Tuesday, January 31, 2006 

Monday, January 30, 2006 

Wax Museum

There's a group of wax models on display at this place here in Seoul. Kylie and I went there today (she didn't really want to, but I was tired of sitting in my apartment). It was mostly freaky. Lots of the models looked so realistic you were sure they were about to move, and the ones that didn't look realistic looked scary in a whole different way. My favorite was the one of Yasser Arafat, and the fact that I had Kylie take a picture of me beside it holding up the peace sign. If nothing else, at least I crack myself up. Anyway, here are some highlights of our afternoon at the wax museum.

And yes, that would be me grabbing Depp's rear end. I'm so naughty.He's totally got nothing on Kylie.
I imagine even his boogers are smart! Seriously though, this one was SO real I was afraid he might reach up and grab my hand mid-picture. Freaky!

Sunday, January 22, 2006 

From the commentary on Romans I am reading right now:

"As Calvin puts it, faith is 'a kind of vessel' with which we 'come empty and with the mouth of our soul open to seek God's grace.' 'Believeing,' then, while a genuinely human activity, possesses no 'merit' or worth for which God is somehow bound to reward us; for salvation is, from first to last, God's work." (on 1:16-17)

Saturday, January 21, 2006 

This is Christine (Chung-Un is her Korean name), one of my greatest friends here. Her birthday was on Tuesday, and I didn't even know about it until today. We went out for lunch and I gave her a crap gift. But the point is that I love her a lot. She's Korean-Korean but speaks English so well I forget that. Today at the restaurant, she just busted out speaking Korean to the waitress, and I was temporarily surprised. I had forgotten again. Anyway, she's amazing. She offered to help me with the whole moving enterprise that is coming soon (and was, until the moment she offered her assistance, absolutely terrifying). She's great. We had a good time together today.


The picture only shows the aftermath. To get the idea of how it really happened, you have to (in your imagination) put the lightbulb back in the fixture, screw on the glass cover, and then place yourself less than a foot away roughly 15 seconds after waking from a near-comatose sleep, while said lit-up glass orb is flying towards your face. That was my Friday morning. It's a miracle I (and all the annoying people I work with) survived the day after a start like that.


I got these two notes (from the same girl, by the way) about an hour after my class before hers told me I had dark circles under my eyes and my new hair style looked like a bird's nest. Ups and down, ups and down.

Friday, January 20, 2006 

Actual TOEFL Prep Book Listening Scripts

First one:

We can buy instant noodles all over the world. It is very easy to cook the noodles. Do you know who made them?
Nissin, a Japanese company, made instant noodles called ramen in 1958. They made very tasty chicken ramen first. People simply boiled noodles for about 3 minutes. Then, in 1971, Nissin made the first instant cup noodles. Making ramen was much quicker. People only poured hot water into the cup. Ramen made our lives simpler and easier in a busy life.

Question: Why did ramen change our lives?

A) Because they saved time
B) Because there were many types
C) Because not many people at them
D) Because the noodles were not tasty

2nd (background: people here drink hot water if they have sore throats or are sick. Also, if it's a cold day and you go into a restaurant, they bring you a steaming cup of hot water. just water. At first it made me gag, but now I'm used to it. In fact, over Christmas break when Christie was sick, I recommended the hot water thing to her. I'm becoming so Korean.)

W: What is the matter?
M: I have a cold and a runny nose.
W: Hmmm. Did you wash your hands after coming home?
M: Well, actually...no. I played soccer yesterday. So, I was hungry when I came home. I had a snack without washing my hands.
W: That's the problem. You should always keep your hands clean. Take this medicine three times a day and drink hot water.
M: I don't like hot water.
W: You must drink hot water, or else the cold will not go away.
M: I guess you know best. Alright, I"ll do it.

According to the question that follows, the woman speaking above is supposed to be a doctor. Bizarre stuff, I tell ya. Really though...hot tea is just hot water with some stuff in it. It still strikes me as a little strange, but whatever. When I went to my job interview for my upcoming job, they actually gave me a cup of hot water when I turned down tea. I should've just taken the tea, and then wouldn't have had to choke down the water without trying to stifle the gag reflex. My gag reflex has relaxed a lot since being here though. Plain sticky rice used to make me a little gaggy. So did warm water. But now...bring it on. The water is no issue, and now I just have kimchi with rice, and it's nowhere's near bland.

That's my input for the day. Enjoy, everyone.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

I went to the doctor again today. I broke down and went to the international clinic that's far from my apartment and maybe a little more expensive, but totally worth it. Last night I couldn't fall asleep for ages because my ears were all stopped up, hurting, and I was dizzy from it. The doctor said there was nothing in my ears (same thing the doc on Friday said) but then said that I could have a sinus infection (something the doc on Friday did not say). He did a few x-rays of my face, and said that I do, in fact, have a kinda severe sinus infection. This would explain basically why I've been so sick for the past few months, and why the headaches and ear problems have just been increasing.

