Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Exclusive Flip Cup Footage

In case you didn't think you were special enough, here's a video of my other class playing Flip Cup- not posted on Facebook. These kids are a little bit younger and at a lower English comprehension level. Their lesson was about learning "Pass the ___, please." Inside the cups were pictures of food vocabulary. They had to fill in the blank with whatever food was in their cup.

These kids cheated less and were possibly even more excited than the class that followed. And for further viewing pleasure, here are some still shots taken. These shots are of the class featured in the last post's video.

It really does feel good to be a gangster.


The Day I Prepped My Students for American University

My work days are split into three sections. Regular classes, After School, and then Late School (seo-dong). 

Regular classes run from 9:00 am- 1:10pm. Then comes After School lessons, of which I only have one a week. From 4:50-6:40, I have two Late School classes. Late School differs from Regular classes in that I work completely alone and basically get to make everything up. Sometimes, this is highly frustrating. Others, it's amazing. Like today. I modified the hit drinking game "Flip Cup," into a suitable language-practicing game. Instead of beer, i filled the cups with a slip of paper that had either a key word or phrase on them. The kids had to read these slips aloud before attempting to flip their cups.

Check out the cheating kid that starts throwing cups at the opposing team's line. Dick.

The kids cheated, argued, developed "strategies." It was awesome. I've never amused myself more.

P.S. The kid closest to the screen on the right, in the horizontal-striped shirt is Jim, my clear favorite.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prove Your Love With a Care Package!

I probably shouldn't post my address in such a public forum, so I won't. But. I would adore some sweet packages from all my friends and family back home. Letters can go to my apartment, but packages should be sent to my school. You can inquire after the respective addresses from either myself or my parents. 

If you don't want to send anything, I can only speculate that you don't love me and therefore should stop reading this blog. 

No, really.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Cheongok, Cheongok, Choo-Choo

Somewhere in Ulsan, between:



you can find:

Cheongok Elementary School, my place of employ. I work with:

Hee Won (co-teacher), [me], Jenny (co-teacher), Jae Hong (don't actually work with him),

Hoon (not even a teacher, just a co-teacher's boyfriend), Seulgi (main co-teacher), Dicaprio (not his real name, don't work with him in class, either), and Joo (who I also don't work with.)

I have three co-teachers: Hee Won, Jenny, and Seulgi. The others are English teachers in the school with whom I happen to share a break room. They have to travel from room to room when they are teaching, but I get:

The English Room. Also where I spend almost all of my time. Check out the sweet format of the lettering. That's not confusing or anything. The insides look like this:

complete with smartboard. also,

I tried to covertly sneak a pic of two of my students dancing in the back room, which looks like this:

I like the room, generally. Lots of space and it's pretty much all my territory. One time I tried to take a picture of one of my Late School classes. I spent about 15 minutes trying to corral the kids into a small, photographable area. The result?

Sure, it looks adorable from afar, but it's also a pretty accurate depiction of what my teaching experience is like. Oy.

My co-teachers are pretty amazing. They know I don't have much experience, so they're willing to lead, but also encourage me to take an active part in the teaching process. What I'm saying here may seem to clash with things I've been complaining about on a person-to-person basis, but I just got my first paycheck, so everything's looking a little rosier. I'm sure I'll nitpick again in future.


In an Attempt to Backtrack

Most of my photo loading will take place on facebook. For this blog, I'll post a few of the top photos. If you don't have facebook and want to see the rest, let me know and I'll forward you the photos forthwith. Yeah, forthwith, suckas.

Here are the Orientation Top Five:

(5) During orientation we had a culture day that consisted of going to a temple (pictured here), a river, and a traditional Korean village called Hanok. All of this was located near Jeonju University, the site of our EPIK Orientation.

(4) Whilst visiting the Buddhist temple, I got to observe a small service.

(3) A large nest tucked under the roof of the temple. There's not much to scale this photo by, but those bees/wasps are GIANT.

(2) There were many golden idols inside the temple. The decor was elaborate, the environment calm, and that random chick's head is the key to this stellar moment.

(1) The aptly placed river was clutch. That day was so grotesquely hot. The whole orientation, really, was laden with grossness. specially on my part. It wasn't just the heat, but the intense humidity. You can see some blue EPIK shirts mingling with some locals in the river. Harmony.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Ain't No Party Like a Chuseok Party

I figured I could use this as a forum to better explain why it's okay that I got drunk at my vice principal's house.

This week is Chuseok, one of Korea's biggest holidays. It's compared to America's Thanksgiving, except the celebration is longer. There's reuniting, food, and lots to drink. My vice principal invited me to her house for dinner so I could experience a little bit of real Korean life. It was amazing.

The food was unbelievable- we had sam-gyap-sul (korean BBQ), pajin (delicious green onion pancake thing), and, of course, alcohol.

In Korea, drinking alcohol has a very different connotation. Obviously, one still doesn't wanna get sloppy, but they encourage a solid buzz. Let me tell you about the part of the night when I learned a little Korean drinking custom:

When drinking soju, you normally drink it out of a shot glass. You can sip it or take it in one shot. After you've empitied your glass, you can grab a towel, wipe off the rim, and pass it to a person of your choice. That person must accept the glass, let you fill it, and then they are obligated to finish the drink and return your glass. The vice principal's youngest son pulled this on me when I already had a fill shot glass of my own. His father explained that I could take my time drinking it, but in bigger parties, you should drink faster because you could end up with loads of glasses in front of you. Then he told me I should drink up because his son was thirsty for soju and needed his glass back.

"We like to encourage people to drink. We do it, uh, politely."

I was also encouraged to sample some beer, wine, cognac, brandy, and whiskey.

I'm shocked to have no hangover this morning.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Get the Ball Rolling

Okay, there were many a story from EPIK: The Orientation, but I'll just give you the short, short version. It was awesome. Except for that whole lecture thing. And the ridiculous heat. Honestly, at that point, no one realized my amount of sweating was disproportionate to a normal human being's. I mean, they've since learned, but back in Jeonju, we were all drenched.

A quick rundown of what happened. Flew into Seoul on Aug, 18th, picked up a sweet 4 and a 1/2 hour shuttle to Jeonju University: The Place for Superstars, where orientation commenced. As did much consumption of soju and other merriment. Soju is Korea's drink of choice. It's something like vodka, but the taste is much, much smoother. You need maybe half a bottle to start feeling it.

In other news, interesting people are abound in the EPIK ranks. Several fast friends.

Also, I went to a beautiful Buddhist temple during the "cultural day" of the orientation. I took some video of the service being held.

(Just kidding, the video won't load.
I'll try again in a later post)

Other keywords for the orientation phase include (but are not limited to): chopsticks, club 1215, boyfriends, hit it and quit it, when cultures collide, edutainer, and beards.

*In future, I'll post a couple pictures on this blog, and the rest on facebook. If you are wanting in the facebook department, send me an email and I'll send the photos to you directly.