Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Adjusting - Day Two

Still super exhausted (the jet lag has not yet left), but I'm determined to write a little bit here so I can (potentially) add to it later.

My day in a nutshell:

Had my medical check.  Height, weight, hearing, sight, urine analysis, blood sample, and chest x-ray (which occurred in a bus... a mobile x-ray station).  Learned that "mun" means 'door' and "ja-dong" is 'automatic' by asking the volunteer that was assisting at the x-ray bus.  It was written on the door and I felt like such a dumb little foreigner asking, "Oh, what does this mean?!" but that's how I'll start to learn things.  The elevators have announcements when the doors open and when you press buttons and I actually recognized the word "mun".

We got muffins and water after the medical check up since we had to fast.  I had a chocolate one and when I reached out to grab it and let go of the gauze on my arm it started bleeding everywhere.  Haha!  Luckily I stopped it before it got on the floor. :P  There were also cheese muffins which apparently actually tasted like cheese... not cheesecake or anything, but salty, savory cheese.

I ate an actual lychee at lunch.  It was served cold and still had the frost on it.  In the heat and humidity, it was actually very refreshing and tasted exactly like the lychee frozen yogurt at Tutti Frutti in East Lansing.

There was some time between lunch and our first lecture so I went walking with a small group of girls.  I bought a "Buon Gelato" which claimed to be Italian Gelato.  Since I did not get sick from it I think it was legit gelato despite having the creamy texture of ice cream.  I also learned that "bang" is 'fat' on food labels.

We had two lectures this afternoon, one on how to learn Korean effectively and another on co-teaching. The first one provided information on ways to begin learning Korean (little hacks like reading license plates or using memrise.com to learn vocabulary), basic information about Korean culture and how to enjoy it, and finally why English is so hard for Korean students to learn (particles, auxiliary verbs, the ridiculous number of tenses we have - though that last one wasn't actually listed).  The second lecture had a very energetic team of elementary co-teachers and they did a short lesson presentation for us.  It was very interactive and upbeat.  They said the four main jobs of a guest English teacher (GET) are basically native pronunciation, native expressions, native conversations, and cultural exposure.  They provided information on how to build good relationships with your co-teacher.  Again, I'm really hoping I get a co-teacher that is interested in working closely with me and helping me learn about Korean culture!

We got orange juice boxes at lecture today.  The title is a phonetic translation of 'orange drink' and is essentially "o-ren-ji deu-rin-ku" (I'll put the hangul in here later when I have the time and proper keyboard).

At dinner I had these interesting rice cake things... they were about the size of breakfast sausages and covered in a vaguely spiced red-colored sauce.  They tasted vaguely like rice?  They also had fruit punch but it was carbonated!  Smelt exactly like Hawaiian Punch, but was carbonated... weird.

The Korean nurse sat with my little group at dinner and we had a conversation about teaching and skiing/snowboarding in Gangwon Land which is a resort in my province.  She joked about coming and teaching us how to snowboard there and we would have a party if we won money at the casino.  People here are very nice and familiar with one another.

I apparently placed into the advanced Korean class, but if we're real about it, me and several other people that were there were totally not supposed to be in that class.  It's the class for people who can easily converse in Korean; a.k.a. not me.  But I did learn a new tense (future) and some new vocabulary, but I really need to study it.

Tomorrow I'm going to hike a trail that goes up Wangbang Mountain with some people in the morning and hopefully get some amazing pictures.

I really surprised myself to day with how easy it is to slip into taking off my shoes before I enter my dorm room.  It feels very natural already.

And that's most of my day here in Korea.  Day two is complete!  Now bed and my allergy pills finally!

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