Dani to self: What do you do with a B.A. in English?
Self to Dani?: Teach English in Korea, of course!
…Right. So here I am: I just finished my third day of teaching, John and I have celebrated our 3-year anniversary, we both just completed a 10-day hell week of teacher camp at Jeonju University, and some guy on a loudspeaker is filling the air of my new neighborhood with -imnidas and -eyos and -andongs. I get the feeling I should be getting on my feet to check out what he’s up to, but I’ve put off starting this blog for way too long for me to stop typing now.
Why? Yesterday, when one of my classes of 2nd-year girls (that’s 8th grade, as I’m teaching at a Middle School) found out that I was an actor (“NOT movie actress, NO! STAGE. Theatre. Act onstage.”), they demanded of me: “What are you doing HERE?” All I could think was, “Jesus, you got me, kid.” Instead I said, “I’m here to learn about Korea!” Response: “But why you teaching?!” Again, hell if I know…and again, “So I can learn about Korea!”
I wanted an adventure, and I got one. Squatters only at school, which isn’t that big a deal. My American-bred self doesn’t particularly love having my nose so close to my pee while I’m relieving myself, but it isn’t new and it gives my legs a good workout. I have my own classroom called-get this-”ENGTOPIA”. Engtopia is Beautifopia. It’s rather new, and boy is it shiny and pretty. It has all kinds of media gadgets and gizmos…more than I will probably ever make use of (not being too technologically savvy OR able to read any of the commands written in Hangul).
I feel completely inadequate. The Korean English teachers have all tested very highly on national tests in order to become public school teachers. And here I am barging into their classroom with some bad powerpoint and nothing to show them aside from native speaking abilities and a football jersey.
What? Grapes. Grapes here are for real. So far all of the grapes I’ve encountered still have seeds in them. Thaaaat I don’t like. So much. I have uber-sensitive teeth and these seeds are HARD. But the grapes themselves are…juicier. They taste like the best grape juice you’ve ever had, or the least alcoholic wine you’ve ever had. The meat of the fruit sort of squirts out in your mouth when you bite down on the grape. It separates from the skin immediately and sort of drowns your mouth in this ultra delicious grape juice gush. It’s like there isn’t any connective tissue holding the skin to the meat. Just the skin, a little ball of grapemeat, and a whole lotta juice. I think grapes in India were like this, too. I have a feeling that American farmers engineered our grapes to be that way when they were engineering seedless grapes and jumbo grapes. I like that our grapes are meaty and seedless, but I think we miss out on a lot by removing the liquid aspect of the fruit. When I eat these grapes, I have this sensation that I suddenly truly understand the origin of wine.
I sound like I’m high as a kite. I’m not. I just want to explain these grapes.
So now you know about cuttlefish and grapes. Tomorrow’s lesson: money. What’s cheap, what’s expensive, what’s a won. I’m also taking requests.
lots of love,
In case you had any doubts as to whether we're still cute