Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby, it's COLD outside

Though technically it's still Fall until next week, if the weather is any indication then it's safe to say Winter is in full swing here in Korea. It was freeeeezing on Wednesday. When I left work at 7:30pm the temp was down in the teens and the wind chill made it feel even colder. It looks like it's supposed to bounce back into the 30's and 40's which would be nice because I'd like to be out and about this weekend.

Despite wanting to stay bundled up inside watching Christmas specials all day, it's been a pretty productive week. I now have my Alien Registration Card (I filled out the application and the school took care of the rest) and a bank account with a nice chunk of change in it because Friday was payday, holla! After helping the other new teacher and I set up our accounts at the bank, Kevin, who works in the office at school, also helped me get a cell phone at one of the SK Telecom cell phone stores that pepper every street in Korea. The phone we picked out was the one that I could get for free and the plan gives me something like a hundred texts a month for the next two months at which point I can change it if I want. It's nice having a way to easily get in touch with people again, I was feeling pretty weird without a phone.

Also I have legit internet now which is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I've been snagging wi-fi from surrounding areas since I moved in and for the most part it's worked fine but the connection has been slow and the quality of Skype calls less than stellar. I paid my first utilities bill as well which was not such a beautiful thing, but now I know where and how to take care of that each month so I feel more comfortable about the whole living-on-my-own thing. I've never lived in an apartment before, let alone by myself, so a lot of this is brand new to me.

Work itself has been fairly good this week. This is my homeroom by the way:
It's pretty barren because they just cleaned out all the old books leftover from the previous teacher but I'll add a few things eventually. I don't actually teach in here because our classes are in all different rooms but it's where I prep all my materials and everything before classes start. It's a bummer not having a window but at this time of year probably more like a blessing because most of the windows leak air anyway.

My first class of the day yesterday was a group of elementary kids, 4th-6th graders, that I see twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They're good kids but it can be a potentially awful class if the boys are acting up. Today they were fine though. The story we were reading involved someone stealing something to sell for money. Whenever we're talking about prizes or money I always like to ask them what they would want for a prize or what they would buy with the money. Class can be kind of boring but they get all excited to start yelling out the crazy things they'd buy so it breaks things up a bit and wakes them up. Here's an excerpt from our class discussion:

Me: So what would you buy with all that money?
Kevin: An island!
John: A house!
Alex: Harry Potter's house!
Me: What, the one he lived in with the Durselys?
Kelly: The USA!
Me: I don't think it's for sale. 
Alex: I would buy Hogwarts.
Me: I would buy that too. What other things would you get?
Alex: I like Ron Weasley.
Kelly: The Earth!
Me: Okay so Kelly wants to take over the world, what else?
Alex: You know what a firebolt is?
Me: It's a broom.
Tom: Neptune!
Alex: I like Sirius Black.
Jennifer: Space!
Alex: I would buy Voldemort.
Me: You can't just buyVoldemort.
Lily: I would buy Dumbledore, he's nicer.
Me: Okay we seriously need to get back on topic...

They can give me a run for my money when they're acting out but times like these when they are saying adorable things that make no sense remind me why I'm here doing this.

And just a note on their names since perhaps you're wondering why my class of Korean students is filled with Toms and Johns and Jennifers. The majority of the kids when they start at CDI choose an English nickname to go by in the classroom. It's basically like Spanish class in junior high when you can pick a Spanish name for yourself. They aren't required to do so and I have a few kids who I just call by their given names. When new students come in during the term you can pick a name for them or have the class brainstorm to come up with something. I've had three new students so far and none of them wanted a nickname. That's totally cool with me however I was a little bummed that I didn't get the chance to make suggestions. I was hoping to nudge a few kids into going by the everyday names of superheroes. In one class two boys just started and sit right next to each other and if I could have gotten one to go by "Bruce" and the other "Wayne", well, it would have made me happy during roll call every class.

It's finally Friday and it's snowy and wet today and tonight after I'm out at 10:30 I'm going to see The Deathly Hallows again with a bunch of people from work. A nice end to the week and good start to the weekend I think.

Movie Trivia of the Day: The Host: The event described in the beginning of the film is based on an actual event. In February 2000 at a US military facility located in the center of Seoul, a US military civilian employee named Mr. McFarland was ordered to dispose of formaldehyde by dumping it into the sewer system that led to the Han River, despite the objection of a South Korean subordinate. The government attempted to prosecute Mr. McFarland in court, but the US military refused to hand over the custody of Mr. McFarland to the South Korean legal system. Later, a South Korean judge convicted Mr. McFarland in absentia. The Public was enraged at the government's inability to enforce its law on its own soil. In 2005, nearly five years after the original incident, Mr. McFarland was finally found guilty in a court in his presence. However, he never served the actual prison sentence, and there have been no sightings of a mutant creature in the Han River - yet.


  1. i didn't know the beginning of the host was a true story!-chung

  2. It's pretty awful too that it's a true story, what a horrible thing to do. I haven't actually seen The Host yet but I've heard it's the highest grossing Korean movie to date? I'm going to have to check it out!