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If our 324 or so bows had anything to do with the job I ended up finding, I wish I’d done 10 324! It’s the job I’d imagined but never thought existed since I’d learned what the Korean education system is like.

In my old job I was constantly being told to stop being so friendly with the students, that I didn’t discipline enough, or that I should give more detention. During my third year I started to adjust but I was getting miserable with the job. After four years, it was time to change. I knew after my first year that my personality wasn’t a good match with the job, and actually tried to quit once. I think I stayed more out of convenience than anything.

Two weeks ago, I started my new job, teaching an after school program in an elementary school. If there’s anything I ever said I’d like to have in a teaching job, I have it. The atmosphere is friendly, the students are happy to be here, they study well (except for a few), and I’m encouraged to have fun with them. I finish work six hours earlier that I had with my old job, I make roughly the same salary, and I have half the amount of teaching hours. I’m really grateful to my old job for teaching me how to be a good teacher, and over all, treating me well, but I really feel like I can breath now. Oh yeah, and I don’t work Fridays!

As far as living space… we ended up having to leave my mother-in-laws place in a hurry. In Korea, you usually need about a $5000 deposit to get an apartment and I had about $400 left. We found a place that’s going to be renovated but, in the mean time, the owner wants to rent it out to save a little money first. They asked for a $500 deposit, plus the first two months rent, and $100 real estate agent fee. We looked at it, it was big but looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years (about five years, we later found out). I think they figured it would be easier to renovate than clean… I don’t think anyone else wanted the place, because we told the real estate guy we didn’t have any money, but offered *a-hmm bribed* him an extra $50 if we could just pay the deposit and first months rent, they accepted (when in Rome…). With some help from EunBong’s and my parents, we moved in a week ago.

The place is definitely a project, and there’s not an inch of the place that doesn’t need scrubbing, but I’ve already worn my fingers half way to the bone and it’s starting to look nice. When I get paid, we’re going to get some fresh wall paper and I’m going to cover it with traditional Korean paper. There’s one small, extra room that we will make a tea/meditation room in, so I’m really looking forward to that!

9 responses »

    • Thank you!
      Yes, we’re about 5km from the folk village, not far from the last stop on the yellow line.
      there are about 4 or 5 red buses into Seoul, too.
      It’s a nice, quiet enough, spot.
      My school is in a really nice spot, all surrounded by mountains.
      It’s really nice here!

  1. I’ll have to stop by and see you some time! How far are you from the Suwon toll gate? I give Dharma talks at an army base that’s just around the corner. I was just there on Sunday. Oh well! What are your plans for the lunar holiday?

  2. Glad to hear that you’ve found a place. I remember the traditional wall paper and have often wanted that in my house in America.

    One good thing about cleaning by hand is that, when you’ve finished, you’ll have an intimate knowledge of the place!

    • Thank you!
      It’s seemed daunting at first, but I told EunBong, when we’re finished, we’ll have a really good feeling about it.
      Her parents usually visit her while I’m at work, so when i get home I enjoy hearing about their reactions to how much better the place looks form the last time they looked. ^^

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