Slippers, Socks, or Barefeet

I started the day off with my first run since being in SK: it’s soo humid here! Then I went to pick up a few treats for my co teachers, it’s custom here to bring edible gifts. While at the Paris baguette I was able to connect to wifi, the lovely gentleman assisted me with the password, hopefully I won’t be spending a ton of money at the pc Lounge and I can just go there, they have amazing breads! It helped hearing familiar voices before starting my first day. Thinking the co teacher was picking me up at 11 to 1130 I headed back; well it was passed 1130 so I went to a restaurant and borrowed a phone. Everyone I’ve met in my town has been so nice; the ladies at the bank too and one even speaks English. Turns out they were going to pick me up at 1230. Good thing I called or I would be melting outside. But nothing like prolonging my first day!!  Ashley and Sunny picked me up and took me to school: both are so sweet.  The students arrived at 130 ( on a normal day I go in at 1 and am off around 630) I may be going deaf, I’ve never been drenched in 5 hours of screaming in Korean before that towards the end I just started to laugh. But I did get my “most playful”  Class to be dead silent for 5 min by just pointing to the board and not saying anything; there’s no way I can even be heard in English above the noise. My co teacher did smack a couple of students with this stick thing and also pulled one by the ear.. i didn’t  really understand what was going on or why she did that,but  guessing it was something said in Korean because I was just going to ignore the noise for a bit.  They are the cutest kids EVER!!!! A handful for sure, but nonetheless just delightful in their own crazy way!  My first class is the youngest of the five classes: 7 and 8 year olds and I’m teaching them phonics… as much as possible.  The second through fifth classes are working on basic sentence and each lesson sort of has a theme to it. At the beginning of class we have a spelling test (maybe I’m just out of the loop on what words kids can spell, but I thought they were hard for that age) these classes are 9, 10, and 11 year olds if various skill levels.  Kids here have an English name that they pick and it often changes depending on their mood and there Korean name (that is usually hard to pronounce in my case)… I think I only know a handful if names today- the really sweet girls that sit by me and answer every question and the loud boys in the back that scream TEACHER help meeeeee!!!!  The kids don’t wear shoes in the school. They either have socks, slippers, or bare feet. I also had to take off my shoes and wear slippers- I’m bringing ballet flats of my own tomorrow as the ones I wore today were huge on my feet!  People also take off their shoes in traditional restaurants and in everyone’s home. Koreans consider feet to be dirty, disgusting, and it’s disrespectful to walk into another’s house with shoes on.  Yay for a great first day! I am sooo thankful that I took the certification course and had a bit of experience teaching adults however! Kids and adults are polar opposite classroom situations! 🙂  I decided to cook my first meal tonight; just some pasta and chicken. I should not be allowed to cross thousands of miles of country and sea if I can’t manage to cook, but I guess they allow that. I sort of couldn’t get the olive oil bottle open- it’s actually this fancy bottle cap and they explain how to open it in Korean, and include a picture that I obviously can’t read either. Olive oil everywhere. Seriously. And I managed to fill my apartment with a smokey haze and realized I didn’t have my usual smoke alarm go off, ah silence…and the realization once more of no smoke alarm. Oh dear.

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