Monday, January 31, 2005 

SO funny!

The story one of my fourth grade classes is reading includes a reference to a family eating hot dogs on Wednesday night. I know it should have, but it honestly didn't occur to me that my students would take it to be a reference to really warm or really spicy dog sausages. But surely enough...when I asked them what a hot dog was, they all started laughing and this is how the dialogue went:

Student 1: "It's's a.....really - ah...really " (acts out wiping forehead as in being hot)
Student 2: "Yeah...yeah - Ahhhhh" (wipes forehead also) "and....ARF ARF!"

And they all know my dog's they were like, "Ah!! hot! So hot!" When I finally got them calmed down (all the above was screamed and/or yelled at me) and explained that hot dogs are made out of beef or pork (not explaining what PARTS of the animal it may contain) they were completely disgusted! So funny to me...


Good news and better news

Many thanks to my darling and wonderful sister Jennifer (AKA, Lady Leaess), who signed on as a member of this blog. She fixed the template the other day when I was too stupid to figure out how to do it. Your help is much appreciated! :)

Sorry it's been awhile since I last posted. The way it works here is that the Korean teachers give us (the native teachers) monthly plans for each of our classes, and then we are responsible for each daily plan, and have to turn in two weeks at a time. I was in a bit of a rush doing that, and didn't have much time for anything else.

In other VERY exciting dear dear friend Melissa has been hired to work at my school! That's right, ladies and gentlemen....Korea just got a WHOLE lot better! (Not that it was necessarily bad...just now it's much better.) She should be getting here in about a week or so, and I'm so thrilled about it I don't even know how to say it! (And you all know by now I'm never short on words.) I was just hoping she might be in the same country as me...or even in a nearby country, which would be much closer than the States. But God, in His remarkable and constantly amazing providence, worked it so that we'll be at the same school and living in the same apartment building! Very exciting!

I also really love my church here. It's the English ministry of this huge church that has three or four campuses throughout the Seoul area. There were about 200 people at the service yesterday morning, and (as the pastor points out so often) the vast majority of them are young and single (and the majority of aforementioned majority are English teachers). I'm also in a class about missions - yesterday was my first time, and I had a delightful time. I have much more to say (imagine that...) but I have a class in five minutes, so I'm going to go. I'll try to write more either later today or tomorrow.

Thursday, January 27, 2005 

Definitely a unique experience

As one of my classes was ending yesterday, one of my students came up with a bag of some kind of snacks (you perceptive people will already be alarmed for me). He had showed me the bag during class and was very excited about sharing with me during their free time. I was finishing up a few things before I left class when he caught me. I looked in the bag and thought that the snack looked like the onion-y things they have here. I took one and ate it, and became instantly nauseated by the overwhelming fishy taste. I tried to be calm (calm, in this case, means not gagging) and said, "What are those?" He didn't know the English word, so he drew a picture on the board. Octopus. Nice. You know pork rinds/rhinds? (How do you spell that word?) Anyway, the best description I could come up with is that they were those...only not pig. Octopus. Kudos to me for self control though. I didn't gag until I got into the teacher's room.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005 

Let's talk about one of my fourth grade classes...

I have two fourth grade classes. One of them is my favorite class overall. The other is probably the most interesting and unpredictable class overall. One of the girls tells me, at least once a week, something about being fat. Either her brother thinks I'm fat (he's in my sixth grade class), or she is pounding my leg from underneath the table telling me it's big (her crawling on the floor is a very regular occurence), and then lately she seems to have become obsessed with my butt. Yesterday as I walked into class, she was walking behind me smacking me repeatedly on the butt. I tried to figure out exactly what she was doing, and perhaps also why, but she just laughed and crawled under the table (see what I mean?). Then today as I was releasing my winter intensive class she came into the classroom I was in and walked directly into my backside. I won't go into further explanation as to what she did next, but it was definitely a violation of my personal space and person. What I'm saying may make her sound evil, but she really isn't at all. She's just a very hyper, very needing-attention girl.

Another interesting thing happened yesterday. The class has seven students: five girls and two boys. I know for a fact that I am not the first white girl these girls have seen before, but the last two times I've been teaching them, they completely zone out and seem to be utterly fascinated by some aspect of me. Yesterday the two girls sitting closest to me started touching my hair, pointing at my earrings (while uttering some Korean word entirely unknown to me), and then (this was just it for me) of the girls stuck her finger in my chin crack. Perhaps the chin crack could more appropriately be called a chin "dip." Nonetheless, they (invaded my personal space) and were like, "Ahhh....cute! Very cute!" Thanks for noticing...but my chin crack/dip has absolutely nothing to do with the story I am seriously attempting to persuade you to read. Thanks very much.

