I'm updating this blog from my desk at school!!! Unfortunately, I don't have wifi in my apartment, and I won't be able to get it until I get my Alien Registration Card, for which I have an appointment tomorrow. The card takes at least 2 weeks to process, probably more now that there's an influx of applications, so don't expect tons of updates for about 3-4 weeks, till I can get SUPER FAST wifi in my apartment.
The good thing about Korea is there is lots of free public wifi, and I have an internet connection at school. Sadly, I won't be able to post pictures or videos for a while, unless I visit a cafe with wifi or a friend who has it in their house, so you'll probably get a big pic post in a couple of weeks.
So far so good, as far as school goes. Most of the teachers are impressed that I can say anything at all in Korean, even if it's words like "Where, how, why, what?" or family member names like 엄마 (oh-mah, mother) or Oppa which is brother (but can also be used for older guys in general or boyfriends- at kpop concerts, most girls scream OPPA for their idols... so yeah). Honestly, I think everyone is amazed I can say more than Hello! I still feel like I'm a fish out of water (because everyone still stares at me, from the time I leave my apartment till the time I get home), but I hope after a month or two everything will feel routine.
This week, I have been introducing myself to just about everyone in the school. I even had to go on the televised morning announcements to introduce myself today!!! Scary!!! Thus far, I've just shown them a simple powerpoint about myself. They laugh when I show them pictures of me when I was young, and they also always guess that my dad is my harabuji, which means grandfather. So I tell them "no!!! Abuji!!!" which is like, No!! That's my dad!!! Thus far, I think they like me. They like to run up to me in the halls and say "Christina Teacher, HELLO!!!" and then they hug me and run away. Or they shout "Christina teacher, pretty!!!" Koreans are really flattering when they meet foreigners, I guess. I'm trying not to let it go to my head haha!!!
I have a lot of free time at school this week, since I'm just introducing myself. I usually have a block of 3 or 4 lessons in the morning, lunch, then one or two more lessons. These end around 1 or 1:30, and I will be teaching 22 lessons a week. I basically have 22 individual classes, ranging from 3rd graders to 6th graders. But I'm contracted to work 40 hours, which means sitting here until 4:30 every day, just bopping around on teh interwebz. I actually start teaching next week, so my 3 coteachers (yup, 3 co teachers!!!) and I will start working on things. My lesson for the 4th graders next week is days of the week, and the 5th graders are learning "I want to..." so I have to start thinking about that. Thankfully, I only have to plan 4 lessons and repeat them about 5 times each.
In the meantime, especially once I have internet, I plan on studying more Korean so that I can kind of understand what the heck the students are yelling, or what my co teachers are saying to them.
My apartment is actually really nice, but I need to fix a few things, like the fact that I have no curtains and no hot water. Wamp. I'm kind of roughing it in the heat, though I do have an air conditioner. It's right above my bed and it drips, plus I'm trying not to have a sky high electric bill, so I've only used it to cool the apartment a bit before bed or if I'm dying. Hopefully the weather and CRAZY humidity will be transitioning out soon, so I can start walking to school. I don't mind the bus, but it's a bit awkward when I can feel everyone staring at the waygook. That's one thing that's hard about living in Korea- I will NEVER fit in as a local. In Italy, I could sometimes pass for a European. No chance here. It will take some getting used to, but I want to do my best to represent Westerners here in Korea.
Until next post!