Published: February 17th 2011February 17th 2011
Today ended up being a pretty long day. I left with roommate #2 for school at 9:15, morning classes start at 9:40. And now I can finally answer almost all of the questions (that were asked so frequently before I left) about what I will be doing for work over the next year.
First off- I will be teaching pre-school mostly. These kids are about ages 5-7 but in Korean years which differ from ours #1 because they come out of the womb as 1yr olds, and then they acquire a year onto their age every New year or Korean New Year...not sure which. Anyways like I said they start class at 9:40 and are there until 2:30 each day. At age 8 they start elementary school, which they attend until 2:30, and then show up for classes at SLP (my school) at 2:30. I sat in on several classes today of both pre-school and elementary age, and I have a feeling that I am super excited to have been placed with preschool. Not only because they seem so sweet and generally excited to learn, but also because the schedule is way better- I would much prefer a 9-5 day over a 12-8 day. All of the teachers have been so nice and helpful, I have no reservations about asking questions or looking like an idiot in general. For the most part they're all fairly young and humorous, all of the girls seem like my kind of people which makes me happy. Also, the school building is adorable- they just moved into the new building in January and its all bright colors and modern- I will hopefully be able to snag some pictures sometime. Oh and the best part- no real dress code!! Pretty much just don't show up looking like a slob or a skank and you're good to go- jeans and everything. I guess I'm pretty easy to please in that respect. So Mom- I guess it's a good idea we didn't go do any clothes shopping. It's coming to the end of the school year for them and there will be a big graduation ceremony on the 24th which I'm pretty excited to see. I know that each class is preparing a song and dance for the ceremony- I'm sure it will be adorable. My favorite one that I saw practiced today had to be that "Cooler than Me" song by Mike Posner....you've heard it. I don't even really like it but it's so cute to hear little Korean kids sing and dance to it.
ANYWAYS...I just got here but traveling is on my brain. Everyone is talking about it! Well, mostly the people who are getting ready to leave. It sounds like no one is going straight home- they have all saved up enough money to mess around in fun places. One of my current roommates and her boyfriend are going all around SE Asia for....I want to say 5-6weeks? She said its only going to be ~$2500!!! Isn't that incredible?! And then they will finish up in Europe with a much shorter stay and much higher price tag. So people- please start doing your travel research.
The sad part on my mind about the whole traveling thing is that I don't have the long breaks that I thought I would. I guess my longest break will be a week at the end of July or beginning of August-ish (I will get the exact dates ASAP) and another full week over Christmas/New years. Other than that it's just sporadic 3 and 4 day weekends, plus those 10 vacation days that I can use whenever. So....lots to plan and think about.
I went out with two teachers tonight to that huge mall that I mentioned last time. It's called COEX, google it (or GTS to Nikki). Apparently if anyone in Seoul asks what part I live in I should just say COEX and they will know exactly where I am. One of them said they're pretty sure it's the largest underground mall in Asia- and I can quite easily believe it. Honestly- it blew my mind. We just walked around pretty fast for maybe an hour and a half or so....I was just following because without them I would have been completely lost. Biggest sensory overload of my life. And the next time I'm bored I'm absolutely going there and wandering aimlessly for hours. We ate dinner in a department store....sounds weird- but the entire bottom level is tons of tiny restaurants and food counters and a grocery store. And while talking with the girls at dinner I discovered that some of the teachers have joined a gym, they have also joined swim classes, dance classes, drawing classes, and I've got to believe many more...so I'm intrigued. Looks like I should probably pick a hobby.
So...aside from opening a bank account and purchasing a Hello Kitty Charm that I can pre-load money onto in order to pay for the bus/subway...that was pretty much my day. I have a doctors appointment to look forward to tomorrow morning so it's off to bed for me! I love everybody!!