Sunday, December 12, 2010

Unidentified Foreigner at Bokju Elementary October 5th, 2010

So today was my first day of class…well not exactly, I am observing another class taught by another English teacher (Katie) this whole week. Fortunately there will be two of us at the elementary school which is rare because usually there is only one foreign English teacher per school. The schools has 1500 students! I will be teaching 3rd and 4th grade.
My first impressions when walking into the school were that I felt somewhat like a celebrity…a little uncomfortable with all the staring, but let me tell you, being told you are beautiful all day long is definitely a boost to the self esteem. I thought to myself, I could get used to this. The children are so cute though, especially the girls. They were huddled around me inside the class room like I was a new toy. They all wanted to say hello to me and ask me where I was from. The girl students would say, “teacher, teacher! your hair is gold,” or “you are so tall.” And my favorite, “can I touch your hair?” It was honestly the funniest, and oddest thing I had ever experienced. Back home there is nothing too special about my physical appearance, there are many other blonde hair and blue eyed girls. But in Korea, I am a rare commodity…and most children or people especially in Andong, do not often see foreigners that look like me. I had a wonderful day though, and am excited to teach and spend time with the students. Most of them are amazing, helpful, and eager to learn English. I did get mocked by a 6 year old today who insisted on talking about me and the other English teacher in Korean because she knew I could not understand…but the other teacher knew what she was saying. This same child also tried to rip the hair out an older boys head. She was trouble…but I am not discouraged. :)

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