Sunday, July 17, 2011

On a Normal Week Day

Not much has happened in the past week, so I've decided to tell you what happens on a normal week day when I have no plans.  I usually wake up at around 9:00 am.  One of the perks of my job is that it doesn't start until 1:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 3:10 on Fridays.  I don't like to sleep past nine, because if I wake up later, I always feel as if my day was wasted, because I have less time to do things, even if my day simply consists of watching ESPN highlights on  I always get an eerie feeling when I sleep in on a work day no matter how late I have to come in.

Once I awake, I have a morning devotion.  I like to start my day reading the bible and praying while still in bed.  I used to run after my devotion, but I recently stopped because I have been losing too much weight.  I have lost sixteen pounds since moving to Korea.  So now, I eat a large breakfast which usually consists of rice, kimchi, 2 eggs fried in sesame oil, juice, milk, and a multivitamin.  I usually eat a large meal for breakfast and lunch.  I normally finish breakfast, and clean up after myself at around eleven.  After breakfast, I normally surf the internet.  I check my facebook, view sports highlights on, read about and comment on the the latest happenings concerning LSU football on, download music, view various videos on youtube, and watch reruns of Southpark and The Office.  

Sometimes, I'll walk to the coffee shop down the street, and have a cup while relaxing on the patio.  Coffee shops seem to be on every corner here in Korea.  Koreans sort of see them as a hip place to see and be seen.  I normally do that once or twice a week.  I also run errands when needed, and I usually talk to my family on skype in the mornings.

I leave for work at around 45 minutes before school starts to give myself enough time to eat somewhere before I start.  It takes around 15 minutes to walk there.  On days that I start at 1:30, I leave twenty minutes before, pickup something to eat, and have lunch at work.  I didn't think it could get more humid than New Orleans, but I was wrong.  Gwangju is not as hot, but it's more muggy.  It's impossible to walk to work without sweating.  It's something I've learned to accept.  I don't stink, so I don't worry about it.

We have to be at work an hour before class starts in order to prepare our lessons for the day.  I teach 4-6 classes a day from Monday to Thursday.  I teach three classes on Fridays.  During the periods that I don't teach, I correct essays written by my upper level students.  I find the essays to be very interesting, because I learn a lot about my students as individuals.  I also find that these essays give me a glimpse into the views of the youth of Korea as a whole.  Through these essays, I am able to learn a little more about Korean culture, and what these students value.  I assign topics such as, "Tell me three things that you are thankful for, and why; If you could make a memorial for any three people, who would they be, and why?;  What three things could you not live without, and why?"  Through these essays, I learn that Koreans are extremely family oriented.  In all topics, parents are always discussed, and the students write extremely fondly of them, as I have yet to read an essay where a student had something negative to write about his/her family.  It is rare to see them write about their friends, although some do.  My students are also very proud of their country, and they hold strong opinions regarding that.  I always find their essays to be fascinating.  

I also call each of my students during my down time.  I am required to reach all of my students every two weeks.  I have around 175.  I now know all of their names, and am able to associate a face to the name when I speak with them on the phone.  Phone calls are another opportunity to get to know them more as individuals.  It's always interesting to learn about their hobbies, and interests.  The boys love soccer and baseball.  A lot of girls love swimming, and being with their friends.  Both sexes love being on the computer.  The boys play various computer games, and the girls spend time in chat rooms.

I finish work at 10 pm on Monday through Thursday.  I finish at 9:15 on Fridays.  I usually eat something light after work.  Most of the time, it is either ramen noodles, or rice with kimchi at my apartment.  Sometimes, I'll eat out at night if I am craving something in particular.  I usually unwind in my apartment by surfing the internet.  My computer has replaced the television as my primary source of entertainment.

My blogging is usually done at nights after work in a coffee shop with wifi.  I find that I am more productive and creative at night.  I also enjoy hiking the mountains after work.  The views at night of the city from atop these mountains are absolutely incredible.  I am usually the only one there, so I see it as a time to reflect and pray.  I'll hike at night if something is on my mind, or if I had a difficult day.  It's a wonderful way to relieve stress.  I usually fall asleep between 1:30 and  3:00, depending on how busy I am, or what I did.

So there you have it!  A normal day when there are no plans!

Another K-drama that I find myself watching is a show whose title has a few different English translations from it's Korean title, among those being Shining, Twinkle Twinkle, and Sparkling.  The protagonist in this particular drama is played by an actress, named Kim Hyun Joo, who I find to be absolutely stunning on camera.

These photos are not mine.  They were downloaded from various sites via google images.

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