Open Class, BIFF, Scavenger Hunt… Oh My!

Sunday, October 9

I never left my apartment on Sunday. I was fairly productive though. I did a lot of laundry, cleaning and organizing. I bought a new comforter on Saturday and I was worried that it would be too small for my bed, but it fits. It’s quite warm so I’ll have to wait until it gets colder to use it, but it is incredibly soft and I am very excited about it.


Monday, October 10

I have taken it upon myself to teach one of the 4th graders to read. His name is Tae Gyun (sounds like Gyoon).  During class I told my co-teacher that I think he’s very smart, but he can’t read so I want to help him. After she explained to him, he looked at me and said, “Thank you, Meagan Teacher!”

He was in my low level summer camp class and he is one of my absolute favorite students. He is just the sweetest thing.  His listening and speaking level is normal, but he doesn’t know how to read or even basic phonics. I will be tutoring him for about 15-20 minutes every day after lunch. It’s on a completely voluntary basis. I don’t get anything out of it except the personal satisfaction of helping out a great kid.

Tuesday, October 11

On Tuesday, I watched a movie at the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF) outdoor theater. Read this blog post to find out more about the festival and see more photos.

BIFF Busan Cinema Center

Wednesday, October 12

I had my open class on Wednesday. In the morning as I was walking out of the secretary’s office, one of them ran out to me and said, “Meagan! Today your open class day??” I said yes and then she held my hand and said, “You be a good teacher. Cheer up!” It was so sweet and so sincere.

I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I was last semester. I didn’t feel like it went that great, but my co-teacher said it was good. After lunch she sent me an instant message on the computer that said, “Principle said you did a good job today. and keep up teach passionly.” He observed for about 60 seconds. But hey… at least he enjoyed every minute of it.

After work I was walking through my neighborhood when I saw a group of middle school boys on their way home. They were racing each other down the sidewalk and when they stopped, I noticed that they were all instinctively fixing their hair. They had to make sure each piece was in its place. It was quite humorous.

Thursday, October 13

After school I met up with my friend and neighbor Jamie to get some dinner. We wanted to venture out into a new area for dinner so we walked about a mile to see what there was to eat near the baseball stadium. We ended up eating a spicy chicken fried rice meal that I loved, but it was a bit to spicy for Jamie’s liking. The great thing about it was that it was only 4,500 won per serving. Afterwards, we did some wandering about and stumbled upon some lovely finds.


Friday, October 14

6th grade girl: You have a very white face.
Meagan Teacher: Is that good? (even though I already knew the answer)
6th grade girl: Yes.
Meagan Teacher: Thank you!

Saturday, October 15

On Saturday I participated in a scavenger hunt with 4 other friends. We had 2 lists of challenges, one for pictures and one for videos. Each challenge was assigned a point value and the top 3 teams at the end won prizes. There was also a prize for best costumes. My team didn’t have time to go all out on costumes so we just decided to color coordinate. We wore black and red and called ourselves the Red Hots. We ended up coming in 2nd place (out of at least 15-20 teams) at the end and we had an amazing time! I have so many pictures and videos that the Scavenger Hunt will get its own post in a few days. Here are a few pics to hold you over until then…

Take a photo of your team performing in an airband

Bonus Challenge: All 5 team members must do a human pyramid and take a shot at the same time

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

Off to Seoul!… or not.

Sunday, September 25

I went to Costco with some friends. It was my first time to shop at Costco since being in Korea. I was in search of a big bag of frozen chicken breasts. I ended up spending about 45,000 won on 6lbs of frozen chicken tenderloins, a loaf of whole wheat bread and L’Oreal Go 360 Deep Clean Facial Cleanser. I see the ads for that face wash every time I watch anything on Hulu and I have been wanting it so I thought, “Why not?”

Monday, September 26

EPIK hires new people each semester and the new people arrived about a month ago. It turns out that 4 new EPIK people moved into my neighborhood (3 girls, 1 guy). Two of the girls had birthdays this week so we went out to dinner to celebrate.

Tuesday, September 27

My co-teacher told me that it isn’t official, but she’s going on maternity leave in mid November and she won’t be coming back until next September. That means that my school will hire a substitute teacher to fill in until the end of the semester. I hope s/he is good!

I went to dinner with JuHye on Tuesday night. We ate at a Mexican food restaurant near Pusan National University (PNU) called Taco’s Family. We had chips and salsa as a starter and JuHye had enchiladas and I had a beef chimichanga. The food wasn’t amazing, but he weather was perfect. I love eating dinner on a patio with a cool breeze blowing through.


I heard a Korean guy at the table next to us answer his phone, “Bueno” and it made me happy. Then, he explained to all of his friends at his table (in Korean) that that’s how they answer their phones in Mexico.

Wednesday, September 28

My busiest day!

