Hello everyone, sorry for the lack of updates, but here’s my entire week! lets see if I remember everything…
Sunday, after I finished my last post, I went out and grabbed a bite to eat at a dumpling house, because I figured Devin was still asleep after our night at Monkey Beach. As it turns out, he’d been up for a while, since Joe seemed adamant about getting him out of his place by 10:30. So while I’d been posting on my blog and leisurely having some cold noodles at the dumpling house, Devin was frantically looking for me to give me his keys while moving all his crap out of his place and over to his buddy Steve`s place.
When I finally arrived to find Devin at my soon to be apartment, I bumped into Alix, Brittney, Georgia, Christine and Joe. Joe informed me that they had been looking for me and that Devin had tried to reach me at the Hotel. Joe passed me a set of his keys to my apartment to use. (That`s kind of creepy. Apparently he has access to all of our apartments. I remember joking around with Amanda the night before about how he must be snooping about in her underwear drawer. BUT NO! Joe`s a nice guy, I swear! And at any rate, He works so hard, I should buy him a BIG present or something. I hear he likes Western or Canadian things, I’ll have to find him something.) Anyhow, the bunch of them were headed over to HomEver to buy more household supplies. Instead, I vouched for just moving in, since I`d been itching to unpack since I got here.
So my first day generally consisted of unpacking and cleaning. I’m not sure if I did much else, Its been a pretty eventful week, so I forget details. I do know that it was at about this time that Alix discovered my blog and decided that she was a celebrity on my blog due to the amount of times I’ve mentioned her. Apparently her name comes up a lot?
So Monday was my first day of teaching. I work a late start and a late finish schedule, but I got up early since I knew I had to make lesson plans for my clases that day. So I walk to work with Britt, Alix and Christine, sit down at my isolated desk upstairs, and start working away. I soon realise how much work I should have done last week, because there is SO much planning to do. I gauged my work ethic on Devin`s work ethic and I realised he had been doing this for 6 months by the time I met him, So it took him NO time to do these things. That, and he knew the curriculum. I didn`t.
Class was a DISASTER! we covered the material, but the children did NOT listen to me. My ACI clas was bouncing off the walls during my lesson (I found out that they just do that regularly) and I over-planned for them. They didn’t get my math lesson AT ALL, and then immediately afterwards, My brand new EAS1 kids showed up. They’re basicaly level one kids, some, supposedly know NO english. my kids, save for one or two, were dumbstruck. They stared at me while I talked, and NO ONE answered questions. This one kid, didn’t even have a name in English yet, or so he told me, so we decided that his name would be Michael. Upon the class’ conclusion, I realised that his name was Stepano. (yeah, that’s right. Stepano. The parents apparently just pick random names for the kids. One kid that Georgia teaches is named World. Apparently someone somewhere is teaching a kid named Jack Sparrow. but that’s all his FIRST name. Straaaange.) anyhow, I made a mental note to rectify that later.
Anyhow, Day 1 of teaching was just disheartening. I realised there was a lot more work to it. It didn’t help that everyone else’s classes went swimmingly. I felt WORSE. I think today was the day it rained all day, but I can’t be sure anymore. If someone can confirm that that’d be great. lol But if it was that night, then that means after work, Devin dropped by to give me his key and soon afterwards, Alix, Brittney and I went out for ice cream. That trip turned into an excursion to HomEver. Now I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but Alix is possibly the most hilarious person EVER when we’re ANYWHERE. I’ve decided to start making a quote book, because I completely forget the things she said, but she’s convinced that ever Korean here speaks perfect English, and so she sets out to speak to them in perfect English, with big hand gestures and her typical hilarious loudness. I bought a really classy looking umbrella and Big Jaws popsicles, which are possibly the best popsicles ever. They’re called Big Jaws, because they’re shark shaped. Afterwards, we stopped at an ice cream place wherein I think only Alix bought ice cream. (or did she? I don’t think so…my memory is fading!!) OH YEAH! Alix bought the most hilarious rain jacket. And apparently HomEver doesn’t have rain boots, because Alix mimed a person holding an umbrella and then pointed at her feet and mimed putting on a boot and the man said no and walked away. Also, Britt tried out some of their pianos in the store. I’ve decided that we have to go back when there are no people there or less people, and have her play.
