Thursday, August 9, 2007

small victories at the end

Sometimes living in Korea seems, more than anything, like a giant lesson in humility. On the average day here, I spend the first chunk sitting in a classroom with a beginning language textbook listening to a woman not much older than me try to explain how to say things like “the weather is sunny” and “today is Tuesday” in Korean. At lunch and dinner, I don’t know what dishes I’m eating or how to mix them. I’ve only recently figured out what buttons to press on the Korean washing machines. This week, though, I can claim a few small accomplishments. Today was our last day of tae kwon do and I got to prance around in a yellow belt. Last week we had a test on punching, blocking, and the three kicks we’ve learned. I got to trade in my white belt for a yellow one. It’s the easiest TKD test you can take, but whatever—I’ll roundhouse kick anyone who makes fun of me. :) I also officially finished language classes, taught my first classes for an English summer camp Fulbright holds, and visited a jinjjilbang (Korean bathhouse—I want to post about it later).

Last night we celebrated the end of language classes. As difficult as Korean is for me, I really love our songsangnims (teachers) and feel a real camaraderie with the people in my class section. It’s normal to go out for food, drinks, and/or karaoke (really popular) with your teachers here, so all of class 1C (that's what Laura and I are signing in the picture)--teachers included-- went out last night.

Tomorrow is graduation from language classes. In one week I leave orientation and head to Jeju Island to start teaching. Things are winding down quickly!





3 comments:

MaryAnn said...

"winding down??" It sounds like you're just getting started, silly girl!

Anne said...

Wow! Good for you for learning basic Korean! I can't even imagine how difficult it must be. I miss you, and I really enjoy the fact that you have a blog! Gives me something else to think about besides dental school (which starts in just 7 days!) and this project I'm currently working on for my crazy/hard Spanish class. :)

Anonymous said...

that is so exciting liz! congradulations on your yellow belt- you will have to teach me some moves when you get back :)good luck with teaching. i cant wait to hear about all of it! i am praying for you.
-beth