Monday, August 18, 2008

A Little Blood Never Hurt No One

Bright and early this morning, Lindsey and I went to the doctor to get our health exam for school. Korean hospitals are kinda weird! We had to do the usual eye exam, hearing test, weight and height check, but also we had to have a chest X-Ray!!!! Crazy, huh? We also had to pee in a cup to test for drugs and they wern't too particular on the whole thing like in the states. They sent us both to the public toilet to fill up a Dixie cup with our name on it. Uh, excuse me? In the states, they are huge Nazis about the urine sample, as people here are total cheaters. Guess its not a big deal here? And most notable was the way that the blood was handled. I am not even sure the nurse used a clean needle and she wasn't wearing gloves or anything. After, she gave me a tiny piece of cotton to stop the blood. It bled threw immediately and she grabbed the bloody cotton with her bare hand and gave me another piece. Afterwords, we were talking with the doctor and I went to throw away the bloody cotton in the public garbage and he said "No, no, I will take it. Of course, he took the bloody cotton with his bare hand to properly dispose of it and there was no washing of hands involved in any of this! My god!

Today was my first day of class so I spent all day learning my schedule and observing. What a long day! Thankfully, tomorrow I will be on my normal schedule, which is shorter because today I was out doing school related things from 9 a.m. to almost 8 p.m.!!!!! Whew!

I feel very confident about everything here. I have mastered my neighborhood, shopping, and ordering food. I have always been quite independent but being in a foreign place and not speaking the language gives but succeeding none-the-less gives me a confidence above and beyond anything I have ever done before. If I had to compare it to anything, it would be moving away from home for the first time and mastering Iowa City all on my own by beating a worn path down the streets alone. Fantastic!

Tomorrow, I teach classes alone for the first time but feel I can handle it, beleive it or not! One of the teachers, John, showed me how to read my schedule and what books to use and what lessons to teach and what folders to use and how to mark the students papers along with about a million other things I need to know. I have everything carefully laid out for the day on my new desk and will arrive early tomorrow so I can be certain everything will go smoothly.

Today I tried a wonderful pork dish for lunch with two of the other teachers. The pork was fried with cheese layered inside, and the meal included soup, kimchi, a little salad, and rice all for $6.50!!!! Tax is included in the prices here and you don't have to tip here. How cool is that?! Surprisingly, I liked the kimchi- very spicy but a nice flavor as well. Mmmmm, rotten, pickled cabbage:)

I was very thankful that I slept like a champ last night for the first time since my arrival here on Thursday afternoon. I forced myself to stay up all day on Sunday regardless of the fact that I only had about 4 hours of sleep the night before. I had myself go to sleep around 10 p.m. and woke up about 5 minutes before my alarm was scheduled to go off at 7:55 a.m. I felt like a million bucks! I attrubute a great deal of that awesome sleeping power to the fact that I covered the windows with tin foil in typical Sara fashion. Light can eat my dust, I need total darkness when I sleep!