Thursday, July 10

Day 4

9:30 PM - So today has been very exhausting and my brain hurts a bit. It has also been a bit exciting on the food aspect. My day started by waking up at 6:30 AM ... 30 minutes before my alarm was to go off. That was very unexpected and annoying. So I decided to just start my day early and went out for a run. I began by running some of the hills / mountains and found an even steeper mountain (lol) than the entrance one. >. <This only lasted about 10 minutes until I got to the soccer field and decided to join some of the guys running there. I got in a good 35 minutes of running and stretching. I went downstairs to the gym to see if they had weights, but no luck! A classmate and I were discussing weights and were told there was a gym building on campus - so I may try to look there tomorrow. Before I continue with my day, I did take some more pictures of the campus to share with you.

One of the steep hills.

Student Union.

Construction going on.

Random building - I "m not sure what this building is for.

Elevator on the outside of one of the buildings.

One of the newer buildings.

The campus entrance piece.

I'm not sure what this does ...

One of the older buildings.

A rose garden.

The soccer field.
So after my run, Nicola, Amy and I decided to go eat breakfast ... which was cereal that tasted similar to fruit loops. I also had some coffee bread, which I wasn't crazy about. We had to hurry up because class was starting and we didn't want to be late.

We all went over to J-Hall to see what class we were in and I am in the 1A Class that is starting after Hangul (yay!). There are 10 other students in my class (1 from England, 1 from Canada, 1 from Puerto Rico, and the others from America). I'm not sure if I can remember everyone, but there is Alex, Mingin, Kyle, Matt, Nicola (yes.. My friend), Carrie (yes.. My other friend), Valeria, Michelle, Vanessa, and Christy.  We are in Arrupe Hall for all of our classes.  Our first teacher was very nice and really eased us into things. We introduced ourselves and reviewed some pronunciations. We also read from a Korean news page about soccer. Here are some of the pages we completed in class:

We had to read each line.

We had to circle the correct one at the top and write the missing consonant or vowel at the bottom.

This was a dictation - one of the classmates at the table read each row and then we had to write it.
My first language teacher.

Work that we were doing together.

Work that we were doing together.

Our t-shirts for the baseball game.  ^_^

I forget my first teachers name, but we have her from 9:00-11:00. I think that I'm really going to like her. Then, Nicola (the 선생님 from yesterday) came in from 11:00-1:00 and he is hilarious! Unfortunately,  I will have to study a lot to keep up in that class.  We did a lot of basic introductions, but also learned about 15 occupations, 15 countries, and about 20 different items such as coffee, spaghetti, soju, beer, etc.  I have a lot of vocabulary to work on.  At one point we got in pairs to work on introductions and Matt and I had a set of cards that we had to use for the introductions.  It was rather funny when the guys had to introduce themselves as Madonna.  ^_^  After that, we also had to answer questions about ourselves and then interview some of our classmates.

The top part was the part I had to fill out by myself and he bottom is the interview form.
I would like to mention that this is an immersion class, so we are only allowed to speak in Korean--so I understand completely now how our little ones at school feel haha.  At the end of the class, Nicola told us we were going to have a dictation quiz tomorrow.  >.<

Since we had an hour until culture class, Nicola and I decided to go off in search of a chicken restaraunt.  When they heard what we were doing, the guys asked if they could tag along, so Alex, Mingin, Matt, Kyle, Nicola, and I decided to head down past Isaac's to find some chicken.  We succeeded!  We walked in and Nicola automatically says "Chicken?" and the employee looks at her and automatically hands her a menu haha.  I decided to choose something that looked a bit like nuggets.  It came with 4 nuggets, odd noodles, kimchi, fermented radish, and a HUGE portion of rice.  I also bought something that tasted like Sprite.  I did not eat the kimchi and fermented radish, but the other items were not so bad.

The yellow stuff is the radish, the reddish stuff is the kimchi and the chicken is on top of the noodles.  The rice was in a container the same size as this one.

After lunch, we made it back just in time for culture class with Choonhee Lee.  She is REALLY funny and soooo nice.  We do not have to speak Korean the entire time in this class, but everyone tried every so often.  I must mention here that I am automatically saying 네 (Ne is how you say means yes) in agreement instead of speaking yay for something!  I also automatically just bow a bit when saying hello or thank you haha.  Anyways, we did introductions again and then she had us go on a scavenger hunt around the campus.  For the most part, we stuck together to finish the activity.  Once back, she told us about what we needed to do for the baseball game tomorrow and told us we were cheering for the Doosan Bears!  Yay (because Hanwha Eagles are in last place right now haha)!

