Beautiful Korea

Beautiful Korea

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday and Sunday (3/7-3/8)

When Mr. Yu (the school administrator) left on Friday night, we arranged to meet in the lobby of my building at 8:20 on Saturday morning, so he could show me how to get to the school, take me to meet my new coworkers, and tour the school.

Despite being exhausted and not getting to bed until midnight, I woke up at 3something am, and again at 4something, and couldn't get back to sleep. Finally I gave up and got up at 5:30. I had coffee, ate breakfast (Mr. Yu had kindly provided coffee and some food, so I would have something to eat in the morning), did some cleaning and organizing, decided what I was going to wear and laid it out, and read for a bit. I was planning to wear warm tights under my pants, with socks over them, because I had been told that the school is usually cold, and I was going to be wearing new boots and wanted to avoid blisters. At 8:10 I went into the bathroom to get dressed and do my hair, so I could be down in the lobby at 8:20. Then the door buzzer rang. Mr. Yu was 10 minutes early! Since I wasn't yet dressed, I tried to dress really quickly. Knowing that the tights would not go on quickly, I abandoned them and just pulled on the socks. I finished dressing in about a minute and opened the door. Mr. Yu apologized for being early and explained that he was worried about me, because the heat in my apartment did not seem to be working properly. (It does heat the apartment, it just takes a lot longer than it should.) I didn't want to keep him waiting, so I just ran a brush through my hair, and gathered my things.

I really suffered for the lack of tights, though. Not only was I cold all the time we were at the school, but I got a nasty blister on my heel from the new boots, which having tights under the socks would have prevented. Oh well. I guess I've learned not to wait to get dressed until the last minute when I'm expecting to meet someone!

We walked to the subway station and took the subway for two stops. As we went out of the subway station, I saw the exit for the school was the same one for Gwanaksan, the mountain that is north of Anyang and East of Gwacheon. We walked the few blocks to the school, which turned out to be right at the base of the mountain. I'll try to get pictures of the school and upload them soon.

I met the vice-principal and principal of the school ,and a lot of other teachers, most of whose names I have forgotten because I was severely jet-lagged and suffering from lack of sleep. Plus Korean names are still hard for me to remember.

I was shown the new English Room, which is a room set aside for me to teach in (most teachers don't have their own rooms). It has a huge touch-screen monitor on the wall (as well as white boards), and six tables that seat six students each. (And that tells you roughly what the class size is.) It also has six computers at the back for students to use, and a library of English reading books and reference books.

Next door is my office, which I share with the English coordinator. They didn't yet have my desk or computer set up, and the table was covered in boxes of books, CDs, DVDs, and other media, all unsorted. The English coordinator had ordered it all, and it had just arrived and had yet to be checked, organized, and unpacked.

So I spent some time organizing it all, and then checking off what was there from the list of what she'd ordered.

Then I sat through a training on how to use the touch-screen monitor, which was all in Korean (as is the User's Manual), but I could see what he was doing, so I think it won't be a problem.

After that, I was finished at the school for the day, and Mr. Yu took me to E-mart (in his car, which he had left at the school when he came to pick me up that morning) to first eat lunch (tonkatsu curry, Wintersweet!), and then to shop for the things the school still needed to provide me with (a clothes iron and some more bedding), and I bought some things I needed (such as a hair dryer, a clothesline and clothespins, fabric softener and laundry detergent). It was nice not to have to carry them home afterward, since we could take his car. Money was not a problem because Mr. Yu had given me the 300,000 won moving allowance in my contract. It went fast, though, so I was very glad that Mr. Yu was willing to exchange my American cash at the bank for me on Monday while I was teaching.

He helped me carry things up to my apartment, and showed me where the trash and recycling goes down in the garage. Then he left, and I had the rest of the weekend to myself.

It was not exciting. I spent it figuring out what I was going to do for classes the first week, shopping for more things at E-mart, ironing clothes, figuring out where to hang the clothes line and doing some laundry (the clothes I wore on Thursday/Friday and Saturday, plus new towels, etc.), and cleaning. The prior occupant had NOT cleaned the apartment and had evidently been a slob, and poor Mr. Yu had seen the state of things and done some cleaning before I came, but it still needed a lot more, and cleaning has been a major (and exhausting) feature of all my time at home since then, and I'm still not done.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, more cleaning to go? You poor thing! Yay katsu curry, anyway, and help buying things and all.

    I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the school!

    The classroom sounds pretty nice. How are the English reading books you mentioned in there-e-anything the students would actually want to read?

    I want to hear about your students at some point!

    Thanks for the updates :)