"Why are you so happy?"
"Because it's Friday."
This is the conversation some of students learned this week, with a little modification by me to fit the current context (unlike my students, since I can speak English, I am able to actually use the conversation, instead of only using the examples in the book, in which case I would only be able to say, "Why are you so worried?" "Because my mom is sick."). It has been a long week. I honestly haven't done that much teaching, but with the crazy flip flopping of schools, and the craziest jet lag I've ever had, the weekend couldn't come soon enough. Here at my new school I only have two classes on Friday, but today that seems like two classes too many.
My new school, Okgu Middle School, is a nice place. Unlike many of the country schools, it is big enough that it got one of the new English Rooms that Korea must have used it's entire Education budget on, but small enough that I only have 20 kids in a class (which after teaching 37, is something like a miracle). So I feel like this is the best of both worlds, fancy-pants technology and small classes. Mostly I like the new English rooms because it means I use the same computer for all my classes, which means I can count on it working, and don't have to plan back up lessons for if the computer is on the fritz in some classroom.
My reception at the new school was quite shocking. Unlike my city school, where they still treat me as a mix between a celebrity and an infant, the people here have treated me more or less like a normal person. It was quite unnerving. None of the students had huge screaming fits upon first seeing me (just small, reasonable ones). No one asked if I needed a fork at lunch, or oohed and ahhed at my ability to say 'hello' in Korean (despite the fact that I have said 'anyehaseo' to the vice principal at my other school about 100 times, he still claps and pats my head when I do it. I don't even think parents behave this way when their children start speaking.) Basically I was just like a normal, new person: there was interest, but no craziness, which made it all the more crazy.
The school is about a 20 minute drive from our apartment. I get picked up by a Korean language teacher, whose route must come near our house since he's the one who picks me up. His English is quite limited, but he's very friendly and seems to be a reasonabe driver (which in Korea is important, since most people aren't quite reasonable about it. They've put a new stop light on our corner, but since it didn't use to be there, everyone has decided it's optional and drives through it). There must be about 200 students in the school, with about 20 teachers, half of whom come to the "chit chat class" that I have in the afternoons with them. I find this quite impressive, since at my big school, with about 70 teachers, there are only 3 who come to practice with me. As usual, everyone is very friendly and thinks my pig tails are cute. I've decided the Koreans like me best when I'm wearing pig tails, so it's my new hairstyle of choice.