Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

Cake Fail

July10

Oh 2.9. My least favorite second grade class. I’m pretty sure they know it too, as they’re the only class I’ve had to scold pretty much every class. When they’re awake, class is good, but I teach them first period and they’re just so tired. It also probably doesn’t help that they have the scariest most intense homeroom teacher, and I teach them on Tuesdays, otherwise known as death days.

Yesterday I taught them for the last time, and when I walked in they presented me with a cake. A cake. These students for the most part can’t be bothered to wake up when I enter the classroom. And they got me a cake.

 A. Cake.

I promised them that while we would continue the class as per usual, I’d make sure we had enough time to share and eat the cake. They insisted that because the cake was so small I should eat it all myself. I told them that I couldn’t possibly eat  a whole cake by myself at 9 am, and that they should help me. We decided that as the cake was too small for the entire class, I would decide how many slices we could cut the cake into, and then we would use a computer program that generated random numbers to fairly choose which students would receive a slice.

I decided on 8 slices because that seemed reasonable, and so they decided that we would choose seven student numbers. The seconds in-between calling each number were fraught with tension, as each student waited with baited breath, and the seven students whose names were called jumped out of their seats, more awake and energetic than I have ever seen them in my class.

After class, I asked a student to come up and cut the cake for me, as I have cake-cutting anxiety (true fact. I never cut my own cakes. ever.) This student for some reason divided the cake into six slices. The students then realized that they had cut the cake into six instead of eight slices, and so then played rock-paper-scissors to lower the number of cake eaters from the lucky seven to six. After a pretty intense game of rock-paper-scissors, the lucky six grabbed their slices of cake and shoved them into their own mouths and into mouths of friends, like a wedding gone hideously wrong.

Here’s the thing, though – they forgot to give me a slice of cake.

posted under Cute Stories, School

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안녕하세요! My name is Emily and when I started this blog I had received a 2010 – 2011 F*lbright grant to teach English in South Korea.  I then decided to apply to renew my grant, so I am now staying in Korea until July 2012. This blog is not an official F*lbright Program blog, and the views expressed are my own and not those of the F*lbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.

I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Philosophy Pre-Law and Classical Civilizations, and found myself 3 months later teaching English at SGHS. The town that I taught in, SG, is a small town of 12,000 people, an “읍” (eup) rather than a “시” (shi – city), and though it was sometimes hard teaching in such a small town I really enjoyed the unique experience of being the first foreign teacher SGHS had ever had. I lived in the largest part of the county which is significantly bigger (40,000 people) than the town the school is situated in, but is also considered rural by Korean standards.

During my second grant period (2011-2012) I decided to change schools and I currently teach at CPHS which is located in an even smaller town than previously, in Jeollanamdo.

This blog is meant to serve as a reflection not only of being a Native English Speaking teacher in Korea, but also of living as a foreigner in rural Korea.



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