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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sleep

Sometimes I really wish I were Korean. Koreans have this magic ability to sleep anywhere. To make the ability even more magical, they always seem to know exactly when to wake up. I see sleeping Koreans most often on buses or trains. If I fell asleep I would miss my stop and/or ride the route in circles. Koreans always know exactly when to wake up and get off.

So whether insomnia hits me on a bus, train or a random bench, I wish I had Korean in my blood.




Story about the picture... I was at a bus terminal waiting for my departure. I saw this girl on a bench and watched her for a solid twenty minutes. Head down, she kept falling to her right. If it were me u would have just laid down. But she'd sway until she was almost vertical then pop back up. Sway. Pop back up. Sway. Pop back up. You get the picture. For 20 minutes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ricky

As guilty as I feel for blogging about my students, the stories are to hilarious not to. My post today is a diary entry from Ricky. He is 13 (so his Western age is 11 or 12) and has recently returned from the Philippines where he attended an almost three month English camp (by himself). So now he believes his English is perfect and he's too good for Korea. Take a look... (obviously) nothing has been edited.


Hellow every one ~! I'm come back Today I want to talk about experence in the Philippines first Philippine is England's colny so I can find fortress every where and we can find some bomb so I think I'm rucky goy because when I born in Philippine when colny I think I will die so I think I'm rucky guy and always I said I miss best English camp because at there are very strict but some times It can be fun time in there when we promised don't said lier, don't cry, promis the decorum when we promis this very well It can be funny class also I promis this very well so I think It is funny moment before I came back to Korea I think there is heaven so I can live there but in here at my home I can't leave any more becaus my home like a hall and my mother like defil so I don't want to stay in my house and my mind is already go andromeda so I can't do anything when I go to the Philippines my mind will come back so I want to said I must go at Philippines and also I miss my teacher I miss them very much so I want to go to Philippines thank you for my listning

The longest run-on sentence EVER! This is Ricky's diary after I took my red pen to it.



Ricky still has a long way to go but his English is actually better now. And hopefully he'll escape "hall" and his devil mom and get back to the Philippines!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lisa

This little girl is one of the cutest little Koreans I've seen but bless her heart, she acts like her parents don't feed her.

She's only five years old, one of the youngest kids at my school. I guess her dad doesn't want her to ride the bus so he walks her to and from school every day. That's cute. But he's always late picking her up so she sits in the office with the teachers. Since we often have and share food during our breaks, we'll share with Lisa too.

Now Lisa thinks she's always entitled to food. The things we share are like little cakes and rolls. One day I had ramen and Lisa wanted some. She's cute but not cute enough to share germs with. So I had to explain that it's my food, I'm sorry. "No me try?" asks Lisa. "No you try," I say.

Still she continued to play with my food until I asked her to go sit on the other side of the room. If we have food sitting out but don't give her any she eyes it like a hawk. Like she lioness on thee hunt and ready to pounce.

Today Lisa is sitting at a teacher's desk and a different coworker and I are just doing our work... I hear plastic crinkling. Lisa for some reason is sticking her hand into that other teachers bag of veggies. Soon after Lisa rushes out of the room, concealing something in her hand. My coworker asks where she's going. "Me going bathroom," replies Lisa.

The little heifer stole a boiled egg! Maybe her parents need to send her tk school with some snacks!

Monday, March 5, 2012

80's Ladies

Last Thursday was a holiday. The Korean translation for it is Independence Day but my Korean friend said it's not Independence Day... So who knows which holiday it actually is but there was no school so I'll take it!

To get everyone together and to do something fun, my friend Roman organized a photo scavenger hunt! Tiffany, Mary and I started early (well 10 am...) in the morning to plan our outfits and get ready. We decided to be the 80's Ladies and put on ridiculous clothes and makeup. None of the other teams dressed up but it was a good time.

Everyone met downtown and got the list of things to find. The two hours spent hunting was basically time for us to act a fool and make Koreans laugh. Things we had to find included:

  • Hold a baby
  • Picture with a Korean with food on your face
  • Plank
  • Human pyramid
  • Cola on the bottom, chicken on top
  • Dress like an ajumma
  • Kiss a Korean
Etc...

We also had to get videos, varying in length of us hugging, proposing and singing in public. To judge who wins (and gets like $200!) all the groups have to upload the pictures and videos on Facebook and then everyone can vote for the best group. I'm pretty sure we have it in the bag! Take a loot at some of the craziness...

I think he's into me.

We probably picked the dirtiest spot downtown to do this...

Mary as an ajumma.

We had to eat "bondeggi", boiled silk worm larvae.

Planking.

Two Korean men holding hands. Their facial expressions are priceless.

BABYYYYYY! He was not thrilled by the way.

One of my students helped out and posed for a photo!

Genius idea: Coke on the bottom with popcorn chicken on top!

