Monday, August 31, 2009

A typical Tuesday at LCI

This morning has gone like any other. My kids are wild, like normal. On Tuesdays my Kinder students have a PE class so I get an extra 30 minute break. I hope this afternoon they calm down a little bit. The Kinder class leaves at 2:30.

After Kinder I have my M-F class from 2:40-4:00. They are really good. Yesterday I got 2 new boys and a girl. All of the classes got new books yesterday, for the new month. The new books for this class are so much better then the old one!

From 4-4:50 I teach a Social Studies class. Starting today my class, of 3 very smart girls, is merging with another class of 5 (I think both boys and girls). I am told that they are very smart. This is my favorite class, besides Kinder. Along with Social Studies I teach them a writing book. They are writing 4 paragraph essays. Of course, I love this!!

From 5-5:50 I have prep-time, each Tuesday and Thursday. At 5:50 I am done for the day!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A few picture from the weekend

The Korean pottery in Seoul

The subway station. Most are like malls, filled with stores, food and tons of people!

The park with exercise equipment right by my apartment, on my walk to work

Fred and I right before he got on the train back to Pohang

Fred comes to Suji!!

On Friday after work we all went out for dinner as a goodbye to Amanda, Ryan and Joelene. 3 of our 4 directors, Lucy, Michelle and Rebecca, came with us. We had dinner at a Duck Galbi (where you BBQ in front at your table).

Our head director Lucy, Britney and Steve at dinner

Me, Michelle, Gina and Britney at the Noribong
(Michelle is my director for 3 of my 4 classes. She is very sweet and cool and has really helped me adjust since I got here.)
This Friday (well really Saturday morning at 3am) Fred made it to Suji, after a bus ride, a taxi ride, lots of walks, a long train ride and finally another taxi! I was so excited to see him since I haven't seen him since break.

On Saturday we headed into Seoul with Britney, Shauna, Christine and Steve. We walked around a few neighborhoods (Insadong, the art district), shopped and had some dinner. We bought some chopsticks off of the street, had some tea at a Korean Teahouse, shopped for some Korean teacups and other stuff and stopped for some cheeseburgers for dinner (what a treat, even for me!!)

Buying chopsticks

My tea and our weird air filled, tasteless candy side dish

Today we walked around Suji and Fred got to experience it all. Then sadly, at 3 we had to head to the train station so he could go home. I can't wait to see him again and I hope that we can meet somewhere soon!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My kids and I

Alex and I

Jenny and I

Samuel and I

Sarah, Jasmin and I

This week has been low key so far. Shauna and Christine started observing at school this afternoon. Tomorrow Christine is watching my kinder class and Shauna is watching it on Friday. I hope my kids behave!!

Yesterday a handful of immigration officers showed up un-annoucned at school. They had blocked the stairs and the elevator to make sure that no one could leave. Once this took place a few other officers went from classroom to classroom checking the teachers. They had a list of who they have on record as being able to work there. However, Britney and I are new so we weren't on the list. The owners needed to show them copies of our Passports and they took down all of our information. I didn't know who they were until the entered my room. I was teaching and they were walking around in street clothes so I assumed they were parents. (However this would be even more strange because the fathers NEVER come to school unless its parents observation day.) The directors and owners said that they have never came before so it was quite a shock!

Last night after work Gina, Britney, Shauna, Christine and I went out for chicken. It was fun to go out and get to know the new girls.

Today at school we had tons of snacks from the afternoon parents! We had ice cream, donuts and bread from the bakery next door. It was a filling day! After work Britney and I took Christine out for dinner at the Korean place we always go to.

This week all 10 of my kinder students have been here each day so its been wild. I took a few pictures yesterday and today! I will put more on Snapfish!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Going to the doctor

Last week Britney and I needed to go to the hospital for your checkup that you must get when you are staying in Korea for an extended period of time. We went to the hospital in the next town over, Suwon. Once we got there we had to change into a gown and go from station to station to get various procedures done. We needed to get our blood pressure taken, our weight and our height along with getting our eyes checked at the first station. From there we went to get a urine test, then we had to get blood drawn. From there we had to test our hearing, get an x-ray of our chest taken, our teeth checked and finally we needed to talk to a doctor about our health history. It was a little overwhelming but all of the doctors spoke English.

