Archive for SMOE orientation

views from the city window

I’ve been at my digs a few days now, long enough to figure out how to turn on the hot water and do two loads of laundry. These things were pretty major accomplishments, as you could imagine, for a pup out in the world. Life at school suits me fine now – long hours of lesson planning and shy students. Today I got to go to the immigration office (where I saw a ton of my fellow SMOE-ers) and apply for an Alien Registration Card. It was extra-terrestrial-tactic! Hahah, it took up a ton of time waiting there. But anyway! At immigration I had to take these passport-style photos, like a set of 6. They come in handy here / but anyway, I totally screwed it up, because I couldn’t read the Hangul (Korean) instructions in the photo booth / so I had to do it twice / 12 bucks! Twelve bucks / 6 bucks wasted, this is why I need to practice my Korean! / So anyway, back at school, I have the extra five images on my desk, and one of the girls asks if she can have one. I’m a collector item in Korea, I just want you to know. 😉

Of course, I gave it to her. I’m tempted to make naomi trading cards as prizes. All of this celebritylifeLiving is going straight to my head!

{{Some videos from the end of orientation until now, including the coveted Room Tour, transmission starting now}}


Lisa was such a good roommate for tolerating my mess, if only for a week! I filmed this the night before we moved out, so I was in multiple staged of disarray. 🙂 Lisa lives in Itaewon, which is sort of the foreigners district – walking around there is like walking around NYC. Speaking of Itaewon…

One of the best parts of Korea, for me, is E-Mart. E-Mart can only be described as the Korean Target: cheap cheap cheap. There’s one across the street from my apartment. On my first morning in my bachelor pad, I decided to head on down and pick up some much needed veggies, only to find that E-Mart doesn’t open until 10am. Since it was about 15min to, I decided to wait it out in the store, with everyone else on the block looking to get the freshest, earliest deal. (E-Mart has benches by the door just waiting.) So I waddled over and plopped myself down between Amojja #3 and Amojja #5. I had become one of them!

At the strike of 10, we were off!!

That’s it! I’ve changed my mind about my career completely: I want – no, I NEED to be – a Taekwondo master!  As one of the closing events here at Orientation, a fabulous troupe preformed for us, complete with song and dance.

I’ve found my calling :p (jk, jk)

Orientation is almost over, and then we’ll be unleash unto Korea. All 500 or so of us SMOE teachers have been under quarantine at a university campus just outside of Seoul, because of the swine flu. While not terrible, this means that for the past three days I’ve seen a grand total of 5 buildings. Whooo! Go brick! Go concrete! Blew me away, 100%. Hahah, I can’t wait to get back into Seoul!

There’s some unknown-ness about what Monday (our first day of work) will be like. I’m going to prepare a multi-level lesson about myself, all introductionary: arts, AmeriCorps, Miami, Michigan, Jewish, blah blah blah. Middle School in Korea is 7th, 8th and 9th grades, and I’ll probably only be teaching two of those levels.  I think the activities that we’ve done have prepped me pretty well. o_o Hahaha, maybe I’ll be eating those words come Monday!

Oh yeah ~~ Video of Amma/YoonJi/Naomi shopping. ❤ eeel, eeeel. So cute!

a video burst

I’ve been in Seoul for a few days now. Still jet-lagged, but having tons of fun. Right now I’m at orientation, and I’ll be here until friday — there are tons and tons and tons of teachers!! It’s been so cool to meet everyone, and find out about your schools (but no word on districts yet).

A short vignette before the videos roll:
Yoon Ji and I were coming back late the other night on the subway, and I really had to go to the restroom. Knowing it would be another 15min before we made it home, we followed the neon orange arrows on the station floor to the public restroom. Relief! I lunged for the nearest stall, finally, finally — only to find what!? At first I thought it was my eyes, or lack of sleep, or some strange construction. As is stood there, dumfounded, I realized it could only be what I had feared the most: a squat toilet. No amount of practice could have prepared me for it. “YOON JI!!” I cried, “YOOOON JI??!”

“Oh,” said Yoon. “A squatter. Hm. Use stall number five instead.” And so I backed out of stall number three, into stall number five, and found what I so desperately desired: a throne. Yes. Yes yes yes. Seoul is so beautiful.

Hopefully, tonight I’ll get some better sleep, so I’ll stop head-nodding in the presentations. :p