once a student, always a student…

...here's to lifelong learning...

…here’s to lifelong learning…

Yesterday morning, I attended my first-ever Korean language class. I have to say, even though I’ve done some self-study both while in Korea and shortly before I left the Americas, it was a tad of a challenge. Basically, I read like a four-year-old and my pronunciation is on the same level as a fourth-grader, at best. (I’ve been well aware of these things for months, but they just seemed to be amplified in my small class of five, where three other students seemed to know everything compared to my knowing the alphabet.Yeah, that was a nice feeling.)

All in all, it was a great first experience, though! The instructor is a vivacious, energetic Korean woman who I feel I will come to love in the next few months. My classmates were cordial and while we were all at slightly different levels, everyone was supportive. I’m looking forward to next week already.

Now, you might be wondering where I’m taking said classes… Well, I’m glad you asked, Reader! I follow a group on Facebook that is open for posts from around the city, and lo and behold! Just a couple of weeks ago, the local YMCA posted about offering Korean classes to foreigners. Now, I had heard about this in the past from another teacher, but I was told the Y’s schedule was completely incompatible with our teaching schedule, and thus I wouldn’t be able to take classes from the Y. So, I tried to do some “self study.” Let me just tell you, when it comes to learning something without some kind of accountability, I cannot be trusted… Unless someone is expecting me to learn something by a certain date or otherwise get something done, I’m the world’s worst procrastinator. I kept saying, “I’ll study tomorrow… Tomorrow… Next week… Next month, things will slow down…” Uh, no. Don’t trust me on this.

So, all of that paragraph to say, that when I realized I could indeed take a class from the YMCA that was actually compatible with my schedule, I nearly wet myself. (Well, not literally. But I was very, very, very excited.) So I signed up, to the tune of about 210,000 won, including the text books. (In dollars, this is about $196.) It’s a fifteen week course with classes for two hours, two days a week. So, at around 60 classroom hours for under $5 a class, I’d say that’s a pretty good deal.

Yesterday, I learned how to say, “My name is Kristine. I am American. I am a teacher.” Pretty awesome stuff. Also, I’ve got some vocabulary to work on… I should probably study this weekend!

It turns out that the Y may have a lot to offer to foreigners and I didn’t even realize it. I picked up a “Daegu Compass” (small magazine publication for foreigners in Daegu; it’s also found on all the military bases and in other foreigner “hot spots”) and an updated guide to the city for English speakers. I’m pretty excited to check them out. If you’re a foreigner reading my blog in Daegu, check in to what the Y is offering or stop by sometime when you’re downtown. (You can always hit Coldstone or Starbucks on your way out!) Stay tuned, foreigners, and I’ll post more of what I learn about Daegu’s YMCA.

And so, I leave you today by saying, never stop learning. Seriously, we take it for granted that we have the ability to learn into our old age. Go learn something new today. Your brain will probably thank you!

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