Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Pepero Day!

So I've taken a pretty long leave of absence, but I'm back finally. A lot of things have been going on, both in my personal life and at school with the kids, so a lot of other things have gone by the wayside as I focused on making sure things would be okay. After a few changes, things are definitely looking up, and I feel that there's much more direction to how life will play out than before. So no worries!

Today is a pretty important day in Korea, as it is Pepero Day! What is Pepero Day, you might ask. Well, it's a very commercial holiday created by Lotte to market their Pepero snacks. These are cookie sticks either filled or covered with chocolate. Some even come covered with chocolate and almonds (the best kind). They resemble little '1's', which is why November 11th is Pepero Day. Perfect marketing, right? Well, the day has expanded to include many other kinds of treats, and last night I witnessed first-hand how intense people are about Pepero Day here, and buying treats for their friends and loved ones. Whew! It was almost like the after-Thanksgiving sales back home, crazy with people shoving and pushing for the last lollipop.

As a teacher in Korea, I feel sometimes you can measure your worth by how many goodies and presents you get from your kids. The more in quantity or nicer in quality the gift is, the more the student and his/her parents adore you. It's a pretty simple fact that some parents are not above bribery here to try and get the foreign teachers to give their children good grades. But it's always cute when your kids come running up to you, bearing handmade notes, boxes of Peperos, and flowers, saying "for you teacher!!!" It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling with a student hands me a present with a hug and an "I love you Heather Teacher." (And relieved to know that not all my students think I'm a horrible hardass!)

Sometimes it's hard to believe I've been here for 7 months! Time sure does fly when you're having fun!

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