ESL

So Long, Farewell: It hurts when friends leave Korea.

 

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I won’t lie, last week in Korea was rough. I should have been elated for the upcoming weekend forecast of warm weather and birthday celebrations for yours truly, but my heart was a little crushed. A handful of fellow teachers departed or began preparations for the journey home. Each time someone leaves I realize how much they’ve influenced my time abroad. I mean, come on, they basically made it.

group


What to pack for a year in Korea

year

Gangnam Style Socks
Only one more lesson before I have to dash home and start madly packing for a weekend in Seoul, far less stressful than trying to pack for a whole year away from home.

I feel like I packed well last year, although it did take me about a month and I must have packed and unpacked at least ten times before it was moving day.

If i had a delorian, here are the things I would tell my past self to pack:

The College Students

Yeah man, they really are as great as you think. There’s no more screaming, no more dong-chimming, and very little in the way of running around and hitting. I’ve taught five classes so far this week at my Korean university, and each was actually a pleasant relief from the rest of the things going on in my life. If you can believe it, when I left those classrooms I felt better than when I first stepped inside.


The Troubling English Obsession in South Korea: How Foreign ESL Teachers Can Be Part of the Solution



As of 2013, there are thought to be nearly 20,000 first-language English speakers working for public schools and privately owned language programs (hagwons) in South Korea.  Korean parents regularly shell out as much as a third of their household income to get their children in an after school program with these foreign instructors.  As a result, hagwon profits have soared, surpassing US$7 billion in 2009.


Don’t You Want to Be in Kindergarten?

I haven’t written much in the past few days because I’ve been greatly involved in this cool activity known as sleeping.  I don’t know if it’s the flu shot I recently got (better late than never, right?) or if I’m still trying to readjust after coming back from vacation, or the fact that I am a teacher and therefore run around all day.  Either way, I’ve been falling asleep by 10:30 the last few nights.


December Memories: CHRISTMAS DAY

Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas everyone! These are some of the fabulous people
that i spent my first Christmas in Busan with. I had an
amazing day filled with good food, drink, games
and skype chats.

High 1 Skiing

When I first came to Korea I had no idea what the weather was like, apart from the fact my friend Dan had lived there for a year in the past and assured me that Busan had beaches and in summer it was a good place to be. That probably explains some of the atrocious decisions I made when packing. I imagined a summer like in Europe, pleasantly warm and dry with a mild winter. One fur leopard coat is proving not to be warm enough against the winter winds that blow around every crook and cranny of Busan's jiggledy buildings and the shoes I brought for summer are all but ruined now after the monsoons and the humidity. With all of these things unthought of, I definitely oblivious to the fact that Korea would have a massive ski season here.

December Memories: Day 14

London Red Bus
Two 2nd graders on their way to London for the event day. Cute!

December Memories: Day 13

English Obama
Tash and I had no input into this semester's English themed Event Day preparations so
were surprised to be met with this when we walked in. No wonder

Sucking It Up

A few weeks ago was October’s Birthday Party for our Kindergarten classes, and this coming Friday will be November’s Birthday Party.  This means lots of pictures, fried chicken and kimbap for lunch, Birthday cake, and a ceiling full of balloons.


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