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Trip Start Aug 22, 2006
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Thursday, September 28, 2006

So, Ive started many entries, but never got round to putting them on here - mainly because my computer crashes and I lose everything I have written, so Ive decided to be sporadic in my entries, and provide limited information on my stay here!!

So we've been here a month now. I am just completing my 4th week of teaching, and I can honestly say that the early mornings do not get any easier! I walk to school every morning. It takes me about 30 minutes, and I have to be here by 8.20, needless to say I am always late, and due to my rush and the humid and close climate here I tend to arrive in a pool of sweat, dispelling any hopes of a nice relaxed start to my day! By the time I have cooled down 3rd period has just finished, and the kids are complaining that they are cold because every window and fan is on in an attempt to cool me down!

These last few weeks have been really busy. I seem to teach more than all the other native teachers in Daegu, so I generally have 5 classes a day, then at lunch Ive been practicing the guitar for my debut rock star performance (which actually took place on Wed!), in the evening for 2 hours I have after school class with a bunch of kids who really dont want to be there, but there mums want them to be there! By the time I get home at 6ish I am shattered, generally grumpy, and very hungry as the two chopstick-fulls of rice I had at lunch hasn't actually filled me up! That said, Ive been having a great time, and Ive made some really good friends. The teachers here are all very welcoming, and go out their way to help me settle in!

So, on Wednesday was the Yigok Middle School Music Festival. Traslated, it was a music concert in the morning and an excuse to take the afternoon off! My day started extra early, as we had to be there early as we were 'performers!'. Mr. Lee came to pick me up and his car was full of 6 of the boys from the band! My space was clearly calculated on the average size of a Korean woman - who possesses no hips, or body fat! Needless to say, I got to know all the boys in that car a lot better on that journey!

So we arrived and walked in, and no joke this place was absolutely massive! It was at least twice the size of wembely stadium (my judgement may be a little clouded, but run with me on this one!). It was at this point that I realised what I had agreed to do! I wandered around, not quite sure what was going on, as none was speaking to me in English! All the kids (and there are nearly 2000) in our school were running past me screaming my name and generally screaming in my direction! It was at this point that I realised that I could never be famous, as I would soon be locked up for murder! I guess it was sweet, but when some kids started following me around - even to the toilet, I realised that was where I had to draw the line!

So, I went and found a seat with one of the English teachers and her class. Everything went dark and the head teacher went on stage to address the school, I waited for everything to go quiet, and waited and waited! It never went quiet, the kids and the teachers never stopped talking, the performances started, they were still talking. I could feel myself getting mad - so took it upon myself to shut the entire 2000 person population up! So I patrolled the area around me, and roped in a couple of other teachers. In about 5 minutes we had managed to keep about 100 kids quiet - but the rest was a lost cause! It amazed me how rude these people were - but thats the culture here and I cannot expect it to change for me!

So after the interval I had to go backstage and get ready for our performance. It was at this point that I realised just how many people there were there! My nerves started to kick in big time! After a great performance by the teachers it was our turn. The lights were down, as we walked onto stage, then my name was motioned, and that was it- they screamed so loud I think I perforated my ear drum! I sat down, and was as ready as I was going to be. As the lights came up I realised that I could only see the front 4 rows of kids - so I just kidded on that they were the only ones there. The two other guitars that I was playing with seemed to encounter some problem and stopped playing, so it was just me and the singer! That was my plan of just playing the air guitar out of the window! I messed up a couple of times, as the connection between my brain and my fingers seemed to be malfunctioning! It was finally over, and we had to stand and take a bow, in all the excitement I dropped my guitar and sent a nasty buzzing noise out into the crowd!

I feel that my first performance built a sold basis on which I can improve for my second performance! Ive managed to organise a recording studio for an afternoon for the band, so thats the next phase in my rock star schedule!
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