Thursday, November 13, 2008

Let's Eat

As the last 10 minutes of work rolled around my coteacher announced to me that we should go eat dinner with some other teachers at the school. I knew I couldn't refuse, so I said I would love to go.

*A little side tracking here to do a Bio of my coteacher* She is older than me, but I don't know her exact age. She is about my height and kind of thin. She doesn't really wear a lot of makeup or fancy clothes, more business casual. Her personality is warm, but also she can be frank. I have noticed that she gets to the point on things right away. She has enjoyed the gifts I have brought her. Also sometimes we have conversations to get to know each other. All in all, she is much better to work with than my last coteachers. Also she is very curious about America and America's teaching system. *

I am a shy person when meeting a group of people for the first time, so as we walked out of the school I smiled to everyone but kept a bit quiet.

Our group consisted of all females, and we were all teachers. We got into my coteachers car and everyone was figuring out where to go. They asked me, but I said I don't know.

We didn't go very far, just into Sanbon downtown and parked in a parking garage. There is a building across from the Emart that houses an Outback Steakhouse among other restaurants. We went to Ashley's, a kind of buffet American style restaurant. You order the Salad Bar or the menu has steaks and other meaty items.

We all got the salad bar.

The choices were pretty good and I picked up a selection of potato wedges, mashed sweet potatoes, dim sum, and a noodle salad.

As we ate, the gals chatted to one another in Korean.

After we stuffed ourselves with 2 plate servings, things started to warm up a bit and I was asked questions in English.

My coworkers questions towards me included:
  • What was the most culture shocking thing you saw when you first came here? Answer was, the squid and other sea creatures that restaurants store in tank in front of their shop. Also mentioned everything is generally a culture shock.
  • Do you like our school's children? Yes, they are funny and cute.
  • Do you like Korea? Yes I like Korea. It is a very interesting culture. But I think socially it needs a lot of work. And I elaborated on some social issues. Thanks Roboseyo for gearing my head with all these issues. hehe
And then we sat around and talked a bit about Korea and America. I popped out my iPod and showed them some family photos and a pic of my boyfriend.

It was a good bonding experience and I felt everyone around me was warm and friendly. They let me in an interesting secret, too.

This being that the Vice President is a person they don't really like. Also they warned that at parties, he tends to drink a lot and "touch" woman. I asked "On the shoulder?" Everyone looked at each other and grinned. Apparently the touching goes beyond the shoulders. Hopefully the old guy will keep his paws off the Mi-guk (foreigner)....hopefully.

Ah well it was good and I made sure to be friendly and also a little outgoing.

3 comments:

  1. getting invited out with the ladies is a really good thing. Tomorrow, drop in little hints about how you really enjoyed meeting everyone, if you get a chance: having those ladies as your friends will make EVERYTHING easier for you. I'm sure Gomushin Girl would have more detailed advice about girls' night out in Korea.

    I'm glad to hear about your experience.

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  2. Sounds like a really good evening and experience for you Joy!
    Glad things are getting off on the "right" foot for you at this school. Just the apt. issue to resolve, eh?!!

    The same goes true as a teacher here in the US...one needs to bond in some way w/the other teachers in the school you're working at.
    It's really v. important in many ways, as you've come to find out!

    Last year because I wasn't a "classrm teacher" & didn't have the same lunch period & b.s. responsibiliteis, like bus duty, etc...... as them & most important, the principal never made it clear to the faculty (or me) what exactly my role was...my Magnet Grant supervisor was mostly not trusted & hated by these teachers & I represented her on site, so you get the picture! So most of these teacher's attitudes toward me was one of "She's an outsider" here!! Some were outright ugly to me & we wound up in the principal's office straghtening things out, of course the principal always sided w/"her" teachers who were represented by the union, as I wasn't.
    The school secy kept telling me she couldn't understand why I didn't just quit in disgust.
    Hey, I needed the $$ & over the years have built up a protective shell of sorts from these type of things. I had the support of the other supervisor & administrators w/the School District, which also aliented me from the teachers.
    Never -the- less it was rather stressful!
    A few teachers befriended me...mostly the other "new guys on the block" and we schmoozed, etc...But this was only a part time job, I had other issues at FGCU to deal w/also!!
    FUN n GAMES!

    Learning more Korean will really show them your sincerity! Maybe one of them will be willing to be a speaking partner or teacher for you?!

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  3. Thanks for the interesting story Mom.

    One of the teachers asked ifI could help her with English so I asked if she could help me with Korean...but no plans yet.

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