Friday, April 3, 2009

Bedtime Stories, B-Boys, Bulgogi

OK, picking up from last time...

Wednesday morning's presentation went really well! Our little "How Many Cows?" thing went off without a hitch. I thought there were a couple in our group that were better, but apparently I'm no good at judging teaching talent. I'll never be a major league educator scout, is what I'm saying... because my demo lesson was one of 3 chosen to be presented on Thursday morning to the whole conference! I was actually pretty proud of myself... =) The details of the thing aren't that mind-blowing or anything, but we did successfully create a lesson for 8 year-olds that had an attention-getting hook:

Teacher: Raise your hand! (demonstrating)... Now, raise your other hand! (demonstrating again)... Now, put them down! Now, raise your hands! Hello everyone! (cause they're hands are up already, so now we're waving hello! Plus, it ties into that whole using the -s for more than one of something. Good stuff, right?)

Then we made a poster with cows on it to present the material. "How many cows?" / "1 cow." / "How many cows?" / "2 cow." / "Close, but listen again. How many cowzzzzz?" / "2 cowzzzzzzz." haha...

Then we played a counting game where different groups of people had to pretend to be different zoo animals and we practiced counting them. Then we wrapped it up with this little gem: "Hold up 1 thumb. (demonstrating, of course)... Now hold up 2 thumbs. Did you enjoy the lesson?" Get it, cause they've got their thumbs up already... nothin like a captive audience.

Unfortunately, there was some kind of insanity that happened in Sarah's room Wednesday night. Not sure, exactly, but I guess her roommate kinda snapped, flipped out, broke down, whatever you wanna call it. I'm told she was like, literally walking into walls, muttering nonsense and shaking like a fiend. Then she told Sarah that she ate a whole bottle of xanax. So Sarah had to find the coordinators and get her in an ambulance and so she asked if she could cancel the presentation Thursday morning. It would have been kinda fun to do it for everyone, but it was nice just to be selected. No worries.

Wednesday night, after dinner (jajang bap -- chinese black bean sauce over rice!) we had what was listed on the schedule as a "B Boy Performance" from 7 - 9. So we thought, cool... sounds like fun. Let's hit that up. Turned out, however, that the word "performance" was a little misleading, and "demonstration" would have been more accurate. That's right ya'll... for the first time ever, I got to breakdance. I actually did pick up a few steps pretty quickly. I'm not sure what I looked like doing them, although I'd venture a guess that "cool" and "smooth" and "badass" are not words used to describe me. I did have fun though. I can now sidestep, backstep, 8-step, and 6-step... well, you know, in theory. I mean, I know how to do them, let's just leave it at that. I also learned that it's freakin hard... I was sweating like a sonofabitch after like 20 minutes of this shit... craziness, man...

After that, a few of the boys and I headed back to the bar. It was N Korea v. S Korea in soccer, and no way we were passing up a chance to catch that one on the big screen at a bar. With real live Koreans to cheer with. We ended up winning 1-0 on a late goal that I didn't see coming... it looked like a nil-nil tie for sure, but damn did that place raise up. I ended up chatting and drinking with these 2 Korean guys for a while before we headed back to the noraebang. No cop threats, no angry owner this time... just some good clean karaoke fun. And bonus: when I got back to the place (learning center, they call it... doesn't really work for me), I went downstairs to find 2 guys just sitting there in the little lounge, with 2 giant unopened bottles of beer on the table. I said hey, and they asked if I wanted them, seeing as how their boy just left them there and they didn't want any more. So I said, hellz yeah. At this point like 3 more of the guys I had been out with walked in, so we picked up round 3 right there and rolled with it. Went to bed soon after and got up ready to rock out on my presentation. Then got the call at breakfast that it was off. So, I just hope that girl's alright. It sounded serious.

The other new thing I tried this week for the first time (other than break dancing, natch) was this weird hybrid sport they play here. It's called choh-gu (or something like that) and it's like a mix between volley tennis and soccer. I don't know if anybody else even knows what the hell volleytennis is, but we used to play it in junior high. Well, long story short, choh-gu is played on a court about the size of a volleyball court. The net is about as high as a tennis net. You play with a soccer ball. No hands, arms, you know, just like soccer. Other than that, the rules are the same as volleytennis. It bounces once; person A can hit it up in the air, or over the net. It bounces again, person B can hit it up in the air, or over the net; It bounces again, person A or a new person has to hit it over the net. Rinse, repeat. I've seen Koreans playing it before but this was my first time... and it's harder than it looks. But these Koreans will set it, up by the net. Just like in volleyball. Then... well, you kinda have to see it, but they do this taekwondo crazy spinning flying kicks to spike the damn ball. Also just like volleyball, but way freakin cooler. I didn't really try to get into all that noise, since half the point for us was trying not to hurt ourselves, but I'll keep practicing, you know... in case there's some horrible genetic disease here and I have to end up representing Korea at the Asia Games in volleysoccertennis ball.

And, finally -- went back to work today. Had 2 pretty good lessons, after school trying to put into practice the things I learned at orientation. I know, that whole sentence had the potential for sarcasm, I'm noticing. But that's totally not the case -- I really did learn shit, and then use it.

After work, Mi Sun and Mi Jin and I went shopping for the 2nd course of our dinner extravaganza. This time it was Mi Sun's turn, and she opted for the one thing she knows how to cook, apparently: bulgogi! Pronounced bool-go-ghee (rhymes with key, ya see?). It's thinly sliced Korean beef, cooked with a certain type of mushroom, and onion and bulgogi sauce, simmered and served with rice, or you can wrap it in lettuce leaves, which are naturally the two main ways to eat most meats here. Anyway, it was freakin good... we had kimchi with it (of course), and then after we had eaten quite a bit of bulgogi on lettuce, added the rest of the rice to the pan and mixed it all together, giving us this nice saucy rice-y beefy desert. Koreans aren't big on desert foods (sweet ones, I mean) but if you let them throw rice or noodles onto a skillet of meat you've got yourself a solid end to a Korean meal. Plus we bought some traditional Korean drink to go with it -- Makeorri, I think, is the name. It's different... I'm not even sure how to go about explaining the different tastes involved with this thing. A little sweet, a little tangy, a little starchy, I wanna say... and it makes you feel kinda warm and fuzzy. Strange, but not bad. I'll give it a C+. Now, Mi Sun's cooking, on the other hand... she gets an A! Cause A is for Awesome. Next time it's Mi Jin's turn, and I'm excited already!

And that's where the other shoe drops. Off my foot. And then the bed. And then, in an ideal world, it jumps up, runs over and hits the light switch so I don't have to move before I can crash. That's telekinesis, Kyle...

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