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Starting Work in Masan

Blog Entry 1

Today I moved the last of my belongings from Gimhae to Masan. Upon arrival to my new apartment, I discovered the director and his wife there with a brand new table for me. Well, I did say yesterday that I had my computer and would need a connection to the Internet, and he did say that's why they gave me the new table. Now if only I had a few more chairs...
These two are really going out of their way to make me comfortable. They were offering to help me arrange my furniture, but I'm just like "I have no idea where everything should go... I'll just worry about it later." They then walked me through most everything around the apartment. I asked about setting the temperature on the washing machine, but I have to do that myself by twisting the hot and cold water knobs that feed it. Ugh, and it's sitting right where the shower should be in the bathroom... I guess the architech never tried living in such a small bathroom.
My employers actually already bought some shampoo for me. They also offered to buy me groceries! Well, I couldn't refuse a week's worth of free food and we went to the nearby Lottemart. I got milk, spaghetti, ground beef, Jety (love it, maybe more than Hershey's Syrup), and a new pan (though there were actually plenty in the apartment).
The job itself was rather uneventful. I have seven classes, each forty-five minutes, with a few minutes between each to rest. Ugh, when those elementary kids first saw me, they would just laugh and run when I acknowledged the fact they were staring at me. In class, though, they were all dead quiet. I spent like half of each class just asking random questions and talking to myself. A few students were more willing to attempt to talk back, but it was clear that no one had much knowledge of English. Sad that the classes were so quiet, and thus progressing so slowly, I told all of them that they need to speak English if they want to learn English, just like the reason I'm "okay" at English is that I've spent 20+ years speaking it. But hopefully things will get better as they get used to me...
But this school is like the complete opposite of the other school. That was a large corporation with lots of children running around playing and talking and many were actually doing well with English, most were able to talk with me at least some. Here, though, it's clearly this mom and pop establishment (I am their only employee, too). It's in an old building with few supplies. The children here, as I've mentioned above, have been mute to me. I hope that I will be able to develop a real raport with them in the next few weeks like I did in Gimhae.
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21 May 2009