Friday, August 6, 2010

Entry #1

I finally did it. Here is the blog that I’ve been promising to create since I graduated three months ago. I just found out where I will be living and teaching English for the next year, and I think it’s fitting that I write my first entry today.

Currently I'm in Goesan, a rural town in central South Korea famous for its chili peppers. Beginning in August 19, I will be teaching Korean elementary schoolchildren in the city of Cheong-ju until July 2011. Cheong-ju, a city of over 600,000 residents, is the 9th largest city in Korea and the provincial city of Cheung-chung Buk-do Province in central Korea.

For the past month, I’ve been taking intensive Korean language courses while attending countless (and often seemingly never-ending) cultural and teaching workshops. It’s training for my first real job, though I often forget that’s the purpose for me being here since I’m in a bubble of 72 other Americans who are quickly becoming my new family and friends. 

My Korean is improving daily, and I sometimes answer English questions in Korean without thinking. I still write like a second grader, but there’s been a 300% increase on my quiz scores since Day 1. Hopefully I make enough progress to pass my Korean final next week. By the end of this year, I hope to be able to write an academic paper in Korean without having my language teachers mark up every line in red ink.

This being my first blog, I expect it to be a hodgepodge of posts on my daily experiences living in Korea as an English teacher, Korean-American (or 교포 which is pronounced gyopo in Korean), and cultural ambassador (which we’re reminded of daily). Not to worry, though, I don’t want to bore anybody with my personal life. Expect some posts on Korean culture, architecture, public transportation, and urban development (plus anything that suits my fancy). I may no longer be a college student, but the learning never ends.


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