Saturday, December 31, 2011

English Camp

So I had to plan a 2week camp for English. I wasn't sure what to do since I've never been to one hahaha I decided to do a family vacation. I divided the class into families and we learned vocab for going places, asking for help and such.

I have been so strict with these 9students. It's kind of funny. I assigned homework all week really and made them do it in class if they didn't finish. We did a lot of writing assignments too. The reason is because they all only wanted to play games and watch movies, but i peeked into other "camps" and saw kids doing bookwork. I don't think it's hard book work, but it still made me feel like doing the same.

Everything I had them do had to do with planning a vacation. We did play games and they have definitely gained confidence in speaking English. I tried to play board games but Monopoly, Scrabble, and Pictionary all had pieces missing!!! I wanted to buy a few more, but I didn't want to get Korean I just had them do class things. I'm planning on going to Seoul or Daejon and looking for games in English.

I already bought them magazines for my next project out of pocket... -_- I can't wait till next semester. The school will get their budget and I can tell them what to buy. It's probably not much though :( we are country bumpkins T.T

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in Seoul...Kind of

Like the title says I went to Seoul during Christmas weekend. A friend of mine flew and we hung out for a week! Well actually It was like this.

We spent the first night in a Jimjilbang because she came in on a late flight. It was funny because everyone was sleeping except for 3girlies that came in right behind us. It was small and I was wondering what the price was to sleep there. Curious? 8,000!!! Won :)  happinessss~~~! I love the comfort of a Korean sauna.

the next day we dropped our stuff off at a hostel and headed out to see the sights. It was freezing cold the whole time almost! Snow had fallen hard the night before and the air just stayed cold. That didn't stop us though. We went all around Myeongdong and into Namdaemun. We went back to the hostel to warm up! The Myeongdong Hostel uses the ondol system so it was very nice inside.

Later we went back out into Myeongdong for (dun dun dun dun!) Krispy Kreme!! and more lol  We saw a huge crowd of young people and I though maybe a celebrity was there. Nope. Just a bunch of people giving FREE HUGS!!!  Honestly i though it was so cute. I'm pretty sure they are mostly students and we obliged and hugged a whole lot of them!

There was some kind of mini concert of carols but we were too cold to stay. We heard it in our hostel though! It didn't last all night so we were able to sleep peacefully.

We checked out and headed to my city by train. 4hrs...not bad though. I went to sleep after losing my game lol

It was Christmas day so we wanted to eat out. We went to one of my shopping areas and a girl ran from way back to us and gave us a tight FREE HUG! lol Then some other friends? of hers also wanted hugs. They didn't run to us though. We ended up not finding an open restaurant. We got a lot of hugs and went to *sigh* McDonalds. But all in all it was a great weekend :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Few Rules for Korean Schools

I work in the public school system. Since a lot of people here are really causing me to doubt their judgments I will just post my own personal thoughts :p
Afterall, this is my blog about my experience. So lets get started.

1.  You should have a co-teacher. This is the person that is dedicated to your well-being (provided you are on good terms). They will be helping you settle into your new home and getting properly documented. Sometimes you teach classes with them, sometimes you don't. This person is usually in charge of the English department of school so they will have a lot on their plate in the case of students. Sometimes they will have to prepare all of the exams, grade them, stay afterschool for homework help until..., etc. Please bear with them.

2.  You probably will start class late because time is not as big an issue as in the states (American here so just ignore this if you're from somewhere else). This does not, however, mean to make your own time schedule. In my personal experience classes are started only 3-5min late.

3.  There are a lot of last minute changes, but so far changes are being done by the time I get to school. So you should check the school's message board (board in the front of the teacher's office) as soon as you get in to make sure your first class is still your first class.

4.  Your school's books are pretty much the same across the country. Whether you will only be allowed to rely on that or not is totally up to your co-workers and how your relationship and understanding is.

5.  You will probably have at least one more Korean English teacher that you will do classes with. You will be the only foreign teacher though.

6.  It is possible that you will have a desk right with everyone else in the teacher's office. I have heard of some people that have their own "office" but I definitely like being around everyone else better.

7.  It is expected that you will eat the school lunch in the cafeteria with everyone else. I eat there with the other teachers and have been informed that it will come out of my paycheck each month. If you bring your lunch you will have to use a "common room". There is also probably a bed in there for when you need a nap lol  Anywho, please use the common room when eating something not provided by the school. They are not trying to alienate you because every teacher has to do it. Some people think this is stupid, but I don't really see a problem with it. Rather than letting everyone see me and start rumors that I think I'm too good for the school's ____, I would just eat in that room.

8.  Some ridiculous bums have decided to just give out prizes like crazy in their classes so the children are expecting it from you. I personally don't give prizes. I might if a holiday is coming or if it's the end of a section and certain kids were on the ball the whole time, but I'm not a sweet teacher. Sorry.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

3hr Walk of Suncheon

So my city is really small. It reminds me of Chengdu, but that being said I only went in a big circle. I started walking behind my apartment Saturday and there was a big street market of nothin' but seafood! I saw some things I didn't even know existed. I paused every now and then to get up close and personal with the different critters, but I just couldn't picture trying to take them home and prepare them with my limited appliances -_- I only have one measly ... what the heck is this thing called? It's like a portable eye (of a stove) so it's electric, but I can't even choose the heat setting. I think I'll try to see if there are other kinds but that will have to wait. 

Anywho, back to the topic at hand. I also found that in my immediate vicinity there are enough karaoke rooms and PC bangs for days!! I shouldn't be bored after I get regular paychecks :p  I saw a taekwondo school right behind the seafood set ups, so I'm thinking of getting my 2nd degree. I also found a piano school. I figure while I'm here I might as well build some more skills. I may buy a mini piano but it may be better if I actually have a class. I prefer to study in a place that has other people in it.

