Weeks 23 and 24¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

Uhhh so I guess I forgot to write two weeks worth of life? I have a bad memory so this doesn’t surprise me. 

As mentioned previously, we started the new term on June 1st. Things seem to be going ok so far. I like the majority of my classes. The Korean teacher and I have had some issues with one of the girls in a higher level class being rude to us and not being a pleasant person. I scolded her in class and my coworker called her mom. Another one of my classes is probably the worst behaved class I’ve had my entire time here. There are four or five students in the class that are angels and the others…well they’re just not motivated to be there or think it’s social hour. 

I asked the director at my school if she would like me to stay an extra term and she seemed shocked that I suggested such a thing. But honestly, this came about after I had talked to a recruiter for a different job I was interested in and even though I would have about a month between the jobs, I wouldn’t be able to go home. I thought about this and decided it wasn’t ideal for many reasons and let him know I would wait a term and apply later. So, expect me stateside ~December and January at least. 🎄✌🏻

Everyone in my family is/was on baby watch. My brother’s wife, Hannah, was due to give birth to their second child any day and being 14 time zones away is a bit difficult to stay in the loop. On Monday June 12th, Astrid Jean joined the Hokanson clan. 

This year is going to be interesting because three of my cousins and a friend are also pregnant, all due one month after each other… it will certainly make coming home in December all the more exciting. 👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼

Friday I went out with four of my coworkers. The first bar we went to had ladies night with half priced drinks. Anything other than beer or soju is generally expensive in Korea so we took advantage of that. Then we went to a dance club. I somehow lost my apartment key while dancing. I went to the dj to ask if they had a lost and found, they didn’t but he was kind enough to announce to the whole club I’d lost my r2d2 Lego keychain 🤦🏼‍♀️ and maybe 30 minutes later the bartender comes up to me with my key! I hugged her so hard. I’m honestly really lucky in the fact that the unlucky things that happen to me turn out waaaaay worse than they could. After that debacle we danced for an eternity. I ate McDonald’s breakfast before staggering home around 5:45am. 


Saturday I was not hungover! Yay. I didn’t do much because, although I didn’t have a hangover my body hurt from all the drunk dancing I did. I did laundry and tidied up. I met Asia for pizza and went back to doing nothing at home. I watched Supergirl on Netflix.

Sunday slept in and met Asia and Sharon for 샤브샤브  for a late lunch. I did not eat 샤브샤브 because it’s hot soup and it was hot out. I had a super huge and equally delicious salad for lunch. After that we decided to go walk around a different part of Suwon. I walked over 11,000 steps so I’d say it was a productive day. 

Until next week,

B

Advertisements

Week 16, 2017

Tuesday I received a box from my parents with pants I had ordered and some goodies they included for me. I was still not feeling the best so it made my day a lot better. They keep sending me tuna pouches and I died of laughter. I complained about the tuna here once, and so I’m tuna pouch rich now. And since I’m lazy, this is a ~really~ good thing.

The pants I ordered are already too big… I think I’ve learned my lesson now that I should order them a size smaller than I currently measure at. It boggles my mind that I’ve gone down that much in pants sizes because I don’t see it but the pants don’t lie so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

A boy in my lowest level class told me he loved me during class. It caught me a bit off guard (I’m still not used to teaching this age and their sweetness) and I asked him, “oh really!?” To which he responded, “yep!” Later during the lesson I circled his page, he drew a heart in my circle, and wrote my name in the heart he drew. 😊

Today I met a friend at Hwaseong Fortress. We walked around and giggled at silly things we saw. A drunk elderly man came up to us and was mumbling things at us. We were both like 👍🏻 right on. We we both equally impressed by the lady narrating the changing of the guard at the palace for speaking Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese. I mentioned a goal of going to the post at the top of the mountain and was talked into doing it…with a couple of breaks and a stop for water we made it to the top. Then we went to eat mandu and I came home for a nap. 

Week 9, 2017

I feel like it’s getting more difficult to differentiate between days, weeks, months the longer I am here…does that mean I’m more comfortable because things don’t stick out as much? That I’m finally acclimatized to things and how they’re done here?

I have no idea what happened last Monday other than it was the last Monday of the 2016 Winter term.

Tuesday was our head teacher’s last day. It was really surreal feeling. It didn’t seem real; she’s been here the whole six months I’ve been in Korea and has been a super cool head teacher.

I got eyelash extensions before school because why not?

Wednesday we didn’t have work because of Sam-il which celebrates the first demonstrations and resistance against Japanese colonialism in Korea; it is credited with gaining momentum for the Korean Independence Movement.

