Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
One such example can be gleaned from the Harrington’s recent professional development on Wednesday October, 27th 2010. Before the official end of the school day, the Harrington’s alongside their head Korean co-teachers, made their way to Yuesong Spa Hotel for a five hour professional development (or as it is often called by Korean Teachers a ‘business trip’). Upon arrival teachers were encouraged to grab a cup of coffee or tea and a few snacks. Korean co-teachers then helped each wayward Guest English Teacher find the appropriate seat for Elementary School and Secondary School. A little time to chat then the show began, and we do mean show!
The training was aimed at communication with ones co-teacher. The first 30 minutes of the training were dedicated to a few important introductions followed by ice-breakers. Unlike typical ice breakers in the western world that may amount to a small time of stretching to introducing yourself to all who are sitting at the same table, these ice breakers were real show-stoppers! To begin the event a series of magic tricks were performed showing us the importance and beauty of…working together and loving each other. Following the magic trick attendees were taught 7 dance moves, each corresponding to a number 1-7. Together attendees then danced to Mama Mia’s …. Dancing lead to a massage conducted in a similar fashion and was promptly followed by a game of “stand-back-to-back-and-try-to-look-the-same-way-as-your-co-teacher-GO!” And, just in case attendees were not yet in an agreeable mood the ice breaker session ended with a group sing-a-long of ‘You are my Sunshine’ in which the word sunshine was replaced with co-teacher’s names. Ice breakers completed it was time to take a 15 minute break to refuel on the new snacks available and prepare for the first lecture.
The training continued in the usual manner with two presenters presenting on materials relating to the co-teaching relationship in Korea. Between the lecturers, attendees were again offered a break to grab new snacks and use the restroom before continuing through the training. As the training was wrapped up, attendees were separated into the native tongue before heading to the buffet tables were they were offered numerous traditional Korean foods to enjoy with one another.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
The Harrington's tend to get a nudging gut-instinct that says 'GO!' With a bit of caution they examine the gut feelings, attempt to discern what's really going on and move forward. Consider for example their dating relationship which lasted 2.5 months prior to an extraordinary mountain top engagement which lasted the total of 3 months before the "Big Day." Or consider the manner in which they placed all their eggs in the Daejeon, South Korea basket (however, in reality the couple did do a little more research and preperation on opportunites for living and working abroad, but Daejeon won with hardly any fight when the decision making came down to it).
Needless to say, living in a foreign land hasn't drastically changed this characteristic and much to even their own surpise, a big decision has been made. Starting this week, Wednesday Korea time, Tuesday USA time Melissa Harrington will begin posting online discussions, reading uncanny amounts of technical/textbook writing and preparing weekly papers in pursuit of a Masters of Art in Education focusing on English Language Learners.
When asked as to how this decision was made Mrs. Harrington simply replies "I'm not quite sure." She continues by explaining her own shock at the ease and speed of making this decision. "Just a month ago, as I listened to two friends discuss their participation and plans of entering the program I thought 'I could never/would never do that!' Now, here I am." A few more questions from THT reveals that for the Harrington's an online Masters degree just made sense. Although there is much to do in teaching while in Korea there is a fair amount of free time particularly while sitting at a computer, so time is more or less in abundance. The Harrington's also took into consideration their current income, savings goals and cost of the program and felt all were easily managed - saving money as well as paying for the courses and even having a good deal of fun while living in the Republic of Korea.
If any of our readers are also finding themselves wanting to pursue higher education or simply grasp a better understanding of what Mrs. Harrington is about to undertake we encourage you to explore Ashford University and/or specifically the Masters of Arts in Education section.
(Many thanks to Jennifer Mullen for her effort in searching out programs and encouraging Melissa Harrington to move forward in this 'big decision').
Sunday, October 24, 2010
We at The Harrington Tinmes hope you enjoy the firework show and launching of a paper lantern.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The Harrington's were clearly eager to enter the festivities and see what Daejeon would have to offer to their exerience with Festivals. This last weekend Festivals included three major events: The Balloon Fiesta, The Deli Show and Rock Fest.
