Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So.....In case you didn't figure it out yet.....I passed all of my tests back in September! I am officially a certified ESL Teacher..... however, only in the country of Korea!!!

Since I have been dropped off here in Daegu, Korea everything has been going by so FAST and there have been sooo many changes! As soon as I get completely used to doing things one way, I get new classes of students who I don't know and they have no idea who I am. So, once again I have to start fresh with each group.

Lets take you back to the beginning............

A long time ago, in a land far far away, lived a fair maiden.....Wait, wrong story!
My first week was pretty easy, all that I did was observe my co teachers. There are only 7 teachers: Shaun and Stephanie (Stevie), Jake, Jason, Mikey, Melissa, and Angela. I took over for a person who left b/c they didn't like it here. Then Nicole took over for Jake after a a few weeks. That weekend was Chusok (Korea's Thanksgiving). If I had only known back then that that was going to be my ONLY 2-DAYS OFF IN A ROW for the next YEAR.....then I would of tried to travel someplace, but instead I stayed in Daegu thinking that I would eventually have other times to travel......WOW was I mistaken!!!!!!!!! (I'll tell you more about that later).

Well, I was supposed to observe all of the first week, but I wound up having to start teaching classes by myself on Wednesday. I was thrown into ALL English Chip(E.C.) classes....but I hadn't been trained in EC, so I felt completely lost for the first week and a half....but thankfully E.C. is a pretty easy class to teach....I just didn't really know how it worked or how to control my kids, it was all a matter of adjusting to everything and getting a feel on it!

Let me tell you my weekly schedule:

Monday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC3
7PM-10PM: Sr. EC4

Tuesday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC3
7PM-10PM: Sr. EC4

Wednesday:4PM-7PM: Jr. EC4

Thursday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC3
7PM-10PM: Sr. EC4

Friday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC3
7PM-10PM: Sr. EC4

Saturday: 10AM-1PM: Jr. EC4 or Late Sat.'s are 2:30PM-5:30PM

On about my third week I was feeling great and had it down to an art, so I took my first day trip to was very unorganized and I went with Brianna Swaim and Nicole Cubillas and we wound up just sort of wondering through the streets....then we saw a sign that showed a picture of a touristy looking, we followed the signs.....and we followed the signs ......AND, we followed the signs....for about 3 miles! lol! We finally got to this little area with a buch of little shops along the street and a bunch of little statues....then we saw an escalator that went up to a higher part of the hill.....we were curious to find out what was at the top of the escalator so we took a little ride. At the top of the first one was a Buddah standing about 8 ft tall and we thought that was cool and we took pics....but there were still more escalators to follow we got on......and got on another.....and another......and finally another......We were at the top finally and there was a Korean style outdoor gazebo looking thing and then statues of Dragons and some famous Korean soldiers and at the very top there was a tower that took you above the whole city....I wanted to go, but one girl was ready to go and the other we kept losing!!! lol! We took many pictures of the city from the top of that escalator hill!!! I am very glad that our curiosity led us to something pretty cool! When we finished we were hungry so we all left Busan and headed to Miryang to visit my friend Akhee(from Oklahoma, here visiting her husband) who had prepared us a very large dinner! We had a good time just talking and eating and taking pics! Then they called us a taxi and since none of us spoke Korean Akhee's husband told the driver to take us to the train station. Then we caught the last train back into Daegu. it was a good trip!

The following week at school was all testing, because it was level up tests! Very easy to just hand a kid the test and proctor while they took it! I like being the teacher when that's all that I have to do!!! hehehe! Then the WEEKEND! It was Oct. 31st Halloween....I wanted to dress up, but I behaved and didn't!!! lol! Instead for Halloween Nicole and I went to go watch the Opera Carmen which was in Daegu.....It was interesting....and they changed the ending.....they didn't kill the male lead! Only Carmen! I was surprised! But Nicole didn't understand what I was complaining about! lol! I guess I will forever be a music nerd!!! hehe! The next morning Nicole and I took a day trip to Seoul to go visit our friends Julie and Suzy! We went Norebonging and made complete fools of ourselves passing the microphone around and singing all crazy like and dancing around our little room....I'm quite glad that nobody else could see us!!! HAHAHA!!! We wound up singing and playing around until about 4:30 AM! lol! Time flies when you're having fun! lol! On Sunday after we woke up we decided to head back into the main part of Seoul and wander around some more....When the sun went down we headed to the City River Walk to go see the Lantern Festival! It was very pretty filled with many lights and awesome and elaborate lanterns in the water!

