Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm thankful for...

my family
my friends back home who will always be there
new friends who have gotten me through this year
all the people who haven't forgotten about me
my job - I know I'm lucky to be employed, and I get to do what I love
Yuri, Jenny, and Sam
my students. we don't always understand each other, and sometimes we make each other mad, but they're pretty great
the opportunity to live in a foreign country
learning what it's like to be an immigrant
that I can pay my bills
my frig full of food and my closet full of clothes
Pastor Steven Furtick and Elevation Church. I watch their sermon online every week
Bible study
all the vacations I've been able to take and the things I've seen
the internet and skype - keeping me in touch with the rest of the world
that I get to be home for Christmas in 16 days
the kindness of strangers
meeting people from all over the world
music, movies, tv shows...English entertainment
being an American and a native English speaker
boxes full of American snacks and candy
learning how to take care of myself and be independent

I know there are a million more things. God has blessed my life, especially this year in Korea. I'm thankful to be here each day. Even though some days are hard, I know this is where I'm supposed to be.

Thanksgiving dinner with the foreigners

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Put your hands up

I don't really have any fantastic pictures or stories to share with you this week, except for this. One day 2 of my 5th grade boys were pretend arguing with each other during their break time. They're best friends and they were kind of laughing, so I knew it was no big deal. All the sudden friend #1 (who has a black belt in taekwando) kicked friend #2 in the chest and friend #2 fell down and slid across the floor, just like in a cartoon. They both looked at me and kind of laughed (friend #2 was not hurt), and my first thought was "I'm really impressed that you can get your leg up that high and that fast" but I decided not to say that out loud. Instead I said "No taekwando in English class" then I thought "I can't believe I had to say that."
One story is not that exciting, so I'll leave you with some of my students' favorite kpop :) Enjoy

The girls loooooooooooove this band

There was a period of time when every time I said "raise your hand" at least one kid would start singing the chorus to this song

I cannot leave my apartment without hearing this song

Friday, November 18, 2011

Public transportation

This morning I was riding the bus to work. I was sitting on the back bench. We went over a speed bump and I literally was lifted out of my seat! It was like being on a roller coaster, but without the harness. I guess speed bumps don't mean the same thing in Korea as they do in America.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How I survive little kids

We were playing banangrams in 2nd grade (its like scrabble but easier). Everybody had 15 tiles, and all
the tiles and children were spread out on the floor. Then a bunch of the girls started fighting over the
letters. They were whining and complaining and grabbing things from each other and yelling. I looked at
Sam and said "I'm so glad I can't understand them right now."And then he dealt with it. These are the
times that not speaking Korean is a good thing :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall fun

On Sunday we went hiking to see the pretty fall leaves. I love that it's November and there's no snow and its still warm enough to walk around outside. I don't love how hard hiking is, even when I think it's not going to be.

 Those lumps in the ground are tombs. We're not sure why they're buried on the side of a mountain, or how they got up the mountain.

 This is how all the professionals take pictures.

 They were scared to cross the bush boundary.

 At the bottom of every mountain they have these air pumps you can use to clean the dirt off your shoes...
 ...or as a wind machine for your hair
 We saw this sign on our way to dinner. I wonder what the shop owners think it says.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Future Einsteins?

Every week my 5th and 6th graders do an online writing assignment. They are given a prompt and they write a few sentences and I correct them. Some of them are really hard to understand, and some of them are really funny. This week the question was something along the lines of "what do you think will be/should be invented in the future?" Enjoy your glimpse into my job.

In future car is  invented 
It  can fly and swim
Because,people can go  fast.
and be convenient for transportation.
I want to   be invented this car soon.

This is actually really brilliant
I invent pill.
It is breathe in the water.
Becuse if tsunami come people can survive.
and We can eat delicious fish in the water.
We save money
Beacuse no ride submarine.

This boy must be a sci-fi fan. I have no idea what a spider monkey has to do with anything
I think it  is a watch.
If you  push buttons people change alien.
Beacause change alien fly in the sky, stronger alien, Spider monkeys  and Clever aliens.
It`s a watch is convenient

Either this kid misspelled 'tiger,' or he's the biggest Napoleon Dynamite fan
I want to robot liger.
1.I like liger.
2.Liger is reduction.
3.Liger has a vicious temper.
4.Small liger is very cute.

