This post will combine the events of my first three weeks in the "Land of The Morning Calm". The first two days were a welcome reprieve from the events of one long and arduous day. My roomie, Anton, and I got to know each other, and we explored the area surrounding our hotel. We then made friends with the other members of our training group staying at the hotel. We were a motley crew, but everyone was extremely nice and helpful to one another, because we had tests on Monday.
So, the first day was comprised of a orientation, basic English tests, and a nice Korean physical; complete with free chest x-ray! Then we had a three days to absorb all of the teaching methodology and criticism to be flung at us, or we would be shown the door. Suffice to say, there was a lot of pressure. To alleviate said pressure, we quickly became associated with soju, Korean vodka, and other delights. Our night filled romps didn't help my preparedness and eventually led to a night on a bathroom floor, with my head in the toilet. The next day, Friday/evaluation day, I was not exactly healthy. I was sick to my stomach, and this would last until Monday. My body was in revolt against whatever Korean organisms float around in the food. Yet, this would be a blessing n disguise. We were told to phone the main office if we felt slightly sick-thank you swine flu-which I did, and they told me that I should stay at the hotel, get some rest, and repeat training instead of trying to tough it out, which was my suggestion.
On, Friday I moved to my new room, with three other company employees. We quickly got to know one another and I again went through the process of making new and quick friends. We also went out around town exploring, although this crowd was slightly more scholarly than the previous one. We went to the art museum and took some pictures outside with some sculptures and mainly wandered around Seoul. We met the other members of our training group and that's where I met Sonali (there's more to that story, but some things will remain private). The rest of my group had to take the tests and physical, but I got a three-day weekend, fucking awesome.
This week of training went by smoothly. I was apparently kicking ass this week. Yes, this week. I was informed that my performance last week was not exactly stellar, and I was borderline. Yet, they were amazed at my turn-around and I passed training with flying colors. However, there were no spots for any teachers at the moment, so I along with Sonali, and four others, would be given additional, and this time PAID training. Awesome*. *(sarcasm should be noted)
This third week of training was again pretty smooth. It was just a trainer and myself dealing with higher level reading for kids approaching fluency. I even finished a day early, so I again had a kind of three day weekend.
All-in-all training was an eventful time in my life, it could even be considered one of the most important points in it, but I'll be able to tell you that in a few years.