Korean School Festivals

This is the most interesting thing that has happened to me in the past month and a half.

So Korean schools have these school festivals. I would compare them to talent shows, but they're not the same. Korean school festivals are on a whole different level.

We're talking dances (and who danced them) like this (my 3rd grade boys), this (my 3rd grade girls), and this (we'll get to this dance in a moment). We're talking singing (and who sang) like this (two of my 3rd grade boys) and this (my favorite 3rd grade class!). And we're talking lights! And smoke effects!

So here's the story I really wanted to tell you. I had been told since day 1 at Jeonggwang Middle School that I would be expected to dance at the school festival.

For those of you that don't know, I'm not exactly the best organized dancer. However, when I was asked if I wanted to join "the younger teachers" for a dance I said yes. Then I was informed that we would be dancing to AOA's "Heart Attack" and Girl's Day's "Ring My Bell".

So we had some practices, but I also practiced on my own since I never heard any solid plan from any of the teachers. I now know the first 1:30 of AOA's "Heart Attack"... I really hope that comes in handy some day.

I get to school on the day of the festival. I haven't heard from any of the teacher's so I figure it's cancelled or someone will come and tell me it's time to dance or something. Nothing could prepare me for what happened.

I'm sitting in the audience, the very front of the audience, and the school festival is wrapping up. There's not much left so I figure "we've got to dance soon." And then, like a sad scene from a bad-comedy, I hear the start of "Heart Attack." How do I know it's the start of "Heart Attack"? Because I've listened to that song more times than any normal human should.

My first thought - "I should be on stage."

My second thought - "Is this real?"

My third thought - "This is real. Are you kidding me?!"

So I'm not proud of what I did next. No, I didn't pull a Cady Herron/Regina George and no one ended up under a bus, but I did leave school. I waited to see if anyone would come to my classroom, and when no one did and I saw students leaving school, I left too.

I met my friend, Sarah, and went to the end of her school festival. I got the dance she did with some teachers on camera (will upload later).

I'm not going to lie. I was sad. I was sad and disappointed and jealous. I could tell the teachers were having a good time. They could laugh and enjoy that moment with the students. But it also made me mad. I know that their actions weren't intended to be malicious, but when you already feel like an outsider, in a country where everyone thinks you're an insider, it's a little hard to take a hit like that.

I did a lot of reflecting on what happened. I know part of it is my fault. Part of me thought I'd be happy not to dance. I guess, if I have the chance to do something like this again, I need to jump at it. I can see how the teachers might have thought I was apathetic about dancing with them. My demeanor is usually apathetic about everything, but I was really looking forward to dancing. I want my kids to think I'm cool and, honestly, I want them to like me.

It's all silly worries because at the end of the day, my kids still think I'm sorta cool (the blonde hair and playing soccer helps) and they'll always like me because my class is the fun class.

And then, I went home. I slept. I woke up the next morning. I ate breakfast. I... didn't go to work because it was a club day. I exercised. I... met friends for dinner. I came home. I went to sleep. And then I had a normal work day the next day.


(Oh, and don't worry about "Taylor feeling left out and sad". Both my co-teacher and my host mom are upset over what happened. I figured it's water under the bridge now, right?)


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