Monday, November 23, 2009

Visitors

When I first decided I was going to come to Korea I thought I would be seeing three people (well groups) from back home. My parents in August, my uncle in October and then Vehlow whenever since he lives here. Little did I know I would be so blessed and get to see tons of people from home, helping to keep that homesickness at bay.

As I wrote earlier my friend Todd came in May and then the next weekend Nick came. Then my parents and brother came in August. While they were here my cousin, who I haven't seen in 10 years, happened to be in Korea as well. So we got to have dinner with him and his girlfriend.
My family with my cousin James and his girlfriend Juyeon

In midoctober I got word that my friend from youth group, Hanna would be in Seoul visiting her dad. So after work one day I got to meet up with her and her fiance. We had a wonderful meal and found ourselves at Castle Praha. We ordered a sampler called a meter of beer. We thought it would be a nice little sample. Instead it was 10 full beers, and it was amazing. So great that the next day I ended up at the same place after work with two coworkers, where we quickly drank that plus another :)
Hanna and I with our sampler

My uncle also was here on business. Since he was here working and only for a couple days I only got to see him for one night, but what a night! We started the night off at his hotel where they had "wonderhour"- which is happy hour but was all you could drink wine, sparkling wine and soju and some korean "snacks". (best part might have been that on the bill it came up as "wonder ho") After that we went to On The Border... yes the Mexican place. OTB is where we go for nice dinners because its really expensive and AMAZING! So we went there with one of Kilians friends. We ended up with a bucket of beer, margarhitas as big as our heads and live gaucamole. To say I was in heaven was an understatement. Besides the amazing food, it was great to see my uncle since I dont get to see him much.

Our yummy yummy premeal!!

I only have 3 more months left but I think the visit I am now looking most forward to is Kevin's!!! My friend Kevin dances with Riverdance and will be in Seoul for 2 weeks right when I finish my contract. So it will be a nice to finish it all off with a visit from Kevin! Can't wait!!

UPDATE: Kevin's plans have changed BUT I will be able to go see him in Shanghai! So I think that is the next best thing!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Running across Seoul


Kiwi and I right before the HiSeoul Marathon. Don't judge our picture, its 730 am and cold!

As mentioned a LONG time ago, I started running. Well the regular running lasted about 1 week but I still managed to get my self suckered into some races. My first race I ran was 2 weeks ago. It started SUPER early and I was questioning my choice. In the end though it ended up being a really nice run. There were a lot of people on the run but they closed off the entire road so there was lots of room. We ran through downtown Seoul and then down to the river. I managed to run most of the race only stopping 3 times. My time was 1:16, which is respectable considering A) I have never run that far before B) I had done basically no training, about 3 Km once a week.
my name is on this board... can you find it?

This weekend I did the Nike Human race. Its a race that was all over the world on the same day. The goal is to get as many people running the same distance, same day all over the world. There were people running on every continent on October 24th. Surprisingly, but not really if you understand Korea, there were 12,161 runners. The only other city with a higher turnout was Mexico City with 13,631. Every other city was more like in the low low thousands. So to say that Seoul had a great turnout is an understatement. UNFORTUNATELY, the route in no way was set up for that many people. We ran on the road which only had one lane blocked off. It was near impossible to run because people were constantly stopping. Another favorite was the people who would go from a sprint to a dead stop to answer their phone. There were also the couples who were walking arms linked blocking the little space there was for running. So the path was a little bit difficult.

The actual race though was over two of the bridges and along the Han. It also had tons of bands set up along the way which was really cool. Also, everyone had to wear the same thing so it was cool to see all the rad shirts. It was just a sea of red everywhere you looked. So visually it was awesome. I finished the race in 1:14 so I was pretty excited since I had been sick for the past week and wasnt planning on running at all.

I ran with a group of people I have met here in Seoul. We have actually formed a running group called team dirt, which is fundraising for the disease Choroideremia (CHM), which is a genetic disease the causes blindness. If you have some time check out the website, its a great cause and something that gets very little press. http://www.firstgiving.com/fightforsight Of course, if you want to donate, it will be greatly appreciated!
team dirt

Now I have 2 races under my belt I might be running another one but I am thinking for now I will be retiring my racing shoes!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Unexpected Days Off

So on Monday, one of my students called us to tell us she had H1N1. Then we soon got another call. Because I am painfully tired of telling this story I will get to the end, 10 of my kids have H1N1 and my classroom was closed down this week. So with this unexpected time I have been enjoying some time just enjoying Seoul. Surprising I'm sure to some people, Seoul has some really relaxing place. On Tuesday I spent the day by the Han River reading a book. Then today, I sat down by the stream the runs through the downtown. It is really nice even though it is always packed full of people, its also very calming. Before reading I met with my friend Youmi for lunch. After lunch we started walking back to the subway and found this cool ceremony. They were ringing a HUGE bell that was used to signal people of danger. There was another reason to but I kind of forgot :)

Anyways it was really fun to witness it and only a few people ever get to see it because they don't do it often!

