Sunday, February 27, 2005 


Well, dear friends, Melissa has arrived safe and sound! I set my alarm for 3 AM thinking I'd reset it for somewhere around 3:45 and go back to sleep (nonsensical yes, but I do it everyday because it makes me feel like I've slept longer than I really have). Anyway, obviously when the alarm went off at 3:00, I wanted to check to make sure that her flight was on time, and then it was all downhill from there. I was way too awake and excited to go back to sleep, so I didn't. Kylie graciously offerred to ride with me to the airport to hopefully prevent any awkwardness between the Korean man from the school and myself (the whole "I feel like I should at least be trying to talk to him," feeling kicks in sometimes even when you know that he doesn't understand enough English to carry on any semblence of a conversation). By the time we arrived at the airport I was so excited that I was nauseous. We were waiting outside the gate - anyway, I cannot even begin to put into words the anticipation I was feeling. But she did come through the doors - she actually saw me first - and it was just as wonderful and exciting as every reunion with a dear friend should be. Then we came back to Seoul and to our apartments. Hers, while cleaner than I expected it to be, smelled too foul for us to undertake any project so ambitious as extensive cleaning or unpacking. So we came up to my apartment, where Melissa and Daive had a heart-warming reunion, and she and I sat around and talked for some time. In short, I love - LOVE - her being here. We went on a brief walk around, so that she at least knows how to get to work from where we live. And she did really well about staying awake - she took two naps, but considering that she had been awake for 30 hours, was in a time zone 14 hours different from what her body is used to, and she got her at 5 in the morning...I think 2 naps isn't too shabby. I forced her to go out to eat tonight, and she went to bed (for the night) as soon as we were finished - around 7:00 PM. Tomorrow will be her first day of work...I'm excited for her, and I'm (of course) also very excited for me. It's nice to have a friend here who knows you, understands you, knows the same people as you back home, likes your dog, is witty, is quite intelligent, etc. It's been a little bit since I was around someone with whom relating came to easily. And that's quite nice.

Another benefit to her coming is that she brought one of my books that I accidentally left with her when I went to Israel. It's Henry Scougal's The Life of God in the Soul of Man. The book was written in the 1600s, but it (no exaggeration) one of the three most amazing books I've ever read. I highly highly HIGHLY recommend it. It was actually influential in the conversion of George Whitefield, which means it played a role in the Great Awakening. Very amazing book - here's a taste for you:

The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its
love: he who loveth mean and sordid things doth thereby become base and vile;
but a noble and well-placed affection doth advance and improve the spirit unto a
conformity with the perfections which it loves.

And the book is super easy to read, even with the random "doth" and "-eth" thrown in there - a short book, it! You won't be disappointed.

And now a quick list of things Melissa has/mentioned/brought that I miss severely from home:
  1. Scented lotion (specifically Love Spell from Victoria's Secret) - I miss being able to wear yummy smelling lotion - a girl at church had Moonlight Path lotion last week and smelling it nearly made me cry - not for sentimental reasons, just because I desperately have wanted some. I schemed at least four or five times to get some Love Spell lotion (though my love wanes between Love Spell and two other scents) and I was thwarted each time. I've resolved myself to knowing that it just obviously wasn't meant to be, but it doesn't mean I can't use a dab of her lotion, smell it, and be really quite happy.
  2. Products from Wal-Mart - or more specifically, the ability to buy things at Wal-Mart that are familiar, and without being acosted by the whole host of people who work in the health and beauty supply section who, based on their energy for their jobs, MUST work on commission
  3. Stuff - that's really what it boils down to - I miss the stuff you can get in the States. I miss the comfortable, familiar, favorites I have. I miss book stores. I miss Victoria's Secret. I miss Wal-Mart (yes they have them here but they are SO not the same). And I'm not saying this with a "woe is me" attitude - it's convicting to realize that mostly what I miss is materialistic. Oh...I miss the fact that I could buy Watermark's CD and listen to it the same day. See? All materialistic stff.

So anyway, I'm going to attempt to tear myself away from the computer and go to bed now. I'm exhausted, certainly, but am not sure if my mind is capable of calming down at this moment. We shall see. Love you all!

Saturday, February 26, 2005 

Eager, not obsessive

So you are looking at where Melissa's plane is at 5:39 PM (Seoul time). I kept on checking to make sure that her first flight arrived on time and her second one departed on time (it looks like it left about 40 minutes late) and I ended up finding this site that finds the location of the plane. So you're pretty much seeing how I'll be spending the rest of the night. Eager, lonely, yes. Obsessive, no. Posted by Hello


I think I've had a personal breakthrough of sorts. I have always been really hard on myself internally for being so wordy all the time. And I realized today that, for me, being wordy is okay. It's part of me. I only need to exercise better discretion in who I subject to my wordiness. Make sense? Writing is an activity that seems to be vital to my existence in an intensely personal way. And, necessarily, writing requires words, sometimes many of them. It's so funny how the most obvious point in the entire world can strike me with such force that I almost fall over. It's really quite liberating. I hope to not overwhelm blogspot with such voluminous posts everyday as I've been doing, perhaps a more appropriate place for my more irrelevant and occasionally incoherent ramblings would be in Microsoft Word in my computer, but it's very nice to say, "Hi, I'm Teresa and YES, I'm wordy! And I'm okay with that!"

So I went to bed last night around 3 AM and got up before 10 this morning. Such a thing is quite unusual for me, and it can be blamed on nothing other than the fact that I am super-excited about Melissa coming. I got up, turned on the computer, and checked the first flight she's on, and found out it's on time and all is well. Of course, that's the flight from Atlanta to L.A, so it's the quicker of the two. I, sadly, cannot figure out the time change from California to figure out when (my time) the plane leaves LA. It really doesn't matter all that much, because I do know when the plane gets here in the morning! And that is what count! I'm very excited! (can you tell?)

