyped up huffing, puffing young teenagers drenched in sweat. It was like a scene out of the movie ‘Kindergarten Cop”. The ceiling fans were on ‘full-bore’ and it was a cold day. They were coughing and sneezing everywhere. After about 5 or 10 minutes throwing off coats and ties, moving tables around and finding books etc. I finally got them settled down in there seats. My Korean co-teacher was not present at this time so settling them all down was quite a battle. After sitting down, they just crashed out and fell asleep!! I’m glad the film crew did not come that day; although, it might have made for a more interesting video. The department has now asked for a 5 to 10 page article (in a week’s time) on anything about my teaching experiences here or in China. I don’t know what to write; maybe something on classroom fun and games(??)
All the Foreign
View from kitcken table. A very big lounge room. Floor is centrally heated.
Teachers and Korean Co-teachers have just come back from a 2 day Workshop/Conference, similar to when I first arrived, (only this time they paid us about $60 to attend-bargain!) It was good to catch up with all the others to see how they were getting on. Only a couple had ‘spat the dummy’ and left. Most seemed to have had some sort of hassle along the way as expected. Getting the ‘power balance’ between the Foreign Teachers and Korean Co-teacher in the classroom, seemed to be the main issue; like who’s in charge/ who does what /how to plan /different teaching styles etc.
Fortunately, my co-teacher and I seem to have divided the workload 50/50 quite well and things seem to go pretty smoothly. I think some of the others were quite impressed with her, because she was one of the few Korean teachers to actually ask questions at the workshop. We got a few new ideas for future classes and will probably change a few things.
We all stayed at big teacher’s hotel in the tourist town of Gyeongju, which I have been to a few times. I managed to stay there an extra day so I’ve just
Lounge room lookng out into balcony and backyard
about seen everything there by now. I did a bit of sight seeing with two other Foreign Teachers one afternoon. Howard was British-Jamaican, who had a perfectly clear British accent. Greg was New Zealand-Latvian who had a very strong European accent. This was more obvious when he was on his motor bike wearing a WWII German Storm trooper helmet; so the three of use really stood out when walking around. The next day they drove to the coast in minus one degree weather! I walked around and got more pictures of the last days of autumn in the tomb area of Gyeongju.
So that’s it for now. I’ve been on a couple of extra trips which I will leave for the next blog together with some of the village scenery. I apologize if there are too many pictures if autumn trees. Any feed back welcome.
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