2010년 8월 6일 금요일


Well, this will officially be my last blog post from South Korea.
I will be returning to the U.S. in the next couple of weeks and will be moving
from Tennessee to New York to begin new teaching position at a great university.

I am so excited about closing this chapter of my life and beginning a new one in New York.

However, I will miss Korea tremendously. I will miss my students, coworkers, school, friends, the culture, and the food. I consider it a blessing to have been able to spend six months here and I am thankful for the relationships that I developed and for all of the great experiences. I will never forget this opportunity and I hope to someday be able to return to Korea to visit.

I want to leave few words of wisdom for those who plan to come to Korea in the future. These words are strictly from my experience and I feel that they will help anyone that plans to teach in this country.

My Tips:

1. Take the time to learn at least the basics of the Korean language and the culture. Take a course at the university or join a language exchange group. has tons of cultural groups in Seoul and surrounding cities. It will enhance your experience greatly and will lesson culture shock.

2. If you like excitement and are into nightlife then definitely try to find work in one of the metropolitan cities such as: Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, etc. Living in the countryside can be horrible if you are the type that likes to be out in the evening.

3. For the bigger people (above average to plus size) bring as many shirts, jeans, and shoes as you can because the clothing that is available in the stores is geared for those that are thin. Mens jeans go to a 36 waist and from what I have heard womens clothing is much smaller.

4. Set aside some WON each month for savings. Trust me when I say that if you don't make a plan and follow it you will spend every dime of your money. Especially if you travel often. I recommend saving at least 300,000 WON per month. You will thank me once your year ends and you have a nice chunk of money to take home in addition to pension. :-)

5. Take peoples words and their actions very lightly. In every culture there is a bit of discrimination, racism, and absent mindedness. Don't be offended and take it personally if people stare at you, avoid you, or say negative things about your appearance or ethnicity.
** If you grumble and complain every time something negative happens you will be miserable. Get out and meet people. Find a few Korean friends to spend time with. You will be grateful.**

Best of luck to those who plan to come to Korea for work, tourism, or whatever the case may be. It is truly a beautiful country. Make the most of your opportunity!!!!! God Bless.

2010년 7월 22일 목요일

Summer Camp Field Trip

This week was the start of summer vacation and I was responsible for teaching summer camp classes to middle school gifted students. I have to admit that at first I was not very optimistic and excited about this, but after spending the past few days with my students I am glad that I had this opportunity. I chose to teach my students about Spanish language and culture.

Today (Thursday), another teacher and I chaperoned a field trip to Seoul. We went to Hankuk Foreign Language University and had the chance to sit in on a very good teaching workshop. I met several Korean students and I met an exchange student from Mexico & Italy.

After the workshop and lunch we went to one of the many dynasty palaces in Seoul. I cannot remember the name, but the students were not very interested. I managed to take a few photos which I have posted below. Overall, I enjoyed hanging out with the kids and had a good time!

2010년 7월 13일 화요일

School Recital

Had a pretty good day of class. Taught my 10th graders how to summarize news articles and my 11th grade class worked on similes and metaphors. I really like teaching high school because you can actually relax in class and have a great conversation with the students without having to keep them busy. Definitely less stress involved than when I worked with middle schoolers.

Students had a music recital today and I really enjoyed it. Had a chance to record some of it. Video and pictures below. Enjoy!!!!


2010년 7월 11일 일요일

2 reasons why I really like Korea - July 11, 2010

Saturday was a very productive day for me. I finally had a chance to go to Seoul to look for a decent barber outside of the military base. With the help of a friend I was able to find the shop and was pleased with the haircut. I also had a chance to meet a few guys while waiting. They were from California, St. Louis, and Canada. It felt really good to be able to relax and talk about sports with some cool guys. Really made me wish that I had found a job in Seoul. There are definitely more opportunities to meet people there than in Asan. But, no complaints.

Two things I love about Korea.

First, I love how safe the country is. I go for midnight walks on a regular basis and not once have I felt uncomfortable or been bothered by anyone. And I live in the sticks. Also, I have left my door unlocked, and sometimes open, while running errands and have not had any problems with people breaking in. I would never do this in the U.S.

Second, I love how cheap eating out is here. I just returned from a restaurant called Kimbap Nara. I bought two orders of Gogimandu which is beef wrapped in pasta casing. It is often called beef dumpling. To me, they resemble gigantic beef ravioli without the sauce. I paid 4,000 Won for two orders which is like $2.50. In U.S. the only place you could buy dinner that cheap is at McDonalds. LOL!! Picture of Gogimandu is below.

About to work lesson plans for next week and watch a few Wayans Brothers episodes I downloaded yesterday. Looking forward to finishing up July. Just found out that Kirk Franklin will be coming to Seoul at the end of this month for concert. Stevie Wonder will also be coming in August. Most likely going to use a couple of my vacation days in a few weeks so that I can visit BUSAN and check out one of the concerts.

2010년 7월 7일 수요일

Asan - Chungcheongnam-do Province

Just received email from a couple of teachers who will be coming to Asan soon. Wanted to post some pics of my area. Asan is a small rural city that is located in the Chuncheongnam-do Province. I live in an part of Asan called Tangjeong. It is mostly filled with farms and apartments, but the major attractions of the city are: 5 Universities, Chungnam Foreign Language High School, and the Samsung LED Factory. Here are some random pictures of area and my apartment complex.

Cities in Chungcheongnam-do Province