Right now I have the inside frosted-glass thick window open and only the clear-glass thick window closed, and Daive is sitting on my lap (wrapped up in blankets because it gets colder when the one window is open) and she's staring out the window. I'm actually typing this trying to see between her two rather large ears, so if there are any spelling errors, it's due to those trademark ears of hers. Anyway, she's staring quite intently at the apartment building across the street. One of the people in the apt. across the way is doing laundry and keeps on walking to her porch to hang things up. Daive isn't barking (she doesn't bark at noises anymore, only when I leave really) but I think she's rather confounded at the whole thing.

I have that make-up class today, in 2 and a half hours or so. I really should be productive before then, but I'm thinking seriously about just sitting here in my pajamas, sweatshirt/pants, and blankets and being thoroughly unproductive until my class. I think that would be fun, actually. Nonetheless, I shall end this now. My toes are numb, so though I will persist in a total lack of productivity, I need socks.

Friday, February 25, 2005 

Some may not believe me

I'm quite sure this will be hard for some of you to believe, but I ate here tonight and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I remember the first time I ate at Chili's after I got so sick, it was actually at the insistence of a friend. That was a memorable day. I think my car also broke that day. Nonetheless, there is a Chili's in Seoul, and it's about a fifteen minute walk from my apartment. Or, more accurately, a 1700 won cab ride (WAY too cold to walk by that lake). Posted by Hello

In other, entirely unrelated news, Melissa gets here Sunday morning! I am WAY more excited than I can even begin to put into words. The fact that her plane arrives at 5:30 AM is NOTHING to me - though the fact that I have to ride to the airport with one of the men from work who speaks no English is a bit daunting (only because conversation is impossible). I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve, knowing that the time will pass horribly slowly. I'm up late though (obviously), I have a class tomorrow (yes, on Saturday - a make-up class for a holiday back by the Lunar New Year) and plan on going to bed early so I'll be fresh and bright at 4 AM Sunday.

I just downloaded a video of Ron White, so I'm going to go watch that and then go to bed. Night all!

Thursday, February 24, 2005 

I'm listening to Jay-Z and Linkin Park

Blogging is so unhealthy for me. It makes me forget (or at least does much to contribute to me forgetting) that my life is here. I'm struggling with homesickness lately. I sometimes think about how I'll write about my day rather than enjoying my day - and I just get downright pissy about the stupidest things. I was talking to Haley today, and she said something most profound - that she wasn't unhappy, but she also wasn't totally happy. I know much of my problem right now is that I am perhaps too focused on areas of my life that aren't close (in location, that is) and haven't established much of a social life for myself outside of who I see at church every Sunday and the people I work with and see everyday. But I'm in a bad and immature mood right now, and my bad attitude is just begging to be freed via my fingers. Must resist...must keep what friends I have...(even if they are an ocean away). Forgive the dramatics...none of this is for show - this is really me (scary, huh?). I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005 

Things I've Thought About Today

  • Home-schooling (most recent, my sister and I were just discussing it on AIM)
  • Islam
  • Muslim countries - is there such thing as a theocracy that didn't turn into a dictator-type state? (emphasis on the word type)
  • Afghanistan - looking at a website today where the slogan was "Afghanistan: the friendliest country in the world, possibly even the universe" They also sold shirts in the I-heart-NY style that said "I heart Afghanistan."
  • The exorbitant cost of international direct-dial phone calls (Ron White's diamond slogan "Diamonds: that'll shut her up." is applicable to direct-dialed phone calls - or perhaps just to the phone bills.)
  • The extreme frustration that comes from the language barrier
  • How efficient so many organizations/institutions in the States are - and how spoiled I've become to that - being laid-back is a requirement in both countries I've been in, and getting uptight and freaking out is not only entirely abnormal, but it really doesn't accomplish anything
  • Missions and how grossly horribly unprepared I am for any such work
  • Student loans and how much my life is/will be restricted by them
  • The war in Iraq - read an encouraging column in the International Herald Tribune today with an honest and refreshing perspective on it
  • Marriage (is it really so difficult and complicated as our world has made it to be? it's existed forever, and lately the mood of the entire thing seems to be different from what I've heard it to be in the past hundreds of years )
  • Singleness (I'll confess it - I wonder if I'm going to be single all my life - though perhaps beneficial, still the thought strikes me as a little sad)
  • Plumbing problems (actual plumbing) My sister just told me that my nephew Cameron thought the reason you couldn't flush the toilet when someone was in the shower was because the "poop water" (what he calls it) would come out of the showerhead. Of course, my dear sister didn't know this until months later, Cam flipped out because he was in the shower and someone flushed the toilet. That's good stuff. Though when I was in Israel, I was having SEVERE problems with the plumbing in my apartment. One morning I flushed the toilet and stepped over to turn on the water in the shower, and I saw water bubbling up from the drain in the shower stall....rather than gag (which was Plan "A") I calmly walked away and called my landlady. It all worked out, but it was DISGUSTING in the meanwhile. The plumber had to open up the pump (building so old pump was installed in the ground under the doorway to the bathroom, covered up with a delightful slab of concrete) and it ended up that some tree roots were seriously disturbing the whole system. The plumber, being the clever guy that he was, asked me if I was Jewish. I said no, and he was quite disappointed. "Ah well," he said, as he threw the roots out into the grass in the back of the building, "I was going to say that these were your roots, but you aren't Jewish, so never mind."
  • The pathetic state that is my mind, that after addressing some of the really important human rights, political, religious issues of the day with a sentence each, that I spend a long paragraph discussing plumbing problems. I'm in a very discouraged mood right now - not about life, just about me.

Koreans seem to have this thing about fresh air. The windows in the stairways at school are usually cracked just a bit, which always has confused me considering how freakin COLD it has been. It's a good day at work when my fingers aren't numb all day. Anyway, in the office yesterday and today I remember thinking to myself, "Wow, it's nice and toasty warm in here. It's not too warm - it's just right." And someone opened the window! It snowed yesterday! What?? Then all the toasty warm went, literally, right out the window.

