Sunday, August 28, 2011

Real Cooking

Friday I taught my 2 classes, then had cooking class with the big kids. They showed up with real ingredients and hot plates, so I knew we were doing more than assembling sandwiches. However, my co-teacher Jenny was not there. So I said "Kids, do you know what you're supposed to make?" and they said "Yes teacha" and I said "Ok great, because I have no idea. Get started." They were making Korean dishes, so I didn't even know how to help. Luckily a Korean teacher came in after a while and pretty much took over. I mostly ate and took pictures. Days like this make me love my job. 
 The 5th grade girls made a version of kimbap. Usually kimbap is vegetables and some kind of meat (usually tuna) wrapped in rice and seaweed. I actually like it. They didn't use any seaweed, and theirs were shaped like triangles.
 All the boys made a ramen dish with noodles, spicy sauce, vegetables, and hard boiled eggs.
 Peeling hard boiled eggs. Whole. They were difficult to eat with chopsticks.
 Frying eggs and flashing the peace sign.
 Adding spicy sauce. Ray, in the gray shirt, is the boy who acted like a monkey during dodgeball. He wants to be a comedian when he grows up and I think he probably will be successful.
 Nobody brought plates or bowls, so we all ate out of the pan with our chopsticks. We eat a lot of community meals in Korea.
 These are the only 6th grade girls, Mary and Tina. I know I'm not supposed to have favorites, but I really love them...
 Eggs shaped like hearts.
 5th graders frying rice cake-type things.
This dish is corn, ham, and shredded cheese. I'm totally making this at my apartment.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Today was another awesome day at English camp. For 2 hours I had 6th graders, and there were 3 of them. So we played English jenga, watched some Mr. Bean videos on youtube, I showed them Thriller, then they tried to play chess. I love when my classes are tiny because they all end up speaking a lot of English, and we get to relax and have some fun.

Then Jenny and I taught a cooking class.
 Yesterday she told everyone to bring something for sandwiches.
Luckily they brought mostly normal sandwich ingredients. It wasn't cooking, so much as assembling, but we had a good time.
 She made a sandwich with 4 pieces of bread and ate the ENTIRE THING! I have no idea how she fit all that in her stomach.
 Sonic and his sandwiches.
 We had ham, tuna, egg salad, vegetables, egg, cheese, mustard, ketchup, and mayo.
 Smiley face sandwich :)
 These 2 put every single ingredient on their sandwiches. Including kimchi. I would have thrown up, but they said it was good.
And please, play with the food you don't eat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today I taught one class of 3/4th grade, one class of 5/6th grade, and then for 2 hours we had "sports day"...which was a giant dodgeball game. In Korea they play a little different, which I figured out after my co-teacher Jenny made me referee and I had no idea what was going on. 
 When somebody gets hit, they go stand on the outside of the other team's box. They can still play as long as their team throws them the ball, so nobody is ever really out.
 We played with a volleyball...not the softest choice.
 One boy got nailed in the face - we're talking volleyball lines on his cheek. His friend gave him a hug, he sat on the side until he could feel his face again, then he got right back in the game.
 Nothing happens when someone catches the ball, except their team cheers for them.
 They use the English words "out" and "pass"
 The boy in the yellow, Ray, spent the entire 2 hours pretending to be a monkey. When he didn't have the ball he would yell "I'm a monkey!" When he did have the ball, he would crouch down really low and make monkey noises before he threw it.
 Your team loses when nobody is left in your box.
Dodgeball isn't allowed in America anymore, so it was really fun for me to watch them play all afternoon. 

After dodgeball, it was lunch time. After lunch I got to go home. My vice principal is really nice and understanding, and she realizes its dumb to make someone sit at work for 4 hours when they don't actually have any work to do, so she lets me leave after I'm done teaching my classes. So I took a little nap, watched an episode of Glee, now I'm writing this blog, and its only 3:30. I love summer!

This is totally unrelated, but have you seen this video?! Michael would be proud.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Family Visit

They day I got back from China my family landed in Korea. We spent 3 days in Seoul together, then they came to Ulsan with me. We also visited 2 other cities, Daegu and Busan. We had a lot of fun! It was more business and traveling, but it was worth it.
We went to Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. It rained the whole first day we were there, which was not so fun, but we got umbrellas and made the best of it. 
Family photo at Seoul Tower
Shopping at Namdaemun Market. My mom got a "Coach" purse and some jewelry. We bought other things too, but I can't remember what they were
Principal wanted to take us out to dinner. I tried to get out of it...obviously I was unsuccessful. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Thankfully Yuri was there to translate and be a nice little buffer.
She made him listen to her English/Korean tapes
One day they came to work with me. My kids were HILARIOUS! They didn't really know how to respond in a socially acceptable way. My favorite reaction was from a 5th grader. He walked in, looked at my family, and said "Teachaaaa. Oh my God!" Haha...what does that mean?! Some girls told me Alex has a big head and a little chest, and those same girls tried to count all the freckles on my mom's arm. Other boys petted my dad's arm hair. It was a great day for everyone. 
We went to a baseball game in Daegu. The people in charge decided it would be a great idea to sell more tickets than seats, so we spent the first few innings sitting on the stairs. Luckily it rained again, and Koreans are afraid of rain, so they all ran away and we snatched some seats. Then we ate ramen. 
Dinner at my favorite Korean bbq place.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's been a while

Vacation is officially over. I'm back from China! These are my thoughts/observations:

The trip was worth all the money
Paying for a tour guide and a driver in a foreign country is definitely a good idea
Ni-hao means hello and shay-shay means thank you
China has the biggest population in the world, plus all the tourists, but the women's bathroom will never have more than 8 stalls
Authentic Chinese food is amazing
Chinese are not nice to foreigners. We had people point and laugh at us, ask to take pictures with us, and take pictures of us without asking
Chinese men like to hike up their shirts so their stomachs hang out. Belly shirts are not a good look for anyone, especially overweight, middle-aged men
Chinese customs was not as intimidating as I expected it to be
Beijing has a population of 22 million people
I really like Beijing, minus the traffic
I never want to live in China
I can't believe I'm 23 and I've climbed the Great Wall
Not all chopsticks are equal: flat ones are way better than square ones
Chinese drive like Koreans
There are 8 Chinese yuan in 1 US dollar. I did a lot of mental math on this trip
You can't drink the water in China
Vacation can be exhausting

Now these are the picture highlights. I took about 200, but I won't make you look at them all.
 These are my friends Garrett, Kyla, Alissa, and some emperor
 Our peking duck dinner being prepared for us
 Happy birthday communism. We felt really awkward asking our tour guide to take this picture for us and not smile in it, but we couldn't smile for communism. Except Garrett.
Us and Mao
 We spent 12 hours on a sleeper train and thought it would be fun. Nobody got a good night's rest
 These are the Terracotta Warriors. This was probably my favorite thing in China. If you don't know about them, look them up online right now

 The Great Wall again. This picture is out of order, but I don't know how to move it. Sorry
 We went on a beautiful river cruise in the city of Guilin

The Bird's Nest from the 2008 Olympics. There was an Italian soccer game going on the day we were there