Saturday, September 03, 2005

First Saturday

It's Saturday, September 3rd here in Korea. 4:46 pm.

Thursday was a full day of teaching, and it was about as chaotic as anything I've ever seen. The kindergarteners, especially. Very difficult to control them. The elementary students were better; a bit quieter, a bit more attentive.

The big problem I've encountered - the prepared curriculum only stretches to fill half the time. If the class is 40 minutes, I run out of material about 20 or 25 minutes in. That was pretty hard to cope with; I had a hard time coming up with ways to fill the time. I'm going to need to add to the curriculum myself; that is going to take a lot of work. Can't say I'm too pleased with that.

The second day of teaching was better. I remember to bring the stickers and the alphabet bingo game. Those two things made the kindergarteners putty in my hands; those kids would jump off a cliff for a sticker. So those classes went fine.

I still ran out of material for the older kids, though. One class wanted to play the bingo game, but that can only be a one time thing; they are too old for it. They did it once because it was more fun than work, but they will be bored and contemptuous if I pull it out again. I'll have to find other games for them. There is going to be a lot of prep work involved, at least for a little while.

The smallest Korean bill is 1000 Won - which is about one Canadian dollar, give or take ten cents. There are a lot of Canadians teaching here, so we just refer to 1000 won as a dollar. So 10 000 won translates into $10, at least in our minds.

And about that - there are a lot of Canadians here. I met a pile last night; my roommates and I went to a pub called the Goose Goose. The Goose is a standard hang out for foreigners. Lots of English teachers, and US military types. The teachers I've met are mostly Canadians, Irish, and Austrailians.

The food I've been eating at the school is pretty good. It's obviously a lot healthier than most Canadian fare; it is mostly vegatable based. I'm getting the hang of chopsticks pretty quickly.

The neighbourhood the Goose is in is filled with neon. Signs and lights everywhere; remember Lost in Translation? Like that. Paper fliers everywhere on the ground; you could walk down the street jumped from piece of piece to piece of paper. Almost a carnival type atmosphere. Once I get a camera - I'll buy one in Seoul - I'll post pictures of it.

There are a handful of street vendors in the Goose neighborhood, and my roommates introduced me to a type of bbq chicken on a stick. It costs 1000 won - roughly $1. It's incredibly delicious; we downed a good five each. I have to find out what type of sauce they use; you could easily sell these things for $2 in Canada.

So things are going well right now. I'm over jetlag and settling into my apartment nicely. I'll write more later.

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