Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

The First of the Last (Classes)

December11

This time of year’s always difficult, and it makes me glad that though I’m disorganized in every other aspect of my life, I’m intensely organized when it comes to my class schedule. If I hadn’t been, as there’s two weeks left in the semester, I wouldn’t have realized that this is my last week with most of my second grade classes and I wouldn’t have planned accordingly.

While I will be at CPHS for another 6 months, I won’t teach the second graders anymore. The Korean semester starts in March and ends in December, which means that the F*bright foreign teachers always start and leave halfway through the academic year. While I’m grateful my schedule is the way it is as it allowed me to go straight from university to Korea without a multi-month delay, it can be annoying. The students will graduate and move up a grade, which means that while I have a new incoming batch of first graders to teach, I lose my second graders because they become third graders, high school seniors, and focus on the college entrance exam. It’s sad all around.

For the second graders I did a lesson on yearbooks. Thanks to my lovely parents (<3) I was able to get scanned photos from my high school yearbook and bring in a CPHS yearbook and compare and contrast them.

Senior year picture. The students say that I look younger now. Can you find me? Hint – top left.

We then went over yearbook signing traditions (in Korea there’s a similar thing called “rolling paper,” but that’s separate from yearbooks. The yearbooks are only for graduating seniors) and I taught them some common acronyms like “TTYL,” “LYLAS,” etc. I then had them come up with their own acronyms that they could use to describe their own CP experience. I had made “yearbooks” with their class pictures on B4 paper and printed out one for each student. They then used their own acronyms and the ones that I taught them to sign each other’s “yearbooks.” Here are my favorite acronyms thus far (4/10 classes done):

IS – In Seoul (i.e. after CPHS they’ll all meet in Seoul, where the best universities are)

CID – Chicken in Dormitory

HACKLOT – Have Chicken A Lot

ROC – Rob of Convenience Store (i.e. they buy everything)

WITM – What is Today’s Menu?

DWWU – Don’t Wanna Wake Up

LT – Lunch Terrible

FCTSKY – From CP To SKY (SKY are the three top universities – Seoul, Korea, and Yonsei)

ILSSM – I love 순대 (sunde), 순대 (sunde) loves me (Sunde is a food that CP is famous for… it’s… well, you can look it up.)

TOTE – Turn on the Egg (i.e. the Olleh wifi egg)

LLT – Love Lunch Time

LS3 – Let’s Study/Sing/Sleep

YSC – YS is Coming (YS is Awesome Mr. Kim’s first name, this class’s homeroom teacher)

COW – Chicken Over Wall (The students aren’t allowed to have food delivered, and there’s a fence around school property, so students get chicken delivered to them “over the wall.” Apparently this is a pretty popular phenomenon at most schools, as evidenced by my friend Sam’s more extreme example of rope chicken)

EIS – Everyone in Seoul (similar to IS)

BUIC – Break Up in Christmas

NB – No Boys (remember, this is a super conservative co-ed but gender segregated school)

SOS – Sick of Studying

RTC – Run to Cafeteria

CPH – Chicken Pizza Heungbu (the CP trifecta: Heungbu is the name of our bakery).

These are all from my girls’ classes… I’m excited to see what the boys come up with, but I’m not excited to teach more last classes.

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안녕하세요! My name is Emily and when I started this blog I had received a 2010 – 2011 F*lbright grant to teach English in South Korea.  I then decided to apply to renew my grant, so I am now staying in Korea until July 2012. This blog is not an official F*lbright Program blog, and the views expressed are my own and not those of the F*lbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations.

I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in Philosophy Pre-Law and Classical Civilizations, and found myself 3 months later teaching English at SGHS. The town that I taught in, SG, is a small town of 12,000 people, an “읍” (eup) rather than a “시” (shi – city), and though it was sometimes hard teaching in such a small town I really enjoyed the unique experience of being the first foreign teacher SGHS had ever had. I lived in the largest part of the county which is significantly bigger (40,000 people) than the town the school is situated in, but is also considered rural by Korean standards.

During my second grant period (2011-2012) I decided to change schools and I currently teach at CPHS which is located in an even smaller town than previously, in Jeollanamdo.

This blog is meant to serve as a reflection not only of being a Native English Speaking teacher in Korea, but also of living as a foreigner in rural Korea.



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