Weeks 25 & 26

Haha. I sense a trend in two weeks in one blog post forming. I shouldn’t do this though because as already mentioned, I have a shit memory.

Thursday the 22nd, my smallest class composed of two boys with the same name – the Daniels, drew me and my co-teacher on the board. Notice how I have a new name and no arms in the rendering on the left. That’s from a boy who I taught six months ago. He still remembers my full name and how to spell it… I worked at the same company for three years and people still couldn’t remember how to pronounce, let alone spell my last name. I guess that just goes to show that my nine year old student is more intelligent that those people?

Saturday, June 24th, not one, but two of my coworkers got married… and not to each other. It was a highly interesting experience as every wedding I’ve been to, with the exception of one, were all with the same cultural background. Korean weddings, from what was kindly explained to me by other co-workers, last at most three hours. There is a short ceremony and then a celebratory meal and then everyone goes on their way. When I shared how long receptions go on in the USA, one co-worker was appalled and said, “if that happened here, people would be so offended and burdened!”

The first wedding we all went to was for our co-worker Kathy. It was a very grand affair with four forks per place setting and I was so happy to remember my home economics training regarding these types of place settings. When we arrived, we went to the “bride’s room” and took pictures with Kathy. She looked gorgeous, as always. She had a western wedding dress for the first half of the ceremony and then changed into a hanbok – her husband also changed from a suit to hanbok. They had a western style meal with, what seemed like an endless supply of courses. Unfortunately, we had to leave before dessert to head to the next wedding. ☹️

I’m sure we were all a sight traveling on the subway in our wedding garb. We traveled for an hour and a half to the next venue. I was a creep and took photos of two my coworkers sleeping on the train. hahahahahahahahaha. It was a long journey and I had to keep entertained, okay? We arrived at the train station and were running through it, I’m still not entirely sure why we were running but it worked our in the end because we caught the last shuttle from the station to the venue. We arrived just as the ceremony ended and they were taking group photos with family and friends. I’m sure it looked bad as a foreigner collective showed up just after the ceremony was over but just in time to eat the meal. This wedding seemed more modest and comfortable. I didn’t have to think about which fork to use for what. The food was Korean and delicious. The couple, again, changed in to hanbok and thanked everyone for helping them celebrate their marriage.

I got curious about cruises and accidentally sorted them by highest price… and stumbled upon a $30,000 cruise that lasts for 134 days. ONE HUNDRED THIRTY FOUR days on a cruise boat floating around the world. I get irritated being away from my “home base” for more than three days, I can’t even imagine being on “vacation” for that long. Could you even call it that? Maybe if I were more monetarily inclined and didn’t have plans for the next, what, six months I’d do it… but that still seems too long.

My students got a hold of my phone and took this picture of me. I think it looks nice.

I swore for the first time in class on Thursday. In my defense, I almost shut and locked us in a room with a broken door handle. So as I caught myself automatically closing the door as class started, I said, “oh shiiiit,” rather loudly. My students were like 😮 “TEACHER! WHAT DID YOU SAY?!” and then started to chant, “oh shit! oh shit! oh shit!” It was really difficult for me to keep a straight face, tell them to stop, and apologize to them. After I apologized, they let it go…for a little bit. They also told me they wanted to call my mom and tell her I was being bad, but honestly my mom wouldn’t be shocked at all to hear of this. I’m just really proud of myself that it took ten months for this to happen. *pats self on back*

Friday my highest level class had to decide on a person to interview in their class and they chose me. It was was so hilarious because I made each student think of one question they wanted to ask me. They were mostly generic questions until we got to the only boy in the class who came up with: teacher do you like to exercise? I laughed and laughed at that and replied, “does it look like I enjoy exercising!?” and he was called out by the girls for being rude… I thought it was funny. His mind is very interesting because he tried to back peddle with, “teacher do you like food?” and the girls verbally attacked him again. Finally, he settled on – do you have a pet? The first question that was asked was, “how old are you?” and when I wrote the answer on the board everyone was so dramatic in their shocked reaction because my face is “젊은 얼굴” which they told me means young face. Shout out to my dad for giving me 젊은 얼굴!

