Sunday, December 11, 2011

week two of teaching, weekends, and some pictures.

this week went by really fast, which was nice. half of my classes were cancelled because the middle school students have their super intensive exams this time of year. kinda sucks for my paycheck, but after two and a half weeks of going non-stop, it's a relief to have an easy week or two. i observed some more classes, decorated my apartment a little more, and got to hang out with some coworkers. we went to a good sushi buffet one night, saw a late showing of the new twilight movie another night... (and oh. my. goodnesss. that movie was terrible. we were laughing our asses off pretty much the whole time.) it was a much more relaxed week. next week should be a breeze too.

christmas lights along the walk to school.

teaching is already starting to feel more comfortable. i only had my memory english classes this week and the structure is literally the same thing every single day, so it's easy to settle into. the kids (who are mostly elementary school aged) were particularly rambunctious thursday/friday... it's amazing we all left the classroom alive. i made a game out of their workbook exercises and they were losing their minds trying to get the most points. seriously, these kids go nuts for competitions. seeing every hand shoot into the air to answer a question so they can get their team points? i'll take it.

vocab tests started this week. at the beginning
of every class, they take a vocab test over the
words in the lesson for that day. one student,
sohpia, studied the wrong one for tuesday.

sohpia's drawing on thursday's test... she's
one of my favorites in that class. (she's also the
one who gave me the angry birds erasers.)

also, one of the boys in my tuesday/thursday memory class, kevin, saw the edge of my wrist tattoo sticking out from under my bracelets (i have to keep it covered) while they were doing group work.

kevin: teacha! *pointing* tattoo?!
me: pfft, i don't know what you're talking about.
kevin: there! tattoo!! *grabbing my wrist* what is it?
me: i can't tell you. it's a secret.
kevin: waaaaa! no! please let me see!
me: maaaaybe... i'll think about it.
(then about ten minutes later)
kevin: what is your tattoo???
me: i told you, it's a secret.
kevin: pleaaassseeeee!
me: how about i draw it? *draws design on piece of paper*
kevin: ahhhhhhh. you are... uhh... *looks to his friend peter for help*
peter: oh! it is... *starts drawing*
me: what... is that a skull and crossbones? flag?
kevin: yes! yes! you are this!!!
me: pirate? i'm a pirate?!!
kevin and peter: YES! PIRATE!!

so, this just in, tattoos = pirate. i am a pirate.

last weekend i ventured into seoul for a little bit of sightseeing with john. it took longer than anticipated for me to get into seoul (long story involving a certain subway map printout that was missing some information i needed... like where my stop was...), but we were still able to go see jogyesa temple.

during buddha's birthday, this entire area gets
decorated with tons of lanterns. definitely going
to go see that when it happens in may.

there was a service going on and it looked crowded, so we didn't go inside, but just wandering around the outside of the building was impressive. so detailed and colorful.

i wanted to get some pictures of the inside through
the window, but i didn't want to creep on the service...

we'd planned to also go see a palace, but it was closed by the time we got there. we wandered through the museum next to it, but almost everything was in korean, so we called it a day and went to dinner.

gigantic burger! and dr. pepper! (it's kinda hard
to find here, sadly.) we had to cut up the burgers
because they were so big. but so, so good.

then i spent the rest of the weekend being a hermit and fully enjoying a quiet, lazy sunday.

and this weekend, first thing that happened: snow!!

i have to say, i like snow a whooooole hell of a lot more when i a) don't have to drive in it and b) it's the weekend. it all melted off pretty quickly, so that was kind of a bummer... i'm looking forward to a pretty white blanket of snow on everything.

sadly, by the time i actually went outside,
this little bit of snow had already melted.

this weekend i wanted to do a little bit more exploring, but closer to home, so saturday john came in from seoul to hang out in incheon for the day. (he also brought tortillas and cheddar cheese that he picked up for me from costco! breakfast tacos for everyone!!) once he was here, hunger and laziness ended up winning and we decided not to cook breakfast tacos as planned, so instead we grabbed a taxi and headed over to the arts center for an early dinner. one of my coworkers recommended a good shabu shabu restaurant, so we decided to give it a try.

with this, you start off with some broth with veggies,
and once it's brought to a boil, you add different things
like meat and noodles. then, with the leftover broth,
a sort of porridge is made with an egg and rice.

it was soo good! we were really pleased with the meal, even though we didn't really know what to do and felt like total idiot foreigners. luckily, the owner speaks really good english and was willing to guide us through it. and! his 5 year old daughter is probably one of the most adorable children in existence. she kept bouncing past our table and peering around the corner at us while we ate. then, towards the end of our meal, we managed to coax her over so we could say hi and talk to her. she's learning english in her kindergarten class, so she was able to talk to us a little. then when we got up to leave, she presented me with a drawing! i asked her if it was for us and she nodded, pointed at me and then at john, and ran over to her dad.

she's pretty much the cutest thing ever. i love
how she folded it and drew a seal on it.

we wandered about the arts center a little more before heading back to my part of town. relaxed day, but still fun. slowly but surely i'm finding good spots to eat and shop. it's nice to be surrounded by so many options.

this is part of the walk to/from the closest subway stop.
it looked so pretty last night after i walked john to the
subway. i still wish there'd been more snow though...

and now i'm enjoying another super lazy sunday. i took a late afternoon nap on my couch. i went to the grocery store. might do laundry. or just catch up on some tv shows and read on my kindle. i love hermit days.

next weekend should be busier... i think a plan for some shopping in seoul is in the works with some of my friends from training. maybe a bit of sightseeing too if it isn't too frigid outside. :)


  1. TWow! The temple photos are amazing and the drawings by the children you teach and the little girl from the restaurant are great! The Anime drawing of you is wonderful. It seems as though exposure to their cartoons is the foundation of how they draw, or vice versa? I wonder if the drawings in Europe would be different based on their cartoons?
    In terms of teaching, how wonderful to have that positive incentive in place and to be working with such eager children. It seems they already are in your heart and you in theirs. The best part of teaching is that human connection. You are making a difference and they love you.
    I love you too, you pirate!
    Aunt D
    What will you do when you want to wear flats? Your rose tatoo is so beautiful!

  2. (Debbie, hahaha! I had the same question!) The temple pictures are wonderful! Is the ornamentation on the temple all made of carved wood? It's amazing. If you go back do a close up picture for your Dad. I think I will be saying "shabu shabu" whenever I stir something into hot broth now. My new favorite onomatopoeia!(I've always wanted to use that word.)
    The food looks so delicious and healthy, we're wanting to try a Korean restaurant here now. Seoul Bistro got great reviews.
    The five year old drew you as a princess, I think. And she didn't draw any picture of John, did that hurt his feelings?
    The walk to the subway is so beautifully laid out; it looks like someplace in Europe. Very carefully planned for a nice visual effect.
    Our Amish Oatmeal was delicious this morning.Let me know if you find oatmeal there and I'll send the recipe. Mom

  3. And what are the red things in your shabu shabu soup?

  4. i'm not going to get to wear flats to work, sadly! unless i'm wearing tights too. :(

    i'm not sure if the drawing is supposed to be of me, actually. especially since she left john out and she seemed just as eager to talk to him.

    i really like the subway walk. that's just part of it. the rest is just along the street by a bunch of shops and bars and stuff. but the bit with the benches (it's near a park) is my favorite.

    the red things are the meat! really thinly sliced and rolled up. cooked in like ten seconds since the broth was boiling.

  5. Of course! The way it's all rolled up threw me off;I thought maybe it was a vegetable I'd never seen. (Like radicchio? Only more orange red than purple red?) Anyway, it looks delicious!