The Metro Experience with a Jingle

The Metro Experience with a Jingle This is part of a three or four part blog series. These posts will be interactive on my website ( . I am in the process of rebuilding my website so stayed tuned.

My name is Pablo Morales. I used to teach within Omaha Public Schools but now I teach in Sacramento, CA. I still teach French & Spanish to middle schoolers.

I have always been a fan of public transportation! Within the United States, commuting to work seems painfully dreadful. We are a nation dominated by cars and bad policies. Our public transportation infrastructure is not good for a very “developed” country. Our roads are suffering, and everything else in-between isn’t pleasant either. This isn't the case in South Korea. I'm only a week or so in since arriving in South Korea. I am absolutely M-I-N-D blown on what I am seeing and hearing.. My brain can't handle this!

Commuting in Seoul, Korea is not about trying to catch your bus or train, you are there for the experience of being in a station. You're probably wondering, "Pablo, Isn't the topic over public transportation….you know boring?" I say, "Absolutely Not!" I've been to multiple cities who don't even come close to the Korean experience of public transportation. My favorite part about using the Seoul Metro System is that you get to hear all the cute and relaxing rings and jingles offered at all metro stations and some bus stations.

Commuting is hard on the body when traveling far. It's hot and humid out, or you're just simply tired. Those little jingles give you a glimmer of hope that you are getting closer to your final destination. You stay motivated instead of only hearing the usual "This train is departing." or departing. It brightens the mood. My two favorite jingles or sounds are: The Trumpet Link A steelpan Link Do you see what I mean? It definitely made me smile. Everyone seems so happy. I knew traveling within Seoul was going to be fun but who knew these little jingles are what make the experience of the metro in Seoul.

Here is a handpicked few of my favorite jingles. Not all are in circulation at the moment.



Being a minority in the US and still being a minority in South Korea.

Someone who speaks 3 different languages. Learning the Korean language is easy in some aspects and difficult in others. I teach French & Spanish. The one common thing between these two languages is the alphabet - romanized letters. The Korean Language is written in Hangul.

I was an ELL student. Even. I now understand what it is like to be in my student’s mind.

The Many Hats of the Korean Convenience Stores

This is part of a three or four part blog series. These posts will be interactive on my website ( . I am in the process of rebuilding my website so stay tuned.

Here I am in South Korea getting a snack at a convenience store. Everytime I go to one, I reflect on convenience stores back in the United States. Convenience stores in the United States are usually gas stations at the same time. Living in California you see convenience stores as standalone locations more often. Convenience stores back home get a bad wrap because they sell not so healthy food or are simply over priced. It's not so much in Korea. Yes, there are things that are overpriced but not as bad as you would see in the United States. Korean Convenience Stores are a whole different experience..


Common convenience stores are GS25, Nice to CU and 7/11. They are all over the place. It's hard not to walk from one corner of a block to another corner of the same block without passing a convenience store. This is pretty consistent in most of Korea. The cities of Seoul and Chuncheon are good examples. Two or three years since the pandemic, many did stay open pretty late or open 24 hours. They are just there whenever you need something. You can buy a snack, a beer (or many), toiletries and more! I've even found socks after my shoes got soaked in the rain. Prices are not overly expensive taking in consideration that the exchange rate between USD and WON are in the favor of the American consumer such as myself.

The experience at every convenience store is different. You never know what you'll find. I'm not sure how it is decided on what is carried in each store. I do love the element of surprise.

Korean Convenience Stores will fill the void in many aspects of life. They are considered important in Korean Culture and Socialization. You'll often find tables inside and outside of the store. I find it hard to find a normal bar establishment. Even if I did find a bar, it could be expensive or hard to get into. Convenience Stores are a meeting point to socialize especially if there is seating available at the location you visit. I really enjoy getting a beer or a few with friends and just talk about our day, our hopes & desires, and just having tipy conversations. I've had some really deep moments here with others. One of my favorite moments was finding a convenience store in a large park and making my ramen right then and there!

What really shocked me was the Seoul WorldCup Stadium when I went to a soccer match. There I found a GS25 with prices similar to one you find on a random street.

Overall, I'm happy with convenience stores here! I sure will miss them!

I will share this information in a lesson in the near future with others.

Here are my favorite items I get from the convenience store:

  • Small pack of coffee
  • A cup of ice - use it for any drink you need to make cold (or colder.)
  • Gimbap
  • Beer
  • Ram
  • Snacks such as fried


What is nice about convenience stores is being able to cook instant ramen in-store seconds right after you buy it.


There are so many options. Here are a few!