The Balloon Fiesta was marked by a large floating Panda bear, many kites of numerous varity, toy rockets and hot air balloon baskets which were center stage for an evening pyro-technic and firework show. Mike and Melissa showed up in the late afternoon and enjoyed watching numerous adorable children flying kites and shooting flames into the sky from hot air balloon baskets. Festivities also included an impressive (always impressive) Taekwondo performance and mock K-pop performance.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Even though the Harrington's only attended one game, they were in South Africa for over a week of the World Cup festivities... and the atmosphere was sizzling. Especially after having witnessed the original campions (Uruguay) defeat the last remaining African team (Ghana) in a shoot out. Mr. Harrington could rant and rave about this match, and how Uruguays forward Louis Suarez's purposeful goal tending prevented Ghana from winning the match at the end of overtime, but he will try to restrain himself. Let it be known, however, that Louis Suarez is on Mr. Harrington's "Most Despised" list...and this less for the split second last ditch effort handball to save a goal (which any soccer fan would say was a necessary act), and more for the celebration that followed when Ghana missed the ensuing penalty kick, ensuring a penalty shoot out, which Ghana eventually lost. If Ghana had won that match, they Harrington's most likely would have been able to witness an African team playing on African soil, in the most advanced match ever for an African nation at the World Cup. However, Suarez spoiled that dream. Whew, that was a mouthful.
Anyways, a few days after this match. The Harrington's had the pleasure of attending the 3rd/4th place match (Germany vs. Uruguay) with their good friends, and recently married, Mallory and Abram Heller. After a day of festivities at the fan park, across the street from their couchsurfer's place, they all headed to the stadium a little early with the hopes of finding other friends, Ryan and Andrew. They went to the gate they had planned to meet at, waited a while looking for Ryan and Andrew, and eventually went back to their gate and walked into the stadium after pausing to buy a Germany jersey, and t-shirt. It turns out, Ryan and Andrew had seen us, but were inside the gates already.
The walk into the stadium got consistently louder as the thousands of vuvuzelas erupted all around them. The Harrington's ticket said Level 2, row 10, so they assumed they were in the upper deck. They were VERY pleasantly surprised when after showing the security guard their ticket, they were pointed down...towards the field. They ended up only 10 rows back from the field, right on the corner! Absolutely fabulous seats! With the great seats, came an excellent game...possibly one of the best of the entire cup. Germany beat Uruguay 3-2, but not before Uruguay's star player, Diego Forlan, narrowly missed a free kick at the very end of the game. Kudos to Germany for sticking it to Uruguay. Mr. Harrington, along with a large percentage of the game's attendants, booed everytime Suarez touched the ball. Just the name brings a snarl to his face now, and hearing it is like hearing a swear word. If Mr. Harrington ever accuses someone of being a Suarez...know that it is NOT a compliment.
The following day, the Harrington's again attended the fan fest near their couchsurfer's place to witness, on the big screen, Spain's first ever World Cup championships. The team the Harrington's had predicted to win from the beginning had done it. Thanks to a lovely volley by Iniesta, and some brilliant saves by Casillas. Viva la Espana!
The Harrington's experience at this World Cup, tho short, has rooted in them the desire to attend future World Cup's, for a longer period of time. Without a doubt, if anyone ever has the opportunity to attend one, do so! It's simply amazing.
2014 World Cup is in Brazil
2018 World Cup will be in Europe
2022 World Cup might be in the USA. Go to www. gousabid.com to learn more about the USA bid.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
As is true of most foods non-Korean on the peninsula, the Mexican food is bit more pricey than one would desire. However, the atmosphere is pleasant and complete with two nearly complete Mexican flags painted on the walls and Spanish music playing in the background. Rather than the typical kimchi side-dishes guests are offered a small bowl of chips and a choice of dipping sauces as well as a small cup of sweet pickles. As for the meals, they aren't what we would have received at either Corona Village or El Zarape back in Laramie, Wyoming, but for a change of pace and a different type of 'spice' the meal was just right.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Having dedicated a majority of their summer to soccer, the Harrington's were anxious to arrive in Korea where Soccer happens to be slightly more popular than in the United States. To further excite the couple was the knowledge of a home team in Daejeon, South Korea. Topping it all off and bringing things full circle for the Harrington's is the knowledge that Korea co-hosted the World Cup in 2002 and one of the World Cup stadiums was built here in Daejeon. Since their arrival in Daejeon the Harrington's have made it to two home soccer games, and hope to attend two more prior to the end of the season.
