Work & Home

After a week of staying in a hotel and working sporadically, I've finally managed to settle it. I moved into my apartment over the weekend and while it's not what I'd hoped for, it's acceptable. I'm pretty sure it's bigger than my previous two apartments in Korea, though that's not saying much. The new place, however, is quite a bit older. If you've not seen an apartment in Korea, they tend to be similar in size and comfort to a dorm room. At least the ones I've had. If I can fix my camera once again I'll take some pictures of the apartment and neighborhood.

Also, yesterday I started my first real day of work. Technically I started last Wednesday, but on that day several teachers were out sick, so I was thrown into the fire and filled in for the absent teachers. No big deal, as it beat what was to follow. Come Thursday and Friday all the classes were covered, so there was nothing for me to do. So, I did two days of observation. Basically sitting in another teachers class and watching them teach. Needless to say this is not fun for either teacher. If you are observing, as I was, it's terribly boring. Especially since I've taught before and know what to expect. Also, if you are the teacher being observed it can be a bit nerve-racking.

On Thursday, I followed around the teacher that I replaced, a Canadian fellow of, I'd guess, about 24 years old and without question the most miserable person I've ever met. Sometimes you meet people in Korea (and I suppose everywhere) that just hate life, he was one. During one of his classes I asked him about another teacher and he proceeded to go on a verbal rampage in front of the students. This rampage included several four-letter words (think: f'ing c'). After that episode, I kept quiet most of the day, but occasionally had to listen to him explain how bad the world and all of its people are. Obviously, I was happy when the day was over and am happy now that he is no longer here. I didn't get to know him well, but I'm not too disappointed about it.

The next day, Friday, I was relieved to find out that I would be following around various other teachers and observing their classes. All of whom turned out to be decent people with much cheerier dispositions.

The only complaint I have about the school so far is the policy that teachers must stay in the building until the end of the day. For example, yesterday I had three scheduled classes between 2:30pm and 7pm. So, I'm required to be at the school by one o'clock. No problem since I need the time to prepare. However, I'm also required to stay at the school until 9pm, which means I have to kill two hours at the end of the day. There is no work that takes place during this time. Yesterday I surfed the internet and did crossword puzzles, so I'm a bit confused as to why I can't just go home. However, that being said, so far I really like the school and people and can use the extra time to write on my blog.



I arrived safely back in Korea yesterday. After I missed my first flight out of St. Louis I was able to get on the next plane and made my connection in Dallas. Every time I've flown to Korea before I've taken off from Chicago and flew to Tokyo. For some reason the flight from Dallas direct to Seoul seemed about twice as long as Chicago to Tokyo. At least no one died on my plane this time.

The person I'm replacing doesn't leave until next week, so I'm staying in a hotel for a week. It's not bad, the school is paying for it and the room is nice, but I'd like to pick up my things and settle in after living out of a suitcase for the past five weeks.

I don't start working until Wednesday, so I have a few days to wonder around and get over the jetlag. Tonight I'm looking forward to dinner and some beers with a couple of friends.


St. Louis

The city, which is named after Louis IX of France, borders, but is not a part of, Saint Louis County, Missouri

The settlement that would become the city of Saint Louis was founded by French explorers in 1763.

Saint Louis was acquired from France by the United States under President Thomas Jefferson in 1803, as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

The Lewis and Clark Expedition left the Saint Louis area in May 1804, reached the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1805, and returned on Sept. 23, 1806.

Missouri became a state in 1820. Saint Louis was incorporated as a city on December 9, 1822

Immigrants flooded into Saint Louis after 1840, particularly from Germany, Bohemia and Ireland, the latter driven by an Old World potato famine. The population of Saint Louis grew from fewer than 20,000 in 1840, to 77,860 in 1850, to just over 160,000 by 1860.

Militarily, the Civil War (1861-1865) barely touched St. Louis; the area saw only a few skirmishes in which Union forces prevailed

Saint Louis is one of several cities that claims to have the world's first skyscraper

Nikola Tesla made the first public demonstration of radio communication here in 1893

In 1896, one of the deadliest and most destructive tornadoes in U.S. history struck St. Louis and East St. Louis.

In 1904, the city hosted the World's Fair and the Olympic Games, making the United States the first English-speaking country to host the Olympics.

The uranium used in the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb was refined in Saint Louis by Mallinckrodt Chemical Co., starting in 1942.

The Pruitt-Igoe housing project, built in 1955 and demolished in 1972, is one of the most infamous failures of urban planning. (The buildings were the first major work by Minoru Yamasaki, who later designed the World Trade Center.)

The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch is the region's major daily newspaper. Founded by Joseph Pulitzer in the 1800s,

St. Louis has long been associated with ragtime, jazz and blues. Early rock and roll singer/guitarist Chuck Berry is a native St. Louisan and continues to perform there several times a year. Soul music artists Ike Turner and Tina Turner and jazz innovator Miles Davis began their careers in nearby East St. Louis, Illinois.

Forest Park, located on the western edge of the central corridor of the City of St. Louis, is one of the largest urban parks in the world, outsizing Central Park in New York City by 500 acres.

The Missouri Botanical Garden, also known as "Shaw's Garden", is one of the world's leading botanical research center

The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, better known as the Gateway Arch, is perhaps the most recognizable structure of the city. It is located near the riverfront in downtown Saint Louis, and was designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen. The Arch is the centerpiece of a national park that also includes the nearby Old Courthouse, where the famous Dred Scott case was tried. This area is also the location of the annual July 4th festival, Fair Saint Louis, widely regarded as America's largest birthday celebration.

Enthusiastic and knowledgeable fans give the city a reputation as, "a top-notch sports town" and being dubbed as, "Baseball City USA." The Sporting News rated St. Louis the nation's, "Best Sports City."

Beer commercials have made the city well known as the home of Anheuser-Busch Breweries.

St. Louis once had a moderately extensive streetcar system, but service began to erode in the 1950s and ended for good in 1966.

Historically, Saint Louis has been a de facto segregated city.

The city of Saint Louis has one of the highest per-capita crime rates in the United States, with 111 murders and 7,059 burglaries in 2002

Effective July 1, 2005, the city of St. Louis has quietly extended healthcare benefits to the domestic partners of all city employees, including same-sex partners and others living in committed but unmarried relationships, as well as children of such families.

Saint Louis has eleven sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI): Bologna (Italy), Galway (Ireland), Bogor (Indonesia), Georgetown (Guyana), Lyon (France), Nanjing (People's Republic of China), Saint-Louis (Senegal), Samara (Russia), Stuttgart (Germany), Suwa (Japan), and Szczecin (Poland).

Maybe the best website in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis

Be back in Korea on Sunday.


I am an American

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 7 out of 10 correct!

I can't believe I only got seven out of ten.

Photos part 3

A quick update here with pictures of my family.

My parents. These pictures were taken when we all went out one night to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday.

My sister, on the left, and her good friend Meredith (I don't know how to spell her name).

My sister's daughter, Abby, playing in some pumpkins.