Man, it's been a long week.
I have a lot to learn about kids and teaching, not a surprise. Two of the kids in my kindergarten class ran amok yesterday and soon the whole class was crazy. I managed to get most of them under control and deported the rest to the hallway for the Korean teachers to deal with.
I've given up begging the school director for the things I was told would be in my apartment when I got here. I've managed to get a bed and a clothes rack out of them, the apartment comes with a washing machine, hotplate and refrigerator, good enough. I still need pots and dishes, bedsheets and that sort of thing, I should have all that straightened away by the end of the weekend. As long as the school doesn't mess around with my paycheque everything else is fine.
If you decide to teach in Korea, get them to send you pictures of your accommodations. Unless you enjoy surprises and haggling with your boss. A Korean teaching contract is more like a guideline for the employer than a legal document.
I've been back and forth to Homeplus several times and this weekend I hope to get some shopping done in the older markets. I bought bags of candy as bribes for the students. I'm told it works really well with a minimum of candy (or stickers.)
One of the Korean teachers had a birthday yesterday. It's interesting trying to eat birthday cake with chopsticks. They sang a Korean birthday song, but I couldn't pick out the words (except 'hamnida', which seems to form a part of many polite sentences.)
The Korean women I work with are all 25 years old and all seem to be planning to attend mission school. Since I work at the YMCA it's not surprising that most of the teachers are devout Christians. A couple of the girls have asked me about church, one of them said she wants me to visit her church. I've told them that I didn't feel it necessary to go to church to believe in God or to have faith in something, they find the concept interesting but don't seem to get it. Koreans are very family and community oriented and Christian churches are usually about community, so church is a natural thing for them.
I went 'on promotion' twice this week. Basically we stand around at school gates and hand out promotional material for the YMCA language school. I'm kind of like an attraction for the school, a real foreign teacher. The competition between schools is pretty fierce I think and there are thousands of schools.
Tomorrow is shopping and lunch with Chris, Tanya and Susan. I should touch base with the foreign teachers I was hanging out with last week, too.
Off to grab a bite before heading to school.