Beautiful Korea

Beautiful Korea

Monday, April 20, 2009

Finally, a new post!

I apologize for not blogging more. I have been very busy and out having fun, leaving little time for writing up posts and editing and uploading photos. I am trying to do a little at a time, though, to get caught up.

First I will post some pictures of my apartment building and the school.

You've seen the inside of my apartment, but here is a picture of the front of the building.

You don't have to count windows, I'll tell you: it's 20 storys tall. I'm lucky, there's a balcony with trees and bamboo planted in it on the floor below, so I can see them when I look out my window. A funny story about being on the fourth floor: I take the stairs rather than the elevator most of the time, and as I'm usually thinking about something else, I just go around and around until the sign tells me I'm at the fourth floor, without really paying much attention to the stairs. But I was really surprised how tired I was when I got to the top. I thought, "Wow, I'm in worse shape than I thought if I can't climb three flights of stairs without being tired!" Then, one day I actually paid attention to the stairs, and I discovered that the first two floors are double height, so it isn't three flights of stairs, it's five flights of stairs. Then I felt a little better about being tired at the top. Though of course I'm getting in better shape now, anyway!

This one is a picture of the front of the school building where I teach:

There is a "sister school" next to it, the Gwacheon Foreign Language High School. Here it is:

And there's an administration building that I haven't been in, next to the FLHS:

You can see the sports field where the students have PE in front of the FLSH. Both schools share it. The cafeteria is actually located in the FLHS, so I go there for lunch nearly every day, and some dinners, too. The lunch is inexpensive, healthy, and usually delicious. There is always a soup, some sort of fish or seafood, kimchee, and rice. There are always two other dishes, which vary daily, but usually one or both are mostly vegetables, and the other dishes, except the rice, usually contain vegetables also. So it's a lot better than school cafeterias in the US usually are! Lunch is inexpensive, under 3,000 won (around $2.50), and dinner is free. Here is an example of one of the lunches:

Gwanaksan is directly behind the school. Here is the view out my office window:

And here's the view from street level behind the school. It's much greener now, this is from a few weeks ago, but with leaves on the trees you can't see the mountain as well, so I'm using the older picture.

And here's what my office itself looks like:
That's my desk on the left, my coworker's on the right. The tall white and gray thing behind my desk is the heater/air conditioner.

Here's the front of the office (the view from my desk):

And here's my classroom:
This looks from the door at the back that leads to my office, toward the front.

The center section of the board slides open to reveal a big touchscreen computer monitor:

Here's the teacher's desk in the classroom:

Here's the room looking from the front toward the back:

And finally, at the back of the classroom, there are six computers:

So now you know what it looks like where I work!

I love: green tea yogurt

Please send: a translator to explain how to use my gadgets



  1. I'm so glad to hear from you! I'm also really glad that you've been getting out, though.

    Wow, the classroom looks so nice. You even have small-group-oriented desks. I'm honestly surprised. That is so awesome. If I could get a situation like that teaching high school in Japan, I'd seriously consider it, but I don't know how I would find out about it in advance. Anyway, I hope things are still going well with the co-teachers and the students--I hope you'll post on LJ or e-mail me about that at some point. :)

    We had Korean frozen yogurt last night, and Japanese green tea custard/pudding on Sunday. Mmm. (And we did Korean barbecue for Easter, haha.)

  2. Clint (who, as you know, does a lot of small-group work) says "Please send: those desks"


  3. Yes, it's an awesome classroom. It's really too many students for an ideal language class, since it's hard to have them talking all at once, and I'm afraid that they don't get enough speaking time. But most of them are starting to get less shy about speaking, so I'm trying to come up with activities to inspire them.

    I'm incredibly lucky in my job situation here, but it's far from the only good teaching job in Asia. On the other hand, it's so hard to know what it's going to be like before you get here.

    I've only seen one Korean frozen yogurt place here, isn't that funny? There are Baskin-Robbins everywhere! They supposedly have many interesting foods involving green tea at a big tea plantation in Jeollanam-do. Since I didn't have time to go to the tea plantation in Jeju-do, I really hope I can get to one on this trip! Maybe they'll have green tea custard, that sounds delicious. And I had Korean barbecue on Saturday, finally! It's such a shame you can't really order it by yourself (it being designed for at least two), so I can't go out for it on my own. Still, it's not like I'm suffering for lack of good food around here!

    To Clint: Hee! I would, if I could!