While he was training me to be an Insurance Agent he would now and then pass on knowledge. This one time he told me that when you do a job you should do it right. You should do such hard work that when it comes time for you to leave (for whatever reason) the company should be sorry to see you go. At that time I was fresh out of college and with a small work history behind me. I tried my best at that job, but know I could have left it better.
Before I ever left for Korea I was working at an Insurance Company in San Francisco. My boss was this kooky old Japanese man who lived by a lot of morals and codes. Have you ever watched Mad Men? The office was kind of like that, and even had old type writers.
On October 20th and 21st Sookmyung Women's University held the 20th KOTESOL International Conference. During this time teacher's and ESOL enthusiasts gathered to see presentations ranging from topics such as mobile language learning to gaining more participation from students. Yet most importantly it felt like a time to celebrate the profession of teaching English as a second or foreign language.
I for one enjoyed the presentations I attended and especially found the conference well organized and entertaining.
Last weekend I randomly met up with a newcomer to Korea. He has been here about half a year and teaching down in Jinhae, which is near Busan. During our visit he expressed to me some difficulties getting use to teaching in Korea. Certainly some of the points he made were exactly how I felt when I first started teaching, and I couldn't help but see how far I have come. Recently he posted this on his Facebook:
When someone asks me, "What kind of movies do you like?" I have a hard time answering. I usually start off by saying I don't care for the Hollywood flicks, and then go from there. For the most part Korea gets only just the Hollywood "Blockbuster" movies from the West. While the more thoughtful and dramatic ones don't cross the ocean.
I'm actually doing much better now with all my symptoms practically gone. But it took some time and I didn't get off work that much when I was feeling like crap. Instead I trucked through my class loads and stuck it out. Working when sick in Korea is a given and you pretty much have to do it or you will look like a sorry person to your Korean colleagues. Here for you is how I got through teaching with tonsillitis and generally feeling horrible.
I hope to rest up and medicate so that I can return to work tomorrow. I might teach without speaking...how that works exactly I'll figure out. Maybe make Powerpoints with instructions on it. Fun!
But really, my throat aches, my ear feels like someone is trying to bash it in and swallowing leaves something to be desired. On top of that I don't have any chicken soup in the house or the ingredients to make it, so I'm going to scramble my resources and see if I can find something outside later.
I'm home sick with Tonsillitus and swollen lymph nodes. I've had sore throats before but this takes the cake. Also I hate being home sick from work, as that is really taboo in Korea. Thankfully it was just my high levels today and not the 6 classes set up. Also I have work for the kids to do in my place.
We got our level testing done and unfortunately not much was changed in one class that needed it. However, the rest of the groups seem to be doing all right. A handful of students dropped out of my school, a few of which I was happy and sad to see go. There are some empty spots and I'm sure they will fill them up quick.
The first week of the Fall semester has flown by, and was all right. I started things off by giving one of our homeroom teacher's a gift for her baby. It was a nice soft blanket I found at a baby store. She was very surprised to get it from me. This is her first baby and I thought I would give her a gift to celebrate such an occasion. Later on in the week she came up to me in the lunch room and told me that her son slept very well with the blanket I gave her.
group. About two or three years ago I attended their international conference they hold each year in the Fall. Although I showed up at the last half of it, I remember it felt great to be around folks who are interested in teaching English.
Yesterday, I attended the Seoul chapter
of the group and enjoyed their monthly meeting nearby Sookmyung University. It was a hot and sultry afternoon when I arrived, and due to a busy morning had skipped lunch. But I grabbed a snack and joined folks in the cool air-conditioned room. There I was greeted by Stafford from the Chosun Bimbo
, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting at other events. I also was greeted to some other nice folks who are part of the group.
I have decided to take teaching English a bit more seriously, and in that process realized it might be a good idea to join the
Today I completed my second time of open classes at my current school. When I went through this last year I was way more nervous. I really wanted to make a good impression last year, and so rolled out high energy and a lot of activities. This year, I was still a little nervous but seemed to calmly get through it.
Yesterday was a full day of learning what it will be like to be the team leader of the 2nd grade, at my school. It wasn't too bad, but of course started out with a hiccup. I arrived about 30 minutes early to rearrange the desks, and got this done. Then as I was heading back from a quick peek into a new teacher meeting there were students sitting in my room. I wasn't sure why, and after standing there for a while and seeing the parents outside I realized they were new students. They needed the level test and that is what they were waiting for.