Tuesday, November 30, 2004

New Guy

I am new to this whole teaching thing, I'll get used to it. I'll find way to harness their energy. Yesterday's classes went fine, no disasters. One class was real quiet and 2 were all over the place. So I just spent ninety minutes planning for the day, I've got a reward stickers chart and a behavior control thing all built into it... wish me luck. Shoulda had it day #1 but oh well. Grade school was alot easier on the mind and body than high school and college for me as a student, so hopefully it'll be the same way for me as a teacher.

I really look forward to seeing what's around here when I get my job sorted out... lucky for everyone reading I just discovered with my blind eyes a way to put my pictures on the computer here.

I tried gimbap yesterday, it was decent. Korean fast food... it is rice and some veggies and meat wrapped up in seaweed. When I had to say gimbap to order it...! I find my students real funny just like Korean women find my attempts to speak their language funny. Gimbap tastes like the stuff I bought in college at the Bi-Lo. Haha... no different. I bet the same dish from a regular restaurant (not a corner DreamMart) tastes better. If not... at least I do know there's plenty of better food out there.

Drop me a line if you know where I can buy a power converter in Gangneung, Korea. Haha.

Monday, November 29, 2004

"Jericho, very very handsome."

So one day down. The kids are pretty good. They have so much energy that it is hard to not feed off it. That'll be useful in the future I am sure. Some English teacher with a decent sense of humor got a hold of some of these kids and gave them pro wrestling names for when they go to English class. "Jericho, very very handsome." I had to bust out laughing when some kid said that about his friend in class yesterday.

Writer's block like whoa! But I am really relieved that I can handle my job. Mmm who wants a pepero stick?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

GetAmped is superior to Lineage.

I know now the name of what was the majority of my background music here yesterday and is today. Lineage, popular with Koreans of all ages. Or is it Lineage II? Either way apparently it's installed on every PC 방 computer around here. Although the kids next to me are playing a game called GetAmped. From the sounds of it they are having more fun playing that than everyone else playing Lineage combined.

Nowhere in the US can I remember ever seeing so many young, young kids running around the streets without adult supervision. It's great. Crime must not be a concern, despite the fact I've only seen 1 police car on patrol in over 2 days here. So peaceful.

Not that I expected to, but I did not see any evidence of the car plant workers on strike. And the equally unnewsworthy fact that I noticed today that Samsung and Renault have a partnership. I headed to a store with Samsung signs all over it looking to shops for electronics, only to notice large shiny new automobiles were parked inside.

I had a great lunch today with my coworker Jake and his wife (she will surely forgive me for forgetting her English name!). The main dish was ribs. It is served to you raw and you cook it in a little wok right in front of you. You are given some juice to dip the ribs in. And the side dishes! Wow, so many of them. So much food is served at a meal, and it is relatively cheap too. 김치 (spicy Korean cabbage that is served with just about every meal), radishes, spiced cucumbers, some kind of chili paste (I think!), potatoes... lettuce leaves, whole pieces of garlic (neither I nor my dining mates touched these), another dipping sauce, onions in sauce. All in seperate dishes. And I think I forgot a few. Most meals are served with less side dishes but you definitely would not go hungry eating here.

We were given a second course, rice and something else. Jake called it beans, his wife said the Korean name toju. With my brilliant abilities of deduction I figured out it was tofu (my brain slipped in realizing what it was as I never eat tofu). It was served in a kind of chili sauce. Then for dessert we were served fresh apples with the skin removed and a very good drink made from rice.

Before and during lunch we talked about work a bit. I was told thankfully the kids are just starting out on the books for most of the classes. I'll be teaching 5 classes a day with 2 to 9 kids per class, 3pm to 9pm. The reason I will work in the afternoon and evening is that my school is a private institute, the kids go there after public school for supplementary learning. Busy kids!Tuesday and Thursday from 8 til 9 I will be doing a phone check, calling the students at home. I assume I will ask them how their homework is going and have a short conversation about their day and whatnot. I probably would not have thought about this phone check part but it makes sense.

Stunning pictures will be forthcoming, I just haven't gotten a power converter yet (or felt the desire to mess around the back of one of these computers for the USB port in the PC 방). Explaining what I was doing to the inquiring Korean 방 owner wouldn't work too well due to the language barrier.

And that of course brings up another point: my skill with the Korean language is pretty slim at this point. Yes, I regret not knowing more of the language before I got here. No, it is not a huge problem. Yes, I'll do a language exchange once I get myself set here.

Yes, I like to ramble.

Yes, the kids are still thoroughly enjoying GetAmped next to me.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Amazing discoveries.

Haha I just figured out what the little tray with the wet newspaper is for... ash tray. Duh. It was the newspaper that threw me off. And the coffee is quality that they're serving... I never drink coffee.

So I am finishing my first full day living in Korea. I surprisingly wasn't able to sleep that late. Got up and walked around my section of town... discovered the large fancy Wal-Mart (E-Mart). I cheated and ate lunch at the chicken place at E-Mart.

My part of town is pretty nice I think. I live very close to an elementary school. There are little shops everywhere, hardware, video rentals, paintings: similar to home except that stores are smaller, the products are of course different (Daewoo car parts store instead of Ford or Discount Auto). I am surprised at the amount of cars on the road here, I thought public transportation would be more widely used. Not a problem as I am 10 minute walk from E-Mart and my school. And there are alot more buses around that in a city this size back in the US.

I had a small meeting with my coworkers, they encouraged me to get together a list of things that I will be doing with the kids at school. Prep time, it snuck up on me! Songs and games were mentioned as things to do. I can handle that. Going to write some stuff down now... with the sounds of seven or eight different games in the PC room as my background music.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Fixin' To Get Ready...

ETD Wednesday 7am local time. Needless to say I'm pretty pumped. Don't think I'll have too much trouble sleeping tonight but man... it's going to be nice to look forward to getting outta bed every day. Nothing like a little trip to Korea to keep things interesting.

I put a bunch of the numbers off of my cell phone onto a contact list. Weird how something simple like that brought back some pretty... vivid memories of the past 5 years or so. Good memories overall. And anyone who thought they'd be getting rid of me, I got your cell so you might be getting a random phone call with me on the other line bugging you.

I think the Pacers might miss Jermaine O'Neal. And how are they going to trade Ron Artest if he's suspended for the season! I think Duane Coleman's cheap shot was the worst out of the whole week, but losing the bowl game makes a wash of a season even more so. Could've used the practice time but hey. Tough I'll miss a whole year's worth of American sports pretty much, I hear soccer is big in Korea....... yay hotlinking. Thank you, blog, for helping me kill some time before I get out of here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Like high school, only better.

So here it is... my online journal. It reminds me of the journal Mr. Keating made us keep for English class in high school except this one isn't just between me and my teacher. Hopefully I won't hold too many things back. Mr. Keating was the last person of a few (mostly educational types) who have encouraged me to keep some kind of record of what's going on in my life. Been a few years but any time is a good time to start up I guess.

I'm out. I'm done. Graduated in May. And what am I gonna do now? Go back into the classroom. But this time I'll be the teacher and the classroom will be in on the northeastern coast of South Korea. Gangneung City. About a quarter of a million people live there; I am about to join them.

I'll be an English conversation teacher. Now a bunch of you that now me might think that's pretty out of character for me... but I look forward to it. I know I can handle it, and I'll need to since I got to make a living somehow! It's not English lit and it's not sentence structure. I talked to a current teacher at the school a few days ago and she said she spent a decent amount of time reading to the kids then listening to the kids read and correcting them. Maybe not the best way to hold their attention but we shall see. Class size: four to eight grade school kids. I'll be working about thirty hours a week, plenty of time to see what's going on in Korea outside of a classroom.

Alright, I think that's enough for starters. I wanted to get all this set up before I flew out (ETD: Nov. 18!). I'm not even gonna tell anyone about this site until I get things established over in Korea. We'll see how much posting I'll be doing, depends on the PC 방. Thanks for reading the first one!