Yesterday one of the English teachers brought in yogurt drinks for the English department. I have not had the chance to talk to him too often, but I do get to listen to his classes since his room is right next to my desk. This drink is a blueberry yogurt drink. 비피더스 is the name/brand of the drink. I was sure to thank him for his kindness.
I love these keyboards at school; you can switch from the Roman alphabet to 한글 (Korean) with the press of one button. I should figure out how to do that on my Mac soon! I have found that I am learning Korean pretty well by buying food at the stores and translating the packaging when I get home.
This is a popular drink in Korea. It is made from Korean red ginseng. I have been offered it twice while at school. Once when I was introduced to the principal, and once while grading the 4th graders exams. It tastes like cola syrup with an herbal twist.
Here is another video. The views out of my window and from my rooftop are really nice! I like my apartment! I was a bit nervous holding my Ipad out of the window though. Sometimes it is just easier to use my Ipad though. If you listen carefully you can hear the music that is always playing from the digital plaza next door.
Today I was possibly going to Daejeon for my ARC (Alien Residents Card). Alas, my documents did not return yet, so I will have to wait until tuesday or so (Monday is Buddha’s birthday; no classes). That was a bummer because the ARC allows me to get a phone, and an ATM card as well as health insurance.
Today was not a complete bust though, I had a great lesson by my favorite Korean teachers! Again with the Jenga and games. This time they brought a guitar too! One game I played with them that they seemed to like was to have them write in one of my Moleskine notebooks. I would have them write a word in Korean, then teach it to me, then I would help them spell it in english. It was a pretty good system!
I am still receiving gifts from my students. Today I received a bouncy ball, 2 chocolate candies, a vitamin C candy, and a John Grisham book. I ate the candy, it was pretty tasty! It made up for the fact that I also did not yet receive my computer in the mail. It was supposed to get here on Wednesday, but it got held up in customs I think. Oh well, Tuesday it is then.
My friend, the candy giver stopped by several times today. He seems to be a little shy, but he is very nice. I think some of the students just like being around me. That isn’t meant to sound conceded, I think they just enjoy being around the foreigner.
Every time these guys stop by it is so much fun. The girl in the middle always pulls faces and is very emotive. The girl on the left is really smart, and is pretty good with English. She is also the one who likes to stack the Jenga blocks as high as possible. Today I learned the word for:
Eye: 눈 nun
Hand: 손 son
Ear: 긔 kui
Nose: 코 k’o
And several others.
She stopped by today, and she brought the guitar; I think she was on her way to lessons. Her English name is Jenny. That is easy enough to remember because it is my sisters name. Jenny has been thoroughly introducing me to K-Pop (Korean Pop Music). Her current obsession is a group called Nu’Est (Newest). Their song “Face” is kinda catchy. Yes, it is essentially a boy band; it’s K-pop.
On my way home I saw this cement pump filling in a 3rd story floor. There are so many buildings going up around mine. It’s kinda nice to see the empty lots being used. Granted in Korea there is no wasted space. Even in a one foot strip of land next to a road someone will be growing radishes or something!
So this ends my first week in Korea. I was slightly nervous about how the students would be, but they have more than proved to me that I will love this job. Every day they manage to do something that makes me smile! I am looking forward to teaching them and learning from them!
Kim informed me today that our rooftops were in fact accessible! This was after an incredibly long walk into what seemed to almost be the country-side, and a dinner which included dumplings and pork. After that lovely bit of the night, I went up to my roof alone to take some pictures. Here is what I came up with:
Thursday started out as a bit of a rushing day! I thought that I had to introduce myself at 9am and 9:50am for two different classes. It turns out those classes were having tests, so I did not need to present until 11am and 11:50am. That was a bit of a relief!
When I found out that I had a couple hours free I decided to catch up on some emails and such. At about 10:30am I was invited into Mrs. Song’s room to celebrate her birthday with cake! It was tasty, and I dont think that I have ever eaten cake with chopsticks out of a cup before!
So at 11am I went with Muriel to present myself to the classes and tell them a bit about myself. I told them that I was from California because I thought it would be easier for them to understand. It went really well, and I think that all of the students love me by now. I am not being conceded, most of them come by between their classes to talk with me! One of them kept giving me candy today. Such a nice little guy!
So after my presentations, and after we went to lunch, I went back to the office. At about 2pm a couple of my friends came by with one of their friends to teach me english. They actually came by just to hang out and have fun, but we ended up teaching each other english and Korean respectively!
So after a while of teaching language to each other, we started playing Jenga which disolved into stacking blocks up as tall as we could. When it was time to go home I walked my new friend part way home. I wasn’t really sure where she was going, but I figured that she was just walking the same direction with me until our paths split. I figured right, about half way home she turned off down a street and said goodbye.