Aug 31, 2012

The Whirlwind: Part 2

Wednesday. What to say about Wednesday. Well, Wednesday was my first day of school. I totally looked the part. Grey dress, black sweater, black flats, black tights. I get to school and Coteacher is wearing designer jeans and a t shirt. I'm still trying to work out the dress code.

Welcome to English Zone! I have a classroom all to myself (well, Coteacher and I share, but her desk is in another room.) As you can see form the number of desks, my classes aren't very big. Wednesday I taught the advanced classes of 3rd, 5th, and 4th graders. Each class started the same, with me giving a quick introduction of myself and the students looking at me with wide, uncomprehending eyes. Then, Coteacher would open the textbook and launch into the lesson. I would stand at the front looking helpful, and Coteacher would occasionally push the book into my hands and say "read this." I did go over irregular verbs with the 5th graders, though. I start lesson planning for realsies next week.

My school is right next to (ok, fine, in the middle of) a giant flea market. I get to walk through it every day on my way home.

After school, Coteacher and I headed over to immigration. It's like the DMV (RMV, for Bostonians), but more crowded, not air-conditioned, and in Korean. Coteacher made sure I had all my documents with me and then left me alone. I told her she could go. She has a baby in daycare. 2 hours of sitting in the waiting area later, they finally called my number.  I can pick up my Alien Registration Card (ARC) in 2 weeks.

After that, I tried to go get a phone plan, but then decided to wait until I got my ARC so I can get a real plan, instead of a crappy pre-paid one. I'm getting internet in my apartment tomorrow, so that should compensate for a lack of phone for a while.

I got out my subway card to go home, and realized my passport wasn't in my wallet. Time ground to a halt. If you've ever traveled/lived abroad, you know that you become obsessively attached to and concerned about your passport. I have to wait 2 weeks until I get my ARC, and until then, my passport is my life. I don't exist in Korea without it.

So, you can imagine my panic when I realized I'd left it at the phone store 4 blocks away. I'm sure Seoulites got a chuckle out of the random white girl running down the street looking like her life was on the line. Luckily, the girl who had been helping me at the phone store was waiting with it, and she was just as relieved to give it back to me as I was to get it. Crisis averted.

I FINALLY got home around 6 (10 hours after I'd left), showered, and headed over to the coffee shop down the road to prey on their free wifi (and delicious cheese buns). I know this probably means I'm too dependent on technology, but the lack of internet and a phone is slowly killing me. The internet people are coming to my apartment tonight to set it up, so with any luck, I'll be posting this on my brand new, high-speed Korean wifi(!!!) And when they say "high speed" in Korea, you know they ain't messin around. Go Google the average internet speed in Korea compared to the rest of the world. Go ahead. I'll wait.

So yeah. The whirlwind of moving to Korea is slowly settling down. Real life will start kicking in when I start having to plan 5 lessons, 4 after-school classes and English club every week. Until then, I'm just floating along.

UPDATE: I'm a day late in posting this. Internet in apartment = functional.

I had English club tonight (Friday). They're absolute heathens. They wouldn't stop smacking each other.  Getting this picture was like herding cats. I think I'm in love.

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