It's been a few days so it's time to post something. This will be short, though, because I'm quite busy now that I'm teaching. I'm sure I'll have more time once I'm in the swing of things.
After one intense week of training in Seoul, I am now at my actual location, in Gunpo Sanbon, an hour south of Seoul. Just as the map indicated, it is surrounded by mountains on all sided. Right now there is a great view because it is fall and all the trees are turning colors. Unfortunately, the view is very limited except along the main avenue of the city, which is maybe 100,00o people or so. However, it seems bigger because everybody lives close together and they build up instead of spreading out. I'll have to take a picture of the main shopping promenade: it's quite a neon light show.
Straightaway upon my arrival last Friday (the last day of training, when I was already exhausted from lack of sleep), I met the owner of the school here and he invited me to a teacher weekend getaway in the hills. It was the first of its kind according to the teachers already here, and it just happened to fall on that night. I didn't want to pass up the opportunity, so I yes and we left as soon as I dropped off my stuff at my new apartment. That night was long and included driving several hours, a late night barbecuing session amid scattered rain, and several rounds of drinking (including plenty of soju, the Korean drink of choice), the last of which I opted out of in favor of long-awaited sleep.
Monday, back at the school, a full schedule of classes awaited me. I had 5 or 6 40-minute classes, at all different levels. The kids are a challenge, to say the least, but they are fun. Korean children have to study an awful lot, probably three times as much as their U.S. counterparts (seriously! They go from public school in the morning, to math and science academies to language academies, sometimes until late at night. Only pre-school age Korean children enjoy what we consider a full night's sleep.) It will take me a little while to get conditioned to the schedule and intensity, but the other teachers are very supportive so I think I'll do fine.
I'm looking forward to updating everyone on future adventures and outings!