After spending three weeks at my school, I dared to wear blue jeans to work today. If there was a problem, I figured I could use the "It's Casual Friday in North America" excuse.
And it was fine. I was eating lunch in the cafeteria with Mrs. P today, when she leaned over to me and said, "I like your style right now."
With a mouth full of rice and this delicious fish I've come to love and look forward to, I smiled at her and mumbled, "What?"
"I like your look today," she said, with her trademark smile plastered across her face. "You look young and cool."
Young and cool. Awesome!
I asked her if it was OK to wear jeans henceforth to school, and she said it would be fine.
What a relief. I am starting to float in the new pair of black pants I purchased before leaving Toronto.
On another note, you'll notice I haven't blogged all week. To say this week has been emotionally and physically draining would be an understatement. (Cue my mother reading this and freaking out.... don't worry, Mum, I'm fine!)
But it has been a busy week and I'm thankful it is Friday. Not only that -- it's Friday and there isn't a jackhammer banging above my ceiling. Yes. The noise and demolition has finally stopped. I think the construction workers are now either putting together what it is they've broken, or replacing it. All I hear now are distant sounds of scraping and patching. The building is still a disaster zone, but Mr. S says they should be done work by October 1... this is before the Korean Thanksgiving weekend, so I am praying that he speaks the truth. Otherwise I am pretty sure I will have nothing to be thankful about.
Well, that's a mild exaggeration, but, you know.
I'm exhausted because this was my first official week of teaching. It's early Friday evening as I write this, and I'm so tired. Last week was easy because I spent it talking about myself... so the kids were interested. This week I had to jazzify a lesson from their textbooks and at least 4 out of my 19 classes couldn't...care...less. Seriously! Which sucks, because there are at least a few students in each class who really do try, and these other kids ruin it for them.
Today ended with this student in one of my grade 7 classes coming up to my desk in the staffroom and handing me a letter in a pink envelope with white polka dots on it. In the letter she introduced herself to me... in English that surprised me. She never talks in class. She told me about her hopes and dreams, and also about how she has a lot on her mind. She asked if I would write back to her... which I did... but I felt bad for not having the cute stationary that she handed me. I told her my little piece of diary paper would have to do. She didn't mind... she was simply thrilled that I wrote back to her. I told her that she shouldn't feel like she needs to change her name to an 'English' name... and that I'd feel happier calling her by her birth name.
(She introduced herself and then said, "... but you can call me Chloe.")
That's what's been pretty surprising for me. I was warned about people in Korea having their Korean names and also an English name. But... why? I mean, it's one thing if it's a joke... but instilling in these kids that in order to be more in tuned with the west, they need to anglicize their names... well, that's just wrong. All names were switched back to Korean in my English classes, right after one student told me to call her Paris Hilton.
Nope. Definitely not even in North America.
All in all, I'm simply looking forward to this weekend to veg, do some sightseeing and lesson planning. I'm absolutely starting to love Power Point!