Friday, October 28, 2011

They gave me a fork.

I went to a workshop the other day that my city so nicely arranged for all of the Native English Teachers (NTs) on how to better flow with society and all-in-all be a better teacher.  I found myself resonating with my kids at the thought of being four hours in a lecture setting, but I tried my best to refrain from doing the exact things for which I scold my students.  (Side note: I thought that working in the food and retail industries gave me a better idea of how to respect people... good gracious!  That's nothing compared to teaching!)  But let me be honest, I feel so touched that these people went out of their ways to make our lives easier.  With the way America's economy is going, it's not like Korea will have any shortage of young people who are willing to come and teach in their schools.  Our bosses could very easily let us make our mistakes, fire us, replace us, and take themselves out to a rather extravagant dinner.  Instead, they brought in a speaker who was doing this for 30ish years before being stationed in Korea by the US Government to specifically work with NTs, and then our superintendent provided ALL of us with a gargantuan buffet dinner.  I'm beyond touched.

That being said, I have an amusing anecdote for you:
Upon arriving at the dinner, I put my things down, and grabbed my plate, spoon, and... ... FORK.  At first I was confused by its presence in my life, then I got a little excited.  A FORK!  I could see the possibilities of eating with speed and dignity.  So I got my food and returned to my table, where the first thing I did was drop the thing from not holding it correctly.  As if that wasn't bad enough, I seem to have forgotten that lesson that my mom so painstakingly drilled into me: how to eat noodles with a fork.  Alas!  I could not get them from my bowl to my mouth.  I'm choosing to blame it on the fact that the dish in question was a very Korean dish, complete with soup, so the noodles themselves preferred chopsticks, which appeared shortly thereafter, much to my delight.  And then, the sad but true fact unfurled: It is now easier for me to eat with chopsticks than with a fork.
And here I was, thinking that was a myth.  Sounds like I've got a little bit of KDS (and, admittedly, a hard time swallowing fan death) going on myself... (I've been reading up on what The Korean and The Expat have to say on that little problem.)  I have, however, found the perfect solution to this problem, but you'll have to click on the title of this post to find out what it is.  :P

Finally, as per the request of Ms. Malcolm, I'm leaving you with some more cultural media, which just so happens to be entirely related to this post, as it is a clip of a local student who came to our workshop to play the Tanso (also written as Danso, because the ㄷ letter in Korean actually falls between D and T).  Once again, I am thoroughly impressed by the willingness of these students to give up their valuable study time to come and preform for us.  I hope you enjoy as much as I did!

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