Despite the smallness (~3,000 give or take the soldiers coming and going) of the town, life's been, well, active here. It feels like a rollercoaster ride, like all I can do is simply hang on. Each day brings more words and phrases learned and more food sampled in this beautiful and strange landscape. By now I've learned to read most or all of the Korean alphabet and have begun sounding out words. The teachers here say they're impressed. I'm glad. I came here to learn. Learning to read has eased the frustration.
That and the dinners with the school staff. Between yesterday and last week I've gone to dinner with the middle school and the high school staff, plus a few teachers (and other EPIK friends) here and there. The dinner and drinking culture's quite different here. At the high school dinner for example, we took a shot with all three of the toasts before we started eating. I've done shots of soju with my principal. He's apparently told other teachers that I drink like a Korean. Over here, that's a high compliment. Where else would this happen? Where else can you drink with your co-workers at dinner and then sing karaoke with them (whilst drinking more beer)?
I meant to show these pictures earlier, so here they are. These are pics of the schools:
Outside of Gimhwa High School. The right-hand building houses my English classroom, another English classroom, and a math classroom.
My desk inside the high school.
Office space at the middle school
The middle school English classroom. Spacious.
The back wall of the middle school English classroom.
The high school English classroom. Behind the partition lies my desk as well as Mr. Kim's desk.
The back wall of the high school English classroom. One of the blinds has a Shakespearean sonnet on them.
As you can see, each classroom has a Smartboard and top-notch equipment.