Tag Archives: camera

Big Winners

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, my coteacher and I won 2nd place in the Korean national teaching competition at the end of last year. Last week we went to Seoul, with an entire fifth grade class in tow, to receive an award and demonstrate our concept class in front of hundreds of teachers and school administrators from around the country.

I didn’t realize just how big of a deal this competition was until we walked into the auditorium in which the ceremony and demonstrations were to take place. In fact, nobody even bothered to tell me that all of the hard work I did last year was for a competition. After the fifth time we demonstrated our concept class in front of a huge group of teachers, I asked why we were doing the same thing over and over. That’s when I learned we were heading to the semi-finals of the competition.

2013 Korean National Teaching Competition

My coteacher receiving the 2nd place award.

In the auditorium, there was a TV crew and a couple of news crews setting up on the stage an hour before the show. We set up a booth with information about our class and then sat down to watch the ceremony.

They called all of the teachers up to to the stage one-by-one. It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t going to be recognized for my hard work. I wish I could say that I didn’t mind, but the truth is that I was a little upset. As the only foreign teacher in the top ten, there was little doubt as to why I was snubbed. Despite being a little butt-hurt, I kept a smile on my face and did my best when it was our turn to perform.

After our demonstration, a man walked up to me and addressed me by name. In perfect English, he thanked me for my hard work and gave me a gift bag. I found out later that he some big shot from the Korean Ministry of Education.

Once we loaded all of the students onto the bus, I opened the gift bag. I was surprised to find a new camera – not the normal gift of snacks and hand cream.

Sony DSC-WX300 Digital Camera gift seoul Korea

It’s nice to know that somebody noticed and cared enough to let me know I was appreciated. This kind gesture made a huge difference in the way I felt about the whole event.

Until next time.

-Taft

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Cool Photos

In my last post, Exploring the OC, I told you about going to brunch last weekend at The Beachcomber.  When my dad and I left the restaurant and embarked on our hiking trip to the parking lot, I handed my phone to Zoe and asked her to snap some pictures of the scenery.  When she got in the car a few minutes later, I looked at the photos she took from a nearby hilltop.  At the time, I didn’t notice the other photos that she took.  Some of them are pretty great.  Here are my favorites:

Not sure if this was a lucky shot or perfect timing. Either way, I like it a lot.

This is a fence that she passed as she and my mom left the restaurant. I have no idea why I like it - maybe it's the color.

Apparently I need to start handing Zoe my camera phone more often.  Who knew she was a natural?  I’ll let you know if I find any other good photos.

Until next time.

-Taft

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