Friday, August 26, 2011

End of my First Week of Teaching

Hey yall, it has been one week since I have been teaching on my own now. I feel pretty confident that everything is going very well. Even when I was still in training my co-teachers and the person who is in charge were surprised how well I was able to jump in and teach well. I have experience with working with younger kids and so that gives me a bit of an advantage. I have also heard from some of the other teachers that when they first started, there was always someone watching their classes but so far in this last week my classes have only been watched a couple times.

Here in Korea they are all about discipline, so I have to discipline my children. It’s nothing really bad but if they get in trouble a couple times I would either have them stand in front of their chairs or stand in the corner with their hands up. And those aren’t even the worse of them. If they keep acting up I would send them to the principal and he will discipline them much more than I would. But that is just how Korean culture is. It is much different from the states. In the states, to even put a child in the corner with their hands up, I would get in trouble.

So about the classes I teach, I have a class of kindergarteners that are about 4 or 5 years old (and I think that is their Korean age). There are four of them, one girl and three boys. So far they are my favorite class. They are able to speak in English a lot better than some of my older kids and they are able comprehend a lot better too. I have one class of 1st graders, two classes of 2nd graders, and two classes of 3rd graders. And then I have a class of 6th graders, but they use a different program then my other classes. With the MeySen program, we teach children English through songs, poems, and stories. So I have been singing a lot since I have gotten here but it is fun.

The week has been very tiring but once I start to get used to teaching and all I will most likely be less tired as the week’s end. That’s all for know. I will post again soon!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trickeye Museum

Today is the Independence Day for Korea, aka I got the day off. It is interesting being here when they have their Independence Day because it is just so different from the ones I have in the states. In the states, we would celebrate with fireworks but I have not seen any fireworks. It might also just be because of the area I live in.

In celebration of having the day off, me and some of the other english teachers at my school decided to go to Hongdae. It is one of the many neighborhoods within the Seoul. Hongdae is where Hongik University is and is known as the entertainment area and clubbing district, though we did not go for clubbing. One of the teachers found out about a museum called the Trick Eye Museum and so we all decided to go on our day off.

The introduction of the pamphlet states:
"Trickeye Museum is an interactive museum with a new concept that simulates your creativity and imagination by Trompe-l'œil (eye-tricking, French) technique through your vision. The time has come when you can enter the picture, which you used to only watch and become the subject of the picture yourself! You are invited to the world of various masterpieces and wonderful three dimensional pictures."

It was a very fun and interesting. Here are some of my favorite images.

(make this one bigger, it plays with your eyes)

You can find more images on my Flickr photostream!

If you want to find out more about the museum here is a link to their Facebook page because it is in English as opposed to their website.
Trickeye Museum Facebook

Monday, August 8, 2011

Finally Made It

I have finally made it to Korea. It took me a while to get here but I finally made it! I have already had a very busy first 24 hours here. I was picked up from the airport by my director who took my to one of my co-teachers apartment, where I will be staying for a couple weeks.

We went out to dinner near by and had Gogi Gui, or Korean BBQ, where we barbecue the meet at the table. We then wrap the meet in lettuce and other side dishes. After it has been wrapped up, you stuff it in your mouth. It is an interesting experience. We also had some rice and a soup/stew dish that was red in color, aka spicy, with clams, a crab leg, and some random vegetables.

It was around 9:30pm when we got back to the apartment and an hour later I was able to fall asleep with no struggle. I was able to get about eight to nine hours of sleep. I have not felt jet lag at all and hopefully it stays that way.

Today I was able to meet a friend, from the states, in Seoul. She has been in Japan for the past month and was visiting Korea for a couple days. I met her in Namdaemun Market and we basically just walked around for a couple hours exploring. It is a very large market and had a lot of different items. I wanted to take a couple photos but then realized my camera battery was dead, so I ended up having to take photos with my iTouch.

As a Washingtonian I had never used an umbrella when it rained. I even swore I wouldn't use one here. Well there is a difference between the rain here in Korea and the rain in Washington. When it rains in Washington, it usually just starts out as a sprinkle then it may pour but eventually stops moments later. Being in Korea at the end of Monsoon season, as soon as it starts to rain it is pouring constantly. Not only is it raining it is also very humid out. So most Koreans are wearing flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt while walking around with an umbrella. Not only is it the end of monsoon season, but we have also been affected by Typhoon Muifa which has been going through the Yellow Sea to the west or Korea. So when I went to Seoul I used an umbrella while walking around.

So that's all for now. I start my training tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Leaving on Saturday

It is official; I am finally leaving the United States on Saturday, August 6th! After having to send paperwork to D.C., I am only leaving 6 days past the original planned departure date. With the plane ticket all purchased, it feels so real now. When I received the email from my director last night at 2 am, I was unable to get hardly any sleep. I was able to finally go to the Korean embassy in Seattle to submit my Visa application and will be receiving it on Friday so I am able to fly out on Saturday. I will be flying out of Seattle at 9:30 am for a 2-hour flight to San Francisco. I will then have about a 2-hour layover to explore. Then at 2:10pm I will be on my way for a 12-hour flight to Seoul. I will be arriving in Seoul at 6:35pm on Sunday, or 2:35am our time. This will most likely be my last blog until I reach Korea so I will inform you more once I am over there.