our last few days at Jeonju University seemed to fly by. we were all feverishly lesson planning, preparing for our group presentations that were due thursday morning. it was time-consuming, but i can see why EPIK wanted us to do it – the experience brought us all much closer as a class. i wrote a pretty killer LP myself, but i’m not so sure our group executed it as thoroughly. but david’s group won a phone card for doing such a good job of presenting. david pretty much owned the EPIK orientation in general. i guess you could say he became really inspired by the image of a “superstar.”
after a long day of presentations, we were split into our “Gwangju” group – 36 teachers in all, and we were introduced to our POE’s and given more information about our schools and co-teachers. we had to sign another contract, and we had a chance to ask questions about our city. it was a bit of a nerve-wracking meeting… i felt like we asked dozens of questions, but didn’t get too many answers. “wait and see, wait and see, you’ll figure it out” was basically what we were told.
thursday night was a phenomenal closing ceremony to our week of training. we were presented with the longest buffet i’ve ever seen in my life, and we all sat at nice tables with lots of beverage options and fancy chair covers. we got to watch a closing talent show (our class sang “Stand By Me” in 3 languages) that, for the most part, was full of endless dance parties and k-pop songs. it was a great way to end the week.
friday morning, we loaded buses at 8:40 AM and set off for the real adventure… complete with the first real feelings of culture shock and sensory overload. EPIK did such a nice job welcoming us and preparing us… and also sheltering us from what would be the next year of our life – inability to communicate, unidentifiable food, and confusing customs. but more on that in the posts to come…
ps: we love korea! it’s just been a humbling learning experience thus far.