~BACKLOGGED RECAP #1: When the US Ambassador comes to your school..... Not joking.

On the first installment of BACKLOGGED RECAPs, I'll tell you about how the US Ambassador to South Korea came to my school. Yeah, it really happened. I got a cool notebook to prove it.

On my 2nd (or maybe it was my 3rd) day back at school, I opened my email (which I must confess doesn't happen as often as it should) to see an email from our Program Coordinator saying that Mark Lippert, the US Ambassador to South Korea, would be in Gwangju and wanted to visit a middle school.

I never got an official answer as to why my school was picked over other Fulbright schools, but the theories range from I'm the only renewee at a middle school in Gwangju to my school is really close to the airport. I never asked for the "real" reason. It could have totally been circumstance and I'm/my school is completely unspectacular.

There were some meetings with me, the principal, vice principal, Mr. Nam (unsure what his job title is), and two of my co-teachers. And then more meetings with a couple representatives from the Embassy.

And then it was Friday! Ambassador Lippert rolled up, after his very attractive bodyguards had checked out the grounds, we did the ceremonial introductions and thank-you-giving with our school's founders, school monks, and administration. Then we did a quick lesson with the kids and gave them the chance to ask questions.

And wow! The kids asked a range of questions. We, thank goodness, did not have any "do you know kimchi?" questions. They blew me aways with questions about the Korean education system, reunification, and baseball teams. Sadly, he did not say KIA Tigers, but I suppose most people in Gwangju aren't HUGE fans of the KIA Tigers. Hard to stay with your team when they aren't winning. Gwangju should study up from Cub fans, amirite?

While it was pretty stressful having Ambassador Lippert come to my school, it was UN-REAL that that happened. My kids lost their minds. You would have thought Michael Jackson or One Direction (or maybe a better comparison is EXO or BTS) was in our classroom. My school was so so happy to have him at our school and it was such a great experience to plan an event and work with my school to prepare.

Here's some pics:

There are some high-quality photos out there (from that guy holding the really nice camera), including one of me with my co-teacher and Ambassador Lippert, but I'll probably never see it. If someone from the Embassy ever reads this, it'd be really cool if I could get that photo. Or like any high-quality photos from that day. Cool. Thx.


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