Em in Asia!

My Experiences Living and Teaching in South Korea

October15

My students are overworked and are way too tired. On the bus today (it’s a Saturday here) I ran into some students who explained to me that they were coming back from Gwangju where they had attempted to donate blood. Unfortunately, they were turned away because you must have slept for at least five hours the previous night, and all of the girls there had only slept for three.

Many students don’t have a whole lot of time to sleep at night, because they either have extra classes, they must finish their homework, or study on their own just to keep up with their classes. This means that a lot of students take naps in the ten minutes between classes. However, there’s not a whole lot of time for sleep, and desks aren’t very comfortable, so they’ve streamlined the process by having specially designed classroom sleeping pillows.

Snapshot_20111015_3 This is my special new pillow friend. I thought he was an owl, hence the pun, but then I realized that owls don’t eat fish, which leads me to believe that my owl friend is actually a penguin friend. However penguins aren’t grey, unless they’re babies, and even then they don’t have white faces, so I’m just gonna say that he’s a cartoonish stuffed owl who likes to keep fish on his head.

Okay, so, this pillow is a genius idea. There is a hole in each side so that you can put your hands through the penguin, which makes sleeping on your desk a lot more comfortable.

So basically…
Snapshot_20111015_7

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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.