After class, I went back to J-Hall to meet my language exchange partner Sunhyoung Ahn who is super sweet.  Her English is better than my Korean, but it will be interesting trying to communicate.  We decided to meet in Sincheon Station 3 on Sunday and I will finally get to go to a Cat Cafe!  ^_^  She was so nice, and when we parted, she told me that if I had any problems in Korea or needed anything just to contact her!  ^_^

After the meet and greet, I was starving and the cafeteria food looked awful so I met up with Amy and Sarah and we decided to go to a Korean restaurant in the Plaza.  I decided to actually try 불고기 (bulgogi).  It was REALLY good.  I did not eat the weird mustard salad that was attached to it, though.

Besides all of that, I've spent my day studying.  >.<  I had to buy some flashcards to use.  The best part of the today was this morning, though.  I was finally able to sit down and skype with Josh.  Even though I am having a great time and learning so much (my brain is super happy), I miss him like crazy.

I should have some great updates for you the next 3 days, but I decided to go ahead and answer some questions before finishing this update!

Question: Can you tell us what are some of the things about being in South Korea that you didn't expect?

Well one thing that is going to sound really odd is that this country is super dirty, but at the same time really clean haha.  I feel like in America we want our buildings and homes to look very nice from the outside.  We take care of our lawns and plant flowers outside.  We also power wash our homes and repaint when needed.  Here, it's like once the house/apartment/building has been built, they don't fix anything.  On the other hand, they are extremely careful to recycle EVERYTHING.  I also have a hard time finding trash cans or recycle bins and you would think that there would be trash all over the place...but nope!  We have trash cans everywhere in the US and people still litter.

I also did not expect water to be handled the way it is here.  In every restaraunt and building there is a water machine that filters water.  I take my water bottle everywhere so that I can fill it up constantly.

Um...also, I first had a hard time with the weather.  It's very similar to Delaware--hot and humid, but here, air conditioning is hard to find.  Almost every building and restaurant is hot.  Even so, it is MUCH nicer to run here because the sun is not as intense.  I have been in the sun every day for long periods of time and have yet to burn--I would have been a tomato by now in the US.  Also, I am starting to hate being in my room with the air conditioner because my body has gotten so used to the heat.

One cool thing is that you do not tip here.  Plus everything is SUPER cheap.  My lunch today with the chicken meal was less than $3.

Question: Is there something about the physical location, or the people, that may have taken you by surprise?

I had heard the people are very nice here, and they were not kidding.  They are so kind here--but pushy at the same time.  It's just the nature of South Korea, but I have a hard time with the pushiness.  I'm so used to saying excuse me, but no one here says that--they don't even expect me to say excuse me.

I'm also surprised by how packed everything is.  There is literally some sort of shop/restaraunt/bang for you to walk into on every inch of every street haha.  

I think the biggest thing that took me by surprise (and the only other thing that really really bothers me) is the smell.  It smells like kimchi EVERYWHERE.  I walk out of my dorm and it smells like kimchi in the air.  I just have not gotten used to it.

I also did not expect loving it so much here.  I knew I would like it, but if my husband and pets were not in the states, I think I would not want to leave.  I've only been here a few we'll see how it goes.

Question: How is the food? besides the smell, this is the only thing I really don't like.  I'm just craving spaghetti, hot dogs, turkey, a good steak, lettuce, fruit, etc.  I'm having a pretty hard time with the food, but I am trying it!  Many of the food items here are really spicy or fermented.  I did try a bite of my kimchi today, but it was really spicy!  I have found a few things that I like, but I'm still working on the food haha.  There are a lot of American chains here if I want it.  The only time I am not willing to try Korean food is at breakfast, though.  Thankfully, we have had cereal 2 days in a row now.  I just can't eat soup, kimchi, and whatever other heavy items they are serving for breakfast.

On the other hand, the deserts, bakery items, drinks, tea, and coffee are WAY better than in America.  Isn't that all that matters?  Haha.

Question: What do nurses make there compared to US?

Um...they make roughly $20,000 a year....but I don't know much  about the work they do.  They may not work as hard?  Or...they may work harder?

Question: Is there any litter or homelessness?

I have seen VERY little litter.  Although the buildings and equipment and area look run down and dirty, the streets and side walks and ground area are very clean.  As for homelessness, I've heard that there are some homeless areas, but I have yet to see anyone who is homeless.

Well I'm going to end on that note because I need to go to bed.  If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to add it in the comments section or on my facebook.  I'll try to answer any of your other questions.  ^_^

1 comment:

  1. Have you toured any K12 schools? how do they compare to the US? Are the other people in class with you also teachers?