Her mom would be so proud
Cleaning on the robot
 It is very good
Because Cleaning is very hard
It use  not  hard And it save time
Mom is   comfortable
 It is very good

Because carrying a ruler and a pencil is just too heavy...
I want to invention "ruler pencil".
Because  convenient.
We don`t need to carry  a ruler.
"Ruler pencil" is amazing.
"Ruler pencil" is pencilcase more large.

I'm not sure why 'spoon' is spelled 'shoop'...
I want to invent  shoop chopsticks.
Shoop chopsticks is convenient.
We don't need shoop and chopsticks.
It is easy to do the dishes.
We save money and water.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Decision made

I have stay in Korea another year! A few Mondays ago Yuri told me I had until the following Monday to make my decision because she needed to fill out papers. That same week Katie told me she was definitely going home. She had been on the fence, and she was the last of my friends to decide. I was really really really hoping she would stay. That was a stressful week, but I'm so happy the decision is made and I don't have to worry about it anymore.

There are definitely hard days at school, but overall I love my job. I've got great co-teachers. Unfortunately Jenny has to switch schools next year, but I'll still have Yuri and Sam, and most of the classroom teachers will stay the same. I love my students and I'm excited to work with the same kids another year. Knowing the schools, the teachers, and the students will make my job way easier. Plus I've already planned a year's worth of lessons that hopefully I can re-use. I know there will be bad days, but at least I know what I'm getting myself into. I probably wouldn't be staying if I couldn't stay at my same schools. I've learned so much about how to be a teacher this year, and I'm excited for everything I'm going to learn next year too.

My 4 best friends in Korea are Katie, Alissa, Garrett, and Kyla. They're all leaving. I'm not thrilled, and I really can't imagine what my life will be like without them, especially Katie. We went to college together and had the same major and all the same classes...I've basically seen or talked to her every single day for the last 3 years. We've gone through a ton of stuff together and I probably wouldn't have come to Korea if she hadn't come with me. So them all leaving is not ideal, but I know I'll make new friends. Every English teacher who leaves gets replaced by someone else, I just hope I like the new people as much as I like my friends now.

I feel more peace when I think about staying than when I think about leaving. I don't feel like I'm done. For me, one year is not enough. A ton of thought and prayer went into this decision, and I know God wants me here a little longer. So I'm very happy and content. And, because I'm staying another year I get extra winter vacation! I'll be home December 10- January 1. Katie and I made a countdown chain last week. See you in 33 days :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011


This week Jang Saeng Po bought a trampoline. They use it as a giant bribe for the kids. Teachers give kids trampoline tickets for doing good things, and every ticket is worth a minute of jumping time, or something like that. They keep it locked so the kids can't get in there without an adult. On Friday Jenny borrowed the key and we played :)
A few of the kids accidentally saw this picture on my computer, and they got SO UPSET! They mostly whined in Korean, but I heard a lot of "teachaaaaa whyyyyyyyyy?" :)

Dance dance

 Earlier this week Yuri told me I should come to school Saturday morning to see an art festival. I assumed I would look at some paintings, say hi to my students, show my face, and go back to my apartment for a nap. I was so wrong. When I got there everyone was in the gym. It was full of parents and all the students were sitting in single file lines wearing sparkly costumes. I asked Yuri what was going on and she said "it's the art festival" like I was an idiot for not knowing that art festival means coreographed dances. Every grade did 2 songs. Of course some of the naughtiest kids were the best dancers, and nobody was more excited than the 5th and 6th grade boys. Seriously. It was a very interesting and very cute Saturday morning.
 The day started off with some traditional drums
 Then the kindergarteners did a little dance. The girls wore these tiny sparkly belly shirts, and I couldn't decide if it was cute or creepy
 2nd grade singing and dancing in matching plaid
3rd grade in sparkly superman outfits. The song definitely had nothing to do with superman.
 Every adult's worst nightmare: recorder performance
 These 6th graders were the MCs, but the looked more like a bride and groom to me
1st grade cheerleaders!

 5th grade sailors
 This is the 5th grade teacher conducting them. She was in charge of the whole festival. I love her. She doesn't speak a lot of English, but she tries really hard, and she's so cute.
Kindergarten had a costume change and came back dressed as Elvis!

 6th grade
 The 5th graders were imitating this famous cooking/drum show called Nanta
1st grade Indian dance