I had no camera with but I did have my new Nano which has a video camera in it! So here are the videos from the day! Suggestion: Turn down the volume for the second video! The sound quality isnt great and it kind of hurts your ears!


video




video


video

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Birthday!!




I turned 26 last Thursday, and as many people know birthdays are kind of a big deal to me! So I made it a point to mention my birthday like a million times. This was more just done so people would wish me a happy birthday and would come to dinner on Friday night (I still think I am scarred from my 13th when no one in my family called me on my actual birthday). I also mentioned to Jamie that all I wanted was a homemade cake from Betty Crocker Cake mix with Pilsbury frosting.... god doesnt that sound great! If it doesnt its because you havent been eating weird korean cake for the past 7 months.

not the point

Anyways, on Wednesday I went to an amazing Korean dinner with a family I have gotten to know. They have two kids and they are just lovely and I love spending time with them. We had a huge meal with tons and tons of courses. They also gave me some Kiehls lip balm which is AMAZING!

Then on my actual birthday I went to Rent. Rent is in Korea just for two weeks with some of the original cast. I saw Rent when I turned 16 so it seemd only fitting to see it again when I was 26! Who would have thought I would have ended up seeing Rent a decade later in Korea for my 26th... not me!

So we went to the place a little early. We had a picnic of Wine, beer, costco cookies and korean dumplings and sushi. To say it was perfect is a bit of an understatement. We then went into the show. The seats were not as good when I saw it the first time (this is what happens when you pay for yourself) and they have changed some parts of it but overall it was amazing as always!
After the show the guy who plays Mark (the original who is in the movie, and I saw in Chicago and who was my favorite) was signing autographs. So we decided to wait in line and get an autograph. Being the ONLY white people in line we thought we might get a little extra hello. The fact it was my birthday and I think I get whatever I want on my birthday, I figured we would get a group picture. So when we got to the front of the line my friend Bryan went first and said " its my friends birthday and she came to see Rent when she turned 16 too" So then it was my turn.... the stage has been set. Now I smile and I hand over my program.... quickly scribbles and say s "Happy 16th Birthday" (not looking up obviously) umm would you mind... "NO" I am then whooshed to the side by the korean security.


So yea that didnt go as planned but that was okay because it gave us all something to laugh about as we were sitting outside of the studio. Then we took a couple group photos and hung out in front of the GS25mart and who do we see walking by...Anthony Rapp. SAME clothes from the show and has no one with him. We try to talk to him... surprise surprise he blows us off again... so of course we decide to follow him. Our goal was to end up on the same train as him but when we notice he was chasing after some Korean girl and passed the subway we decided to let him go.

So regardless Thursday night was pretty great and had some wonderful memories.
** More pictures to come later **

Then there was Friday... oh wonderful Friday
On Friday a dinner was planned. 25 people ended up coming to the dinner which was amazing alone. It is so great having everyone together, even better when they are there for you! So at the beginning of dinner Kiwi brought me this wonderful poster with pictures on it from my time in Seoul (gotta love Facebook) and then some pens. So everyone was able to write me a little birthday message. At this point I was thinking, I was not expecting a special birthday and yet here this has just made it so special. Then it is time for cake.


Everyone made such a big deal out of me covering my eyes. Then there was a cake which was in a box that most all cakes come from. I blew out the candles and thought well thats a nice cake, lets cut it and it eat it! Then all of a sudden someone said you do realizes its home made right.... UM NOOO!!!!!!

my friends BAKED me a CAKE at school!! All day people at school had been baking and decorating a cake for me. Bryan brought the mix, Caring got frosting, Jamie set the whole thing up and actually baked it, Loren let them bake in his room since almost none of us have ovens and Alex managed to keep a secret for more than a day. It was one of the nicest things someone has done for me. It made me so thankful for the friends I have made here. Needless to say it was the best cake ever. Everyone was in a bit of shock about how much we have missed real cake!
Overall, my birthday was just wonderful. It was exactly what a birthday should be. I got to spend time with people I care about, have some good laughs, good memories and for a few days feel extra specials.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Season Premiere

So I know its been awhile since I posted but I have decided I was just on summer vacation! Just how TV shows do not film in the summer, I have also taken a month hiatus. But just as all my favorite TV shows are starting up this week, so is my blog!!

