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Revival

 
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nicwr2002



Joined: 17 Aug 2011

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:48 am    Post subject: Revival Reply with quote

I wish these boards would see a revival. I hate facebook groups for Korea. I actually like looking here more that on facebook even though there aren't many new posts here anymore. All of the facebook groups have basically all become advertisement saturated instead of people talking about stuff. The Gwangju group used to be nice where you could get to know people and post about meet ups and just have a discussion or ask people to have a beer with you. I guess I got too old...
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Milwaukiedave



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Location: Goseong

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While it would be nice, I think it is unrealistic that it would happen. Facebook has changed the landscape of how people communicate. I know a few people though who have quit Facebook over their policies and the amount of bickering that goes on.

I come and check-in every once in awhile still just for the hell of it (Mod alert) to see if anything interesting his still going on. I've been on Dave's for 14 years but am going into my 16th year in Korea. Back when this place was THE place it had it's moments.

The job board really is the only thing keeping the site up at this point since the forums are ghost towns of the past.
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Been There, Taught That



Joined: 10 Apr 2007
Location: Mungyeong: not a village, not yet a metroplex.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milwaukiedave wrote:
The job board really is the only thing keeping the site up at this point since the forums are ghost towns of the past.

So much so that I wonder that Mr. Sperling hasn't changed the name to ESL Job Board. It is now a site like much of all the rest: job selling in the front, gambling on other forums in the back room.

But, it's valuable for another purpose (besides nostalgia): comparison. People come here all the time wondering "uuuhhh. . .what's it (Dave's, Korea, Asia) like now compared to when the ESL market was hoppin' with jobs, jobs, jobs? huh? huh?"

Dave's ESL Time Machine can take you back to all the discussion, all the worries, all the advice that newbies and long-time NETs alike were and occasionally still are batting around. I remember there were even game threads that were pretty popular. All of that is still available here.

So, essentially, Dave's seems now a reference file; an archive of encouragement and still-valid advice and wisdom relating to getting a job teaching English in Korea (and other places) when college life has worked out famously but living the the Real Life just ain't.

THAT last viewpoint, I think, has always permeated the site. That's the light-hearted spirit in Dave's ESL Ghost Town that's keep the whole she-bang afloat, after all.

As an aside, I think anyone will find that, even though we're years from the active voice that ESL Cafe used to display, the passive of it will still inform job seekers just as thoroughly as it always has, because the ESL market is still there, no matter at what level, and, market-wide, the dynamics are still in place: recruiters, job-seekers, schools, bosses, the files will show that everyone still does their things, and in much the same framework.

I haven't really come across a site that puts everything together like Dave's has always done. If some knows an equally or even more comprehensive site that's still firing on all cylinders, let me know. I could use a new lively discussion panel with this much to offer.
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oatmeal



Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:50 pm    Post subject: wow 16 years? Reply with quote

Milwaukiedave wrote:

to see if anything interesting his still going on. I've been on Dave's for 14 years but am going into my 16th year in Korea. Back when this place was THE place it had it's moments.



Wow 16 years?? At this point, why even count? Aren't you a naturalized Korean now? Probably married a local and have a family, too? I'm just curious, what has kept you here for 16 years? The job/money? Family/friends/relationships? You really love teaching english (or maybe you are doing another job by now?) or the fear of going back home (no job, having to pick up the pieces, reverse culture shock) etc.

Has it been with either hagwons or in the public school system or a mix of both?

I'm curious to hear some of your reasons. I think it's both beneficial and interesting to hear from long-timers and the reasons.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved here in 1993, and aside from the couple of years I was going back and forth between Korea and the US when I was doing my last degree, I've been here straight through. Guess you could tag on to that the time I did here in the late 80s when I was in the service. 25-26 years all told?

Yup, I did indeed fall in love and get married, and the fact that she had a great career going here did influence our decision for me to continue my career here. But I've been far removed from the ESL industry in any facet since about 2000 or so.

The hagwon gig was a good way to get here after I got out of the Army and wrapped up my undergrad back in the US, and doing my Master's here meant I could pay cash and bank a good chunck of change on the side along the way. When the economy went south in 97-98, I lucked into a university ESL teaching gig. That helped me figure out that 1) I liked teaching at university, but 2) I didn't like teaching English.

So I did my Doctorate back in the US in a totally unrelated field. I was lucky to merge quickly into a tenure track job after graduating without having to do a post-doc. Great way to start, and it enabled me to move to my current job some ten years ago.

The reason for staying? Flexibility and opportunity. I could always work on my goals here and I never got bored. On the way up, there were a ton of different ways to keep busy and bank, meaning that we never took on any educational debt on my account. Zero. Well, OK, the Ph.D. was fully funded, but that's normally the case. Having planned from the get-go to work in academe HERE, I bypassed a lot of the slump in the market back in N. America and Europe starting around 2008, too.

Add to this mix the fact that my wife and I have been able to take some amazing extended trips in E. and S.E. Asia. My corporate siblings are quite successful, but they still do the one week and done annual jaunt. Blah. While we do travel, we've also accumulated and invested enough over the years so that retirement should be comfortable.

Good question, though, and I hope some more long-termers chime in.
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oatmeal



Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing your story. I do love reading these kinds of things because it's so fascinating and inspiring just listening to other people's paths in life. The thing I'm more interested in actually doesn't have to do with being Korea either. One can be anywhere in this world, and I'm always interested in how "resourceful" people are and what they have been able to do to get by, and then some. It's probably also because I'm trying to live through this very thing myself....how to be more resourceful, to realize that life has more to offer than just some dead end roads we often corner ourselves in.

In many ways, I would have loved to worked here in the 80s or 90s, even the early 2000s. I came in 2010 and have worked since (public school). Whenever I hear about the 'golden age' or the 'good ol days', even though I have never experienced that, I feel as if I can share those times, too (like I can time travel back and feel what it was like back then).

Hmm, maybe one day I'd like to start interviewing people like you and just have you share your stories and experiences on some podcast I could set up or something. That's something I'd enjoy and find fun to do, even just as a hobby.
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PRagic



Joined: 24 Feb 2006

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are a ton of success stories to be told, I'm sure, and many will have taken different routes. I also imagine that for every success story, there's a mirror opposite; someone who is bitter and feels boxed in. That's life. The older I get, the more I realize this is not something specific to the expat experience.
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oatmeal



Joined: 26 Nov 2013

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you are right. I'm also just as interested in the opposite stories. Sometimes we learn a lot from other people's struggles or it seems to be a good reminder that we are not the only ones that struggle or have bad things happen to us.
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Milwaukiedave



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Location: Goseong

PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I'm not naturalized but I have an F-5 visa. I was married to a Korean for 12 years and got divorced last year. I started teaching English first in hagwons, then public schools, then universities. In 2010 decided to go back for my doctoral degree in business. Now I teach business at a small university to international students. I love visiting home, but would never consider going back on a permanent basis unless something changed with my family situation where I needed to help. My family drives me nuts and frankly being 7,000 miles away is nice. I do miss my mother and have started going back every year rather than every two years. She retired in April and turned 70 in June so spending more time with her is becoming a higher priority.
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Kowloon



Joined: 10 Sep 2016

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oatmeal wrote:
Thanks for sharing your story. I do love reading these kinds of things because it's so fascinating and inspiring just listening to other people's paths in life. The thing I'm more interested in actually doesn't have to do with being Korea either. One can be anywhere in this world, and I'm always interested in how "resourceful" people are and what they have been able to do to get by, and then some. It's probably also because I'm trying to live through this very thing myself....how to be more resourceful, to realize that life has more to offer than just some dead end roads we often corner ourselves in.


My story then:

Moved to Korea in '09. Did 18 months there in a hagwon and ended up dating a girl who got a job offer with her old company in a major capital in the west. Decided to move with her and give it a try. We hadn't been together long but I thought "YOLO, can always come back to Korea if need be". I found a good job in the same city myself, related to education but not teaching, and did an MEd Distance Learning at the same time. We got married and planned on moving back to Korea.

We went backpacking for a year first and started to consider the idea of moving to Asia, but not Korea. I can't remember when we decided that, if it was before setting off or during travel. Scoped out a few major asian cities and settled on Hong Kong. Back into a hagwon for about seven months, wife got a good job in her industry, then into a public school for me as a direct hire, then into another public school as a Government hire. The Government school jobs here are, IMHO, the 'best' EFL jobs going in terms of salary, benefits and holidays. Considering the location, they trump the ME for me, particularly as it seems salaries there are shrinking.

Been in HK for about four years now and have kids, wife is a SAHM which we can manage well with on my salary. Things are pretty solid. The life I have now interms of lifestyle and financial potential is on a different planet to what was ahead of me before I left home in '09.

I didn't visit Korea for five years and went back for the first time in '16. Even in that time it had changed a lot and seemed a lot more livable. Have visited regularly since and could see us maintaining a home there in retirement, maybe even working there for a couple of years to refresh ourselves on the culture once we're financially secure.
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Kowloon



Joined: 10 Sep 2016

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll add something to anyone considering how to make EFL a longer lasting gig. Think of it like this: some expats in Korea believe that for true longevity you need to be in Seoul as the opportunities for work and play outstrip anywhere else in the country. Let's say we agree with that perspective (you may not). At some point, you need to make a sacrifice to get a job there, as it's more competitive than anywhere else, that might mean taking a real-terms pay cut or a sideways or even backwards step on the ladder. Well, the same logic applies to the world. At some stage, if you want to secure work in the more mature efl markets, then you actually need to cut losses and get to those markets and go through the process. Or go home to eat ramen for two years while you requalify. Or whatever. It often can't be avoided.

I've friends in mainland China now, who complain that they are too old to move to HK (or even Shanghai) as they want to avoid sharing an apartment for a year or two or having less to save or spend while they hustle to get the better jobs. I understand how they feel, but unfortunately it's a requirement. Or they need to go home and get licensed as a teacher and try to get in that way.
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isitts



Joined: 25 Dec 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Milwaukiedave wrote:
The job board really is the only thing keeping the site up at this point since the forums are ghost towns of the past.

The job boards have been the only reason his site has been running since 1999 when he started charging for job ads. He would have shut down the site due to costs otherwise. For citation and a little nostalgia, here is a link to the first of a three-part interview with Dave conducted about two years ago: https://www.caseyseslgarden.com/single-post/2017/10/03/The-Man-Behind-the-Curtain-Who-is-Dave-of-Daves-ESL-Cafe-Part-1

Personally, I think the main thing preventing a revival is the fact that this site keeps logging users out. It’s taken me multiple attempts to post this. After a while, it’s like, why bother?

For more active forums in Korea, I’d go to waygook.org.
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mithridates



Joined: 03 Mar 2003
Location: President's office, Korean Space Agency

PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over on /r/korea on Reddit an article was posted about VANK today, and boy did that ever take me back. I had no idea that group was still around. And along with that it prompted a visit to here as well.
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Smee



Joined: 24 Dec 2004
Location: Jeollanam-do

PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An errant Google search brought me to Dave's and a post from 2008. Really quiet around here now.
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