Tag Archives: gift

Big Winners

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, my coteacher and I won 2nd place in the Korean national teaching competition at the end of last year. Last week we went to Seoul, with an entire fifth grade class in tow, to receive an award and demonstrate our concept class in front of hundreds of teachers and school administrators from around the country.

I didn’t realize just how big of a deal this competition was until we walked into the auditorium in which the ceremony and demonstrations were to take place. In fact, nobody even bothered to tell me that all of the hard work I did last year was for a competition. After the fifth time we demonstrated our concept class in front of a huge group of teachers, I asked why we were doing the same thing over and over. That’s when I learned we were heading to the semi-finals of the competition.

2013 Korean National Teaching Competition

My coteacher receiving the 2nd place award.

In the auditorium, there was a TV crew and a couple of news crews setting up on the stage an hour before the show. We set up a booth with information about our class and then sat down to watch the ceremony.

They called all of the teachers up to to the stage one-by-one. It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t going to be recognized for my hard work. I wish I could say that I didn’t mind, but the truth is that I was a little upset. As the only foreign teacher in the top ten, there was little doubt as to why I was snubbed. Despite being a little butt-hurt, I kept a smile on my face and did my best when it was our turn to perform.

After our demonstration, a man walked up to me and addressed me by name. In perfect English, he thanked me for my hard work and gave me a gift bag. I found out later that he some big shot from the Korean Ministry of Education.

Once we loaded all of the students onto the bus, I opened the gift bag. I was surprised to find a new camera – not the normal gift of snacks and hand cream.

Sony DSC-WX300 Digital Camera gift seoul Korea

It’s nice to know that somebody noticed and cared enough to let me know I was appreciated. This kind gesture made a huge difference in the way I felt about the whole event.

Until next time.


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Time’s Up. Winner Number 2!

I’m afraid the time’s up on my first winner of my Korean culture giveaway. I’m a bit disappointed, because SkinnyWench has been a long time reader and I was really looking forward to sending these beautiful ducks to an avid reader. The bad news is that, despite allowing two extra days, she hasn’t collected. (SkinnyWench, if you email me this week, I’ll still send a set of ducks to you. But please, don’t tell anyone I’m doing this for you. People will start to think I’m soft.)

The good news is that we’ve selected a new winner! I’m happy to report that it’s another long-time reader and resident of my hometown in North Carolina! BHMauser will be the proud new owner of some super cool sex ducks.

While we’re on the subject of giving stuff away, I have even more good news. I found another shop in Daegu with lots of interesting handmade Korean items. I picked out the perfect free gift for my next giveaway. I’ll post all of the info soon.

Mystery Gift

Be sure to check in regularly so you don’t miss the announcement and the details on how you can win an amazing free gift. The best way to stay up to date is to follow my blog. When you follow A Southerner Abroad, WordPress will send you an email whenever I publish a post so you never miss another story, love motel review or free giveaway.

Until next time.


P.S. Since these raffles may become a regular event, I need a better name than “Korean culture giveaway.” If you have a good idea, leave a comment.

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Koreans Are SERIOUSLY Polite

On my way to the bus stop this morning, I bought muffins at Paris Baguette.  There are only three teachers in my office, which is in a different part of the building from the main teachers’ office, so I didn’t feel the need to buy enough for every teacher in the school.  I still grabbed a few extra just in case; the IT guy has been in our office often and I didn’t want to snub him.

Sure enough, the IT guy showed up shortly after I arrived.  I offered him a muffin and he accepted it.  It was obvious that he has never had one before.  He gave it a curious look and smelled it before eating.  About halfway through the muffin, a concerned look fell over his face.  Maybe he doesn’t like the taste.

I told him that I would not be offended if he didn’t finish it, but he said, “no, is derricious.”  IT guy powered through the muffin, even though it was clear he hated it.  With every bite, he looked more and more confused and concerned.  When he was nearly finished, Ms. Shin stood up and and said something in Korean.  The IT guy stopped eating and pulled a big piece of muffin paper out of his mouth.  I couldn’t help but laugh.

Until next time.


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