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Hockey

Anyang Halla Ice Hockey

A few friends and I went to watch an ice hockey game(s) here in Anyang. We received free tickets to go. A friend's husband plays on the team. It is fun to watch, and I hope to attend more games in the future.

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Posted by LiveLife 01:41 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Staff Dinner

A Night of Soju

After work we had a mandatory staff dinner. The director (my boss), and the owner of the school (the director's husband) treated all of the staff at CCT to a wide-ranged dinner of sushi, egg, some type of potato cakes, salad, a bean/corn dish, and more.

I came to find out that it is tradition to use the staff dinner as an initiation for the new staff, mostly the foreigners. This includes a lot of sojo and beer. Tony and I, being the new kids on the block, didn't really have a choice whether to keep drinking soju or not. Everytime I looked away, another shot of soju was poured for me , or a soju/beer coctail, by the owner of the school. Tony took the hardest hit that night though. He was the center of the entertainment, and the staff thoroughly enjoyed every moment. We had a great time, and even continued on to a nearby bar to end the night.

The dinner was a very nice gesture, and very welcoming. The staff are all very close-knit like a family, which is common in Korean culture.

Posted by LiveLife 19:54 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

SK Snowfall

Big Fat Flakes

snow 22 °F

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A few of us teachers decided to go to Happidus for an after work social and dinner. The weather was cold and windy, so we took a taxi there. We had a leisurely dinner followed by a few games of pool. Once we stepped outside to go home, it was snowing. It doesn't snow very often here, and I was surprised at how hard it was snowing in March. It was very pretty, but the wind made it almost unbearable to stand outside too long. This is one of those nights where you actually have to wait for a taxi instead of walking over to the line up.

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Posted by LiveLife 03:20 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Playground Duty

some work, mostly play

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Each teacher and staff member take turns having playground duty. The students get their recess after lunch. We are assigned usually one day per week of playground duty. Supervision is necessary, so the kids do not get out of hand or hurt. It doesn't really seem like a duty though because the kids are just so adorable, and love to interact with us at recess as well. Tony Teacher is nice enough to assist me during recess, and usually takes the blunt of the masses of children clinging and pulling on him. It is good entertainment for me. I usually get the hugs and the cuddle bug kids.

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Tony never stood a chance!

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Tony, I'm going to get you!

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Playground rules don't apply here.

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Aren't they just so precious

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Me and Clara bear

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Clara the cuddlebug

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Sitting on the rooftop

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Ella..Ella

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Tony, let us make your shirt bigger for you.

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See that spot of white...yeah that's Tony

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Fit for a poster

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What, is recess over already?

Posted by LiveLife 02:22 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

My Classroom Cuties

Creative Sponges

So far teaching in Korea has been enjoyable. There is always preparation work to be done with lesson plans, activities, paperwork, and report cards. This doesn't leave me a lot of free time at work, but I don't mind. It is so amazing how quickly my students learn. They are like little sponges of knowledge! It makes my day worthwhile when I hear and see that they understand what I have taught them.

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In arts and crafts class I taught them about primary and secondary colors. I had them do coloring and painting activities to demonstrate this concept. I really wasn't sure if they understood or were just repeating what I said. To my surprise, they proved to me they understood. My efforts were not wasted. In a different class I was handing out various colors of construction paper for a project, and one of my students raised his hand and said to me, "Jennifer teacher, I have yellow. This is a primary color?" I smiled and said, "yes, wow, very good!" I had to give him a sticker for his sticker board for that.

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All the kinder students have sticker boards. When they answer a question right, or do a good deed, they receive a fun sticker for their own personal sticker baord I have hanging up in the classroom. Once a student gets to 100 stickers, he or she receives a prize. This prize can be anything we choose from candy to a toy. This is a great incentive for them to behave also, as they can get stickers taken away from them if I so choose. They take this sticker business very seriously. I often find them counting their stickers, and comparing them to their classmate's. Korean children, not unlike other children, seem to be very competitive.

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Posted by LiveLife 01:16 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Korean Barbeque

It's a party in my mouth

I must say that the Korean Barbeque is by far my favorite cuisine here in SK. It is extremely delicious, and it is also nice as a social gathering with friends.

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There are so many barbeque restaurants to choose from. If you just walk down any street, you'll be sure run into one. Some of the barbeque places are expensive, but overall a reasonable price. Obviously, the more people you have dining with you, the cheaper it is.

With Korean Barbeque, you can choose between chicken, beef, pork, and some other meats. We sit on the floor at the table where our food is cooked on a built-in grill. The meat is sometimes cooked for us, but sometimes we do it ourselves at the table. We also get quite a few tasty sides. The BBQ always leaves me feeling full and satisfied.

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Posted by LiveLife 00:41 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Shopping Cart Souvenir

Chickens and Emart

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It is nice to not ever have to walk to work alone. I adore that it is only a 7 minute walk depending on if I catch the traffic light or not. My coworker Karen usually stops at my apt. to pick me up each morning since it is on her way. I also learned that I have some sort of chicken/goat yard nearby. For a few mornings in a row, I walked part of the way to work with some chickens just strutting along the street. That is just not a sight I am used to, especially in the middle of a city.

