Monday, June 13, 2011

A Serious Case of the Mondays...

Monday's are usually a good day for me. It's the start of the week, a new beginning. Most of my productivity for the week is determined by how I wake up Monday morning. Usually, a good cup of coffee and a psych-up mix from my iPod jumpstarts my day in the right direction.

Ever since I've came to Korea, however, my precious Monday morning has turned into something I loathe with the deepest hate I've ever felt for a calendar day. As someone who is still learning (and documenting) the life of an ESL teacher, 6 weeks is enough to be comfortable in what you are doing but not completely confident in what you are teaching. My lesson plans are always new, and often I don't know what the kinks are until I try them on Monday. Often, this leads to trial and error or improvisation that horribly backfires. I take notes, fix the lesson after school, and come Tuesday morning I'm back with lessons that are fixed and ready to go.

This past Monday, however, wasn't so forgiving. On top of having to tweak my lessons, I was successful in doing the following:
  • Ripping my pants on the way out the door
  • Giving myself a mild form of food poisoning from the leftovers I cooked the night prior
  • Sleeping on my arm so that I couldn't feel anything below the elbow for half the day
  • Slipping and falling on the marble at school in front of all my students, bruising my hip and spraining my wrist
  • Teaching 2 more classes limping and coughing from the cold I'm still fighting
It's safe to say that me and Mondays are no longer on speaking terms. It's going to take a while to forgive it for this one...

It would be a boring story if I were to just say that I had a crappy Monday, and luckily my day did turn around. I incorporated film into my after school class, and we started filming our music video set to Boys Like Girls "The Great Escape". They really seemed into it, although it could have just been the fact that they got to throw paper balls and pencils at my head. Nevertheless...the creativity of children is something that a teacher should always encourage and try to tap into. These kids are smart, funny, and have so many ideas. The language barrier is sometimes hard, but you'd be surprised at how much you can connect with someone if you just have the patience to try and understand them.

At the end of the day I went home, had a beer, and started sifting through one of my hard drives for pictures to edit. I realized that I have had my cameras for just over a year, and that in that library of 750GB was a story. It was my story...a personal story of the trials and tribulations that come with graduating college. I saw what I loved the most during that time by looking at what I was pointing my camera at: friends, family, home, travel.

I saw pictures that were taken the day before my accident. I saw videos of my niece playing in a box around Christmas, when I was feeling down and out and had nothing but my family to bring me up. There were videos of my graduation and the last days in my college apartment. I had footage of road trips and weddings, people jamming on the guitar in my garage and playing video games in the living room.

There's a story in this mess of home videos. I've been dying to do a very personal project, and I think this is it. The story is more than just me or my own world...there's a message that is real and genuine and possibly moving. If it's emotional enough, I think it'll be something special. If not, then it's just evidence of how much I've grown in a year's time. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

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