Teaching from the Bottom of the Totem Pole: 6 Months Down (6 More to Go)

Yesterday was the official start of the new school semester and the (unofficial) halfway point of my one-year contract.

I’ve been here 6 months. How do I feel about it?

Jumping for Joy

For a Saturday night mini-date, Shane and I walked the fifteen minutes up the Oncheonjang trail to Dongnae-gu for a bite to eat. We stopped into The Frypan, a franchise restaurant serving up fried chicken tenders, homemade chips, and beer. 


For the past week and a half I have been entrenched in Winter English camp. To say the least, it hasn’t been quite what I expected. True, I only have nine students (a godsend considering I have upwards of 3o in my normal classes) and most of them are fairly high level, but thus far during winter camp I have noticed something that seems to have slipped under my annoyance radar until now.

My winter camp students are extremely obsessed with receiving rewards for every tiny task they perform–almost to the point where I can’t get them to do anything without promising payment in the form of candy, or some type of token that can eventually be redeemed for a prize.

Christmas Season Wrap Up

This past year as November and then December rolled in, I approached the holiday season with trepidation.

After all, when you're a person so close-knit to your family, it's hard to know how you're supposed to act and react to the holidays when you're spending it in a land that is your residence, yet is not your home.

Enter Causes Greater Than Thyself.

traveling in Busan

I’ve heard many air-defense drill sirens, but this is the first time I’d seen students hiding during them.

The photo kinda fits – the imaginary pilots are traveling somewhere, right?

As previously promised, I rode my bike to work on Wednesday – and nearly collapsed in class, I felt so dizzy and tired.  The route was surprisingly good – I was on a bike path for 11km along the Nakdong River and for a few km along a drainage ditch or sewage ditch or river wannabe – anyway, it had a good bike path.  Later, near the university, I found this sidewalk – for ants, maybe?

On hagwons, students, and the disconnect between money and knowledge

This subject deserves a longer post, but I'm still catching up on winter vacation traveling posts... A hat tip to Doing It Korean Style for posting about the story first.

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