Waegukin - living and teaching in Korea

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My EPIK timetable

Prospective EPIK teachers might be interested to see what an example work schedule looks like. This is my timetable for this semester. Yours will be different.

All EPIK teachers are contracted to work 22 hours per week. It so happens that at my school, there are 6 fifth grade classes and 5 sixth grade classes. I see each of these classes two times a week. Read more

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Teaching Stories 

Wintery Sunday Afternoon – Bonggok-dong

Back in Korea. I missed a blizzard and the country turned white in my absence.

A couple of months ago a family of kittens arrived in the vacant lot I cut through on my way to the bus stop. Korea’s has a combination of advanced and primitive garbage collection laws: all foodstuffs must be seperated for recycling, but then they are merely dumped in a large pile on a street-corner, and this means there is a feral cat problem. All the cats, I was told, have diseases, but of course I tried to befriend the family of kittens anyway. I was unsuccesful. They always ran off when I approached, no matter how much I tried to fascinate them with twigs scratched erratically across the ground. Over the weeks they grew, and eventually scattered.

This afternoon I found one dead in the snowbank by the side of the road. It was half-grown and very thin. I don’t know why it died: the cold, hunger, a car. And it wasn’t my pet, and I won’t say it filled me with grief, but I’d watched it play, and watched its mother hunt for scraps in the rubbish-piles, and I felt bad that it was dead, and bad because it seemed to represent a feeling that had been with me since I got back to Korea yesterday. Read more