– I finally found out what school and district I will be teaching in. Here’s a wikipedia link that talks about the region of Seoul I will be living in and here is a link to the school’s website that I’ll be teaching at, it’s all in Hangul lettering though so I doubt it will make much sense. I will be teaching grades 4th, 5th, and 6th throughout the year. I start Monday.
– So far I’ve successfully memorized the alphabet, the days of the week, the months, the two number systems including how to use them to tell time, as well as a few basic phrases. I guess that’s a pretty decent start but I am still ridiculously confused every time I venture out into the city.
– You find racist pricks all over the Earth. Last night an older man came up to me as I was sitting on the patio of some local bar, and began to speak in Korean. He seemed nice enough, smiling and talking quietly, but I did not understand much of what he was saying. I knew something was up when I picked up one phrase I halfway recognized, the Korean way of saying “F___ you.” Kukoyo, I think? After he left, without waiting for any response from me, I asked a girl who I was with that spoke Korean what he said. She refused to repeat it, saying that it was too derogatory to repeat. Mind you, I did not have any contact with the man before this nor was I doing anything besides sitting at a table. I need to learn to speak Korean, like yesterday.
– Speaking of racism, on the flight over I happened to sit next to an African American girl who was going to the same orientation that I was. We began talking and she mentioned that it had been difficult for her to get hired because black people are not viewed as being as proficient in English as white people. She had to get special approval from her school’s principal. She has had 4 years teaching experience in the inner city of St. Louis and could probably teach circles around me.
– I thought that by coming to Seoul for a year I could get away from election year hoop la. Turns out South Korea’s presidential election is this winter.
– An interesting article about a South Korean diplomat dying in China from disputed causes. The article mentions media control by China, but from stories I’ve heard from people who have taught in Seoul before South Korea isn’t much better. Especially when it comes to the English media. Expect me to talk about this more in future posts.
– The South Korean hostages in Afghanistan have been freed.
– Every where I go, I smell this.
– Tomorrow I finally move into my apartment. Up until know S.M.O.E. (Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education) has been housing a bunch of new teachers in a hotel while they teach us about the culture of Korea and give us some teaching tips. I may not have internet for a while, so I may seem out of contact. On the other hand, maybe I will have internet and I’m worrying for nothing.