The class is really quite delightful, no matter how I may make it sound. A bit frustrating, perhaps...but delightful overall. I learned in Israel how important, no....vital it is to not be self-conscious when I am around kids. They also point out the moles/freckles on my face. Yet again, thanks for noticing. But generally....usually, we accomplish what we are supposed to accomplish. I'm not supposed to show my tattoos, which is easy now since it is cold and I'm always wearing long sleeves. I have to be careful what jackets/sweaters/sweatshirts I wear though, because two of my students saw part of one the other day. It was one time when I was extremely grateful for their especially short attention span. I distracted them and they forgot.

Ah...did I mention that I went to Japan last week? For reasons still unknown to me, I had to go to Japan to get my Korean work visa. It was actually last Tuesday (the 18th). The school arranged the flight and everything. Aside from the actual hassle of the getting up early to take the bus to the airport and the flights and such, it was quite easy and nearly enjoyable. Since English teachers are a hot commodity and also sort of in abundance here, there were actually five other teachers on the same flights as me. Three of us ended up meeting up in the train to the embassy and spent the rest of the day together. It was quite an experience, and we were quite the group. Before I went though, it was so funny...Kylie, one of the other foreign teachers was in my apartment talking to me and she said, "Have fun in Japan tomorrow," as she was walking out the door. It was entirely surreal. One of those moments where I realized that God's plan is so infinitely beyond what I can think or imagine. A year ago I certainly could not even begin to fathom that I would be in Korea, taking a quick little day trip to Japan. The trip was uneventful and overall enjoyable. I was able to add to my collections. I think most people have something they collect from whatever travels they undertake. I have two, though only one is really for me. I've been collecting Diet Coke labels in other languages since I was in Israel. It's tragic that I forgot to get one from a store near my school in Jaffa that would've been in Arabic. Nonetheless, I have Hebrew, Korean, and from Japan. It's a bit bizarre, perhaps, but interesting to me nonetheless. The other thing I collect is coins from other countries, but that's really more for my niece and nephew than for me.

I suppose I've rambled on enough for now. I might write more later during a break, but (believe it or not) I think I might have run out of things to say. We'll see. Thanks for reading, everyone. :) And also, I fixed it so anyone can comment, not just members. That's all - love you all!



I thought, as I was trying to fall asleep last night, "Perhaps I should have clarified on the smacking." The word "smack" is perhaps a bit inadequate. Swat seems force behind said swat/smack...just an attention-getter.

Last night I ended up eating calbi (no clue if I spelled it right) with two of the other foreign teachers at my school. Calbi is my favorite Korean food so far. It's basically raw meat that is brought to your table, and cooked on the grill at your table. There are various side dishes - always the not-so-beloved kimchi, some kind of salady-type thing, and various other things. Unbelievably, calbi for the three of us cost a whopping $12. That's four dollars apiece (or 4,000 won) for actual beef, grilled, in front of us. Rather amazing, if you ask me.

Anyway, I have a class in ten minutes and am not entirely prepared. I'll probably post a few more times today, during my breaks.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005 

Thinking about food

It's 5:00 PM, I have one class left before I go home. Today was a pretty great day. My class that is usually completely evil wasn't completely evil today. I think it has something to do with the fact that I scared one of the boys by smacking him on the arm (spanking and such is okay here) and he went around whispering to all the other's funny, but they were all really quite good after that.

So the school cooks lunch everyday for us. And I've found that me and Korean food aren't best friends. It's really because so much is based on or includes fish, fish parts, seafood, etc. I always ask "What's that?" because in a country that eats squid, octopus, and dog, I'm never going to take a risk. Today though, they made THE most amazing chicken soup. Oh my was wonderful. Right now all I can think about is what I'm going to eat for dinner.

Here's a bit of detail about my school schedule. I have a kindergarten and grade 1 class that meets 5 days a week. I also have two grade 4 classes and one grade 6 class - they all meet three times a week. This is also the last week of "Winter Intensive" which is 100 minutes in the mornings. Right now I get to school around 9:30 AM and leave around 6:45 or 7:15 PM. After Winter Intensive is over (next week) I'll be coming in around 11:30 and leaving at the same time. Not a big difference, but it'll help dramatically with my sleeping, and for my poor dog.

I need to go finish planning for my upcoming class...will write more tomorrow!

Monday, January 24, 2005 


I haven't really had time to post anything, and was NOT willing to put anything else towards the Israel site. So welcome to my happy I-now-live-in-Korea blog. I have to go fix a few things, so I'm going to make this first post short and to the point. Please do come back though, I'll be updating you on my first few weeks here over the next couple days (hopefully).

Saturday, January 15, 2005 

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