I’m not 100% sure but I’m pretty sure I stayed home and watched dramas all day… I also sent 203943890 snaps to my friend Lee. They said this snapchat filter is my ~true~ form. I agree.

Thursday was the start of the new term. I have the lowest level of learners once on Tues-Thurs and they are so cute! I have a pretty good mix of students that I’ve taught the previous two terms and new students.

Friday I had two more of the lowest level classes right out the gate. I’m a bit more worried about my Mon, Wed, Fri classes because the the lower level classes keep trying to talk to me in Korean and I, obviously, keep talking to them in English then we reach an impasse where we just stare at each other. It’s so awkward! So cute, but damn, so so awkward.

Saturday I went with our new teacher to sign up for Korean class! I woke up at 8:30 on a weekend… *shocked* We took a taxi to Yeongtong Station in Suwon. It was such a hilarious trip because we had the most adorable, dad taxi driver. He picked us up and immediately wanted to know where we were from. After he learned we were from America he proceeded to unlock his phone and show us a photo of his daughter who goes to University of Kansas. He wanted to know which states we were from and why we were in Korea. He asked us if we were military and my mind immediately went to,”lololololololol, what you playin’ at old man?!” I told him we were teachers and he immediately rubbed his hands together to signify his approval of our money making ventures. Oh man, he was a hoot!

We finally arrived at Yeongtong Station and after the most ridiculous confusion we realized we were not lost and there was a sign right in front of our faces about the class we were looking for. We got in and registered for our classes. I suddenly understood how our new students feel when we ask them if they have an English name because that happened to me here. I was good because I already have a Korean name but dang that’s some pressure to put on someone. I’ve studied Hangul previously I was placed in level one. Asia was placed in Hangul class. Another teacher at our school, Olivia, registered also and will be in the same level as Asia. We were there for probably five minutes and finished; I was told I could buy my book that day so we made our way to the front desk. Come to find out I already have both the text and workbooks from attempting to self study. So yay! 🙂

After that, we hopped on the train to Suwon Station because Asia wanted to return some things she bought and didn’t need. We walked around, got lunch, and got her a SIM card for her phone. A pretty productive day so far if I do say so, and it was only about two in the afternoon at this point.

I had gotten home and I got a message from a guy, Sung, I have talking to saying we should go to the seashore. So he picked me up and we drove for about an hour to Daebudo, an island in the Yellow Sea on the western coast of South Korea. That was probably the longest I’ve been in a car since I arrived in Korea and took a taxi from the airport. We got to our destination, walked along the mud flats, looked at shells, and then Sung said he wanted to watch the sunset. So we got back in the car and drove to the western part of the island that is known for sunsets. It was getting chilly so we headed to a restaurant for dinner. He talked me into eating octopus. <_< We got seafood stew that had octopus, crabs, clams, and shrimp. It wasn’t that bad. He also ordered seafood potato pancake. I wish I would have taken pictures because this stew looked like a work of art. Then we came back to Suwon, he dropped me off and went back home to Seoul. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday I planned on doing laundry all day. I got a message from a Korean teacher at my school asking if I wanted to join her and another teacher at the mall for shopping. That sounded a hell of a lot more fun than laundry so I agreed. Apparently it was their mission to find me a pair or two of pants because a comment was made previously in the week about how my pants are too big. While this was done with the best intentions, finding plus size pants here in a regular store is next to impossible. Even back home, finding pants to fit me in a store is difficult. She thought she found pair that looked like they’d fit… I couldn’t get them over my knees because of my chunky thighs. I appreciated the gesture and effort, but it just wasn’t meant to be. We walked around and looked at all the stuff in the mall, ate some pretty cake, and had coffee. I started to feel really tired so we parted our ways and I went home. I went straight to bed because I developed  a headache. I slept for an hour and then did some dishes and read for a bit.

Until next week,

B

Week 8, 2017

Monday our new teacher arrived at campus! That means I have been in Korea for ~six months~ it doesn’t feel like that long in some ways and in others it feels longer. The new teacher went with the current head teacher, who is leaving us on Tuesday :(, and I to get lunch and look around the area of our school. The new teacher informed me that she, along with the two new teacher at the Avalon down the road had read my blog. This was a shock to me as I never thought about anyone other than people I actually know reading this…

Later, my class of girls figured out that you can still take photos and videos even if my phone is locked… here is some of their artistry:

​ ​

​​


I got another sinus thing this past week and it cleared pretty quickly…I take vitamins and eat more fruits and vegetables than I ever did back home, but I still get sick. 😦

Everyone has been anxious about the end of this term and wanting to plan for next term. We all just wanted to know what classes we’d be teaching. We got a semi-final schedule on Thursday and I was satisfied with it. Then scheduling errors had to fixed and we got a new schedule on Friday. I am so nervous! I have to teach the babies of the beginner level on three separate occasions.

