That's why Austin and I just enrolled in a class that is certain to kick our asses. Six hours a week of ass-kicking language class, to be precise. Wish us luck!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Victoria and I have returned to Korea with brand new jobs. I'll let Victoria blog about her job later, but here's a little about mine.
I begin teaching in the College English Program next week at Seoul National University. It doesn't boast a 600-year history as Sungkyunkwan University can, but SNU is well known to be the top university in Korea and one of the best in all of Asia.
SNU is located in the southern part of Seoul in an area known as Gwanak-gu. Campus is beautiful, and most buildings are relatively new, as various leading colleges and programs around Seoul were relocated to this campus in the 1970s (some have argued for the purpose of consolidating and controlling political dissent).
In fact, much of the architecture is quite modern:
I'll be teaching three courses: College English I (integrated skills); Advanced College English: Speaking; and Advanced College English: Film. This last is not truly a film class, but an English class that uses film as the basis for discussion, writing, vocabulary, and the analysis of discourse and pronunciation. Best part? I get to choose the films!
Of course, the change in employment means that once again we find ourselves living in a new apartment, our third in Seoul in 12 months. Luckily, we've gotten upgrades every time.
Our new apartment in the BK International House is light, spacious, and comfortable, though the living room is a little less furnished than our last place.
The kitchen is quite nice, and we'll be adding an oven to this picture some time next week.
BK International House is located right next to SNU's campus, and the campus itself is set amongst the foothills of Gwanak-san, or Mt. Gwanak. There's a trailhead for the mountain practically out our back door, and we climbed part way up the trail on Sunday.
Here's our our apartment building, from Gwanak-san:
(Yes, I have a goatee now. Stop snickering.)
Friday, August 21, 2009
So, not only are we back, but we're bringing reinforcements. We've been doing some serious recruiting, and although the new prospects haven't arrived yet, they'll be here soon.
My brother Lane and sister-in-law Mandi have just received confirmation that they've both been accepted for one-year teaching contracts at the Seoul English Village in Suyu, located in Gangbuk-gu, one of Seoul's northernmost districts. Whoo-hoo!
The concept of an English Village is to take language teaching and learning out of the classroom and to make it experiential. The idea is to try to recreate "real life" -- restaurants, hair salons, kitchens, science labs -- so students can practice and learn English by doing activities. Sounds like a fun place to work if you ask me!
But wait...there's more!
We didn't stop with just my side of the family. Victoria's cousin Carolyn is also going to be joining us in Korea. She'll be working in Incheon, a city on the outskirts of Seoul.
We're super excited to have family here this year. It will make being far from home on holidays (and the other days, too!) that much easier.
And to Lane, Mandi, and Carolyn: best of luck getting all of your documents in order, and we wish you safe travels and godspeed!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
After a long and fabulous 6 weeks of traveling, Victoria and I are back in Korea, once again trying to (re)settle in Seoul.
Far too much has taken place over the summer for a lot of individual posts, and as this blog is mostly about our life in Seoul, I'm just going to cover our whole eventful summer in one fell swoop.
First, it was off to Thailand for a week on the beach with college pals Char & Micah. We went rock climbing, swimming (ask Victoria about the jellyfish sting...ouch!), sea kayaking, snorkeling, and had a lot of yummy Thai food.
After our flight back to Korea, we flew home to the States for a week at a beach house on Lake Michigan with my entire family. We had a great time playing with baby Madeleine (the newest addition to the Kaufmann clan) and our other niece and nephews, Drew, Vaughn & Max.
Then, after a few days in Goshen, we headed out to Ohio to spend some time with Victoria's family. Engagement congratulations are in order for her brother Mike and his fiancee, Megan. Thank god I'll have another inlaw to comiserate with when the Solomons get all crazy!
During our stay in Ohio, my brother Lane and sister-in-law Mandi spent a few days hiking and camping in Hocking Hills State Park. Beautiful!
We also buzzed out to Lancaster, PA, for a quick visit with some more college friends. We stayed in a beautiful 180-year-old farm house and enjoyed wonderful produce from their garden.
So, that was our summer! Now that we're back, we'll be posting more soon!