Day 400

November 26, 2012

My second round of orientation has long come and gone. Aside from lectures, we were also given the opportunity to go on "field trips" in order to experience Korean culture. One of these trips was to an art gallery, the Gwangju Biennale (no photos, sorry!). The second of these trips was to a healing forest in Jangheung and then to a temple in Hwasun.


Rainy day walk through the trees

쌍붕사 (Ssangbung Temple) in Hwasun

Did some 단청 (dancheong) painting.

You can see these types of patterns/colours on temples.

Painting was followed by a lotus tea ceremony.

One of my favourite holidays just so happened to fall during orientation so a few of us escaped for the night to Mokpo where the local foreigner pub was hosting an event. We were up the next morning bright and early to get back to orientation in Gwangju.

Staff Dinner
After orientation, we were shipped directly to our towns, schools, and apartments. As luck would have it, my new coworkers were having a gathering that night to celebrate the end of the school festival.

The young teachers referred to themselves as the "idol group" haha It's strange/wonderful to have a great group of coworkers around my age.

Again, Mokpo's famous octopus made an appearance. New teachers not to offend, new chance to try octopus and remember why I don't eat it.

November 8th was the day all third grade high school students count down to and what all middle/high school students prepare for: The K-SAT. I touched on the topic a bit in a previous post but, in a nutshell, this test determines where (or if) the student will go to university, and ultimately decides their fate. Being at a middle school didn't allow me a day off, but I was able to wish luck to my former students who would be writing the test this time. I follow some Korean celebrities on twitter and even they had some kind words for these students.

Pepero Day 11/11

Pepero Day is a welcomed holiday when I work at a middle school. Named simply because the treat can resemble 11/11.

Staff Field Trip to Wangin's Relics
Wangin was a scholarly dude from Jeollanamdo who made it big. There's a historical site near my school dedicated to him (chrysanthemums at this particular time) so the staff of Samho Middle School went to spend a Wednesday afternoon there.

Spent a weekend away in the quaint town of Yeonggwang to spend time with some of my most cherished friends, and eat great food (Thanks, Chester!).

Great view from the penthouse

I play hockey in Korea.

Amazing bunch of humans.

Christmas music, youtube fireplace, and tree decorating.

Beautiful sight.

Patti and I headed to the local theatre to see Korea's rendition of Grease. Same story, slightly Koreanized (from what I could understand), with Korean lyrics. So good!


Exam/holiday season is coming up. I'll tentatively be on vacation from January 21-February 1st (still looking for plans!) and February 9-24 (when I'll be heading to China!). Until then, I'll be finishing up lessons and hopefully being able to show some Christmas movies!

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