When I was there I talked to them about refilling my arthritis medication. They said they couldn't do it there, I needed to go to a doctor in Suji and then come back. The next day at school I spoke to my supervisors about this. They said that there was a doctor by the school, who spoke English, that could write me the prescription. One of my supervisors brought me there today during lunch. The doctor was concerned about my meds because he says it is very severe. This may be because they don't use it a lot here. This became very apparent when he told me I needed to go two subway stops over to actually get the prescription filled. Because they don't use it, it is not easily available. After work I took a bus to the subway, went 2 stations into Seoul and walked to the pharmacy. My supervisor had printed off a map for me and circled where it was. She also called ahead to make sure they would be open that late and told me what color the building was. It was much easier then I expected! I walked out of the subway station and the building was right in front of me! Once I walked in I asked the man working and he said 'yes this is here.' I gave him the prescription and it was ready in under 10 minutes. I guess this place is close to a major research hospital, which is why I could get the meds there. It was an experience but I did it and made it back to Suji!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Going to a market

Walking around the Market


A huge tub of pickeled raddish anyone???


Beef Galbi

Christine and I at Galbi

Britney and Shauna

Saturday, August 22, 2009

They have arrived!

The rest of this week went very fast! I have learned that each day here, while you are teaching, goes pretty slow because we teach from 9:45am-7pm, but the weeks fly by! Its hard to believe that tomorrow starts another week.

Last week was pretty much the same as usual. We went out for dinner after work a few times. One night we went to a fried chicken place here in Suji and I was not impressed. I have had chicken in the next city over, Jukjeon, and it was really good. Another night we went to this little Korean place by school and close to our apartments. The owners are this older couple, 65ish. The man speaks broken Engish and is excited when we come in. We go there around 3 times a week, for lunch or dinner. The best part is that nothing on the menu is over $4.50.

On Thursday at work we had a student get sick all over the staff room so that made for an interesting afternoon. On Friday after work a few of us went to this bar in Suji that has a rooftop with some tables. We were the only ones up there and it was gorgeous! We had a great view of Suji at night. Apparently it was too hot outside or the Koreans just don't like the roof because everyone else was inside.

Yesterday, Saturday, Britney, Blake, Steve, Michael and I went into Seoul to go to the largest Electronic market in Asia. There are actually 2 markets, the old one and the new one. It was not at all what I was expecting. The buildings they are in are nice and clean. Each 'store' has its own booth set up inside. They are like huge malls but only with electronics. One of them was 9 floors! There were cameras, computers, vaccums, ect everywhere. It would be a great place to go if you needed something or if you like electronic! You can get anything here for cheaper, except Apple products, but the quality is not the same as back home. You can get fake iPods for pretty cheap but the real ones are very expensive.

After the market Britney and I went to our favorite Korean place again, we have named it Tomato Korean because there are tomatoes on the outside windows. Then we made our way to THE HOTEL to meet Shauna and Christine. They arrived from MN last night around 8pm. We walked with them around Suji and showed them the school. They seemed pretty excited and not too overwhelmed. I think the fact that they came together really helps.

We are meeting them today in a few hours to show them around some more.

This weekend I get to see Fred for the second time since I have been here! We are trying to figure out if he can make it up here or if we should meet somewhere. I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Crazy beginning of the week...

Its been a pretty crazy week so far and its only Tuesday. Yesterday I got a new kinder student, Jasmine. She seems very sweet but does not talk at all. I am hoping this will improve once she gets more comfortable at the school, with the other students and with me. My advisor told me that her English is very good but I haven't experienced that yet. She is not used to being in school and listening to a teacher so I have been spending most of my time making sure that she is following along with the class work.

Today one of the parents brought Dip-n-Dots ice cream for the entire school (all of the kinder classes). They were Honey-Cotton Candy flavored....very interesting. My kids were spilling them everywhere and turning the classroom into a huge sticky mess. In the afternoon we learned that there has been a lice outbreak with some of the kinder girls. After lunch they checked all of the girls hair (not the boys, like they don't have hair??). We were told its under control now but we don't really believe them. A lot of Koreans seem to have the attitude, avoid it and it shall go away.

It will be interesting to see what else happens this week!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stream running through Seoul

In front of the palace we wandered into

A ten story pagoda in the park we found. It was behind the glass because it was built in 1465!

Britney and I

One month down

So its officially been over a month since I arrived in Korea. Its hard to believe that its really been that long! I had a really hard first 10 days however the last 3 weeks have flown by. Once I started teaching the days just blended together. I have learned a lot about Korea and been pushing myself in new ways.

Teaching has been really good. I actually miss my kinder class when I am not at school. They are so cute and so much fun. I found out that tomorrow I am getting a new kinder student, Jasmine. This will put my class at the max limit of 10. I am worried about what lever her English will be at. I have had a stressful time learning how to teach young kids. The older classes are easier because they are all at the same level. They may know very little English however each student is at the same pace making it easier to teach. The kinder class is not like that. I have 3 students, Louie, Sean and Sarah, who are A LOT more advanced then the rest. They finish most of the class work before I finish explaining it to the other students. Louie is so advanced that he tells me numerous times a day that it is 'too easy teacher.' I have not found the balance between keeping him interested while helping my other students who cannot read, the, are or in. I am hoping that this will get easier as I continue to learn other 'tricks' from the other teachers.