Food on my face + a Korean. Done.

Taxi

Not the show, the real thing. I have my scooter but when it's raining or if I know I'll be drinking, I usually take a taxi. They're cheap and sometimes very interesting. My ultimate favorite taxi ride was the guy who put on the Macarena for us and started dancing while driving. Occasionally I'll get a driver who speaks a little English and uses it as class time. Had one guy tell me we were on a date ("Drive-uh Date-uh!).

In my experience, taxi drivers know where they're going. I always use pretty major landmarks to tell them where I'm going, but all the cars are equipped with GPS to put in the address if it's necessary. I went on a quick trip to Daejon last weekend and I must have just had bad taxi luck. The first cab I got into seemed to understand where I was going. He questioned what I said a few times so I kept repeating myself and just said, "Nayyyy," (yes) when he asked me questions because that's what I do... Well he didn't know where he was going. In fact, he drove me to the opposite side of town and then back when I finally got a hold of someone to tell him where to go. $12 wasted... Oh well...

Then I'm going home and get in a taxi to take me to the bus terminal. There are more than one bus terminals in the city so I said "Express Bus Terminal" (with a Konglish accent, of course) and he had no clue. I tried to play the gesture game and use my limited Korean skills. He started driving, but I was well aware he had no clue where to take me. I decided I didn't want to take a trip around town again so I just hopped out and got on the phone for some Korean help. My next driver was wonderful.

In addition to GPS, most taxis also have TVs in them! When I first got here I was definitely alarmed when a driver would watch TV while he was driving. Now I'm completely comfortable with it and even enjoy it. It's fun to make up English dialogue to what they're saying. My driver that particular morning was wonderful because he even switched his TV to CNN in English for me! I've had drivers put on special English music but English TV was a first for me. So we rode to my destination enjoying the speech from the Australian Prime Minister. Take a look... (this wasn't my driver but you get the picture..)


No taxi ride in America will ever compare.

Update

I post about funny happenings and what not, but don't really post about myself. Some of my readers I know or might hear what I'm up to through the grapevine. For the rest who may or may not care, here you go.

The month of March welcomes the new school year. All the stores are flooded with notebooks, backpacks and pencils (and shopping Koreans.) I avoid these stores at all costs. Yesterday (Sunday) I made the big mistake of going to E-Mart (comparable to Wal-Mart) for groceries in the afternoon. The only time I can tolerate E-Mart is in the morning when children are at school or late in the evening. Koreans love to take the whole family shopping on Sundays and Koreans are horrible shoppers. Maybe because I don't like shopping, but in stores they're completely oblivious to everything and everyone around them. (My mother completely agreed.) In fact, a man was looking at body wash. His basket was on one side of the isle, he was on the other. Since I needed to go down that isle, I had to step over his basket full of goods. I'm to the point where Koreans can get out of the way of my cart or get hit. I watch where I'm going. I'm fully aware that you are walking in the path of my buggy. It's not my fault you aren't looking. BAM!

March also brings a slew of new teachers. Last Thursday was a holiday so Wednesday night was the night to go out and meet all the newbies. I'd like to say I have a bunch of new friends now but that would be a lie. It was completely overwhelming. We're talking more than 40 new faces, names to learn and stories to listen to. I just wasn't up for it. So I sat with my girlfriends in the corner, secretly judging and making bets on who would be the first to drop their drink or go home with Josh (***name changed for privacy...***). I remember names of about four new people. I figure I'll have a year to meet the rest.

My work schedule has also changed with the coming of the new school year. It's sweet. I try not to brag about my job too much because people get angry. But just give me two minutes... So before February, I had about 120 students and four co-teachers. One teacher left so that makes three. (I could totally be a math teacher if I wanted!) So now I have less than 100 students! Hooray! Every day I go into work at around 3:30 (let's be serious... around means I roll in at 3:45 or 3:50) and start teaching at 4:30. I finish at 9 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 6:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have at least two hours of break time every day. Actually today is Monday and I have more break time (3.5 hours) than I teach (2.5). I. Love. My. Job.

I dog sat this weekend. My friend Emily went to the Philippines so I stayed with her adorable puppy Sadie. We had a good time. Slash pretty much slept all weekend to recover from the nights I went out. This was how we felt on Sunday.


I also took full advantage of Emily's slow cooker and made a roast with potatoes and carrots and chili. Yum!

Hmmm... Let's see, what else? Oh, I'm starting a new class this week. I'll be teaching adults who work at one of the steel plants in town. Three times a week for an hour each day. It's a free talking/conversation/business class. I'm a little nervous to start tomorrow but I'm sure it will be fine. 

Other than that there's not much new going on. It's finally starting to warm up a little but supposed to be rainy all week. Blah. Bring on the sun so I can go to the beach, Mother Earth!

That's it for now, folks!