Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Do's and Don'ts of Korean Culture & Volunteering -- Part II

My do's and don'ts about Korean culture continue...

21. Korean black pork is quite famous; I happen to hate it.
22. Expect to do everything on the ground without much cushioning, even sleeping.
23. Your luggage WILL get lost en route from the USA to South Korea. Plan accordingly (and don't be like me and forget to pack extra underwear and clothes in your carry-on. Whoops!).
24. Koreans despise tanning and want to stay as while as possible. To do so, they sport umbrellas and arm sleeves to block out all UV rays.
25. Unlike China and DC, tap water here is actually safe to drink. Yay!
26. Korean MTV blows.
27. You CAN bargain for most goods and services here (I wish I knew this at the Jeju airport, where I was overcharged for a second suitcase, pink backpack, and tech sports tee).
28. Korean children -- and even adults -- are very nervous about speaking English to you. Insist that they do and encourage them, especially the children.
29. AC apparently doesn't exist here -- except if you are in an expensive foreigners' hotel in Seoul (ie: the Koreana Hotel where I stayed my first night here).
30. Korean rice wine is pungent -- and frankly disgusting!
31. Be prepared to volunteer with adults half your age (OK, well maybe I am exaggerating a bit here, but I am still 27 compared to a lot of 20 year olds here!).
32. Korean shoes, clothes, and underwear do not fit a normal average American female (ie: I am 5'9'' and weigh 145 lbs., and almost none of the clothes fit me).
33. When a Korean says a dish is not spicy, it is indeed VERY spicy.
34. Get used to taking a shower in freezing cold water (see #29 for the exception).
35. I feel sorry for any vegetarians here.
36. Most Koreans either think Americans are either too fat and lazy or too active and hard-working
(ie: the crazy American female runner who insists on running every morning).
37. International phone calls are FAR too expensive and difficult to make here. Use Skype instead!
38. I'm not sure if the rumor about Korean male parts is true, but I'm certainly not about to find out. Perhaps you can. Hehe.
39. You WILL sweat through all of your clothes on a daily basis here. Deal with it.
40. Koreans of the same sex have no problem showering together, especially the men.
41. When a Korean says you will leave at a certain time, add an hour.
42. A Korean traditional spa is not actually a spa. Instead, it is a massive series of locker rooms, showers,  pools and baths, and sauna rooms of varying temperatures. Expect to get over yourself and be butt naked in the showers and pools. I have never seen so many naked women in my life! If the sauna rooms are unisex, you will be blessed with two towels that are way too small and a simple shirt and shorts to wear (pink for women and blue for men. How cute!).
43. When sleeping over at a Korean spa, expect to receive a cheap mat to spend the night on with no blanket or pillow (Is this a problem?!). You may even have a small child (neutrally dressed in yellow) tyr to curl up next to you and unknowingly smack you in the head throughout the night. Yay!
44. Dunkin' Donuts here have fruit-filled donuts. Yum -- or not??
45. Learn to LOVE kimchi. I still do not.
46. Outside of Seoul, most Koreans do not speak English. Sorry.
47. You can buy anything at a Korean supermarket.
48. No Korean dog will like you.
49. You are cool if you wear anything with English writing on it, even if it makes absolutely NO sense to native English speakers. Who cares?!!
50. Expect to meet some of the most kind, tender, gentle, and generous souls EVER here.

Somehow I think my list of Korean do's and don'ts will only expand this week!

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