Friday night we went out to a steak dinner and went to noraebang (karaoke) and sang our hearts out for Andrea’s last Friday hurrah. It was very fun. But also odd that the noraebang had many cats in the hallway living in cages…


Yesterday I worked in the morning for open class. This is where we have mock classes with kids to show them how classes will be if they sign up. As usual, there seems to have been misunderstanding and miscommunication about timing and supplies. While I was at work repairmen came and fixed my boiler so I now can have hot showers! ❤

I started a painting… not sure about it. I’m not confident in my painting skills like I am in drawing. I’ll post a photo of it when it’s completed.

Today I met the new teacher, Asia, and we went to Suwon Station and walked around Lotte Mall. She bought some things she needed and we looked around. We found this awesome juice shop in the basement of the department store and it was so delicious.

Here’s a scary Snapchat video I took.


Until next week,

B

Week 7, 2017

Can you believe we’ve already made it through seven weeks of 2017!? Me either.

So… after I posted my blog last Sunday my computer decided it’d had enough of the abuse I put it through, being an over glorified Netflix player, and die. Like full on dead. I tried a lot of different things and ended up having to do a full system restore so I lost everything that was saved to my computer. Luckily, I’ve learned from my horrible electronics karma in the past and had important documents saved on Google Drive and an external hard drive. Strangely enough, doing a system restore fixed whatever was wrong with my webcam and Bluetooth. So now, I essentially have a new computer.

Last Monday, I still didn’t know if my computer would be fixed for sure or not by the time I left for school and I was pretty bummed. When I got to school I found out I had two parent meetings straight away at 12:30. I was not in the greatest mood. Buuuuuuut, the day got astronomically better when I received a giant box from my BFF Valerie!!!! That honestly made my day. I opened it up right away because I can’t stand surprises. I knew I was at least getting a shirt because I asked her to include one; I opened the box and there were EIGHT shirts. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to see eight shirts from Target ever in my life. This was a welcome surprise as a majority of my short sleeve shirts are totes gross from wearing them for six months.

Tuesday, after I realized my computer no longer had Microsoft Office I panicked a bit and left a frenzied voicemail for my parents… sorry about that Mom and Dad. They were able to provide me with a product key and got that squared away so now I can play around with and edit my documents and stuff.

One of my classes hates having their pictures taken so of course if they’re bad I threaten them with taking pictures.

For dinner on Tuesday, I went to Tony Burger; a weird cowboy-esque themed burger restaurant. I ordered a burger and when it came I was not disappointed but confused on how I was going to manage to eat it. I was, however, disappointed with the lack of napkins provided as this burger was exceptionally messy.

On the way home I saw a crane fishing in the stream with the moon/lamplight rippling across the water. It was super pretty so I took a video.

I have enjoyed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese so much this past week thanks to Valerie. Also, blueberry soju. Aaaah so delicious!

Thursday after work we went to trivia at The Big Chill and I got grapefruit soju. That was really delicious as well. Because I don’t imbibe often some people seemed shocked that I was. We got our trivia on and Sean and I stayed later and danced to S Club 7 and other random requests we could think of. Oddly enough, I still got home before I normally go to bed so I was able to shower and still get in almost nine hours of sleep.

Saturday Fitbit informed me that I’ve lost 17.9 pounds since coming to Korea! Fuck yessss!


I had an appointment at 1pm to get my eyebrows microbladed. ( see What is microblading) I was getting a bit nervous because the technician drew my eyebrows on super dark and I looked really weird. Numbing gel was applied to my eyebrow area and after 15 minutes, she started blading away at my face. It was super weird because I could hear her scraping my skin but I couldn’t feel it. After an hour she sat me up and made some finishing touches. Then I was released back into the wild with my brand new eyebrows. Since I don’t really know much Korean and the technician didn’t know much English I paid her the incorrect amount. After I ate lunch I went back to give her what I owed her. I then went and walked around a bunch. I bought some acrylic paints and plan on painting something dope as soon as I figure out what I want to paint.

My eyebrows before microblading

The scary during photo.

After microblading! Yay! I have eyebrows now!


Yesterday, I went out to eat and sent this to all my Snapchat friends. lol.

Until next week,

B

Say what? Earthquake?!

Hmm where I do start?

Friday was a pretty bad day. I have three students in my first class that seem to be out to be the shittiest little kids in all my classes as two or all three of them are throwing a fit about something everyday. The girl is essentially a seven year old baby. She cried because one of the boys touched her pencil case. There is one boy in the same class that legit looks like a mini version of a middle aged man that’s hung over and always pissed off about something. These kids are like 7 or 8 and in that class all hell broke loose on Friday and I got yelled at for not controlling the class better. I agree it was a shitshow, however that was only my 6th day teaching so I don’t really know why the expectations are that I’m perfect and nothing goes wrong, like ever.

