Today, the U.S. Embassy visited the Jungwon campus to update us on teaching resources provided by the U.S Government and opportunities for cultural engagement. We received an English grammar book, an English idiom book (teachers here love idioms!), handouts for reference, and posters depicting large cities from the north, south, east, and western United States (I also got a poster with Wisconsin photos on it. I’m not from Wisconsin, but we can make things happen with a Wisconsin poster). We were also given copies of an English-teaching journal produced by the Department of State (publication is out of my sight, can’t remember formal title. The journal takes pieces from current teachers, and after my first semester, I may give it a shot to see if I can get published.
After the English education talk, we were introduced to the American Corners in Korea. These sites are literally corners in libraries that introduce American cultures to the Korean people. ETAs in the past have held workshops, “Mommy and Me” outings (where kids can make American crafts and moms can learn about Korean culture), and daytime talks about other aspects of American culture in the daytime for the retired crowd. If I’m placed in an area close to an American Corner, I might like to throw an American-style Christmas party for the children with cookies and crafts.
Finally, we were given the “resident alien” talk by the Embassy. We were presented with worst-case scenarios, what to do in worst-case scenarios, and how to handle worst-case scenarios. Being a “resident alien” is risky business, but it’s very beneficial. South Korea is a very safe country, but the Embassy encouraged us to take the same safety precautions as we would in the United States. Overall, I’m feeling right at home here in Korea, and I’m thankful for each minute that I spend here. I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
Good night and geon bae from a different kind of south.