All Good Things...

With February 2010 being my last full month in Korea, account issues with Google and YouTube, and just wanting to start fresh, I've decided to start a new blog - leaving the old behind, and starting fresh.

The new blog is called "Andy is not here.", and you can you can check it out at

I know I haven't posted much here lately, and to be honest, mainly because I really haven't had anything positive to post about. But, with the new blog, I'm going to try to post more often than I have been and write as much as I can about Korea, and my 2nd working experience here (plus other things as well ^_^)

So, yeah, Andy is not here.

The Sequel Rules

Something that got me thinking, when I was watching some random stuff on Youtube the other day.

There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate - more blood, more gore - *carnage candy*. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead.

Yeah, Randy's rant about the rules of a sequel, and it made me think about my 2nd time in Korea.

Rule 1: the body count is always bigger
Well, I haven't killed anyone, but I feel that I'm wasting a lot more time than I used to in my previous job in Korea. My main issue is that I have to be at school from 9 - 5 (40 hours a week), when I don't have enough work to justify being here for 40 hours a week.

Also, with my previous job in Korea, I was there for 3 years, in a hagwon, in the middle of nowhere. Now, I'm in a Korean public school, and handed in my resignation after 3.5 months.

Rule 2: the death scenes are always much more elaborate
This is the first teaching job I've ever resigned from. All the other teaching jobs I've had, I've just seen out the contract (in a few, I have been offered/been told to re-apply for but have decided not to).

Rule 3: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead
I've decided that It will very unlikely that I will be coming back to Korea for work in 2010. My next challenge in my life is to get my life started in Australia. Long term job, house, car, etc... I'm 30, i gotta start acting like it.

So here's the deal...

Have decided to leave Korea early. Gave my letter of resignation to my school on Monday, stating that my last day will be February 28. I didn't realise that it was a Sunday, but they are cool with it. The teachers handling the situation are being very understanding and supportive. Since Feb 28th is exactly 6 months, I don't have to pay back the re-imbursed airfare and settlement allowance of 300,000won. Also, since it's exactly half of my 1 year contract, they are allowing me to have half of my holidays. I've got 5 days in Jan (the first full week of Jan, so 1st through to the 10th), and then 5 days in Feb (from Lunar New Year - Feb 13 to Feb 22), and then the last 4 days at work, preparing things for a new (possible) replacement.

It wasn't a decision that I made lightly. I haven't been enjoying my job pretty much since I got here. I have no big regrets (small ones, yes, but not big ones) about taking this job and trying something new in a place I've been before. One thing that this experience has emphasised more for me, is that you're the only person who can truly look after you. I now know that Korean public schools aren't my thing. Outside of work, I am enjoying my life here in Korea, but to have to go to a place you don't want to go to 5 days a week, is hard.

I've got issues that I have to deal with back at home as well, and I'll be honest, if these issues didn't come up, I would have tried to stay in my job for 12 months, and I think I could have. But, this is just the way it is. You gotta do the best with what you've got.

As Kenny has said:

You gotta know when to hold 'em
know when to fold 'em
know when to walk away
know when to run

For my own sake, it's time for me to fold 'em and walk away, so I can come back feeling better than ever.

Yeah, I do want to come back to Korea. This chapter in life has taught me to look before you leap, test the waters before jumping in. I think a part of me was so eager to get back to Korea, that i jumped into this job a bit too quickly. If you have to go to a place 5 days out of 7, you should may as well enjoy it - and I'm not.

So this is how it works:
Feb 26 (fri) - last working day
Feb 28 (sun) - last official day, and moving out of apartment day
Mar 1 (mon) - public holiday (independence day)
Mar 2 (tue) - first day of the new semester
Mar 3 (wed) - meet my co-teacher in Suwon so that I can cancel my visa/sojourn properly
Mar 5 (fri) - get to incheon airport by 9, so that I can check in for a flight that leaves at 11am.

From my experience, Koreans can plan stuff pretty well, when they need to. I've given them more than 60 days notice as to when I'm going to quit (sure it's only 10 days, but any bonus is good), so that they have a bit more time to try to find a replacement. I've told them if they would like any help from me, then all they have to do is ask - it's the least I could do since they're helping me out too.

I've also sorted out places to stay from Feb 28 to Mar 5. Friends are awesome when they help out - I'd like to think that they know that I would do the same for them as well.

Possible move to tumblr?

I've created a tumblr account, and have been posting some stuff on that. I find the layout and usage a lot more cleaner and easier than here in Blogger. Sure, Blogger can do more stuff (like comments ^^ hehe), but tumblr has a design factor that I love. Anyway, I'll be posting random stuff on my tumblelog that doesn't really need a full post to go here.
Check it out ^^

I had GEPIK orientation from Monday to Wednesday this week. Overall, it wasn't too bad. Too many young, arrogant people there for my liking. No life experience, with the idea that coming overseas to "teach" would be a walk in the park, and then having a whinge and a cry when things in Korea are different and not what they expected and not trying to understand what's going on, and then telling Koreans that they have to be open-minded because they come from a different place.

As Anrie said in Kindergarten Cop (I think):

You're in my world now!

I'd often have Korean friends tell me that parents who said their kids to hagwons and other English learning places that have a foreign English teacher, that they're worried about the foreign teacher not being qualified, and only just being there for show/to make more money. After being in a room with 250 other "teachers", I finally understood what my friends were talking about. Don't get me wrong, I met some awesome people there, who are trying their best to teach, without a background in teaching - they have their students' learning and well-being in consideration at all times. But a lot of others I met (mainly young ones who just got out of college, who didn't study either English or Education) are the ones I was talking about in the above paragraph.

They're also the ones that kept me up at night, until 2 or 3am, with noisy drinking - only making that bad stereotype about young foreign english teachers in Korea stronger.

Daejeon Science Museum and Expo Park

Pictures from last weekend in Daejeon (대전) - National Science Museum and Expo Park