Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Greetings from the East

I have arrived! In one piece, with no problems J I am currently at orientation at Jeonju University, in Jeonju City, doin the damn thing. So far, things have been kind of a blur. My roommate is cool, internet is working, Korean TV is entertaining, the humidity is...high.

Feelings so far? It's hard to say. Now that I have internet access, I do feel better, as it was making me kind of anxious not being able to talk to friends and family and let them know that I'm okay. That, the jet lag, and the jam-packed orientation schedule was making me feel just exhausted, mentally and physically. Today feels better, as I slept like 9 hours and I think my jet lag is just about gone, and I'm getting into the step of things. I was e-mailed by the teacher I'm replacing at my school in Busan, and she let me know almost everything I'll need to know about my apartment/school/grades I'll be teaching/etc. Super helpful! Except that my new co-teacher would like me to make an appointment at the immigration office for the day I arrive, and the website is entirely in Korean. Yikes! Another unnecessary stress factor that I would like to eliminate as soon as possible!

I do really miss my fam and friends. It's only been 2 days and I already can't wait to talk to them on Skype. Orientation classes start today, which is good, because I am feeling very intimidated right now. It seems like so many of the people here are not nervous at all and I feel like I am the only one who feels like a deer in the headlights. I have taught a bit before, but I've never had a job outside of school so not only is this my first time really teaching, it's also my first real job so I am beyond nervous. I remember my first job (hostess at a restaurant in high school) and the first day when they tried to explain everything to me; I immediately felt confused and terrified because I thought Oh my god, I can't do this. But I had to do it, and eventually it became easy and habit. I'm expecting this will be a similar experience, and I hope to do as much prep work as I can to make it a little less painful. First stop: Make a powerpoint!

In other news, I need to learn Korean on the double. Last night I went with my roommate (who is ethnic Korean and speaks some) to the cafe across the street, and felt too intimidated to say 'Lemonade.....kamsahamneda', so she ordered for me (using many more words than I could have concocted). That feeling of dependency and total ineptitude on my part brought memories of being younger, before I could speak Spanish well, and visiting El Salvador. I had to follow my mom everywhere because I wasn't able to communicate with people, and I hated that feeling so much that I vowed to learn Spanish upon my return (y aquí estoy yo). Now that fire has returned, and my next conquest is Hangul. Bring it on!

Now I'm going to lay down in front of the A/C unit, because it is as humid as Virginia right now, and watch cute K-Pop stars on TV. 

Until next time!


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