Wednesday, March 10, 2010

3 weeks and still going strong!

Hey everyone sorry I have not been updating this as much as I wanted to, just been really busy with work and still trying to get comfy in my place. Alot has happened since my last blog entry, so where to begin. First the school I am working for is really good so far and I finally feel like I am getting into some what of a daily routine. The kids are really smart and I still cannot get over how well most of them speak English and are learning stuff that is taught 1 to 2 grades above what they should be learning if they went to school in the states. The kids can be challenging at sometimes but like me and my buddy Matt was discussing it is more physically draining instead of mentally, just trying to keep them intrested and paying attention most of the time but that is part of Education.

My co-workers all seem pretty cool and everyone seems like they are all here for the same reasons, which is work,travel,money and enjoying life. I have been laying pretty low during the week and enjoying what Seoul has to offer on the weekends. This past Friday I went out with some people from work and we went to a district close by which felt like I was in NYC Wall Street District, nice high rises and clothing shops everywhere. I couldn't believe that they had an American Apperal in South Korea. Seoul is pretty modernized when it comes to most stuff like food and some clothing as well as some essentials.

This past Saturday my friend Amanda that is teaching in Deagu came up for a visit and to celebrate her birthday. She arrived around my place about 7:30 after Matt went and picked her up from the train station (bc my ass did not get out of bed until 5 p.m.) and she came back to take a power nap while I got ready and ate some dinner. We told her that we would probably be out until 7 or 8 A.M. and she kinda laughed it off but let me tell you when we say that we are not lying for the most part. That is one good thing about Seoul and other big cities, you can start your night pretty much at any given time and still come home with a good story the next day. So we headed over to a co-workers apartment who are both from Canada (Mary Ann and Thomas) and had a few drinks to start the night off.

After a few drinks we headed to the subway station and off to Hongdae we went. So far Hongdae has been one of the districts for going out I like the most. Still has the Korean feel but also the Western feel at the same time. We arrive in Hongdae around midnight give or take a minute and try to find this bar that Mary Ann and Thomas friends where at. First let me tell you that it is very easy to get lost and get split up in Seoul because their are so many side streets and if you are following people and not walking the same pace then things happen, so of course me, Amanda and my co-worker Kristina end up splitting up with Matt, Thomas and Mary Ann. Eventually later that night some how we all ended up at the same bar. Another thing I forgot to mention is that we all do not have cell phones so the lack of communication feels like I am back in the late 80's early 90's, what did we do with out cell phones>? haha So here it is the 6 of us again at about 4:30 in the morning with Thomas hammered and had to leave early to get some food and Amanda passing in and out at the bar table; me, Matt and Christina just having the time of our lives. Two more hours role around and bam it is 6:30 and we finally look at Amanda and the people around us as we pretty much closed the bar down. Hongdae, Seoul had done it again for us: with great stories and memories that will last for a life time.

Is it Friday yet? Because that is what I will be asking myself by the end of every week, so I can add more memories of Seoul and Asia to my life!! Until next time, I miss and say Hi to everyone who reads this blog and my friends and family back home!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

First week in Seoul!

Hey everyone I made it through my first week almost and I am loving every moment of it so far. I have had so many new experiences so far that I don't know where to begin. First of all lets say that they let you drive on the side walks and don't think twice about doing so. There is so much food here that I have not even yet explored any of it because sadly to say I still crave American food but each day I am edging myself towards the Korean food. The weather here is amazing so far and feels like we are getting a touch of spring the last couple days.

Me and my buddy Matt went out the first weekend here and was planning on going out for a couple beers but we met these 2 girls from Canada and a guy that was from Alton Illinois and they took us to a district called Hongdae which is one of the many nightlife areas in Seoul. They said that we would not be going home until around 8 A.M. and I really doubted them but as I look down at my watch and walk out the bar with the sun rising I realized that it was true about the crazy nightlife in Seoul. I would have to say that my night or early morning ended very well and I have met so many people already that are just full of life and are on the same adventure that I am on.

I started my first week of school already and observed for the last 3 days. I will be starting on Tuesday with my own classes and so excited to just get my feet wet. It is so exciting because I can take what I have learned in my Master classes in Education and but towards the classes that I will be teaching. The staff is very nice so far and I am so blown away that the children are so smart and there work ethic is so different from the States. Education is a way of life here and most of these children can carry a fluent conversation with you in English which just blows my mind because when I was that age I did not even think about learning a second language. The days are long but you do have downtime and the structure is a little different then how we run our education system back home.

My living situation is not bad and it is what I expected. It is kinda like being back in college but in a huge ass city. Well so far that's been my first week with a few more things here and there. I should have more stories and I am looking forward to my 3 day weekend because March 2nd is South Korea's Independence Day. Hope all is well and I will be back soon with more of my adventures.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two More Days!

Wow! Just got into Chicago so I am 1/3 way from arriving to Seoul! It has defiantly been a process and I can't believe it is starting soon. Thanks to all of my family and friends who have supported me and helped me through this adventure that I am about to begin. Mom,Dad,Brian,Jeff,Kirsten and Elizabeth I will miss you guys and I am sorry that I will not be home for the holidays and birthdays but you know that I am always thinking about you guys and I love you. I hope everyone will enjoy and keep up with my journey and many pictures will be coming shortly!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Teaching English in Seoul, South Korea

Yo! My name is Craig Preston and I will be teaching English in Gwanak-gu Seoul, South Korea for one year, hey you never know maybe 2! I will be trying to update this weekly for my friends and family back in the United States and well who ever else wants to read about it: maybe you are thinking about doing the same thing. I will run into alot in this modern yet very high tech. city that I will be living in for the next year.
Some people think I am crazy for moving across the world but what do I have to lose, I mean really I have not been doing to much the last 3 years but trying to figure out what life is all about and moving from school to more school and trying to get jobs in these tough times that our economy is facing right now. During my stay abroad I will be trying to indulge myself in different cultures, food, music, arts, travel and anything else I can get my hands and eyes on. I leave February 17th and arrive in Incheon on February 18th around 8:00 p.m. with along flight and travel that adds up to be around a day or so. I stay in a hotel for the first 2 weeks and then get to move into my studio apartment. Check back in a couple weeks while my journey will start and hopefully will have some pretty cool things to post and pictures that will be amazing!