Friday, October 15, 2010

The Next Place

Before I talk about places I have been looking at to work for the next year, I thought I would update you about the "G20 Readiness" issue I raised. Chris did a good job on his blog citing his own answers and just recently Rob took a punch at it. Rob points out that the readiness of Korea should be thinking that goes beyond the bus stop or cleanliness of the restaurant but how expats (of all types) need more rights and protection. Certainly, I couldn't agree more and would hope that as dignitaries visit this country they could get not just a look at the tourist attractions but a briefing on how their citizens are treated in Korea.

We'll see!

Back here at my school I haven't really hit the tracks on my whole "make amends" plans. A little bird told me to not drastically change my behavior. I wouldn't want my co-teachers to feel like saps. So I have been just trying to be in a good mood and take whatever opportunities I can to keep relationships either neutral or positive.

Yet, today we are having an after-school dinner to celebrate the new guy. Personally, I don't enjoy these dinners as they all speak Korean and don't bother to translate. (Come on... 3 Korean English speaking teachers...not a single word to let us know what their saying?) But as I have learned you just got to go with it or if you feel like it pester them for it.

It's October and February is a long way off, but of course I am still thinking about what my next job will be. Places like Universities start their hiring now for the new season and so I am giving those a shot. I applied to one and we will see what happens. Otherwise, I have applied to Gangnam Public Schools, which do their own hiring. Thankfully, I know a few people who have worked for them or went through the process and so have a better look inside.

Applying to Gangnam Public Schools puts you through a process of first sending your information, then sending a lesson sample and (where I am at now) having your references checked. If you make it past that then you get to schedule an interview. We'll see if I get that far, if so I am unsure if I would take the position. They only offer housing money and no deposit (which are both high in Gangnam). But I figured why not get to the point when I really have a choice and could possibly see what school they would give me.

Other than that I got my ticket home from my current school and am excited that I will be home for Christmas. I do plan on coming back in January, possibly with JH who might be coming out for a visit.

For now it's that time of the year where I am getting out my sweaters and transitioning into the colder weather. Ahhh winter is coming...


  1. In my opinion: This goes back to a very basic element: respect.... in the whole foreign teacher relationship w/Korean co-workers in Korean schools...Foreign Teachers Need to Learn to Speak Korean!

    Think about it.....don't we expect foreigners to learn to speak English in the U.S. to integrate into our society in all regards? And if they don't....doesn't a resentment seem to permeate our society on this issue?

  2. Your mum (I think?) offers great advice!

    Learning even a little Korean will not only make day to day life a little easier, it will also help you to seriously ingratiate yourself with your co-workers and feel a little alienated when you are at work dinners etc.

    Slightly bizarrely, I also found that once I started to learn Korean, my foreigner type blunders were actually more accepted at work!
    I guess the thinking was that I was at least trying to understand the language/culture and therefore could be cut a little slack...

  3. I do know some Korean. Can read it. I don't know enough to make conversation. But I know enough to make polite responses and quips to things.

  4. Obviously polite responses & quips aren't achieving the results & inroads you're looking for! I say get busy w/learning conversational Korean!


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