Monday, October 4, 2010

First Day of Teaching

Today was my first actual day of teaching. All boys middle school. The crazy hormone/ awkward growing stage. Just my luck. Last Friday I introduced myself to 2 classes (not my own) and I'm pretty sure they didn't understand a word I said except "America" and "Cal-eee-forn-ee-ahhhh" (California). It went well, but I would have to say my most enjoyable class was the advanced 1st grade class (7th grade for you kids at home). The vice principal also asked if I could teach 2 extra classes for students who are excelling and for teachers. I am kind of honored because apparently no one wanted the last English teacher to teach them English. My co-teacher said it was because he was a male and young. So, who knows. I also experienced seeing corporal punishment for the first time. I was a little taken aback at first, but I guess it is something I have to get used to. You will see all teachers walking to class with some sort of stick. Apparently even drumsticks work.

I thought I lost my passport today. BIG FREAKIN heart attack. My apartment is now in shambles but at least I have my passport!

Also, I think I will be taking (free) Korean lessons, offered to English teachers by the DMOE (Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education). Since they are in charge of all of the school, they have the power to get us out of school early on Fridays for lessons... yay!

My days are comprised of three to four 45min classes. That's right. I work 8:30am to 4:30pm and teach for a maximum of 3 hours per day. The rest of the time is spent lesson planning/prepping, facebooking, and chatting with the other teachers in my office.

I heard that on Saturdays and Sundays, the park near my house (pictured previously) has a bell ringing ceremony. Tried to catch that on Sunday but it was nowhere to be found. Instead, apparently in front of the tower is a mini skate/bmx park. Watched the kids do some pretty awesome tricks and went on my way to shop downtown.

Saturday I used the subway for the first time. Not bad, but definitely nowhere near as nice as the one in Seoul. There are only two lines so it is pretty easy to get anywhere. And I am only one stop away from downtown so it is really nice! I unfortunately got caught in the rain downtown... the rain comes out of nowhere. I have learned my lesson and my umbrella is now permanently located in my purse. It wasn't too much of a hassle though because there is an underground shopping mall near the subway to get shelter in. It is pretty much like an endless maze so some advice... keep track of where you are going and remember what exit you entered through. Also, 2,000 won umbrellas start popping up out of nowhere. Less than $2 for an umbrella?? Amazing.
Banwoldang is downtown and Kyung-Dae Hospital (green line) is my stop!
I broke down and bought McDonalds. Before scolding me for getting MickeyD's in a foreign country, you have to know that I didn't get a Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets or anything else typical. Bulgogi Burger. I can't  really describe exactly what it tasted like... kind of burger-like (but not) with a special sauce on it. Whatever it was, it wasn't half bad. I also was craving some white wind and luckily found a little wine place. Little did I remember that I don't have a wine opener. I'm on the hunt for one now.
Bulgogi McDonalds Burger

Random Groceries: what looks like bread but is really bread with some sort of spread in between two pieces, bell peppers, garlic (not as good as home garlic), spaghetti in a bag, and garlic salt from home (what would I do without it!?)
Went to a bar called Led Zeppelin with a fellow Gaucho on Saturday night. Some EPIK teachers formed a band and were performing there.  It was pretty good and got to meet some more people. Unfortunately I will never get used to the billows of cigarette smoke that fill everyyy bar.
Dongbu Church right behind my apartment building
And like I said previously... it is very nice not to have to carry around keys everywhere! Korea is pretty tech saavy
My door's keypad

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