My Apartment, Dinner, and a Snowy Day

Well, my last blog was cut short because of the weather. The Dunkin Donuts didn’t really close until 11 PM, but the shop owner’s kids were whining about getting home and the she lived far away, so she wanted to leave early. I think Korean kids have a lot of control over their parents. Anyway, once I got into Seoul I just got off, got my shit and left. The drive was about two hours, and the driver spoke almost no English, so I looked out the window and dozed on and off. Once we were in Cheonan, I met with Mr. Lee the president of the school, and Michele, the teacher who’ll be helping me out. They showed me to my apartment and told me a little bit about the job, the school, etc… They’re both really helpful, and said they’ll help me with anything I need. So with no further ado, some pictures.

As you can see, it’s fairly small. The main room functions as my bedroom, living room, dining room, solarium, banquet hall, parlor, etc… and I have the bathroom and a combination kitchen and laundry room. The interesting thing about the bathroom is that there is no separate shower stall, but simply a shower head that runs from the faucet of the sink. The logistics of taking a shower in the bathroom are still a bit complicated, but at least now I can piss in the toilet, shave in the sink, brush my teeth and shower all at the same time, God allowing. I have a bad habit of not turning off the shower head, so later last night when I went to rinse after brushing my teeth, I treated myself to nice blast of cold water in the face.

The kitchen is small and there’s nothing in it yet, so more on that later. The washer is nice, but all in Korean, so it’ll take some help to figure out. Also, there’s no dryer, hence the hanging rack for clothes. I’m told lots of people send their clothes out to be dry cleaned anyway, including their unmentionables, but I think I can wash those myself.

I wanted to add more pictures of my dinner and the snow today, but every time I upload a picture now it disconnects me from the Internet. Maybe another post.

Yesterday I went to the school at 11 AM and met Michele. She’s a new teacher too, so the program we have to use to teach the kids is new to her as well, so we’re kind of just figuring things out on the fly. This week I have to work from 10 AM to 6 PM because it’s the first week of the school year, but next week I should be on the 1 PM to 9 PM schedule. Details about what exactly I do are still a little bare, which is kind of unsettling. Yesterday a teacher came from Seoul to show us how to use the program. Her name was Heather and she’s American, been here teaching since September. She was only down for the day though.

By the end of the day I had taught about three half hour classes just going through the program, clicking the next button and asking kids to repeat after me, answer questions, ask them questions related to what was on the screen, etc…

After work, Mr. Lee took Michele, Heather, another teacher and I out to a nice Korean dinner. It was basically a communal soup meal set on a stove top in the table and we helped ourselves. Included was the normal banchan, or side dishes. My favorite was ggakdugi, or spicy pickled turnip. In the soup was pork backbone, and it was easily the most tender pork I’ve ever had. All I did was poke it with a chopstick and it fell right off the bone. I should hopefully have a picture of the table up soon.

After dinner we dropped Heather at the train station so she could go home, then I was dropped off at my apartment. It was 10 PM or so, so I watched a little TV and then went to bed.

Right now the only things I need are a converter so I can charge my phone, netbook, and camera. All three are on their last legs right now, so until I get it, I’ll be incommunicado. Also need contact solution, since I left it at the hotel in Chicago.

I’m the only foreign teacher at the school, and probably the only male teacher there, as Mr. Lee is the president of the school. Here I think schools are run much more like businesses than we would think of a school in America. He doesn’t teach that I see, but when he comes into the room the kids certainly behave much better, particularly when he reprimands someone.

Well, that’s all for now. Hopefully I can get the converter today so I won’t be out of touch long. If you guys have anything specific you want to know just leave a comment (in the strange case that perhaps you have a WordPress account), or more likely just write on my Facebook Wall, send a message, e-mail, etc… and I’ll address your questions.

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One Response to “My Apartment, Dinner, and a Snowy Day”

  1. Hi Colin!

    My name is Jacey & I am loving your blog. Reading it from the beginning, of course, because I am currently looking for teaching jobs in South Korea. I cannot say enough good things about your blog! It is exciting to read what I will soon be experiencing. Once again, thank you for writing. Can’t wait to continue through the rest of your posts!

    Jacey

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