A year in photos – Day 174

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Friday, August 17

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This is my kitchen. I only have one burner, but I am really lucky because my apartment came with an oven (it’s a toaster oven). I used it a lot and I’m so thankful for it. Not having an oven is actually one of the biggest complaints among teachers, I think.

A year in photos – Day 173

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Thursday, August 16

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I realize that in a year and a half I’ve never shared pictures of my apartment. The next few blog posts will be a little tour of my place.

This is my bathroom. It may not seem like much, but I’m actually really fortunate to have my bathroom set up like this. A lot of teacher apartments just have shower heads attached to the wall over their bathroom sink. My shower is somewhat separate.

Why I Quit My EPIK Job

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Sunday, August 12

quitting EPIK

Many of you don’t know this… I have turned in my resignation letter to my school. I have decided to quit teaching 6 months early. My last day of my contract is now August 25, instead of February 25.

I requested to take a week of unpaid leave so that I could go home for my brother’s wedding in October. My school declined my request and said that even Korean teachers can’t take a week off during the school year. I understand their point, but I’m only a co-teacher so my classes would be covered.

I am under contract, but my contract states that it can be cancelled if I give two months notice. I turned in my resignation letter at the end of June and my co-teacher seemed surprised. Did they really think I was going to miss my brother’s wedding?

There’s no penalty for leaving if you stay 6 months into your contract, but I will miss out on some of my completion bonuses. The pension system here has helped me a lot because in late September I will get back what I contributed and the school matches it.

I am not going back to the States until the wedding and I’ll be there for a few weeks. After that, I’m coming back to Korea until Dave finishes his job here. This time I’ll be living in Ulsan.

I’ll still be posting photos of all of my adventures and they should be more frequent since I’ll have a bit more free time.

Scavenger Hunt Busan

October 15, 2011

Back in October, a bunch of the English teachers in Busan got together for a scavenger hunt. The girl who organized it did a really great job and everyone had a lot of fun.

To play, you had to register your 5 member team online prior to the event. Also, each team needed a name and themed dress was encouraged. There was a prize for the best costumes. My team chose to do something simple. We wore red and black and called ourselves the “Red Hots.”

We all met up at HQ Jangsan. In order to get the packet that contained the challenges, you had to participate in a flip cup challenge. I’ve actually never played flip cup so our teammate, Jamie, took the challenge.

It took a few rounds of the game, but once we got our packet, we set out on our way to complete the challenges. The packet contained a list of photo and video challenges. Each challenge was given a point value and the top 3 teams with the most points were awarded prizes at the end of the night.

The Red Hots came in second place and our prize was a keg. Basically, we were allowed to go into either of the HQ locations on a night of our choosing and drink a keg’s worth of beer for free.

I’ve posted the photos and video below. Enjoy!

My friends’ team — Noah’s Arc & The Zoo Crew

Take a picture of a local proposing marriage to one team member- 100

Take a picture of your entire team planking- 200 + 100 for most unique location

Take a picture of 2 team members on a scooter-50

Take a picture of a team member humping something inappropriate- 50

Take a picture of a team member holding a baby, making the face that they would make if they’d just found out that it was theirs- 100 + 100 for best face

Take a picture of a team member with a local couple wearing matchies- 50 pts for every piece of their clothing that’s matching

Take a picture of a Korean couple making out- 100

Take a picture of 4 team members with at least one body part in the ocean- 200

Take a picture of one team member with their face painted- 150

Have one team member challenge a local to a game of Dance Dance Revolution (dancing arcade game). Take a picture of them cheating-50

Find a stage of some kind. Take a team airband picture-100

3 team members doing love shots with 3 locals at the same time- 50

Take a picture of all five team members in a taxi taking up all of the seats- including the driver’s- 200

Take a picture of all team members posing like in an old school family photo on the ugliest possible piece of furniture you can find = 140 +50 for best picture

Take a picture of your team handing out samples at a grocery store- 100 +50 if anyone is wearing the salesperson’s white legwarmers

Take a picture of a team member holding a dog that is wearing accessories or has coloured fur- 50

Create an art piece. Take a picture of your team with the piece- 100 +200 for best

Bonus Challenge: Get into a human pyramid and take a shot at the same time

Bonus Challenge – get a photo with as many locals doing the “Kimchi” pose as possible

Before you enjoy the video, here is a list of the video challenges we completed and point values.

