Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Strange Day

On Tuesdays I have five classes instead of six.  Last week Julia told me that I would be working with a girl on essay writing during that hour.  This little girl is apparently headed to a special middle school for gifted kids in Seoul, so her English writing needs to be up to snuff.  I prepared six topics (prompts) like I was asked and wrote a paragraph on essay formatting for her.  I never saw her.  I think she was in a meeting with the principle, but I wish Julia would have filled me in a little better.  I think one of the paragraphs I corrected today was hers and if that's the case, I am very impressed.  Hopefully, I will meet her next week.

Gene came to Sinback today and sat in most of my classes.  I like him quite a bit.  His English is quite good.  He told me today that he studies English on his own with books, audio tapes, and software.  Maybe there's hope for Ian and I in Korean after all.  I think it will be good to have Gene around.  He's recently married (he's about 30) and it seems we may have some things in common; today we talked a bit about movies.  He's originally from Busan, but he's lived in a few cities all over South Korea.  In April he and his wife honeymooned in New York (they were there for a month!).  He'd like to move to the states because, as he says, though he was born in Korea, he doesn't feel like he fits here.  He especially rejects the social hierarchy in place here.  In short, unless he's a spy placed by Julia (which Ian and I have joked about), it seems like his presence may be a blessing.  Though we are hopeful for a social connection with him, our optimism is cautious with consideration given to how things have gone thus far.  However, he did invite Ian and I to his place in Cheongju this weekend.

Gene asked Julia to teach one of my classes today (he asked me if it was alright) so that he could see what she was after; so I only taught four classes today, which makes the time drag on.  He told me that he didn't understand what she was "pushing for."  He also told me that he found her to be demanding and picky.  But, he is much better at showing respect than Ian and I are.  Damn American upbringing.  At least we know that Julia's communication issues run far deeper than a language barrier.  That takes some of the weight off our shoulders.  We'll have a meeting on Friday to go over the books for next term.  It'll be Ian and I, Gene and Julia.  I hope his presence helps our communication; but she is his superior, so we'll see.

Ian's day was pretty slow.  He didn't have Gene to talk to all day.  Though, he did go to Janrak to watch Ian's last class because it is one of our highest levels.

We bought our plane tickets to Japan this morning.  We'll leave for Japan from Incheon Airport (the same one we flew into) on December 26th at 12:15.  That'll get us into the Tokyo Narita Airport at around 2:30pm (KST and JST are the same time zone).  We're staying at the Okachimachi Station Hotel which is a hostel style chain hotel.  The about section is humorously translated and worth a read.  We will be returning to Korea at 9:15pm on January 1st.  We don't have our Disney tickets yet, but we will be getting those ASAP.  We're not sure where to put Disney in our vacation (beginning?  middle?  end?).  We also found out that the Harajuku District, Shibuya Crossing, and Electric Town (among other places) are not too far from Disney.  That's lucky, since Tokyo Disneyland is actually in Urayasu and not Tokyo.

I forgot to post our display of Grant's Thanksgiving drawing yesterday.


Also, our Christmas table is getting fuller.  Though, we had to take George the Plant in to keep him from freezing.


Ian and I are going to enjoy a few episodes of Dexter.  Our obsession with this show borders on unhealthy.  Good night!


  1. It will be interesting to hear more about the girl you may be working with next week. Sounds like you put a lot of work into her lesson plan.
    I hope you and Ian are able to make a connection outside of work with Gene and his wife. Nice that you will be going to their place this weekemd.

    What are your points of interest in Japan , besides Disneyland? Sounds exciting.

  2. The about posting regarding the Hostel was quite entertaining. I especially liked the ramblings that really seem about nothing, such as "The good in the world becomes complete from a maniac." What??
    Looks like a nice place to stay

  3. Oh, Gene sounds like a mind-reader as his impression of Julia so mirrors your own. How validating.

    Your vacation sounds like it's gonna be a fantastic way to enjoy the holidays. I'm green. I'll be curious to hear how much Ian enjoys the common bathtub for men, LOL.