Posted in School/Life, teaching, Working in Korea

Life Update: My New Job

It’s crazy to think that it’s already been over 10 months since I’ve returned to America from Korea. Since leaving my job at my hagwon in Daegu, I’ve mostly just been enjoying life and working from home. I have two online teaching jobs where I work as an independent contractor: one where I teach beginning level Korean to (mostly) American middle and high schoolers, and one where I teach English to kids in China.

I had originally planned to be starting my PhD this fall, but I ended up getting rejected from all three schools I applied to. While I was obviously disappointed, it also made sense. Since I hadn’t originally planned on getting a PhD when I was working on my master’s degree, I didn’t do much additional research or involvement in the academic realm, so I can see why my application wasn’t at the top of their list.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, TOPIK

69th TOPIK Cancelled :(

Yesterday was May 24th, which was supposed to be the day that I took the TOPIK II (Test of Proficiency in Korean II) for the second time. However, about a week and a half ago, they decided that due to the remaining presence of COVID-19 in South Korea and the fact that there was a recent small outbreak in the Itaewon club area, they would be canceling the test altogether.

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Posted in Life in Korea, School/Life, Travel

My Wild Ride: Korea’s Innovative Quarantined Transportation System

In my last post, I discussed what it’s like to travel via airplane in the middle of this crazy COVID-19 situation (read it here), and I’m finally back with my follow-up post regarding Korea’s impressively organized quarantine transportation system that they use to get people starting their quarantine from the airport to their homes.

Spoiler alert: This is a long post, but it starts with me cheerfully arriving in Korea and ends with me sobbing at my own doorstep, so stay tuned for the wild ride.

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Posted in School/Life, Travel

Airplane Travel during COVID-19 — Domestic US vs International Flight Differences

Just over two weeks ago, I traveled from Montgomery, Alabama to South Korea, and it was quite the adventure. In the midst of this global pandemic, I was admittedly a bit wary of airplane travel, since airplanes aren’t exactly the best vessels for social distancing.

You may be wondering why on earth I’m doing international travel in the middle of a pandemic, but it’s not that complicated. I left South Korea when COVID-19 first started hitting Daegu way back on February 24, thinking I would be gone for just a matter of weeks while my hagwon was temporarily closed. Then, of course, the pandemic kept escalating, both in Korea and, as time passed, on a global scale, and my return date kept getting pushed further and further back.

Finally, after an unplanned two-month furlough from my teaching position, my boss and I decided it was safe for me to come back to Korea, and I booked my ticket for the following week.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, TOPIK

Attempt 2: I Successfully Registered for the TOPIK! (And Eventually I’ll Take It…)

I tried to register to take the TOPIK last December, and it was an epic failure. I went to a PC방 on the second evening that registration was open, only to find that all of the seats at all of the locations near me were totally booked for the TOPIK II.

Taking the TOPIK in America wasn’t competitive at all, and for some reason I had assumed that it would be just as easy to register in Korea. Clearly, the TOPIK is in much higher demand in Korea.

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Posted in Life in Korea, School/Life, Working in Korea

A Life Altering Epidemic: Life in the Korean Epicenter of the Coronavirus

Just over two weeks ago, I was happily going through my daily routine in Daegu, South Korea, as a teacher at an English hagwon.

Monday, Feb 17, and Tuesday, Feb 18, were typical weekdays for me. I went to work, taught my daily speaking and listening classes, and worked on putting in final grades for most of my classes, as our hagwon was approaching a new quarter and a new class schedule.

The novel coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, had been present in Korea for almost a full month at that point, with the first patient being identified January 20th. But in that month, there had only been 30 diagnosed cases throughout the country, and 10 of those 30 had recovered fully. Daegu in particular had remained free of the virus as well, and I figured that as long as I didn’t travel too much around Korea, I’d probably not have to worry about getting sick.

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Posted in Korean Learning Log, Weekly/Daily Goals

2019 Progress Report (Better Late than Never)

When I first typed the title of this post, I typed “2018”….apparently I’m a bit out of touch haha.

New Year’s Eve/Day was two weeks ago, and I still haven’t taken the time to reflect on the past year. (Last year I posted my 2018 progress report 3 weeks into the new year — the trend continues!) Today I’m finally sitting down to look back at my goals for 2019 and to see how well I managed to fulfill them.

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