Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Taking over as Cheorwon EPIK Coordinator

With Matt leaving, I’m taking over as EPIK Coordinator for the Cheorwon teachers. He took the job after Jerusha moved away last year. The Coordinator job involves helping with any job issues that may arise with us and communicating with our higher-ups at the POE. The job involves a pay raise and direct involvement in the community here.

Though the position does not depend on seniority, I stepped up because in the wake over our biannual changeup, at 1.5 years in, I’m the one who’s lived here the longest. Everyone else has been here for 6 months. This means that, without sounding too self-aggrandizing, I’m the bridge between the “older” Cheorwon of Kirsten/Matt/Jerusha’s time and the “newer” Cheorwon. Actually, this is only half-true, for we still maintain contact with the “older” Crew members via Facebook and email, so they remain a part of Cheorwon life. A few of them still live in Korea too. And that’s a good thing, for they’ve built up plenty of knowledge and wisdom about Cheorwon and life in Korea. Surely we’ll hear more from them in the future.

Still, as Coordinator, we’ll be carrying on with several key Cheorwon traditions:

l  Rafting in the Hantan River – We need to make up for not doing it last year.
l  Cheorwon Olympics – Our “Sports Day.” Korean schools usually have a Sports Day for the students and teachers.
l  Le Club de Cheorwon – The name of our weekly “meetings” that Kirsten started last year. Generally Le Club means dinners, games, and drinks.
l  Pub Golf – Round 2 will happen this spring!

These were either already in place and started during the past 1.5 years and they’ve all resulted in good times all around. I’m excited to take over the position because it’s a new challenge and it means more responsibility. It’s merely one more way of serving EPIK and Cheorwon. I’m happy to help.

As Coordinator, the first order of business centers on the biannual Cheorwon Welcome Dinner that we’ll be having this Sunday in Dongsong.* Maria from Gwanin suggested it the day and venue. Historically, we’ve held the dinner in Sincheorwon during the week, but I figured it best to change because of the following reasons:

l  All of the new people for Cheorwon will be based in Dongsong and it will thus be easier to get them to dinner there than in Wasu or Sincheorwon.
l  The other new people will be in Gwanin and Uncheon and both towns have bus lines to Dongsong.
l  The Sunday meeting time allows us to meet sooner than we would if we’d chosen to hold the dinner after school hours.
l  As Monday is the first day of school, we can answer any questions they may have about what the first days are like.

All in all, I’m excited for the changes that this semester brings and can’t wait to make it the best one yet.

*Though it is called the Cheorwon Welcome Dinner, we welcome our new friends from the Gyeonggi-do towns of Uncheon and Gwanin. They are close enough to Cheorwon that we consider them part of our Crew here in spite of having a different EPIK program.


  1. Hey I am coming to Gwanin next week. I've spent 4 years in Korea, but all of it in Seoul. I'm looking forward to the country life!

    1. Excellent! I'm glad you found this page because Gwanin's in Gyeonggi and those of us in Cheorwon don't have any official connections to the town because it's in a different province. Thanks for writing in. Gwanin's a small town, but the country life is indeed nice. I've been out here for 1.5 years and have loved every day of it.

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  3. I've seen job announcements for EPIK/TaLK coordinators. Was this position the same thing? I would love to apply to be an EPIK coordinator (I was an EPIK teacher and have worked in public schools) but I always thought they worked in the main office, not within specific provinces. Also, do you need to know Korean to have this position?