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After work, Karen and Romo offered to take me to Emart to shop for items I desperately needed for my apt. Emart is South Korea's version of Walmart, only here in Anyang it is 5 stories. Space is limited, so some stackable shelves and hooks were a must for my apt. I also had to buy some cleaning supplies and some food. I wanted to get it all done in one trip. The problem here lies in not having enough hands. I was accustomed to stocking a cart full and pushing it out to my car to unload. Well, I had to walk back to my apt., and find a way to carry everything. I had no choice but to push the Emart shopping cart out of the store and proceed down the street. I am sure it was a funny sight. I caught a lot of odd looks from people passing me on the street. I was just temporarily borrowing the Emart cart until I could return it to the store. I stored the cart in my kitchen as a souvenir for over a week. Finally my friend Tony agreed to push the cart back to Emart with me. Another fun fact I learned is that South Korea has cameras everywhere! So I know more than a few people witnessed my Emart cart dash. Haha, oh well.

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Posted by LiveLife 00:12 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Field of Vision

Sights of Anyang, Itaewon, and Beomgye

Within the city I live in, Anyang, I do most of my commuting by foot or taxi. The taxi cabs are very cheap here. There usually isn't any problem finding an available taxi either, with the exception of a snow day. I have much more of just my city alone to explore though.

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Anyang Station and nearby
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Itaewon is about a 30 minute subway ride from Anyang. It is considered a global neighborhood inside Seoul, "foreigner's city." You will know exactly when you are in Itaewon just by the change in culture and the variety of people. Itaewon developed after the Korean War for American soldiers. The streets are quite colorful, and there is plenty to do. Any type of food you are craving can probably be found here. I have had the kebabs, a favorite of mine since living in the Netherlands. Itaewon also has a great foreign market (grocery store) where I found some familiar items such as oatmeal, nutella, and mac n cheese. Basically it is like stepping into a home away from home, or a European country. Oh and to add, it has a great English bookstore with discount books offered.

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Beomgye neighborhood is a quick 4-5 minute cab ride, and where friends and I frequent to have dinner, go to clubs, shop, etc.

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Posted by LiveLife 03:31 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

3 Days in 24 Hours, next up...

Resistance drains energy, Acceptance saves it, Cheerfulness sustains it

My first full day of work at CCT went quite well. By the end of the day fatigue definitely set in, but was not any match for the adrenalin rushing throughout. We, some coworkers and I, decided to go get some dinner and a fine beverage(s) following our work day. We went to a local spot called "Happidus", which at first I misunderstood as "Happiness." Either way, it's all the same.

Happidus is an inviting establishment offering a laid-back atmosphere. We ordered dinner and drinks, shared stories about ourselves, played more than a few games of pool, and ended up staying far beyond the dinner plan. Some other coworkers and friends met us there to celebrate a birthday, Jenny's. Before departing Happidus, I took it upon myself to get a souvenir, a large beer pitcher. Later into the night I felt it a fantastic idea to take pictures with it.

Around midnight or so, we proceeded to Club Slang, beer pitcher included. This club is great for dancing and mingling. We continued our celebration into the wee hours of the morning. What a great time it was. I didn't even notice my lack of sleep, or even what time it was. It didn't matter. My 3 days in 24 hours came to an end at approx. 5:30am when the taxi dropped me off near my apt., at Emart. What a great first weekend to a great beginning in South Korea.

Posted by LiveLife 08:14 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

3 days in 24 hours

Forever is composed of nows. ~Emily Dickinson

My first Friday in South Korea was like 3 days rolled into 24 hours. I went into work an hour and a half early so I could get more acquainted with my surroundings, and to take in more pertinent information. I organized my desk, created files for lesson plans, learned my syllabus for each class I would be teaching, and also set up my classroom.

Each classroom name is catagorized according to the planets in the solar system. Pluto is included even though it no longer exists as a planet. I am Saturn. My students in the mornings and early afternoons are kinder students, age 7. They are at beginning level, meaning that they know zero English. So I set up my bullentin boards accordingly with the basics.

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The following Tuesday would be the first official day of teaching my own classes because it marks the beginning of the new semester. Without any structured teaching experience, I was mentally prepared knowing I would have to jump in and learn to swim. I began creating my lesson plans for each of my classes, and all of the extras that go along with being employed at an educational facility. The classes I teach, varying by day, are:

Kinder
Morning speech, Coursebook (English Land Level 1), Theme (shapes, sequences..), Science, Arts/crafts, Song and Chant, Conversation, Storybook (Dr. Suess, Brown Bear..), Yoga, and multimedia (video/audio, nature, alphabet..).

Elementary
English Time Level 3 and 4, Explore Writing Level 3, and I Can Write Level 1.

Karen, the head foreign teacher, is such a wonderful help to me. She has answered any and all questions I have had, and offers useful ideas. She is a native to Canada, but has been living and working in South Korea for over a year. She has been a teacher for over 10 years, in Moscow previous to South Korea, and Mexico for 8 years prior to Moscow. She is living here with her boyfriend Romo whom has been awesome in ensuring I feel comfortable in my new world. He even came over upon first request to fix my internet for me, so I could check my email, etc.

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Another Canadian, Tony, arrived in the late morning straight from Canada to teach on a one-year contract similiar to me. He is 23 years old, just graduated from a university, and has always wanted to teach abroad. He has been accepted to law school, but deferred a semester in order to teach. We finished the rest of the working day prepping together.

A nice perk, we receive free lunch each day at the school. I personally find the Korean cuisine quite tasty, not to mention fresh and flavorful. We can choose to eat lunch with the students, or in the Korean Staff Room.

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Posted by LiveLife 05:12 Archived in South Korea Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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