Hilary makes a friend.

Friday, April 16th

6:30 am Good morning. 11 hours of sleep feels refreshing. Dreading the inevitable sleeping disease that is jetlag.

7:00 am Checked my email. Jo had an interview with Center Stage!! Immediately called her for details. It’s 6 pm EST. I say hello. Her- “Is this Hilary?” Me- “Who the [explicative] do you think this is?” And we proceed.

9 am Second day of teacher observations. This time, 5th grade.

10:39 am Realized I have the same haircut as my 5th and 6th grade boys. No wonder my co-teacher is always fixing it.

10:48 am Introductions to my 7th class are now complete. Each follows the same format. I tell them my name, my country, a little about Florida, and then allow a short Q &A. Without fail, someone asks me my age or if I’m married. Grace chastises, reminding the students that it is inappropriate to ask a foreigner their height, weight, or age. Instead, they ask for my religion. I’m learning that in Korea, no questions are off limits.

12:05 pm Lunch: dumpling soup, rice and beans, kimchi, pork bits, some type of greens that remind me of a healthier version of collards

12:26 pm My chopstick skills are improving. Grace notices and tells me that it is scientifically proven that Koreans are the most skillful people in the world because they are the only ones that use flat, metal chopsticks. I question this, but nod my head in agreement anyways.

12:31 pm On Fridays, students clean the school. A couple of 6th grade boys are vacuuming, dusting, and washing the windows to my classroom. No janitors in this school- child labor at its finest.

12:54 pm I check my gmail. Thelma AH sent me a message with our code in all capital letters. My heart temporarily stops beating. She’s engaged.

1:03 pm Grace tells me to fix my hair for the 5th time today. Apparently all of the teachers in the lunchroom commented on it with disapproval. I look in the mirror. It’s fluffy. Some strands flip out at the end. I try to explain that white people don’t have perfectly straight hair like Koreans. I wonder how long it’ll take before she deems me hopeless.

1:43 pm Grace and Julia have christened me with a Korean name. It sounds something like Hil-soon-ee, I think.

2:34 pm My first lesson is an hour and a half long. It begins in exactly 26 minutes. Grace hands me a book with pictures. I feel like I’m being set up for failure.

4:57 pm Oh yeah, I was definitely fed to the wolves, vultures, mountain lions… but I survived. Of course, I’m exaggerating but there’s always room for improvement and in this case, there’s a lot of room.

5:15 pm Return to my apartment. Not quite sure what to do with myself. Sleep sounds really good right about now. Go away, jetlag.

5:30 pm Rescued by Lenn, the English teacher from dinner on Wednesday. We go out to eat for spicy noodles with her friend, Shannon.

7:00 pm Lenn takes me on a small night tour of Anyang, my new city. We find a place for coffee and dessert and chat away until I am obviously struggling to keep my eyes open.

10:45 pm I purchase a T-card for discounts on public transportation in Seoul and its suburbs. Lenn patiently answers my thousands of questions. On the way home, we pass a place that advertises dog soup. I still kind of want to try it.

12:30 am Caught up on the blog. Slightly proud of myself for staying up this late, although I have a feeling I will regret this decision in the morning. Tomorrow, I go to the hospital for my full body foreigner check up that ensures I entered Korea disease free. My appointment’s at 10 am. I think there will be a nap in my future.

Korean phrase count: +2. mee-ahn-hahm-nee-da (I’m sorry). chec-a-dee-it-saw-yo (Where is the book?)


April 17, 2010. Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. Lindsey replied:

    Love the blog so far. Very jealous of your adventure and wishing I was your roommate right now. If you get a chance, email or fb message me how you got the job, the employer’s name, and whether you have a TEFL cert or not, please. Good luck continuing your first week. Sorry the coworkers hate your hair, but you seem to be taking it well!

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