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Today We Just Crossed The Halfway Point.

The halfway point in reference to this summer English camp I’m working at, that is. Teacher Leon pointed it out this morning. It was a nice thing to be reminded of, because I assure you I was absolutely exhausted.

The day passed in a whirl of madness, including my clicking pics of a number of the kids in my class and other kids as well. I also snapped a few TAs and the odd teacher as well, but of course, having forgotten the cable that connects my camera to my PC, I can’t post the pics until next week. It was Hospital Day at the camp and that meant teaching kids about disease and how to give advice: “I have a headache” getting advice like, “You should put ice on it!” or “You should have a tooth pulled,” oftentimes. Anyway, the afternoon consisted of kids running about with little “disease” notes, seeking kid doctors with appropriate “treatments”. Teachers and TAs ran about handing out “viruses” (extra tasks) to kids who misbehaved or spoke in Korean. It was fun but exhausting. I had great fun playing a mad patient who went in hassling doctors at various of the kids’ clinics.

At tonight’s very short class-planning meeting, I learned that I’d misunderstood this week’s schedule. I thought that cooking day was tomorrow. I was sadly mistaken. Tomorrow, I am informed, is History Day. Which means… well, I am not sure what that means, aside from the fact that I won’t be doing any teaching. Rather, tomorrow I shall become the student and my classroom of 11-to-12-year-old students will become my teachers.

What will they be teaching me? Korean, apparently. Some of the words on their homework papers were pretty intense, though. One Korean word, which most of the kids seemed to think (after consulting online dictionaries) ought to be translated as “mob”, was a word that even some of the adult Teaching Assistants weren’t familiar with.

Tomorrow afternoon, I think it is, there will be a sort of Game Show in which I’ll need to show off the Korean that my students “taught” me. Some of my kids have guessed, perplexingly, that I know some Korean. How they would guess that I don’t know, since I’ve never spoken Korean in front of them. But a number of them suspect I know the language well, for some reason. I am sure they’ll be feeling a bit let down when they hear me actually mangling the tongue.

And I just had a short goodnight chat with Lime, who spent her second day at the hospital today. Funny, since at camp today we had our Hospital day. Lime, I think, had a harder day than I did: can you imagine watching not just one but two (2!) hysterectomies on your second day in the hospital? She said the toughest thing was the smell of the blood and feeling badly for the patients’ needing to have such a terrible sort of operation.

Anyway, for tonight, while my net connection holds out, I am going to work on catching up with my long-neglected blog subscriptions, and on getting the rest of my first draft of my essay for The Economist/Shell contest. I hope to get the first draft done tonight, let it sit till Thursday evening for a redraft, and get some criticisms before I submit it to the contest next week. So off I go to get to work!

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