Thursday, September 6, 2012

Guess it's time for a blog update

Yaaaa, I'm writing another blog post. Because I feel like I should, so that you, the reader, maybe my friends and most definitely my family, don't forget about me. And so you can hear my voice in your head while you read this. I will try to keep it organized and as non-rambly as possible.

First: The logistical stuff. I've been teaching for almost a whole week now. My week is being split between two school that are pretty close to each other. Lemme break it down for ya. On Mondays and Tuesday I teach Grades 5 and 6 at Jayang Elementary School. The rest of the week I'm at Daedong Elementary School, where, on Wednesdays I teach grade 5, Thursdays grade 6, and Fridays grade 4. On Thursday I also do a staff conversation class with any interested teachers at Daedong. In Korean public schools they use a system called co-teaching, which means myself and a Korean English teacher are both teaching the class together. I have 3 co-teachers between the 2 schools who all have different teaching styles, different classroom rules, different lessons plans and different expectations from me. Let me make a point of saying they are ALL AWESOME and have gone pretty easy on me my first week. I get to do mostly fun stuff like games, dialogues, high-five giving and saying "what's up dudes?" in the hallways. What else about work...oh oh oh. So, getting a new guest English teacher appears to be a big deal for both schools. At Jayang they put me on the television morning announcement and made me talk and bow and also I think I swore allegiance to the King of South Korea at some point or got a little confusing. At the very least it was probably the most nationalistic thing I have ever/will ever do haha. At Daedong they had a staff meeting to introduce the new teachers, including myself and 3 others. Of the four of us, I was given a rose by the head teacher. Nice. And then, AND THEN, the principal of the school busted out his SAXOPHONE and played two sax solos. That's right, not one, but TWO. I felt like I was in an episode of The Office, and he was Michael Scott, and I was Jim making faces at the camera and trying not to laugh. In other words, I had to put a lot a lot of effort into not laughing at the hilarity of it.

Ok enough about work that stuff's totally boring, I'm sorry. I already told you about how much I love my apartment, but I'll tell you again. It's the best. And close to the subway system, and close to downtown, and close to the best burger place in town. It has also been decided that living in a different neighbourhood than where your school is located can only be a good thing. This way your students don't know a damn thing about your personal life, such as when you leave, when you come home, how often you go to the store to buy booze and what other people are coming into and leaving from your house and at what hours. These are things teachers best keep to themselves. I've been doing some nesting in my little apartment...bought a plant, and a stool, and a jug of wine (the exact same cheapo jug of wine they sell in Canada haha). Now it feels like home.

We went out on the town last Friday night, and it was the first time I had been in the downtown area. Good news: it's pretty great! It's essentially 4 or 5 blocks of small little streets crammed full of restaurants, bars, clubs, street food, karaoke, internet cafes (duh, I'm in Korea), shops and people. We were able to check out a few different places before we realized it was 6am and the sun was starting to come up. Turns out, in Korea, bars just don't close, ever. In Canada there's always that natural 2am last call reminder of what time it is, but when there's no last call it is super easy to lose track of time! So that's some good news.

Ok ok I'm gonna wrap it up real soon. I've been seeking out Korean classes so I can return to my regular loquacious self ASAP and make sure that all the people can hear all of the wonderful things I am thinking about saying. I'm trying to find somewhere to get some exercise...there's a hot yoga studio just down the street from here that I'm considering. Also thinking about buying a bike. Planning on going to a big music festival to see GUETTA among others. Ummmm...I have a 5 day weekend coming up in a few weeks and I'm trying to figure out a little trip somewhere within Korea for that.

Oh a couple more things that I noticed. All the dogs here are tiny. Like miniature. And sometimes dyed pink. And Korean TV has about 30 double/triple/quadruple takes for every hour of programming apprx. They love double takes. And everyone is really impressed at my mad chopstick skillz. Last one: one of my co-teachers sings in a metal cover band. She sings Guns n Roses, AC DC...anything in a higher register that she can scream to really. How cool is that?! OK that's it for real. Thanks for reading to the end, so much for not rambling.