Video challenges

1. Create a talk show featuring a team member as the host. Interview a kimbap changook lady, who is ‘on the show’ to explain how to make kimbap- 300 +100 fore most ridiculous interview

2. Play rock, paper, scissors with the largest group of children you can find- 50 +100 for largest group of children

3. Sit with an adjumma (old lady) selling fruits of veggies on the street and videotape your first sale- 100

4. Dance using some kind of pole to teammate-produced music- 100

5. Have one team member give another team member a manicure in a beauty shop. At one point in the video, the ‘manicurist’ must ask a salesperson for advice- 200

6. Purchase a fish (doesn’t matter what kind) from an adjumma (old lady) and set it in the ocean. 2 vids – 150 for purchase, 200 for release

7. Re-enact a famous movie scene in a GS25- 100 +100 for best

8. Have one team member teach a yoga class to at least 5 strangers on a beach. Get a video of at least 1 minute of it- 200

9. Go to a supermarket. Have two team members wheelbarrow through the aisles as if one team member is the cart. Purchase an item-200

10. Have one or more team members serenade a stranger using an instrument of some sort- 150

11. Have at least 3 members of the team crabwalk from one convenience store to another- 150

12. Get an adjumma (old lady) or adjushi (old man) to let a team member give them a piggy-back ride- 150 +200 if you get them to give the team member one

13. Get a business card ninja (the ones on the scooters) to shoot at least 3 cards at a team member while the team member is blindfolded- 200

14. Create a team CASS commercial using at least 4 locals- 300 +50 for best commercial

15. Go into a random group of locals’ noraebang. Get a video of your team singing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with the people who actually paid to be there- 400

Tales From School

Lunch has been quite strange for me since starting the new school year. There are about 8-10 of us that eat together, but more than half of them have changed this year. The previous teachers were all really nice to me and had already learned about my likes and dislikes (regarding food). Even though I ate in silence, it was very comfortable. Now, I’m going through the learning curve all over again. The teachers talk about me a lot more (in Korean) and always seem to be worried about how little food is on my lunch tray. Lately, a few have been saying “Hi!” to me and then the others giggle.

I had a really interesting lunch experience today. The lunch options weren’t that great for me. I am usually always able to eat rice if nothing else appeals to me, but today’s rice had mysterious white strips in it. When I sat down, I asked JuHye if it was tofu or fish cake and then the other teachers were so curious about what we were talking about. As it turns out, it was fish cake and the teachers learned a new word (In Korea it’s 오뎅, or oh-deng). It was really cute because I heard them saying “fish cake” all throughout lunch.

As I was picking at my lunch, JuHye turned to me and said, “Meagan, they would all like to introduce themselves to you.” They all went around the table saying, “My name is _____.” and what they did at school. JuHye translated the last bit. I honestly think it was the most English I’ve heard at lunch since I’ve been teaching in Korea. It was really sweet and I enjoyed it.

A year in photos – Day 24

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Tuesday, March 20

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Today is the first day of spring and it was beautiful out. People tend to laugh at how proud Koreans are about their “four distinct seasons,” but I think it’s pretty accurate. In Texas, we basically have 2 seasons — summer and not summer.

This winter was the coldest Korea has seen for a while so I am more than thankful for spring to be upon us. And I’m not the only one. The badminton courts by the river at Dongnae Station were full.

A year in photos – Day 16

Monday, March 12

Student Elections

I forgot how cute the 6th graders are during student elections time. They get their friends together, make campaign posters and march around the front of the school. Today, as I walked into school, this group of boys made sure I knew to vote for #4 (I don’t even get a vote). Later, when I stepped back outside to take more photos, these girls ran over with their signs. So today you get two photos because I couldn’t pick just one.

The boy in the center is running (obviously). Update: He won the election.

The girl on the left is running. You can also see some of the campaigning madness in the background.

A year in photos – Day 15

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Sunday, March 11

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Tonight I ordered a Gorgonzola pizza for dinner. It was a bit of a surprise when it came out topped with potato chips.

A year in photos – Day 14

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Saturday, March 10

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I took this photo today at Woobang Tower Land in Daegu. I went on a road trip with Dave, Shanna and Jamie (the duo has been affectionately named Shamie). We were going to eat in the revolving restaurant in the tower, but as it turns out, no one was in the mood for robster.

A year in photos – Day 13

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Friday, March 9

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If you’re ever out and about in Korea and are in desperate need of a pair of socks, don’t worry! Socks are sold EVERYWHERE! This truck is parked across the street from my apartment quite often.