One of my sixth graders today had a needle with him in class. A needle. I asked him why he had it, and he said he had accidentally taken it from his friend's house. (Worry not, it wasn't the shooting-up kind.) I asked him why he had it, and the entire class tried to explain. I still don't understand entirely, but I think it had something to do with accupuncture. They said something about eating rice too fast, and then either throwing up or having heartburn, and you use the needle to prick your thumb, which somehow helps. I made him put it away, obviously. After class I told the Korean teacher that this student had a needle. She was, of course, entirely unphased. So I had to explain how incredibly severe the punishment would be if a student in the States brought a needle to school. I don't think she understood. But seriously, it's a totally normal thing for kids to use razor blades to sharpen their pencils here. Nothing is thought of it at all. So strange to me though.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005 

Quite clever

Hopefully the cycle will be coming to an end soon. (Check out the website for other amazingly clever cartoons.) Posted by Hello


"Get On"

It’s nice to be the one telling the story, because I can creatively edit the story to (hopefully) force all that read to experience it with me, as close as possible to how I experienced it.

So, meet Cooper. He’s the missions intern at my church. He was born in Seoul and grew up in the United States. The first Sunday I went to church there he was giving a testimony about a mission trip to Cambodia he had recently returned from. The trip obviously didn’t go as expected, and I was struck by how sincerely he spoke of how the trip ended up while also expressing a confidence that God’s purposes were accomplished. Since it was my second week in the country and my first time at the church, I was rather overwhelmed and thought nothing more of it.

Long story short, I decided to join the class on missions that the church was offering. Of course, being the missions intern, Cooper was the one I had to see. We briefly talked theology, discussed Israel (I was wearing my TAU sweatshirt), and then I ended up skipping out on what would have been my first class because of my dog. The next Sunday I actually went to class, and it was quite exciting. The class was fairly large, the discussion was good, and I enjoyed myself. Cooper introduced me as a theology major, so I was determined to keep my mouth shut during the majority of the class. However there was this one question that I was just DYING to answer. Without me moving a muscle or saying a word, he actually called on me, and asked if I’d like to try to answer the question. During class I had noticed that he had a commentary by John Stott. After class I asked him if he had a good library here, and when he said yes, I immediately began begging him to let me borrow a few books. He said yes, and said we’d set up a time to meet up for that purpose later on. That was that, class was over, so I walked out to the bus that makes trips to the subway station so everyone doesn’t have to walk (far too cold for that). I was sitting in the bus, waiting for it to fill up, when I saw Cooper and his roommate walk out of the building and get on their motorcycles. (!!!!) I know I don’t really have to say this, but anyone who knows me knows that I have a thing for bikes. Well, that was it. Within the span of about an hour I had decided that I had met the man of my dreams. He was sarcastic but not mean, intelligent but not snobby, understanding, gentle, he wanted to be a missionary, and (AND!) he rides a motorcycle. I am being dramatic in how I’m writing this, I know, but you have to understand, when I called Bethany and told her all this, and then told her about the motorcycle, I believe she gasped – or something along those lines. Seriously, at first glance it looked like this guy had been MADE for me!

Well we talked some during the week on yahoo messenger and such. He said that he would be speaking at the early morning service, and if I could get up that early, he’d bring the books then for me. Being in the throes of...I don’t know what, I agreed to go to the service that STARTS at 6:30. Factor in the subway ride and the getting-ready time, and it has me getting up before 5:00 AM – something that is extremely rare. But I did. It actually is a landmark day if for no other reason than the fact that I was wearing more layers of clothing that morning than I ever have in my entire life. Anyway, I am on my way. The church is about a fifteen-minute walk from the Subway, and it was so far beyond cold that I didn’t know what to do with myself. As I was turning off the main road onto the smaller road that leads to the church, I ended up stuck behind an older man. In Korean culture, the older people (not even elderly, just older than YOU) get all the rights and privileges. This man was walking slow and was taking up all the space there was to walk. I was pacing around behind him rather impatiently, certain I would be late for the service when...guess who should pull up beside me on his bike. At this point I was already beyond Cloud Nine...and then he spoke the two words that, temporarily, changed my life, and permanently (at least so far) altered my idea of what I want in a man. He said:

Get on.

That’s it. If he had said, “Want a ride?” or “Here, hop on,” it would have been entirely different. But no. He said, “Get on.” And so, of course, I did. Forget that the ride was less than two minutes. Forget that it was FREEZING cold outside. Forget that we had to go over way too many unpleasant speed bumps. It was amazing. It was like a scene out of a movie, if someone was ever forced to make a movie about my dreams. It was...unspeakable.

So...allow me to burst everyone else’s bubble by saying that, within an hour of said blissful moment I found out that he is engaged (obviously not to me, either). At first I hated myself for being so...affected by the moment. But then, after further reflection (AKA, thinking obsessively about this and a few other things) I came to an altogether different conclusion – or rather, a number of conclusions.

1. Cooper seems to embody all I thought I wanted in a man. He really does. And so with that thought in my little emotional mind and romantic heart, I was lovesick (in a sense of the word) for days. But in reality, I’ve realized by God’s grace that He sees better and He knows better for me than I do. There’s no glaring personality flaw in Cooper that I know of that makes me say this – I assure you it is not said out of bitterness. But if God’s plan does include me getting married, it’s to someone far better suited for me than Cooper, even if my husband doesn’t ride a motorcycle.

2. While I’m sure Cooper didn’t think much about saying “Get on,” as opposed to any other instruction/invitation telling me that he would give me a ride, the essential fact of the matter is that confidence is attractive. I find confidence and leadership skills and ability in men attractive. Especially within the church, thanks to the influence of feminism creeping in, men aren’t sure how to be leaders. I’m not anti-woman – I am a woman, and to be against women would be utter foolishness. But I am quite confident of the reality that femininity and biblical womanhood are liberating rather than stifling concepts. (Mind you, there is a huge distinction to be made between male headship and male dominance – but that’s for an altogether different discussion. Feel free to email me about it though, if you’re interested or feel so inclined to argue. I miss good irenic discussions.

3. My heart has been in a somewhat reserved state for the past couple months – for how long and for whom is really of no consequence to my discussion here. With that in mind, meeting Cooper and pretty much every moment up until I found out that he was engaged, it called the reserved state of my heart into question. And now I’m not sure what to think in any particular direction – that’s really the only reason I feel comfortable enough to post this. The idea that I want to get across as being my third point here is that my “get on” experience has chiefly shown me that God does know what’s best for me. Cooper’s obviously not the one for me, and it’s beyond my abilities to say who else is or is not. But this experience has definitely been used by God to give me the grace to trust Him with my heart more than before.

Monday, February 21, 2005 

Slight update

Thanks to the help of Kylie, I downloaded a program that allowed me to (illegally, yes) download all the important Rascal Flatts songs I have been so desperate to have. No worries about bribery now. Yay!


Third time's a charm?

Here I go. One last valiant effort. If it erases it this time, I'm quitting for a few days.

All right. Everything I have to say is really quite unimportant in the big scheme of things. Unimportant, yet somehow also worth sharing.

First of all, I have been listening to a lot of Country music lately, through Launchcast. I don't know if it's because I never hear it over here, because it reminds me of home, or because (so far) I haven't been exposed to a Korean version of it (PS - Google "Korean rap video" some time just for fun...see what turns up - not sure if you'll be able to find anything as entertaining as what I see over here, but it's worth a try). Nonetheless, I've been listening to Country, and have fallen in love with Rascal Flatts all over again. I've decided that owning their CD that came out last year ("Feels Like Today," I think is what it is) is absolutely vital for my existence. Enter the problem - for some strange and inconceivable reason, Rascal Flatts isn't huge over here...and if I were to buy the CD online it would cost more to ship it here than the CD itself cost (that is, assuming I wanted the CD to arrive before the end of the year). I even made an attempt at the whole "illegal download" thing...all to no avail. Thwarted at every turn...ah well. My dear friend should be arriving within the week, and I am trying to think of how I could bribe her to bring me the CD. Hmmm...

Second, I wanted to introduce the idea of "continental claustrophobia." As far as I know, it's a nonsensical phrase I made up a few months ago. My apartment in Tel Aviv was three blocks from the Mediterranean. My home in Graceville/Dothan was less than two hours from Panama City Beach (and the Gulf of Mexico). Jacksonville was close to the Atlantic. The house I grew up in was about 20 minutes away from the Gulf of Mexico. It's not so much that I take part of some sport and/or activity that requires a large body of water. It's just that I think living in the middle of a continent would quite probably make me feel incredibly closed in and trapped. So perhaps I'll stick to the coastlines...or at least within a few hours of them.

Third, my first is reading a book entitled "Dave and Jane's Band."It's a little storybook about a band made up of these beatnik cats.Dave plays the guitar, Jane plays the drums. Their band is called"Dave and Jane's Fat Cat Band." Obviously, the rest of the band ismade up of fat cats. The entire story is basically the band gettingready to play on the "main stage" (working on long A words) and thenJane and Dave play so loud that the Fat Cats run away (into the rain,no less). The book ends with these words: "No fat cats? Let's fixthat! No fat cats? What a shame! Dave and Jane's band has a brand newname. 'Dave and Jane's NO Fat Cat Band.'" Aside from the obviousconcern that the book encourages kids to do their own thing andexclude all those who don't like it completely, the book is entirelyold to me. The fact that the cat's name is Dave has truly been thebane of my existence. I was trying to make up some homeworkworksheets, being SO careful to spell the name correctly (and not likemy dog's name is spelled ) and of course, when I showed thefinished product to the Korean teacher she was like, "Umm...Teresa, you misspelled Dave." And surely enough, there it was, plain as day "DAIVE." Nice. Also, the first page of the book says, "Dave is in a band. Dave likes to play. Dave will play his guitar in the band today." Same time, working on the homework sheets, and I happened to glance up and see that I had typed, "Dave is in a bank." It was definitely about this time that I just completely lost it and died laughing. No one else in the office understood why "Dave is in a bank," was so funny, and I'm not entirely sure I know was just one of those times where, even if I wanted to, I could not have stopped laughing.

For the record, there is one other time that was hilariously funny to me and incomprehensible to everyone around me, and just for my own sake, I think I'll put it in here again though it was absolutely nothing to do with Korea, my life now, or anything like that. It was when I was working at Banfield in Dothan, I was talking to Dr. F about how my friend had ordered this new diet program. The program was "Michael Thurmond's Six Week Body Make-Over." I was interrupted mid-conversation (you know, some client had the audacity to make me do my job), and when I went into the back again later, Dr. F, said, "Tell me more about this Jimmy Stewart body makeover." Of course this made me laugh rather hard. It was even more later, when we were all standing around in the back eating ice cream (we DID work sometimes, I promise) and I was trying to tell everyone else about the joke, and about the diet program. I introduced it by saying "Yeah, so she asked me to tell her about the Jimmy Carter Body Makeover," so not trying to be funny...and Dr. F interrupted me to tell me, rather kindly, that I was an idiot, and correct what she said. I had to sit on the floor I was laughing so hard...Jimmy Stewart and Jimmy Carter are two of those entirely unrelated names that I always get confused, and I just could not get my composure. (And see, it's not funny at all tragic.) Another pair of james I get confused are Jesse James (the old cowboy, not the motorcycle guy) and Jesse Jackson. It's sad, isn't it? I'm a reasonably intelligent person and can never remember the difference between an actor and a former president, and a cowboy and...well Jesse Jackson has a few different...forget it - I just don't know, actually.

So school today seemed long. By the time it was time for my sixth grade class, I was in a totally foul and wretched mood. And considering how hyper and irritating the majority of my sixth graders are, it was just not too good. I'm sure a few of them think I sit around dreaming up new ways to make them hate me, but I really don't. I try to explain to them that if they didn't act like wild, uncontrollable, little beasts they wouldn't have extra homework, but they just don't seem to get it. Luckily, sixth 13-year old opinions mean very little to me.

I have an amazing story I'm going to try to post in the next few days. Should be enjoyable for everyone. So keep an eye out for it! Good night all!


I take it all back

Okay, all my talk about how I slept so good and feel so great - forget it. It only took physical movement to turn the entire thing around. I'm at work now and I feel like my entire world is full of very thick fog, or very thick soup. My ears are incredibly stopped up - but I'll be optimistic and say that maybe them being so stopped up can serve as natural earplugs during my louder classes. Every part of me aches, I have a severely delayed reaction to everything - I'm totally a space cadet today.

Incidentally, whoever designed my bathroom and put the medicine cabinet right over the toilet obviously never met anyone like me. I've only dropped two things in the toilet so far, and the water was as clean as toilet water can be, but it's just the principle of the matter. Very annoying.
I'm off to try to wander through the fog/soup that is my day.


Sleep is nice

One of the things I tried to post about yesterday (but was thwarted) is that I'm getting sick again. This will be the third time I've been sick since I've been here, which is very strange. I don't normally get sick this often. Yesterday I felt like garbage. I didn't go to church, I pretty much just laid in bed most of the day. My head felt like half of it was full of cement, my ear seemed to be threatening to explode, and...well, it was just no good. However, I just got up about twenty minutes ago, and I slept better last night than I have in ages. I think that good sleep is one of the best things in life. Yesterday I was feeling gross, and entirely dreading going to work - but now that I have been rejuvenated by an amazing night of sleep, I'm dreading it less. Last time I was in a good mood and thought to myself, "You know, I don't even care of my students are bad today. I love my job, and even when they're horrible it's not so bad," I ended up totally jinxing myself and all of my classes went horribly. Anyway, I need to get ready to go to work, so I'm going to end this. But I will make a valiant effort to try again to post everything I was trying to post yesterday. Good morning/day/night everyone! :)

Sunday, February 20, 2005 

Forget the whole thing

I typed out - TWO TIMES - a post of significant length, filled with all the personal details and witty humor that I'm sure keeps you coming back here (sarcasm). And twice (count 'em: one, two) the entire thing has disappeared for NO good reason whatsoever. And so, for tonight, I am SO done. Forget it. I hate blogger. This is ridiculous. Maybe later.

But, for accuracy purposes I will retype (for the third time) my HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes for my dear (2nd?) cousins Kathy and Tory. Happy Birthday girls! :)

Everything else - no way. I am so done.

Saturday, February 19, 2005 

A tenative decision

As must be obvious from my last post, I've been struggling with an internal decision. I've come to a tenative decision, so I wanted to say thank you to everyone for allowing me to ramble and rant. Thanks especially to my sister, my Georgia mom, and my stupid-moment friend. :) Your encouragement helped me out considerably. I promise that I'm not intentionally trying to be cryptic and/or mysterious. Said decision is important only to me, but concerns things definitely too private to share here. Nonetheless, since so much of my decision-related frustration was necessarily oozing from the last post I wanted to give you all the happy news that I'm resolved. All is well.

Incidentally, I'm glad I shared about the Zoloft thing. Psychiatric disorders, and the resulting medication is a difficult, multi-faceted, and controversial subject. I speak for no one but myself when I say that, for the time I had them, they were quite helpful and I'd say necessary. But this time in my life seems to be one of healing and restoration in many ways, and mentally/emotionally is one of the major areas where God is bringing about such healing. And please do not take the last post as evidence that I should perhaps get back on such medication. :) I was very frustrated. That's all.

Most importantly, I am currently boiling peanuts. And I am more excited about it than I think almost anyone could possibly understand. It's QUITE exciting. When I saw the raw peanuts still in the shell I almost cried out with joy and excitement. I'll let you know how they turn out. I spent about five hours last night boiling beans. I bought these two bags of dried beans at Wal-Mart, and I was trying to make some of the ones that might be black beans last night. Ironically they taste more like boiled peanuts than beans to me. So, worst case scenario, maybe my boiled peanuts will taste like beans. Then, no loss. Anyway, I need to go add some more water and check on them again. Hope you all are doing well! :)

Thursday, February 17, 2005 

Sometimes Blogging Stresses Me Out

I couldn't fall asleep last night (which has been the norm for me lately) and so I was laying there thinking of a few things I wanted to mention in my next post. Then I just started thinking - where is the line? There are some things that aren't appropriate or proper to talk about. Certainly I could say anything I want to - nothing physically restrains me - but what is worth saying? I've become quite talented at relaying all the mundane (but new and foreign) day-to-day activities and events of my life, but I do a poor job of conveying much more than that. And lately there's much that can't be conveyed, for a whole variety of reasons. Sometimes (like now) I think blogging is a clever way for people to feel important - with certainly no offense meant towards anyone but myself. When this is the only source of information people have about my life, as it is for most of my family and friends, it makes me sad that they may know my schedule but not my heart. And my heart has been undergoing some significant changes as of late. But again, due to a variety of reasons, not all of these changes can be shared. I'm sure everyone has read blogs where the blogger shares too much - when they put private information up in a pretty public area. I don't want to be like that. I had an experience a few weeks ago that was strikingly similar to something out of a movie (if a movie could be made about little stupid dreams of mine coming true) but I can't share it here because of how it is related to another area of my life that is, as of this moment, unsettled.

And beyond just what is too private to be shared, what about what is appropriate or not? For example, is it appropriate for me to share that I have found out the way to get my sixth grade boys to behave? Yesterday was warmer than it has been lately and I wore a regular shirt of mine with a light jacket, rather than a sweatshirt or a big bulky jacket like I usually wear. From the stares I got, you'd have thought the boys didn't know that breasts existed - and that they certainly didn't know I had any. And it's not like I was wearing something inappropriate or showing cleavage or any such thing. It's just that I wasn't wearing three layers like usual. But see, is that appropriate to share? I don't know.

