Sunday, July 13, 2008

Operation Floor Scrub

Administration decided (Friday at 4pm right before we were all about to go home) to repaint the walls at our Language Center / Hogwan. I figured I'd take the opportunity to clean the 10+ years of filth off the floor while everything was in disarray. Covering only four tiles in 10 minutes, I realized I had been overly ambitious and thought hard about how I could make job easier on myself. The only solution was child labor. 20x25 tiles, divided by roughly 30 students... I have no idea how that works out but I guessed the job could be done in about two hours.

The next day I planned a lesson around cleaning, taught them some key vocabulary, i.e. "That's a half-assed job" and gave each kid a green brill pad. Korean kids generally hate getting dirty and anything that is dirty, I've heard of teachers who straightened out trouble makers by simply holding their possessions in the general vicinity of the garbage can.

To overcome this dirt-a-phobia and demonstrated how to scrub the floor using your foot and emphasized how important it was to only move one square at a time. Each clild was assigned a quadrant and the scrubbing began.

For the most part, the job was a huge success. The youngest class really enjoyed the task, worked hard (with the exception of Anthony) and followed my instructions (with the exception of Anthony) as well as any 10 year olds would (with the exception of Anthony). The older students grew tired of the task more quickly and if you watch the upper right corner you'll see Jong Min idling in my chair, spraying the floor now and then just making a bigger mess. I showed him this damming evidence the following day and now he knows to at least act like he's working hard when my camera is out.

The remainder of the video is me decorating my 35 degree and horribly humid room. I consulted with Clair by telephone, text and video to get some interior design ideas - they were great! Unfortunately, everything I put up was on the floor the following morning. I'm not sure if it's the heat/humidity that caused it or the fact the paint is so fresh.

No comments: