Sorry I haven’t posted in a while! I’ve been super busy. I’ll give you a non-frills update on what’s been going on!
I travelled almost every weekend in October, so I haven’t had a free weekend to myself in a super long time! I went to the Fulbright Fall Conference in Gyeongju and did a presentation on Classroom Management in front of the whole cohort! I also attended some small group discussions and had a really rad weekend!
I’ve been traveling to a lot of different cities around Korea and noticing just how different they are from Seoul. When I studied abroad at Ewha in 2017, I thought Seoul was representative of all of Korea and I was so, so wrong. Although I’ve been in Korea before, my study abroad experience was so incredibly different than this one that they’re almost incomparable. This time, I’m really completely immersed in the culture and learn new things every day. Last time I was here I was kind of stuck in an exchange student bubble.
I’m getting really close to my youngest host brother. Sometimes, he’ll stay in my room for an hour trying to teach me magic tricks. Whenever I come home, he always runs to the door to greet me. And when I leave in the morning, he always runs to the door to say goodbye. He was so excited to show me his Jason halloween costume and souvenirs that he got from the Philippines. He doesn’t have his own phone, but sometimes he takes his mom’s phone just to show me youtube videos he finds funny. The other day when I mentioned being from New Jersey, he was so excited to show me a Netflix clip of Civil War where they drive past the “Welcome to New Jersey” sign. Honestly, as a native English speaker, native New Jersey-an, and someone who has seen Civil War, I have legitimately no recollection of that scene and I have no clue how he somehow remembered that.
Teaching is like a roller coaster for me. When something even mildly goes wrong, I tend to beat myself up over it. I think I beat myself up extra hard because I feel like I’m supposed to be trained for this. If I teach the same lesson to two different classes, they could both end up wildly different. When my classes do go well, I’m overly ecstatic! To be honest, most of my classes are going pretty well. There are two lower level all boys classes that I’m still struggling with, but it is getting better. I’m so thankful that I’m pretty well received by the students and faculty. My main co-teacher and I are very close. He’s brought me to baseball games and other events. This past weekend we went on a fall foliage tour since it was the peak time for the leaves to be changing colors. He’s also a really staunch advocate for me since I don’t speak Korean. He’s always keeping me updated on faculty outings and eliminating miscommunications between other coworkers. There’s two younger co-teachers here that I’ve also gotten really close with. Unfortunately, one of them just left since her maternity leave position ended. But they’ve made me feel really at home here and I’m so happy to have them.