Edit Blog Post
Published: September 11th 2008
"I sought to see the amazing as normal, and the daily as unique, and in that swirling paradox I found the joy of travel."
“Margaret-teacher, please help explain American Holiday called Easter.” I was currently shadowing Ashley-teacher, a pleasant Korean woman who works at my school, an English emersion school in Incheon City, South Korea. I was supposed to follow around each teacher for one class and observe their different styles of teaching. But I had just gotten off the plane about 12 hours earlier, and needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed.
“Well, Easter is a holiday that celebrates the day that Jesus rose from the dead after he was killed on the cross by the Jews 2,000 years ago.” Their stares were mostly blank, but some were horrified. I decided to take a new approach. “Easter is when a giant bunny comes into your home in the middle of the night and brings you a basket filled with candy and dyed eggs...” They thought long and hard...
“Thank you Margaret-teacher! We so lucky to have you here today! Ok, class, now recite months of year. Jan-u-air, Feb-u-air, March-u-air…”
I left Milwaukee on Saturday, September 6th. My plane took off at 10:30 AM. Three planes and a time travel later and I arrived in South Korea on Sunday at 9:30 PM. The principal of my school picked me up, fed me, and took me to my new apartment that was previously occupied my Mike, the disgusting pig, who I am replacing at Wonderland. The apartment was an upside-down disaster. I touched nothing and tiptoed into bed, pretending that it wasn't so bad.
The next day, the principal hired a maid to clean up the mess, thank god, and my apartment is now looking decent. When I say apartment, I mean one little room with a bed, tv, couch, and table. There is technically
a kitchen, but it's so tiny I have to squint to see it. Unfortunately, it's still big enough for roaches to feel right at home. That's right, roaches. As in cockroaches. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. I have killed too many to count, and when I was on the verge of a mental breakdown, my friend Aaron Martinson, who is also here from Milwaukee, came over to move the fridge and clean out underneath it. I turned away, closed my eyes and tried not to hear the hundred STOMP STOMP STOMPS
as he reacked havoc upon the mother load. I picked up some Raid and I hope to god they are gone soon so I can eat again without gagging.
Yeonsu is in the heart of Incheon City, and I really like it. There are cool shops and restaurants and the streets are lit up. There are interesting people to watch everywhere I go. There are also two parks near my house which adds to the cuteness. The food is incredibly good, but today I accidentally ate an entire spearmint leave the size of a maple leave and my head almost froze off. My students laughed at me because I was definitely supposed to just eat a little, or eat it with rice. If the things I have learned in the past week are any indication of the things I will learn over the next year, then you'll have to call me Albert Einstein.
Work is hard. Remember the beginning of Kindergarten Cop? That's what it's like. They scream, cry, fight, lay on the ground and throw tantrums, and do exactly the opposite of what I tell them, since they have no clue what I am telling them. I go in at 9 am to teach kindergarteners who speak little English and have no concept of what a classroom is. But it is getting better everyday. Today I bribed them with candy. I got the point across that if they were good they would get candy, and if they were bad, they wouldn't, and for the most part it worked.
In the afternoon I teach older kids, and it is much, much better. The kids are not allowed to speak any Korean in my afternoon classes, and they are generally interested and more respectful. They hug me and hold my hand and say "Hi Margaret-teacher!" when I pass in the hall. So the afternoons save me.
Tomorrow is the start of a three-day weekend. We have off on Monday for a big holiday which is equivilant to Thanksgiving in the states. Some of the other teachers have activities planned for tomorrow morning, so I don't actually have to teach anything, just do croud-control for the little buggers. This weekend I am going to Bupyeong, which is supposed to be an incredible party area. And on Sunday I am going to a baseball game and am for sure looking forward to that. Apparently men wear shiny, sparkly tuxedos to baseball games. Awesome.
Here are some more pictures I have posted on Facebook:
Tot: 0.375s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 10; qc: 36; dbt: 0.0129s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb