It’s Friday evening here in Seoul, and that means we just said goodbye to another group of kids. At the end of each week, SEV holds a two-hour graduation. During graduation, the teachers say goodbye, the kids with the most passport stamps get candy and certificates, we watch a slideshow of the week and then have a little dance party. Actually, to call it little might be to diminish its awesomeness and hilarity. Here is the video I took this afternoon of Kyle, one of the head teachers, leading the kids in the always-exciting YMCA. Poor Paul got pulled into dancing on stage. His reluctance can truly be felt just past the 3:10 mark, when Kyle yells out, “Chicken, okay?”

After the YMCA jazzes everyone up, we all start to do dance trains. I’m sure there is a more official name than that, but I don’t really have the motivation to do the research to find out what it is. Anyway, I usually dance and wiggle around and the kids laugh at me because I have no rhythm, but I don’t quite care. Today, I only stuck it out in my dance train for a few minutes before I retreated to higher ground with my camera in hand. As I have learned from World Press Photo, there are some moments in time when you just get lucky and capture a truly fantastic moment. I experienced this firsthand while standing on the stage watching hundreds of dancing children. I would like to thank Sony and Youtube for allowing me to share this special moment in time with you:

In case you missed it, about 10 seconds into the clip, one of the teachers jumped out of line and scared a bunch of kids. Priceless, I tell you. Absolutely priceless.

I used to think graduations were just about getting money and attention and having lots of wine/happy hours to celebrate (I credit the last two weeks of college with making me believe that). I have learned that here at SEV, they are very different. For one thing, they’re partially about signing autographs for dozens–nay, hundreds–of children swarming around you. Don’t believe me? Check out this quality photo of David, being hounded for autographs:

He's like a Beatle!

He's like a Beatle!

This is what the end of every week is like for the teachers. During the week, kids wave to us, try to buy us drinks, grab our arms and hands and try to get our full attention. Come Friday, it’s all that and a bag of autographs. I tried to take some video of the last few minutes of graduation. Included: autograph signing, crying girl wearing pink around 1:13 (the tears are caused by the unnecessarily sad ABBA music being pumped through the sound system…I love it!) and a ton of kids saying “Bye, teacher!” I didn’t realize this as I was saying it, but I had a funny little quip when the kid asked me to sign his skin. So enjoy, and try to get past the first 15 seconds, it gets lighter-I swear.

At orientation this week, I met at cute little boy named Bill. He basically tried to find me during every single break throughout the week, and succeeded most of the time. I grabbed him for a picture, then ruined it, as I do with most pictures.

Sorry, Bill

Sorry, Bill

Oh, and lastly, Karen found a list of rules that one of the students made. No idea who originally wrote it, but it’s hilarious. Let me just remind you of the five SEV rules:

1. No speaking Korean.

2. No fighting.

3. No running or shouting

4. No eating or drinking in the classroom.

5. Listen to the teacher.

With that in mind, I present to you the new list of SEV rules:

That about does it for this girl. Working tomorrow (and I get to teach grammar–YES!!!!!!!!), then enjoying Sunday off. Plans for Sunday include shopping in a nice area of Seoul and then going out for food and billiards with some people.

Oh, and a special shoutout to Joel Cohen, who sent me the greatest package I have ever received (that’s what she said?). I got a nice, new copy of The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide. If any of you have worked in the newsroom with Joel and I, then you’re probably aware of how the evening progresses. When sports stories finally hit reads, the two of us would duke it out to see who would get stuck with inch upon inch of statistic and weird sports term. Usually it was Joel or a third copy editor who found the two of us to be incredibly immature and annoying. Regardless, it always ended with the sports editor throwing his hands up in the air and letting out an exasperated sign, clueless as to how we could have absolutely no interest in Maryland women’s volleyball.