Sunday, September 12, 2010

So I started Korean classes at SNU (Seoul National University) last Thursday. I wish I could do a post about the education system here (or at least how I've come to understand it) because it's fascinating, ridiculous and admirable all the same time. BUT! The way I've told myself I can post (semi) regularly... at least as I get into the habit is to keep these babies under 5 minutes....

SO! Korean classes. First of all, hassle of my life to get into these classes: They're absence and lateness policy are like nothing I've ever seen back home and so coupled with the fact that my hagwon works me past 5pm regularly (I'm a "morning" teacher - tell that to me when I'm still at work at 8pm) it's literally impossible for me to get to the campus on time for 1/2 of my classes.
So first (after I payed the non-refundable $50) they wouldn't let me take it. Then they said "The way the policy stands, it will be impossible for you to complete the course... ...But you can take it." I don't even know what this means. Then I actually went to my first lesson and my professor essentially said "we'll work something out." So I guess all is good.

All that being said I'm suuuuper excited to be in these classes. Something I've wanted to do since I've gotten here. And people have brought up the fact that "uh, you know you can learn the language on your own for free, right? I mean you're in Korea... right?!" Yes I'm well aware of the fact. BUT! Let's be honest how many people make the intention of coming to Korea and picking up the language while they're here? At least 1000 a year. I counted.

And how many actually do? Maybe 5. So I'm one of those 5 don't be jealous.

Anyway my classmates all seem really cool and it took me really off guard because I didn't think about it at all. I just figured we'd all be English Teachers from either Canada or America - the typical congregation of foreigners in Korea (and not that english teachers aren't cool but... I'm used to that haha). But 2 (myself included) of 16 are teachers. The rest are Business, Science and Economics PHD students and instructors at the university. The countries represented in that little classroom are: Canada, USA, Germany, France, Congo, Mexico, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Nepal. SO cool. I've never been with such a variety of people in one place at one time.

So that's a cool thing of my lessons. Much to my chagrin, they placed me in level 1... So the classes have been anything but challenging. Although it'll be really easy at the start.. Perhaps after the first month, it'll get really challenging. And this is an excellent chance to build up my vernacular because I'm exposed to about.. 40 new nouns each class. That'll obviously be helpful...

So yes. I don't have a conclusion for this post except that I'm sleepy. It's Monday tomorrow and I have to wake up bright and early to go to me sweet (read: sarcasm) gym. And I have a nice long 9 hour day of teaching and then Korean class take 2! Sooo I'll be home at 11pm tomorrow!
Time for bed! 안영히가요!

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