1. Winter in Korea is a piece of cake, so far at least.
Despite the fact that I freeze for portions of the day due to the hallways lacking heat and windows being left open around school winter is bearable so far. I still hate the cold and will complain about it whenever given the chance, but I think i'll survive this one. The other day a few of my co-teachers were talking about how terrible this winter is so far, uhh really? It's reached a high of 50 almost every day in November.... I guess we'll wait and see what the rest of the season holds.
|Soccer, year round apparently|
The semester is winding down and that means a few things. 1. My students have retracted to their 5 year old selves again, bouncing off the walls with the attention span of a hamster. 2. I get to be a lazy teacher, playing Kpop and trivia games with my students, and seeing as it's the holiday season i'll probably throw in a few movies as well. 3. I get to plan another vacation!! THIS is the #1 reason i'll be able to survive the winter this year, I get to miss almost a full month, thanks to my extra vacation time (more on the details of that later). Yep, that's right nearly the entire month of January i'll be trekking through Malaysia with a short stop to relax in Bali. I've only bought the initial plane tickets so far but I've been doing some research and can't wait to get more planning done. Some quick highlights: beautiful beaches, orangutan sanctuaries good food, fresh fruit, cheap massages, old temples, surfing, swimming, jungles...okay i'll stop there before I make you too jealous.
3. My students are amazing..how many times can I reiterate this?
I just finished two weeks of speaking tests with my students and they continue to amaze me. First of all their English has improved by leaps and bounds, compared to their answers last semester they're rocking it. I'm not sure if i'm imagining the improvements but if nothing else they're speaking with much more confidence, which is awesome. Also, aside from their speaking improvements the answers themselves have left me laughing, proud, surprised, touched and sometimes shocked. One of my test questions, which quickly became my favorite to ask was, "What is the number one thing on your bucket list?" The answers for this question were easily some of my favorites, i'll try to categorize them...
1. Family oriented: I want to buy my parents a big house/car. Travel with my family because we don't have a lot of time to spend together. Go fishing with my dad because he's very busy and we don't get to do that a lot. Help my parents because without them I wouldn't be here. Run a bakery with my family. Have 9 children.
2. The usual: I want to accomplish my dream. To travel to space. Travel the world to learn about other cultures. Travel to Spain/UK to see a soccer match. To eat all of the world's delicious food. Travel around Korea to see all of the beautiful sights. To fall in love/marry the one I love.
3. Some unique answers: To give my friend 1 million 10won coins (basically pennies) for his birthday. To eat chicken until i'm full because it's my favorite. Go to the Uyuni desert in Bolivia to see the sky reflected in the ground (I had never heard of this but now have something to add to my own bucket list.) Travel alone because I think it would be a unique and good experience for me.
4. Too sweet or trying for an A? To hang out with you (yes that means me, teacher Stephanie). To go shopping with you (again, me).4. The holidays are upon us
I continually find myself looking at the calendar with amazement at how fast time is going, this couldn't be more true now that we're into the holiday season and fast approaching Christmas. Everyone told me this would be the hardest time away from home, and in all odds they're likely right, but so far so good. I guess it helps that I have amazing friends, staff and students surrounding me. Thanksgiving being on a Thursday, it was a little hard to celebrate the day of but we made sure to make up for that on the weekend. Saturday I ventured to Gyeongju to celebrate with about 10 other friends, pot luck style. It was an impressive turnout for food considering none of us have ovens, it's amazing how creative some people can get with a rice cooker. (I guess it also helps that we got the Turkey fulled cooked, stuffed and accompanied with Gravy from a company in Daegu). It was a perfect day/night filled with good food, friends, wine and too much beer. Then on Sunday I caught the bus to Gumi and headed straight to my friends Caitlin and Joonwoo's apartment for Thanksgiving round two. These two live in a proper apartment with not one, but two ovens. Thanks to our amazing chef for the day, Caitlin, we had a complete feast of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole (with homemade onion rings on top since there's no frenchs here!), and loads more food, even a pumpkin pie curtosy of Cosco. There was more than enough to feed everyone so we were lucky enough to even take some leftovers home. We finished the night with two Korean movies, Haeundae (which I might have enjoyed more had we not been talking through the first half), and Sunny which reminded me a lot of Now and Then - super cute i'd definitely recommend it. I may run the risk of sounding a bit cold hearted but to be honest I don't think i'm really going to miss being home for the holidays. Of course i'd be nice to see everyone, including all my friends who will be back in Milwaukee from their various new homes, but missing out on Christmas advertisements being shoved down my throat, crazy shoppers, and family drama? Eh I think I can survive without it for one year, or two ;)
|Thanksgiving, round 2|