Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Korea!

I'm in Korea! So much has happened in the past 2 days it's hard to know where to start. I landed at the airport after an uneventful 14 hour flight and was relieved to see someone holding a sign with my name on it. Thera, my English speaking supervisor, took me to meet my boss (and her adorable 11 year old daughter) at my apartment and helped me lug my suitcases. All I have to say is thank god there is an elevator because there is no way my suitcases would have made it up the 6 flights of stairs to my apartment. I really need to work on my book addiction. Then we went out to dinner! My boss doesn't speak any English but her daughter and Thera do so they translated for me. I love Korean food, most of the time I have no idea what I'm eating but it all tastes yummy. Kimchi, the ubiquitous Korean dish is so spicy it hurts my soul. It is really tasty but I think I'm going to stay away from it for now. The rest of the food is also spicy but not of the soul hurting variety.

My apartment is tiny. Smaller than my dorm room last year. However, it has all of the amenities and it's not like I have that much stuff with me so it works. There will be pictures soon. Anyways, because of the various visa delays I missed the first week of school so I started observing classes yesterday instead of having a few days to get settled. From 10-2 I have 6 and 7 year old kindergartners and they are adorable. This month my topic to teach them will be sports vocabulary. We rotate classes every half hour (kids stay still, teachers move). So I'll talk to 4 classes but return to my home base (yellow) for snack time (yummy rice soup), lunch (full, hot traditional Korean meal--scrumptious), and milk time (less yummy for me but I get to eat the fruit). Then I have an hour break before afternoon classes. There are 4, 40 minute periods in the afternoon but I only ever teach 2 of them. It's an elementary after school program and the kids are more advanced. They are also far easier to work with as 8 and 9 year old kids are really less hyperactive than 5 and 6 year old kids.

After work I decided to do some shopping. This one home appliance type place near me (I've been 3 times already, mainly for hangers and such) is amazing. On my third trip I ended up chatting with the couple that owns it...and by chat I mean looking confused by most of their questions because no matter how slowly you speak Korean, I won't understand. The husband knew a little English though. Anyways, his wife called her daughter (who is around my age) who speaks English to ask me how I was and what I was doing in the area. It was adorable. I spoke on the phone to this couple's daughter in the shop! All of the Koreans I've encountered tend to be very nice and helpful even though the most useful phrase I know is 'hello, how are you' (you need this though because you say it when you enter a shop). Jet lag conquered though and I fell asleep at 9pm. I woke up at 4am this morning and haven't been able to get back to sleep. One of these days I might actually test my alarm clock...

3 comments:

Nancy K said...

Waiting for some pictures

Jessica said...

You are going to be talking/teaching them sports and sports vocabulary!?? I cannot help but burst into laughter, except Rob's asleep and I don't want to wake him...You have to tell me what sports vocab you teach them. This so made my morning! :-P

Baldy said...

I must admit, I chuckled at the thought of you teaching sports vocabulary. Do you talk much with the other teachers/ do they speak any english?