We're two days into the five day winter camp, which, in contrast to our normal routine, we actually get to plan and execute, with two Korean teachers to back us up. And it's great! The kids are having fun, they're getting exposed to real, situational English, they're getting conversational practice, and Melanie and I are happy and engaged. And of course we're working hard, because that's what people do when they're empowered and given responsibility.
If I could make one suggestion to EPIK, the program that spends hundreds of millions of Korean tax dollars every year to put a native English speaker in every public school in the country, it would be to give up a little control, and let the foreigners teach. We're almost worthless as the system is set up now. But if the students were exposed to our teaching style, cultural conventions, and language use day in and day out from first to twelfth grade, it would make a huge difference. But they've got to let us teach. And that would mean giving up control to foreigners, and younger ones at that, which is highly unlikely to happen, given Korean Confusionism and attitudes toward foreigners. Too bad.