• 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 29, 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

    My friend, another foreign woman (apparently a YouTuber), a Korean man from Seoul, and I shimmied into wetsuits in a small shop two blocks from Songjeong beach, a hidden gem. Our instructor appeared and energetically directed us forward. The five of us trekked down to the beach. Our instructor led the way and I ended up next to the other Korean man. He had two lip rings and tinted lip balm and I was so impressed. We were squeezed into a narrow alley when a passing car zoomed by. I was on his outside so he pulled me to his other side and out of the way while saying “be…

  • 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 28, Two Sides

    Today I was a good teacher and a bad teacher. On Fridays I have fifth grade and tend to forget about my one lingering fourth grade class. Their behavior is normally not anything to write home about anyway given that they’re a bit more immature than the other 5 fourth grade homeroom classes. I’m not sure if some of the distracted boys are special students or have some other learning challenge that I don’t know about so I’m always very careful not to over correct in class. However, we got to a writing activity and all but one boy had begun. I noticed as I walked around the room that…

  • 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 25, ily

    I took the first letter of each word in our target sentences, inspiration from Yana, and had the students guess, after explaining that the answer was not just a new word made of assorted letters. Believe me, they read “witps” like they were confident it was a real word. (Answer: Where is the police station?) Once they caught on it was a bit smoother except for “Ioyl.” It’s on your left. “Oh it’s I love your… wait.” “Is love spelled with an O first?” I asked in disbelief. “I love your leg!” Came a random addition. “Okay, let’s talk about this,” I said excitedly, gearing up for a brief texting…

  • 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 24

    A success story! I find that the best ideas for games and activities come from dedicated teaching YouTube channels and not the foreign teacher file sharing website. If I have to see one more “Avengers Speed Writing” game I’m going to throw my (admittedly already terrible) computer across the room. A woman who worked in Japan had a great video about the directions lesson. And so I found myself drawing a giant 16 square checkerboard on the blackboard. I had made arrows, collected a few choice giant playing cards (Joker, ace, 2, 3) and allowed the students to suggest places. One class had me draw a bakery, a gopchang restaurant,…

  • 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 20

    Me: Whose paper is that?Student: Yeah, whose paper is that? Whose— oh, it’s mine. *Team 1 is chosen to answer, the other teams groan*Me: Hey now, we’re all here to practice. We should cheer each other on.Other teams: start over-the-top clapping and cheering I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: fourth grade is free entertainment.

  • 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 17, Admin Part 2

    Whilst I was teaching the sixth graders directions by allowing them to be my GPS in an obstacle course, unbeknownst to me a crisis was unfolding. On Friday I filed a complaint on the post office website. “The tracking for my car title says it was delivered to the post office, but when I visited the post office they staff told me it had in fact been delivered. However, my school doesn’t have it either. Where could my package be?” What I didn’t know, and what would soon trigger a series of events, is that the complaints filed on the post office website go to the government agency. And unlike…

  • 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 15, Debate Team

    The day started with the quietest seven high schoolers I’ve ever laid eyes on in my life, and it ended with me wanting to adopt an eighteen-year-old boy. It was a gray rainy day but that didn’t stop me from pulling into the empty campus, with Jenny opening the school gates for me, and living out a brief high school K-drama fantasy. The fantasy lasted approximately three minutes, or the time it took to drop my umbrella by the entrance and shuffle into the English classroom. Jenny was still outside waiting for kids by the gate so I was alone in a class with three early birds. Two girls sitting…

  • 3.1 Spring 2021

    May 13, Admin Part 1

    I had another fabulous day with the fourth graders which makes me think maybe I just really enjoy the fourth grade age. They’re still young enough to be cute but just old enough to be sarcastic. They are on the cusp of preteen-hood and it’s right time, if I were fluent in Korean and their homeroom teacher, to instill good values and start having important conversations. I walked into 4-1 and felt a little frustrated, though: I had prepared for the second section of the chapter but it seems that Jack hasn’t started the chapter with them yet so I had to throw out all of my higher level activities…

  • 3.1 Spring 2021


    I saw a group of tiny third grade boys crouched around a perforated fabric box, quite similar to my laundry hamper, in the hallway. Inside was a plant but their total concentration implied something more interesting. “Is it a butterfly?” I asked in Korean. Three of them looked at me with huge, dark eyes. I crouched down next to them peering around the cage. “Where is it?” I murmured. They directed my eyes with their tiny fingers to the top where a plain yellow butterfly hung upside down. “Wow, it’s so small!” I commented but the boys stayed frozen next to each other in shyness. The shock of a real…

  • Advice

    South Korea: Exchanging Your Driver’s License

    Required Documents: Original driver’s license Passport ARC Apostille of original driver’s license 출입국사실증명서 Certificate of the Facts Concerning the Entry & Exit 3 color photos 외국인등록사실증명서* (if your current registered address does not match your ARC address) 6,000 won for the eye exam and 7,500 won for the license Find the complete list of documents and acknowledged countries here. Depending on your country and state, you may need to take a written exam. I have a Georgia U.S. license and did not need to take a written exam. Where to Get Documents The U.S. Embassy no longer apostilles driver’s licenses, so if you’re American you will need to plan ahead.…