Okay so i now know why people take ages between blogs, life is way more exciting then sitting down and sorting out your blog lol. KOREA is awesome! ANyone looking at the EPIK scheme here is the blog i made ages ago about my first few days, hope its useful to some people out there :)
It’s definitely hard to keep up with the blogs, so many things are happening and I don’t have a lot of time.
So first things first, I arrived for my first day of school to find out the kids were still on holiday and that I would be desk warming (something you will come to know and hate in Korea) Luckily the school decided I must be tired and so I did not have to arrive until 10:45. The first day of desk warming consisted of me meeting half my co teachers, having a proper tour of the school and eating Korean take out. Second day was even better, the only other Korean teacher at school was hung-over so she got her pillow from under her desk and a blanket she had brought in and went to sleep on the desk (Apparently napping at school in your free periods is perfectly fine in Korea something I would love to test lol) So me and the other fellow EPIK teacher Rebecca had Chinese food for lunch and then proceeded to play an hour of Wii bowling! I set their Wii up that they had randomly sitting around the English building! The worst part was that I was told I would have to do a speech at the opening ceremony to the whole school…I thought this was pretty cool…then I am told that it is to be done in Korean...huh? So I began practicing my introductions. After work I went to meet some people for dinner, turns out it was a popular choice and there was about 50 of us all standing in Seomyeon station and the older Korean people could not believe it, they were staring at us some even came really close to my face just to look. It was not unfriendly just amazement and curiosity I think. We broke off into smaller groups and me and a bunch of others ended up in a Korean BBQ restaurant. I know from my previous experiences that it is awesome and so was looking forward to it! However the waitress did not understand our Korean attempt at ordering beef and so one of our group just pointed at the table next to us and said we would have that. She came back and cooked in Korean fashion right in front of us on the table (Awesome :0) However we noticed that it was pork fat and not pork meat…damn! Anyways so we ate all the delicious pork fat…and then the second course came out. A long pink strip of…yes that’s right skin! Pig skin to be exact, she then cut the skin into pieces and it was so tough she had to use scissors and really force it. That then cooked in front of us, and I can safely say after two small pieces (I tried) I did not like it! One of my fellow diners Georgina started putting the skin into a bag she had on her which she then put in her pocket (because we did not want to offend them by leaving everything behind) and then we left, her pocket apparently smelled like pig skin for a week LOL!
That third day was Korean public holiday so the Wednesday night was another chance to get absolutely wrecked with alcohol and blow off some steam with shed loads of other EPIK teachers who had all similarly landed in Busan. Drunken night of dancing on the stage and playing drinking games was followed by stumbling home to my local place.
And so the big day had finally arrived I turned up prepared but nervous about the speech. One good bit of news was that the school has a tv broadcasting room so talking to the whole school was going to be talking to a camera only. The whole tv station was being run and introduced by grade 5 (9 year old) Korean students which was pretty funny. So the nervousness began but just as the broadcast began my co-teacher told me that the principle had decided to introduce everyone himself so not to worry! (Huge relief, however some others had the exact opposite of me told not to prepare one then had to give one) Welcome to Korea lol.
After a relatively uneventful weekend where I ran to Gwangalli beach and had beers at 1am on Hyundae beach and a whole Sunday spent sleeping and then planning my introductory powerpoint, Monday and my first day of teaching finally arrived. I was stupidly nervous, I felt pretty rough and I definitely was wishing I had not eaten my breakfast when the time came. Luckily the class was about 15 minutes late and I had enough to time to calm down and get myself in order. Because the class was so short my presentation fit perfectly and I was able to get the Korean teacher to give me some of her lesson to make name cards. However I realized that my PowerPoint was definitely not long enough to fill a 40 minute lesson, and the next class had a whooping 25 minutes to make extremely colorful name cards before I did the lame task of getting everyone to introduce themselves to their partner. (After all half of them had only just picked an English name) And my final lesson was with a new teacher who gave me only a few minutes to introduce myself before he took over and introduced himself. An old school diagnostic test was on the cards for the rest of the time. The most noteworthy thing about this class was that the teacher was using some old school discipline techniques like pinching (only one boy) and stress positions such as stand on one leg with your hand on your head for several minutes. It was very interesting to see the difference between here and home, and it made me slightly uncomfortable. I think the main reason for this is because I have no idea why they are being punished because he tells them off in Korean. Still the main thing is I was told the grade 6 students were the most difficult because they are rowdy and always fighting…I don’t think I will have much of a problem with that with him in the class as my co-teacher lol.
Anyway after an evening of Korean BBQ and street food with fellow EPIK teachers I have now finished day two. I added quite a few more slides to my introductory presentation and the lesson fit almost perfectly. I also met my first grade 4 class, the cutest kids in the world! Oh and I seem to be getting chased around the school by a group of ten year old Korean girls…absolutely hilarious stuff. But the biggest smile I get everyday is walking past the grade 2 so like 5 year old students classrooms on the way to my desk everyday, one of them gave me a love heart cello tape roll and told me it was a gift for me. So cute! Lol. Anyways that’s enough rambling for me for now. Onwards!