The Brave, Little Ninja Goes to School in South Korea: Weeks 15, 16 & 17

I move and have my first 2 weeks of session 2.

Tues [6/6]: This was the day I moved in with Monica, one of the other OMS missionaries. Her roommate is now doing mission work in Japan after she’s done fundraising in the US, so they were kind enough to let me move into the extra room.

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Hung the traditional wrap given to me by the Burmese refugees that I helped tutor back in the States on the wall.

This was the first week of the level 2 session. This class has 16 people in it, which judging from one of the teachers’ reactions is a lot. The students are again from all over the place: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Argentina, Scotland, and the US.

It’s a slightly different atmosphere than last class. The class has a slightly higher average age than my level 1 class with most of the class being mid-twenties instead of early twenties. And most of the students are from Hong Kong rather than Japan, and most of the class can speak Mandarin rather than English.

There are three 교포 (kyoh poh) in the class—two from the US and one from Argentina. 교포 is the Korean term for people who are racially Korean, but weren’t born or raised in Korea. One of the American 교포 is half Korean. The other’s parents are both Korean, and she’s learning Korean so she can speak to her grandparents. The 교포 from Argentina’s parents are also both Korean though he’s more fluent in Spanish than Korean.

It’s also interesting because there are only three of us in the class who attended Sogang’s level 1 class, which means that everyone else in my class tested into level 2. So I have a slight vocabulary advantage over the ones who didn’t take level 1, but they all know more practical Korean than I do.

The class structure is the same as last year and all the lessons are organized similarly too. I feel very comfortable though I’m really having to study hard to keep up with my classmates.

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This is what I call my “obvious” outfit. The hat say “foreigner” and the mask says “mask.” Now I just need a shirt that says “t-shirt” or something.

I’m also taking the free extra pronunciation class again. I didn’t really learn anything significant last time, but I’m hoping that the level 2 class will maybe be better.

I’m not doing the kpop dance class this session. I just don’t think I’m going to have time with the studying I’m going to have to do.

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Monica and I made omuriasu (omlet rice). Okay, it was mostly Monica, but I came up with the idea to make it.

Saturday Sydney and I went to Luke instead of him coming up to Seoul to us, and the two of us tried out a new form of public transportation: the SRT. The SRT (or Super Rapid Train) is basically exactly what it sounds like: It’s a train that goes really fast. The beginning stop is at Suseo Station which is conveniently the subway station closest to Sydney. For W7,700 (~$6.72), what would take us over two hours on the subway takes us and unbelievable 20 minutes.

When we got there, Luke brought us on base again for lunch. This time he brought us to a sort of mall that’s on base where there’s a food court. I got Arby’s! There are other Arby’s on the other military bases in Korea, but there aren’t any outside the bases.

When my mom came to visit me earlier that week, she brought a huge bag of chocolate chips that we never got to use because we didn’t have an oven that worked. However, we found out that Luke had an oven, so we spent the afternoon making about five or six trays of chocolate chip cookies. It was an afternoon well-spent, I’d say.

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Arby’s! With real curly fries and a real milk shake! Bless!

That Sunday, Bethany and the other teachers who teach at the international school were on summer break, so all our church buddies were gone. So it’s just gonna be me and Sydney for after church lunch for a while.

The next week was my first full week of level 2. My brain was getting a little fried already. Fun fact: the word 눈 (pronounced noon) in Korean means both “eye” and “snow.” And “싸움” means a fight. So a “눈 싸움” can mean both “snowball fight” (snow fight) as well as “staring contest” (eye fight). See? I’m learning very important things.

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This is part of a walking path near Sydney’s house.

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This is also along the same walking path. Most of the area was recently built so it almost has the feel of back home where it transitions from city/suburb to rural.

That Friday, I met with Lisa again to practice Korean. She’s so patient with me, and I can’t thank her enough for being willing to help me.

That Saturday was the first Saturday that I’m going to be meeting with a Korean missionary couple who want to practice English. Although I’ve taken classes, I’m still not confident in my teaching abilities.

I know that I didn’t take many pictures these past couple weeks. I apologize for that.

As for prayer requests, please pray that I have the energy to keep studying hard.

Thanks for reading!

Next: Week 18&19
Previous: Week 13&14

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4 comments

  1. I bet your chocolate chip cookies were a hit! I don’t believe we ever heard you mention needing to study hard. Keep that perseverance going, Honey. Loving your blogs to keep in touch with you.

    Like

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