Weekend Yoga Retreat

This weekend I received the opportunity to take part in a yoga and wellness retreat. Yoga classes, hiking, time outside and food were all in the books.

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My University Was Not Like This…..

Korea can be a funny place.  I went to work on Monday morning taught two classes and then was informed that the students had orientation so they may not come to class.  This was okay with the teachers since it meant that we just had to check our classrooms to tell the three students that came to class that it was canceled.  We had to check each class so the teachers stayed at school, but the funny part was that we then spent the remainder of the day on our balconies watching the students sitting on the lawn drinking Makkeolli and playing drinking games……and, this was totally normal.  The only bad part was that there was a good amount of students who were either very hung over on Tuesday morning or did not make it to class.

New, new, new

Hello all!  I’m pooped and ready for bed but wanted to show some very sparse pictures of the new office and apartment.  Don’t judge because we haven’t fully moved in but with the moving, cleaning, starting work, and not having a hot shower in about five days…it’s getting to me.  The bright side(s)….work is pretty cool so far and it’s almost the weekend, therefore I can’t complain (other than that bit I just did).  And now for the meaty part of the post:

My empty, empty office and me working hard!

 

 

Kyle working even harder.
One view from our offices.

 

I hope to have our apartment set up soon to show everyone but it is a work in progress!

It’s that time again

It’s the end of the semester when we have numerous parties for the kids.  We had a chicken party this Wednesday and I have mad over 100 (no bake) cookies for a cookie party today.  The funny thing about a “party” at school is that anything can constitute a “party”.  The teacher can give out the smallest piece of chocolate and then it will be a “chocolate party!”.  Kyle passed out coins the other day to tape to pen pal letters to send to America and so that day was a “money party!”.  It cracks me up how excited the kids get about things.  I like their idea of turning anything into a “party!” and think I may incorporate this into my own life.  Coffee Party(!!) anyone?!?  I just woke up.

The best chicken EVER! Kyochon, so delicious.
The kid, who is the cutest kid in school, his little brother just joined. Double the cuteness!

Belated Halloween

Here are some pictures of the Halloween celebration at academy.  The kids liked seeing the teachers dressed up, making masks, and they especially liked the candy.  I don’t think you can really transport the idea or atmosphere of a holiday to an entirely different place – it’s just too foreign of a concept for some cultures –  but it was fun for both the teachers and students.

The small boy in the front, the one with the evil look in his eye, is one of my favorite students and, of course, he is one of the naughtiest too.
The smallest students had a good time making masks.
Even the Korean teachers were pretty into it also.

 

 

Ddong

This is my hair today:

This is what the kids call “ddong hair”.  I was just happy to be able to put all my hair up (and too lazy to do my hair….)  But “ddong hair” is not a compliment.  In Korean ddong means poop.  So, yes, I wore poop hair to school today.  Thanks to the kids for noticing!  Happy Friday to everyone else!

Au Revior Kiddies

The end of the semester is always a joyous time.  Teachers get the kids all sugared up on junk food and candy so for once you could be all of the kids’ favorite teacher if you have the best goods.  Buying pizza for the older kids goes a long way and cookies are always good for the younger students.  It is a good way to end the semester and leave a good taste in the kids’ mouth for the start of the new semester (except for those fish flavored chips.  They leave a really bad taste in your mouth.)

The end of the semester also marks Kyle and mine six month mark in our year-long contract.  I know much more now than when I first arrived and am more comfortable in knowing how to handle kids and how to teach.  The kids have both been a blessing and a curse.  Some are cute, some are bratty.  I imagine they are like children anywhere.  No matter what the kids are like everyday I continue to improve on what I am doing.

Here’s some photos of the children I teach:

Jelly and Kitty. (They picked their own names)
John. Poor boy, he's in a class with all girls
Mimi, whose name was formerly Rose, formerly Tiffany, and formerly a few others that I can't recall. The young ones like to change their name whenever they feel like it. She is also one of my favorite students (I know, you aren't supposed to have favorites....)
1, 2, 3, Kimchi!
Some of my older students
Terrible Terry (he's really a good student, I just like to joke with him)
Sally 2, Angela, and Sally 1 (creative in the naming, I know)
Some of my older students being bratty and not wanting to take a picture with me.

Teaching in Korea

And the main reason I am n Korea…teaching.  I never in my whole life thought that I would be teaching children.  All through my college career I couldn’t fathom how people would actually want to go in education as a career choice.  Now, I hands down applaud those people. They are brave!  And they deserve so much more respect than they probably deserve.
Teaching was never my dream job but after studying abroad in college traveling, living and working abroad was definitely one of my dreams.  After college I got a nice job with the State of Nebraska.  I was working in a fun department and in the fun field of Travel and Tourism.  I was able to take on projects and take on responsibilities that were challenging but that let me grow.  I am thankful to have such a great job right out of college.  I had been at my job for two years and was feeling a bit antsy.  Of course, all through college I said that I just wanted to get out of Nebraska.  Now I really like and appreciate Nebraska.  But after feeling antsy and looking at my different options I found the work of teaching abroad.  I thought it was a perfect opportunity for me.  I am young and wanted to grab life by the horns!  If I didn’t do it now, then I thought I never would.  I didn’t want life to escape me and things pretty much fell into place with the teaching job.  I was lucky to meet one on one with a recruiter (very rare) and she walked me through the steps of all the paperwork, ect..
Now to the actual teaching.  Before I left I had not thought a lot about teaching and what it would be like.  Of course, I was nervous and had no clue what I was getting myself into.  Teaching is different everyday and it can be very challenging at times.  I always have to remember to keep my cool.  You cannot let the kids get to you, that is when you lose control of the class.  I had no training or even job shadowing before my first class so I had to figure it all out very quickly.