So my first day of orientation has come and gone. After already being awake for 8-9 hours, Erin and I made our way to the teachers’ office, where our boss, Donny, gave us a tour of the school. Then we spent the rest of the day observing classes. The school is trying this thing with educating adults, but it doesn’t seem to be terribly successful so far. I think we’re trying to teach them social protocol in specific situations, but the problem I’ve picked up is that many of them don’t know enough English to take the extra step. One class I observed was about making small talk, and what is appropriate and what is not, and the teacher was having such a tough time because the adults in the class understood very little English. For example, he taught that you aren’t supposed to ask someone if they do or don’t drink alcohol, that you don’t talk about religion, that you don’t discuss politics, etc., then tried to get the adults to act out scenes in which they broke some of those rules. Didn’t really work. Twenty minutes later, when he asked if anyone had any questions, one of the adults said, “Do you like Suju (Korean alcohol)?” Guess he didn’t get the memo about not asking about alcohol.

After work yesterday, almost everyone (bosses included!) went out to a pub for the evening. We met a few more people, though I think we met most of the teachers over the course of the day. I just cannot get over how nice everyone is. Everybody was so friendly and welcoming and helpful, I couldn’t get over it. It seems like a lot of people came during the summer, so they’ll be around for awhile. There is a constant turnover because of when contracts began, so it always seems as though someone is leaving and someone new is coming.

Today I’m observing cooking class (we’re making cupcakes!) and art, then the weekly graduation ceremony, which I’ve heard a great deal about. This afternoon is a bit abbreviated, I think because it’s a Korean holiday, so after more orientation stuff, I have off from 3:15 on. Erin and I aren’t working this weekend, so I think we’re going to go do some touristy stuff and possibly buy some more things for our apartments.

Pictures will be posted eventually, just as soon as I start taking them. There are some astounding views of the mountains from our neighborhood (which is called Suyu). It’s sort of crazy-when you least expect to see something like that (ie. when you’re walking down a busy city street or through an open-air market), all of a sudden, BAM, there the mountains are! I’m glad I’ve gone from one mountain town to another.

I’ve got to get out of bed and shower (the shower here is awesoooooooome…and directly over my toilet.), because classes start in an hour!