Yesterday Britney and I went into Seoul. We took a bus there and walked around for a while. It was unbearably hot, around 97 with the same humidity as always for Korea. We wandered into a temple and palace by chance. We saw Seoul Tower from a distance and walked along the stream that runs through Seoul. Later in the evening we headed back to Suji. We then met up with Steve, Michael and Blake, other teachers we work with, for some card games.

Today I just laid low in Suji. I went to get groceries, did a few loads of laundry and cleaned by bathroom. I also put up more pictures on Snapfish.

Tomorrow starts another week at LCI!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A few pictures of my classes

My kinder class. Left to right: Samuel, Daniel, Louie, Jenny, Alex, Sean, Mini, Chelcy and Sarah

Ready to head home in the rain
Left to right: Sameul, Alex, Daniel, Louie, Sarah, Mini, Jenny, Sean, Chelcy

My 2:30-4:00 class everyday
Left to right: Tom, Ria, Anna, Jetty
(Missing one boy, Jen)
More pictures on snapfish!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Beomeosa Temple in Busan, South Korea

Crazy fans at the Lotte Giants game!

My apartment building

The door to my place. #101 on the left.

My building. Noble House

The door to my building.

My apartment is the second one up. The two smaller open windows on the left are in my laundry area. The windows to the right of the laundry, near the corner, are my bedroom. The one above the air conditioner is my room and the window on the far right is my second bedroom.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


If you want to send me anything (pictures!) here is my address. We are told to send things to the school so that we can make sure we get it, as there is usually always someone here.

LCI Kids Club, Suji School
C/O London Wetsch
6th Floor Garam Bldg. 1080-14, Punduckcheon-dong
Suji-gu, Yongin-si, Gyunggi-do
South Korea (449-846)

Is that the hot water button???

This will not surprise you if you know me....

When I got to my apartment I soon realized that I did not have hot water. I ran the water for a long time only to soon give up and stick with a cold 'shower'. The next day at school I asked the other teachers. They told me that you need to push this button to get hot water each time you want to use it. They said its really easy, the only button by your power box. When I got back that night, around 9:30pm, I decided to try. It turns out that the button is not for hot water but for turning off the power in the entire apartment. Luckily, I pushed it once more and the power came back on.

The next day at school I asked one of my supervisors. He printed off this picture for me and wrote all over it in English. It turns out what I needed to use is this box of leavers and knobs in my bedroom. To get hot water I must turn on the heat in my apartment and turn the heat off when I am done. Only in Korea do you need to turn on the heat to get hot water when it is 95 degrees outside with 90% humidity.

Lesson learned!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Finishing up my Second Day

Yesterday was my first day at LCI. The morning (kinder) went really well. The kids are great and really like to talk. In the afternoon I had older kids that know very little English. I taught them basic English, reading and writing. (I have them MWF) I had a hard time getting them to talk and the classes dragged on. After school at 7 I went with Alan, Amanda and Steven for dinner. We went to a galbi place. In Korea these are everywhere! You can pick your meat, order extras like soup, get the Korean sides and rice and cook the meat at your table. Then you can eat it plain or make a lettuce wrap. I them came back to my apt. (Oh, if anyone wants to send mail I really need some pictures from back home to put around my place!)

Today I had my normal kinder class and it went fine. The kids are energetic so I need to keep them under control. In the afternoon I taught a reading class and social studies class. These kids are 10 and are so advanced. They are pretty much fluent in English so they were really fun. I have them TH until 5. From 5-6 on TH I have my prep time for the week. On TH I am done at 6.

I stopped at a little market for some food and water and came back to my apt and tried to do laundry. I guessed on the settings and now my clothes are hanging to dry, and they seem clean. I was finally able to put minutes on my Korean cell phone and I think I figured out how to get hot water. We will see if it works tomorrow when I shower!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First day teaching at LCI

When Fred and I left Busan we went back to Pohang. Friday for dinner we went to a BBQ eel place. Fred really liked it however I did not care for it. We had 3 kinds, BBQ, salt and pepper and soy.

On Saturday we just spent the day wondering Pohang and went to a great Italian place for dinner. I sadly had to leave on Sunday around 12:30 to make the 7 hr trip back to Suji. I got settled in my apartment (finally!!).

This morning was my first day at LCI as a teacher on my own. I am on my lunch break now. The morning went well. The kids are kinda crazy now that Matt Teacher is gone but it will get better once I learn the schedule.

More to come once the day is over!