Is it appropriate to talk about the fact that I'm experiencing life without the help of psychiatric medication (zoloft) for the first time in over a year? This is a big part of my life - I struggled with grief, depression, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies for quite some time. And I'm no longer on the medication - but is that information too private to share?

I need to clarify: I'm not appealing to any one person's idea of what is appropriate. I have my own personal standards and ideals, which are based on an objective standard. I've been studying about biblical womanhood and godly femininity lately, and I suppose this all has to do with that. It's not that either of the previous topics would require me to not discuss breasts or psychiatric medication, the question I am thinking over is whether this is an appropriate medium in which to share them. And though I obviously have, in fact, shared them, I'm still not sure.

Anyway, I have more to say (imagine that) but I also have a class in five minutes. Ah yes, before I forget - I'm getting internet in my apartment tomorrow - so I'll probably be blogging more and I'll definitely be online more.


This is Seoul Tower. You can actually see it from one of the pics from Building 63.  Posted by Hello


This is the roof of this palace-looking thing outside of Seoul Tower - another place visited on our break. Posted by Hello


If you notice, traffic is really going one direction...this was the day of or right after the Lunar New Year - so either everyone is going TO their families or going back home Posted by Hello


Building 63 again Posted by Hello


Another one from building 63 Posted by Hello


These pictures were taken from Building 63, which Kylie, Donovan, and I visited over our break for the Lunar New Year. Posted by Hello


My kindergarten class - and those two boys on the left probably are as unhappy and confused as they look. The picture was for a monthly newsletter sent to their parents, but they didn't understand why the Korean teacher kept on coming in and taking pictures and making us all pose. It was a bit distracting. Posted by Hello

PS - My hair is much longer than it was last time any of yall in the States saw it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005 

Octopus Day

We have a system here in the office so that everyone has a specific day that they have to go down and get lunch and bring it upstairs for us to eat. (I did mention before that the school provides lunch for us everyday, right?) Anyway, given that I'm one of those spoiled westerners who are unwilling to break out of my culture, especially when it comes to food, every day is pretty much hit or miss. I try to keep a noodle cup here (ramen noodles are HUGE here - sold in every little convenience store, even the ones about the size of a closet) on the days that I don't eat what the school provides. Wednesdays are my day - but I only have to take the dishes and food back downstairs (the guy I'm paired up with has to go downstairs and get it). I was waiting upstairs when he brought it in and uncovered looked good, but perhaps a little questionable. Donovan asked what it was and the reply was "Octopus." Thank God for the little niggle in my brain this morning that made me buy a noodle cup when I stopped to buy an umbrella on my way to school today.

Last night some of the foreign teachers got together and we watched a movie entitled Napoleon Dynamite. Anyone seen it? If I remember correctly, it's from the makers of the movie Best in Show. It was humorous - and yet also scary because I know some people like Napoleon. However, we ate Papa John's pizza - which was beyond delicious (and they have the garlic sauce stuff here, though it was different and tasted more like it belonged on popcorn than on pizza). We got bulgogi pizza - bulgogi is a type of Korean food (obviously) and it's kinda like beef stew - but not like any kind I've ever had before in my life. It's more soup-like than stew-like, and I've only had it once, but it was HEAVENLY. Anyway, the pizza was delightful, as was the movie and the company. So far the best pizza I've had here was from a Wal-Mart. Isn't that a bit strange? Last Friday Kylie, Donovan, and I went to a Pizza Hut. Only, it was a Pizza Hut Plus. Translation: more expensive, and WAY fancier than any Pizza hut I've ever been to before. The pizza was good, but not amazing, but the atmosphere - because of how bizarre it was to me - made the experience worth it (worth it = translation, it was very expensive). On my way to church though, I have seen a regular Pizza Hut, so maybe one day I'll try that and see how that works for me.

I'm a bit embarrased at this point at how much I've talked about food. It's just that so much of it here is not so good (in my opinion only, of course) and finding food that is familiar and good (either/or) is quite exciting. Anyway, I should go and actually do some work now - though I'm already quite ahead with my lesson plans. I'm sure I'll finish and have time to post more of my meaningless (but endearing, right?) ramblings.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 

Weather and Red Day

I was just thinking that it seemed like it's been awhile since I'd had a dark, gloomy, rainy day (speaking of the weather, of course). Today has been the perfect dark, gloomy, rainy day. Incidentally, I don't find dark, gloomy, rainy days gloomy or depressing at all. I wish it was because I had some kind of overall concept of the "big picture" that is aware of the need for rain. I'm not that well-rounded or aware enough of life beyond myself. I just like rain. And I've found that I like rainy days when it's cold (provided I'm not out in it) more than hot and humid rainy days.

An interesting thing about Valentine's Day - yesterday was what Koreans call Red Day. On Red Day (AKA, Valentine's Day) girls are supposed to give chocolate to guys. On White Day (March 14) guys are supposed to give candy to girls. And then April 14 (I am SO not making this up) is Black Day. This is the day when all singles get together and eat this food affectionately termed "black spaghetti." I cannot pronounce, let alone try and transliterate the Korean name of Black Spaghetti. But that's really how it works around here. Quite funny, huh? My sixth grade class is made up of 6 13-year old boys. When I walked in, they said to me, "Where's our chocolate?" I only responded with a bit of a scoff. I did give them this horrible plum-type flavored candy, which they were wise enough to at least pretend to enjoy.

I had to work late last night, because we missed a class just before the Lunar New Year, and had to make it up. So I spent Valentine's Day at school. I left at nine o'clock, went home, and made something that might as well be called "dinner." I have to say though, that by the grace of God, I did not spend the day revelling in self pity and angst. It's been quite delightful, actually.