Jason is back at the school so I have to give him back his E.C. classes and now I have a brand new bunch of classes for only 3 weeks....then I will have another new bunch of kids. But now Jake is gone, and Nicole has taken over most of his classes and we have a new guy. His name is Alex Feinberg. He seems like he will be an interesting addition to our small group of teachers! My classes now are a couple Memory Mega and Giga classes Jrs and Srs. and then I have Par listening, which I was ACTUALLY TRAINED IN!!!! lol....and I also have a couple Birdie Reading classes! 30 hrs per week, not including the prep that takes MUCH longer than prepping for E.C. classes!!! haha!

Just Kiding, I only had kids for two weeks then we had a new arrangement for the last week of the semester b/c the married couple didn't want to stay the ONE WEEK past their contract to help us out. So, now Shaun and Stevie are gone. Good thing or bad thing??? hmmmm? Here is our group now... (Left side of table to Right side of table: Mr. "fix it" the bus driver, Nicole, Michael, Angela, Vicki, "Buddah" the Boss Alex, his beautiful wife Erica-EC study mngr, Alice-Front Desk, "Pregnant" JJ- the Face of CDI, Gloria-Memory study mngr, Me, Mellissa-Head Instructor, "the new guy" Alex, and Jason-"the Super-Sub".....behind the camera is the infamous Kate our Branch Mngr.)

By the way....Thanksgiving has now come and gone.....but i'm in Korea......what did we do for the Turkey? They don't exist over here in Korea.....UNLESS.....You know someone on Base!!!! HA! Yes, we had a friend from the church that I have been going to, go and buy us a Turkey from base since he is a military man! We celebrated at a friend's apartment, who has an oven.....we call her "oven girl" or Caitlyn for short!!! haha! It was a big feast and a bunch of us church people and different English teachers from different schools all crowded inside Caitlyn's massive(I mean "massive" for Korea) apartment! It was fun and I got to know a lot of people that night!

Before the new semester starts, some of us decide that we need new shoes and clothes and just stuff....So, Caitlyn, Jenny, Hannah, Melissa, Angela, and I all take a trip up to Seoul. We get there Sat. night and Angela loves us and she has like a MILLION Points for upper class Hotels....SOOO...... she got us two rooms at the Rennaissance Hotel in Seoul! Very VEry VERY nice hotel! And very beautiful filled with tons of Christmas decorations and a beautiful Christmas tree! LOVED IT!!! Then the next morning we had a complimentary breakfast and we all went to a Church nearby....I really liked that church, I almost wish that I lived in Seoul so I could go there every Sunday! After church we checked out of the hotel and then went to Itaewon to go shopping! I got a really cute pair of "Ugg-like" boots! I was just happy to finally see my size shoes at any store!!! I miss having shoes that are in my size and clothes that are in my size.....none of that exists here unless you're a size 12 and under pant size, Medium sized top, or a size 7 & 1/2 shoe size or smaller!!!! It's crazy!!!! But at least I now have some warm boots for the cold weather!

New semester at Chungdahm!!! Yay! Its the first week of December now and it's a new semester. This means that I finally get to start fresh with a group of my own students! Not just a class that has been shuffled around from teacher to teacher, but ALL BRAND NEW CLASSES!!! Most of the kids haven't been together before so they should be fairly quiet the first week or so.....and this will give me a chance to lay down the rules and start my classroom how I want it! (This has actually worked out quite well until just recently---Jan 26, 2010)

This Winter semester I got some EC Sr. EC class only had one student and he dropped about 4 weeks into the semester....that was longer than what I was expecting him to stay without any other classmates!!! Then I also got 2 Bridge listening classes and 2 Birdie Reading classes.....both groups I have the Jr.s and Sr.s! The Senior classes I struggle with a little b/c I have a hard time getting them to interact not only with the lesson but also with eachother....they are at the awkward stage so they don't want to contribute to the conversations....they don't like it when I mix girls with boys for the thinking projects and without their interaction it makes it soo hard to get class rolling! Generally once we get past the first hr of class, then they start to open up and answer more questions. (Picture.....all three girls-Alanna, Tara, & Kelly on one side while Jonathan is on the other least they're close, now it's a matter of getting them to talk to eachother)

