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Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Making Some Extra Money Teaching in Korea

The company that I work for is one of the biggest English academies in South Korea. They have a variety of different resources and programs to offer to students. One of these avenues is their "online lesson" department, which consists of videos created for students to watch before they attend class. Basically these online videos give them a lesson before a lesson (it's also another way for them to monetize students). Oh, the joys of being a Korean student!

I had previously filmed twenty-four 20 minute lessons for a junior level during the first months of the year. This time around, I was asked to film 8 more lessons for a senior level during my last month of employment. These lessons were fairly easy and they were also another way to make some more money. The only problem was that I had to travel 1.5 hours each way to get to the studio and back! From Mokdong all the way to Yatap--thank god for my iPod (which is now busted) and my Nintendo DS Lite!

Normally, I film early in the morning before work. So that means getting onto the subway by 8:30am, which will get me to Yatap Station by 10am. After filming 3-4 lessons (lunch is included; there is an on site ajumma chef at the headquarters--high rollin, baby!) I am back onto the subway by 1pm, getting me to work by 2:30pm. Then, from here I start my real day of work--teaching for the next six hours!

However, this time around I decided to go film on one of our days off, so I would have the chance to enjoy my evening, rather than battle my way to work on the subway--and work!
So after dragging my tired body out of bed at 7:30am (hey, I got used to this sleeping in thing and working at 2pm) I made my way to Omokgyo Station. From there, I transferred at Yeungdeungpo-gu Office and headed towards Gangnam until I reached Seolleung, to transfer to the Bundang line. From there, it was another 30 minutes to Yatap station. Once I got off, I would take a 5 minute cab ride to the studio headquarters! I felt like I just exited from a time warp after making this journey 1-2 times a week! Check out my subway journey from this picture below. Modified by an advanced piece of Microsoft software, known as Paint:

Every time exiting from Yatap Station in the morning I would see this breakfast toast/sandwich truck. On my last day I would eat here, for only 1500w! It was a complex layout, as you can notice the toilet paper roll near the lady in the pink. There was a change box out front so you could get your own change. Also, holes were cut out in her banner so she could see who was approaching.

She worked very fast and definitely had the skillz to pay da billz, all while sitting in a captain's chair! She would whip up these toasted breakfast sandwiches, consisting of egg, luncheon meat (loved by all Koreans--especially SPAM!), and thinly sliced cabbage:

Here's my sandwich...it was pretty good for 1500w ($1.50) and I could've eaten another one except I was running late. I remembered to take a picture after taking a few bites:

Alright, let's move past breakfast. Here I am at the studio filming a senior level lesson. These lessons are more like lectures, where I recap short stories and write the main points on an erasable white board (or in this case green). This picture was taken by Anyways, one of my good friends that works at the head office. I'm sporting one of those easy to put on Korean zipper ties (I'll post some pictures of those later) and you can't see it from this picture, but my shirt is not tucked in and my shoes are off (I was told that I'm too tall). Like my chicken-scratch writing? Sucks to be the students who have to watch my videos! LOL:

Here's what it takes to film a lesson: one camera man and a director. In this case, it's the notorious Mr. Kim along with Anyways, also known as Joey. I always brought some sort of snacks with me to give to Mr. Kim so he wouldn't doze off while filming. You da man, cool guy!

All in all, filming these online videos were a great source of enjoyment for myself, as well as trying out something new (and making some extra money in the process). Who would've known that I'm a pure natural in front of a camera? If you're teaching in Korea and there are other opportunities for you to make some extra money within your company, I would jump on it and take full advantage!


Aaron said...

Short sleeves? check. Zipper tie? check. Now all you need are some 'Time' cigarettes and you'd hit the ajoshi trifecta.

Gary said...

LOL...yes that is very true. If there is a next time I'll request either a cab or a fruit truck too!

Anonymous said...

Did it feel intimidating sitting in front of the camera. When I finished college I won a business start-up grant for which a company came to film me for an interview. In the end I couldn't do It on camera I was just too nervous and Kept stumbling over my words. You look very relaxed in the picture.

Gary said...

swarovski chick: Nope, being in front of the camera comes pretty natural to me. I created and edited lots of videos back in my high school days, along with getting involved with drama class. Of course at first, it's normal to have some jitters, but once you get going it's smoooooooooth sailing! :)

Unknown said...

So Gdog, does this mean you'll be returning to Canada after this last month teaching?
It's been enjoyable following you in Korea, catching bits of Korean life.
Next plans?

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