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teaching English

Harry Potter: The Boy Who Taught English in South Korea

Back when you first decided you wanted to come to South Korea, breaking the news about your teaching-aspirations to your family was very emotional.


Hiking Mt. Gaji

Name: Mt. Gaji

Time: 5 hours (rounded down so I feel better about myself)

Distance: 13 km (rounded up, for the same reason)

Difficulty Rating: Totally awesome but also pretty freakin hard and exhausting, yet not impossible for a newbie in tennis shoes


My First Korean Birthday: 3 years older, 1 year wiser (maybe)

From the boys!

From the boys!

September 18th, 2014 was the official one-month mark for me being in Korea! More importantly, though, it was my birthday!


My First Month in Photos

I read about it happening to many other people who came to teach in Korea before me, and then I succumbed to the same phenomena. Due to jetlag, a lack of internet, and just getting acclimated to my new life here, my blog has sort of fallen to the wayside. I’ve also been so busy DOING things that I haven’t had time to write about most of it! So as a peace offering, here are some pictures that best capture what I’ve been up to during my first month in Korea!


I’m Special, SPECIAL! So Special, SPECIAL!

My school (the white one in the middle).

My school (the white one in the middle).

Let me start by saying that my school is special. Yes, I know that in my last post I said that everyone’s journey through EPIK is unique, thus everyone’s school is “special.” And that’s true. I stand by that. But mine is reallllllly special/unusual. And I don’t mean that to sound braggy, but it’s kinda true. Here’s why.


What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Living and Teaching in South Korea

IMG_0093Throughout EPIK’s 9-day orientation, whenever anyone asked a question, the response always began with “it depends.” Regardless of whether someone was inquiring about school dress code, vacation days, or living arrangements, there was never one universal answer. As frustrating and annoying as these two small words got to be, I’ve seen how they also hold the most truth—and that’s after just a few weeks of living and teaching in Korea.


Vlog Entry #3: EPIK Orientation

This video chronicles my first week in South Korea at EPIK Orientation! Enjoy!



Tuned Out

Ahh, middle school. Such an awkward phase, where we come up with gimmicks to make ourselves cool. We are at the stage of forming an identity – one that will carry us though the travails of puberty. Some are drawn to the “class clown” identity. For me, I remember having a single strand of hair on one side of my face because I thought it was hella cool. I also said “ya’ll” a lot. Anyway…after my first day of teaching middle schoolers I am keenly reminded of the phase, but this time I’m on the other side of the podium.

So I actually surprised myself when I taught today. I tend to get anxious delivering presentations to my peers but I was really at ease in the classroom. I projected well, didn’t stumble over words, planned well, and generally enjoyed my time teaching today. That being said, the first class of the day that I taught was pretty rough.


Friends with Strangers – Orientation

On arriving at Incheon Airport, after going through immigration and picking up way, way too much luggage, you find yourself looking around for other lost (foreign) souls with equally as much luggage. We are all going to be in Korea for a year, no way we could stuff our belongings into just one bag. The comforts of home require space and a herculean effort to lift, roll and drag around the things that will be our lives for a long time. It’s worth the effort.

Before you have the chance to pass out on the bus to Jeonju, you look outside and see an expanse of sea and greenery cut by clean steel. I remember thinking that I really am 7000 miles from home. But in a cool, awesome,”woah, wth” kind of way.


The Writer’s Dreams

In the morning I wake up when it’s still dark, make a pot of coffee, and write until the baby wakes up, usually around 8:30. I play with him until he goes to daycare at around 10. Then I write or edit until 5PM, when I have to either head out to do a little work or pick up the baby, playing with him until around 10PM, when my wife puts him to sleep. If I’m lucky I’ll get a chance to run around outside for an hour. This has been my schedule, more or less, for the last two months, thanks to the incredibly generous winter vacation I get from my Korean university. I’ve finished three ebooks as a result, and I’m desperate, now, to publish them before I have to go back to work on the fourth of March. I’m currently waiting for some volunteer readers to get back to me with the comments they can post to amazon.com: the moment two or three of them say they’re ready to go, I’m posting.


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