Then I went to this supermarket that has a lot of imported food. I do not know how I have lived here for over a year without going to this place. I bought Cheez-Its, a HUGE thing of ultra concentrated Downy (for a whopping $25 dollars), and Campbell's tomato soup. They also had Feta cheese, but I'm going to save that purchase for when I can also find hummus and have the delicious little snacks Haley and I had together ages ago in the apartment. (Remember, H?)

I'm teaching an intensive on the TOEFL test (dunno what it stands for, but it's required for foreigners to be accepted at US and Canadian universities). The TOEFL test is really hard for excellent speakers of English, so I'll just let you imagine how difficult it is for fourth graders. It's a little ridiculous, but the school is not in the least interested in my opinion or something more realistic for their ability levels (TOEFL prep is a money-maker). Anyway, I teach listening and speaking. The listening book was definitely made in Korea and has some of THE funniest stuff in it. One of the dictation passages was entitled "How Ramen Changed Our Lives." I have the teacher's guide with the scripts, and I'll copy some of it. The one about Ramen, and the hot water one crack me up. I'll maybe post them tomorrow.


My Neighborhood

Some shots or around my neighborhood. The red crosses are something I've mentioned before...since Seoul is so crammed full of people, lots of churches can't build church-looking buildings, so they stick a steeple with a red neon cross on the top of their building. From where I took the picture of the above red cross, I could see four. But I couldn't get any good pictures that showed all four. Anyway...this is my neighborhood (at least for a few more weeks).



Okay, so the story is that on Sunday I fixed my hair like usual and went to church. That night I was bored, and decided I wanted to see what my hair looked like if I straightened it. Well, I straightened it, and it was really flat, limp, and horrible looking. So I bent over so my head was upside down, and hair-sprayed it. I was hoping for a slight boost. Holy cow. When I stood up and saw myself in the mirror, I actually scared myself. I mean, I jumped and made a funny face. Then my funny face made me laugh at myself (more than I was already laughing at the atrocious hair), so I decided to take a picture and try to recreate the expression. I figured at the least, it'd be funny and Bethany and my sister would appreciate it. It's utterly silly, and I can't belive I'm posting it here. It's good to not take yourself too seriously though...and I can't possibly after seeing this picture.

Incidentally, I showed Kylie, and she told me to email it to her. I did, and she made it her wallpaper on the computer at work. Thanks, jerk. Then she decorated it in paint, making me look like a scary clown. Then she said she would do the same thing to a picture of her so I wouldn't feel so bad. Now that picture of her (in which she gave herself an exceptional hairy mole, I might add) is my wallpaper at work. We are constantly cracking up, and many of the Koreans we work with might think we're insane. Nonetheless, we're having lots of fun with it. :)

Saturday, January 14, 2006 

My Party

The party went well.

It was initially a little awkward (and by awkward, I mean all three girls standing on top of my bed with expressions on their faces of pure terror because of the dog). Once I figured out the problem was the dog and not a sudden case of bashfulness, I put poor Daive in her kennel, and the rest of the afternoon went well. It was only supposed to be from 11:30 - 1:30, but they wanted to stay longer. They ended up staying until 4:30. We watched part of Home Alone (the first one), ate pizza, played a few games of Uno, and they played on my computer (amazed that it was all in English).

Okay, all the above was written on Saturday night. Now is Wednesday evening. I just lost the will to blog for a few days. I've been sick. I'll get to that in a few minutes though. I'll finish the details about my party, post some pictures, and then get on with the more recent news.

Back to the party...we went to the playground near my house. They played a little. And they very nearly convinced me to take them to the huge mall semi-close to my apartment. But I started feeling sick, and backed out (commiting myself to do so at a future date, a little unfortunately). One of the girls left around 3, then the other two came back to my apartment and played Uno. That is, until they noticed the cat licking his rear end in a rather immodest way. For some reason this amused them so much they both stopped playing and took multiple pictures of the spectacle with their camera phones. *shrug*

Thursday, January 12, 2006 

Remember the Christmas card from the girl who wanted to meet my dog and cat? In her honor, I am holding a party at my apartment this Saturday for the members of her class. This is my favorite class, but it is still completely weird that my students are coming to my house and this is okay with everyone. I wouldn't have even thought of it, but I was telling a Korean teacher about it, and she said I should just do it. I hadn't even considered it. But yeah, no big deal. Kylie is gonna be on stand-by, just because the North American in me won't allow me to be unsupervised with a handful of children for whom I am an authority figure. That sentence maybe didn't make sense, but you know what I mean. They're pretty excited about it, which is cute. But it still just strikes me as weird and doesn't sit entirely well with me. It should be interesting, and fun. At least one of them has told me that she's afraid of dogs, but I expect dog-phobia will suddenly manifest itself in all of them once they arrive here. I'll let you know how it goes.


