Friday, May 27, 2011

Yes, I still work at a children’s center

. . . although you would never know it, to look at my blog. In fact, I am so far behind that I find myself condensing events of the last few months into one short, easy-to-digest post, whereas once I would have tried to write about them in detail. Oops. Shoulda kept on top of that. Here are some of the high points of the spring, anyway.

  • February 25th concert. We spent the winter vacation honing our musical skills all day, every day. Going to the center back in those days meant the constant sound of recorders, ocarinas, xylophones, bells, piano, violins, and singing: the kids were all 031hard at work practicing the songs they were to perform (from memory). I was put in charge of the handbell choir, which was mostly made up of the younger kids. We spent hours every day practicing the songs “Butterfly” and “Morning Greeting” (better known in the U.S. as “Frere Jacques”). Then on the day of, everybody squeezed into their matching outfits and climbed onto the stage of the community center next door. I was very impressed with all the kids, and thought that the choir sounded especially good (although obviously no one was better than the bell players!). It was a great opportunity for the kids to show off for their families, their teachers, and each other.


  • Going to watch some soccer. Daejeon is home to a World Cup Stadium, which was our destination for some Saturday afternoon fun one weekend in March. The Daejeon City Football Club (DCFC) was playing FC Seoul in one of the first games of the season. The outcome was disappointing for soccer fans; at the end of the game, the score was tied up, and since apparently they don’t do overtime, the match was called as a draw. But for those people who could care less about sports (me), it wasn’t a problem. Hanging out together was a lot of fun in and of itself.010
  • Earth Day drawing contest. Around Earth Day, the Expo Science Park had a festival to educate people about environmentally-friendly behavior. This included booths where you learn about buying green products; craft stations where you made stuff (keychains, hankies, etc.) out of recyclable materials; free plant giveaways; and, last but not least, a drawing contest for kids. The topic: “The area where I live.” I suppose the idea was for kids to draw the things they found beautiful about their neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the kids I teach seem to share living space with dragons and robots. And the sky there is yellow.

Kids drawing 19

  • May 5th celebrations. 5/5 around here is a national holiday known as “Children’s Day.” Everybody gets the day off work and school, and the kids often get presents from their parents and grandparents. Our center children went to a festival in a local park, where they were having a talent show, and showed off their skills dancing to a K-pop song. Then everyone chowed down on snacks (like tteokbokki!) and had fun doing the activities, like jump rope, walking on stilts, and making balloon animals.
  • Music camp. We recently took an overnight camping trip to Muju Resort up in the mountains surrounding Daejeon. (Not actual, outdoor camping, to be clear – we stayed in a building.) We brought our recorders and our ocarinas and our singing voices to learn some great new songs (for next year’s concert, maybe?). There was plenty of time to play outside, too. And at night everybody curled up on the floor and giggled themselves to sleep. Ah, good times, good times.


And now you know why I have no time to write. I’m totally busy, with all this on top of the usual stuff! At any rate, that’s a quick summary of what’s new (and not so new) in the world of Becky Francisco. Continue to stay tuned!

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