Hello family, friends, and visitors! I have been meaning to post something all week, but alas, having to share one laptop makes regularly posts a difficult feat to accomplish. I’ve got 30 minutes until Glenn Skypes with his parents, so here I am.
As you learned in my previous post, Glenn and I were both chosen for SP (Special Programs) here at English Village. This week, we had only one here group of 8 kids here, ages 13-14. That means that in each class, only one teacher was needed and each person only taught 1-2 classes a day (except on Tuesday when I had the kids for 3 hours because I’m the only cooking teacher on SP staff). The kids were very nice but low level, so the language classes were the only challenge posed to us throughout the week, but even they went just fine. It was such an easy week with tons of devo time! However, I kept myself busy by helping Ryan (the guy in charge of curriculum) prepare the lessons, articles, syllabus, etc. I even created a game and spent a lot of time making it, printing, gluing, cutting, and laminating. Actually, Glenn did all my laminating for me, so I can’t take the credit for that. 🙂
The Friday afternoon meetings really weren’t bad at all. Now that we’re in SP, we don’t have to attend the numerous meetings and trainings for OWP. We had just one meeting for SP, and then we were able to attend a show that the Edutainers were putting on. Actually, the Edutainers have had a group of Korean English teachers here for the past 3 (or 4?) weeks, and they were trained in using drama in the classroom. Then, they learned the Wizard of Oz and put on a play yesterday afternoon. It was great because they really did a good job, but it was also hilarious because of how they said some of the lines. For example, instead of saying, “It’s me, Uncle HEN-ry,” the guy said, “It’s-uh me, Uncle Hen-RY.” The best line, though, was when Dorothy is supposed to say to the lion, “Lion, I think I’ll miss you most of all,” but instead she said, “Lion, I think I’ll miss most of you.” We did a lot of silent laughing.
Anyway, going back to our SP meeting, we discussed the program that we will be teaching for the next 3 weeks. Remember when I explained about VIP, the month-long program for elementary through high school kids during their winter break? Well, this upcoming program is sort of the VIP of Special Programs. These students were accepted to the MBA program at the University of Michigan and will be going there in the fall, but are coming to English Village for 3 weeks to improve their English abilities before they attend university in the US. So, for 3 weeks, we will have various language lessons, workshops, and seminars. It will be intense, because they will have homework and reading assignments throughout the 3 weeks. It will also be intense for us teachers because we will only get 1-2 hours of devo per day, and we’re having to work this coming Sunday as well as 2 Saturday mornings this month. Oh, and for the first time here, we will have homework to grade! However, we’re all really looking forward to it and I’m personally very excited to be a part of such an important program here; one that I can really put my teaching skills and abilities to use in ways that I couldn’t in OWP. Glenn is also excited for it.
It was such a fulfilling week because I enjoy teaching by myself and being productive during devo. My evenings were good, too. Monday night, Glenn did a self-defense seminar and I was his assistant for demonstrations. The other nights I worked out and was able to relax and do some reading (again, thanks to Glenn, who ordered some books in English for us). Last night, Friday, was Trivia Night and although I’m not the biggest fan of trivia, we stayed and hung out with some other people afterwards, which turned out to be a great time.
Today is Saturday, and we are FINALLY going to make our way into Seoul. It will be Glenn’s second time ever in Seoul, so we’ll make a day of it. We’re going to take the bus there after lunch, then spend some time shopping because we need some nicer clothes (to look more professional for the pre-MBA students) and we need to get a phone so that people stop pestering us about it. 🙂 I’m sure we’ll manage to do some sight-seeing and maybe try some food from the street vendors (don’t worry, their street food is perfectly safe here). Later, we’ll do dinner and then go dancing. We won’t be out too late because the pre-MBA students arrive tomorrow and we have to work.
Changing the subject for a moment, do you remember me posting about going to the Philippines during Seollal (the Oriental New Year)? Well, that’s in 2 weeks, and since we’re a part of SP now, we won’t have the week off. Feel bad for us? Don’t! Unlike OWP-ers, who are mandated to take 5 of their vacation days during Seollal, we SP-ers can take our vacations at ANY point throughout the year! That is certainly a plus to being in SP. So, we won’t be going to the Philippines this month, but we will be going for a weekend in March because Glenn has joined the Seoul Survivors (a rugby team in Seoul made up entirely of expats). Since there really isn’t any rugby in Korea except for this one team, their games are against teams in other countries. That means we’ll be doing a lot of traveling on weekends for the games, and meanwhile, I can either choose to stay and watch the game, or go explore the country while Glenn is playing! A weekend isn’t much time, but when you live an hour away from China, an hour from Japan, and just 4 hours from the Philippines, we can always go back for another weekend sometime. 🙂
One last piece of news, and then I have to pass the laptop to Glenn: my friend from Canada, Jenny, got a teaching job in Seoul and will be arriving Feb. 23rd! I am so excited to have her here! Plus, with her having an apartment in Seoul, Glenn and I won’t have to worry about catching buses back to Paju when we go downtown, or have to pay for a hotel if we stay out late. I really can’t believe that a dear friend of mine is actually going to be here in Korea with me! I can’t wait!
I promise to take pictures today in Seoul, so check back soon for some photo updates!