Last week of school was the type of week you dream of as a teacher. It was exams week. On exams week there is no EBS (English Broadcast System) period, so I got to go in 45 minutes later too school (or more importantly, sleep 45 minutes longer). Then during school there are no classes to teach (YAHOOOOOOOO!). There are only 3 periods of test taking. Usually I had to proctor about one test a day. All that intailed was standing around looking at kids take tests. But I like to walk around to make them nervous, and mess up. Haha, just kidding, but I do. Then after the three periods you eat lunch, and the rest of the day is yours to do as you please. And yes, I pleased to do a lot.
Okay, Monday was the badminton tournament. I had been looking forward to it for over a week, I had big plans. But the head of the English department planned a special lunch with the foreign teachers after school, so I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make it to the tourney. After airing my greivences with my badminton club (it helps to have friends in high places), they told me they would push off my games, and it would all work out. So "Big" Paul, Rachel and I went out to eat with the head of the English departement around noon on Monday. Up until that point I thought this man was just a normal quiet guy. After he slammed two bottles of Soju, smoked a cigaret, cigar, and pipe at the tabe in about an hours time, lets just say my view of him changed, just slightly. And anyone who knows someone who likes to drink, you know they make sure they're not drinking alone, so I had to join. A few beers later I was off to the Badminton tourney. Being a little tipsy made me nervous that I would make a fool of myself in front of all my new badminton friends. Well, that fear was quickly dissolved when I walked into the gym full of flying shuttle-cocks and saw the table of food, and yes, DRINKS. Since I was late I was thrown right into the action. 5 games later I was the undefeated champion. I'd like to say I'm proud of that, but it was in group B. Due to some scheduling problems I was not placed in group A. The problem being that there were only 6 people in group A, that makes three teams. 7 people doesn't work, and I think if I was going to take someone's place in group A it might have been the principals spot, and NO ONE is going to do that. So it was awesome plowing through group B, but everyone agreed that next time I would be a group A player. That was Monday.
Tuesday was my second mountain climbing experience. We went to Boo-kan-san mountain, one of the most famous mountains in South Korea. It was a much bigger mountiain then the one we hiked on our first trip, and much harder too. There was no Snickers break on this hike, no Soju on the backside of the mountain, no easy way out. It was a good tiring hike up, but to be honest, the hike down that kicked my butt. It was like an hour straight of stepping down at a 45 degree angle, onto large, sharp, rocks. And while everyone else there is wearing big thick hiking shoes, of course, I am wearing an old worn out pare of Addidas. It was an hour of thinking "don't get hurt", "don't fall", "don't die", or something of that sort with every step. But I made it down, and I'm happy I did it (yet, also glad it's behind me though too). Wednesday was spent allowing my feet to recover from the climb.
Thrusday, I took my first trip to Cosco. It was amazing. It was like a western culture oasis in the middle of Seoul. There were muffins, ground beef, steak, forks, large towels, and much more. My head was spinning, it was like I wanted everything. Inside people even said "excuse me" to me when they wanted to get by (usually because I was druling over some food). Can you believe that? Well, I bought plenty of stuff, but I will be back again sometime soon.
The trip to Cosco on Thursday was needed because Friday I threw a housewarming party. An event I think all teachers were secretly looking forward too. I had pleny of food and drinks for everyone. In all I think around 15 teachers came, although there were never 15 people there at one time. But it is a Korean custom to bring a gift to someone's house when they invite you, so take a look at this gift list: A large knife, a cutting board, a pot, a pan, plates, cups, spices, a trash can, chocolate, tissues, toilet paper, and a stand-alone clothes hanger, with hangers. Besides all of the gifts, it was a huge success as a party. I think everyone had a really good time. It was a great ending to Exams week.