Friday, 31 October 2008


Today's Hallowe'en, in case you were unaware. Hallowe'en isn't generally 'celebrated' in Korea, but owing to the North American hegemony in the ESL business, it's become common practice in schools. I dressed up for the 31st of October at uni, most memorably as a vagrant (those were dark times) but never before or since, and was feeling decidedly phlegmatic about the whole occasion. I actually bought my costume, if you can call it that, at the stationery shop in the basement of my apartment building. I was a robot. I had a tinfoil-covered kettle box as a head, wristlets on my forearms, a miner-style headlamp attached to my chin and, dressed in black, I was covered from head to toe in silver stickers.

The stickers proved to be a mistake, as I was constantly surrounded by scavenging children.

Didn't have classes in the morning - instead we made containers to put sweets in, and spider themed cookies. These cookies involved two crackers housing a lump of peanut butter, into which were pressed six bifurcated Peperos, and Skittles for eyes. Peperos will be discussed later, probably on Pepero day. Only one student (Eric, see below) commented that spiders have eight legs, not six. We were short on Peperos.

Then we went trick or treating. Three parents volunteered to open their apartments to and provide bags of sweets for thirty kids (and their teachers), which is commendable. We went to the apartment of the best student from my homeroom 'Cambridge 1' class (Eric, see above) and I was able to see why he's the best student. The living room had a bookshelf filled, floor to ceiling, with ESL textbooks, kids' storybooks, Korean 'WHY?' books: they even had stairs to enable the kids to reach the top shelves. There were the English "useful expressions" we give out pinned to the wall, an extensive magazine rack full of more ESL goodies, and numerous maps on the wall, alongside photographs of exciting and educational days out. I'd describe it as a genius farm. Those kids cannot fail to become whatever they want to be.

Or so I thought. We taught classes in the afternoon, and Eric's 10 year old brother had to give a speech about eagles to his and two other classes, along with numerous teachers. He was the penultimate guy to go and bottled it a bit. I still have high hopes for Eric though, who's so far ahead of the rest of the class it's embarrassing.

Photos were taken, and may find their way on here at some point. Now I have to go out on the town. I have no costume, but I'm considering utilising the surplus silver stickers to create a glam jacket. Considering. I probably won't.

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