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  • Janitor
  • Moderator - LVL 2

    • 957

    • June 14, 2010, 02:01:32 pm
    • Ulsan
Re: tough time in korea
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2010, 02:44:57 pm »
    as many others have said but I will again, I've been in your situation. It  seems tough but really the slightest thing can change you life here. I have been here for some time and have gone through many difficult times and hardships.

There are many good suggestions and comments here. I would suggest a few things that I did to break away from the negativity.

First, if you hate teaching pull your mind out of it. What I mean is that you can do your work but just put your time in and when work is finished leave it there. I used to work at a small hogwan. I was the only foreigner and the only man. I was also the outcast. For two years I just came to work, did my job and then left. The kids were sad after two years and I still talk to my old co-workers from time to time but I did not  let the negativity get to me. I just was there and then I wasn't.

Second, like most people said, if you get out and meet people, you will connect with some. I am not a very outgoing person. Some of the core people that I met were from places that I frequented a lot like coffee shops and restaurants. It is amazing the kinds of people you can meet just by grabbing a cup of coffee with an open mind.

Third, physical activity is a great way to work off stress. I have a 2nd degree black belt in Hapkido and stress relief. One of the first things my master told me was that when you close the door (to the gym),  you leave your work and life outside. This totally helped relax and calm me down. He also said that I was apart of a new family, my training partners. This helped me feel like I was a part of something. I soon gained satisfaction by getting belts and improving my technique. I am not a violent person  and I don't like UFC or anything. It just helped me to get in the flow and a routine. It gave me something to look forward to at the end of the day. If I missed a class people missed me.

Fourth, give yourself missions for the day, week, or weekend. When I returned after leaving Korea for a bit, I found myself alone for the first time in years. I had friends but most were too selfish to visit (I was on just the other side of town) or anything. I found myself just coming home and thinking about what a horrible day it was over and over again. Then I started giving myself little missions. I know that this sounds lame but try it. I would go to a new place to eat or I would visit a place that I really wanted to go. I would make plans and if people wanted to come, I would leave the option open. These missions broke me out of a slump that had lasted for 4 months.

I know that these are not the best solutions but they helped me. I know it is tough here but you can make it through, there is always a way. I am happy that so many people have responded and helped you as well. Good Luck!

  • flowerbuzz
  • Veteran

    • 113

    • September 03, 2010, 07:50:43 am
    • Gwangrenung
Re: tough time in korea
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2010, 02:51:20 pm »
ahah what a great idea!
I love that idea about "missions" i have a thing of eating alone at restaurants, but last week, I sucked it up and went to a restaurant all by myself  :o  8). The restaurant lady laughed at me when i said I was eating for one, "no fliends?" No Friends tonight, just me" but on the upside I consumed some delicious prawns mhmmmmmmmm.

positivity breeds positivity :D

  • goulash
  • Veteran

    • 160

    • September 19, 2006, 01:41:40 pm
    • Yeosu
Re: tough time in korea
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2010, 03:55:01 pm »
I would agree with Janitor about going on missions!

I lived 3 years in Japan, and went into a downward spiral because I only spent time with myself, or other negative people. Doing nothing. Going nowhere.

When I came here, I swore I wouldn't make the same mistakes again. I noticed that the happiest people over there were the ones who got out and did stuff (besides going and getting drunk & then spending the weekend recovering) and also those who met new and / or local people. For my first year in Korea, I can honestly say, I spent only 2 full weekends at my apartment. EVERY weekend, I'd pack up and go somewhere.
After being here for no more than 2 months, I'd bought my own wheels, and this made getting out and about much easier. If you have a bit of spare money, I'd recommend doing the same thing. It will honestly turn your life around.

My second year here, I started rock climbing (Check out www.koreaontherocks .com if you're interested) and found an AMAZING community of like minded people. They come from all over Korea and most are more than happy to welcome new comers. These are a group of people who, even when not rock climbing, love to get out and do fun and interesting things.

You don't have to go to such extreme sports as rock climbing to get the same benefits though. Just get out of the house, and out of your little area and possibly most difficultly (is that a word?) , out of the "downward spiral" mind set. Most importantly, be open to new things & meeting new people.

From a blog:
"How do you stop flailing and begin meaningful change? Maybe take the advice of another wise person, Eleanor Roosevelt:

    “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

If you're not trying something that scares you, then you're probably not doing something different. And if you're not doing something different, you're perpetuating the status quo. So, what did you do today that scared you?"

  • Dobs21
  • Waygookin

    • 21

    • November 18, 2010, 12:30:37 pm
    • Seoul
Re: tough time in korea
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2010, 04:04:42 pm »

There is some great advice here. I just want to say with regards to teaching and planing, go easy on yourself. Teaching a class of students with differing language abilities is a really hard job. Take a class in another language and you will realise the amount of concentration it takes to focus even for 15 minutes! That's the challenge we face.

Having said that, you clearly care enough about the education of your students to plan, and to critique lessons after they have happened. Just don't overdo it! I spent 2 hours last night trying think of an activity to improve the lesson I had planned for this week before I failed and went to bed! This morning, I realised what I could do and the lesson was good. Not outstanding, but good. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, clear your mind and then return and build on the things you are doing well.

I realise that practically, when it comes to lesson planning this is of little help! I've been teaching for three years now and am more then happy to disscuss specific lessons, send me a message on here anytime.  I'm definatley of a 'many hands make light work' approach when it comes to planning, for new and experienced teachers alike.

With regards to co teachers, bring them a cup of tea and show them your plans a few days before if you can, and make it very clear what their role is in the lesson.

Keep going and good luck.