Halloween Party

Korean students work really hard.  They go to school, then come to after school academy, and then go home to study.  Many of my elementary school students don’t go to sleep until midnight or 1:00am.  Some of them even attend optional classes on Saturday!

My students showing off their “money” – they’re rich!

In recognition of this, my school had a Halloween party on Wednesday.  We wanted to give something back to the students, and let them have a little fun for once!

My classroom, transformed into the Pumpkin Restaurant

It was great.  Based on how many points they’ve accrued (for doing homework or well on tests), they could ‘buy’ candy, food, movie tickets (we set up a theater just for this purpose!), or play Gamble Quiz.  To play Gamble Quiz, you had to pay 2,000 “won,” pull out a ticket, and hope it had a number on it.  If it did, you had to answer an English question and could potentially win a prize.  Some tickets had nothing written on them! So many students blew ALL of their money this way, but it was entertaining nonetheless.  Andy and Yujin were the hosts, and they were hilarious.

Yujin and the gambling crowd

I manned the candy table.  As usual, the younger crowd (grades 1-4) bought most items, so when the older students arrived (5-6), there was almost nothing left.  However, the older students had a lot less points and couldn’t buy as much, so it probably evened out.  In the end, I started bribing them with my personal candy supply – pose for a photo, receive a piece of candy.  Otherwise it’s impossible to take photos of students, especially girls.  They’re very shy.

Andy’s 5th and 6th grade girls

I think most students had fun, although the next day they claimed they didn’t because they didn’t have enough points… Still better than classes, right?


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Market Day

On Wednesday, my school had a Market Day.  Many schools have their own version, and I think my hagwon did a great job! Instead of classes, all of the students (grades 1-6) were given fake money (depending on how many points they’ve earned all semester) and were able to buy stationery and food.  Stationery is serious business here in Korea… they go nuts for it! So it was definitely appropriate.

What you see when you exit the elevator – Market Day!
Welcome to the KYJ Party!

I manned the stationery/cookie table, while Andy handled drinks and cotton candy.  Yes, my school rented a cotton candy machine just for this occasion.  Yu Jin and Min Young cooked mandu (Korean dumplings) and ddeokbokki (rice cakes in spicy sauce with cabbage, garlic, and fish cakes).  They also sold corn dogs, which Koreans call hot dogs.  It was definitely a Korean kids’ feast!

Working in the stationery shop
Making cotton candy
One of my students, Min Hoon, absolutely destroying his cotton candy
Our ddeokbokki – delicious!

After the party ended, we stayed late to help clean and set everything up for tomorrow.  We ordered mul nyeangmyeon (물 냉면) for dinner, which is one of my favorite dishes.  A great summer food, nyeangmyeon is a cold dish of buckwheat noodles.  Mul nyeangmyeon is served in the icy broth (mul means water in Korean).  A refreshing end to a long day.

Mul nyeangmyeon

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