I'm about 90 percent recovered from jet lag (though you won't think so if you check the time on this post and realize it's 4:30 am over here when I'm writing it, but I did go to bed at a reasonable hour and slept most of the way through the night). Other than being in zombie mode for the last few days, I've had a LOT of fun! Everything can be a bit overwhelming, but so far I find Korea to be a highly entertaining place.
I've gotten the celebrity treatment a few times already. Like when Jane and I were stalked by middle school girls wanting to practice their English--"Your hair is beautiful!" "Thank you very much." Bursts of giggles. Or the store clerk who declared in very admiring tones "Oh, your skin is so white!" I responded with "thank you," but wanted to tell her that I soak in milk everyday to get it that way. Gwen says I shouldn't do that, though because they'd probably try it. Oh the possibilities for evil if that is the case--"Why yes, I do [insert random stupid activity, like drinking urine] daily to achieve my ivory complexion." Hm... Bad Diana!
I went to the school on Friday to follow Jane to her classes and to familiarize myself with my teaching duties. The kids are so cute! One of them, a girl who goes by the English name Betty, gave me a highlighter pen that smells like strawberry. Jane says that some of the students like to give the teachers presents like that, so that's pretty cool. I'm mostly teaching speaking classes (the Korean English teachers teach grammar, including reading and writing), so it's a lot of "listen and repeat," but the materials that they have at the school seem pretty decent and have very helpful teaching guides, so I don't think it will be very long until I've got the lesson planning down well enough that I can be creative with it again. Jane has been really awesome about leaving me all the materials and showing me everything she's been doing as a teacher to help me stay organized. So on Monday, I begin my adventures as Diana-teacher, new EFL foreign teacher!
I'll update more about the neighborhood and my shopping adventure yesterday at a "Korean market" (aka: Costco!) when I take some pictures, but I should get back to sleep now. Before I go though, I want to remark on the amazing power of blogging. Without it, I would not have found this job or met Jane and Gwen, who are some of the good people. I possibly would not have had the resolve to actually follow through on my goals without feeling some accountability that this forum provides.
Writing is phenomenal. That is all (for now).