Archive for the ‘teaching’ Category

Just like anywhere else you’d call home, where life is molded by duty and sculpted by habit, life in Korea doesn’t vary a whole lot from day to day. There are the whirlwind weekends in Seoul, the trips out of town to visit friends, the holidays abroad to explore Asia. But more often than not, […]

I’m having one of those days. One of those days when I just loathe teaching. And if Korea believed in apartments with bathtubs, you could be sure I’d be taking a long, hot bubble bath tonight. I hope tomorrow is better.

Ever since news spread amongst the ninth graders that I actually reply to the student letters I receive, I’ve been flooded with bunches of little notes, all of which I collect and  keep for those days when I’m in desperate need of some encouragement. Here are two of my favorites: FROM JI YOUNG. To: Ann […]

“She is a friend to everyone!” one of my after-school students, Yeo Lim, tells me. “Who is a friend to everyone?” I ask her, confused by this random outburst during a completely unrelated lesson about the four seasons. “She is!” She says it so earnestly I fear she’s going to tip her desk over. “But […]

And just when you begin to think you might not be making a difference in this world, someone lets you know that you are … To. Teacher Ann Hello teacher. My English is too bad. Please understand my English. It’s interesting to talk with you. And thanks for your help every day. I think English […]

march madness


It’s March. In Madison, this means long days spent at State Street Brats, drinking beer, watching the NCAA tournament and cheering the Badgers on to victory. In Korea, it means the coming of a new academic year. The 2009 term commenced on March 2. [Differing from the States, Korea’s first semester begins in early March […]

still counting


FIVE DAYS!!! Every time I look at the calendar I feel surprised all over again. With everyone around me seemingly oblivious to the upcoming holiday, I never remember how close it actually is. I asked my students how they celebrate Christmas. They said they don’t. So on Friday I taught my students the following: Where […]

holiday cheer


In the name of holiday cheer, I’ve recently abandoned all serious lesson plans in favor of teaching all things Christmas. My first graders (seventh graders, in American terms) are learning popular Christmas carols. My second graders (eighth graders) are making holiday cards and decorations. And my third graders (ninth graders) are watching Christmas flicks. While all […]



Local Weather Conditions: 1° C (34° F) This morning I walked into my school to find that it actually feels colder inside than it does outside. I had to laugh at this, though it wasn’t the most sincere laugh I’ve ever voiced. Maehyang, like some other schools in Korea, has no central heating system. Instead, […]

Today I taught my students about ordering food in America. They were shocked to hear that we are expected to tip our waiters and waitresses an extra fifteen to twenty percent for their service. And after living in Korea for nearly four months now, I suppose I’m inclined to agree. It’s more than likely that […]