Page 42 - Foxtalk Winter 2012

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Winter 2012
Paul Stavish
(2007) is the
Audience Development
Manager for the Oregon
Ballet Theatre.
Ryan Cowdrey
(2007) is
the President and Founder
Trevor Gavin
(2007) is
a graphics producer for
ESPN’s Monday Night
Andrew Batti
(2008) won a
sports Emmy for his work
as a Production Assistant
at the MLB Network.
Caitlin Tansey
(2008) is
engaged fellow alum Matt
Devan, ’08.
Christine Rochelle
was promoted to Vice
President of Operations at
PCG Digital Marketing.
Christopher Hall
published his second book,
“Death and Other Things.”
Christopher Taylor
is the Marketing Coordi-
nator at XOS Digital.
Lauren Pavlick
(2008) is
an Account Executive at
Nick Ebner
(2008) is the
President of Nick Ebner
Integrative Fitness.
Nicole Mikaelian
is pursuing her Masters in
Elementary Education.
Shannon Burns
(2008) is a
Licensing Manager at Ziff
Tom Paolillo (’10)
is currently fulfilling his hunger for travel teaching English in Icheon,
South Korea. After graduating with a communication degree and working the night shift at a gas station
for a year, he was able to head abroad to do something he is truly passionate about.
You graduated from Marist in 2010. What have you been doing since then?
After graduation, I kept applying for full-time jobs in my field. After no responses, I decided to try some-
thing different. I got my old job back at American Eagle and got a second job working the night shift
at a Wawa gas station. I continued at American Eagle until Thanksgiving and worked the night shift for
a year. It was interesting to see the other side of the day and the people who come out. It also gave me
a perspective of working for low wages just to make ends meet, which is what many people have to do
today. It made me appreciate my degree and hard work in college a lot more.
What made you want to teach English in Korea?
I was adopted from Korea as a baby. After high school, I was lucky enough to go back for two weeks on
a group tour of the country. I definitely wanted to return at a later date. An old friend and teacher told
me that any college graduate was eligible to be an English as a foreign language teacher, so I did some
research and started the application process in January 2011, and was hired seven months later (there is a
lot of paperwork involved in getting a visa, as well as an English as a Foreign Language online course).
How has the experience been thus far?
I’ve been here for three months now and love it. I teach at an elementary school in Icheon, a small city
in the countryside, located about one hour outside the capital. The school has kindergarten through sixth
grade. I see each grade two to three times per week. The kids are wonderful and make my job as easy as
possible and very rewarding.
I have a Korean co-teacher and we teach classes together. She’ll explain the rules and grammar for the
students in Korean, and I’ll come up with activities or games for them to play, as well as teach them some
other expressions and introduce them to American culture. It’s the end of the semester and I’m showing
Finding Nemo
Have you run into any issues/difficulties while being there?
Learning the Korean language is tough. When I first arrived I could not read any of the hundreds of signs
on buildings around my apartment. Luckily a lot of my students wanted to help me learn Korean. Now I
can read and write, and I continue to work on speaking.
Some things are not as easy to find here that are available everywhere back home. It took me two months
to find a supermarket with spaghetti that wasn’t ridiculously expensive.
I would also run into some difficulties using public transportation. Often I would take the bus or subway,
and then realize I was going the wrong way.
I didn’t realize that Netflix streaming and Hulu do not work here in Korea, so I am unable to stay updated
on American television!
How did your experiences at Marist help you in your new job in South Korea?
I studied abroad in Marist’s Florence program my spring semester junior year, which gave me experience
in living away from home for a long time. Learning from my professors and classmates how to work as a
team and act like a professional is paying off immensely.
The best advice I got was from band director Art Himmelberger who said “Whatever you’re going to be,
be great at it.” While as of now, I do not plan on teaching English as a foreign language for the rest of my
life, but I am committed to doing my best to ensure my students are learning and having fun.