Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Goodbye Letter to Hambak Students

Well, today is officially my last day at Hambak. In classic Korea style, I have no classes, but have to spend the whole day here anyway. Why not one last reminder of the cultural differences? Haha.

But really, it's a sad day. I had some terrible experiences at the academy during my first year. But since coming here, I've learned that professionalism actually exists here in South Korea. I was fortunate enough to find something that is more of a career feeling, rather than just a contract gig.

I posted the message to my colleagues a couple days ago. I also wrote one for my students. It says something similar to that of my colleagues.

I'll miss everyone here. It's off to new adventures at Liquor Burger! Here's the letter. So it goes ...

이제까지 저는 2년동안 함박에서 일했습니다. 계약이 끝나니까 여기서 끝이네요.

이번 시간은 완전 좋았어요. 학생을 가르치면서 재미있었어요. 함박학생들은 한국에서 제일 좋은 학생이었어요.

저는 함박에서 많은것을 배웠습니다. 학생들도 계속 많은것을 빼워야대요. 그래서 질문이 있어면 애런샘한테 문자를 보내주세요!

이제 함박에서 끝나지만 한국에서 계속 살거예요. 그래서 이거는 영원히 안녕은 아니에요. 나중에 또 봐요.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Goodbye Letter to Hambak

Today I wrote a letter to the Hambak staff, and Ridia corrected my mistakes for me. It's basically just thanking them for making my time at Hambak so enjoyable. Here it is:


이제까지 저는 2년동안 함박에서 일했습니다. 계약이 끝나니까 여기서 끝이네요.

이번 시간은 완전 좋았어요. 학생을 가르치면서 재미있었어요. 동료들도 진짜 좋았어요. 함박선생님들은 한국에서 제일 좋은 선생님이었어요.

저는 함박에서 많은것을 배웠습니다. 한국 문화와 미국 문화는 교육 스타일이 다릅니다. 처음에는 힘들었어요. 하지만 부인이랑 동료들때문에 저는 더 쉽게 지낼 수 있어요.

이제 함박에서 끝나지만 한국에서 계속 살거예요. 그래서 이거는 영원히 안녕은 아니에요. 나중에 또 봐요.


P.S - 앞으로 같이 놀아요! 010-3305-8367.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Half Korean! (Sort Of)

Jeong Mi and I do have some huge news. As of Dec. 26, my F2 Visa status will be official! Getting closer to my dual citizenship. For now, we're very happy!

End of an Era, Big Parties and Big Things Ahead

As December 31 quickly approaches, one thing is happening without a doubt: My time as a teacher at Hambak Elementary School is coming to an end. Now, my teaching in South Korea isn't done, as I've had offers for part-time work with private individuals, small companies and even a substitute teaching gig at an international school.

So here we are. It's been an interesting three years in South Korea. From the absolutely terrible working conditions at my first academy, to my wonderful two years at Hambak and all the adventures in between, South Korea has become a great second home to me.

As far as Liquor Burger goes, things have been going really well. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at which we hosted 53 people. We almost didn't get the food, because the Koreans who work at the deli at the American military base failed to tell me that I need a base pass or escort upon my arrival in order to get the food.

I was in an argument with the kitchen staff for 20 minutes because they insisted they told me I need a base pass. When, in reality, they only asked me if I had a car and if I could come to the base. Apparently, those things are all the same in their mind.

Fortunately, we were willing to find a GI who escorted us in and out, and we are very grateful for him for that.

Besides that, we've been really successful thus far in expanding our business and getting our name out. Obviously, a lot of it is through social media and the Internet, but we've been fortunate enough to have word of mouth really work for us.

We're really doing what we can to help everybody, besides just giving them a fun place to drink. We've helped a few people get cell phones and bank accounts and we teach free beginner Korean lessons every Sunday.

We've also established ourselves as an interesting place among western bars. On most nights, our ratio of Korean to westerner is right around 50/50. Now, on a packed Friday night, the westerners outnumber the Koreans. But on a normal night, we have a great ratio. It's really refreshing to have a place where these different cultures can come together and just hang out and be buddies. It's awesome.

We've also established a very nice relationship with an international school in Songdo. They brought a busload  of people the night before our Halloween party, and turned it into a Halloween weekend. They also recently celebrated the end of Movember by bring 45 people over. We give them a good group deal on alcohol, and they bring a bunch of people. It's a lot of fun, and has even established some great contacts for me and my life after Hambak.

So what's next for us? Well, we have our poker nights on Tuesdays and are starting our trivia nights on Thursdays. Our first trivia night is tonight and we're super excited. After that, we have our Christmas dinner on December 24 and our New Year's party on December 31.

There is so much stuff going on right now, and I'm incredibly tired. But losing sleep is a small sacrifice for what will be my life after being an every-day teacher in South Korea. It's weird to think that I'm leaving the system that brought me over, but I'm sure it won't be a final farewell.

So here we are and here we go!

For more of our Thanksgiving pics, go here:

For more of our general Liquor Burger pics, go here: