Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bring Your Mom to Work Day

After our busy weekend in Jinju it was time for the real fun to begin, time for my mom to come to school and meet the people who've become my second family. I left her to sleep in Monday morning giving her more time to get ready (in my shoe-box sized apartment) before being bombarded by my students and staff family, all 750 of them. After brief introductions in my office it was time for lunch, where I must say my mom got lucky, only spicy food on the menu was kimchi, and discovered that she loves quail eggs. We were done before the kids came down so back to the office we went, but only briefly, before I paraded her around the hallways to meet everyone.  Shouts of hello, lots of giggling, a few I love you's, and of course many students hiding behind each other is what my mom was met with. As I introduced my mom I could tell she was instantly falling in love, and who wouldn't?  

Some of my girls from class 2-1

I miss them so much!! Grade 3's 
한솔 my little ray of sunshine 
My mom finally got to meet them  ~my boys~
After lunch I had a few more classes to teach so my mom decided to tag along and watch me in action. I had originally planned to just play games and have my mom join in the fun but some of my classes weren't quite deserving of such treatment. I proceeded with the lessons but threw in some time to introduce my mom and allow the class to ask questions - which of course consisted only of, "How old are you?" and "What do you think of Korea". Thankfully though, my students were on their best behavior, maybe I should have visitors more often!

Somehow, I still don't feel like a real teacher

Of course my mom brought gifts
After school on Monday we had plans to meet for dinner with some of my co-workers. I teach a class of five Korean teachers every week and we recently started meeting for a monthly dinner. Seeing as it was only one week difference we decided to have our dinner during my mom's visit this month - lucky her! Usually dinner plans are easy, there's a million restaurants within a 2 mile radius of school so all you have to do is pic one and show up, but being the thoughtful people they are my co-workers wanted to ensure it was something my mom would like. While sitting and waiting for the food 추은선 told my mom and I how she researched "foods foreigners like" in Korea, and made sure to pick something that was not too spicy, and of course a place with real chairs so that my mom wouldn't have to go through the trouble of sitting on the floor.
I demolished that platter of Kimchi 
Not one English teacher in sight and yet we had great conversations
The next day I let my mom hang but at home again while I went to school to teach the first two classes of the day, which actually wound up being games and self study time. My phone decided to stop working again so Anna promised to take me to the repair shop after class to get it fixed - I love her.  My mom showed up during 2nd period and my students politely greeted her but then quickly went back to study/sleep mode.  The rest of the morning was spent with Anna on a mission to get my phone repaired. Long story short - it took not one but two trips to the Gumi Sky repair shop until we realized my phone's life was over. Instead of paying them nearly $250 to fix it I opted to transfer my contract and get a new phone, with a new provider. I wasn't really happy or impressed with my old service, was getting phone envy from all my friends and their pretty new Samsung phones, and had some money to burn.  Anna being the sweetheart she is took meto the phone store (and we both somehow didn't have to teach our 7th period classes) and spent close to an hour with me going through all the paperwork and mumbo jumbo required for foreigners to set up a phone account. Oh, and in between all of our phone problems Anna and two of my other English co-teachers treated my mom and I to lunch, I guess they didn't want her to play the lottery of getting another tasty cafeteria lunch. ~~ Did I mention how much I love my staff? 

Back at school, new phone in tow it was time to say our goodbyes.  Seeing as the students had mid-term exams for the rest of the week my Principal decided to be awesome and give me those remaining days off. "You're mom is here to visit so you can have 3 day holiday, enjoy!" Thank you. Before heading home for the night, to meet some of my Buksam friends for dinner, my mom wanted to get in some last minute pictures and share the presents she brought for my principal and vice principal.  She gave them each some Milwaukee Brewers gear, which they seemed to enjoy, snapped a few pictures, and just like that our time at school was over.  I wish she would've had more time to spend with my students, but I can tell that in the brief interactions she did have she was impressed by their positiveness, bright smiles, contagious laughter and genuine personalities. 

지주연 and I ~ mom said we're like sisters
My two moms and I
Mom and stand in, Korean Dad


  1. Awesome. I'm glad your mum had fun and it's boss that that she brought Brewer gear for your VP and pricipal. Also, that phone shop looks a lot cooler than the ones we have here. I like the clean white look. Kinda reminds me of what i would imagine a rolls royce showroom to look like (or at least the one they show on an Entourage episode)!

  2. Words cannot even begin to describe how awesome this trip was. Korea is a beautiful country and there are MANY things to love about it. My favorite though is the people. Everywhere I went, I was so sincerely welcomed with open arms. While it is customary to shake hands, I managed to get plenty of hugs in as well after they met me. The kids are not only smart and creative but very warm and respectful. Everyone treats each other with respect and everyone supports each other. It was so fun to be surrounded by such kind and wonderful people. Thank you to my daughter and to my new Korean friends for such a memorable experience.