Korean School Performance? School Dance? School Festival? {11/21/18} NSLI-Y Korean AY

11/21/18 Wednesday

NO SCHOOL! CAN I GET AN AHHH YEAH?!? Was that cringey? I’m sorry… I’m just really excited about the prospect of missing school. On this day, in particular, the first and second-year students were taking a mock exam for the 수능 and because we obviously didn’t have to take the exam, Katie and I didn’t go!

We still ended up meeting and going to the Twosome Cafe near the school at 1 pm, however. {We originally thought we had club meetings to attend at 3 pm…} We hung out at the cafe for a bit— enjoying some drinks and studying. I had a quiz the following day, so I was a bit more panicked than normal about the immense amount of vocab I hadn’t memorized yet. I was falling behind…

We returned to the school to attend our club meetings but were surprised to see that no one texted us letting us know there were meetings today or to check in with us on the meeting location. Katie and I went to both of the rooms are clubs met at two weeks ago, but the rooms had weird vibes? And there seemed to be a formal looking person inside. We decided to leave and try to hide somewhere but we began to both feel anxious. We were panicky not knowing what we should be doing… as we went down the stairs, I could feel my leg shaking because of my nerves. Eventually, we decided to see if the foreign teachers would let us hide out in their office but even though we saw Jason walking in the hallway, we had no courage to ask him. We waited outside their office for several minutes trying to muster up the courage to knock.

Jason eventually came back and told us Corey was in there and that it would be fine if we came in. We sat on these chairs against the wall and literally stayed talking with Corey and the other teachers for more than an hour. It was honestly a lot of fun and it felt good getting certain things out. Because they are also foreigners in Korea, they understood our struggles. They were also adult figures that were concerned for us but would not get too worked up over our hardships. I love our RD 민정쌤 and the Better World Staff… but sometimes you want to hear “Oh man, that’s really terrible.” Instead of “How are you going to fix this? Are you sure it will get better?” or something along the lines of that.

After talking with them, we left to meet our friends Jacquelyn, Jack, Josh, and Liam at 연신내역 as we invited them to attend the event at 하나고 with us because it was open to the public. We met them there around 5:30 so that we could grab some dinner before the performance. Katie and I walked around the street surrounding the station looking for some 분식집 because we didn’t want to spend too much because the weekend was approaching. We found this 만두 place and decided that it would be best.


We all shared two platters of 만두 {소고기 & 김치} and one set of 보쌈. It was all very delicious~ But… not very filling for how much we had to pay per person. After goofing around during dinner, we were on our way to 하나고 with our NSLI-Y guests.


We got there about 20 minutes before the event was scheduled to start and Katie and I were already shook. We looked at the normal building for the gymnasium and was shocked to see that there were purple lights flashing. It looked kind of like a school dance in America! {from the outside} Upon arriving, everyone was staring at the large group of foreigners walking in— the girls, in particular, were freaking out over Liam and the other guys. We found 서린, 혜지, and 지연 after looking like lost little sheep for a bit, huddled near the entrance. They showed us where to put our bags and we went and found a place to sit. Though the lights and the music playing were strongly reminiscent of a school dance back at my high school, the atmosphere was completely different. No one was dancing. Everyone was either standing still in small groups or huddled together on the floor.


The first performance of the night was a DJ. These 5 students {including my friend 윤세} player some dance songs… as well as some other questionable choices. And, at first, it was so awkward. All the students were just standing in their long padded coats not even moving to the beat— no side steps or claps to be seen anywhere.

The other girls, including Katie, were really hesitant to dance so, in the beginning, it was simply Jacquelyn and me trying to get people moving as we jumped along to the music. {The boys were also quite stiff with their dance moves.} While we were dancing, as we were pretty much the only ones in the whole gym, so many of the students {and teachers even} were staring. There were also plenty of photos of us taken! Eventually, people got more comfortable and that’s when things really got fun. Everyone was clapping and jumping and trying to actually dance. At this point, I was having so much fun and didn’t want to leave {which was very upsetting seeing that today was a Wednesday and we still had to abide by a weekday curfew}.


After the DJ opener, song and dance performances followed. Many of them were by students that were so very talented! The songs chosen were mostly ballads which are exactly up my alley! One duet sang Lee Hi’s Breathe! I was dead! I couldn’t help but sing along as if I was in emotional pain too. Between many of the musical acts, there were little performances of the group of 하나고 students that were doing a “re-enactment” if you will of the Reply 1988 Korean drama. Our good friend 도윤 was playing an old lady which was hilarious! She was so good~ We all really enjoyed how she got so into character.


Also, the teacher in charge of the cooking club came and brought jars of 고추장 for Katie, me, and our friends! We even got 하나고 gift bags! It was too cute~ I cannot wait till Katie and I get to attend our first cooking club meeting! (*cough cough editing this three months later… that first meeting never came…yikes.)



Josh, Jack, and Liam left early to make it home in time for curfew while Katie, Jacquelyn, and I waited till the last possible minute to leave because we were enjoying ourselves too much {plus I live closer than most of the others}. We ended up having to run to the bus stop, though. It was definitely a rushed ending to a fun night that I’ll never forget.



Enjoy this photo! 😛

I made it home right at curfew and patiently waited for a curfew check {that unfortunately never came}. I spent the rest of the night hardcore studying for a quiz in Korean class the following day.

That’s all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed~ I know I did! Thanks for reading!

  • Emma 엠마


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