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Say What?! Episode 10: How Do I Poop at School? Squat Toilet Tips

One of the biggest anxieties that I hear about from new or prospective teachers applying to EPIK is about the bathroom situation at public school! I hope these tips will help you calm some fears about using squat toilets, which you will most likely have to do if you work at public school!

1.) Find the 교무실 (the teacher’s room) in your school, and look for the bathroom nearby. That bathroom will usually have toilet paper and soap!

2.) Keep soap, hand sanitizer, and tissue in your desk. I would keep tissue in your bag/purse whereever you go, but keep an extra set of tissues just for school!

3.) Depending on your office situation, teachers may chip in to buy office supplies, snacks, coffee, and tissue. Ask your co-teacher or officemate about the system they use. But I’d go ahead and bring everything you need and keep it in your desk just in case! Ask your co-teacher if they have a system or if you should donate some money to buy tissue for the office.


My hagwon (or “private academy”) went on a field trip to an...


Bad Banana

Bad Banana
Today the kids at school, being charming as ever, gave me the nickname of Bad Banana. Now they mention it...

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Guest Post: All Foreigners Come Back

About two years ago Conor wrote a real nice piece about me as I had just left Korea. It’d been a pretty long journey for me as I’d been there for five years. As Conor wrote I was pretty excited to do some things I’d been saving and planning for a while, but beneath all that was some anxiety as my long term plans were still unclear.

It’s a long story but the short version is my first job out of college was teaching in the Midwestern United States. It was a tough place with a lot of challenges, and after two years I decided to leave. I had the idea in my head that I accomplished something, and thought I now deserved some fabulous life or something like that. Basically as soon as I left my life went downhill. Lots of different things went wrong, had some ugly experiences etc. One thing led to another and I ended up taking a job in Korea.


Danger Mammal

I'm just making some last minute changes to the things I've packed ready for our climb tomorrow. Although I can't help but notice I'm going to be wearing exactly what I wore when we went to Seoroksan, I looked like a garden gnome playing football!

I'm about to head to meet Nick for dinner. It reminded me about last night when I was waiting for him at the train station and the fountain show started. This drunk old guy in a suit and trilby kept thrusting his hands towards the fountain as in going 'TA DAAAA' expecting the water or the lights to change and making it look as if he was magically gifted to change the lights. Unfortunately it didn't work for him, so he decided to climb onto the stage, but missed the stage and fell in a crumpled heap! The last thing I saw of him he was straddling a wall and having a cigarette! I'll miss the old, reckless drunks in Korea!

2013 KOTESOL International Conference

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Conversations at the 2013 KOTESOL International Conference



 


Sports Day 2013

The sports day at Namsung is far closer to an episode of Takeshi's Castle rather than the traditional egg and spoon race I'm used to in England.

All the old favourites from last year were played again, plus a few new ones. It started out with Natasha and I, plus maybe thirty of the mums wafting a long, thin piece of material while dads threw their first grade kids onto said material and were flung across the tempestuous waves the mothers were creating, while screaming as their loved ones were flicked around. I was sad that the put your child in a sack, mix them all around and then give the mums a minute to find their offspring event wasn't featured this year.

Most Used Teaching Websites for ESL

We will be posting our Monday video a little bit late today, so instead I’ve decided to share some teaching resources with you! If you have anything you think I should add, or if you have any questions about these resources, feel free to ask in the comments! :)

I teach Kindergarten and 3rd – 6th grade at a public elementary school. There are about 5 or 6 textbooks in circulation currently in Korea, and my school uses the books from YBM and YBM Si-sa.


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.


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