Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's been a while...

Sorry it has been so long. Last week was extremely crazy and I really wanted to write something but had little to no time. This weekend has been great. There is only one bad thing. My friend Gunu is going back to Germany today and I will miss him, he was my first real friend here in Korea and I thank him alot for that. Anyways back to the story at hand. Last weekend was so awesome, I took the subway to Insadong. I got lost looking for the street and wound up at Changdeokgung Palace where I walked 2.5km and toured this amazingly beautiful palace which you can see pictures of here: The majesty of this place, the beautiful architecture, and the glory of finally seeing the Asia I was hoping for made me want to cry tears of completion. "This is it, This is why I am here" is what kept rolling through my mind while I ventured through this place. It truly is a sight that no picture can capture, only your eyes can truly capture its majesty. Then I went and got some help from some other friendly foreigners and I finally made it to Insandong. I walked up and down the street just taking in all the culture it was incredible. Then I found Nagwon Arcade which had everything music related you could ever want it was absoluetly insane, floor after floor of guitars, recording equipment and everything else...litteraly my heaven! Then I went and ate some Kim Chi Jigae (G-J) and headed back home. The next day I didnt feel very well but I did get out and I bought a psp and got it modified to play downloaded games. Very cool!

This week at school was very tiring. The kids knew a holiday was coming and it made them anxious. I had to sit in on a couple of classes and observe on Wed. when I usually can go home at 6:45. Then on Thursday the person who is over the teachers decided to sit in on two of my classes, one it was good that she sat in on but the other it caused my class to absolutely not do or say anything it was terrible. Then on Friday night, it was mine and Gunu's last night to hang out cause Cheseouk was this weekend and he had to be with family. We went to a PC Bar which is a place with computers and you can play computer games and stuff in there. It was fun but sad cause it was the last time. Then Saturday I went with Ian and some of his friends to a Doosan Bears game. It was alot of fun because I was able to hang out with a big group of foreigners. The game was really intersting cause they have this guy who directs the crowd and people paid more attention to him then they did the game most of the time it was great. Then we went and hung out and talked near Konkuk University which is about a stop away from my apartment. I decided that I wanted to go to the night market and look around so I left and went. I looked around for a while, bought some jeans, ate some fresh pineapple and by the time I knew it, it was past midnight and I had to get a taxi back. I then went and got some pork cutlet to eat, it is extremely popular in South Korea. Then I finally flagged down a taxi and on the way back there was this motorcycle that kept doing wheelies everytime after the light turned green it was crazy. Yesterday, I went to another baseball game and that was about it. I plan to go to COEX mall today and the aquirium, hopefully I will be able to write again soon so it doesnt take up two weeks of time.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The first weekend in Korea

Okay, so I made it through the first week!! THANK GOD!!! My first day teaching was pretty much a complete nightmare. I had almost no idea what to do, I didn't know if they had homework or not, all I knew was what I had to teach and that was difficult because most of my classes were going over one chapter that was made up of two pages and I and the syllabus says that I am supposed to break that chapter up into 2-45 minute class periods! WTF, MAN! I can barely make that much material go for 1 class period let alone two. This weekend I have to take this new book and write 5 comprehension questions from each chapter and there are 10 chapters. That is just lame, I mean as a teacher, I already have enough grading and other stuff to do during the normal time but you then dumb this on me, LAME!!!

Anyway, I am not complaining really, the school has its quirks but I do believe it is a very valuable asset to my resume and I really enjoy working there mostly, the people are great!