8:20-8:40 – “Morning English”
Everyday I greet the students as they enter the school and make them read a short dialogue off of a poster.

8:40-8:50 – English Broadcast
I do a live broadcast to the school every other Wednesday and every Friday. On Wednesdays I read a low level children’s book (twice). Today, the principal watched and said it was so interesting that she would listen every day. I hope that’s not her way of telling me she’s considering increasing my air time.

9:00-12:10 – Regular classes
Today I taught 4 classes of 5th graders. It was an easy day… they just studied, took a writing test and played a word game. It’s kind of like scrabble, but they don’t use tiles. They just fill in any word they know.

12:15-1:00 – Lunch
Today we had tuna fried rice, kimchi, a cucumber and onion salad, some kind of fried patty with ketchup on the side and a soup of some sort (I rarely eat the soup). Overall, not bad.

1:00-1:40 Free Period
This is my down time. Today, I bought tickets to the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). Many of my friends and I will be attending an outdoor screening of a Japanese movie called Star Watching Dog.
I usually use the extra time to plan lessons, but today I almost forgot that I had class.

1:50-2:30 – After school class
On Wednesdays I have 6 6th graders that are signed up for my afternoon class. They are all low level. It didn’t matter that I almost forgot I had an after school class today because none of them showed up. I thought last week’s 2 out of 6 was bad!

4:20 – Quitting time! ^_^

4:30-4:45 – Check-up at the doctor’s office
I am 2 weeks post op. My ear seems to be doing much better. The doctor said it’s mostly white (not red and swollen like last week) and mentioned that my veins seem to be taking to the graft. Or something along those lines. He gave me some good news and some bad news. Good news… my ear is 70% healed. Bad news… I can’t go to Seoul this weekend.

You see, on Monday I told him I wanted to go to Seoul this weekend and he told me that he’d let me know on Friday. I just decided that I couldn’t wait until Friday and I was just going to go because I’d been cooped up inside for the past 2 weeks and walking around wouldn’t hurt me. Well, on Wednesday he explained that the reason why I couldn’t go to Seoul is because the fast train would put strain on my eardrum because of the pressure. I didn’t even think about that. That’s something he probably should have mentioned on Monday.

5:00 – Cancel KTX reservations
Yesterday my friend and I booked our KTX tickets for a Saturday departure. Fortunately, it’s free to cancel your tickets online if you do it at least two days in advance, but the fee is still less than 50 cents (400 won) if you cancel it from 1 day – 1 hour in advance.

6:30 – Dinner with friends
I met up with Megan, Sonal and Grace for dinner at the place we just call “the cheap alley place.” The guy there loves us and always gives us something free (“servicee”) every time we go. This time it was free Cider (soda that tastes just like Sprite). I’m sure they don’t get many foreigners coming in because it’s down a small alley, but we were taken by a Korean friend that had been taken by one of her Korean friends. It’s amazing and sooo cheap. A giant meal will cost you 4,000 won (under $4) or less.

Thursday, September 29

My after school class (5th graders) went well. They are all very low level. We played some reading games. There’s only 5 of them and most know basic phonics, but one of the girls doesn’t. It’s quite difficult to figure out how to cater to all of them. My main goal is to just help these kids learn how to read.

I came out of my after school class to find the print shop guy and one of the custodians painting the hallway. Every few years the elementary schools in Busan are reviewed and my school’s review is coming up on October 5th. The school has been in full gear trying to get this place ready. The custodians are cleaning just a little bit harder, there are new flower arrangements in the front entry way, and over the summer the exterior of our school was painted some bright new colors.

Friday, September 30

I teach 6th graders on Fridays. This semester my co-teacher wants me to e the lead teacher and she is the assistant. I am responsible for planning the class and finding material that is suitable for the lesson. It is really good for the students because they are exposed to a lot more English. It’s still a little difficult for me because the students aren’t used to being taught in an English only environment. Friday was pretty exhausting for me. I actually ended up napping in the office for about 30-45 minutes at the end of the day.

After work I went to the doctor then got a pizza from Domino’s and went home. I ate really fast because I was starving. Lunch at school was quite awful and I didn’t have breakfast. Afterwards, I caught up on season 5 of Dexter… just in time for the Sunday night premiere of season 6.

Saturday, October 1

I was supposed to be on a KTX to Seoul, but the doctor shot that down because the speed of the fast train causes strain on the eardrums. Instead, I hung out with my friend, Jamie. We went to Beomeosa Temple. I had been there before, but it’s really beautiful so it was worth going back.


I hope you were able to make it all the way through my week. If you read about my week, you should tell me about yours. I miss everyone back home and I want to hear from all of you. Leave a comment or send me a email or Facebook message. OR you could even send me a card or letter in the mail. I would like that. If you don’t have my address, just ask.