Sunday, September 18, 2011

First few weeks in Busan...

Where have the past 3 weeks gone?!?!?

Hard to believe I moved to Busan 3 weeks ago.

Absolutely loving it so far.

The first weekend was spent on my hands and knees SCRUBBING my apartment clean. We heard in the EPIK orientation that if you move into a dirty apartment - it is actually good luck. But I think it's a lazy excuse for the previous teachers. At least I found a jar of sealed peanut butter to reward my hard work.

I lucked out apartment-wise. I have a big (for Busan) apartment... with a big bathroom (don't have to shower over the toilet like other teachers), a huge fridge/kitchen... and 2 (count em) 2 bedrooms. One for me and the other for a mini office/guest room with a futon. There's even a mini balcony to dry clothes and hang out on. Not too shabby.

My school is also amazing. I'm at a VERY high level high school in Busan. But pretty much everything EPIK told us to expect - was completely and udderly wrong. I do NOT have any co-teachers and instead run all of my classes solo. I teach essay writing classes, reading classes (currently reading The House on Mango Street.) I also teach the Chinese exchange students every day - which means a LOT of lesson planning. There are 10 of them and their levels range from VERY VERY low to one girl who is fluent. Wish me luck. On top of that I teach the English teachers English once a week and also teach gifted Jr.High School students every other Saturday. They are SUPER high level, and I am teaching them the novel - The Giver. At least the Saturday class is for extra moooolah. Yesterday, I also was a judge for a speech contest.

So.... I am kept VERY VERY busy at school. I have been staying after school til about 7pm each night just to keep my head above water. It's a little difficult when I hear the other EPIK teachers saying how they can leave at 2pm and have troubles finding ways to fill their time at school. But I'm hoping after a few more weeks I'll be able to finish all my lesson planning within my work hours: 8:30 - 5pm. At least my kids make it worth the extra work.

A few weeknights and on the weekends I have been meeting up with other EPIK teachers to explore Busan. The beaches are a blast... soaking up the rays during the day and partying on the beach at night.

This Thursday I'm teaching a free sunset yoga on the beach class for some teachers in Busan. Should be fun! :-)

Busan is HUGE... there are sooooo many cool little neighborhoods and University areas.... I haven't even made a tiny dent yet.

This past weekend a group of us headed out to Taejong-Dae for some hiking... It was gorgeous!!!

and so far..... yes..... I'm in love with Busan!