I'm kicking off my second week of teaching with a new blog post! I still haven't put my belongings back in order so the apartment tour has been postponed. My apologies for the delay. I've just been taking my time to settle in and to become accustomed to my new surroundings. I've had adventures in figuring out the hot water, figuring out the Korean washing machine, and adventures in Korean drinking etiquette.
School so far has been great. I've mostly done just a basic introduction of myself to the different grades, but the kids have been fun. My schedule has been a little confusing these first two weeks because of class elections and testing, but I relish that I'm working a consistent 8:30-4:30 job. I generally have 4 class periods before lunch and then have the afternoon to consult with my co-teachers and prepare. My co-teachers have been oh so helpful and kind to me, over all I'd say I lucked out with my placement.
Wednesday night I had dinner with the school, and got to stand up and introduce myself with all of the other new teachers. All the new teachers were handed a microphone, said a little something in Korean, bowed, and then passed the mic. When it was my turn, I simply said "Nice to meet you" in Korean and bowed. There was an audible 'wow' of awe from the room, impressed at my minuscule knowledge of the Korean language. It was funny and a little embarrassing to get such a large reaction. Another fun fact is that drinking is not only encouraged at our faculty dinner, but it is also expected. There were many toasts and shots of soju. The dinner itself was rather tasty. We had duck, and chicken, and several side dishes.
This weekend I met up with several other NETs (Native English Teachers, remember?) and we got dinner and drinks. It was good to get out of my apartment and socialize a bit. This is after all my first time living without housemates, and it's a little bit lonely when you can't even talk with your neighbors. I'm considering taking some Korean classes in the near future, but the first one I was looking at is already filled up and started last week. I've decided to start small and get some books on learning to read Hangul so I can pronounce basic phrases. Hangul is a surprisingly straight forward alphabet with symbols for each sound that come together in little blocks that represent syllables. The vowels are a little tricky because English speakers do not differentiate some sounds. Once again my co-teachers have been wonderful and are all willing to help me out with learning Korean in exchange for helping them practice their English :)
Overall I'd say it was a successful first week!