My coworkers and I went to a bar close to work and had some beer (ew) and they succeeded in making me feel better. Afterwards, two of us wanted to get pizza but it was closed 😦 So I was shown the walking trail as an alternate to taking the pedestrian bridge.

Saturday the head teacher, Andrea, showed me how to get HomePlus which is like a Target or Walmart. It’s about a 20 minute walk if you’re a slow walker like me. This store is near the baseball stadium. The store was pretty cool. I went with the intent to look for a desk or table lamp and of course I didn’t remember that when I got there. I did, however, remember to buy pillow cases and a fitted sheet. I also bought about $50 worth of groceries. We took a cab back home because I bought lots of juice and that shit is heavy and I’m not about to carry that for 20+ minutes. Hell no.

Sunday I was excited to put my newly purchased and washed sheet on my bed… I bought the wrong damn size! I got a single/twin and my bed is a queen! I was not surprised because I do this kind of thing all the time.

Today I had my M-W-F kids, the same little terrors. The two trouble some boys started a fight over one’s book being over the halfway line of the desk. One of them even did the “come at me bro” action. tumblr_lmfoyckhfk1qii6tmo1_500 meanwhile, I was like, giphy and then I realized that I was the “responsible” adult in the room and made the least troublesome of the boys move to the back of the room.

As requested, I made this video of my walk from school to my apartment. Yes, that is a veterinarian’s office across the hall from my academy. I always peep in there and look at the doggies.
My Walk Home

After shooting this video there was apparently an earthquake in southeast Korea. I didn’t feel it but a girl who works in an academy down the street from me on the 6th floor did. Kind of makes me wonder if I even know what an earthquake “feels” like.

I went solo

First off here’s a pic of the hotel all the teachers are staying at 


It has a wedding/convention center attached, which is bigger than the hotel and not pictured.

I, again, woke up at 5:45 am. #gross

So I only had one day of training at headquarters and today I’m off to see Suwon, my school, and meet everyone. I had to take a bus for 15/20 minutes to the subway station and then ride the subway for about an hour


At first I go on the train going the wrong way! 😱 Luckily I realized my mistake right away and got off at the next station and swapped trains. 

I got to my destination early and was able to walk around. I immediately spotted an Indian restaurant, three skin care brand stores, a Pizza Hut, Popeye’s Chicken, and Starbucks. My first thought: this is going to be ok. I slipped in to Starbucks and got a celebratory Frappucino for not getting too lost or dying! 

I met the current head foreign teacher who is leaving on Thursday and her replacement at the train station exit and caught a bus back to school where I was introduced to the staff and other teachers. 

The director of the school wanted to have a chat with me to get to know me rather than reading about me in a file. She seemed very impressed with the classes that I took through University of Iowa and King Sejong Insititute. She said that I have a really nice voice and that I have the dispossition for being an English teacher.

I only observed classes yesterday and honestly it was a bit overwhelming just because it was all so new. I also got my books and the schedule for what I’ll be teaching. I don’t have desk yet because the one teacher is still still teaching until Thursday and I’m  a bit in the way. 

Everyone at school is very nice and welcoming. Of the native English speaking teachers that are staying, two are Canadian, one is from UK, and one from Wisconsin. The director bought us lunch and told me a faster way to get home than I took. She also rode the bus with me and walked me to the hotel. Which was super nice because we had a meeting after classes were over and didn’t arrive at the hotel until 11pm. 

Friday is the big day. The director will pick me up in her car and take all my suitcases to school. I will start teaching classes on Friday. This is not a drill. I will start teaching classes on Friday. And after a full day of teaching I will move into my apartment. I’m moving into the apartment of the teacher that’s leaving so it makes it a bit weird right now having to come to and from the hotel everyday. 

Beginnings and Such

tumblr_mu7f72pn6r1revx3do1_500

Over the past month and a half my life has changed drastically. I’ve graduated from college, received my Teaching English to Foreign Speakers (TESOL) certificate, turned 30 😮  (*gasp* ikr?!), moved back home to my parents’ house, accepted a job that correlated with my major, got offered a TESOL job, cancelled acceptance of the first job and have been on rally to get my documents sent to Korea in time.

So after conferring with Reddit that this school is somewhat reputable and not 100% shady I signed a contract with Avalon English and was assigned to their Suwon Jangan Langcon campus.

TL;DR I’m moving to South Korea to become an English teacher.