This morning was awesome. I slept late, like 8:45, then got to talk to Michael for a little bit. I also spent a lot of time doing some Craig'sList research. I am officially desperate to make my apartment "home." Yes, it's getting there... but it still lacks a lot of homey-ness. Last night at one of the other foreign teachers' apartments, she had an armchair. And she had a western-style desk. It made me realize that, while I like that my furniture is not overpowering the room, I also think my room is very low to the ground. Like, the desk I have is a floor-desk, the hutch is very low as well. And of course the bed is low. I have no chairs, no rug or anything to sit on. I decided I need some things!!
First, I want an armchair. Like, something comfy I can sit in and blog, or read a book, or anything. Nothing too big, just a chair I can put in the corner and have a place of my own. This beats getting a large desk that hogs the room. If I did get the chair, I would give the hutch (that is really not very useful to me) to another teacher in the building.
Second thing I want is an area rug. I have faux-hardwood laminate that is pretty crappy. It's not ugly, but cheap. I want something to draw the room together, give it warmth! I would love a rich color, but honestly I'll take anything at this point.
I also would like some alternate lighting - a floor lamp and desk lamp to be precise. I hate my overhead lighting, plus the switch is on the other side of the room so at night it's annoying to turn off the light before bed.
Finally, I want wall decor. Some floating shelves, or some paintings/art. This is getting out of the "need" and pretty far into the "want," but oh well.
I went on CraigsList this morning to start some research. FIRST - the armchair. I only found 2 currently listed - one for 20,000W (~$20) it was not the prettiest, but it looked leather and wasn't too ugly. Only problem with that one is it was listed back on July 31. It is most likely sold by now, especially for such a low price! The other one I found did not have a price listed, only asking for an offer. It was originally 250,000W (~$225), so I would probably offer maybe 80,000 to 90,000W. The thing with either of these two is transportation! How the heck to get it from one side of Seoul to the other?! I emailed a guy I found on an expat forum about moving, and he quoted me around 70,000 to move it totally (from 1 apartment to the other). Woah! Alternatively, Erin Teacher told me at work I might could find one on the street that someone is getting rid of; several of the teachers have done that. I might just have to go hunting in my neighborhood one day!!
SECOND - the rug. Basically, no one has a decent rug. Awesome. THIRD - a lamp. One, single, solitary floor lamp listed. I emailed the seller, and she was selling it TODAY. Grumble, grumble.... FINALLY - I stumbled upon a pretty cool piece of art and made an offer on it. I think the same person, I made an offer on his kettle, rice cooker, and power converter. I also attempted to get a Brita water pitcher, but that deal fell through :(
Finally, I made it to work. I will summarize my classes:
First - my worst class. Jackie Teacher observed and helped put the kids in line. I made sure to use everyone's name so she sees that I know names!
Second - Belle was surprisingly participatory today. But the entire class seemed to have eaten straight sugar before I came in. They could not stop giggling, chatting, and generally being disruptive. We were talking about emotions, feelings, and how we feel. I was trying to explain "terrible" to them, and got a very sad look on my face. I said "How do I look?" Benny, my most hyper and disruptive student, said "Ugly?" .... I guess I should have clarified better! I got a shocked look on my face, and then he says "Oh, oh, oh... surprised!" Haha... these kids!
Third - Jackie came back again. It was a great class - very participatory, got some great responses, and felt like I generally had a good grasp on the class and the material.
Fourth - 2SAP girls... This class was a fiasco! I was checking homework and realized the girls had the old homework checklist, rather than the updated one that I had. Therefore, today was supposed to be a review, but they had not completed all their vocabulary. So, I made a teacher-decision, and we worked on the homework that should have been done last night, and then took the Word Quiz. Good decision, since I realized the W.Q. had words on it that we did together in class. Oops! Also, I think the girls did better since we had gone over the words immediately before taking the quiz. So, instead of reviewing in class, I sent the review home, and they will test tomorrow, right on schedule. Phew! Crisis averted... except that I had 1 student absent. So, she would be extra behind tomorrow. I had my partner teacher, Hannah Teacher (Korean), call Rachel's mom and explain the homework. So, Rachel will take the exam on Friday, instead of tomorrow. What a confusing and crazy day in that class!
Fifth - Jackie observed again (I was thanking Jesus and my lucky stars she had not chosen the previous class since it was so chaotic). I think I achieved something amazing - when explaining the vocab words with the class, we came to the word "rule" - I had them read the definition and then I asked "do we have rules at school? what are some rules at school?" I could only get 1 reply, "don't talk when teacher talks," so to dig myself out of that one, I said "Right, so here in SLP, we have a rule - don't speak Korean! Remember?!" (All of the kids speak Korean, but we tell them not to so they will practice their English) Well, I looked at Jackie Teacher and she is sitting in the corner just cracking up. I didn't realize it was that funny, but she thought it was hilarious. So, score! Jackie isn't mean, but a true laugh I have yet to see come out of her. Yay!
Sixth - my boys. I am so lazy with them. By the end of the day, I am so tired that I usually just sit and verbally go through everything rather than write it all on the board. They are so smart, anyway. Today I had my first trial run with the creative writing. I had them write about a trip they want to take, to go anywhere. They had to talk about what they would do, what animals they would see, etc. Using their vocab. I had two boys write about going to the Sun, and another to a lost island paradise under the ocean. I thought that was fairly creative. I was proud :)
Really, that is about all that happened today. I made Kraft Original Mac & Cheese when I got home (yay!!!) even though I was really craving a burger (I didn't want to make the trip to Itaewon just for that...). This week is going by much faster than last week, thankfully. I am also feeling much more in control with my classes, since I am organizing their lesson plans, homework, etc. I am actually starting to enjoy it. I get the most frustrated when I am trying to teach and they won't stop talking!!! I want to shake their little faces until they pay attention!!!!! Haha!
Tonight my goal is to be in bed going to sleep by midnight!!! Looking good so far... Really excited for the Apple announcement tomorrow (well, I'll see it tomorrow. I'm not staying up til 3am to watch it tweeted live!) GOODNIGHT!!!