Transitions commence new adventures. Make 'em last…
I had just finished a multitude of additional project details when a posse of Seoul Milk executives and advertisers, a professional camera team, and some venerable art professors arrived to my classroom armed with pens, notebooks, cameras, stage-lighting, and grim faces. I stood aghast waiting in suspense as they extensively scrutinized my entire milk carton project. Many were quickly amazed on how large and nicely designed it all was and congratulated me several times, but a few dressed in pin-stripe suits whom looked like “Nucky” from Boardwalk Empire, took notes and held stern looks the entire visit – these must have been the bigwigs. As the camera team began snapping a multitude of photos, I fostered several conversations with some of the executives and advertisers in the hallway, and I soon realized how friendly they all were. They explained to me that out of the 400-500 milk carton projects in all of Korea, I was the only foreigner to be a leader or be involved in a project. I was both surprised by how many projects there were, almost double from last year, as well as the fact that I was the only foreigner to be involved in one. While the project is quite time consuming, it is very fun and rewarding for all those who participate and I hope more native English teachers can somehow get involved throughout Korea.
When the friendly posse left, they congratulated me once more and expressed that my project would probably be in the Top 20-30. Well, it did much better than that: 8th place!
8th place! What a feat! This could not have been made possible without my hard-working Art in Action team, my co-teacher that continuously nudged and encouraged me, and the hoards of awesome Wolgot Elementary students that came to my rescue during those last few weeks in assisting with mundane tasks that were necessary for construction.
By obtaining 8th place, 1 million won ($1000) in prize money will be given to my school, and plans are already in the works to use this in continuing on the “rainbow archway project” that was completed last fall by constructing with students an adjacent covered outdoor library with patio where students can quietly sit and read surrounded by nature. Below you can see where my school’s project is among some other outstanding ones:
While I’m not exactly sure if my project will be included in the Seoul Milk calendar that is printed and given out to most schools, I’m pretty certain it will, which is a great delight. I look forward to seeing my student’s reactions amid viewing their project in a printed calendar that they can take home and remember their entire lives. However, before this, it’s Pizza Party Time!
Art is the power of imagination made into reality. I already greatly look forward to next year.