Monday, August 27, 2012

Typhoon Bolaven

Kind of stressing about this typhoon. Supposed to be feeling the effects from this evening until tomorrow evening.

This is from about 12 hours ago. It has since passed Okinawa and is going to skirt the West Coast of the Korean Peninsula. Hooray.

Supposed to be most severe in the morning tomorrow as the center is projected to pass a predicted 100 km west of Seoul.

Have to say I'm glad to not be living in Icheon now.

And to have extensive hurricane experience in order to handle this shit at least sort of calmly.
This is a pretty big storm we've got comin' our way folks... 

Will hopefully have internet throughout. If I can, I'll post a vlog sometime tomorrow!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Gardening... sort of

When I was in elementary school I have fond memories of setting up a garden with my father and picking green peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries and the like. Granted, I mostly supervised while my father did the vast majority of the work, even though I swore I would pick weeds, water, plant and harvest everything myself because "please please please daddy! All I want in this whole wide world is a garden!"I pretty much just stuck to the harvesting. That's the fun part anyways.

Well, at my school's summer camp, I was teaching an English science class and we learned about plants and seeds and such. All the students got little bean plants to grow at home, and we did some activities comparing seeds to full grown plants. As a result I ended up with about six packs of unused seeds, some planting stuff and one leftover bean plant.

So what did I do? Why naturally I decided I'd get my urban gardening on. I also managed to discover some old planters just sitting under the stairs out on the balcony next to my place. I used one and have planted up some spinach which is just starting to sprout. I've also still got my bean plant, and am working on some four o'clocks (a big decorative trumpet flower that blooms PINK!)

We'll see how this all goes, since it's almost fall. I should have done this earlier I supposed, but I haven't.

Additionally, my boyfriend Jong Hoon is growing watermelon from seeds he spit out from one of the many watermelons his parents bought him and his brother this summer.

In other news, I have internet at my house, and the fall semester officially started today...

I've also decided to try to resume blogging and to make this blog a personal blog about Korea/my life and keep my tumblr to kpop related things.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My awkward body.

This has nothing to do with the "that awkward moment" meme because this wasn't an awkward moment it was just this super awkward body thing I did today. I was walking to the store (all of three minutes, on foot, away), wearing my flip flops and tank top. Perfect weather.

I'm approaching the store, but I have to cross the street. I have two options: 1. wait until the traffic stops and I can cross (it's a small street, but with a fair amount of car traffic, especially on Saturday afternoon) but this could take up to three minutes of waiting. OR 2. At a lull in traffic going one way, dart through the cars. They usually aren't going very fast, so they all generally stop.

Option 2 is the option I usually go for, as do most of the people who live in my neighborhood. It's generally not dangerous.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why I Teach: Cindy

Today I was reminded exactly why I am teaching in the first place: for the beautiful beings that are children. For their minds. For their futures.

This is how it happened:

My morning was rough, my mind filled with a whole boatload of things I had to get done before I go to Jeju tomorrow for an ultimate frisbee tournament. I also had all my lowest level classes today, for six hours straight.

In my fourth class, grade 2 (elementary school), one of my hardest classes to control, a girl named Cindy came up to me sheepishly and quietly said, in Korean, "teacher today I couldn't do my homework." And I was overwhelmed with other stuff so I kind of ignored her. And then as class started, I began checking the students homework as I always do for the first five minutes of class. When I got to little Cindy I said ok Cindy no homework. You see, this student has never done homework in class. She's a sweet girl and she works hard in class, but for almost a month and half she hasn't done a single page of homework. And as I move to the next student I suddenly realize Cindy is crying. Not a little, but a lot, these great big gulping sobs, and everything stops. The students are drawn like magnets, which I know won't help. So I take Cindy outside and sit down with her for a good almost five minutes and we talk about her homework.

She says to me, again in Korean, I don't know how to do the homework. It's too hard and I can't do it. And so I said to her, if you can't do because you don't know how, I understand. You can come see me any time when you don't know how to do your homework. In the mornings, or lunch or after school. And so I told her we can do our homework together during lunch time today.

But she made some excuses like what if there isn't enough time after I eat, and I thought maybe she was just upset that she couldn't get a sticker because she hadn't done her homework, and that she didn't really care at all. But I told her, just come and we will do what we can.

And then at the end of class Cindy came up to me and she said, as always, in Korean, Teacher, I will not play today after lunch. I will come straight here, and then I will come after classes end too if I have to so I can finish my homework.

And you know what? She did just that.
She came at lunch and worked on her homework in class with me and her classmate Sally who is even more of a beginner at English than she is. And then the moment class ended she came to my classroom door with her books in her hand looking at me like, let's start!
And we did. We did one whole chapter of the workbook, which is a lot (about two and a half weeks of homework almost) and she just worked her little butt off. And then after a whole hour of just me an hear looking at her workbook, I had to tell her it's time over and I had to work. And she said to herself, "oh I don't want to stop," and then looked at me and said, "I'll come tomorrow at lunch."

I don't think I've ever felt so fulfilled doing what I'm doing that I did at that moment when she showed me just how bad she wants this, and how much she trusts me to help her get there. Her English is not bad. She is probably much better than the rest of her class. But her confidence in English is no good. I will make that change 100 percent. She will be the class star by Summer vacation.

Mark my words.