Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Bard Quits.. Becomes Unpaid Teacher


A long time between posts, as usual! Here we are in 2009 already.

What with work, final exams, vacation, dying computers, and a new job, somehow there never seems to be enough time to write things down. So, just for the record, because it's not as if friends and family don't keep in touch with us other ways (well, if I updated this more regularly, I'm sure they'd check it more often? Right? Right.), I should make a few notes and post a few pictures.

I have gracefully informed
Myongji that I will no longer be working for them; it was both flattering and satisfying to receive a visit from my (no longer) boss, who asked a variety of questions and made a variety of offers all revolving around attempting to keep me on...

At this point I'm 'employed' by my darling daughter, Katherine Joy. We've spent most of winter vacation designing an ambitious and comprehensive curriculum for
our extremely exclusive homeschool: the Alembyc Academy, if it please you, with an enrollment of one... However, if I were able to accept other students legally, I'd be making more than I did at MJU! Perhaps it will be a possibility in the future for me to own/run my own hogwan - not at present, though.

See the next post for the in-depth (12 MS Word pages)
curriculum, if you're interested in our plan of study, and feel free to point out any errors or obvious omissions. It's a five-year plan of study, but we'll see if we get through it sooner or more leisurely, so I'm not including a lot of 'detail' at this level of depth. We'll return to it in five years (or so) and take it down another level of complexity, with concepts that are appropriate for her age and understanding.

I'm also quite informally
helping out a Korean church on Sundays, teaching three classes of children from 1 to 4 in the afternoon - fun, even though I've only just started! They've given me my own office-cum-classroom, with a desk and computer, bulletin board and whiteboard, sofa, and a bigscreen TV! Mind you, we all sit on the heated ondol flooring to study together, in good Korean style - which suits my style of teaching to a T. More updates there as events warrant...

Bry has swapped our car (a whitish, more or less, Leganza sedan which I quite liked chauffeuring about) for a truck I have nicknamed "The Beast" (a big white Musso, with 4-wheel drive, a Mercedes engine,
and a clutch...). Which means that I can not, once again, drive anywhere. At least until I learn, from scratch, how to run a stick shift. One more level of tension to add onto the various changes, responsibilities, and burdens for the year 2009. It's a very macho vehicle, right down to the leather-wrapped steering wheel, the custom sound system, and the back large enough to hold all the camping gear we don't have. Mind you, I'm very much looking forwards to the weather being warm enough to go camping... so perhaps I'll be slowly less antagonistic to "The Beast" if it takes me places - preferably with Bryan driving. At this point I stall the confounded fewmet just getting from stand-still into first, so there is no fondness there at all.

Bryan is studying Korean quite assiduously on his own, with various books designed for Korean elementary students, Korean buddies, and a couple of our co-workers who also want to try to improve their skills in hangul. Kath and I see a lot less of him, partly because we don't work in the same office any longer, as we have for a lot of our married life, and partly because he's got a lot of classes this semester. As does everyone else, because MJU was unable (due to unrealistic expectations and inadequate benefits) to replace me, and because they didn't bother to replace the last two teachers who left, either! So - plenty of stress for the team at this point, which almost makes me feel guilty. We'll see how they're holding up around midterms.

Kath is her usual joyful, sensitive, observant, articulate, creative self, only more so. How can she keep getting more fun and interesting all the time? Once I learn to pace her and myself and relax a bit, we're going to enjoy this holistic learning together even more: right now I'm far too goal-focused and academically-tainted...yet we still have marvelous days!

She knows all the planets of our solar systems, their names and places in order from the sun, and the duties of the Greco-Roman deities which those names represent...identifies Van Gogh, Monet, and Klimt art on sight by style... can find Casseopia and Orion and the Dipper in the night sky....has about sixty or seventy sight words and can sound out most three and four letter words not on her sight list...can speak Korean like a native memorizing the 10 Commandments and quotes the Golden Rule... creates imaginative dramas with her plastic dinosaurs, using their correct scientific names....asks to use the Cuisinaire rods to practice math concepts on her own...walks a three-hour nature hike sensitive to and protective of others' feelings and emotions...spontaneously makes collages, stampings, recycled art, comic book pages, and other artworks on her own...learns and recites at the local market and makes change...
what a privilege it is to spend time with her, to guide that inquisitive mind and discipline that cheerful heart!

OK, it's nearly midnight, and I still haven't added the promised pictures, so enough writing for now. A couple of photos to be going on with, and then next time I'll put more in, plus the curriculum.



MY SPARKLY MOPPET (the eyeliner and rouge is faux but the lashes are real!)

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