Archive for April, 2012

Bucket List

26/04/2012

Yesterday was my 8-month Korea teaching contract anniversary; I’m two-thirds of the way through it and with just four months to go and plently still to see here I thought it would be a good idea to write a bucket list of sorts. I’ll include things I’ve already done, as the memories of them will bring a great big cheesy grin to my face as I write. If anyone can think of any more that would be fantastic!

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No Rest for the Wicked

20/04/2012

Since the new school year started in March, I’ve had lots of new roles and responsibilities here at school. Today is a test day (meaning no lessons, which is why I’ve got the time to write this) and before settling down at my desk for a taxing day of surfing the internet I went to fill up my water bottle at the other end of the school. From every classroom I could hear a recorded, robotic voice saying things like “number one: the pencil case is under the chair; number two: the computer is on the desk”, or “Hi Jiho, how’s it going? Great, Minho. How about you?”. I then realised the voice was mine. All this week I’ve been arduously recording the English listening tests that the students are taking now. Each lasts about 20 minutes, but thanks to a combination of our poor technologcial resources and our inept editing skills they have to be recorded in one take, so a single, simple slip of the tongue means the entire process has to be repeated. Reading words off a sheet clearly, slowly and in order is one of those things that’s so easy it becomes hard, like playing table tennis against someone who loops returns back to you at half a mile an hour, and it seems like every spare moment I’ve had this week has been spent speaking into one of those Britney Spears headset microphones.

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School Tension

16/04/2012

I’m going to present what happened in as objective and factual a manner as I can muster, and I’d love to hear your opinions on this.

I’ve been applying for jobs back home to start once my contract here ends, and in mid-March I was informed about an assessment day that KPMG wanted me to attend on 11 April, a Wednesday and a public holiday here. I thought there wouldn’t be much chance I’d be able to get the time off work, but I decided to test the water and ask for two days, Thursday and Friday. This was granted by my vice-principal so I looked into flights, but there were none leaving after work on Tuesday that would get me into London early enough on Wednesday morning, so I asked for the Tuesday off as well. This too was okayed and I booked flights from Seoul on the Tuesday morning. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Funeral

06/04/2012

I had another interesting insight into the Korean way of life yesterday when I attended a funeral. My school’s principal’s father had passed away the previous evening aged 86, and as is customary here the male family members began a three-day grieving period by the body’s side the following morning. All the teachers at school made staggered visits throughout yesterday afternoon to the funeral department of a hospital to pay their respects. Read the rest of this entry »

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Munsusan (문수산)

03/04/2011

We did it! We finally did it! After seven months and thirteen days in this country, Elizabeth and I managed to sufficiently muster enough energy and enthusiasm to experience Korea’s national past-time – hiking. It’s been on the agenda for a few months now – “oh, we’ll just wait for that really nice Sunday you occasionally get here and then go” – but as the weekends have rolled around other, less strenous activities have been preferred: drinking, lie-ins, making sure we’re up to date with whatever TV shows we’re watching. Until now. Read the rest of this entry »

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