Monday, February 2, 2009

Welcome Back, Voice!

My Monday is off to a very good start. When I awoke this morning, I discovered, to my delight, that most of my voice had returned to me. Huzzah! It's wonderful no longer sounding like a dying bullfrog that has somehow swallowed a freight train. My sinuses have cleared up quite a bit, too, so I no longer feel like my face is a burning explosives' storehouse. Relief be mine!

Since I am now minus my monster-child, my youngest kindergartners were once again absolute angels. Cali and Amy almost made me tear up today during class when they both informed me (almost simultaneously) "Teacher, very very big I love you!" I've decided to see if I can fit both little girls into my suitcase to take home with me...

I've discovered that word searches are a really big hit with Korean children. On Friday, owing to my loss of voice, I created word searches (using Excel) for each of my classes. Most of the kids had never seen a word search before, since Hangul (the Korean system of writing) doesn't really work for that sort of word puzzle. It was very easy to teach the children how to do word searches, and all the kids enjoyed them immensely. Today, I had similar success giving a word search to my older kindergartners after they had completed their lesson. I told them that whoever could find the most words in the time remaining would get one extra sticker, and the little smarties set to work! It was a close race, but Sam was the eventual winner, having managed to find 17 words in only eight minutes (keep in mind, he's only six, and this was the first word search he had ever seen).

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"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"