Thursday, March 5, 2009

computer charge achieved!

so i have a lot to discuss. first off, i love south korea. secondly, my job is horrible. i teach 4-7 year olds. in a month there will be older kids, but not yet...i have currently been "making lesson plans" for the last 3 hours, but i have really been surfing the internet because lesson plans go out the window as soon as you realize that your real job is baby-sitting. 4 year olds barely know their own language, much less a foreign ones. there's some dodgy stuff about how much i actually work as well. i'm getting paid to teach 30 hours a week and after 30, i get they make sure that you never "teach" more than 6 classes a day, 5 days a week...but that doesn't mean i shouldn't be here at 9am. you see, i have to be there to greet the kids off the bus...then at 9:30, i have breakfast with them. this is usually some rice cakes or a muffin or a porridge, etc. from 10-11 i teach, 11-12 i teach, and then i have my "lunch break" which consists of me eating with and supervising the children in my classroom. 12:40-1:40 i have a class and then from 1:40-2:40. till about 3 i'm helping the kids get ready for the bus. from then till 6:30 i'm making lesson plans. but they don't know what i'm saying still and it's pretty discouraging. you know? it's sort of devistating also because i'm constantly under surveillance. if it's not one of the korean teachers watching me from out the window, then it's the parents or my bosses watching me on the CCTV which is in every classroom!!! that makes me so nervous, and so i'm always going because someone is always watching and by 12 i just want to collapse. my voice is almost gone. i never lose my voice...i guess that's because i've never had to shout this much. initially, i was taken aside a few times and told that i was being too nice to the children and that they wouldn't respect me. so i've been getting progressively meaner and i think i understand what jackie told me about discipline. here's a picture of when my kids decided to hide under the table with a pink gorilla:

regardless, this is the boring stuff. the real reason i'm here is not to teach children, it is to live in another country (and to make money). so let's hear about that:

the city i live in is called Suwon. i love it here. it's about a 10 or 15 minute cab ride to Seoul. i'm afraid to use the taxi right now, so i walk everywhere. the food is pretty amazing so far. i don't like the two americans who showed up with me, but i do like another teacher who works here named patraig. he's from scotland and on the second night he came and asked if i wanted to have a beer. ultimately, we drank about 3 each and talked for a few hours. the only beer they have available that i like is hoegaarden and it's really expensive. a four pack is about 6$. they have asahi as well and that's cheap. a pack of dunhill cigarettes cost less than 2$ and over there in the states, the same pack runs around 5.50$ or 6$.

westerners don't talk to you if they see you. but i don't talk to them either, so they're probably blogging about how a red headed bearded man saw them and didn't acknowledge them...i did meet some westerners tonight in a bout of desperation. everything is recycled. so you have different colored bags for different things...but i couldn't find any trash bags all week. so i asked a girl from oregon and she told me and helped me with some other things. i told her it was my first week and she said "oh! do you need friends?" so we swapped emails and hopefully i will have made my second friend in korea! because of the recycling thing, there are no public trashcans on the sidewalks anywhere. if you make waste, you either throw it on the ground or take it home. most people throw it on the ground.

koreans are funny so far. today, one of the principals asked me to shave my beard because she thought it would make me more handsome. i told her that she had seen a picture of me before i was hired and that i turned down another job that wanted me to shave (lie). i agreed to keep it close, but it's a cultural thing and she couldn't just say she didn't like it or that koreans didn't like it or whatever. korean men all look smarter and wiser than i will ever be. they wear glasses and smoke in their business suits. the young men are all incredibly hip for the most part, at least by what we would consider "hip." but it's the normal thing over here, so they probably have some crazy "hip" that i don't even know about. the korean women are incredibly gorgeous. even the ugly ones are still hot in some way. the problem is that all of the girls are soooo pretty, but no older women are. i can't figure this out still...but surely, these old women used to be young and these young women will be old...the thing i've said is that korean girls are beautiful and then at the age of 35, they get a man's haircut so that they will no longer have to endure the shame of leering western eyes.

ah, communication barrier. it's tough. people keep talking to you even though you obviously can't speak korean. i'm going to try learning soon. but last night, i went out with patraig for chicken and we ordered cokes. she even repeated what we said: "coca cola." and so it was really funny when we were brought beer. i specifically said to patraig that i wanted coke because i don't want to drink beer all the time. oh well.

i have more to say, but this is a long post already. i bought one of the "brick" transformers and it seems to be working right now. it was about 30,000 won (20$) take off 3 zeros and then take 2/3 of that and that's how many dollars it least, that's how i've understood it. alright, i'm going to go, but please tell me if there are subjects i should write on specifically. i will put up more pictures at some point. i'm just tired right now and need to clean my room up a bit more. goodnight...oh, and send me emails:


  1. i'm very sorry to say that teaching as you're experiencing it there is exactly how it is here. you have to greet and send home and watch on a very pathetic 30-40 min. lunch break. when i taught, i worked an average of 60 hours a week. and "summers" aren't always what they seem either. oh well. i admit that i miss it a little bit.

    be careful for those korean women. they sound like sirens who will lure you into the jagged rocks of their haggard old age! :)

    i think your trilogy of electrocutions could be considered a trinity of such. and that would only further prove my theory of your semi-deity now that you are a red, bearded man living in the land you can only get to by living a day with no night. okay. now i'm done.

    have fun with the adorable korean kids. they're so cute!!

  2. Dear Josh,
    I think you and a beautiful korean girl would probably make hideous children. But maybe they'd be so strange looking that they'd be cute. Surely it would be a red-headed, chink eyed, freckle-faced, broad nosed child. Regardless, I think you should consummate a relationship with one of those hotties forthright so that we might be able to see the fruition of such a union.

    Love Always,

    p.s. i would like to know more about your daily life outside of school and i would like very much to see more photos of the cute children and young ladies... and then i'd like to see a photo of an older lady so that I might know what you're talking about!

  3. let me clarify, i'm not trying to hook up with a korean lady! most of them cannot speak english! that would be horrible. and lee, i definitely would not impregnate them.

  4. oh so much fun to read. I'm glad you got things settled with your computer. and dont you think that since the whole country has the same sytle it really kills the hipness? haha. they call Coke just cola, for the record. i'm glad that you've started making friends already. sucks that you work so much though. hopefully you can start leaving at 3 in a few months, you don't need to be there for 3.5 hours to plan out "i am a boy, he is a boy, she is a girl" and such. and yeah - i hope you enjoy smoking in the '50s. Smoke everywhere and anywhere, in huge groups of men, for pretty cheap. don't date korean, but i think the child is an awesome idea. haha.

  5. no, the hipness is not killed because i am a citizen of the world! i'm not going to get to leave early ever. they want me to be with the other kids who are here. after my classes, other teachers teach and i'm supposed to help them but not get paid overtime. it really sucks. and you're right, i planned my lessons for the month in less than 2 hours. they probably know that and so i'll just be a slave. i'm not going to date a korean girl! why does everyone think that just because i find them attractive that i'm going to try swooping in on one of them!? i'm not dating anyone ever! i'm asexual. sorry ladies, i know you're going to always wonder what could have been...

  6. Oh! how noble and kind of you brave western man not to sweep away all the Korean women from the thin gorgeous Korean men! Truly, through your trying abstinence from the Korean Sirens throwing themselves at your feet you are bringing the true light of our noble western traditions to a godless, trashcanless land. Sorry newcomer i had to clobber you. But for reals those kids are adorable. I'm sorry the job kinda sucks, but i'm happy you are making friends and enjoy the town!


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