Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Holy Frequent Posting, Batman!

I know, try not to pass out--more than one post in a week! I told you I was going to work on posting more, I just had to get into my groove. 
I've been sick for 3 days--not fun. It's just a cold, but it's a bad cold. It's actually a "Korean cold", as I was told by one of my Korean coworkers (and subsequent Koreans agreed to the terminology as well). Something about germs and I'm just not used to the Korean germs. In any case, I feel pretty crappy and my nose is so red and gross from blowing it all the time that I'm pretty sure I look pretty crappy also. However, today was the last day of the teaching month so that's good. Classes will start again on Thursday; normally we would have tomorrow off, but we have to go to a teaching workshop from 9-3--at least we don't have to be there at 6:30, so we do get to sleep in. 
Now for some pictures! Here is an example of some of my teaching....
I know, you're impressed. Here I am explaining present vs present continuous verb tenses to my level 2 speaking class. Oh, and here they are! I have 2 level 2 classes, 6:30 and 7:30am. There are usually about 11 students in the 7:30 class, but only a few showed up the day I was taking pictures.
Here are some of my level 3 classes. I have 2 more, but I didn't have my camera for the other two. The 3 ladies in the first picture are very interesting--they gave me low scores on my class evaluations (all of my other classes apparently love me) but they always bring me things--coffee, chocolate--today they even brought sandwiches! I just can't figure them out. The second picture is my favorite class--the girl hardly ever shows up, but the guy, Gary, actually WANTS to learn English. Right now he's reading Harry Potter and he also listens to an English radio station, so he always brings his books to class to have me help him decipher different phrases and idioms. 
Oh, so I heard something funny the other day. In Korea, the name for a married woman is "ajumma" and as they get older they can be characterized by their short, curly hair, sun visor, faux athletic wear, and a serious attitude. The attitude comes from the age thing--Korea is big on respect for elders--and since they are married and have had children, they have more life experience, etc. Basically, they deserve all respect because they've been through it all. They tend to be pretty tough cookies, a force to be reckoned with--you don't want to mess with these little ladies! 
Oh, so yeah, the funny thing. One of my students told me that Korea has 3 genders--male, female, and ajumma. So it's good to know that all Koreans are afraid of them, not just foreigners :) 
So that's all I've got for now, time to shower and get ready to go back to work. 
Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wanted: Exciting Trip to Anywhere

Greetings to all of my faithful readers, I'm already posting again and it's only been 5 days! Maybe I'm starting to get the hang of this whole "blogging" thing--as opposed to the whole, "maybe I should write something so people know we haven't been nuked by the N. Koreans yet are still alive." *cough* Anyway.
It's 6pm on Saturday; Marc went to work today to sub for another teacher from 3-7, and I've done NOTHING today. Well, except for waiting up at 6:15 this morning absolutely freaked out because I thought I was late for work. I'm not kidding. I opened my eyes, saw the sunlight, and practically leaped out of bed, hyperventilating. Marc was all, "What's wrong?! Christina, WHAT'S WRONG??!?!?" For 2 seconds I was almost violently angry because Marc didn't seem to understand the gravity of the situation but then I realized what day it was. I sank back to the bed, put my head in my hands and sighed, "It's the weekend, isn't it...". I blame it on the cold medicine I took last night.
In any case, I took a shower about an hour ago and have been playing on the internet since then. It's just so hard to get going when I have a sweet little cat named Elliot sleeping by my side! Oh well, we're going to a wedding tomorrow for one of Marc's friends so that's something. The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom, so as soon as it gets warmer I'd like to go to one of the various cherry blossom festivals around here. They're such a welcome sight (and smell!).
Oh, so, I do have some interesting tidbits to report on. First, I witnessed my first public urination last Wednesday. I've heard that Korean men really have no qualms about peeing in public, but I hadn't actually seen it until now. I was walking to meet Marc after he got out of work, and heard the sound of running water. I looked up and there's a man in a suit leaning against a wall just taking a leak like it's no big deal. The American female in me quickly averted my eyes and just walked a little bit faster. I'm not really sure why they have no shame about that, or about hacking and spitting in public (even indoors), yet they're so private about some other things. 
I'm also a little tired of people who are not Americans thinking it's okay to rag on America in front of Americans. Oh, and saying things like, "If Bush did that I'd say he's an idiot but since it's Obama, I don't care so much!" But, you know, whatever. 
I know there was something else I wanted to mention, but I can't remember right now. I'll post it when I remember it. Until then, I leave you with... "The Obama Song".
Sunday, March 22, 2009

Night of the Living Teachers. And Signs.

Hm. It's obviously been much longer since my last post than I promised, and I'm sorry. I know you've been waiting ever-so-patiently (or maybe not) to find out more about our adventures in Korea, but hey, the time's finally come.
It's not that I've been just so busy, per se, just.... sleepy. This month I've been working 6:30 to noon M-F, and 7:30-9:30pm T, Th, and every other Friday. I usually end up taking like 2-3 hour naps in the afternoon, play on the internet, do laundry (I'm ALWAY doing laundry!), and in general, I'm just being lazy. I'm trying to fix that, however, and I think I'm starting to be more awake during the days. 
Teaching is going very well, I think. I don't really have any cool stories to tell but I do have some pictures. I have learned, however, that it is very difficult to make plans with Koreans because if they don't want to meet or they want to go someplace else, they don't actually tell you. For example, 2 Saturdays ago we wanted to get some dinner and drinks with some Korean friends. We set up a time and place to meet, but when we got there nobody was there. So we called one person and she said she had already eaten dinner--well, what the heck? You couldn't have just told us that when we made the plans? Then we called the other person and she said she didn't know the plans were for that night. Again, what the heck?? Whatever, man. Rather than do something that might disappoint the foreigners, they'd rather wait until the last minute, after we've already walked 25 minutes to meet them, to tell the truth. 
They're not that bad, though, it's just a pride thing that's inherent to all Koreans. Some of Marc's friends took him out for his birthday and bought him a cheesecake and everything. It was really nice, and the restaurant was great. Here's a picture of Veronica, Agnes, Bo, and Christi.
Christi is teaching us Korean on the weekends--I know the alphabet and some key phrases, but I read like I'm in kindergarten. It's okay though, it's progress! Here's one of Marc and Veronica...
It's very popular here to give the peace sign--anyone know why? I don't, but I'd like to know. Here's another popular sign...
Yeah, I don't know either. The restaurant we were at (Mise) had several of these. I'm not sure who told them it was a good idea, but whatever floats their boat. Here's another favorite sign of mine, and it's right on the highway...
Notice the "No Horse-Drawn Carts" at the top? I smile a little every time I walk by this. 
So we're about to go to Costco for some water, detergent, food, and PIZZA! I bid you adieu, mes amis.
P.S. Say hello to my sleepy boys! Don't miss Elliot between Marc's feet :)

Blog Template by