New Student Enrollment Leader (NSE) at UNK

Pablo Morales-Garcia

New Student Enrollment Leader

Phone: (308) 865-8526   |    Email: [email protected]

Pablo Morales-Garcia

Favorite Place On Campus

I really love the campus in its entirety from the art to the history of building and monuments. One of my favorite features on campus are the trails and sidewalks that connect you to all of campus but also to all of the bike trails in the city of Kearney. It is so easy to get to Cottonmill or Yanney Park on the nice trails. Around campus, I really enjoying riding around on my longboard! I can use my longboard to get point A to point B in a snap! You'll thank me later when you're running behind for class! I really enjoy the social aspect by meeting fellow longboarders.

Favorite UNK Tradition

My favorite UNK Tradition would be Big Blue and Gold Week. It is such a good way to get started on the new school year and it is such an opportunity to get to know people by just having fun. One of my favorite events during BBGW is going to destination downtown and watch the food eating competition. One of my fondest memories is being able to ride on a float during and just having a blast! Not every day do you have the chance to ride on a float during a parade, cool, eh?

What are you passionate about?

I have always been passionate about travel and languages since a young age. My views of the world have expanded so much ever since I traveled when I was a kid and even more when I studied abroad in France. Traveling gives a person experiences that you cannot get in your backyard or in your daily routine!

I want to spread the importance of learning more than one language. I want to share my passion of being open minded about the world and embrace languages. Just by learning another language opens the door for you in many ways you could never ever imagine!

I Chose UNK Because...

When I came for a tour of UNK, I instantly became in love with the campus. Just being here I didn't feel overwhelmed being on the campus. Everyone I ran across was so nice! I felt such a personal connection especially when I met with the chair, advisor, and a professor of my program. Of all the school visits I had gone to the past, not one had offered me to meet with my potential advisor to do this. At that moment I realized that "This is the school I want to attend!" It all came down to the little things that would make such a difference in picking a school! After that....the rest is history! 2018 Staff

Jennifer Garcia

Mary Dworak

Noah Journey

Odwuar Quinonez

Pablo Morales-Garcia

Shelby Hoffmann

Valeria Lozano

Taylor Janicek

We are difference makers
University of Nebraska at Kearney


ESL Teacher Interview


I am currently taking an ESL course and we had the opportunity to interview an ESL teacher. I interviewed Denise Teetor who is the ESL Teacher at Hastings Senior High School. She told me about her experiences getting into this subject field and how not always was she the ESL Teacher. I learned so much from this opportunity. This interview has me really excited to be a teacher.  All the information here will hopefully help those people who want to become teachers. Getting the insights from another teacher lets you have a feeling of what you are getting yourself into. I am not trying to scare anyone, I'm just showing it how it is. Enjoy the interview! I will have the audio podcast available soon! Click the picture below to download a copy of the document to your device.






I am currently taking an ESL course and we had the opportunity to interview an ESL teacher. I interviewed Denise Teetor who is the ESL Teacher at Hastings Senior High School. She told me about her experiences getting into this subject field and how not always was she the ESL Teacher. I learned so much from this opportunity. This interview has me really excited to be a teacher. All the information here will hopefully help those people who want to become teachers. Getting the insights from another teacher lets you have a feeling of what its like to be in the classroom. Enjoy the interview! I will have the audio podcast available soon! Click here to download a copy of the document to your device.


Denise Teetor: ESL at Hastings Senior High School

Interviewed by


Mrs. Denise Teetor is an English as a Second Language Teacher at Hastings Senior High School in Hastings Nebraska. She has been teaching at the high school for more than 30 years. She has quite a different perspective of the world since she has traveled outside of the United States plenty of times. She has seen so many changes in ESL over the years. She has quite the story to tell in which she becomes the ESL teacher she is today.

Mrs. Teetor was not an ESL teacher from the beginning. She use to teach physical education and coach for a long time. She decided to pursue a different area of teaching and left behind being an PE teacher and decided to teach English in Japan. She wanted to do something different with her time during the summers instead of wasting it. She saw an advertisement to teach in Japan for six weeks and thought “that sounds pretty cool”, and that’s how she got involved with Japan. She really enjoyed it and had so much fun with it.

After one summer, she decided to pursue her ESL endorsements. She was thinking ahead that she could teach ESL at the high school level at some point down the road. One summer as she was getting ready to go back to Japan, she knew that the ELL teacher at Hastings High would be leaving that summer, even though she had not filed her resignation letter. Mrs. Teetor took some steps before the other teacher quit. She let the school know that she was interested in the position. The teacher did end up leaving and she received a phone call asking if she was interested in the ELL position and she said “Yes”. This is how she moved from physical education to ELL. Japan really peaked her interest working with foreign kids.

