Happy late Chuseok to all! For those of you who aren't familiar with Korean culture, Chuseok is the fall holiday that has been likened to an American Thanksgiving. Everything kind of shuts down for a few days and many travel back to their hometowns to spend time with their families. My school has Monday and Tuesday off, although some schools had Friday off, as well. Lucky jerks.
To prepare for the holiday, one of the teachers organized a dduk making class after school. On Thursday, one of my co-teachers and I went up to the 3rd floor to the home ec classroom. I hadn't even seen it before, although I'd had the suspicion that there was one (boys and girls occasionally roaming the hallways in adorable pink/yellow/baby blue cooking aprons). My school never had anything like home economics, so I was pretty curious. It basically looked like a school labratory but with stove tops instead of Bunsen burners and large mixing bowls rather than chemistry beakers. There were about forty students who had signed up. It was quite refreshing to hang out with them outside of the classroom. They immediately began pounding the dduk...mix. Sorry, I am not quite sure what to call it. It looked like white, soft clay. We then tore off small pieces and flattened them into circles. There were bowls of sugar/sesame seed and it was with this that we filled our dduk. The superstition goes that if you make a perfectly crescent moon shaped songpyeon (the name of this particular dduk), you'll have an especially beautiful baby girl.
I also had to become "mean teacher" last week, assigning several detentions. Two of the boys didn't come on Thursday (probably testing the waters to see if I would really follow through with my threats), however, so we alerted their homeroom teacher. She made sure the kids came the following day, when they had double the detention assignment. While all their little friends were racing home at 3 pm to enjoy their Chuseok holiday, they were in Englishee Teachuh's classroom, hurriedly trying to finish their assignment. Muahahahahahah.
Here are some pictures of the students making seongpyun: