Hip Hip Hooray for Teaching!!!
Well, I decided to give this online journal a shot. I figure it's a pretty cool way for you to see my pictures and read some random stories that I write while I'm here. I'm in for the long haul...and we all know that I'm traveling in this strange place with an even stranger character, your friend and mine, Rob Tegelberg. There's bound to be some interesting situations that come out of that alone!
Anyway, I'm here and loving Korea. The people are great (just like everyone said they would be) and my job is incredible. I was quite surprised at how much I actually like teaching. I know, I know, it doesn't surprise many of you, but I never knew what I joy it could be! The kids are absolutely amazing. There are a few that I would love to take home with me. In particular there is this one student of mine named Jake (I got to name him - if the students don't have English names, we give them to them...kinda like having a pet hey?). Anyway, Jake is just about the most adorable kid that I have ever seen! He's about 8 years old, doesn't speak much English, but he tries so hard and then he looks at me as if he wants me to approve of his attempt at reading a grade one level story book...and smiles. It's love! Honestly if it were legal for me to take him from Korea and bring him home with no concequences, I just might do it. And you know me...I'm not a big sucker for babies (ie: girls who only talk about marriage and babies)...so you know this kid has got to be cute right? If he lets me I'll try to post a picture of him, although a lot of the kids are pretty shy, especially when it comes to photos.
Well, today was an adventure. I went to get my alien card today from the other end of Seoul at the Seoul Immigration Office. It was about an hour and a half to get there, and an hour and a half home. So, Rob and I decided that we should most definitely stop at Starbucks on the way home. It had been a long morning for me. I was up at 7:30am trying to track down the one bank machine that I know of that takes forign cards, then off to the photobooth to take some quick passport sized photos before going to immigration. Quick. Yeah right. I sat in this booth trying to make sense of the Korean instructions. The freakin machine wouldn't take my money! So, I called Rob (he had done it the day before) and asked him what this dang machine's problem was (I was pretty choked at this point cause I was in a rush). Turns out, I was trying to put a 5,000Won bill ($5) into a machine that only takes 1,000Won bills ($1). I still can't read Korean...and the giant 1,000W that was over the bill slot. Go figure! Needless to say it was a long morning. Starbucks was most definitely the remedy that I needed. So we headed to the five story Starbucks in Meyong-Dong. YES, FIVE STORIES! Why they need five stories, I'm not quite sure. I guess in a city of fifteen million you never really know how many people you'll need to seat at once! Starbucks is just like home though, you can order your Caramel Macchiatos, Cappuccino's and Lattes just the way you like them. All Starbucks stores are required to have a knowledge of "Starbucks English" which makes things most convienient for me. I'm still working on hello and thank you, I certainly don't need to be working on "I'll have a grande half sweet vanilla nonfat latte" in Korean thank-you-very-much! Anyway, it was a great cap to a long morning.
We've also got two new teachers here at Plus Academy (the English Hagwon that I teach at). There are four of us in total...which means that all four of us are new! Makes for some interesting conversation at work "How do you teach that?" "uhh, I dunno" "What do I do with this book" "ummm, frick, make it up..." Yeah, it's good though. Their names are Derek and Sarah and they're a couple here from New Brunswick. It's really great to have them, especially coming at the same time, because we're all figuring out this crazy country at once. It'll create some great "team building" experiences I'm sure. They're a really great couple though. I think that all four of us are doing to get along great. They have the same sort of personality types that mesh well with mine (and Robs). They're totally laid back and they're funny! Plus they've done their fare share of traveling. Sarah taught English for a while in Argentina! She was a linguistics major in university and Derek went and met up with her while she was teaching there...only...he traveled there on a bus...FROM MAINE! Crazy...that's a long way to go on a bus. Anyway, they're great. I really enjoy having them around. They're off on a visa run to Japan tomorrow, so they won't be in to teach. The school wanted them to come over so quickly because they were in such desparate need for a couple more teachers that they didn't have time to wait for their visas. They have to be in and out of Japan in 24 hours. Not much time to see or do...anything. I'm sure they'll be glad when the stressful nonsense is over.
Well, feel free to leave your comments on this site. I will update it as often as I feel neccessary...whenever interesting stories and situations arise.
I hope to hear from you soon!