Friday, March 8, 2013

Without a Hitch

As far as school is concerned, this week went by without a hitch. Sure, schedules were shuffled and some administrivia have still not been finished (for example, I don't have physical rosters for my classes yet), but I'm quite used to the less stringent way my school works. As long as I'm flexible, I'm fine. Regardless, my classes have been great. My second-year students remember me with at least some fondness, and the new first-year students are a lively, energetic bunch. At least two of the latter group are, I've discovered, fairly fluent in English, owing to their having lived in North America for some stretches of time. The rest fall within the normal spectrum, from being terrified of their prospects in an "English-only zone" to bursting at the seams to say anything at all in English and hope that it's correct. It's been fun on all fronts, and, though I don't mean to 자화자찬 (jahwajachan)*, or praise myself, I think I'm off to a good start.

Non-work related stuff has not been necessarily as successful. I want to find a 태권도장 (taekwondojang), or taekwondo gym, and take classes there this semester, but most -- if not all -- of the local dojangs are specifically for children. I checked one out with my host father, to no avail. I think it will prove to be more difficult than I'd thought to find a place that is not too far from home and also willing to take on a foreigner who can hardly speak Korean. We shall see. In addition, I want to begin 봉사활동 (bongsa-hwaldong), or volunteering, at a Hana center in my city this semester. Although I have contacted several people about this, I haven't yet gotten a reply.

But... 긍정적으로 생각합시다. Let's stay positive. Work is good, homestay life is good, and the weather down here -- four hours south of Seoul -- has been practically spring-like these past few days. I love it. Oh, and it's 불금 (bulgeum)**. Bring on the weekend!

*I learned this new phrase tonight when my host father carefully examined the curry meatballs he had cooked for dinner and, after a taste test, declared himself to be a great cook. My host mother then gave her two cents. Vaguely related: Happy International Women's Day! Shout-out to my 근면한 (keunmyeonhan) and 다정한 (dajeonghan) mom: hard-working and loving, like all great mothers.

**And my host parents laughed at me when I used this bit of slang this morning. You can ask the folks at TalkToMeInKorean for an explanation!

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