Too many people...

I know it's been a while, but let's see what's happened since.  I went to a wedding.  SOOO different than in America.  Some differences are: most of the guests stood in the back, there's lots of talking during the wedding, no one is really paying attention...and most of the guests just came for the food.  It was probably what got me the most about the wedding....all the TALKING!!

Some pictures...I didn't take too much because it wasn't really the place for pictures...more like "let's go, let's go...eat and leave."

The wedding hall was located in a banquet hall in a big shopping mall...very beautiful.

The groom and wife.

The bride's entrance...oops, missed the groom's.

Birthdays...I guess not many people celebrate each other's birthdays here in Korea.  I asked my co-teacher and she said that she hasn't celebrated her birthday in 10 years.  I bought a cake for her to share amongst our 6th grade team....it was yummy!

I hung out with a friend yesterday for almost the whole day...A LOT of walking and A LOT of people...I wanted to take a picture of the madness...but was getting a little annoyed with all the people bumping into me, walking slowly infront of me...especially couples.  It's like 82 degrees out still and they're stuck like glue..you KNOW they've got to be hot. We were in Seoul.
The next pictures are from a huge area called Namdaemoon and Shinchon area in Seoul.  There's a lot of festivities going around because of the Chuseok holiday.  It's one of the biggest celebrated holidays in Korea, lasting 3 days. 

The city hall is covered with pictures of people...don't know why.

There's a lot of these types of presentations...reenactments

King Sejong, the creator of the Korean alphabet

Inside King Sejong Museum

Ended the night having dinner with some friends...enjoying a nice walk away from the crowds.

Late night snack...

I'm really enjoying my time...trying to see as many things as possible..
One thing that I miss about USA...."excuse me" whenever you're trying to get around someone... =)


First Impressions

So, I've been here in Bucheon a little over a week.  It's been a comfortable transition thus far.   I guess I'm still in the tourist mode of...wow..look! So many Koreans! I taught my first week of classes.  It's definitely different from CPS.  The school is gorgeous with ample resources. I'm still adjusting to the Korean teacher lifestyle. 

This is my schedule.  Everything in yellow is where I go, plus 3rd/4th grade on Wednesdays are every other week. I end pretty early, meaning I have so much planning time.  Wednesday afternoons I have off, but stay and do work until 4:30pm...that is, after our afternoon tea time. =)

I've been welcomed by the teachers and students. Below are more letters.  It's really cute!

Top 5 Questions students asked me:
5.) Are you married? (I'm not surprised...after age, it's usually why aren't you married?)
4.) Do you have a boyfriend?
3.) Where are you from?
2.) Are you Korean? (I guess it's confusing because I look like them but talk like an American.  Similiarly, in the states people told me that I speak English well, no accent even though I look Asian).
1.) How old are you? (I was actually honest!)

School Curriculum:
Guess what I see? But we don't use it, we follow the Government guide.  I'm adjusting to different teaching styles, since I'm co-teacher, I have to work cooperatively with the Korean teachers.  They are both very nice and speak English pretty fluently; however, VERY different teaching styles.  For one, I am given full control, where with the other, I make my shpeel for about 10 mins and sit down.

School Culture:
The students say hello to me often.  I feel bad because I have NO IDEA who they are or what grade they are in yet.  The teachers told me it'll take 2 months...BUT I feel like it's going to be more.  Some of VERY fluent because of extra priviate schooling; however, some are on phenemic awareness.  The school gives FREE LUNCH to teachers.  This is NOT some gross cafeteria food type of meal either.  I'll take a picture of it soon.  I feel weird taking pictures of the food with EVERYONE there.  Everyone eats the same time.  It's roughly an hour long.  The kids go out and play while the teachers have some time to rest, drink coffee, and tea.  The teachers dress nicely as well.  They wear cute dresses and outfits.  We can WEAR JEANS!! They have separate shoes/slippers that they wear in school, BUT change into fancy heels for outside.  I'm the opposite.  I wore flip flops to walk into school and then changed into heels...I know now why I should flip the order. 

We had a 6th grade meeting today and I brought a notebook and pen thinking its going to be a meeting, meeting.  We chatted about the day, our stressful kid situations...B.O. of the emerging 6th grade boys...and ate yummy pastries.  They gave me a box to take home...so nice...

So...besides school....I spend most of my time here: Hyundai Department Store~~~ It has EVERYTHING!! You can go shopping, eat at a great food court, designer name brands, watch a movie, there's a health club...etc. very close to where I live.

I've been here a couple of times with my co-teacher, and I've been hanging out with the other teachers.  We went to COSTCO the other day.....YES, COSTCO!!

My co-teacher wants to start a study group.  She'll learn more English as I learn more Korean...fine tune grammar and vocabulary as well as my handwriting. I'll tell you now, it's like a second graders unless I make it bubbly.

Lastly, my new cell phone! It's not as "techy" as my other one, but it works.  I mostly use it for my relatives and school related colleagues.  I don't have too many friends yet.

I'm sure I'm missing a lot...

I got a haircut....will post pictures soon.
I'm going to a wedding this weekend! I'll take lots of pictures! It's my Assistant Principal's son, and the teachers said I can come along.  It'll be like the dramas... =)
Will update again soon.