Monday, April 26, 2010

The Pizza Playoffs



As has been described previously in this blog, work can be a challenge for me at my school. Perhaps it’s true throughout the world to a degree and the cliché isn’t limited to South Korea, but it’s worth saying again that the weeks and months fly-by here, while the days do tend to drag.

Weekends have been good – low-key, but very good, and lately, just what I need. What I have needed at school however is a little somethin’-somethin’ to get me through the day.

Enter the NHL playoffs. True, Calgary’s not in it this year, which is likely good as it resets Flames fans’ expectations into something much more realistic. Since the cup run in 2004, we had been living under the illusion that we were an elite team. Nope. Even the Oilers fans whose team made the run the following year were more realistic than us – and here they are 6 years later with the lowest point total and the #1 draft pick. This rebuild is going to suck.

Anyway, the playoffs have been great so far this year – plenty of hockey to enjoy and I am free to cheer for my other favourite team from Hockeytown. Sadly, they are currently embroiled in a 7th game show-down with Phoenix. Could go either way.

What’s making this more exciting for me this year is the first ever National Hockey League Stanley Cup Pizza Playoffs at Sindobong Middle School. With mid-terms approaching, I’ve decided to use my “extra” classes to teach a little bit of hockey magic to my hockey-deprived students. Until the Vancouver Olympics – nobody really had any interest here.

In addition to a couple of hockey-themed lessons that I plan on delivering later this week, what I’ve done is allowed each of the 10 grade 9 classes to pick one of the 16 playoff teams to cheer for. The class whose team wins the Stanley Cup, will also get to celebrate with pizza with yours truly ☺.

I’ve used the game highlights from NHL.com on my huge classroom screen to introduce the teams and to show the latest highlights to the classes. It’s gone over well. I’ve encouraged classes to follow their teams on NHL.com and I have students constantly checking scores on their cell-phones as well as on the playoff brackets I’ve put-up in the hallway and my classroom.

Heck, if I can’t teach the way I really want to, at least they’re going to know more about hockey, and they might even start to follow it a little bit. My classes have chosen the following teams:

In the West:

San Jose
Colorado (gone)
Chicago
Nashville
Detroit
Vancouver
Los Angeles (gone)

In the East:

Washington
Pittsburgh
Boston

Not yet sure what I'm going to do for those classes that get eliminated after the first round. I might hold some kind of draw so that we're all squared-up for round 2.

This will be my Korean teaching legacy. I somehow think that these particular students will really appreciate the Motown tradition of throwing octopi onto the ice. May the best team win, and may that team not be the Canucks.

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