Fall Term in Review

I like when things are the same at the beginning and the end–when crazy shiz happens in the middle where the main character grows and learns and then at the end the same things happen but in a much larger sense it’s different because the character knows things they didn’t know before.

It’s beginning to feel that way.

Per usual, there were many things I expected and many things I didn’t.

Moving to Seoul:

I actually moved apartments after two days in Nowon. Now I live in a lovely two story loft with floor to ceiling windows, a real shower, and a giant bookshelf.I have room for a 6ft christmas tree and a large table for Thanksgiving Dinners. I’m 3 minutes from the subway, and only 25 minutes from Myeongdong. When it takes Silvia a while to meet somewhere…Suwon does in fact seem far away.

My sub job:

During the past three months, I did a month stint in Imae replacing a midnight runner–which was two hours away. It was my first time doing Avalon, not just Langcon, and I was essentially handed a book and told to teach it.

It was nice learning a new curriculum with the same kids. I know the general idea of how to teach every unit now. But in a much larger sense, it sucked. A month is just long enough to get to know the kids–Infinite fangirl, Taekwando Kevin, Little Junie, etc etc. And then you get a call that says you’re going to be somewhere else next week

I didn’t even get to say goodbye…

I taught at Silvia’s campus for a week which was good times. It was fun putting names to faces I’ve heard about for 9 months.

The past two weeks I’ve been in Dobong, which is thankfully only 5 minutes away by subway. The three foreign teachers are taking their vacations back to back, so by the end of the month I’ll have had just about every kid in the school.

Being a sub is quite nice though not going to lie. I don’t have to prepare classes–the person I’m subbing for has laid out day by day what I have to do. I don’t have to do phone speaking or parent teacher conferences. I don’t have to write superfluous comments about how your child “is very smart but would do even better if he focused in class” aka your child is the bane of my existence. If I hate a class I can take solace in that they are temporary.

I’ve also gotten a lot better at names/faces. I have to memorize approximately 90 kids a week. Sometimes those kids stay the same and I have them for three weeks. Or like this time in Dobong, I’m memorizing 90 kids/week for three weeks in a row. And remember they’re Asian–hair color and eye color don’t help. But if it’s one thing I’ve realized, all Asians do NOT look the same and my brain has finally picked up on the differences I didn’t notice before. I can now memorize giant dance groups in a quarter of the time. Life skillz everyone.

^the jumping, the london bridges, the running around in circles, the noise in another language–just a slightly more coordinated Phonics class.

When I’m not subbing, I’m at my home campus in Nowon. I grade book reports and hold clinics and observe classes. Observing classes has actually been my favorite part–I’ve learned so much from other teachers. I feel like my classes these days are just a conglomeration of the Nowon teacher’s classes. Okay I’m not entirely uncreative

The funniest thing I’ve noticed about going around to different campuses is the Token Flower Boy. Almost every teacher, all the front desk people, and even most of the directors are female. Then there’s the Token Flower Boy. The above-average attractive young male TA who takes attendance and makes copies. At Dobong, it was a middle aged man which I thought was strange. I brought it up to my head teacher and she laughed–their TFB enlisted two weeks ago and this guy was just temporary. Sure enough, two days later, the Director introduced the new TA–a TFB.

Overall I enjoy the job.

More Kpop Concerts:

There’s no  need to go over this again but let’s just put it this way. I’ve touched half of exo and a bunch of people I didn’t know. I sat next to a stage and got fanservice from 3874539853 other people  And…I somehow got front row seats to concert. In Japan.

More festivals: actually…I don’t think I went to any festivals. We tried to fit apple picking in somewhere but it just didn’t fit into our schedule. We had plans. But I did go to the Melon Music Awards which I wasn’t expecting.

Halloween and Thanksgiving: I spent Halloween dancing the night away with purple contacts in Hongdae. For Thanksgiving we went to costco and bought potato chips, craisins, guacamole chips, and cheese fondue. We came back and ordered fried chicken and decorated my unique christmas tree. One of a kind it is.

Hong Kong: 

What was supposed to be a 24 hour tryst turned into a two day adventure in Hong Kong and Macau. Macau is another country that I think happened but I’m not sure. I wandered around casinos and saw fireworks and got kicked out of a taxi and found a random church and slept in a food court. The pictures are really the only proof. Side note–exo had a concert a few weeks ago in Macau. Guess where they were. The Venetian.

And even better–there was a stage malfunction during a costume change. I don’t think anyone complained.

^it’s Macau. it’s the Venetian. Anything goes.


Sylvi: I got to have a month long sleepover with my Indonesian friend. She taught of us (almost) all of her ways and is the reason we can do half of the things we do. I’d say we are almost completely weaned from her help with the twitter girls. Almost. But now she’s looking for a real job back home and says she won’t return. Though she left a box of stuff at my house including a Christmas show ticket with her favorite favorite. I wouldn’t be surprised if she just showed up on Christmas Eve and left the 26.


see you soon sylvi!

Kyoto & Osaka: Silvia’s director said she had to take her 10 day vacation in fall because apparently winter would be too busy. And it’s not like I’m going to go somewhere without her. Sometimes I look back on that time where I sat in Seoul Station crying after missing the flight and the gold crusted ice cream and drinking from a magic stream at Kiyomizudera and being on the jumbotron/getting fanservice from exo (for the 10th time) and spending a night in Don Quijote and think, did that really happen. There are pictures, so I guess it did.


is this real life


Winter term:

And here’s what’s in the plans.

-Christmas: I’ll be a little homesick but I’ll keep myself busy.  The Christmas season is very different here, and I’ll write about that some day. As for actual Christmas day–I have plans.

-New Years: I wanted to go to Busan and for a New Years Festival, but Avalon has hearts colder than a Korean winter and aren’t giving us the day off. So I’ll be running to Seoul somewhere doing something. Probably.

-I want to go to this trout festival.   Silvia likes snow. Maria likes trout. And I like when things are cyclical–it would be a wonderful bookend to the strawberry festival last spring.

-I used up my vacation time this term, but who knows where I’ll end up. Seollal, Korean New Year, is in February and we have a four days off. It’s the same four days I had when I first arrived–the same four days where I made the friends I still have today. I am taking Silvia’s passport hostage that month so she (we) don’t end up in America for Exo’s North American tour

get your surfboard ready for the wave ~~

It’s irrational–a 24 hour plane ride each way, who knows if they’re even performing those days, not to mention the cost. Plus it’s not like they have anything new to perform and I’ve seen them 8 times which is already 7 more times than I had hoped for and it’s not like I can combine it with visiting another country and they’re not even my favorite favorite. Right? Right.

But I’ll probably end up in some country somewhere.

-But perhaps my favorite part–I got my sub schedule through the rest of this month. Guess where I’ll be the last week of December.

Suwon Avalon Langcon.

I said I liked circles didn’t I?





One response to “Fall Term in Review

  1. Pingback: OF CCTV and money | That One Time in Seoul·

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