Monday, May 31, 2010

My first dinner with the 선생님 (seon-saeng-nims)

Helen my co-teacher on the Right and one of my favorite teachers on the left!(*^.^*)

I was invited to dinner along with the rest of the teachers by the principle, not only was it a delicious duck dinner with too many courses to count but there was an endless supply of Cass beer and Soju... Yes the principle poured soju in my beer and told me (in Korean of course) bottoms up.. needless to say the dinner was a success and all of the teachers seemed to like me so much more. We also went to a very relaxing tea house out in the country about 20 minutes from where I live. One of my student's mom owns the tea house. It was a real treat, the two floor cottage was decorated with lots of furniture made from the traditional Korean paper or Hanji It's extraordinary how they can make small desks, bureaus, tables, jewelery boxes among other things. I felt so peaceful here! It was a great bonding experience for myself and the other teachers we got to know each other better while enjoying a tasty cup of Tea!

Smile ^-^

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I'm a Korean

So As I was leaving the cafeteria, after enjoying a delicious lunch and a good conversation with Inge a few of my students stop me. Four boys to be exact. They are my 2nd graders (a.k.a 8th grade); one of them says "teacher!!!!", gives me a high five and asks me "WHYYYYY??" He always asks me why in class thats just his favorite word. The other student stops me and says "teacher how was your lunch?" Surprised by the question I say "it was very good". (The student surprised me because that is the longest and most complete question he's asked me in the last month and a half, this leads me to believe that they know more English than I thought.) I asked him him what he thought of it, he said it was good. I didn't want to miss this opportunity to actually have a conversation with the boy that has fooled me for the past month. I wanted to see what he actually knows, so I told him "I liked the fish it was really good, what did you like?" He responded with a smile on his face and "I liked the kimchi and rice." Kimchi and rice??" was my response, "but you eat it every day!" The boy says with a no shit look in his face, "yes teacher Kimchi and rice, I am a Korean!"

Moment of truth for me I might need to adapt to this kimchi and rice thing... my students are very sneaky! hahahah

Needless to say he made my day!

Smile ^-^

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Social calendar 05.08.10

This weekend was stupendous! Actually the month of May has been an adventurous month for me! I've been blessed with the opportunity to live here and meet people from all over the world, people that if I were in the US, I would probably not have encountered. In the last month I've had quite a full social calendar... Some of the things that I've done include:

Going to a Korea traditional music concert.

My friend Hachi was the band master, he skyped me one night and asked me if I was interested in watching him play.. i said "BUT OF COURSE!" He reserved a couple of tickets for me but I went sola... sat there surrounded but Korean families. One in particular was a mother- daughter duo. They looked at me, probably asking themselves "what the heck is she doing here... and how will she understand what is goin on?" I smiled at them immediately. The smiled back and offered me butterscotch candy... at that point I knew all was good and they seemed to appreciate the interest I have in their culture.

Needless to say, the concert was great! I didn't understand a thing but I caught myself laughing and dancing along with everyone else. Hachi was great. The music sounded kind of like Jazz to me. I loved it.

Hachi eating the delicious seafood noodles!

After the concert I was invited along to have some drink with the band, kind of like an after party. We went to a Makgeoli bar in Hongdae, enjoyed great company, sang songs, and ate lots of delicious food.

Once we were done there we decided to head to another very eclectic bar that reminded me a bit of Goatfeathers a restaurant I used to work at. Mostly because it was a collaboration of cool random pieces nothing that really belong but somehow worked well together.

It was a lovely evening something that I needed to jumpstart spring in Korea.

Smile ^-^

Pet Shrimp??!

So today we were talking about pets, and my co-teacher asked the students to raise their hands if they had a pet. About 1/3 of the class raised their hands... we asked each of them what kind of pet they had some said dog, fish, cats, hamsters. Those are popular pets right... Well one boy a cute little boy that sits in the front of the class and often doesn't speak was the last to reveal what kind of pet he had. And guess what he said! HE HAS A PET SHRIMP! A pet SHRIMP?? I couldn't believe it... is that even possible. What do you feed it? How do you clean its bowl or whatever it lives in?? Honestly, I'm still confused. I couldn't help but laugh and accept that someone in the world has a pet shrimp.

I wonder what's going to happen to the little fella once it matures... pobrecito.

Smile ^-^

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


AHHH!!! Finally I get the chance to document my thoughts and experiences! It's been far too long since I have posted anything, a little over a month, the reason why its taken me so long is because I haven't had internet at home. Why haven't I gone to a PC bang you ask?? well, If you've ever been to one in Korea you'd understand. It's usually a not so private, smoke filled room with people playing video games, listening, and singing along to music. Not my cup of tea. In any case the wait is over and I will start blogging regularly (hopefully).

So far I have enjoyed every minute I have been in Korea. I've either gone out in Seoul exploring on my own or have had great companions such as my great friend Lydia who I met in Spain and has been guiding me from day one. She's introduced me to her good friends and family, for which I am most grateful. Thank you Lyds! :)

Inge, another teacher from Tennessee that works at the elementary school next to me has been great she has shown me around Yangsu-ri (the small town I live in) and has given me some insight on some cool things to do in Korea. She's also given me a list of very useful websites which have been helpful!

I have met so many people in the last 37 days, at a faster rate than I had imagined. i wonder why that is? I like to consider myself as a social butterfly and outgoing... but it could possibly be the connections I've made with these girls.I thinks this is going to be a GOOD year.\

Smile ^-^