I have a table now. Life is officially better.
I knew that constantly sitting on the floor (or, at least, VERY near it) would be a difficult adjustment for me, but like many other aspects here I just wasn’t prepared for it – simply because I hadn’t experienced it before.
My wonderful school has been helping me get set up in my apartment, and yesterday when my table was getting ready to be delivered they told me there was a microwave they had for me too. I was feeling pretty peachy, especially since I haven’t lived in a home with a microwave for…hmmm, my oh my, I guess it’s been long enough that I can’t seem to remember. Do you hear that, family?
That fateful day my brother persuaded my parents to get a toaster oven (the desire no doubt springing from his nacho fetish) saw the microwave hauled out of the kitchen for the duration of this “test trial.” I fought valiantly but to no avail. My heart was heavy, but then I realized I could carry the black box back into the kitchen and set it on the step stool every time I wanted to use it. Then only my arms would be heavy. I realize the inefficiency, but I really wanted the microwave. My mother was a wee bit torn between finalizing any decision between the two of them and, by extension, the two of us siblings.
Then the inexplicable happened. The microwave worked no more. It was toast. Many nachos were had in celebration that night, and my mother rejoiced not having to choose between her children. Or so she joked. The nachos were salted that night by my metaphorical tears. I said my farewells, and with a sigh, partook of my nachos.
Actually, now that I think of it, the wheel on that microwave for selecting the amount of time you wanted to cook things for was kind of dumb…and the nachos that night were actually delicious, as are all nachos my brother puts his hands to.
Point is, having a microwave again is stinkin’ vonderful! (…Dutch accent? That’s how it’s stylized on the back of the Dutch Blitz package, at any rate.)
Anyhow, the normalizing process is still continuing for me. I’ve now taught all the classes I have, as of today. Routines are beginning to form, I’m becoming a regular at the corner store across the street, and I’m slowly – at some points, painfully – making more connections around Pohang.
Realization: I don’t know if I’ve done an overview of all the classes I teach! Let’s fix that.
I teach at 2 schools. This is nothing compared to other EPIK teachers I know who have 5 schools, so I’m thankful.
At my main school, I teach about 450 students, all in Grade 3, 4, 5, or 6. I will also be starting a couple of after school English clubs between those grades, both focused on reading. Love it!
I teach 17 classes total: 5 third grade classes, 4 fourth grade classes, 4 fifth grade classes, and 4 sixth grade classes. Grade 3 & 4 I teach by myself, with the Korean homeroom teacher present. They usually can tell what my instructions are, and often end up helping relay them to the kids, which is a big help. Grade 5 & 6 I co-teach with my two English-speaking co-teachers who I share a nice, heated office with. They are both awesome, though one is soon leaving for maternity leave and will be followed by a replacement teacher, who I’ve met and seems equally awesome.
I teach at my main school for 4 out of 5 days of the week.
My second school is on Thursdays. It takes 1 hour to drive there, up a very windy road over the mountains (hills) and into a valley, and I am very pleased to be able to carpool with my co-teacher there! Since the alternative is walking, taking a taxi, taking a bus, and then taking a different bus. Which also takes more than an hour. I haven’t had to do that yet but in the event carpool isn’t an option, that will be my adventure to start the day off, to say the least.
My co-teacher/carpool buddy there is, again, awesome and is also soon expecting a baby, so I will soon be expecting Thursday morning adventures. When I was told that it was a small school, I definitely wasn’t envisioning a total student population of about 14. I teach 10 of those kids, and in one class there’s only 1 student. It’s definitely been harder but I know it will also be worth it. From what my CT there told me, it seems that a lot of the students there have lost a parent(s).
I admit I was a little intimidated at first by the stark difference, but I’m also looking forward to the different things I’ll be able to do there, such as the opportunities I’ll have with a smaller class. I’ll be able to get to know the students more and by extension, I hope, love them more.
Well. Now you know some more things. You could always use knowing more things, right?
Like the thing that “M&M” of M&M’s stands for the initials of the last names of the two people who invented and funded the creation of the M&M’s we know and love.
Funny how things move from microwaves to M&M’s. Don’t try them together. For the sake of the M&M and myself who has yet to find some here…