Saturday, September 24, 2011

My School

[Ed. note (6/27/12): Working in a hagwon can be very stressful. Please forgive the, uh, "testy" tone of this post.]

Prior to signing a contract with a hagwon, it is wise to request a phone conversation with one of their current foreign teachers. I neglected to do this. 

I showed up at school on a Monday morning. I shook hands with my co-workers and sat down in the break room.

"So, how do you like this place?"

A silence. They exchanged glances.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Afternoon

I've written a lot here about kindergarten, but really that's only half of my day. Elementary schools let out right as kindergarten ends, and before we can even get Robinson & co. out the door our halls are swarming with a whole new batch of kids. These later classes are much shorter than kindergarten, take place less often, and in general have less emphasis placed on them by the administration.* But still they happen, and it's high time we gave them their due.

*From what I understand our school makes most of its money off kindergarten, with the afternoon classes serving as something of a bonus. 

I teach four classes in the afternoon.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Three Months In: State of the Union

I'm one-fourth through the year, which is pretty nuts. In most ways I feel like I just got here. I still know basically nothing about this place. Wanna know something about the South Korean government? That sucks, because I don't know anything. I think they have a Prime Minister.

Still, it hasn't gone by in a flash. I'm so acclimated at this point that in some ways America seems like a long time ago. Thirteen weeks. That feels about right.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Picture Post

I try to keep the posts light on pictures, but what the hell.


I was hoping to return to America with a new shirt or two, shirts that would announce to others "my adventure-filled life is far sexier than yours." But it hasn't worked out the way I wanted.

The clothes here have... a lot going on. Drawings, stripes, crazy designs. And you will not find any shirts with Korean characters on them. Everything -- I repeat, everything -- is in English.

In general, the shirts come in three varieties.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Green Class Update


Green Class got a new student a few weeks ago, a little gal by the name of Gemma.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Citizens of the World

I work with eight other teachers. Two are dudes, six are girls. Aside from one of the guys (who's a bit older), everyone is in their mid-twenties. I'm the second-youngest person.

The co-worker situation is as good as I could have hoped. Everyone has been really supportive. Whenever I have a question (all the fucking time), they generously pause their day to answer it. We hang out on weekends. It's a really solid crew.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Living in South Korea: Early Impressions

YAY: No tipping. 

As in some other countries, tipping here is viewed as something of an insult. Takes some getting used to. This meal costs...what it costs? That can't be right.