Christmas has come and gone family got about 2&1/2 feet of snow! Sooooo strange for Oklahoma! I am sad that I miss it, and I am really really missing my family and friends has been 4months since I left Okla. I can't believe that I have already been here that long. For my Christmas I was supposed to have to work, b/c it was Friday and Christmas isn't widely celebrated in Korea....nothing like America where EVERYTHING shuts down for at least the day! But on Christmas Eve after I got off work I went and spent it with the girls from my lovely Bible Study Group and a few other people from church and CDI...Caitlyn, Paige, Jenny, Hannah, Melissa, Angela, Christiana, Josh, and Erin. We made a Christmas dinner and watched a Charlie Brown Christmas and read the Story of Jesus's birth...then while we were all doing our own thing, we each slipped out and put gifts into the stockings and at the end of the night we opened our stockings with all of the wonderful little goodies! Then the girls all stayed the night at Caitlyn's and we woke up Christmas morning and went downtown to watch a Sherlock Holmes in the theatre. After I left the movie, I went and caught up with some more friends and new people....I met up with Arfaq and we went in search of my friend Emma's apartment....after about an hour of trying to get there we finally made it and Melissa came and rescued us from the cold! Then inside was Chuck, Emma, Mikey, Amy, Dana and her BF, Alex, and some other people who I cannot remember their names!!! lol! It was a good time and dirty santa was very hillarious to watch!!! and you can see some of the awesome items that they "won" in the pics below!

The next week at school we start Intensives....what are intensives??? Well, public schools do not have classes during the month of January, so as an academy we take on more classes for the month of January. now we are not only working in the evenings from 3:30- 10PM....but now we have to work in the mornings as well from 9:30-1PM then a break until 3:30....but by the time that you walk someplace to get dinner and then eat, then it is nearly time to be back at, it kind of feels like I'm working 12 hr. days! UGHhhhhhh!!!!!! I see these students 3 times a week for 3 hours each morning and then some of them I see later in the day in my other classes! That's a lot of seeing that one student!!! lol!
Another schedule used to be wake up at about around doing errands or whatever, then go to work at about 2:30-3:00 Prep for class, 4:00-start my Jr. class and class ends at 6:55, 7:00-start my Sr. class and that class ends at 9:55 PM. finish up and get home at around 10:30 PM....Grab something light for Supper, then go out for a walk if the weather is nice enough, get home around laundry and check e-mails while I call friends and family back in the states (b/c it is about 9AM for them) then wind down and go to bed at about 3-4AM!!!! Then wake up at noon and do it again! Now that I have these early classes I have to change my sleep schedule....which also meant less talking to friends and family.....AND I've REALLY BEEN FEELING HOMESICK!!!! WHY NOW!?!?!?! hahaha! Its not that bad I promise!

The good thing: Intesives only lasted for a month....and during that month, we celebrated the new year and on the first day of intensives it snowed a few inches so all of us teachers went up to the roof to play in it!!! I also had my Birthday! I'm 24 yrs old.....seems soo wierd! I'm getting older but I don't feel like it, I still have the same body, I still have the same face, I still have the same mind....but I'm older.....hmmmm now I know why old people always say..."I may look old, but I don't feel old!" This year on my birthday my co-workers brought in a cake and lit the candles and popped the party poppers and then after work we all went down to a place called Billi Bow....they have this game where the set up looks like miniature bowling pins....BUT, you bowl them down with a pool stick and a cue ball! i like it a lot! b/c I can hit a pool ball straight, but I can't control a real bowling ball!!! haha! I enjoyed it, then a week later we went ATVing for my birthday! I'll have to get some pics from that! but I really did have a lot of fun!

The Intensives are OVER!!!!! I can have my mornings back to sleep in!!! :-) Now we are in week 9 of this "semester" so we are prepparing the students for their level up tests once again! Then Next week they will take the Level Up tests! so much stress for the kids...Especially from their parents...but for me, I've got two nice and easy weeks!!!

Let me tell you my weekly schedule now (even though its going to change very soon):

Monday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC4

Tuesday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC4
7PM-10PM: Sr. IRB (Interactive Reading Birdie level)

Wednesday:4PM-7PM: Jr. IRB

Thursday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC4
7PM-10PM: Sr. BL (Bridge level Listening)

Friday: 4PM-7PM: Jr. EC4

Saturday: 10AM-1PM: Jr. BL or Late Sat.'s are 2:30PM-5:30PM
1PM-4PM: Sr. BL or Late Sat.'s are 5:30PM-8:30PM

And that basically catches you up on my busy crazy 1 day weekend life!! I'll try to post more often!!!

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