Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Learning curve- Part 2

Wednesdays are my crazy days. I wake up at 5am (or rather I am trying to train myself to bounce out of bed at that time), march to school, teach the kiddies and by 3pm I need to be in my takkies (trainers/sneakers) ready to play a game of volleyball with the staff. After that I race to Ukulele class, and from there I have Korean language classes across town. One word: "Shoo"!


Let's take it back a few activities to chat about volleyball. I
wasn’t too keen to do it considering I know nothing about the game and the teachers (plus Principal and Vice Principal) take the game quite seriously. As much as I have tried, serving during each Volleyball game has not been a highlight in my Korean life. The ball just doesn’t like to go over the net. A few weeks ago while trying to serve, (EVERYONE looked at me…waiting), I heard the sports coach use English for the first time: “Power up!” The image of ‘Dragon Ball Z’ and their stocky characters came into my head and I nodded at him with a giggle dying to break free. He wasn’t smiling. Then again, when he burst out laughing during a specifically vigorous session, I honestly think that was the first time I had seen him smile in my three months here! Nice man I’m sure.

Anyway, the Vice-Principal and Principal (bless them) always make a point of reminding me to come to volleyball. If anything, I am learning to count in Korean and the Vice-Principal takes it upon herself to practice with me before every session. I love seeing the focus on her face and the broad grin she displays when I finally make contact with the ball and this time it goes where it should. I have also started to slowly get better during my service! Let it be known though, they make me stand much closer to the net now as opposed to behind the line when serving. Hey, small steps right?!
And then there are Korean classes. These have really tested me. Really tested me. It has been almost four weeks of trying to train my mouth to befriend the new vowels and consonants. It’s also been four weeks of trying to figure out the difference between the “” and “” sound. To me, both sound like “air” and as our Korean teacher told us, we will have to just learn that words have either one or the other. So basically, learn your vocab, learn your spelling!



*Click 'play' to hear some Korean*

I tried my new language skills on my kids during break at school. They wrote their names on the board and it was pretty awesome being able to slowly pronounce their names more accurately than before. There is always something great about someone being able to address you by your name, which is pronounced correctly. So yay for new skills!


A bonus: being able to stand outside a shop and slowly decipher the Korean alphabet. This has become my latest hobby, even if I get the odd glance from people. For now, I may be able to read the letters, but I can’t attach any meaning considering my vocabulary is minimal. I am trying to slowly build my vocab, but this is taking longer than I thought.
Anyway dear reader, I would like to share this quote by Jiddu Krishnamurti I stumbled across recently. It sums up my learning curve as an expat quite well. "There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”

Nadia
 
 


Read "Learning Curve- Part 1" here.