Many people have been amazed at how many people I know here in South Korea, considering the fact that I’ve only been here for a little more than three months. Want to know my secret? Networking. If SBI taught me nothing else, I know how to network. At the beginning of my research about teaching in South Korea, I was reading a TON of blogs, and many of them were written by people who were giving their perspective on being a black ESL/EFL teacher in South Korea. One of those sites (http://theblackeslteacher.blogspot.com/) featured a link to the Brothas & Sistas of South Korea group on Facebook, and, as they say, the rest is history!
Joining this group so far ahead of my actual arrival in South Korea was an absolute lifesaver. I was able to get a plethora of information about various aspects of life in South Korea, and had a forum in which I could ask questions and compare notes with people that were either thinking about heading over there, were already or there, or had been there.
Being a part of the group helped to ease many of my concerns about coming over here, and I don’t think my transition over would have been as smooth without them. As a matter of fact, when I booked my flight over, I had to make sure that I would arrive no later than Friday, July 29, because the July BSSK Meet & Greet was on Saturday, July 30, and there was no way I was willing to miss it! Luckily, everything went smoothly with my flight, and I arrived in South Korea on Friday afternoon. Friday night, I went to the pub here at EV for a going away party (more on that in a later blog) and got instructions on how to get into Seoul, and find my way to Itaewon, the foreigner district. Groggy-eyed and jet-lagged, but ever so determined, I found my way to the Trick Art Museum, an outing that was planned to coincide with the Meet & Greet, so that people who come from far away can go to a couple of events and not have to make multiple trips into Seoul.
The Trick Art Museum is a building full of optical illusions. Most of the walls are painted with different scenes, and when you stand a certain way in front of them, it looks like you are a part of what’s happening. Here are some of the cool photos we took while there…
Interestingly enough, I just found out a few weeks ago that we have the exact same type of exhibit here at EV in our Exhibition Hall (which is a building I still have never set foot in), so whenever I decide to go over there, I’ll post some pictures from that one as well.
After a couple of hours at the Museum, we headed over to Hollywood Grill in Itaewon for the Meet & Greet. Over the course of the afternoon, Hollywood Grill became packed with people who were there for the Meet & Greet. I’d say there were at least 60 people there. We ate, we drank, we had a couple of Spades tournaments going on, we played Taboo, and best of all, we networked and we fellowshipped. It was a great event, and I felt very welcome in my new BSSK family. As it got later, the jet-lag was beginning to overcome all of the excitement, and I had to head back to Paju before overwhelming fatigue would hit me like a brick wall. Even though I fully intended to stay up until about 10pm so I could get my body adjusted to its new time schedule, I didn’t want to run the risk of falling asleep on the subway or bus and miss my stop, so I left around 7pm or so. My first full day in this new land was a success, and I am now a regular attendee of BSSK events! Here are some pictures from the event…
For anyone of color that is reading this and is considering teaching in South Korea, at the top of this page, there is a link to the BSSK Facebook group.