Cafe Hopping, Teaching Korean Students American Dances, & Community Service (01/29-30/19) NSLI-Y AY

01/29/19 Tuesday

Tuesday morning I met up with Josh at Coffee Slob (Yes, the cafe I went to the previous day… it was cheap and had such a good atmosphere…so here we are!) right at their open time to study for our unit test. Well, I studied for the unit test (studying vocabulary) while Josh worked on some essays for a scholarship he is applying for. Eventually, Jenna came by and then later, Katie joined us. I feel that with some people, I can be quite productive while others… can be quite a distraction. I think that just the combination of everyone made my brain want to have fun rather than study. 

When 11 am rolled around, Katie and I separated from the group and met our supporter 혜린언니 to plan out the rest of our supporter meetings because we really needed to start getting things done. Our final presentation day is rapidly approaching! We organized what topics we wanted to bring up in our video presentation/ in the actual powerpoint presentation and assigned ourselves homework to have done by our next meeting on Thursday (after the New Year–설날–holidays).

Before Korean class, I met up with Kaitlyn and Harmony at the youth center and had a very nutritious 편의점 lunch. (I know it is sad that I have not been eating real food here but the timing is not right… plus I am always doing some last-minute studying… Cannot exactly do that while scarfing down some real Korean food. We had a lot of fun before class because we were freaking out about where everyone was. It was 5 minutes before 2pm (the start of class) and only Harmony, Alix, Kaitlyn, and I were there. Every time the elevator opened, we expected to see some of the other NSLI-Yians but they were not showing up. Random Korean adults were just coming out to go to their rented conference rooms. Eventually, the rest of my class showed up 3 minutes before 2pm but the other three girls from 1반 actually were late (They were doing their field trip for the research project.)


I will not be posting the video but I did film us freaking out about no one showing up including time updates. It was a lot of laughing and clips of the elevator opening to show no NSLI-Y students.

During class, we learned the last two grammar points that would be on our test and if I am being honest, one of them confused me to no end… I still really do not understand the point of it… Maybe I can get it down by the test? Class went by really quick and within a blink of an eye, it was over. I ended up going straight home because I knew it was the last night my eldest host sister had at home before leaving for Japan. However, when I got home, her stomach was badly hurting and my other host sister had already eaten ramen so I ate some noodles by myself.


01/30/19 Wednesday

On Wednesday I had plans besides community service for an hour at night; however, after texting Kaitlyn about what she was doing before community service…she convinced me to also join her and June for the afternoon session of community service (unlike the nighttime section which just involves us serving and eating with the kids, this session was about introducing them to American culture!) I gave her the idea of teaching them American dances (Cotton Eyed Joe and Cha Cha Slide) which they both loved–probably because they both love to dance! I knew they would be all for it. Usually, I do not do the afternoon sessions but Liam and Jacquelyn would not be there, so I joined them so that it would not be just the two of them.

It was the day before our big unit test and I wanted to make sure I would be productive so I went to the area near the youth community center and found a cafe to sit in and study at. I went to Tous Les Jours and sat down with a cup of coffee (I know… unusual but I knew it would be a long night!) Kaitlyn came and joined me after a while and we both left to meet June at another nice cafe nearby. We made plans for what we were going to do with the students at the center before just chatting. I used this time to also continue my studies–trying to review as much grammar as possible before getting home later that night (to make my workload lighter).

During our community service session, we gathered all the students onto the huge stage to teach them the dances. I was the one put in charge of explaining the directions to them and because everyone had so much energy, it was quite difficult getting them to listen to us. But nevertheless, it was really fun teaching them the dances. When the familiar music turned on and we showed them all the dance moves, I immediately thought of school dances back in high school. As silly as it sounds, I thought of all the happy memories I have had with my friends dancing to such obnoxious but catchy songs. The kids seemed to really enjoy the dances as well. Unfortunately, we ran out of dances to teach them and they were getting really antsy and restless, June and Kaitlyn started showing them Korean songs. The kids seemed to really enjoy just running around and doing random dance moves to the melody. At the end of the session, when we still had 10 more minutes to entertain the children, June started showing them her gymnast tricks–cartwheels, flips, and even a walking handstand! It was cool to me too!

After our session, we said goodbye to June. Kaitlyn and I walked over to a nearby Kyochon Chicken and shared some honey chicken and a salad for dinner. After eating, to kill more time, we ended up at Twosome Place (I also got some more studying done there!)

Shada joined us for our 급식 community service at 6 pm and we served our second dinner here at the community center. We thought it would go smoothly as we remembered the procedure, but they had no clean trays or utensils so we had to make do with plastic trays and chopsticks. At one point we ran out of plastic spoons… so some kids had to eat their soup like it was a drink. We took such a long time serving the food (and the kids kept coming up to get food and seconds pretty late into the hour) so by the time we served ourselves, it was too late to eat with the kids, unfortunately. They were all cleaning up the classroom while we ate dinner and wrote our reflection. And then while we were cleaning up all the food, they left so we did not get to walk them home either… A bit disappointing but it was still a nice session. Seeing the kids again from earlier in the day and of course, Shada and Kaitlyn are great company.

I came home and studied well into the night. I finished writing example sentences for all the grammar points and I also finished my workbook assignment. Lastly, I went through almost ten vocab sets and tried to memorize everything. It was a long and stressful night. I was so nervous for the unit test! Mostly because I felt like I had not studied enough… this was winter break… I should be trying harder!

That is all for this blog post~ I hope you enjoyed! Till next time!


  • Emma 엠마

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