Friday, June 12, 2009


So, alot has happened in this last week.

First, I started teaching an evening class. All of my students are English teachers from many different schools. The class is held at 김천여자중학교 (Gimcheon Girls Middle School) which is about a 30 minute walk from my apartment. The class is geared towards elementary and middle school teachers... at it starts at 4:30pm and my high school has classes until after 6pm. So, I have to leave school early to go to this, and on Tuesday I missed one of my classes. This was assigned to me by the Province of Education (my employer) so I have to do it.

Anyhow, the class is great and I would gladly teach it for free every week if they let me. Because all of my students (it feels wrong to use that word, since they are teachers) are English teachers, we are able to converse freely. I have 7 students, but one could not attend this week because she was out of town. All of the students are women, and mostly in their 20s... so we get along great. This class has been running for over two months already because they rotate who the foreign teacher is every couple of weeks. I am last in the rotation and then the class is finished (but maybe there will be one over the summer or next semester). They love me and want to take me out to dinner for our last class next Tuesday (using the budget that the Province of Education gave us). I convinced them that not only should we do dinner, but also drinking and a karaoke room. I think we can use the budget for all of it, because someone said there might be a little bit left in the budget and I am the last in the rotation, after all.

The classes are really easy also. The first class we just had free conversation for 2 hours. The second class we had free conversation for 1 hour and then I showed them some Dear Abby articles (after deleting her answer) and we discussed what advice we would give to the person who wrote in. One of my students started giggling inanely out of shock whenever I said something in Korean. Even after the 20th time. They are all really laid back. It made me realize how stressed out everyone at my school is (because its a high school and they have to work soooo many hours). If I want to go out with my friends at the high school they will decline more often than not. But these elementary and middle school teachers leave at 4:30 every day without a care in the world and have lots of time to relax and enjoy themselves.

One of my "students" from that class helped me find a good health club to get signed up at last night. Her name is 옥헤 or 옥희 (pronounced Oak-hae... very similar to "OK"). She always makes me use her English name though. So I bought her dinner of sushi. Korean custom is not to split the bill... but to take turns paying. Since I have lots of money (only supporting myself, and I get a free apartment) I told her I'd pay since its the first time we went out. The taking turns paying gets awkward when you have large groups (8+ people) though, because nobody wants to pay.

Last night and today I made a drawing of my friend 민채 (Min-chae). I probably spent an hour and a half on it.... as I had to draw each line three times before getting it right. I gave it to her today and she really liked it. She liked it so much that she wanted to laminate it. I told her not to because if something goes wrong it is the only copy I have so it can't be replaced. Instead, I suggested we use hair spray on it (to form a protective layer that keeps the charcoal from smearing). She didn't like this idea, so she snuck off to laminate it, unbeknownst to me. And because I wasn't there... I couldn't instruct her in the proper method of using a laminating machine (I did work at Kinko's for 7 months). I'm sure you can predict what happened. The lamination got lots of wrinkles so it doesn't look that great now... I wish I would have taken a picture at least before she did that. I'm not very artistic and thus my portfolio is quite small... so I feel that anytime I make a decent piece of artwork that I should catalogue it.

So today I went to the gym for the first time. I was kinda dragging my feet a little bit after school but I finally cleaned my shoes, bought some training shorts, and managed to find the gym. Its just one big room with about 12 treadmills, 15 machines, 4 bicycles, and some free weights. But its a nice place. For one month it is 55,000 Won... about $43 I think. I get my own locker so I can keep my shoes and clothes there. I know that I'm going to be so sore tomorrow because I havent worked out since I've been to Korea. In my defense, though, I have done ALOT of walking because I dont have a car and I travel alot.

Tomorrow night I am going to Daegu to see my friend Rob play in his band. I wanted my friend 선옥 (Sun-Ohk) to come with because she goes to school in Daegu but she has to take exams on Saturday and Sunday so she can't go to a show that doesnt even start until 11pm. But she will come to Gimcheon after her semester finishes in a week so I should be able to meet up with her then. There should be some people that I know there. I know Erin will be there to support her boyfriend, and other people from our EPIK orientation as well so it should be a grand time. And I can get some shopping done beforehand. Also, Viruck and Candice might swing down this way to enjoy their saturday evening and they are always good company.

That's all, folks?

1 comment:

  1. Once again I enjoyed to posting. You should get a bike to get around town - also good exercise. If I remember right you invited all girls to your birthday party when you were in Kindergarten.