Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chapter Nine: September Lunar Birthday Party

Welcome to September Birthday Party. Everyone who had a birthday in September gets their party on this day (I guess officially it was my birthday then, huh?). I'm still a little confused about how birthdays in Korea work. I think that when you are born you are 1 year old, so I am 23 here, and that you change your age at the new year. So everyone will become the same age at the new year, but we celebrate their birthday based on a lunar calendar, thus it's at the end of the month. You think you're confused now, try living here. At school, the morning goes on as usual, except that at some point everyone makes birthday cards for their birthday classmates and the birthday kids get to hang out and do whatever they want. In preparation, birthday kids bring in a cake and a ton of snack food. Then in the afternoon, it's picture time first (as usual). Meanwhile, they try to control the rest of the school. John managed to keep them entertained somehow. I can't believe it because they are sitting there staring at a table full of cakes and not freaking out? I could barely handle it!

Pluto's Sally-Seaweed, Fred, and Lynn.

Birthday picture room! Christine puts hats on them and takes pictures in pairs. She spends so much time with that camera.

Meanwhile, the rest of the birthday kids sit patiently.

Woody and Lucy! Two of my favorite students, both in Mars. I love taking pictures while Christine is trying to get them ready to take pictures. I think sometimes what I end up with is better than the posed pictures.

Once they get the hat, it's over. They cannot be controlled. They know it's time for birthday party. This is how I feel on Friday afternoons.

Lucy really is one of the happiest kids I've ever seen.

My back would kill me if I spent that much time bent over taking pictures.

One of John's games involved having them point to a particular teacher as fast as they could. I was standing next to Chris.

I don't think he said his own name, so Arthur must be back there somewhere. What a thrilling game! Somehow, it worked.

Best shot of Lucy ever. They're trying to organize a birthday group shot. Good luck, they all have hats now.
Birthday train on its way to birthday-central. Not everyone understands "eyes-closed."

But man does Sam! Sam is normally a pretty prickly kid. He is really smart and actually speaks with true emphasis and a good accent. He is too smart, though, so he gets bored and distracted. Normally, this makes him a behavioral case for me. However, this week he was so excited about his birthday that he couldn't think of anything else. Seriously, everything was about "birthday party!" Much more than any other student. It was really cute and you can totally see his excitement in the squeezing of those eyelids.

Quick, light all of the candles on all of the birthday cakes!

Here comes the birthday train!

Trying to position the right kid in front of the right cake while keeping them faced away with their eyes closed. Glad it wasn't my job!

Christine giving the countdown to yelling "surprise." I don't really understand their definition of surprise because they all knew exactly what was happening, ah well, it's the thought that counts.

Okay, you can turn around now. No really, turn around!

Christine took a picture of every child behind their cake, meanwhile the candles burned perilously low.

More pictures, see those low candles! Eek!

Even lower...Look at Lucy's adorable face and barely burning candles, oh no!

Everyone is singing happy birthday, which is too much for some people.

Presenting the birthday cards, and taking pictures, of course.

Hi, Lucy. Fita and Kevin are not easy to control.

Ariel is so happy to give Lucy her cards, but Lucy apparently couldn't care less.

I know, Sam, that cake looks damn good and you still have to wait to eat it. It's not fair, but think of the other kids who have been staring at it for half an hour!

Gratuitous Woody photos! Man, is there anyone cuter, really? Doesn't he remind you of Joey from Friends in this photo?

Again, the card giver is quite excited, but the birthday boy doesn't care. Well, no, that's just how Harry looks most of the time. He's so bitty!

Now Arthur presents the plays that Pluto and Uranus worked on. This month it was "The Jungle Book" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," very abridged, of course. They did a good job, but Arthur had to feed a lot of lines.

Chris as Mike and Rocco as Charlie. Rocco never has any clue what's going on, and this photo really shows his typical face. I recently took a liking to Chris. He's picked on by Jerry and Sam, and probably will be that kind of kid for the rest of school (like me, alas). He's really excited about everything and just a totally sweet kid.

And that's it for birthday party. In the next few days look for Dinner Party (don't worry, it's adult time).

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