Okay so after that, we either all passed out, or we hung out at someone’s place. or I hung out at Brittney’s. I forget. but night came, and i slept.
The next day was no better than the last. It didn’t rain, but my classes were equally hectic, and kids who were supposed to be advanced, showed me no signs of even registering what i was saying. After work, I forget what I had for dinner, but I ended up at Britt’s place listening to music and talking until we were both ready to pass out. I was supposed to see Devin that day, because Wednesday morning he’d be taking a plane out of here. (which reminds me, I need to say sorry and goodbye to the guy) I was supposed to see him that night, but instead, I got too tired and comfortable at Britt’s and just hung out. I think this was also the night that she finally had air conditioning.
Day three was interresting, because I woke up with an intense feeling of sadness and homesickness. Also, I felt like I desperately needed to be hugged. I wrote an email to my family (Craig and Adam and Vanessa included, because to me, they ARE family…Craig will be officially in my family in 11 months) and by the time I finished writing it, I felt HORRIBLE. I arrived at school early as usual, and worked my yellow ass off planning my lessons. and you know what? BEST DAY EVER. The kids got EVERYTHING i taught to them, everything went amazingly and I left work that day feeling like a million dollars. Everyone else had left at that point, so Gavin, Georgia and I went out to find a place to eat. We went out for Spagetti at this Pizza place, and t was VERY good. If I remember where it is, I’ll go back again.
On my way home, I met up with Brittney who told me that they were going out to see the Dark Knight tonight. I love that movie so much. Britt, Christine and I were the only ones to go, and it was an interresting experience. The theatre was below the building where HomEver is located, and all together, it cost each of us 10 dollars to go in. That’s 7 dollars for the ticket, and 9 dollars split 3 ways for 2 bags of popcorn and 2 cups of soda and a thing of nachos. GOOD DEAL! actually, it was 10 bucks for the food, split 3 ways, so i paid 11 dollars for everything. But that movie is so epic, I love it. Christine and I had a big Batman discussion going home. It was fun, apparently Angelina Jolie will be playing Catwoman and Johnny Depp will be playing the Riddler. I’m interested in seeing how that goes, apparently either the earnings from the Dark Knight or something or some amount of money generated from the Batman franchise is going towards support for Heath Ledger’s daughter? *shrug* anyhow, GOOOD NIGHT.
The next day went pretty well too, teaching-wise. The kids listened and seemed to really catch on to my lessons. (usually) it wasn’t AS good as Wednesday, but it was a big improvement from days 1 and 2 of teaching. Again, that night it was Gavin and Georgia leaving work with me.
Something I should mention about Georgia, she doesn’t eat pork. Infact, someone in our entire group doesn’t eat SOMETHING. But I’ve been willing to try anything. I’m NOT across the world so I can eat McDonalds and Kraft Dinner. We wandered for maybe an hour looking for a place, and me I was craving Gaubi (speling? or Gaobi? anyhow, it’s the all you can at pork place I went with Devin and ppl on Friday). Except Georgia refused to eat pork! So Gavin and I, being the mean people that we secretly are, drilled her for answers to WHY she didn’t eat pork. Her answers were “I just decided I wouldn’t”, and pigs are “so dirty!” both of which we decided were poor answers. At this point, it was purely our stomachs who were talking and saying “you chose the worst time to stop eating pork, Korea’s most often consumed meat is pork.” and “pigs are actually one of the cleanest animals, contrary to popular belief”. In the end, we accomodated and actually found an amazing chicken place that has CURRY CHICKEN! I’m going to have to go back to have some. Maybe tonight? anyhow, we had this really spicy dish of chicken and compressed rice things and glass noodles. and ONE potatoe. it was very good. We also ordered a bottle of Soju, and my first sip made we want to vomit, because it reminded me of LAST wednesday and how horrible i felt the morning after. Me and Soju are never speaking to each other again. And Soju can forget about hanging out too, because we just don’t get along.
I think my night concluded with me and Gavin hanging out in Brittney’s room talking and sharing music. a wonderful evening.
