School has ended for the year, and the new semester (new school year actually) begins in March. Currently, for the month of January, we are required to teach the winter camps. I'm not sure why they call them camps, but they do. What it is, is basically extra classes that the children sign up to take - it's not something they have to do though, just if they want it or if their parents want them to take it.
I've taught for two days so far. I'm teaching the Earth Sciences class, which I know nothing about (though to be honest, I don't know anything about any of the other topics either). Our first topic is the solar system and that will take two classes. Yesterday's class went fairly well; the kids participated, answered questions, etc. Today's class was like pulling teeth - they didn't want to speak...even when I would ask a question and tell them the answer was on line one. I hate teaching classes like that. To be honest, the material might have been a little difficult for them - that is their English is limited so they probably didn't know a lot of the words; therefore, I tried my best to explain some of them. I would ask them what words they didn't know (yesterday's class would tell me the words they didn't know) but no one said a word. Grrr, I hate that.
So, all in all, my first semester went fairly well. I know that I need to make my classes a little more enjoyable (like more games, etc.) for the kids so they aren't bored. I also need to make the boys more involved - going up to the board to write answers, putting them in groups to do team work. The thing with making groups (even if it is just a group of two), the majority of them don't even do the work; they just sit and talk in Korean about whatever they want to. Some of the boys will do the work, but most of them won't. That is so frustrating. How do you make it fun so that they learn and enjoy the classes and they aren't bored out of their minds?
I'm looking forward to vacation next month. I'm heading to Egypt with three friends from here for the month. We've got our airline tickets paid for and the money out for the hotel/tours/etc. The odd thing is that we pay the travel agent guy who booked us when we get to the hotel in Egypt. I've never heard of that before; usually you have to pay before you go. My friend, Tamara, who has been setting things up for us has dealt with this guy in the past and he's very good at what he does. She also saw people talking about the tours (online), etc. and they said they are awesome and that the way you pay is correct (paying when you get there), and there are no problems with that. We have one girl who might not be able to join us, but she will find out on January 7th if she can or not. If she can't go, then the rest of us will have to pay a little bit extra, but it's less than $100 I believe - wasn't all that much from what Tamara said.
I'm excited to climb Mt. Sinai. The tour (the way it's done) has you climb all the way, or take a camel part way and walk the rest of the way (the camel can't climb the whole way) at night. From what I read somewhere online, the climb will take about four hours. Then you are at the top for the sunrise. It's supposed to be an awesome experience, and I can't wait - I'll be taking lots of pictures. Just think; climbing and standing on the same mountain that Moses did when he got the Ten Commandments from God. I don't know if we will be going to the same spot (that is if they know which level or whatever that they believe he was at when he got the Commandments) or not, but it doesn't matter - it's still the same mountain. There is a monestary there, at the bottom, that you can tour somewhat (I don't think you can actually go into the building though), and they have in there what they believe is a 'descendent' of the burning bush. I don't know how they would know that, but I find it interesting nonetheless.
So, we leave Korea on January 31 and come back February 25. It will be a long way to travel - about 10 hours I believe, but I'm sure the trip will be exciting. It's definitely a once in a life time opportunity (at least for me). My parents had said something to the effect of me not saving money (one of my main objectives here) for my student loan, but I said I am saving some and making my payments, and besides, the way I am looking at this trip is that once I get back to Canada, I probably won't have the opportunity to go to Egypt again. And besides, it would more than likely be a lot more expensive to travel from there.
Well, I just wanted to give a little update on how things are going for me here in South Korea. I'll try not to wait so long between postings next time.