Sunday, September 27, 2009

Noraebang with the Co-Workers

The school had a "welcome" dinner for me (one month after I arrived) this past Friday night. We went out for chicken and beer, then to the Noraebang (karaoke). Needless to say, seeing my Korean co-workers and bosses let loose singing K-Pop hits and N*SYNC and pounding the soju was enough entertainment to last the weekend.  (p.s. I really need a faster lens...)

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Brandon, Annie and Cecile

Hojin + Boom Bar

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Our good friend Hojin. He is awesome.

Don't Let Them Fool You...

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This is one of my favorite classes. They are also the youngest with the least knowledge of English, so they don't know how to mouth off yet ;)

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Nick and Alex

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Sophia, Sarah and Diana :)

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All the students think that Eby Teacher and Clark Teacher are dating.

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Nick, Alex, Emily, Sally, Benjamin

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

동대문시장 (Dongdaemun Market)

Sean, Scott and I went to Dongdaemun (neighborhood of Seoul) on Sunday not knowing what to expect. What we found were more bargains than you could imagine and more useless crap than anyone would ever know what to do with. (I talked a woman down from $7 for a pair of amazing kelly green velcro sneaks to $4.) We were the only foreigners. Needless to say, I was in heaven.

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"Caca jusayo?" (Sean's a haggling wizard)

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Becky this sooooo reminded me of you :)

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so not organic don't panic...I almost bought it, rationalizing that though its fur, it's second hand so the animals weren't killed for ME. ha. yeah right.

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I liked how Barack Obama, Black and White Michael Jackson, a gorilla and some Chinese dictator were sold next to each other.

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(Sean made this guy sooooooo angry because he touched his stuff without asking and didn't put it back in the right place... hahahah.)

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Global Gathering

I found out about Global Gathering the week I arrived in Korea. An electronic festival with not one but two of my favorite electronic bands when I was told I would see no decent live acts for a year!? You better believe I was excited. Clark, Scott and I went out Saturday night to Han River Nanji Park. The festival didn't fall short; we danced for eight straight hours to the incredible Underworld, MSTRKRFT, Royksopp and we even got a little K-POP action with 2ne1 and G-Dragon. While there were more non-Koreans than I ever hope to see in Korea again (a few who really lived up to the label "Ugly Americans" and Canadians, British, etc.) we met some cool people and had a blast.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Doctor Fish

this is big all over Korea. We found a place near Tina's house - actually a Book Cafe with doctor fish in the back. I guess these guys hadn't eaten in a while, or maybe my dead foot skin just tastes really really good :)

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

oh yeah, I'm teaching...

So I realized that I haven't written about teaching yet (you know, the reason I am here). I wanted to wait until I had some photos of my kids - cute ones that make you jealous and want to visit me. Well, I haven't had a moment to take photos in class (and they really aren't that cute once you get to know them....just kidding....sort of) and I always forget my camera.

I work at a hagwon, which is Korean for academy. Its an after school English-only immersion program that focuses on writing and speaking. The foreign teachers do speaking only while the Korean teachers focus on reading and writing. My students are 8-13 years old and have been learning basic English since they were really little. So, (a few people have asked), I am not starting from scratch. They all have relatively strong backgrounds and can read/write, just not necessarily comprehend. I get blank stares hourly.

On MWF we work 2:30-8:30pm. TTH is 4-8:30 but somehow I lucked out and only have one class these days, so I am finished by 6pm. I use the extra time to grade homework and tests and write teacher comments. On MWF, I don't have more than a 5 minute break every 1 1/2 hours. These days are looong. Luckily, my co-workers feel the same and most nights after work we grab dinner/beers.

There are 3 other teachers at my school (2 from Texas, represent!) - Zac, Brandon and Clark (friend who got me the job). They are all very nice guys, super laid back and have been here a while to help me with everything. Brandon is leaving in December and Clara (the branch manager) asked if I had any friends who were interested in coming to teach. I sent out an email and a few people replied back saying they were, but ultimately my friend Helen decided she really wanted to do it. I am SO excited. Helen was my roommate in Barcelona and we have stayed great friends since. I honestly cannot wait. She will get here mid-November!!

I will try to bring my camera tomorrow so you can see some of my favorite kids. They are cute (to the untrained eye).

Monday, September 14, 2009

물고기 (Fish)

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Harijuku Girls & Cotton Candy

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these twins and their older sister followed Tina and I around the top.
Asian children = unquestionably cutest in the world
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남산 (Namsan Park & Seoul Tower)

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lovers lock their hearts away. (wonder how many of these relationships actually lasted...)

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Seoul Tower (tallest point in the bottom is a Teddy Bear Museum, lame)

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wood block stamps.

Friday, September 11, 2009

경복궁 (Gyeonbokgung Palace)

I spent today in Seoul's largest royal palace. The gardens, moats, floating lillies, architecture were all spectacular. The place was built in 1326 and a few hundred years later the Japanese took it over and wrote their language all over it. Either way a pretty spectacular place with pretty spectacular scenery.

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