This week is once again camp week, which means that rather than the students being sent by their school for a week, they are sent by their parents. As teachers this is definitely a much welcomed change. The material and lesson plans have been changed, and the atmosphere is very relaxed and activity oriented. We still have our quite groups who never ever make a peep, and the ones that wont ever stop talking and seem not to notice that there is even a teacher in the room.
Tonight however we had a really special event to add to the FUN of camp, a camera crew from a local TV station. They came for the day to film some of the classes, interview students and requested that we put on a talent show for a finale of sorts. We were given two days notice to ask the kids, so to act as fillers, a few teachers signed up in case the recruitment of students was unfruitful. As the list remained quite short, Joy, my partner teacher, Tyler, the teacher next door and I decided that we would sign our two classes up to do a combined performance of Haru Haru, a song from one of their favorite bands, Big Bang. The children Idolize this band. Because we are at English camp almost every child chooses an English name for the week. Inevitably there is always several Tops and G-dragons (the two most popular guys from the band). Sometimes they choose even crazier names like Double cheese burger or this week we have a boy named bunny.
We signed up our classes knowing that they were all very shy and not really into the idea, but when we were called, they willing stood up on stage (meaning I did not physically have to drag them by the hair or threaten with the dreaded blue stickers), the girls sang, the boys stood uncomfortably and the audience went wild. Girls from the audience screamed as if we were the Beatles and hands flew threw the air as they practiced their choreographed dance moves all the while sitting in the audience. Tyler, Joy and I along with two other guys playing the guitar stood on the stage mouthing "Watermelon" for all of the Korean words, the majority of the song, for moral support and to catch any attempted runaways or a child dying of stage fright.
Here is the Haru Haru music video. I actually really like the song.
After all of the performances which ended up being around 11 in total, awards were given. But the award ceremony was the strangest part of the entire talent show since all but one prize was given to the teachers. We were performing not to compete but to help fill the show. The prizes obviously should have been given to the students and as I was handed my SNET umbrella, I swallowed the bitter taste in my mouth. I plan to give my prize to one of the performers tomorrow, as I did nothing, deserved nothing for standing on the stage and mouthing "watermelon" and when the prizes should obviously have gone to the children who were more deserving of these prizes. Obviously this was another cultural issue that I have no understanding of. Hopefully we will be given more answers tomorrow as to this weird event....
The second most popular song in Korea. Fast forward to 2 min to actually hear the song. The first 2 minutes is a weird intro.