Hiking in Seoul

Last week one of my co-teachers asked me if I wanted to go hiking on the weekend.
After my disastrous attempts on the teachers retreat, I figured I’d never have to encounter another ‘san’ in Korea, besides my daily climb up the Hyewon Hill.
(SIDE NOTE: My kids hate it more than I do. Why? They’ve built monster calf muscles, haha.)

Turns out this optional weekend climb is on one of the easiest mountains in Seoul. But what me say yes was who else was going: The Bad Girls. Oh yes.
The way that school works here is that each grade is broken up into 8 or 9 homerooms. The homeroom teacher acts as kind of a parental figure. If a class of girls is especially awesome, tell their homeroom teacher – if a class is especially horrific one week, I tell their homeroom teacher. In every homeroom class, there are about 3 ‘bad’ girls. This isn’t an arbitrary number, the school evenly divided these students up.

What is ‘bad’ in Korea? I guess about the same as in the States – these are the kids who have been caught stealing, who get into fights, who have the worst attendance, who are disruptive in class and who have some of the lowest grade averages. The funny thing is, MOST of them behave decently in my class. Most. Well, no more worse than their peers. Anyway, in an effort to bond these girls with their homeroom teachers, Hyewon Girls’ Middle School presents: hiking.

Now, I ain’t no homeroom teacher. But I each every 3rd year class and every 1st year class, so out of the 25-ish girls that where chosen for the trip, a lot of them were my kids. A good chunk at least. So, strapping on some sneakers, I found myself on yet another hike in Korea.

SangAe is actually her class president~ She just wanted to go hiking!

You can't even imagine how much I was sweating. . .

The hike was promised to be easy. While there’s a difference between the Korean idea of an “easy hike” and MY idea of an easy hike (my idea involves walking around an air-conditioned mall) this was easily my most enjoyable hike ever. I didn’t trial behind everyone, I didn’t get hurt, and even though I was leaking tons and tons of h20, I still had fun. It was great to get to know some of the girls better – like that one of the toughest ones is afraid of dogs. And having them share their candy with me. And having them trying out their english skills outside of the classroom.

So yeah. All kinds of awesomeness being had here! đŸ˜€
In other news, I bought a plane ticket to go back to the states for vacation. Two weeks of Ben n Jerry’s ice cream, driving and forgetting all of the korean I have creamed into my head —- hopefully not on that last one! It’ll be nice to be back, for a little bit at least.


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