Day One at School

My ride was to pick me up in the late morning & drive me to my first day of school. I had gotten up early because I had my own list of things to do so that I could feel some sense of being settled. About take my first shower in Hayang, I turned the water on to warm up. Why wasn’t the water warming up? Man, no hot water my first day! Is this gonna be a long year or what! I got dressed…showerless…First was to go out and find some 220 volt adapters. I walked around my new digs in search of this. I live in a little country town called Hayang. It is near Daegu University. So I actually live in the the heart of where many of the University students reside. My apartment complex is only a few stories tall, but I am surrounded by many, many of the same type of buildings, most housing University students. I begin checking out my neighborhood, making sure I know where I live & not to stray too far so I can get back home…because Mapquest here has no use…I poke around and find this business that maybe a hotel, not quite sure…But there is a young lady at the counter who I am hoping can assist me. I show her my cel phone hoping she would understand what I am looking for. There is also an elder man sitting at one of the tables who seems interested in my little gadget of a cel phone. The young lady & elder man attempt to help me. After close to a half an hour of futile attempts to resolve my issue, the lady makes a phone call. A few moments later this young man shows up with a 220 converter! OMG! I am so grateful. I offer to pay him & he refuses. With the blink of an eye he is gone! Where did he go? I din’t even pay him. The lady assures me it is OK. I thank the young lady & elder man as best I could and walk out of the business. I am now in business! 🙂

Small mission accomplished. Off to school. Jenny & Eric pick me up for school. The drive is not far. Within 5 minutes we arrive at school. I spend some time meeting my fellow English teachers and getting acquainted with my surroundings. My fellow English teachers are all Korean. Three women, all of whom I am older than. But all of whom speak Korean as their native language. One of the teachers majored in English (just one of her majors) during her college studies, the other teachers speak English pretty well too. After a short time at my ‘home school’, I am driven to another one of the ‘sister’ schools for a day of teacher training. I arrive & am very warmly greeted by the school staff. So much activity going on. I am introduced to a couple of the ‘Foreigner Teachers’. One of them (call her ‘D’) takes me under her wing & into one of the classrooms to give me a teacher orientation. She goes over some basics of the Ding Ding Dang philosophy & how to read the lesson plans. Thinking I understand, we press on. This Ding Ding Dang school is in more of a city. D takes me to one of the big banks in S Korea so I could exchange my US currency for the Korean Won. We then take a short walk to a nearby cafe for my first Korean lunch. I had Bibibop: a combination of rice, vegetables, with a cooked egg placed on top of this delicious dish. It is served in a clay bowl if served hot & a metal bowl if the cold (summertime) version is served. More on the Korean food details in a later post or two…During our time together I told D about my cold shower water. She said that I had to turn on the heater to heat the water pipes for a shower. So, this was ‘operator error’ that was an easy fix. Thank goodness.

Back to school. The remainder of the day is spent observing the Foreigner teacher classes. I was scheduled for about six classes the first day to observe. I was doing my best to stay awake & alert & observe these classes. Believe me they were interesting, I was just suffering from jet lag! I didn’t think I would be jet lagged but it was hard to avoid. I think I sat the last class out & waited for my ride to take me back to home.

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