Weeks are flying by, we are now into the swing of things and seems like classes go by in a blink of an eye. We have been to four schools for STEAM Up! Yeongyang, Andong, Gangnam, and Pungcheonpungseo. The last two were
this week Monday-Thursday, two days each.
There are so many small interactions with the students that I want to describe or try not to forget, they are creating the whole experience. My memory starts to fade at the end of the week, not remembering all the small details.
Running to the teacher's lounge for a quick 10 minute break.
Looking at the computer screen trying to decide what “class” would work best for the next hour.
Asking a question and getting silence.
Thinking ‘god I have awful handwriting, writing on the board’ “Hello, my English name is.”
Almost hitting a kid in the face trying to take apart a really hard part in the Robots with a pliers (your hand pulling really hard and then the sudden release.)
Going to lunch, always a somewhat awkward experience. Saying “kam ha sa hamnida” to the kitchen staff with every piece of food they put on your plate.
Listening to audiobooks every morning on our way to the school.
Looking for the “western” toilet in the bathrooms.
Students bowing and saying Hello to you in the hallway all the time, with the sheer fascination of who I am and what I look like to them.
The teachers that I take over for, each their own personality, each I wonder what class is like for them and the students.
Having students come up to the desk to get “graded” – me signing my initials and saying great job
to every student. There have been a few corrections.
Printing crosswords, games, exercises 30 minutes before we leave in the morning.
The surprise breakfast the Korean staff has prepared for us.
The rush of the whole day, not feeling quiet until your in the car driving away at the end of the day.
The notes and gifts I’m getting from students, the hugs, the questions they have. The look on their faces when I tell them I’m married to “Teacher Eric” now realizing I’m a grown woman, who’s now a teacher and is married to Teacher Eric.
We went to see Jun-Hyeuk Lee to get a sim card for our phones. Jun is notorious here on the DGEV campus, speaks impeccable English and because almost all of our teachers go to him he gives deals and gifts to all DGEV teachers. It's about an hour and half just to get to his location, but apparently worth it. Big bummer: Eric’s phone ended up not being unlocked :( so he ended up buying a $30 Samsung phone and a sim card - we were debating what to do then and there when a man walked in and sold the used Samsung to Jun - who then offered the phone to Eric for 30 ₩. We were joined by Nicole, Megan, and Daphnee for a joint phone excursion and ended the trip by going to an “Italian Restaurant” called Mad Garlic or Mad About Garlic, it was decent food; pasta, pizza, and salads, most of which we don't see often on campus. I had a big salad, I haven’t had in a while, and some sweet garlic bread because Koreans love sweet (sugar) with their garlic bread, it’s never just savory garlic bread. Something I’ll have to get used to.
We rushed to grab a taxi back to our Taejeon bus station, to grab our bus shuttle back to the English Village, we arrived with 3 minutes to spare before the bus! When we got back to DGEV, Nicole brought out three bottles of red wine – only drank two – but we sat in the teachers’ lounge and discussed books and wish lists, then Daphnee joined and talked more into the evening about covid, past parties, drinking culture in Korea, ESL classes, budgeting. I have not had alcohol in over 2 months, since being here, so it was a bit celebratory in many ways.
With my new phone, I am pleased to say, I called our international hospital and made an appointment for myself to see a GI doctor and to start the process of finding my medication here in Korea.
All I have to report this week, please enjoy this week's media content.