Welcome to the quarantine...

Published: August 23rd 2009
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Hello, all.

I know it's been quite some time and I've received a few griping complaints about the complete lack of timeliness in my updates. It's been a hectic month and I hope you all and understand that.

I don't even know if I can fit into one blog the insanity that has ensued in the past few weeks. But for your sakes, I will definitely try. Here's the digs -

VIP was a blast and a half. It was a lot of work and there were many nights that, at clock out, I was fully elated just to be done and able to go home and rest. However, it was a lot of fun and I was sad to see many of our students go. My house, Summer Safari, won the House Presentation as well as the coveted House Championship Cup - most likely due to exemplary leadership by yours truly and the extraordinary Mary King, my Kiwi coworker who is possibly one of the most amazing humans ever. Our girls (all 40 of them) were exceptionally cute and I miss them as I type this right now. I even remember some of their names, which is not something I generally try not to do. It's like a pet - you give it a name and then you get attached. I did get attached and tears were shed as they left.

The girls in my house were not the only students to capture my heart, though. A few classes did this, and a few students from other houses did so with exceptional force. A boy named Jae Gyu (possibly the most effeminate boy I've ever encountered) and Ki Jin (a taller boy with a shy smile) were so endearing that I couldn't help but get attached. I even got my first love letter! It was folded middle-school style, where notes are folded like origami and if you cannot fold it back to it's original form, you were likely not worthy of the note in the first place. It went as follows:

"Hi Mag,

My name is Yang Ki Jin.

I feel the your's care.
You are always smiling and very strong.
Thank you care me.

I Love You...

student Yang Ki Jin"

It was probably the cutest darn thing ever. It also brings about my next point. For some reason, Koreans have a good bit of difficulty distinguishing between vowel sounds, so they always think my name is "Mag" or "Mac" and pronounce it as such. I recently discovered that even my Korean coworkers think this. So I'm considering switching back to Megan. I mentioned this to a couple of my Western coworkers and they all said they had never thought of me as a Megan. I have to giggle to myself as they explain that this makes me a different person in their eyes. I don't get it, but I go with it nonetheless. One of them, Mark from Ireland, even calls me Megan on a regular basis. I haven't been called Megan with any regularity for ages, so it is a bit strange to me, but I'm growing to like it.

I performed with a group of incredible women for the Teacher Talent show - a thing we apparently put together for the students every VIP - as part of a dance competition. Video documentation of this ridiculousness can be found in my videos on facebook as well as on youtube (partially, anyway) at
- and keep in mind that we are dressed the way we are out of necessity. It is K-pop culture to dress in bright colors and impossibly small shorts, high top sneakers in highlighter shades... not to mention I loved every second of it. In the background, that is all of our students screaming and singing along. They loved it and that is really all that matters. Amazing kids.

Also, I somehow was elected as "Most Energetic VIP teacher" - I got a certificate and everything! It was awesome! I'm not sure how that happened, but at the same time, I do remember jumping around a lot and getting the kids motivated. Either way, I was flattered.

I went to the Lady Gaga concert. I was very interested in seeing a western performer in Korea and it was either that or Limp Bizkit. I had a total blast and loved standing next to a million expats and also a good number of 50-year-old Korean men all dancing and singing along to the catchiest, most ridiculous music America has to offer right now. It was quite an experience.

This last week, I engaged in some seriously thick phonics training in order to possibly have a chance to be selected for a Harvard Graduate Certification program. I ended up having a really good experience with the phonics training (WISE English phonics for spelling, writing, and reading), excelled in it, and feel I have a better grasp on English and how to teach it to beginners. It was so cool! I aced our final test and have a relatively good shot at being accepted for the Harvard program. For those of you wondering the specifics on that, they are as follows: English Village will pay for the training, but I have to agree to sign for another year here and give up my Saturdays for an unknown period of time for the training. The Saturday thing I don't particularly mind. It's the resigning that I'm having some trouble with. I just don't know what to do in that respect. Some serious thinking ahead for me...

Now to the really serious stuff that isn't as fun as ex-strippers in granny panties on cocaine (AKA Lady Gaga). I am currently being held under quarantine. English Village has shut down due to the spread of H1N1 Influenza A. Six or so students brought it into the park and so far only one of our teachers caught it. Poor soul, she's been in isolation for about a week now. The rest of us are on administrative leave with 70% pay. We are only allowed to leave if necessary and are required to wear masks everywhere for the safety of ourselves and others. Everyday, I have to get my temperature checked. It's a little lonely spending all day every day alone in my room, but I'm getting tons of nothing done! I've been a complete waste of life, and I'm kind of loving it. I'm working on learning Japanese and Korean will be next. I've been writing and reading like a fiend. I've watched a season and a half of Heroes. I can't even count how many movies I've watched. On that note, if you're sending a package soon, try to include some vitamin C and Zinc - I'm running low and would like to keep a handy supply. Apparently this flu has spread a lot farther a lot faster than we thought. It's all over Korea now and I've heard it's gotten pretty bad elsewhere, too. And just as I thought it had gone into remission...

That's all I can think of for right now. I love you all and would love to hear from you. I'm bored out of my skull, so you're pretty much guaranteed a speedy response.

Sarang haeyo!!! xoxoxo


7th September 2009

Hi Meg. I am currently in the interview process for GEV. Reading your blogs has made me even more excited and has given me a lot of insight to the school!! THANKS!

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