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Public Sewol Discussion With LA Times’ Steven Borowiec At “Seoul Book & Culture Club”

Steven Borowiec PresentationOn the two year anniversary of the sinking of the Sewol, dozens gathered at a public event in Seoul to discuss the factors that led to the April 16, 2014 ferry sinking that killed more than 300 people, most of whom were high school students on a field trip.


Upcoming Busan Sand Festival

 

 

BUSAN SAND FESTIVAL 2015

This weekend (29th May) sees the start of the Busan Sand Festival at Haeundae beach. The theme for this years festival is children’s stories (fairy tales) and there are some really excellent sculptures to greet the visitors.

For the last week I strolled along the beach to chat to the artists and see the progress they are making.

The first note, is that they are all professional sculptors and travel the world producing their art for all to see.

The sculptors come from Holland, Mexico, Korea, Italy, USA and Canada. To many of us, and I was one until this week, it just seemed that carving shapes in the sand was all that there was to this art form, but how wrong could we be! – I cannot even get a kiddies bucket of sand to stand up.


Sneak Peek Korea – Halloween Madness!

Sneak Peek Korea is a video series in which I made videos into all the extra footage I get that doesn’t make it into a proper video, and is largely unedited! I film a lot of my life and want to share as much as I can with you, because you seem to like it! :) Before I would just scrap extra footage I didn’t think was good enough for it’s own video, but I hope to instead provide little sneak peeks of my life in Korea, unscripted. Let me know in the comments if you enjoy these kinds of videos!


How to Make Your EPIK Job Awesome #5 – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

This is part 5 in a 5 part series about how to make your EPIK job awesome! This final tip is an all-encompassing one: Don’t sweat the small stuff. Shake things off. Insert other cliche but true statements here. ;)


Say What?! Episode 7: Koreans think I’m a criminal?

First of all I want to say thanks to all the new EPIK teachers on the Fall 2013 intake page for voting on the Say What?! video topics! I’m getting a lot more votes every week, and your input is invaluable. :)

The topic of this video is related to differences in ideas of personal space and service. When we are experiencing a new culture, it is best to identify and acknowledge these differences in order to save us from unwanted frustration. Not that these things NEVER frustrate me, they do, but calling it what it is, a cultural difference, and not a “fault” of the people or country, is EXTREMELY important.

Doing so will make the difference in your time spent in Korea, whether its for just one year or more. I know people that have been here for more than 5 years that still actively complain about their personal space being violated, and it seems to really put a damper on how they view Koreans as people and as a country. This notion makes me sad, because they’re letting such unimportant differences define not only Koreans, but their experience living here.

As I said, my personal space being violated IS frustrating to me, but I recognize that it is not a personal offense, I am living in a foreign culture, and sometimes that means being uncomfortable and accepting a different status quo. In other words, shake it off! See the best in people, you will be happier for it.

Any thoughts? I’d love to hear them in the comments!



The post Say What?! Episode 7: Koreans think I’m a criminal? appeared first on Evan and Rachel.


Korean Instant Coffee Taste Challenge!


Say What?! Episode 6: Maybe=Do it?

This week I posted a poll asking new EPIK teachers what topic they would like to see me cover in a Say What?! video. This topic would have been my last choice, just because it seemed to be the hardest to talk about. But I’m really glad the new teachers voted for this topic, because usually the hardest things to talk about are the most important! And this is a VERY important thing to understand in order to be happy here.


Say What?! Episode 5: School Starts in March?

This episode of Say What?! Wednesday is about the school calendar in Korea. I’ve already posted the school calendar with all of the “red days” throughout the year, but in this video I discuss the big picture of the school year. It’s very different from the American school calendar, so it’s good to be aware of what time of year you will start working so you can plan accordingly. I’ve heard of quite a few teachers assuming that THEIR first day of classes is also the STUDENTS first day of classes, meaning they planned a lesson assuming the students didn’t know each other. But they may have already had an entire semester together! So keep all of this in mind to avoid having an awkward first class! It’s okay and encouraged to do a short introduction of yourself though. :)


Korean Public School Class Schedule

If you are curious about the schedule of a public school teacher in Korea, I’ve shared mine in our most recent video! I’d say that my schedule is very basic and ideal. The classes are in large blocks with 10 minute breaks in between each class. My afternoons are free to plan for the next days classes, and I am able to teach one extra after school class for some extra money. As you can see, I teach each class once a week for 40 minutes. This isn’t ideal, but I work at a big school and there are too many students to teach them twice a week, so this will vary depending on your school.

Your schedule can change by semester or by the year, also depending on your school. My first year at this school I taught only 5th and 6th grade, so obviously I taught them 2-3x a week. Then they decided they wanted me to teach 3rd and 4th grade as well, and my schedule changed to what it is now.


Korean Public School Office Tour

I found this old video from my phone and wanted to share it with you guys! It’s a tour of my old office from the first year at my school, during my school’s festival. I’m in a different, better office now which I will do a tour of in the future. But if you’re curious what your office may look like as a public school teacher in Korea, here’s a quick glimpse!



The post Korean Public School Office Tour appeared first on Evan and Rachel.


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