Thursday, July 23, 2009

Summer Camp, Part 1

1) You may recall that the original Friday the 13th movie, Jason Voorhees, hockey mask, Kevin Bacon and all that, took place at summer camp. True, it was sleepaway camp, and it was the week before campers arrived during counselor training, but that's more or less irrelevant to what is to follow.

2) Well, okay, it's totally irrelevant, I just wanted to remind you that Kevin Bacon was in Friday the 13th.

3) Actually, camp has been going just fine, if you get beyond the fact that I have to be doing it at all. After all, I was told initially that since only six students signed up for my camp sessions, I had the option of "working from home" during those three weeks, or teaching approximately two students an hour for three hours. Guess what I chose?

As I mentioned, I used this deal to arrange two weeks vacation in New Zealand with Andy, to split expenses, and then had to renege when the school took back the offer (due to the way the dates worked out--for vacation, that is). So I am giving up a week's holiday to teach seven students one hour a day.

4) It has become well-known at school that this has pissed me off, and understandably so, especially since I have made great effort to be (or at least appear) flexible, affable and hard-working. Miss Lee can't even look me in the eye when we talk about camp.

5) Anyway, once it became established I would have this one session to teach, I quickly developed 18 fine lesson plans; Mon. through Sat. for three weeks. Each day has a different theme, to wit: Wed. is video day, Fri. is pair work, Sat. is game day, and so on.

6) Really good, interesting lessons--I know this because the students have been intensively involved, even reluctant to leave when the bell rings.

7) Oh, speaking of which, I assumed the sessions were 50 minutes in length, as are regular classes, and as were winter camp sessions. This notion was reinforced by a bell at fifty minutes on Monday. I therefore timed out Tuesday's lesson to end at 50 minutes, only to learn when the bell failed to ring that the previous day's bell had been a mistake, and camp sessions were one hour.

Tough shit, I spent scads of time developing these lessons based on available information. My lessons are designed to last 50 minutes. If they stretch to 60, fine, so be it. But I'm damned if I'm going to run around scaring up 10 minutes of extra material at the last minute because some dunderhead can't be bothered to inform me properly.

Not that the kids will mind too much, anyway...

8) Speaking of, they are a really good group, with four that can speak English okay, one who is so quiet and shy I have no idea what he can do, one who is basically illiterate but professes to love me at every conceivable juncture, and one who has only shown up one-and-a-half times.

9) Still, on Saturday, Aug. 8th, I will finish my last camp session at 9 AM--some games, then a party with cake and all--tidy up the classroom, then leave that afternoon for Auckland. Finally!


SuperDrew said...

In the original Friday the 13th, there was no hockey Jason Vorhees, really, at all...however, it was the only scary one, so go figure!

Kelsey said...

I had several illiterate students in my classes, including in my *advanced workshops*, when I taught on Jindo. I was told to just ignore them. It's sad, but other than making up a lesson just for them, there's not much you can do.

Alex said...

Hi, I'm Alex and I teach English in South Korea. Was wondering if you wanted to do some link sharing between blogs?

Let me know!