Caroline vs. the Job Market: Part One

And so it begins…again.

Following a friend’s recent post concerning the trauma that is post-Korea job-hunting, I felt it unavoidable to chronicle my own thoughts on the matter. As I’m certain it will be an ongoing trauma, consider this Part One.

Of all the terrible jobs I’ve done in my time, I feel perfectly confident in telling you that the worst one of all was the job of finding the terrible jobs I then did. This is saying a fair amount considering that I spent Boxing Day 2011 publicly cleaning Stilton soup from a lady’s shoe.


Well it’s somehow gotten to the 1st of January, and therefore to my obligatory ‘end of year’ post.

It is a sad fact…

…that the majority of visitors to my blog will leave disappointed.

This uncharacteristically short and non-rambling post was inspired by this week’s Top Searches…otherwise known as, The Things People Typed Into Google To Be Led To My Blog or Things To Make Caroline See That She Should Write Less Weird Stuff. 

Without further ado:

after being denied by a recruiter, can you apply directly to epik 

gangnam style notes for recorder with letters 

flying practice at hogwarts

korean stereotype about korean fashion

I’m just grateful that ‘nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ has finally dropped out of the top four…I did so hate to think that people were looking for thinspiration/pro-ana forums and instead found a post about how much I like cake.

Note: What kind of a sick fuck learns to play Gangnam Style on the recorder??

Taking One for the Team

There’s a considerable hoo hah surrounding my school’s annual festival at the moment, but I’ll be damned if I can understand most of it. The only solid fact I could gather so far is that it will be held in either October or November and will feature performances from staff and students. Everything else is a bloody mystery. Allow me to entertain you with tales of what has happened so far.

Love and Loathing in Korea

For some reason I haven’t been in the mood to write very much lately, which is probably down to the fact that my first ever Summer Camp is looming and therefore I have kicked into a frantic planning mode not helped by my school’s propensity for the last minute dumping of work onto the foreigner’s already overflowing lap.

Surprisingly, this is not a post in which I whinge about my school or about the upcoming non-stop english fest that is Carrie’s hastily cobbled together ‘Fun Fun English Camp’, but rather a homage to the old ‘Things I Do and Do Not Like About Korea’ chestnut. So without further ado, let us delve into the inner workings of my opinion gland** and see what’s cooking. For the sake of time, I have chosen to pay attention to the top and bottom four and disregard the rest…which is pretty much how the British education system works, now I come to think about it. Go England!

Those who can, teach. Those who can smile and nod, teach in Korea.

Having now been an EPIK teacher in Korea for a little over 3 months, I feel like I’ve gained enough insight into the life of a GET (Guest English Teacher) to throw my two cents in on the whole shebang. Before any lifers get on my back about 3 months being nothing at all, I am well aware of that but if I reserve judgement until I’ve been here for a year I’ll probably have forgotten what this profound feeling of realisation is like.

Sports Day

Sometimes something happens to you and you just can’t bring yourself to write about it straight away. Survivors of earthquakes, tsunamis plus a host of other natural and non-natural disasters often put off speaking of the event until long afterwards, preferring instead to put it to the back of their minds whilst they can lest it become as clear in the daylight hours as it is during sleep.

Dear JJ…

Dear JJ,

I’d like you to know first and foremost that I have never before been compelled to write to a celebrity. I would like you to know secondmost that I have just finished watching season 1 of ‘Alcatraz’, and thirdmost that I have some giant, Ultrasaurus-sized bones to pick with you.

Oh it’s a thing, JJ. Perhaps you could use it in your next show, in the middle of an English village in the early 1900s.

Kompliments and Konfidence

As I’m succeeding in getting little else done today, I have decided to throw my two cents in on a topic that I imagine concerns  the vast majority of women who make the move to Korea. Probably guys too, but screw it…they can find someone to write their own posts.

As most of you will know, Korea is a pretty much a homogeneous society. Obviously there are significant amount of foreigners here  but Western teachers (like myself) number only 20,000 in a country of over 48,000,000 and as I’ve mentioned before, it isn’t unusual for me to go a good few days without seeing another Western face. Usually when I do it’s because I’ve made an effort to meet up with friends after worrying about my waning ability to speak my own language.

Please Don’t Take A Picture, It’s Been A _____ Day

Or: An Uncharacteristic Work-Related Rant About A Job I Actually Like 

All things considered, it’s fairly easy to have a good day as a teacher in Korea. Weekends in particular are spectacularly easy to enjoy, for a number of obvious reasons (no school, little no lesson planning, a considerable number of same-boat Westerners to share the time with) but also because of the potentially overlooked fact that I can actually afford to do stuff with my weekends here. EPIK pay is nothing spectacular but it’s more than enough to be able to comfortably afford weekends (and weeknights if you’re not as keen on saving) of sightseeing and eating out whenever the mood takes you. Having lived in overpriced England all of my life and never having had an above minimum wage job, this is not something to be sniffed at. Whether I choose to go adventuring or stay at home, weekends in Springtime Busan are lovely and I feel lucky to have them.

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