Spring Sports Day (5/15/15)

The posts I want to write just keep accumulating… usually until I forget about them and move on. In my attempt to cover more topics, I’ve decided to do a few shorter, more picture-heavy posts until I catch up.

Currently the list includes my mom visiting Korea, attending another cousin’s wedding, surviving my first open class, and still trying to figure out where I’ll be next year – but now I know I will be able to stay in a high school!

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But today’s post is about my school’s spring Sports Day! I was excited to be able to experience another sports day at my school. Unfortunately it was marred by a bout of nausea in the morning, which meant I skipped the morning ceremony (and the principal’s speech – shh!) and didn’t take nearly as many selfies as last time. Spring sports day also (intentionally) fell on Teacher’s Day, which is a real thing in Korea. Yes, we might have a teacher’s appreciation week in America, but people here people actually do things for Teacher’s Day. Like giving us rice cakes and flowers. Our office (aka teachers other than me) received three bouquets of flowers, one of which was rotting away in our office until just recently.

Also, to give teachers a break, sports day and teacher’s day coincided, which meant we didn’t have to teach AND we got to go home early – around 3pm. I hung around with the new Chinese teacher Tantan and different students. Tantan showed up at my office after the morning ceremony,  wearing a super casual T-shirt and bright red pants with stars: part of a “class tee” set lent to her by students. I felt overdressed in my blouse. Fortunately, another student lend me her tee.

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Each homeroom class has their own “class tee,” although it doesn’t have to be just a T-shirt. Outstanding “class tees” designs this time around were hanbok – traditional Korean dresses in class 3-7, tiger shirts in class 1-2, and a boys class wearing traditional-style dresses. Oh, and I was lent a basketball jersey to put over my boring blouse by a girl from class 2-8, and became an honorary member of two classes for the day!

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There was a student teacher relay-race again, which I diligently avoided. There are lots of little things you can do to avoid something, like wearing your indoor sandals instead of tennis shoes, or big things like “resting” in your office. Either way, I never heard my name being called and successfully avoided the race. This time instead of having to consume a mystery drink halfway through the race, there were snacks hanging from a string that you had to grab with your mouth. This was something I’d only seen in manga, so I was a little excited to see it in real life.

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Class 3-6 and 3-7. They’ve still got it.

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Over the course of the day we were given so much food – which seems ironic, given that it was sports day, but hey, you need energy and nutrition to compete in sports. Or…watch sports…right? A crowd of parents camped out in the shade with boxes and boxes of drinks and snacks, handing them out in bursts. Tantan and I were also given a lot food from students. We received lemonade, sports drinks, candy… One student had a chocolate bar, told me it was melted, and then gave it to me. I’m pretty sure she just wanted to get rid of it. One student even gave Tantan a Mom’s Touch burger! (For those of you who don’t know, Mom’s Touch is chicken chain restaurant with the best chicken burgers.)

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Spontaneous dancing. And from one of the quietest boys in his class.

During the lunch period, once again students showcased their musical talents. A pair of boys from rowdy class 2-2 surprised me with their impressive voices; they were the stars of the show.

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