This is what happens when the cat realizes that I'll feed him to shut him up or make him stop annoying me. How did it get this bad without me noticing?!


Currently Reading

Monday, January 09, 2006 

I wasn't trying to be artistic, but then I thought they looked cool. Hence, here they are. It's my dog.


My New Bed

PS - That's hair dye on my pillow...gotta hate how that happens. (Black hair dye, for those of who interested and/or concerned.)


My Old Bed


Obviously, a dog-picture posting marathon is in order...away we go!

This is, without a doubt, THE best picture of my dog ever taken. And my dear friend Kylie took it on my digital camera last Friday night. She looks so wise here, does she not? A far cry from the psycho puppy that (providentially) ran between the wheels of that $^#*@# green SUV on College Dr.


Here we see the full spectrum: Daive playing with her toy (the one Aunt Bethany sent, incidentally, though she may kill me for referring to her as my dog's aunt on here), ignoring the toy at the park where I took her to play with said toy, and ignoring everything but whatever imaginary bird or cat she sees while at the park. For those of you who haven't met her in person, she looks a bit like a hyena or a dingo. She's ugly by conventional dog standards. But she really has one of the best dispositions, and though I know I'm biased, really it's a wonder she's not more of a neurotic mess, given that I'm her owner.


But WAIT, there's more!!!

And THIS one...amazing. Isn't it? She's looking right at the camera. I love it. That's my dog, right there. I like her lots.

Saturday, January 07, 2006 

Last Night

This is how we inaugurated my new camera. Wait...did I mention that I bought a digital camera yesterday? It's used. It's big kinda. Hopefully that means it's durable. I absolutely THREW my cell phone on the ground today so hard that the battery popped out and I thought I killed it in a final kind of way. But I didn't, so all is well. Anyway, so here's hoping big camera = sturdy camera.

I think that's all the pictures. Wait. I have some amazing animal pictures to post but will save those for another day. Night!


This is New Year's Eve. (And Neil, I am not a lush. I am holding a shot glass, but it's not a shot of alcohol. It's what they serve this Korean alcohol in. And over the entire three hours, I had half a shot glass. So there.)

Then at midnight, in the bar full of couches and drunk people, they gave everyone sparklers at a little bit before midnight. Strike anyone else as being unsafe? There were no casualties that I know of though, so all is well.

By the way, this is Christie, the new teacher at my school.


Seoul Scenery

Top picture is a cool shot of the underside of one of the bridges over the Han River.

The second and third are shots from the Hangang Park, where Christie and I went on New Year's Afternoon. The second picture is looking across the river at TechnoMart (that's the tallest building in the picture). The third picture is looking west towards the olympic baseball stadium (that's the slightly funny shaped thing).


New Year's Eve

These are pictures from our outing at the Hangang Park (park by the Han river) on the afternoon of New Year's Eve. The top two pictures are of playground equipment that are unbelievably unsafe. I then made Daive climb up the playground thing, luring her with a stick of what is not natural cheese by any stretch of the imagination.


Pre-Christmas snow pictures

These pictures were taken from my window. And I wish I could reverse the order, but I'm too lazy to take them off and reattach them. The one on the left is actually looking out my window to the right, and the one on the right is looking out my window to the left. The most important part to this Florida girl is the white stuff.


Picture Central

The top two pics are of the girls from my fourth grade class. The one on the left shows them in their "rapping" pose. Do not ask me how a bunch of 11 year old Korean girls got infatuated with rapping (their "rap" being what they say at the end of every song we do in class, as follows: yo, yo, check it out, yo, everybody dance now, yo, oh baby).

And then there's Joey. It's not a great picture, but he is easy the cutest little Korean boy I've ever seen him. He's adorable, has one of the best little-kid laughs I've ever heard, and is amazingly smart. He's one of the four-year olds. His class started this game where one of them will look at me and say, "Hello lion!" (They started this after our unit on animals.) Then they started saying, "Hello TER," and cracking up laughing. So I would look around, shrug my shoulders, and say, "Who is TER???" And from that game they learned the difference between me/you...which is pretty dang good as I have some 9 year olds that can't quite get it. Then one day when we were playing this game while we were coloring, Joey looked up at me and said, "What's your name?" I laughed and said, "My name is Teresa." He said, "No...hangul, what's your name?" (Hangul = Korean word for Korean) He was asking what my Korean name was. Awww....he's a cutie!

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