Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cake and Indian Bracelets

Today I had my best morning yet at EOS. First off, apparently on the last day of every month (which was today, August 30th), the school celebrates all of the birthdays that occurred during the month. So, to my delightful surprise, I walk into my homeroom (Salmon Class) to find all of the children sitting around a beautiful cake wearing party hats (precious!).
Only Olivia had her birthday this month, so her Mom provided everything for the party. In addition to the cake, there was a princess-themed tablecloth, miniature wrapped fruit-baskets for everyone, and an elaborately decorated poster featuring pictures of Olivia. Sharon Teacher, the Korean teacher in charge of Salmon Class (she has been one of the main people training me; I adore her; she is also very pregnant), explained to me what was going on.
Sharon told me that we were celebrating Olivia’s birthday, so I was to read aloud the card that her parents had written about her (which Sharon had translated to English) and help Olivia read something about her and her family. Then I was to ask Olivia some questions about the pictures. Easy enough. I performed my duties, while Angel Teacher (the Korean helper-teacher) took pictures.
“Olivia’s Mommy stayed up all night doing this,” said Sharon, gesturing to the elaborately decorated poster, “no sleep,” she explained. “I will not do all of this, as a Mommy” (eluding to her unborn child). But seriously, all night? No kidding!
The cake was delicious, and the fruit was also good. Worth noting: there were a couple cherry tomatoes in the fruit basket, which was different. After everyone was done eating, and a sufficient amount of pictures had been taking, we moved on to the next activity: making necklaces for Indian Day.
Indian Day is this Saturday, and by “Indian Day” they mean Native American Day. There are actually Indian children at the school, and I am a little curious as to why their parents haven’t objected to the un-PC title of this day. Basically, the kids (optional) and teachers (required) dress up in Native American outfits, come to school (at 11am on SATURDAY, and we don’t get paid for this), and participate in a variety of activities. I’m not sure what these activities will be exactly, all I know so far is that I need to pull together a costume and come up about twenty-five “Indian Names” to assign to the children in Salmon Class and Tuna Class. I also keep seeing these random cutouts of Native-Americans popping up around school.
So, today we made our Indian necklaces, which was actually quite fun. We gave the kids little bits of clay, which they rolled into balls, and then we poked holes in them to make beads. We also gave then pieces of felt that had been cut into leaf-shapes, which they decorated with colored pencils. Then the beads and leaves were strung onto necklaces. I made one too. They actually looked pretty cool, very earthy. Also, between the birthday party, necklace making, and lunch, I only had time for about an hour of actual teaching (for Kindergarten). Maybe Indian Day won’t be so bad after all…


  1. Hi Austin,

    Merry let me read over her shoulder, and I thought I'd pass along to you my understanding of Korean age calculation. I believe that a child is considered 1 year old at birth, then every person's age increases by one year at the first of the year. So....if you are born on December 15th, you would be 2 years old on January 1st. This is from one of our South Korean students, see if you can find out if I got that right! Have a good time and stay safe!

    Sheryl (Merry's Mom)

  2. hey there! sorry if this is weird or whatnot but this showed up on my newsfeed a while back and it caught my eye. probably because you've got quite the title! and also, i'm very supportive of such endeavors (blogs & teaching abroad). this is what i plan on doing after graduating in december so it's great to hear how someone else is doing it. i'm excited to see what comes : )