EPIK and Teaching

Word Salad

Word Salad

Koreans are justly proud of their writing system. Hanguel is historical and scientific, elegant and efficient. It even gets everyone off work for a day in October. (Every country should have a National Alphabet Day.) But for some reason, no one can be induced to […]

Walking to Work

Walking to Work

Another cluster of high schoolers sees me coming and crosses to the other side of the street. It’s hard not to take this personally. Maybe they just don’t like my haircut. It is a terrible haircut. I look like a sheep caught in a lawnmower. […]

The Great Apartment Crisis

The Great Apartment Crisis

“Oh, yeah. Just… roll me out of bed sometime Monday,” Erin said. She sprawled, a laptop on her stomach. It was Saturday, just before noon, and we had a lazy weekend ahead. The first in a while, actually. Most of the last month had been […]

Tic Tac Toe

Tic Tac Toe

“Erin Teacher. Shim shim hae yo.” “Me too,” I replied without looking up. Actually, bored didn’t begin to describe it. It was a hot, stagnant afternoon; a terrible time for lesson planning. A face appeared around the side of my computer screen. Merlin had ears that could […]

Man Down!

Man Down!

Some things to know about Korean healthcare.

Deskwarming

Deskwarming

“Ok, you have the jewels. Now where do you want to go?” “Go north.” “There is a cave.” “Going in?” “Not ‘going.’ Go in.” “Ok, go in.” It’s deskwarming season in Korea again. Deskwarming is that magical time when you’re contractually obligated to sit at […]

Drama Queen

Drama Queen

People often talk about how flexible you need to be to work in Korea. It’s totally true, but a year and a half in, I’m starting to notice all the consistency in my school life. I know that every Monday and Thursday I need to wear an extra layer, […]

What Does the Sheep Say?

What Does the Sheep Say?

“OhmyGodyouhavetoseethis!” A near incoherent rush of syllables as Erin bursts through the door, eyes gleaming, and rushes to the computer. She brings up youtube and starts a search for something that, at least initially, makes very little sense… Bubblegum Macaroni or Fish Golf or Elbow […]

Pee Is Thicker Than Water

Pee Is Thicker Than Water

I came into the classroom to find my students clumped in a circle, shouting and staring at something on the ground. “Teacher, teacher!” A squad detached to pull at my arms. “Hannah cry! Pee, pee!” I sighed and dropped my books on a desk. Like […]

Cowboy Up

Cowboy Up

Every now and then, I get a little jealous of my students. Mind you, Korean student life is not enviable. I’m at school forty hours a week. Standard adult full-time job. My sixth graders–these are 11 and 12 year olds–are there 47.5 hours a week. […]