Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Arrived at Jeju and started teaching the next day!

I arrived at Jeju Island on Saturday night, July 30th and had to come straight to work for some more training on Sunday! Michelle, the Branch Manager picked me up from the airport that night, and brought me to my apartment. It's a nice studio apartment on the 8th floor. I've got a great view of the ocean!

So a little background before I go further. When I arrived on Jeju, I just now learned that the school I'm working at opens for its very first day of class ever on Monday, August 1st! AAAHH!!!!! That's less than two days! Not only that, the head instructor is having visa problems and can't get here. So the teachers at the school are myself, Ryan (another new teacher to Korea) and Michelle who will be filling in for a couple of classes until Brad, the Head Instructor can make it. That's it. So, to make a long story short, life is a little hectic right now.

Like I said, we started classes on Monday, so as of this writing, I've had three days of classes. So far, teaching has been a combination of ups and downs. I'm not used to teaching in a classroom, so that takes a little adjustment on my part. I'm happy that I don't get nervous like I was in training. My bigger classes consist of kids who are middle school age and unlike middle schoolers back home, these kids don't say a word. It's like I'm talking to a brick wall! I really try to stop lecturing and involve the class, but they just seem to sit there. I've only had each class once now, so I think a lot of it could be attributed to the first day jitters/shyness. Hopefully...

I haven't really had much time to do much exploring on my own. I've spent all my time prepping for classes. The only things I've done is to go out and get some housewares for the apartment. Michelle took us out to the E-mart, which is like Wal-Mart. She helped me buy and truck home some bigger stuff. She also took us on a great tour of the grocery store. The grocery stores are cool here because there's 10 times as many people giving free samples out. She told us about all the foods and what they were. We were also there with her parents who are super awesome. They are really helping her out a lot getting the school up and running.

(edit) The picture above is of this building I pass by on the 10 minute walk to work. The second day I was here, someone decided to paint this entire massive building...PINK. Hah! It's now known as "the pink building." The building is actually a supermarket and department store which is a pretty handy thing to have as a 3 minute walk from your apartment!

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