So much to say and so little energy to say it. I got an apartment. It is 2 min. walk from school and it is really nice. Apparently the Vice Prinicple fought the Municiple Office of Education for me to get it even though it was out of budget. I will post a video of it this weekend. No oven, no dryer, no microwave, so shower that you would recognize, but it is the coolest place I have ever lived.
Everyone at Yanhak middle school has been great to me. Most of the English teachers speak a fair amount of English, so I have been putting of learning Korean. They pitched in and got me some things like seasonings, dishes, etc. After I went to Gyeongju last weekend and brought back some pastries for everyone, the housewarming gifts increased.
Yanghak is about 1000 students and I am teaching the 6th graders. I get them once a week and I teach classes with each of these other English teachers. They seem to be fairly impressed with my teaching thus far. So far i have just been showing powerpoint introduction of myself, my family, and America.
I get the rockstar treatment from the kids, and the teachers for that matter. I thave never been told that I am handsome so much in my life. I can not even walk to class without being mobbed by groups of middle schools that want highfive or blurt out what ever English they know.
i live next to the Korean equilevance of Wal-Mart and that is really nice as I never really need to stock up on anything. I also live in a nieghborhood where a lot of my students live and there is nothing that i enjoy more than accidently sneaking up on them on the street and seeing thier faces.
The food here is great, i have never eaten so many vegetables before. i get free lunches in the school cafeteria and i must say that the food is something to be looked forword to. This is in sharp contrast to the food i remember in my school days.
The other teachers are about as interested in me and education in America as i am in Korea so there is a free exchange of relevant information. My Co-Teacher, Yung-Su rocks and is made of awesome. He is about my age and is a brilliant teacher. Seriously all the stereotypes of Korean teachers and information that I gathered before coming here didnt predict him. We make a powerful team in the class room and eaten over at eachothers apartments a couple of times now. Did I meantion that me and him are the only two single males in a school full of female teachers. This makes for an interesting time to say the least.
I taught at my other school, Changpo, for the first time today. The gap in English is much larger there. The rich (the ones that can afford privite tutoring) and the Poor (the ones that cant)form a bigger gap there. It is also about 30% bigger than Yanghak. My Co-Teacher over there seems to be a real remarkable woman name Jung-ah. She got her MA at ASU and therefore not only has the best English, but can explain things more clearly to me and account for things that I might not be aware of. Turns out there is a university friend of Yung-Su's at Changpo.
I finally got internet at my apartment, a cellphone, and a bank account. Everything a young man needs. This place has everything i need. I even went downtown last Sunday to see Disturbia in the teatre there. American movies are in English with Korean subtitles.
Pohang is essentially own by POSCO, the second largest steel manufacturer in the world. The have a state of the art University in town and thier name is on all the manholecovers on the street. They also own the towns soccer team, the Pohang Steelers. One of my colleagues at Yanghak's husband works for POSCO and was cool enough to score me 6 free tickets. So 3 other EPIK teach and me are going to he game on Saturday.
EPIK Teacher Justino!!!
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