Settling In…

I thought it a good time to update even though I don’t have pictures yet (I know!  I’m so bad!).  School began this past week and so we are beginning to settle into somewhat of a routine.  I have 4 sections of grade 8 English.  For the first time in my teaching career, I only have one prep.  But I need it that way.  Part of building a new school is curriculum development which is a lot of work and takes a long time, so we really need our planning time.  Our students are very nice, but there are some tough cultural adjustments we’ve had to make already.  My students also have more varied levels of English than any group I’ve ever worked with, but thankfully they’re wicked smart, and should learn quickly. One enormous benefit is that I get to have an ESOL professional in my room during most of my classes and she is awesome. It is so wonderful to have that kind of support.

I’ve signed up to coach Cross Country.  I’m excited to finally be able to do this, but last year there was no interest and no one joined.  I hope that with our larger school and some serious soccer players, we’ll get a group out.  I have a beautiful track and field to work on, a pristine pool, and lots of runner-friendly track and trails all around the city.  I understand that there’s a trail system about 4 subway stops up from us, so as soon as I figure out how to get there, I think I’ll be able to add in some good trail running.  In the meantime, the parks around us have dirt trail, and all around the city, there’s a bike/walk path in addition to normal sidewalk and most of it has rubberized track surface.  Sweet.

As for the living, we’ve been to Costco twice and E-mart lots to get all set up.  Thank goodness for Costco, where you can buy plain yogurt and butter and granola bars and cheddar cheese.  We fortunately have a full size refrigerator with a sizable freezer–no more Turkish lojman frosty box.  It’s fully stocked with all our Costco food goodies.  This past Thursday evening we joined the Songdo Running Club group I found on Facebook way back last winter and got to know some new folks.  One runner is a guy from China who is super nice and also happens to be a climber.  So we’ll be able to get some good info from him.

On the 29th we begin we our Korean language classes.  So far I can only say “hello” and “thank you” so I’m really looking forward to getting more communication help.  We’re told the Korean character system is super logical and easy to understand, so we’ll hopefully be able to read Korean soon.  In September, Tim will begin his ski patrol classes on the American base in Seoul.  The association is hooking us both up with base passes which are difficult to get here.  The base in Seoul is huge and has restaurants and a hotel.  Our new ski patrol friends can also buy us whisky from the PX, so we’re pretty stoked with this hook-up.  We’re currently searching super hard for good town bikes.  Well, I don’t have to search so hard.  There’s plenty for me.  But Tim is 6 ft tall.  So we’re having some difficulty finding what he wants in his size.  We’ll probably need to go into Seoul for his bike.  Things like car searching are on hold until we get our residence cards.  It’s hard to do much without them.

We have a week holiday coming up in September for the Korean equivalent to Thanksgiving.  We’ve booked a trip to Jeju island with some new friends.  After the whirlwind of moving, starting a new school and now a new school year, I’m ready for vacation!

Lastly, Tim finally set up a new blog though he’s still working on finishing posts from our time in Turkey.  His new address is  Go have a look!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Blogs of international school teachers: “Love International Living” « international school community
  2. Trackback: Blogs of international school teachers: “Love International Living” | International School Community Blog
  3. Trackback: Blogs of international school teachers: “Love International Living” | International School Community BlogInternational School Community Blog

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