Friday, more of the same in terms of teaching. Each week, at the end of the week, we have to hand out Preview/Review sheets. they basically tell the parents “what we’ve been doing this week” and “what your child should prepare for next week”. The day before, I only remembered to pass them out to my last class of the day. today, I changed my system and handed them out at the beginning of the class. it worked out much better. I’m starting to really enforce a routine with the kids, and they’re really grasping it. I had a failed nametag making fiasco the first 2 days, but wednesday, i scrapped it and things went so much better.
Anyhow, Friday night Georgia and I went out to Chicken and Beer for some fried chicken, because sometimes, I just really need fried chicken. That night, I just stayed in and watched Avatar. apparently both Britt and Alix tried to get a hold of me. I guess my speakers were too loud.
Yesterday (Saturday) was pretty fun:
I spent the morning wasting time, had some eggs and then met up with Britt, Alix, Christine and Gavin. We went to Samsung plaza to meet Erica and the 6 of us took a bus to some place…I forget the name! biut it was nice, lots of stalls with cool stuff, lots of tourists, a TON of authentic old Korean and Chinese things for sale, I saw these amazing books filled with chinese, all weathered and batterend from years of age, I wanted to buy them all, but they were so expensive. Next time maybe. I also tried to get a new stamp with my chinese name on it. the guy said it’d be ready in 8 minutes. 10 minutes later, he hadn’t even touched it, so we went to look around some more. about 45 minutes later we returned to find that it was still just sitting around doing nothing. we were then told it would take 2 hours. I left. I’ll have to find another place. I really desperately wanted that. I bought some old patterned paper, and a sketchbook. the kid that’s all one piece of paper. forget what they’re called. Rey or Tessar would know.
Anyhow, afterwards, we went to Hongik which is apparently the youth culture hub, and we saw so much exciting things, it really felt like the metropolis, or just crowded exciting place I pictured Seoul to be. We wandered around for an hour looking for a Chinese restaurant Gavin liked and then Christine’s TD card was eaten by the bank machines.
Christine and Erica took off and the remaining 4 of us did some browsing in the crowded streets. Britt went looking for shoes, and we found this hilarious building that has separate Karaoke rooms, but the rooms face outside with big windows like a dollhouse and you can look in and see the korean girls rocking out. When we finally decided we needed food, we stopped at a tiny side street corner where there was Pasta or Korean BBQ. While deciding, Chase showed up randomly with his buddy. That made my night, seeing someone from back home. He’s leaving soon for home, and I wonder how it must feel for him, I’m just arriving and loving it, he’s been there a whole year already. I just can’t believe the luck, bumping into him in such a HUGE city. and the chances of doing it on such a small sidestreet too.
We decided on Pasta after Chase said his goodbyes and it was pretty good, but expensive. After, we went to a couple bars, the first, as Brittney said, felt like being at a house party. you took your shoes off at the door like a traditional Korean place, and sat at tiny tables on the floor. My camera also decided to die after I took a really cool photo of Britt. We then hopped over to a JAZZ BAR!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING MUSIC! holy shit, the first band was a tiny girl on piano, some dude on bass guitar and a drummer and they were more a fusion band than jazz, but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I think I’ve found my new favourite place in all of Seoul. I want to go every night for Live Jazz. The second band was a quartet, piano, drums, upright bass and this tiny quiet looking girl with the biggest, most amazing singing voice ever. she sung in english, and i swear she sounded like….I can’t even describe how amazing. I think/hope britt or Aliz posted their videos of her singing, because I want everyone to see hear and see this girl. Incredible.
We grabbed a cab home, and on the way, Gavin accidentally cleared the fare, which made Gavin (who has a really mocking laugh) and Alix laugh, which only seemed to piss off the cab driver more. He spent a good while speaking angrily at Gavin. I spent the ride contented and listening to jazz on my ipod.
This morning, nothing to really report, though Spore comes out today. I feel like a nerd for buying it and waiting to play it, but whatever. It’s pre-loaded on my computer so in about 6 hours when it officially is released, I can play it.
AND THAT WAS WEEK 2!!!!!!!!!! i feel like i missed a lot, but whatever. I’m gunna try and get Photoshop back on this thing and then I’ll put up photos of Saturday on here and on Facebook.
Bye for now!