Night Out with the Teachers

Thursday, March 17

Last night the English teachers from my school went out for a night of food and bowling. We ate at a shabu-shabu restaurant. This was, by far, the best food I’ve had in Korea. If any of you come visit, we must go eat at this place. They bring out a pot of seasoned broth and you boil the broth then cook very thinly sliced beef in it. You are also brought loads of veggies and rice paper. You wet the rice paper then fill it with veggies, meat and sauce and then wrap it. It’s so good! The girls said that it’s like Korean/Vietnamese fusion.

After dinner, we walked to the bowling alley, which is located about a subway stop away inside of Home Plus. Bowling was such a blast. There was tons of high fiving going on, even for gutter balls. The ladies I work with are super sweet. I was in second place the whole game, but I had a comeback on the last two frames and won.

Something I thought was really neat about the bowling alley was the way you rent shoes. The shoes are actually distributed through venting machines. The fee is 1,500 won (about $1.40). You insert your coins into the machine with your shoe size and the shoes drop out of the bottom. So cool.

After the game we walked around Home Plus to buy some snacks and supplies for the English teachers’ office. My two co-teachers shared a taxi back and JuHye and I took the subway. I only live two stops from where we were and I wanted to find out where the subway station was so I could come back on my own sometime.

I look forward to many more teachers nights in the future.

Open Class

Wednesday, March 16

March is kind of a crazy month at my school. It seems like there’s always something going on, like first day ceremonies, student elections and placement tests. Today’s distraction was Open Class. Back in the states it’s called Open House and the parents come up to the school at night time. Here it’s a little different. All parents are invited to school during the day. There was a ceremony in the auditorium at 10:00am. I was required to attend because all of the new teachers were introduced. I sat while all of the full time teachers were announced, then the contracted teachers were introduced. My friend and co-worker, JuHye, cued me when it was time for me to stand. I bowed as the principal called my name and said a little bit about me. Afterwards, I asked JuHye what he told the parents about me and she said that he told them that I am the new native English teacher and I graduated from the University of Texas. Hmm… Close enough? I told her that he basically told them that I’m cooler than I really am. I thought it was funny.

On Wednesdays I usually teach 5 classes, but because of the Open Classes I only really taught one class today. I taught at 9am and then at 10am I had the Meet the New Teachers thing. My co-teacher taught that class alone, but I made it back in time to play the game with the class. Third and fourth period classes were cancelled because the students had to stay in homeroom for the Open Class. The parents are allowed to stay and watch the students while they are in class. I thought I was going to teach again at fourth period, but I just found out that it’s cancelled too. The students get to go home after lunch so I don’t teach fifth period either. I don’t have a computer in my new office so I don’t have anything to do. It’s going to be a long day!

Earlier I asked my main co-teacher if she was going to wear green tomorrow for St. Patrick’s Day and she had no clue what I was talking about. After I explained it to her she said I should teach the students about it tomorrow. So I get 15 minutes to explain St. Paddy’s Day to the 5th graders tomorrow. Should be fun!

Tonight I’m going bowling with some of the teachers from school. We planned it last week for this Monday, but we had to reschedule because my co-teachers forgot it was White Day. I Korea, Valentine’s Day is split into three parts:

  1. Valentines Day, February 14 – Women buy the guys chocolate
  2. White Day, March 14 – Men buy their ladies candy
  3. Black Day, April 14 – The single people eat some kind of noodles with black sauce

I think tonight will be fun. The teachers are all pretty nice. I’ll post all about it tomorrow night.