Mokpo Stories and Tips

April 4 2002

Hi Gang,

Just rounding up the third week of teaching. I have to say I seem to have a knack for it. I had a lot of fun tonight introducing some first adjectives and shapes to a group of about 7 year olds. We decided as a group which adjectives were appropriate...(is it long? (shouting) YES!!! A long pencil! Is it thin? YES!! A long, thin, pencil! Is it square? NO!!) Which finally would end up with these huge sentences which we would shout in unison.

Great Fun!

The energy coming from these students is tremendous and since I have a pretty relaxed style it sometimes digresses a bit ( i went off on a tangent explaining vegetarianism and veganism to a more advanced class tonight)but I think they are learning more now than before I came.

I have one very advanced class which is highly motivated and energetic. They are some of the top students in their school and I am deviating from the standard course to introduce some of the more advanced stuff that I brought with me from Canada. My head teacher thinks thats just great.

Some of the shine has rubbed off the living experience, though. As I expected, living alone and being the only native speaking teacher at the school is pretty isolationist. Its not that I'm so incredibly lonely..I meet lots of people every day and we communicate one way or another (sometimes its even more fun when you can't speak a word, I've learned to mime pretty well) but when I get to work every day I just keep talking and talking (in English).

The poor Korean teacher who understands about 60-75% of it probably gets half as much work done. The head teacher (who is a chatterbox anyway and understands probably 85-90%) doesn't seem to mind at all...both of them are improving their english.

Yeah, so many of the expats here drink too much. At least, the ones I've met so far which is certainly not everyone. I can't drink till 6 am every weekend! I threw a party last weekend since I have the largest apartment of of the crew and I told them to come by any time after 8. Well, not one person showed up until after 11 pm and by midnight it was close to standing room only. Can you imagine? Great party, though, Despite the complaints at 4 am!

And for the possibility of a Korean girlfriend, forget it. Which is weird because I get told openly almost daily how handsome I am by women and sometimes men... it's really meaningless to say that here. I can't even imagine the idea, really, for cultural reasons. And even if I wanted to I have no idea how it could possibly come together unless I became as aggressive as a Korean male. That isn't going to happen anytime soon, let me tell you.

Been to this destination?

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