I'm getting more accustomed to teaching, which is so nice. Last week, I felt like everything I did was so hastily thrown together that the kids would run home and tell their parents how useless the teacher was, but now I'm starting to get into a groove. Sure, I'm still making copies during class, but at least now I'm coping the right pages. The kids haven't been in school before, so it's proving a little difficult to teach them simple things like "sit in your chair" and "don't punch each other", but I'm getting to the point where we can actually work on the lessons sometimes. And I've noticed most of the other kids in the school now have to walk with a bubble in their mouth (you can't talk when you have your cheeks puffed out, so it's golden), which makes me feel like I must be doing something right.
Lunch at the school is always pretty iffy. I never really know what's on my plate, so I kind of stick to eating rice and salad every day. Today, there was a pile of something fried that looked remarkably like chicken. I did a little dance to celebrate recognizable food, and Hana frowned. She told me it was actually rabbit.
Like bunny rabbit.
Like hop hop hop.
Naturally, my face fell. I was really looking forward to having some protein with lunch, but I wasn't quite sure I could stomach eating a bunny. Hana tried to make it better by telling me they don't eat the big, fat rabbits - just the baby ones.
That's not better.
I sat in the room for a minute, trying to decide whether I wanted to try the bunny. In the States, you'd have to practically drug me to get me to eat Thumper, but here, I've gotten slightly more adventurous, and I finally decided I'd rather have the experience than chicken out. I gathered up my courage and headed to the kitchen, where Hana stood, laughing with the cook. The woman who cooks out lunches is darling, but she speaks little English. When she saw me in the doorway, she pointed at the meat and said "chicken!" Hana practically fell on the floor she was laughing so hard.
I got my lunch, and Hana and I joked about the meat the whole time we were eating. Nothing escapes my students, so after a few minutes, they realized that Miss Hana played an oh-so-funny trick on Miss Nikki, and they all made fun of me too. I'd have been embarrassed if it hadn't been so funny.
A few hours later, we were working on food groups and the food pyramid. We talked about breads, fruits, and vegetables, and we got to the section on the pyramid for proteins. I asked the kids what their favorite meat was...
Screw you, Brian.
After school, Kat and I headed out for dinner. Pretty much everyone I hang out with tries to teach me a little Korean, but I just store it up in my head because I'm so nervous to use it. I've become much more understanding toward the Koreans here; I know that most of them know a little English, and at first I would get irritated that they didn't say hello back to me. But now that I know some Korean, I've become uncharacteristically shy, and I freeze up every time I walk into a building. I know how to say hello, and Hana tells me my pronunciation is very good, but I always get choked up. Sometimes, I actually almost say "Como estas?". It's like my brain recognizes that English is not the correct language, so it automatically substitutes Spanish. Eh, not so much. So today for dinner, I decided I would actually use the Korean I've been learning, and I said "kamsamnida" when I took my tray. I can't get too proud of myself, though; I was at Burger King.
I've been craving sweets since the day I was born, but I haven't really known what to get here. Korean snack foods are not at all what Americans eat as snacks; here, it's not uncommon to have cereal and milk for afternoon snack one day, and cold corn on the cob for snack the next morning. The first time Hana handed me a potato on a fork, I thought she was kidding. Although I know they sell cookies here, I pretty much just sit around and dream about Oreos and Fudge Rounds, but today I decided to buy some Korean junk food.
The first box is essentially tiny graham cracker sticks with chocolate mushroom shapes on top. They're quite delicious, and I kind of ate a whole box of them before I got home. The second snack is extremely similar to Koala Yummies (does anyone outside my family know what those are? I think we made up the name), but even more delicious. Kiss and B - you'll be getting plenty of them for Christmas, assuming I can keep them in my possession long enough to put them in a box without pigging out on them. That last snack... well, look again:
I have one more picture I'm trying to decide whether to post... I took it originally to only show my college roommates, but I can't stop laughing every time I think about it... so here it goes. Don't judge me. If you're reading this out loud to a child, please PLEASE stop here.
Here's a sink I found in one of the subway stops. That blue stick-looking thing near the faucet is a bar of soap. I'm not going to spell it out for you (I'm blushing just thinking about the fact that people are reading this right now), but just imagine how you get the soap onto your hands. I've never laughed harder (or been more embarrassed) while washing my hands.
In an attempt to partially redeem myself, here's a really cool picture of a multi-colored fountain that sprays out over a bridge:
Please still love me.