"I want some mi-gook sticker."

5:52 AM Jmo 2 Comments

I must say I was sluggish this morning. I was looking forward to today, don't get me wrong, but the heat kept me up all night and my mind refused to shut down. But today was the first day that I'd be teaching with Hyo and the first time that I helped prepare and develop a real English lesson. So, regardless of lack of sleep I needed to rock it. 

The day started off with two of my co-teachers bringing in breakfast for us. They called it "bread" but they were actually full sandwiches. Cute! (Note to self: bring in food to share.) Then I headed to class with Hyo. Our lesson for the day was 'I Want Some Water' -we were teaching expressions such as: "I want_____. ", How about you?", and "Me too!" Hyo, for being as sweet as she is, runs an extremely structured, tight ship, of a class. I like it! I was not expecting that from her. But her students were some of the most well behaved I've encountered here. Mondays will be nice. :)

After my introduction, followed cute questions as usual: "Are you married?", "Do you like baseball?", "Do you like to wear skirts or pants?" hahaa After the questions we jumped right into our lesson following the course book. Hyo created a powerpoint with all the key expressions and examples in it for me to read off and elicit responses from the kids. I must've said "I want some cookies" at least 45 times today. I started to believe that I actually wanted them... But Hyo did throw a curve ball in there: "I want some soeng pyeong." -That one took me a second...
Once the formal course book lesson concluded it was time for the game I made up! It was a little along the lines of Go Fish, but it included asking for items using the key phrases covered during the lesson. The kids divided up into groups and at the end of the game the students with the most cards would get a sticker. A sticker from America! -the kids flipped and the game was on. haha!

At the end of each class the students would line up and greet me at the door to say goodbye. As a little review I would have a small conversation with them using what they learned today. As a funny example, when I told one boy "I want some water. How about you?" he responded with "I want some mi-gook sticker." He didn't win the game..haha! Goofball.
Four out of the five classes also lined up to get my autograph. How cute is that?? I guess I did a good job today.  :)

Teacher Jessica...or Kpop Star Jessica? We will never know...
After school there was a short teachers meeting. I haven't really had the chance to meet any of the other teachers at my schools because the English building is sequestered off to the side by the cafeteria, so this was a little intimidating. Especially because everything was in Korean. When they laughed, I laughed. It was a matter of survival! And to my surprise, at one point I was nudged up on stage with a small group to be introduced. Thank god I was the last one to be introduced because -once again, I needed to follow an example. The Principle stood at the podium and spoke entirely in Korean as one by one people stepped forward, bowed, and the audience applauded. When it reached my turn..haha..some things were said in Korean then a big "oOOOooOoooo!" came from the audience. Then some more things were said in Korean -another "ooOOOOoooo!". I just smiled and bowed after he said my name. I went back to my seat and asked Miss Nahm what happened. She said that he said that I played and coached soccer. Uhoh. I don't know how he found that out. No pressure right?!

Walking to and riding the subway home with Hyo is always a highlight in my day. She is just so sweet and today was definitely no exception. Today on my return trip I had to add more money to my subway card so I stopped at the counter before the gate to do so. I shuffled my way through some Korean phrases to make this happen and Hyo was very pleased. She said: "You don't act like a foreigner. You're not nervous. You just speak Korean. You act Korean." Yes! I reassured her that, yes, I am nervous but thank you! That made my day. A little anyeonhaseyo and kamsahamnia will get you far. And she kept the compliments flowing on the subway ride home too: "The principle will like you because you dress so nice." Seriously? So sweet.

Oh! With all my thoughts on the good...I forgot to mention the BAD of today. For lunch: fermented fish stew. Yes. That's right. I made it through somehow. Don't ask me how. Especially with the fact that I had to wash it down with hot water (the school boils their water). I could not brush my teeth enough.

After what I felt was a day well conquered, I decided to spend my endorphins wisely and force myself to go grocery shopping. Today I took a different route to the store and passed by this amazing little restaurant district right behind my building. No English -so I probably wont have a sit down meal by myself, but I would love to check it out with some friends. Please? Please come now? :) 
Grocery shopping went really well today. I managed to steer clear of the easy-ramen-esque meals and bought fresh food. (-I would do this back in the States no problem, but here there are different customs for buying groceries. Like, you need to pay for your fruit first before you leave the fruit area. So I've just always been nervous of making a mistake.) But today, for some reason, I was honed in as someone who was lost and needed help. haha In the tofu section a lady came by and pointed out "the best" one. And in the laundry detergent section a worker came up to me speaking in Korean; very sweetly. My face turned red and I said "Oh, I'm sorry. Only English..I don't speak Korean." She smiled and said, "I know." Then she took me down the aisle and pointed out the best laundry detergent for my money. And! To top it off, it smells like lychees. :)

My fridge is now stocked with real food and tonight I made my first real meal: real noodles (like fresh, fresh) with tofu, veggies, full hooded bean sprouts, in a black bean sauce -with a hint of hot pepper paste. Slowly becoming addicted...

Yeah. Today was a good day.


  1. ohhhh fermented fish stewwwww :( so sorry! Glad you got some yummy stuff at the grocery store this time though!!!


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