I went as far as I could and noticed a farming section. I knew my city was pretty rural but I didn't think there would be so many farms in random places. I live in a place surrounded by buildings and then there's an abrupt river and a few farms. Oh well. By the river I noticed that they put up some exercise playgrounds. If any of you have ever been to Asia you must have seen these things. It seems like a total waste to pay for a gym membership here because everything is in these "playgrounds"!! Then again maybe people go with a gym partner. Whatevs.

I crossed the river and decided to just follow the 3 nearest mountains. I am a fairly visual person so I take notice of landmarks to help with my sense of direction. I noticed a lot of shops with those cool little mopeds, scooters, motorcycles and I really want to buy one! Not really here, because I immediately thought I should just buy one in China. For some reason I have no want to drive here. I wasn't even tired and this had to be after an hour or so of mindless wandering. I decided to head towards the "main mountain" and leave the other side for another day's journey. 

I ended up getting to a bridge that I was certain was the direction of my place if I'd turn right. I decided to go left because I wasn't satisfied with the adventure. I totally made the right decision because I came across a McDonald's. I know...I hate the mac, but I walked inside anyway. I debated if I should get fries and decided against it. So I walked through to the other side only to exit into the shopping district. :D Happiness.

I saw a few stores that we don't have back home and decided I may do a different fashion. It was funny because to me not enough people were out on a Saturday!! Of course, that didn't stop groups of kids running circles around me and then finally going in front of me so that I could pass by and they could say, "Hello!!" giggle- run.  -_-  That's not all. I was trying to mind my business but people kept whippin' out the cellies to snap my photo! I'm just hoping I don't end up all over these people's blogs. Unless they are adorning me with compliments >:D hehehe

I passes a trio of older women and heard, "She's so pretty!, She has such style!" 'That's right ladies!' I thought to myself, 'admire all you like!' I know that kinda vain but who doesn't like hearing those comments? I keep getting the WOW when new people see me. Usually middle school kids. I keep hoping that none of my students run into me yet. I do work in a different city, but a couple students live here in Suncheon.

The most important store I found was DAISO~~~~~! It's a dollar store that made me cave and buy a swifer and a sponge and other little house things. I love it though because everything just seems so useful!! I saw a couple of coffee shops and just wondered who the heck introduced coffee to these people!!?? I hate coffee and yet I feel like it'd be rude to turn down their first peace offering :( so I just go on and drink the nastiness. I'm planning to buy some hot chocolate mix and use it at school. No more coffee please?

Oh well I'm in the middle of making my English Winter Camp lesson plan -_- I had the great idea of doing a live Resort Tycoon camp. Then I remembered that it's 10dys long at 4hrs a day...I hope I can really make it interesting for them. I want them to watch Home Alone at least on the last day just to kind of reinforce the "vacation" atmosphere. (My co-teacher said she spent all the school money on the last teacher so I haven't decided if I'll do a party for them -_- I'm not sure how many kids it'll be and I don't wanna just fork out a fortune.)

So I'll update you later~~! Peace Love and Turtle Doves Big Baby!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Rent/Buy a Handuh Pone

Here is the guide i got in June of 2011 at ICN.
(It was only available in Chinese, Japanese, Korean that day so I translated it myself.)

Here is what I gathered shopping around for phones. I heard that non-nationals have problems when entering a 2yr contract, but most of you are only doing a year anyway right?

Regular Phones
A lot of people are getting these phones for about 60,000-100,000won. Then they do a prepaid plan which means you just buy a calling card and replenish the minutes.
There are also plans for simple phones that range from --- to --- won.

Smart Phones
These are always going to be overly expensive because they have to import them. I'm talking 700,000won plus for something you could get at home for $450. Take my advice and do a plan with these. Sometimes you can get the phone free for a 3yr plan. They give you a slight discount for the 2yr plan and I don't think a 1yr plan is possible under normal circumstances.
Lastly, there is a place to get a deal on a phone before you get here. I haven't used it (Got a 2yr on an HTC Raider 4G) but others are very pleased with its service.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting Started With Korea

So I've decided to be pulled into Korea and become a teacher for a moment in life. Again I wish there was a down to earth person that just answered each question I had with a definite answer, but there wasn't so here is one in case I forget.                             Just Kidding~~! It's all for you :)

When coming to Korea I researched very little about what to bring and found out that the little I got out of it was wrong! Boooooo. Since I'm female I'm going to include female concerns on this list first.

1. Leave tampons and such at home unless you desperately have a specific love for a certain brand. I actually use a Moon Cup now but for those that don't want to switch, I have found Tampax Pearl and such in mini marts even.

2. You'll probably have to buy a new cell since apparently the sim cards are different here. (Unless you have an unlocked smart phone.) I would suggest renting a phone at the airport first if you want to take time to consider what you really want later because the prices aren't too bad.

3. Get a Tmoney card at a convenience store when you get here. Then you can save bills when using public transportation. This is for the Seoul area and maybe a few cities in Gyeonggi-do.

4.  Find out your shoe size! I'm an 8 1/2-9 in the states. About 40-43 in China aaaand 250-255 in Korea!! But actually 250 only fits some shoes, 'cause of how they are made or what have you, but that is usually the biggest size that stores will carry. Even at Songtan's AFB. :(

5. Make good friends with the Seoul Metro map before you go. Not all trains start and stop at the same time. It doubles in Korean and English so you shouldn't have much problem. It tells you how much you'll spend and the amount of time a trip will take. You can use the website before you go to get familiar with your area and then buy a phone that comes with the map in it. (You can also get a paper map from friendly workers in an office in the metro.)

Again this is not for the whole entire country but it sure does get you around most of it. Be friends in Korean! Be friends in English!!