Week 16: Give me candy!

Gwangju Travel Blog

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For the past three weeks I have been excitedly preparing for the Halloween festivities at my hagwon.  Unlike in America, Canada, and several other countries in Western Europe, Halloween is not celebrated in Korea.  However, that does not mean that my students are not familiar with it.  They've seen enough American sitcoms and past episodes of The Simpsons to at least have a vague idea of what the holiday entails.  While shopping at Emart I even ran across a very limited selection of Scream masks, pumpkin buckets and latex appendages, but the prices were exorbitant and luckily my very wonderful Mother had sent me a few Halloween goodies in my last care package.  After dropping 20,000 won on candy I decided I had enough to delight my dear students.

 

On Wednesday I dressed in orange and black and arrived at school 1.5 hours early to decorate.  I took over one of the smaller classrooms so the Halloween decorations would give it a festive, spooky feeling.  With each class I planned on reading scary stories, singing Halloween songs, playing Bingo and stuffing the kids full of sugar before they headed off to the next (unfortunate) teacher's class where they'd bounce off the walls until the sugar high wore off.

For the most part my "lessons" went really well.  The kids loved the decorations, playing bingo and eating candy-especially because in each little treat bag I included three pieces of Starburst imported directly from America.  That went over BIG :)  On the other hand, my plan to play the "This is Halloween" song from The Nightmare Before Christmas Soundtrack while the kids filled in the missing words in the lyrics went well enough, but I had not expected to hear the entire song 35 times by the end of the day-yikes!  You can imagine what was stuck in my head for the next couple days :)

I also thought it'd be fun to teach the kids the "H-A-Double L-O-W-Double E-N" diddy.

  That was easy enough for the young ones.  But I was mega bummed that none of the other students got as much of a kick out of the "Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet" song.  I wrote all the lyrics on the board and made them sing it but they didn't really understand the words so I had to act it out.  They laughed/cringed when I demonstrated smelling my feet but they were downright grossed out when I mimed pulling down someone's underwear.  A couple of my students looked at me with shocked faces and asked me if we really pulled down people's underwear if they didn't give us candy.  I should have lied and said yes.  However, it's my duty to give an at least slightly accurate representation of American culture since I am the resident "Western Cultural Expert.

For some of my more unruly classes I made them wait till the end of the period to get their candy.  I told them that only the bingo winners would get candy so that led to some pretty intense games.  In one of my classes after the first student won bingo and got his candy the other students started packing up and heading toward the door with dejected looks on their faces. It was priceless :)  Then I laughed and told them they were all winners (awww) so they all got candy.  I think if I hadn't passed out candy to everyone I would have had a mutiny on my hands.  I had the kids all draw their own Jack O' Lanterns and several of them bypassed drawing a cheery pumpkin and opted for the more straightforward picture of an unhappy witch holding an empty bucket with a speech bubble featuring the words, "Give me candy!"  You can't get much clearer than that :)

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