Part (a major part) of why the day ended on such a nice note is because I got to talk to my dear friend Jessica Faircloth. She's very pregnant, been on bed-rest for two months, and is just as hilarious as ever. She told me a story that is EASILY one of the top five funniest stories I've ever heard in my life. I was laughing so loud and so hard that I was afraid my neighbors were going to come yell at me. Oh gracious, I'm sitting here chuckling like a moron just thinking about it. I know that not everyone who reads this knows her, but I think I'm going to ask her permission to post it. Seriously...SUCH a funny story. Talking to her was amazing. It did leave me with a bit of a bitter aftertaste though - having nothing to do with her. I've realized recently that babies are not bad, and embarrassingly enough, I've been having somewhat of maternal type feelings. I wouldn't go nearly so far as to mention a biological clock, but I will say that I am experiencing an interal reprioritizing. Does that make any sense?

Anyway - I have class in about fifteen minutes, and have a few things left to do before then. I also wanted to say thank you to the anonymous-but-not-really-anonymous commenter on the previous post. You know who you are (and so do I!) and I appreciate the encouragement. :) I was talking to one of my friends and was sad because I thought that Daive's perspective on Korea was at least mildly clever, and was hoping someone would identify with my semi-morbid and definitely crude sense of humor. When no one didn't, I just felt a bit dumb. Anyway, thanks to you - and of course to everyone - for your support and encouragement! :)

Saturday, February 12, 2005 

Korea from the eyes of Daive (and my human, and more helpful, interpretation)

Daive says:
I love it here! My nose is never bored!
Teresa's interpretation
It usually reeks here in a most serious and severe way, between the open grates to the sewer and the variety of (in my opinion) disgusting seafood creatures and/or insects being cooked at any given time.

Daive says:
Walking down the street is SO much fun! Always so much to find!
Teresa's interpretation
Everytime I have to walk Daive I have to be on full alert to make sure she doesn't get into any of the disgusting garbage or frozen puke that is so frequently all over the streets.

Daive says:
I do wish there were more cats.
Teresa's interpretation
I'm only glad that I don't have to worry about Daive being mauled or maimed by any of the feral super-feline mutations that lived outside of our home in Tel Aviv.

Daive says:
The food is different, though.
Teresa's interpretation
Even the dog food here smells like fish.

Daive says:
It is much colder here than anywhere else I've ever been.
Teresa's interpretation
It's gross, yes, but she seems fascinated by the fact that her poop steams. Whatever.

Thursday, February 10, 2005 

A request for my friends in Israel

I have this problem in that when I left Israel, I left my cell phone there and forgot to get the numbers out of it. So, for all of you dear TASP friends of mine, please email me your phone numbers. Thanks. :) ( I miss you guys so much! I was actually thinking, here are some of the things I miss about TASP and Israel (in no particular order)

1. How Becca always said "Boker Tov" (and how she said it) no matter what time of day it was
2. Tiffany's daily text message to check up on me and see how I was
3. Eating dinner with Mary discussing everything from evolution to sex to politics (and all things in between too)
4. Going for schwarma with Natalie N.
5.. How Mary text-messaged me when something important happened (bombing at the market, Arafat's death, etc.)
6. Natalie K's food (yum!)
7. I also miss laughing during the five million introductions we had to do at the beginning of the year, and how certain people (Matt) would say the same thing in the same way (with the head nod). Good times!

Ah, on that note, I'm going (again). I think this is for real the last time I'm going to post today. Good evening!


One more thing...

I forgot to add that I salvaged a delightful little table from the garbage. Korean people seem to be opposed to old things or slightly messed up things. I've been looking for a table similar to this and they range from 30 to 50 dollars, and this one is just dusty. Very nice. I'm actually about to take it upstairs and clean it up. There's a very good chance that I'm goin to start some kind of fun theology discussion group, and I was a little concerned that we'd be stuck sitting on the bare empty table-less floor in my apartment. Now with this table all I have to get is a nice cushy comfortable rug, and we'll be good and ready to go. I'm very excited about it. I'm waiting until after the missions class I'm taking at church is over, but there are a few people that have expressed an interest in it, and it should be quite delightful.

I also just finished watching The Pirates of the Caribbean which is a fabulous and funny movie. I am currently waiting to see what is on the Discovery channel...Korea is so much more western than Israel. Daive seems anxious to go outside, so I'm going to stop rambling and go home (upstairs).


I'm watching the news!

I'm currently loitering in Kylie and Donovan's apartment, where there is a TV (with cable!), and an internet connection. I'm watching NBC news right now! It's very exciting!

So our trip to building 63 yesterday was relatively fun. We saw an IMAX movie, Lions of the Kalahari (or something like that). We had to sit in a certain section of the theater and use an earphone to listen to the movie in English. It was the least IMAX-like movie I've seen in my life, which was actually very okay with me. I only got sick to my stomach a few times. It was very violent though, quite a few little Korean babies and children had to leave because they were (rightly so) afraid of the lions roaring, and traumatized by the scenes where the lionesses were attacking and eating the gazelles.

Anyway, there is also an aquarium in the building, and it was nice. It was definitely one of those "You know you're not in Florida when...." moments. There was a section of the aquarium where there were large fish and one decently large turtle and that turtle had the attention of almost everyone in the aquarium. At one point I saw a catfish, and I said to Kylie and Donovan that catfish was a kind of fish I actually liked, and they didn't even know that people ate catfish! It's so funny the kind of moments that serve as culture shock.

I had a very nice time yesterday. I'm enjoying my last day of the break too, still in my pajamas, sitting in Kylie and Donovan's apartment, and plan on being entirely lazy for the rest of the day. Very nice....I'm enjoying it thoroughly.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005 

My Plans

My dear sister was so kind to ask about my health. And because of her, now you all have to hear about it. I actually do feel much better now. My voice actually works on a fairly regular basis now, which is definitely an improvement. As far as internet connection, I do not have one now, and might not get it hooked up in my apartment until next month. I'm just not sure yet. I'll be sure to let you all know though.

