Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Everything is changing. Changing really fast.

The beginning of a new school year in March has brought many changes for my final month of teaching.

The grade 6 students have graduated and moved on to middle school, and we have many new kindergarten and grade 1 students. I'll really miss the grade 6 class, they were a great group to work with.
My co teacher, principal and vice principal all transferred to other schools, so all of the people that I deal with have changed. Luckily this change has been positive, as my new co teacher is very nice, and my principal actually speaks English!
In Korea, teachers are expected to change schools every 3 years, which makes for an ever changing staff. Very unfortunate in my opinion, as I have fond memories of the community-feel of my elementary school. Many of the teachers remained at the same school for the entire time that I was a student (gr. 1-8), which provided a really nice, stable atmosphere.

You'd think that with the frequent moves, teachers here would be good at packing up and moving on with minimal fuss, but there were so many ceremonies, dinners, tearful speeches and sobbing students that it must get exhausting to go through each year as the school's staff suffers major turnovers.

A positive aspect is that there are lots of social events at this time of year. So even though all of my EPIK friends have left Korea, I have plenty to keep me busy. I've had a number of dinners with last year's staff, and last night had the first social event with the new group of teachers. I got dragged to Noraebang (kareoke) and was forced to sing. For anyone who doesn't know, I have the worst voice! I'm not tone deaf and I know I'm not hitting the notes, I just cannot do anything about it! So of course, singing in front of the entire staff of my school is mildly embarrassing. Luckily most of them had consumed too much soju and beer to comprehend how terrible I was, or to remember it today (I hope).

These days George and I are focusing on selling the many things we've acquired over the year, and getting our lives in Korea wrapped up.
Still to do: applying for a pension refund, sending more clothing and our computers home, sending our final pay cheque to our Canadian bank accounts and finally, sending our cat home.

We adopted Oo Mi in August from the parking lot behind our favourite bar, and we're happy to say that she' coming home to Canada with us. Well, not with us, as we'll be travelling around for a while before heading to Canada, but she'll be flying herself, and living with George's mom until we return (thanks Peggy!!!) Luckily there is a service in Korea that specializes in sending pets, called Pet Airline Korea. It's not cheap, but we've heard great friends, and we're hoping Oo Mi gets home safe and sound without too much stress!

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