Lately, it seems like the littlest accomplishments seem like the biggest victories to me. I figured out how to get an I-pin to verify my identity on the internet because Korean seems to like security protocols, which is in my best interest. I now have a point card that is usable at Baskin-Robbins so that’s an awesome thing that came from that. I also finally had to call my bank in the USA to let them know I can’t access my account because it wanted to send a confirmation text to my phone number that I no longer have and got it set up to send me a validation email instead. Woo-hoo being over 30 is so thrilling.

I finally got the results of my brother’s Ancestry DNA results back. And they probably the most underwhelming results ever. My mom did one of these tests a few months ago and both hers and my brother’s responses were identical – “well no surprises there.”

Until next week(s),

B

Week 20, 2017

I don’t really remember much from this past week. I forgot to write it down as it was happening…

Thursday one of my classes told me they were hungry and that I should buy them pizza… I told them no I shouldn’t and they should buy me pizza (jokingly of course). They asked why they should buy me food and I said because it will be my birthday on Friday. One of the students, Ann, was so excited at the idea that teachers have birthdays too. She told me she’d give a present to her little sister, Lisa, who is also one of my students on Friday. After we finished our lesson, she called her mom to tell her it was my birthday the following day. These kids are so precious sometimes.

Friday I turned 31.  As promised Ann’s little sister, Lisa, delivered the goods before classes started for the day. A cute treat bag full of candies. When class started, Lisa announced to the class that it was my birthday and asked them to sing Happy Birthday for me. I was in awe. Our former coworker came back from a three month excursion around Asia. Some of the kids were so confused at first. Others seemed to go crazy at the sight of her. The day went by relatively quickly. After work I went for a steak dinner and walked around the park. The school got me a super delicious cake for my birthday. 😎


Saturday I met the majority of my coworkers at Suwon Station. We were traveling to Jeonju by train. I’d never been on an intended long train ride in Korea. It was interesting but not that much different than a bus. The ride to Jeonju seemed to be going by really fast. We set out to find our lodging – a hanok. These traditional style buildings are so beautiful and interesting. The hanok we stayed at was very simple and cute. We went to wonder around and look at things around the area. Everyone, even the two dudes, got hair ornaments. Everyone except me got hearts. I got this sick hair pinwheel which was helping me make energy and brain power.


I took a photo of a random couple looking a tree that had surrounded a granite boulder while dressed in Hanbok. I took quite a few random photos.

We went to the night market. It was dirty and gross, like how I envision urban markets to be but haven’t really experienced. There was a giant pedestrian traffic jam and it was making me so anxious because the people were not moving. Later we went to a noraebang.

On Sunday, we woke up and went to get outfitted in Hanbok. The lady in the shop told me they wouldn’t have a jacket in my size and I could dress as a man. I anticipated this and was against dressing as a man. I either wanted to look like a pretty princess or look like my normal self. So I said no thank you and waited on the stairs while everyone else in the group found costumes. I was getting ready to go to a different shop and see if they had fat people sizes when the lady came out with a jacket and asked me to come try it. So I was outfitted in a navy blue Hanbok and ready to party. Except, it was exceptionally hot in that thing! We went to eat and explore more. I feel like I have never taken nor had that many photos taken of me in an hour and a half before. There was this super cute man who owned a coffee shop we stopped at that insisted on taking our photos with his own phone and offered to take photos of us on our phones as well. At first it was really creepy but it got more endearing as he suggested poses for us. Soon, it was time to return the hanbok and make our way to the train station to come back home.

Until next week,

B

Week 13, 2017

This past week we had a substitute teacher as one of the NETs was on vacation. It’s always interesting to meet transient teachers and hear the stories they wish to share.

I literally have no news from the week…other than I got my eyebrows touched up and I look ridiculous because my eyebrows are too brown right now.

Yesterday, I went to the Korean Folk Village in Yongin with my Korean class.

I got excited because it smelled like straw and animal shit and it reminded me of home…

Garlic garden

Coooooorrrrrrrrnnnnnnnn

I was impressed with this fence

A solo cherry blossom

A sign telling about dramas shot here

Basket weaver

 

Wind dancer

Korean pancake. Kimchi, plain potato, green pepper

Only the cool kids from class came on this trip 🙂

A pretty bridge

 

A rope walker


This performer man looks like he hates life lol

 


We were late to see this performance because we wanted to eat ¯\_(ツ)_/¯