So, today is Saturday, the fourth day of orientation.
By the way, Incheon is pronounced “Inch-On”…not “Inch-E-On” as I was saying it before, though I see it spelled Incheon and Inchon.
At times it has been really hard to sit through lectures about things we need to learn, even though a lot of them are from teachers who are like us who came and wanted to teach their native language in Korea. All in all, everything has been informative and I hope to soak up the information.
I am most nervous about classroom management….and putting together interesting and useful lessons for the students. I hope I won’t make things too easy for them. I was told my school is new (2yrs old) and in a good area. I am about 45 minutes from Seoul I think, once I move in to wherever I will be living. I know that some schools don’t have the apartments ready right away and occasionally the teacher will have to live in a motel for a few days. I am anxiously hoping that will not be me, because I hate lugging around all of this luggage. My word of advice is to pack as lightly as possible, and I even received this advice. But it was hard to follow it when I didn’t buy the ticket until a few days before. ANYWAYS.
It is really hard to go from eating basically American style food with little variation to all soupy items, seafood, noodles, and kimchi. So far I have had kimchi with every meal. While I like it, sometimes even that yummy fermented cabbage can get to be a bit much. I also have horrible chopstick skills. At several meals I have either asked for help from others or have had several people attempt to help me, which can be a bit embarrassing, to be honest. I will keep practicing though…
I keep waking up at like 4:30 and ridiculous stuff like that. I hear that for every time zone I crossed, it will take a day to recover. I’m not sure how many time zones I crossed, but I imagine I will be good in a few days. I actually have read too that it is harder to go from west to east, though maybe I am wrong about that? I can’t remember.
Another thing that has been difficult for now but I don’t think I will encounter much after this point has been comments about my accent. It is so weird to get those kinds of comments, because for someone from Tennessee I really don’t have that bad of one. Of course, I weigh this by my own standards and not those of people from other countries/cities. It is hard to hear people talk badly about the “backward south” and not take it personally, but I realize that a lot of these people have never lived there and are going off of stories they have heard or worst-case scenarios. It is not fair to typecast the south like that, even if a lot of crazy bad stuff has happened there. That is one of my biggest pet peeves.
Today we had our big Medical Exam. Everyone went to a local hospital and had a brief hearing test, colorblindness test, blood pressure test, eye test, pee test, blood was drawn, X-Ray for TB, and a brief dental exam. Whew! One girl was hysterical about getting her blood drawn and it made me feel nervous.
Tonight Suzanne (my awesome AZN roommate for orientation) and I went to a mini supermarket and got T-cards, which are basically those refillable subway cards you will find in major cities. The cool thing about it is that the money on the card can be put into paying for most cab rides if applicable.
Tomorrow we will go on a Tour of Incheon. Neither Suzanne nor I have any idea of whether it will be us going through where everyone might teach or touristy areas, yet. Guess we will find out tomorrow. This is all I have for now. Does anyone have any questions? I know a few people might be curious about what is going on and I might not have addressed it. Thanks for reading!