Posted by: evedlewis | September 12, 2009

Week Three In Korea

Briefly:  Coffee with Allison was awesome.  She is a Canadian woman who has been living here for 9 YEARS!!!!!  WTF??!!!  I couldn’t believe it!!!!!  So – we had a great convo about all of her experiences, and I told her about mine.  I was very interested to hear some of her perspectives.  She teaches at a nearby University and is in contact with many other American and Canadian teachers here.  Allison was impressed with how involved my Director has been with making me feel welcome.  She said that she had never heard anyone being treated the way I have described.  She has been here for 9 years and has never known anyone to have food waiting for them when they arrived for example.  I was surprised by that too – and sooooo thankful that I have been spoiled so much ;).  Mr. Jeon warned that some Americans or other “foreign teachers” are PAID to recruit and steal other good teachers by competing schools.  I thought that was interesting.  Not sure if that was Allison’s goal, because she never mentioned anything about me working for another school.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed meeting with her, and I’m glad to know that she is right here in my building if I have any questions.  Also – glad to know there is a Costco nearby – thanks to Allison – YAYYYY!!!! 😉   So – my weekend was outstanding – but my third week had a few little challenges……….

My week started out kind of rough, but has since improved.  I had some trouble with one of my classes (book level was too high), but I have since called all the parents and we have started on a new lower level book, which seems to have helped a great deal.  Also – my school computer crashed, and I was kind of freaking out, because I saved some very important files on it.  My Director has since recovered all those files, so I was completely relieved and overjoyed about that.  SOOOOOO THANKFUL!!!!!!!!!  Also – I have moved to a new building – but I have completely “re-settled” and re-adjusted now.

So – I went shopping at my corner store again, and I found some more wonderful things to eat – YAYYYYY!!  Every time I go, I discover something new.  This time, I found a curry dish and rice that I can pop in the microwave (stocking up on this – was very good!) and some strawberry yogurt – YUMMO!!!  I also found some yummy peanut butter cookies.  So – I’m feeling less and less restricted about my food choices here.

Here are some other updates and things I have noticed during my third week in Korea:

1) I don’t think that voice mail is popular here.  When I make calls, the phone just rings and rings.  Charles said it just takes a long time for the voice mail to pick-up, but I have heard nothing close to a voice mail since I’ve been here.

2)  I am suppose to be separating my trash into recycling bins – UH, REALLY??!!!  I feel very bad for not doing this, and I’m scared I will get in trouble if I don’t figure out how to do it soon!!!!!  I need some instructions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3)  Lauren just told me today that Korean women do not take their husband’s last names when they get married – they keep their family name (Their father’s name).  WHAT???!!!!  WOWWWWW!!!  I thought that was pretty awesome and interesting.  I think I was really meant to live here – because that is how I think it should be.  My name is Eve Dennard (Dennard is my given last name from my Father) – why should that change once I get married????  That is why I hyphenated my name when I got married.  I did not want to lose or disregard my family name.  In Korea, if there is no father (husband)  involved, the child takes the mother’s last name – just like most people do in the states.

4) The birthday calculation is different.  In Korea, parents count the first year (before birth), and the New Year after the birth when calculating a person’s age.  So people are actually (by their age) 1-2 years older than what they are according to American calculations.  Cool, Huh??!!

5.  This is a generalization, but the majority of people I’ve seen don’t seem to like the sun.  Many people block the sun with umbrellas or visors, and most people I talk to complain about the heat and want to stay in the shade.  (Ex:  I’ll say – WOW!!  It’s beautiful outside!!!!  They respond:  Oh – It’s too hot or too sunny).  When I mentioned going to the beach to sit out in the sun all day long, I received some bizarre looks.

Speaking of the beach, I hope to go this weekend on Sunday.  I was told that there is a nice beach only 1 hour away from Jeonju, so I hope to go with one of my co-workers who has a car.  She can drive us there if the weather permits.  Today it rained, so I’m hoping for another beautiful weekend.  Fall will be here soon, and I want to soak up a little sun before Summer is completely gone!

I will spend my Saturday relaxing and cleaning my apartment.  I also need to record all the assignment grades on my computer before I return papers next week.  I plan to call all the parents of all my students and give them some updates.  I want them to know their child’s grades in the class, their performance/participation level and their attendance record.  I will be sharing all the good and bad news.  I told all of my classes, and most of them were freaking out a little.  I honestly have more good news for the parents than bad – so, the kids really don’t have much to fear.  Many of them just need to do better with submitting homework.  Oh – and just in case you are wondering – Many of the parents DO NOT speak English, so Charles (the assistant director at the school) will help me call and talk to all the parents.

Overall – All is well!!!!!!  SO HAPPY IT’S FRIDAY – YAYYYYY!!!!!!! 😉  TIME TO PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!  RECESS FOR ME!!!!!!!!!!! 😉



  1. WOOOW with all of the precise details, I feel like I am right there!! I LOVE IT!! I look forward to your updates and although I don’t check your blog daily, it’s good to take some “me” time with a glass of wine and play catch up! Ya know like reading a book ;-)! Girl I am proud of you and can’t believe that it has almost been a month!! Keep up the good work and know that I am thinking about you! Muah!!

    • THANK YOU MIKA (MEEKA)!!!!!!!!!! It’s gonna be the end of the year before we know it!!!! Time is flying by so fast!!!!! This weekend will mark a month!!!!!!! 😉 And I have SUCKED at learning the language!!!! I still only know like 3 words!!!!!!!!!! I SUCK!!!!!!!!!!! 😦 Need to do better!!!!!!!!! 😉

  2. Hello there! I’ve been reading your blogs for a few weeks now & I see you haven’t updated any for 2012 unless I’m mistaken & can’t see them since I read your blogs through my phone, anyhow I have been wanting to become a ESL teacher & to travel all over the world to teach, if I could choose the country it would be south korea to start with!!!!:)) can you please give me some insight on the steps I should take to become a teacher like you? I’m 22 btw hopefully that isn’t a problem! Your blogs are amazing & soo inspiring! Thank you for sharing your life adventures with us :))

    • Hey Cesivel!! I’m glad you are enjoying my blog — check your e-mail for more information about your job search. Thanks — Eve 😉

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