Blogs from South Korea, Asia - page 344


Asia » South Korea » Taejon August 4th 2006

Well, another day of teaching done. Today went better than the last couple of days, maybe because I started with REALLY easy stuff. I started off with colours and shapes, and had them copy those words for their next spelling test. We did a little work in the workbook, which focused on fast food, so they were interested and knew some of the language involved. THen I pulled out the everyday items Bingo game, and they had a blast! It had pictures and the words, and we progressed from showing them the pictures while saying the words, to just saying the words. A little repetition never hurt anyone! We played about 6 games this morning I think. I also gave them their speech (6 short sentences to copy and learn) and we learned our class cheer. ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul August 3rd 2006

The water splays alkaline silver in perfectly manicured watery pellets from the fountain - dead center of the pond. Slipping marble slides beneath my sandals, my flip flops, my thin guardians of crabs and seashells- relics of their glory days. The life of a flip flop is not a long one- a walking metaphor of the holiday world it belongs to. Yet myriads of Koreans still venture out into the evening heat, despite the possibility of an infectuous tan- they hide in the shadows of the hollows under the canopies, benches hidden away under trees, respectfully hidden secluded.... This is life. I take a deep breath beside the fountain. This has to last, for when pace begins it quickens its gait like the 9401 bus racing, raging through the streets packed, piled, pressed ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Taejon August 3rd 2006

What a day! I'm exhausted, and it's not even 9:30 pm. We took the kids to the beach today. On the West Coast of the country, there is a place called the Boryeoung (sp?) where the tide goes out twice a day and leaves the sea bed exposed with little water and lots of sand/mud. It's about 2, 2 1/2 hours to get there by bus. We left at 8am this morning, which meant getting up early, eating breakfast early, and meeting the kids early. We arrived at the shore around 11am, just in time to eat lunch. Seafood noodle soup (with strange looking seafood as well as the regular) and dumplings. Of course there was the expected rice and kimchi on the table too. When we got to the parking area, we met up with ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Busan August 2nd 2006

“If you can hear the shots being fired, you’re good; because you never hear the shot that kills you.” ~SAS Security Officer, Joe Brazas. That was a little piece of advice during our logistical pre-port for South Korea. I just figured I’d open with that to make it a little interesting. :) Don't worry though, the closest thing we heard to a gunshot was a big bus backfiring. It was a little scary haha, and everyone ran to their windows. Anyway, we pulled into Korea on time, and it’s a pretty place. Sometimes, the ports look the same. Korea’s was similar to Hong Kong. A lot of tall buildings with big mountains in the background. It was nice though. While we were waiting for the ship to clear, a couple of Korean performers did a little ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Taejon August 2nd 2006

PAY DAY! Yes, we got paid today. Our bank accounts were not ready (not sure why bother?) so we were paid in cash. 100 000 won! (That's close to $120 CDN) Not a lot of money, but exciting nonetheless. Another difficult day with these kids as they really don't understand much of what I say. Had I known it would be this difficult, I would have brought flashcards, but when you don't know what you're getting, it's hard to plan ahead, especially if you're going to be traveling for 2 weeks after camp finishes. The funniest part is that the students have to write and present a speech about the Korea Land Corporation (the company housing, arranging, and paying for this English camp). None of the kids in my class know what a job is, let ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Taejon August 1st 2006

Well, I survived the first "teaching" day. I have a VERY low group of students. I'm not sure at all how much they understand of what I'm telling them or if they can follow my directions, even though I'm speaking slowly and in short, simple sentences. Some things they seemed to be able to do alright, but others, simple things like a quick skit about how to use "Please" in context was difficult for them. The days are long. We had three hours this morning of getting to know you activities, and the first hour was spent on drawing their name and five things they like and presenting it to the class. There are only 10 kids! The next hour was doing a family tree diagram and then presenting that to the class. The last hour ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Taejon July 31st 2006

So the kids arrived today. We were told, over and over, that there would be few, if any, discipline problems with Korean children.... I didn't believe it then, and I sure don't believe it now! When the buses started to arrive around lunchtime, we were assigned to greeting positions to help the students locate their rooms, and then shepherd them off to lunch. Many of the students understood little, if any, English and trying to explain the concept of "drop off your bag and follow me" was difficult! We had about 220 students show up here today, some by car, most by bus. After lunch they were sentenced to their rooms for about an hour. With nothing to do, they were restless and silly. They kept popping out of their rooms, wanting to wander around, and ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul July 31st 2006

24 Hours in Seoul: A brief and relaxed introduction to the artsy, diverse, cultural capital of Korea. Mike, Ciara (sounds like Kira), Hailey and I took the KTX from DongDaegu Station to Seoul Station, took about two hours - filled with goofy conversation and the first peek at a Brie-Ciara friendship. She is quieter than Hailey, and less of a late-nighter. Hailey is goofy, and wild and in-your-face at times, and a modern hippie dresser. Ciara dresses like a traveler - in comfortable loose clothing or delicate long skirts from Thailand and long earrings. We wandered around Insadong - a major craft market street FILLED to the brim with people - probably about 1 in 20 people are white, black or mysteriously-non-Korean, which was comforting. Any diversity is welcome (in Seoul and my life). At the ... read more
Tom Hanks' Understudies
White Folk Stand Outside Tea Room

Asia » South Korea » Taejon July 30th 2006

So after a morning of repetitive orientation, and finally getting the schedules and information on paper, we were able to check out our classrooms, see the selection of materials and what books we would be using. None of them were terribly impressive. The classroom I'm getting is quite small; I'm not sure how we'll fit 10 students and myself in there. The materials were skimpy (one package of markers, 2 pairs of scissors, 2 glue sticks, a few other things for 10 kids) and the book we're supposed to use as our base for teaching is only so-so. The story they have included about going to the hospital is priceless. I'll have to make a copy of it to bring home, it's that sad! The group of 6 of us (Shannon, Erika, Marianne, Mike, Theresa, and ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Gangwon-do » Chuncheon July 30th 2006

So, I had my first experience at the norae-bang (karaoke) last night. It was very interesting-- and quite fun-- and goes along with an interesting story. Christina (my roommate) and I were sitting at dinner last night when two Korean girls sat at our table. There are plenty of Koreans in the dining hall at all meals, but usually our two camps (the Fulbrighters and the Koreans) don't converse-- largely due to language issues, obviously. Well, evidently, the two girls who sat down with us spoke English very well and were wondering what all these Americans were doing here. So, at dinner, we had a nice chat with them, and when it was done, one of them said, "We'd love to practice our English. Do you want to go to a norae-bang with us?" Well, Christina ... read more

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