She is happy with how much ESL/ELL has evolved over the years, especially since she saw there was not a lot of curriculum that existed. The number of students has changed over the years. The program development has come a long way. There was curriculum that really existed. They were fortunate when they were able to find books related to ELL/ESL. Now there are whole curriculums that one can use. That has been an advancement of ELL programs. It is like all other curriculums in schools such as science where you have books, notebooks and a foundation to use. You start at the foundational levels and move through the different stages of it. It has been one of the biggest tools available so teachers don’t have to go out and make their own material.

She describes the program at Hastings Senior High School. She gets all different levels of ESL students in each class period. She explains that in an ideal world, students are grouped by their level such as all level 1 students are together, level 2 are together, and so forth. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that luxury at the high school. She works with each level of students individually so each group of students can be differentiated as needed. She splits the groups up between her and Mrs. Brenneman, the para educator, to help each leveled group. The program at HHS is not a program that is like those implemented in other schools. The program isn’t a dual language or other type. They just work based on the situation they have or a melting pot as she states. She is very proud of the graduation rate that has increased. If the kids start with the program, they tend to finish with the program unless they move away. She is proud that the ELL students have been able to take all the required classes or core classes needed to graduate. Even though they might not have a high level of English, “they do pretty well”. Even though teachers provide differentiation, they learn all the same material as regular students. The students are able to get into the classroom right away. This is good for them since they can get “real world” experience and immerse themselves in the culture and listen to how students talk. No one ever follows grammar rules when the speak.

Mrs. Teetor mentions that students have to take a test to see if they need ESL services based on responses on intake forms when transferring into the district. She uses the newly implemented ELPA to screen prospective and current students who might or are using ESL services to measure their level of English. Newly arriving students fill out a questionnaire that askes the language they spoke first, what language is spoken primarily at home, and what language they want to be communicated with. If any of these are not English, they need to be tested. Even though a student knows English, they still have to take the test if their language spoken at home is not English. She uses a computer screener test. Anyone that is four (4) or above, they do not need to be in the program but anything below that, students should be enrolled in ESL/ELL. Things are done differently at the elementary level compared to the high school level.

Mrs. Teetor works closely with other teachers. She also likes to know what the teachers are teaching so she can meet the needs of students such as preparing a presentation or report. With American History, the students have no background especially with the foreign students. American history pertains to the United States. Math is math, science is science, these things are the same all the way across cultures. She enjoys how things are taught at HHS. Students are in ELL for at least 2 class periods. She tells us about an example student who doesn’t speak a lot of but is very bright. Looking at her transcripts, she is a very well-rounded person. She has taken courses in psychology to advanced math. She was top of her class before moving. This student is “brilliant”, according to Mrs. Teetor. She sees how this student can feel out of place due to the language barrier. She sees another barrier with math leaning towards story-problems. It intimidates students since it involves reading instead of involving direct math problems. What is truly moving is that she truly advocates for students to get them in the regular classroom where they will have to think, perform in the real thing. She knows it will be hard but it would be a “disservice” if she does not.

She hasn’t faced any teachers who have rejected or negated students. This at least hasn’t occurred during her time her but she says that “it might have happened before I started.” She believes this hasn’t happened because of her strong personality and she knows the teachers will be supportive at Hastings Senior High School. She hopes that the next person who replaces her will continue on standing up for the students. She also knows which teachers will be best for her students and she know the teachers who will not be a good fit. She moves students as necessary to put them in the right classrooms. She would rather do something else with the student if the teacher is not a good fit for the students. For a new teacher, this is something that he or she will not know and this will take time to figure out. She is hopeful the other teacher will be the best advocate for the ESL students.

She has great advice for new ESL teachers especially for the teacher replacing her. The best advice would be just to have fun with these students. They do need to learn but also everything is not so rigid that they can’t enjoy. Simply cramming information gets them discouraged. It has been interested and fun for them to know. Everyone has some kid within each other. We need to promote this with the kids. She gets a lot out of the kids when they have fun. If they are sitting bored, they are not going anywhere. This is her overall advice.



Thank you, Mrs. Teetor for allowing me to interview you. It was such a great insight of ESL and very helpful for me for my future career as an ESL Teacher. I wish you the best in luck with retirement and hope to hear about your adventures in Japan! Cheers!

A podcast of this will be available on my SoundCloud page soon!