Tuesday, March 27, 2012


One of my girls wore a sweatshirt that said "All American Boy"

5th grade questions:
Me: What's the biggest country in the world?
Kids: China, Japan, Korea
Me: What's the smallest country in the world?
Kids: China, Japan, Korea
Me: What country speaks the most languages?
Kids: China, Japan, Korea
Let's invest in a world map

I think the lunch ladies are trying to see how long it will take to starve me to death. For the past 2 weeks at Sun-am lunch has gone a little something like this: kimchi, rice, seafood, different seafood, soup so spicy it makes my eyes water with chunks of floating fish

I have so much down time at work. I'm re-using portions of lessons from last year and all the same powerpoints, which saves me a lot of prep time. And last year Katie and I would chat on facebook for probably an hour or 2 total every day, and now she lives in a different time zone :(

One of my boys has started saying "congratulations" for anything remotely positive, and "die" for anything remotely negative

You are not allowed to break apart the banana bunches at the grocery store, so I had to buy about 14 bananas. I froze half of them, but made the mistake of not taking the peel off and cutting them up first. Lesson learned...

Monday, March 26, 2012


This girl is hilarious. Last week she had her bangs in a tiny ponytail right on top of her head. It stuck straight up. I'm not sure if she did her hair that day, or if dad did it...mom definitely wouldn't have approved. She ran up to me and said "teacha, I am apple head" and she kept shaking her head to make it move. Hilarious. 

Today she wore this headband all. day. long. She said today I was apple head and she was white rabbit. 
I can't wait to see what she'll wear tomorrow.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

St. Paddy's in Korea

Happy St. Paddy's Day! Fun fact: you can say St. Patrick's day or St. Paddy's Day, but never St. Patty's Day. My Irish friend says Patty is a girl's name. Paddy is short for Padrick, which was "English-ized" to Patrick. So there you go.

Here's how you celebrate in Korea

Step 1: Gather your American friends who won't ask lots of questions about why you celebrate an Irish holiday even though you're not Irish. We are Americans...we celebrate everybody's holidays. Anyways...
 Step 2: Eat stew and Irish soda bread
 Step 3: Snuggle on a tiny bed and watch Leap Year and P.S. I love you

This is not from St. Paddy's, but its a cute picture :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Little artists

When I walk in my classroom at Samshin, I usually see something like this:
As their English teacher, I'd prefer that the kids write words with the letters. However, building a transformer is the next best thing.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Things that drove me crazy today

1. The next time someone tells me I use chopsticks well, I'm going to poke them with my chopsticks. Seriously people, I've lived in this country for a year, I've used them every single day, and I haven't starved to death yet. It's a skill I acquired after about a month. Let's find something else to talk about.

2. Have you seen the movie One Day?! Oh my gosh...I just watched it and I need to talk about it with someone. 

3. Whiny children are so annoying. Whiny children in a foreign language are twice as annoying. Some days I just can't handle it, and today was one of those days. 2 of the 2nd grade boys started fighting/whining at each other, and before I could attempt to fix it they were both in tears. Trying to prove to me that they were innocent and the other one started it. In a foreign language. Ughhhhhh

PS I went running (and by running I mean mostly walking) tonight for the first time since...I can't even remember, and I. am. so. sore. I cramped up almost immediately. Next winter I'm going to suck it up because I already know I don't want to experience this again.

PPS have you see this? I die.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I saw this at the bus stop tonight:
My first thought was "cute purse"

My second thought was "oh...that's a man"

My third thought was "I should think this is weird, but I don't anymore"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Things that would never happen at an American basketball game

 You will be given a plastic sign with your team's name when you buy your ticket that you fold up and use as a noise maker
 A man in shiny white boots will stand on a platform and dance and chant and lead the stadium in cheers for the entire game
 The foreigners will be the most talented players
 The cheerleaders will wear the wrong colors
People will have giant cardboard cutouts of their favorite player's head 
You will watch with your South African friends (whose country doesn't have basketball) and suddenly become an expert of the sport
The halftime entertainment will be girls jump roping in sparkly gold shirts

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Korea makes notebooks the same way they make shirts. There are quite a few funny ones, but this one is by far my favorite.
It's English class and the teacher is asking a question. All the white kids are confused, but the Korean girl knows the answer!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy birthday Sun-am

Today was my school's birthday, so we all got the day off. Pretty sweet. I celebrated by...

sleeping in
skyping my parents and Alissa
watching arrested development
watching a sermon

Happy birthday Sun-am, thanks for the vacation!

Friday, March 2, 2012

One more time

Today is officially the beginning of year 2! My 4 besties left this week. Kyla and Garrett are home in New York, Katie's on vacation in Alaska, and Alissa is on vacation in Hawaii. It doesn't feel like they're gone yet. We went through so much together, and we became family. I know I'll see them all again, and I'm very happy for them to be home, but it'll be strange and a little sad not doing this year together. I love every minute I got to spend with them, but I wish they all would have left at the same time. The prolonged good-byes were pretty rough.

I have all new co-teachers. Jenny moved to another school. Yuri and Sam are classroom teachers, so I'll still see them around but I don't get to teach with them. Jenny's replacement was the 2nd grade teacher last year. She's about my age and she speaks English like a pro. I'm so excited to have her as my co-teacher! Sam's permanent replacement is currently on maternity leave, so I have what I think is a Korean student teacher for 3 months, then the other lady will come. I haven't met Yuri's replacement yet, but she's also pregnant and will be leaving around August. I guess it's baby season in Korea.

I'm going to teach evening classes Mondays and Tuesdays at Samshin Elementary School. I met the director and saw the school last week. I'll teach the low kids with a Korean co-teacher. There will be 2 other foreigners teaching classes as well, so I get to meet some new people. I'm excited for that to start. I'm also going to have weekly play dates with a 5 year old boy named Jun-gi. His mom wants me to speak English with him and she hopes he'll pick it up naturally. This week we read a few books, he showed me all his swords, and we had a snack together. Good times.

The one thing that isn't changing is my kids. I teach different combinations of kids because they've all moved up a grade level, but they're all still there. I haven't really taught some of them for a few months, so I got a lot of hugs today. I love that I already know their personalities and their abilities, and we can just continue where we left off. It's amazing how much you can love and form relationships even when you don't speak the same language. It's going to be very hard to say good-bye next year and turn them over to some stranger. I'm glad I get to do the same job 2 years in a row. I was looking at last year's lesson plans today and the beginning ones were not so great...there's definitely room for improvement.

Starting the new school year today really made me happy I stayed in Korea. If there were any doubts, they're gone now. This year is going to look very different from last year, and I definitely wish my friends were still here and I had the same co-teachers, but I still think it'll be great.