Friday, 9 January 2009


Like racehorses, Koreans get one year older on New Year's Day. So although I had my birthday on Wednesday, I've been 24 for a week and a half.

Midweek, my birthday passed without much fanfare and without any alcohol, because firstly I'm a professional and secondly, I know the drawbacks of teaching rowdy kids with a hangover. Weekend will probably contain a certain amount of decadence. I kept it from the kids too, though it was leaked to one class, a class I've only been teaching for a week on the new intensive* schedule. The next day, one girl presented me bar of chocolate with this brilliant message attatched.

It says "To Michael Teacher. Hello I'm Sarah. Happy birthday to you. When you teach me I am so happy. Whey you come ECC first I don't know your name but you teach me and I know your name. From Sarah." (I resisted the urge to correct her grammar with my big red pen.)

The next day, today, having finished off what was left of my birthday cake (which had a tomato on it and was consumed with chopsticks), I went to work with the last of my birthday out of my system, not expecting to have to deal with any more of it. But Will, second from the left, evidently not wanting to be outdone in the impressing Michael Teacher stakes, had brought a whole carrier bag full of sweets for a party during our lesson. What your see above is nearing the end of our saturnalia of sugar. That was fun. Though I wasn't too sure about the chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.

*Winter intensives started at the end of December. I probably wrote about summer intensives some time in summer, so go and look for that. The winter intensive schedule is a bitch - I'm in school from 9-7.30 two days a week, and only have one 40 minute break on the other three. But, as you'll have noted, I'm teaching some good kids, and the days fly. Plus, and I'm sure I've said this before somewhere, think of all the wons!

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