Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Costumes ... in Seoul

 Image from Naver Maps

Let's face it.  This is another one of those things you're not going to find in Chuncheon - Halloween costumes for adults.  Since this is the case, the best bet is to go to a party store in Seoul, or more particularly Joy Party.  There were other places I read about elsewhere online, but this information I got from a friend who lives in Seoul.  I recommend checking this place out if you can because they have a good selection.  They not only have Halloween costumes, but pranks as well.  I would post pictures, but I forgot to bring my camera.  Instead, I have a screenshot from Street View from Naver Maps.

The name of this place is Joy Party.  It's in Gangnam-gu on Line 7, Exit 2.  You should check this place out.

As a side note, I would like to point out that on my way there, the bus had some trouble and had to pull over.  The bus driver was telling us that we had to wait for an empty bus to pick us up.  Meanwhile, an angry ajossi was yelling at the bus driver.  The bus driver told him to sit down. While he did sit down, he stood back up to continue yelling at him ... hilarious.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ssam Ji Don Buffet

   All-you-can-eat, it's a wonderful luxury to have.  So is meat.  What if I were to tell you that you can have chicken, beef, and pork for less than 10,000 won?  Yep, you heard me right.  It's a great price, almost the same price as regular restaurants, and you can have as much or little as you want.  If you know the right places, you can get chicken (like the one above) also included, which is one of my personal favorites.   This one is right near .  If you want to get there find the Tous Les Jours bakery across the street from Hallym University Hospital.  Tell the taxi driver 한림대학교병원 (Hal-lim-day-hak-gyo Pyeong-won).  It's behind the bakery on the street perpendicular to the hospital.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stretch Your Dollar - Transportation Costs

Just like in any city, there are different ways to get around in Chuncheon: walking, car, bike, taxi, and bus.  For getting around, it's no secret that walking takes too much energy and taxis cost too much if used often.  Buses can save time in the right circumstance, which is why those who live in Chuncheon need to learn to use them. (Mac Users: I am sorry, just like you, I have to use a PC 방 to be able to use this site.  It's Internet Explorer only)

The first step is to direct your browser to
Then the second step is to point your cursor to 버스 정보 where the circled highlighted area is.

Next, on the left of the map there are three tabs.  Click on the middle one, as circled above.

You have a choice between Chuncheon (춘천) and Hongcheon (홍천).  Since this blog is intended for Chuncheon, I will show you what is needed to use the one for Chuncheon Bus terminal: it's the first one on top.  For Hongcheon residents, point your cursor to the last one.

Choose a bus number that you see drive around your area of the city.  It will show the bus route around the city, the frequency of each new one coming, the names of the bus stops, and when the last and first bus is. At this point you will need to read Hangeul to understand the names of the bus stops, that way you can tell the bus driver where to stop so they can help you.

One last tip: get a transportation card (교통 카드 - gyotong cahd-oo) at any convenience store, and you will save money that way if you use the bus often.  Otherwise you'll end up paying top dollar everytime you use it!  You use this card to tap in and tap out to measure the accurate distance fee - you can also use it at stores and taxis within the city to avoid dealing with exact change.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Game Idea #1 Spinner Template

My students love games, and I love preparing games for them.  I especially love it when I use creativity to modify an existing game, because it's almost as good as though I created it.  For this post, I'd like to share a game targeted for elementary.  I'm not sure if Middle School would appreciate it or not, but you can give it a try if you'd like.

Obviously, you'd want to integrate conversation into the game.  The best way to modify this template is to add pictures (from Google Image search) via PhotoShop.  Don't have it? - me neither.  You can also use Microsoft Paint (access it by hitting the Windows Key + R at the same time, type in mspaint, and finally enter).  Macintosh users: you can use either PaintBrush or TheGimp as a replacement.

Find images, or insert words however you like.  The wheel that is modified I originally took from under the Spinner Game.  But I added numbers to represent points.  A student uses a pencil to put through a paper clip.  The paper clip needs to be partly opened to be the pointer.  Once you flick the paper clip it will point to an area of the wheel.  If the student answers correctly, (s)he will get the points.  They also add up their points on the score sheet.  The student with the most points is the winner!

Depending on your browser, the commands will be different.  Basically, you'll want to right click and then save the image.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shady Recruiters: What to Expect From Them

So, if you're ever interested in applying to work for Korea, there is something you need to be aware of - shady recruiters.  Maybe all are shady, because recruiters will say whatever they can to bring people to positions that happen to be difficult for employees to be away from their homes.  Just like recruiters would say things like that to bring in recruits for the military, it's no different than for ESL jobs.  In their charming, masculine accent they might tell you some of the perks of what it's like to teach English, and might avoid telling you things you should know beforehand what to expect.  Perhaps it's impossible to avoid shady recruiters, but I'd at least like to tell you one important angle what to expect from them.

