On a random day, my head co-teacher pulled me from my desk and told me, “Let’s go.” I wasn’t sure where, but I obediently put my outdoor shoes on and followed her. We got into her car and she drove us to the elementary school; her youngest son goes to school there. So we get out of the car and she explains to me that it’s a day where there are competitions and sport type things for the students. It happens once a year. I was more than disappointed in myself for not having a camera with me that day. It looked like a lot of fun: students, parents, and teachers all got involved with the activities. I asked her when/if the high school would have their day, and she said it had already happened in the Spring. 😦
I received about a 2 day notice of their sports day, but it was more presented as “There will be no classes. The students will be outside. You can relax.” So…while that didn’t exactly scream “SPORTS DAY!!!”, I had the suspicion it was so I brought my camera. That morning, I was in the teacher room, just relaxing, until I noticed that all the teachers were dressed very casual and then they all kinda disappeared. None of my co-teachers said a word to me, but I decided to go outside to see what was going on.
Okay, well I’ll just say it: Sports day was a huge let-down. Most of the teachers, despite the fact that it was hot, were wearing long sleeves and hats, and the women were carrying umbrellas/parasols–god forbid you get a suntan! There were some students that played a soccer game and all the other students sat outside and watched. A few soccer games were played actually. After the first (or second) match, the students relocated to a sandpit where they did traditional Korean wrestling (a cross between sumo and Greco-Roman). A few students participated in that…most stood around the ring or under the trees to the side. Then they went back for another soccer game (I ended up playing chess with two of my students).
Lunch was odd. No one told me what was going on, but while I was on my second game of chess, the soccer game ended and all the kids disappeared. One of my two students said “Oh, lunch time.” So we stopped the game and went to the cafeteria. I wasn’t particularly hungry and scarfed down a bit of food with one of my co-teachers, but I got a phone call from my head co-teacher who wanted to speak to him and he had to leave for a meeting. I was happy for an excuse to leave lunch early so he left for the meeting and I went to the track. But, shortly after separating ways, he shouted at me and said I had to come too because we were going to go eat lunch with the staff. (In other words, eat too much food at a restaurant at the school’s expense.) It was good, bulgogi, but way too filling AND it was my second lunch.
After lunch, most of the 3rd years (seniors) and 90% of the teachers just stayed inside. Most of the 1st and 2nd years returned to watching two or three more soccer matches (to determine which grade was the winner I think). The end of the day was the most interesting. The only 3rd years out were the soccer players and some of the hardcore soccer fans, and most of the 1st and 2nd years. They had a jump-rope contest, and then a 3 legged relay race, and then a normal relay race. They racing teams were by grade…seniors won both races. It was a team of girls that won the jump-rope competition but I forgot which grade they were…I think 2nd years. After all that, which was maybe 2 hours at MOST, they called for all the students to come outside. I took many pictures of them because they sat around BORED for like 45 minutes before anything happened. Then everyone had to stand up and they called 4 students up for some kind of award, scholarship, and then dismissed them for the day.
I took a lot of pictures with and of my students and that was AWESOME. I will miss these kids like no ones business and this has been and probably will be the only opportunity to get pictures of the students (especially the ones that I’ve felt I’ve connected with). Too bad my high school’s Sports Day, overall, was less exciting than the one at the elementary school.