Wednesday, June 24, 2009

recent transpirings

I almost feel like I'm reminiscing as I write this, because it seems like some of these events happened so long ago...

Two weekends ago I saw Rob's band play in Daegu. I brought a couple of my Korean friends (one teacher from my school and one from a private academy that students study at after normal school hours). The band was playing in a small bar with seating for about 30 people. I think it was mainly just their friends. I knew about 5 other people there that were friends of Rob's. I didn't care for the vocalists in the band. Rob was good on bass though. I actually ducked out a little early with my two Korean friends and we had some fun.

Last week was my friend 영주's (Young-Ju) so we went drinking. I wanted to sing happy birthday to her in Korean (its alot easier than the English version actually) but none of the other foreigners knew it... i think even the one who has been here for 4 years didn't know it. Its to the same rhythm and translates like this:
Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday
Love of 's (Love for you on your birthday)
Happy Birthday

I've been going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week and I feel good. Also I've met some friends there. I learned that one of my friends from my gym knows another Korean friend of mine that teaches at an elementary school near my work. I was surprised to hear that they are friends because one is an oral surgeon and the other is a teacher. But supposedly they've been best friends since elementary school. So last Friday they invited me out with them for dinner, etc.

I didn't leave town last weekend. My friends that are in university are done with it now though. 선옥 (Sun-Ohk) and 사랑 (Sarang [the koeran word for "love"]) are both coming home to Gimcheon this week so I will meet with them soon. Their families live in Gimcheon but they go to university in Daegu. This coming weekend I want to go to the beach in Busan with one of my Korean friends who lives in Busan. And on July 4th weekend I will meet up with a few of my foreigner friends and go to a big city... maybe Daegu.

Yesterday I learned that my vacation will be from July 8th - July 19th (12 days total, 8 of them weekdays). My co-teacher only gets three days off because she has to do a TESOL training course over summer break. I don't know what my schedule will be like during the 3 weeks that I'm teaching. I'm excited to be teaching a class for my fellow teachers, though. I'm not sure how many of my co-workers will sign up for it. At first they were all so excited to have me here and they wanted to learn English but the enthusiasm has died down. I'm not a novelty anymore. But I like the idea of teaching adults. Also, the experience they will get in my class will unlock a lot of vocabulary that they know in the back of their mind but haven't used since their high school English classes.

Yesterday one of the teachers invited me out to dinner with his family. He wanted to introduce me to his daughter, who is going for an English major at university. So I said I would give her private lessons and she will help me with my Korean also. The hardest part about learning a language is listening, so it will help her alot.

I started Korean classes at a private academy on Monday. The class has been ongoing for a couple of months now but I didn't join before because my Korean was alot better than the other foreigners in Gimcheon. I felt I wouldn't have learned anything new. So I just started this week. I am learning some new vocabulary already and its good to have the practice because its hard to motivate myself sometimes to study by myself. There are only two other students. I think we are all at different places with our learning and they are good at speaking while I am good at writing and reading.

Students have exams next week from Wednesday to Saturday. It's the final exam for the semester. This week I made a review for them that is over 70 PowerPoint slides long. I've only done the review for one class so far, and about half of the students were wise enough to take notes. Considering how I got to write almost 20% of the exam questions (and I teach about 25% of their English classes) they should all be taking notes. Anyhow, remembering how I was in high school... I never would've taken notes for the class.

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