Okay so earlier today I went with Ross and Chris to TechnoMart, if you haven't seen this thing it is huge, (my own picture of it will come soon, once its not raining so im not afraid to take my camera) 38 stories above ground, 6 stories underground, an observation deck, a movie theatre, tons of shopping, electronics galore (IE: Phantom heaven). We basically just went and looked around and exchanged some stuff they needed to get but I hope I can go back soon and check it all out myself (once i get a paycheck ). Then we came back and separated till about 1:30 but before that I tripped on the sidewalk re-injuring the leg muscle I hurt last week when I was trying to get in my seat on the plane to Minnesota URGH!! So knowing it was gonna involve a good deal of walking wherever we were headed, I had to bail on the guys, so I called Ross and told him what was up and hopefully we will be able to all go together next weekend. I then rested my leg for a long while, washed clothes and for you Mrs. Coggins, I built that clothes rack all by myself and the directions were in Korean so yeah i got pictures and they will be up with in the next few days hopefully. Then I watched Tropic Thunder on and was disappointed at the movie that replaced "The Dark Knight" in the number 1 spot in the box office. Then I got hungry....not just for anything....but for one thing momma.....KIM CHI STEW!!!!!! I went looking everywhere to see if i could see a picture of it....nothing happening.....finally I just gave up and went to this place that has bulgolgi. This place is now my favorite restaurant in Korea, the waiter spoke English! THANK GOD!!! Then he asked me if i wanted a menu and I looked at the menu and he pointed out the meats you could get but something caught my eye....KIM CHI CASSEROLE. Boy was I surprised, I didnt expect to get what I wanted when I walked in but there it was. So I ordered that tonight and I must say it was everything I wanted and then some. Take that Kim Chi Stew we had at Du Won Jung and intensify the spicy-ness by 10% and you have it. The main difference was that this one had fresh cut jalapeno peppers in it. It was really reasonable 6,000 won which is about 6 US dollars. I plan to go back tomorrow for supper but this time I'm gonna have the Pork bulgolgi. This was the first real Korean meal I have had since I arrived here and that one meal has made my entire trip over here worth it. Suddenly this place doesnt seem so strange, its not home, because my friends and my parents are not here but it could be a good place to live for a year. Now I just have a big task which I'm not sure when I will be ready for and that is riding public transportation, I think I'm gonna wait till i get paid before I venture out much more into the unknown, I mean at least I know what is around the mile radius of me.

Well I love and miss you guys have a good one and I will talk to you soon!!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My first day teaching!

So today was my first day. I must say I am exhausted but it was an experience. My first class was really good, I had some really good students and they liked what we were doing. The second class was the same students but it was reading and they really wouldn't say anything and they got very bored, I really didn't know what to do. My third class was a science class and it was about pitch, sound and volume. I taught this class twice today but the first time was amazing, it was absolutely the best thing ever the whole class was so involved in everything. I started explaining pitch and volume and I sang a high note and a low note. Then when I was explaining volume, I spoke real loud and all the students went flying back in their chairs surprised. I really wish I could get a teaching position that I could teach young kids in foreign countries music, now that would be awesome. Most of my other classes were either okay or extremely noisy and bad! There is a running joke with me and some students from one of the classes earlier in the week. There once was a teacher there who was american. One day a student fell and hit his mouth on the door and covered his mouth and the teacher asked him if he was okay and the student said to the teacher "Pee in my mouth." The teacher was like "What?" He went into the office and told a teacher about it and they said don't you know the Korean word for blood is "Pee" HAHAHAHA!! Everytime those students see me now they start saying that just cause its funny and i crack up everytime. After work I went and ate at the Pizza Hut next door and I mst say Pizza Hut is way different over's good but its not like America. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to take some time to go to TechnoMart. TechnoMart is like 38 stories tall and is absolutely huge!! You can buy almost anything there and there is also a movie theatre in there. Tomorrow I only have 2 classes then i have to proctor a test for the middle school kids. Tuesdays and Thursdays are not really difficult for me but Mondays and Weds. are killer. I miss everyone and I hope to talk to you guys soon..



Monday, August 18, 2008

The first few days...

Well, Saturday morning I departed Memphis International Airport and the headed on a 1:45 minute flight to Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota airport. From there i then traveled to Tokyo, Japan to go through the line security line from hell and then I finally made it to Seoul at 11:45 pm Korean time on Sunday. I got to my place and it was totally unexpected if you want to see some of the photos you can go to Then I got up this morning and went to eat I found a Chinese type place that had a beef fried noodle that was amazing. Then I finally met up with Christina again and went to my school. I observed 5 classes and taught one and it was absolutely amazing, these kids are so cute and they seem to want to learn English for the most part. The girl who I am taking over for is named Bessie and she is very cool and I will miss her. We went to the convenience store and got some fast food gimbap. It was very good and I really hate her last day is tomorrow even though my first day is Wednesday. Then after I taught a class Christina took us to this street vendor for an appetizer before our sushi, it was really good but spicy and i cant remember what it was called but it was made from potatoes i believe. Then me and Michael went to this sushi place, and sushi in Asia is so much different from that in America, but it is great, I had octopus, squid, smoked salmon, and a shrimp that had a head to it that you ate as well. It was very good all of it and I am really looking forward to experiencing more. The bad thing...unlike I thought...most Koreans do not know enough English to get you by it is a kind of point and click deal for me right now. Tomorrow Bessie and I are going to go eat some real Korean food and that for one really excites me since I have not been able to experience that yet. Well thats it for now but ill keep you all updated as soon as I have another chance, ill be teaching in 2 days!