January 5, 2011

Desk Warming, Winter Camp and Vacationing in South East Asia

The Korean school year runs from March to December. The public schools have their 2 month vacation in January and February, giving the kids in Korea a cold, snowy "summer vacation".

During vacation all native English teachers have to teach a "Winter English Camp". Each teacher's camp is different, but usually is 20+ hours split up over 1-2 weeks. Teachers can have classes from 10-40 kids in their winter camps. Some schools have a large budget for the camp, which allows teachers to be creative and fun with their camps, doing arts and crafts and science projects. One of my friends, Quinn, is even doing a Harry Potter themed camp. Here is the advertisement for his camp that is hanging all over his school.
My school did not give me a budget and asked me to create an educational camp because the students who signed up like to learn. My camp will be full of kids in Choas Club (the science and math club at Bugok Middle School). I am thankful for having kids for camp who are dedicated learners, hopefully they wont give me a hard time. But my camp doesn't start until next week, so I will let you know then.

For this past week I have been desk warming. This term is used to describe the act of coming to work at a Korean school with no work to do. Many times when the school is closed and there are no classes the Korean school ask the native teachers to come into school anyways. Their thought process is that they are still paying us to work, so we should come and sit at our desk. Spending 8 hours a day for a whole week, doing nothing on the internet is a little draining. I am not complaining. I love desk warming, so much time for movies and skyping! The concept is just a little ridiculous.

Here is my desk and the empty teacher's office. My home for the last two weeks.
Here is a video from youtube that shows Hitler being told he has to desk warm during his vacation.

Next week, after I am finished with desk warming and winter camp, I am taking 12 of my 20 paid vacation days to go on a trip to South East Asia with a large group of my friends. With weekends and the Lunar New Year my trip will end up being 20 days long! I am so excited and next weekend can't come soon enough.
My itinerary is as follows:

Kuala Lumpur

Koh Phi Phi

Ho Chi Min City
Can Tho (Mekong Delta)
Phu Quoc

(pictures below are Koh Phi Phi and Kula Lumpur)
I have done a lot of research to plan this trip but I wanted to ask all my friends and family for some advice and tips as well. If you have been to any of these places please email with any info you want to pass on!


Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. ahhh so jealous! (not of the desk warming though).