Chili Pepper Bridge

Chili Pepper Bridge

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day hike

So I ended up having the day off on Wednesday, so before my Korean class at 3:30 I decided to go on a small adventure.  My roommate told me about this hiking trail in our town that is only a few minutes away from where we live, so I decided to check it it out.  It ended up being pretty cool.  It was a LOT of stairs of this mountain that led to a veiw point that over looked our town, Jinbu. here are some pics.
                                                         One of several stairways
                                                       A Korean War Memorial I believe...
                                                           more stairs....
                                                          Salvation! The top!
                   View of Jinbu, you can see my apartment complex, tall beige building on the bottom right
                                                       more Jinbu
                                                      the Misty Mountains
                                                      just chillin

After the hike I went home, took a quick shower and went to Korean class.  All in all it was a nice relaxing day.  Went and got some Chinese food with some of the other teachers after our class and then went back home.  I am going to Seoul this weekend so look forward to another update next week!

Monday, September 19, 2011

In the swing of things

     Well its been a while since my last post so I figured I'd give an update.  So far I have just been getting used to life here and getting into my routine.  During the week life is pretty quiet.  most days I wake up around 8:30am, have some coffee and breakfast, which is usually cereal.  I usually spend my mornings preparing my lessons for class, if I didn't finish them the night before.  My roommate, Kevin, has to be at his school earlier than I do so most mornings I have the apartment to myself.  At 11:40 I catch the bus to Jangpyeong and get to my school around 12:15.  I eat lunch at school, and so far the food has been pretty good.  My first class of the day is at 1:30pm so after lunch I have just under an hour to get my classroom ready and set up for my lesson.  I teach classes from 1:30 until 4:30, then I usually stay at school until just before 5.  I will clean up my classroom and maybe plan a little bit for the next days lesson.  Then I catch the 5:17 bus back to Jinbu.
     My evenings so far have been pretty uneventful.  A few nights a week me and my roommate will make dinner together, but for the most part we fend for ourselves (he's vegetarian and I need my meat sometimes).  We will play cards or watch TV shows on our computers, and we spend a bit of time swapping lesson ideas, and talking about what we did for different classes.  That is one benefit of having a roommate is that we always have someone to talk to and compare ideas with.  I know some people that are starting to feel lonely and homesick because they live far away from everyone.  Once I get a cellphone it will be easier for me to contact the other foreign teachers in Jinbu and we will spend some more time together.
     So thats my basic schedule for a typical week.  Oh yea, I started taking Korean classes with the other foreign teachers last Wednesday.  We meet every Wednesday at Jinbu Elementary school at 3:30.  The class is taught by the schools Korean English Teacher.  Since we are all at vastly different levels (some of the EPIK teachers have been here for 2 years) its mostly like a self study, but on Wednesdays you can ask any questions and have them answered by a real Korean person.
     Well thats about in for now, I finally feel settled in.  I really like my school and town and this week I should be getting my first paycheck!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sports Day and Chuseok Weekend

    ahhh yes, another end to a wonderful week.  This week was especially good too.  My school had sports day on Thursday, where all the students competed in various events ranging from standard races to balloon popping contests.  A lot of the parents came out as well and participated, it was tons of fun.

     Also, my settlement money finally came today, so I am no longer broke! woooo hoooo, which is perfect because I have a 5 day weekend now.  I get Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off next week because it is Chuseok, Korean thanksgiving.  So now I can actually travel a bit and see some people, instead of spending the vacation in my apartment living of rice and water.  I also signed up for a Korean class in my town with some of the other foreign teachers.  It meets every Wednesday starting next week.  I'm really excited to be able to learn some more Korean.  Trying to learn by myself on the internet was proving to be difficult.  On another note, I finally set up a Skype account so you people can call me through the computer for free.  My skype name is:  risi.anthony
                                                     TUG OF WAR!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Has it really been a month?

   So officially one month ago today I arrived in Korea.  Wow, that went by fast!  Although now that I'm getting into the swing of country life, things will slow down a bit...probably not though.   So I had my first day of teaching last Thursday which went fairly well.  My lesson plans fell apart for some classes, to hard for my 2nd graders, to easy for my 6th graders.  Plus most of the kids were a little shy at first and I really had to prod them to get them to participate in class.  I noticed several of them were "playing dumb" and acting like they didn't know what I was saying when they actually did.  However, its amazing what just a few days can do.
   Today was definitely a great day for me.  All my lessons when great!  The kids were participating, my lessons actually took up the allotted amount of time, lol, and I really felt that the kids were able to pull something out of it.  It was a very good feeling.  I am starting to get the hang of lesson planning for my different classes and it is not taking nearly as long as it used to, although making interesting PowerPoints to use in class are what takes up most of my time.  However, lately I've found several good websites for ESL teachers that have a lot of resources already made, so that should save me a lot of time.  Also, all of the TaLK scholars have been sharing information with each other and that has been very useful (although today I actually found myself giving tips to several other people).
                                                 My school: Jangpyeong Elementary

                  My 3rd/4th grade combination class.  That's right, only 5 kids! (well two were absent today)

    Well, now that I've caught you up a bit on my school live I'll talk for about about settling in.  So far its been great.  I've met about 4 other foreign teachers besides my roommate who live in the area and they are all really nice.  Also, many other people in the TaLK program live in bigger cities not to far away.  This past Saturday a group of about 12 of us met up in Gangneung for a beach day trip.  It was great!  Not only was the beach awesome, but it only takes me 40 minutes by bus to get there.  So we all spent the day together, swapped stories about our respective schools and towns and just relaxed.  I was really surprised at how warm the water was.  I jumped in expecting it to be freezing and was pleasantly surprised to find it to be about 70 degrees.  After hanging out in the surf all day we grabbed some really good seafood noodle dish, I forget what it was called, that had shrimp, clams and squid in it.  After that we grabbed some coffee at a cafe and chatted a bit more before we all headed back home.  It was good to reunite with some of the other people, even if we had only been apart for a week.
                                                                      Beach in Gangneung