links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


blogworld, ive moved. i now live and work in seoul, by jamsil. CDI has opened a new location and have pulled veteran instructors from different branches to start up this new one. ive nothing to say about it... things were feeling monotonous at pyeongchon, so it's nice to have change. the bathroom at my old place was much prettier :(

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

two years later

wow blogworld. ive been here two years! holy cheese and crackers!

people email me or leave comments asking me to post more often, and im incredibly flattered! thing is: i write when i have something that may be useful relating living/working here. very little to no commentary on anything else. i DO answer most emails, often posting them here.

i still live and work in pyeongchon. my key money was paid off by cdi taking 1million won out of my paycheck every month for 5 months. i signed some paperwork and the apt is now under my name, im to get the $ back when i move out of the apt.

i cant update about money or re-signing yet since my contract isnt up until july 2009 but february 10th is my 2 yr anniversary of moving to korea. unlike last year, i dont know how many people quit or got fired or whatever. there are maybe 30 teachers, all but two are a whole new set from those that were here when i first arrived. this last year for me has been all about me in the classroom rather then keeping up with coworkers. all of my coworkers have never been anything other than kind to me, but i dont socialize with them and i never see them outside of work. the differences in age and culture are big enough that i prefer to do other things in my free time, and stay focused on students during work time.

i wrote last year about how much money you could make at cdi, it's all still true (intensive classes, privates) i still do none of those by choice. I didnt get the top score/bonus money this year. different supervisors evaulate you in different ways, but it's coo. i was offered an HI position once, which flattered the heck out of me, but i turned it down. i like my workload as it is, and i'd rather all my concentration be solely on my students and how i can improve as a teacher.

two years later, i still love working here. i still love the kids. teaching gets "easier" in that i already know the material. now my prep is more concentrated on how i can best present the info to the students so that it's fun for both them and me.

everytime i meet a public school teacher, they always tell me i should quit hogwans and go public. Public has it's benefits, i know, but i love that i teach two sets of students a day. i know all their names. i work 4 days a week, 6 hours a day, and i still make more than these full time public school fans. it's more actual work at cdi, i know. but thats why i came to korea: i came for a JOB. i expected to WORK.

i still would never tell anyone to come work for cdi. i still have plenty of gripes about my job. we still dont get a year end bonus, we still dont get free housing, we still dont get health insurance, we still dont get paid vacation, we still sometimes have to come to mandatory meetings and arent compensated for them. we DO, however, now get one day each off for xmas, solnal new year, and chuseok.

i'll update again in july, when the contract is up. i can say, tho, if cdi asked me right now, i would definitely stay another year. i love my job.