To be fair, it's difficult to sell something especially when the recruiters don't know themselves where you'll be placed, and each school is different in how they run things.  At the same time, they shouldn't ignore some general information that applies to a good percentage of schools.  They might say something along the lines, "Your co-teacher will help you with everything," or "Your co-teacher will be there in every classroom."

Here's one thing that you need to understand:
1) Not all co-teachers will be able to help you.  Some will do everything, and not give you much chance to prepare because they prepare, and you're there mainly to assist (which sucks because you're overseas to teach English, not to get paid for doing nothing); this might be because they are the homeroom teachers and they have no time to prepare with you.  It might also happen the other way around - you will be doing everything, and the homeroom teachers are there to assist (while it's more a workload for you, it's rewarding to have freedom to teach).

2) To say your co-teacher will be with you most of the time should be true, but this  doesn't apply to after-school classes!  If you have a number of after-school classes (from 6~8 classes a week like I used to have at my previous school), you have little time to prepare everything at work, thus leaving you to prepare lessons at home.

But sometimes I've known a couple of teachers that don't have a co-teacher even for the curriculum classes, and they do everything themselves (I'm referring to EPIK teachers).  Fortunately, I've had homeroom teachers to assist me to help re-iterate what I teach, or just to discipline them.

Other schools, like my awesome one in Chuncheon, will have more of the ideal set time to prepare your lessons with the teachers, and only two after-school classes, instead of six a week.  I can't speak for other schools, but it seems like with the bigger ones (versus the country ones) you will have fewer after school classes, if any, and focus on the 3-6 grade classes.

Here's one shady recruiter to avoid.  Although he will get you a job, he won't acknowledge the truth behind the after-school program.  (NOTE: I don't hate after-school classes, but because they require extra preparation, I wish I would've been told about them).  Even when I called him about it to complain on his lack of knowledge, he made it seem like it wasn't supposed to happen.  Well, many schools do it, whether or not it's legal!

BCI Academy

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tom N Tom's Coffee

Many people love coffee.  The rich aroma of freshly ground coffee and espresso beans is exotic, especially in Korea, the land that encourages coffee that tastes like sand instant coffee.  Drip coffee is not as easy to come by in restaurants here because instant coffee is loved by many here, even when you go to quick-e marts, you won't find any available.  Fortunately, countless cafes are available in bigger cities.  While there are too many to mention, this one is worth recommending.  Tom N Tom's Coffee offers free Wifi without any need for a premium membership to Qook N Show or Nespot, which means you can take iPod Touches with you, or any other smart tablet device.

This place has a nice selection of drinks as you would expect from Starbucks.  But perhaps the one thing that makes this place better than Starbucks are their selection of pretzels: Original, Plain, Garlic, Cinnamon Sugar, Parmesan, and Almond.  To get a better view of their menu, click on the picture.

It's very roomy, and nice to stay in for several hours to catch up on some reading or study.

This place is located in a building that is under construction, in Myeong-dong.

Here is the address:
200-050 강원도 춘천샤 축림동 7-1 다 스탕일(The Style) 빌딩 1층
200-050 Gangwon-do, Chuncheon-si, Chuklimdong 7-1, The Style Building, 1st Floor

Tel.: 033-252-8890
Mob.: 010-5174-2349

Catholic Mass Service in Myeong-dong, Seoul (nope, not Chuncheon)

                                             Image from Wikipedia

Sometimes you just can't find what you need, even in Chuncheon.  When all else fails, you must go to Seoul, because they have almost everything you need.  But the bright side of living in Chuncheon is the awesome bus schedule.  It's only one hour away, but not only that - it leaves every 15 minutes.

For those who need to have a church service completely in English, there are quite a number in Seoul, which you can find here.  If you live here simply because you I personally recommend building a community here in Chuncheon can have better fellowship with your church family.  However, for whatever reason you're in Seoul for the weekend it's always nice to have a backup alternative, such as Myeong-Dong Catholic Cathedral (명동성당).  This parish has is a Western, Gothic-style architecture building which is available in English at 9 AM.  The priest there gives warm-hearted homilies yet at the same encourages the Church to do the right thing.  If you want to get there, leave the subway and exit Myeong-dong (Line Number 4), Exit 9.