Daejeon's soccer team is unique in that the team is owned by the government of Daejeon. Many of the teams of Korea's K-League are owned by large corporations that offer larger contracts and therefore contract the best athletes. That being said, the Daejeon Citizen Football Club falls short of being the number one team, in fact, the team currently resides amongst the three worst teams in the K-League. Fortunately, there is a small handful of Dajeon Citizen F.C. fans who are dedicated to cheering for their team and showing their support through the thick and the thin; so much so that while attending their first Dajeon Citizen F.C. match, the Harrington's had the great pleasure of seeing the home team win!
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
It is therefore, with great pleasure that Mike and Melissa Harrington welcome you to their new home; 519 Glama-dong. Please, leave your shoes at the door and come explore.
Friday, October 1, 2010
This has apparently worked out to her favor as she tends to enjoy her working days more often than not. However, it has occurred to us at The Harrington Times that our readers just might be curious as to what it looks like to teach English in South Korea. It has also occurred to us that many readers may be thinking the Harrington's never actually work and only travel the world and do things such as go to festivals. Let us reassure you, the Harrington's do work and to help you better understand what that means we have an account of a typical teaching week in the life of Melissa Harrington; a.k.a Melissa-Teacher.
In an email home to her previous co-workers, Melissa explains:
All classes are 40 minutes long. I see most students 1X per week - meaning if there is a naughty student, I only work with them 40 minutes every week and mostly - they are the Korean Teacher's responsiblity -- which is ok by me! Classes start around 9:00 and go until 12:10 sometimes there is a class after lunch but most of what happens after lunch are called "After School Programs" -- however, I'm not sure students have a choice whether or not to go - I think it's more like electives. Anyway - Most days I'm done teaching curriculum by lunch. My afternoon - all 4 hours off it, are spent lesson planning...or looking busy. It may seem the students get off pretty easy here - however that is FAR from the truth. A typical Korean student goes to school from 8 am until 11 pm. There is SOO much pressure on these kids to be smart and learn lots. So, after the Public Schools or morning classes and afternoon programs many students go to hag-wan or Private schools where their parents pay for them to learn even more! Needless to say - some kids sleep during English class or other classes because it's not an area of study they are focused on.
Monday and Tuesday I work at Seongchon with the same Korean Co-Teacher. She is about my age, very sweet and a much better teacher and English Speaker than she gives herself credit for. On Monday's we teach 3 different 5th Grade classes. On Tuesday we have three 4th grades classes and two 3rd grade classes. There is a not-to-impressive curriculum which we kind of follow and I'm in charge of teaching pronunciation, phonics and leading a game or two - not too shabby.
Wednesday and Friday I work at a smaller school. Wednesday I teach one each of grades 3-6. I would have only one Co-Teacher here but she is doing a special English learning program so I get to work with each grades homeroom teacher - I was a little nervous, but now that the first day has come and passed - I feel okay - the teachers a super sweet and I realy feel at home here. Minus the language barrier and the Korean Food I would think I was back at Linford ;)
Thursday - I work at Seongchon with a different teacher teaching four 6th grade classes. I've only taught their twice and am a little less sure about what this co-teacher expects of me and the way that she likes to run her class. I get along well with her though and she's eager to help me learn Korean, so that's looking good.
The days here are almost always fun. The students are well-behaved and super sweet. They are eager to say hello and occassionally you'll get one or two willing to have a more 'advanced' conversation - whether they sing you the ABC's, tell you every word they know (blue, green, head, etc.) or have a conversation about where they are going on the class trip with the help of their cell phone dictionary; the English teacher is sure to always feel well loved in Korea.