Today Kylie, Donovan, and I are going to a place (I cannot remember the name) that is the tallest building in Korea, supposedly. It has an IMAX theater, an aquarium, and an observatory. Perhaps I'm simply a glutton for punishment because I'm going to another tall building to look out another big window where I will inevitably get a big headache or stomach ache. Nonetheless, I'd prefer this than just sitting around wishing I was doing something more interesting. So anyway, we're about to leave, so I'm going to end this. Have a good day (night) everyone!

Monday, February 07, 2005 

Good news!

Guess what! I bought a laptop! I'm not entirely sure if it was a legal transaction...because the price was FAR more reasonable than anywhere in an actual store. Nonetheless, I have a laptop - I am typing on it right now, even, and am quite pleased with the entire situation.

My time off has been productive. Kylie, Donovan, and I went to the Seoul tower, and rode in a cable car up the mountain. It was nice, for the most part. There's no such thing as claustrophobia in this country. A small elevator has a capacity of 17 people...the cable car we rode in had a supposed capacity of 38 people. Luckily there weren't 38 people in it, but with as many people as were in it I was still a bit claustrophobic. Not to mention I'm also afraid of heights...this may seem like it wasn't such a good idea. I had a delightful time, though I got a bit dizzy when I was looking through the super-powered binnoculaurs, and because when we were up in Seoul tower we were really quite high. The revolving restaurant we went to (sat down, and then left when we saw the prices) also didn't help my dizziness. Nonetheless, I had a great time.

We watched part of the Super Bowl too, which was nice. Right now we're watching the Simpsons and another cartoon Donovan taped. It has been quite an exciting day. On that note, I'm going to go so I can finish watching this show.

Friday, February 04, 2005 

Happy New Year!

The big holiday here, aside from Christmas, of course, is the Lunar New Year - it's actually starting tomorrow-ish and goes through to the 10th of February. So on that note, this will be the last time I can post anything until next Friday...unless I become so ambitious so as to attempt to navigate in a Korean PC room (I referred to them as "internet cafes" and was gently rebuked). We shall see.

Have I mentioned how extremely cold and dry it is here? If not, let me just tell is extremely cold and dry here! Right now it's only 19 degrees F (I did not get the hang of the whole Celsius thing while in Israel, and it so far continues to be far beyond my mental grasp). And it's a dry cold, which is an entirely new experience for me. Living in Florida all my life, my only idea of "dry" is what you do when you get out of the beach, pool, or shower. I always thought it would be nice to experience what a dry heat or dry cold would be. I changed my mind. I have to sleep with a humidifier on every night, which isn't so bad, except that the floors are not carpeted - which is good in a really important way (no mold can grow down in there), but inevitably, I always forget to sop up all the condensation in the morning and nearly break some very important bone as I walk from my bed to the kitchen. On that note, my voice is nearly gone. It can't quite make up it's mind if it wants to stay or go, so it's kinda halfway there. It's actually annoying, because I have to do a lot of yelling in my kindergarten and first grade classes, and now it's become a sort of a yowl...I can say part of a word loudly and then my voice either cracks or disappears entirely. My students think it is hilarious though. Just now, one of the Korean teachers asked me if I had taken any medicine, which I haven' she offered me a bottle of this liquid not-quite-medicine, but a nutritious Korean traditional drink that seems to help mostly all that might ail you. She said it had to be warm first, so she kindly went downstairs to warm it up (I wouldn't have been able to communicate with the people in the kitchen to tell them what I needed to do). Both Jenny and Ally (two of the Korean teachers) sat there, watching me expectantly, obviously trying to hold back smiles, as I began to drink it. I paused for a moment, realizing that if they weren't as nice as I know they are, they could be giving me any variety of disgusting concocction to drink, and I'd be helpless, since the bottle was in Korean. Nonetheless, I know that they are entirely nice, so I drank it. It definitely wasn't good. At most barbecue restaurants I've been to, they have a kind of sweet barbecue sauce. The aftertaste of this stuff tasted like the aftertaste of sweet barbecue sauce, but the actual taste tasted nothing like it. I'm sure I'm making no sense at all. And I don't know if it is because of the power of suggestion, but I think part of my throat already feels better. We shall see, we shall see.

I must quickly make mention of the fact that, where I am, it is already my sister's birthday. Happy Birthday Val! I called her this morning, which was very exciting for me, because I don't get to talk to either of my sisters often enough. I'm already in the thinking mode, to find THE perfect birthday gift for her. If anyone has suggestions, email me.

Before I go, I think I'll put in a shameless plug. I'm going to include both my address and phone number here today. I'm putting my address, because I always forget to give it when people ask for it. And I'm putting my phone number in because...well, in the hopes that some dear friend of mine will take pity on me and call me during the next week. (See? Shameless...just like I promised!)

Teresa Tucker
Skyville 402 Seokchon-dong 154-8
Songpa-gu, Seoul, Korea 138-843

Phone number: 82-2-425-4003

With that said, I shall go and do much work. Happy New Year! :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005 

Tuesday, February 01, 2005 

Lawyers and Liars

One of the kind-of vocabulary words for my fourth grade classes is lawyer. It's a tired joke I know, but struck me as humorous that they really could only barely pronounce the difference between lawyer and liar.

I got my alien registration card this morning, which required almost two and a half hours on the subway and a walk that wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't -16 degrees (F) today! Oh my goodness! And of course I don't own a scarf or a decent hat. That's a priority to get, certainly. Meanwhile though, I am exhausted. I'm beat...I have hardly any energy and I'm ravenous. On that note, I'm heading home to attempt to defrost my chicken without cooking it like I did last time. (My new microwave is a potent little thing....quite powerful, no matter what setting it's on.)


Kimchi, not for me is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
First Aid and Health Information at Medical Health