With each new season of your favorite show there are some new twists and turns. Some of your favorite characters are gone and there are some new ones in their place. There are new places and plot twists. And of course, you find out what your favs. were doing while the show was not airing.

This blog will be no different. In the last month there has been tons of changes. Some friends have left and new ones have been made. I have gained some new students and my school has lost several students. And there has been a major additon to my life... no dont get too excited its not a boy or a dog...

My addition is known by many names.... H1N1, swine flu, or as my school lovingly calls is SI (swine influenza). The fear of SI has gripped Korea and they are not letting go. The country I have completely grown to love has seen some major changes and my school seems to be leading the march.

At the moment I don't have the energy to go into the madness that is SI but no fear, I will address it very soon :)

Till then, do as we do at PSA and wash your hand about 20 times a day, check your temperature twice a day and make sure you wear a mask when outside *^^*

Monday, August 3, 2009

Flea Market



My parents have JUST arrived in Korea but I have about another hour till they are actually in the city so I felt the best way to pass time was to blog... so here goes.My school has this thing called the Flea Market. For about 2 weeks kids brought in things from their apartment that they did not want anymore. Everything was supposed to be used because otherwise things would get slightly out of hand.... I could only imagine what parents would buy to be sold for fake money!!


Anyways, we set up stores in our class room. We also taught the kids about buy and selling and words that you use. The class was divided in half with half being cashiers and the others buying. Then we switched group. The first round was really great and they kids did a surprisingly great job. I thought it was going to be chaos but they followed all the rules and used the words we taught them. 

Now flea market is for 2 hours and shocking as it may seem, this lasted 10 minutes. So we decided to teach the kids about what sales were. We then set up sales tables and the kids did it again.

Then for the third round we explained what an exchange was and kids got to exchange their purchases! It was so much fun watching them learn all these new terms!
The best part about the whole thing was seeing some of the kids selling! Doeyoung (who I have the most problems with) was the best seller!! He was saying things like "I think you would really enjoy this book" and "do you think this would interest you?". Some of the other kids really got into talking people into purchases. A lot of kids were saying things like I think this would look great on you or don't you think you need this?

At the end of the day the kids went home with a huge bag of items. Probably things their parents did not want in their house, considering most of the kids bought their own things! but each kid had a great time! This was probably one of my favorite special days so far!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Surprisingly... I miss my kids

I think I am super tired.... and maybe still a bit under the weather. But I am honestly missing my students. School vactino has been extended another 3 days so it means I will not see my kids for a full 2 weeks!! So in the spirit of missing them... here is a great picture of some of my boys from the last day before break

Monday, July 13, 2009

RAIN!!!!

Monsoon season has begun, I am not impressed.  It has been pouring buckets of rain for the last 12 hours.... and it does not look like it is going to stop. There is so much rain that the rivers are flooding, so there is tons of junk floating down the river. It also means that I get drenched everyday to work, even if I do have rainboots and an umbrella. And the adjamas are CRAZY with their umbrellas. They do not care if you are in the way or if there is no room, they just move right on through. Today I got poked in the eye even though I tried my hardest to avoid it! 

Hopefully this rain will not affect our beach weekend this weekend!! Since it ruined it last weekend :(

Here is a little look of what it looks like outside my classroom window right now...  its from my computer so its not the best but it is very rainy... trust me

Spring Picnic---yes i am well aware it is no longer spring


So my school has picnics for the different seasons.... well at least spring and I have also heard rumors of a fall picnic. Anyways, the picnics are kind of like field day. All the kids load up in the vans/buses and we go to a big park not far from our school. The kids bring lunch and they play games. Then we all pile in and go back to school. Now of course there are some distinct differences between my picnics as a kid and PSA picnics.
                       Some of my kids making mud pies and soup.


Of course there is the food issue. The kids bring their own lunches and it was all kimbop. Kimbop is the korean version of sushi but it is like egg, veggies and sometimes some meat. So all the kids had these little containers just for kimbop with cute little helper chopsticks. I loved watching them eat. Then of course they brought TONS of snacks. I love to see the similarities between my kids in NY and these kids.... really there are more similarities then I would like to admit. Anyways, on field trip days the snack you brought in NY was the most important thing. Kids would bring whole bags of chips they would share with friends. This was a lot like my kids here. They all brought bags of snacks... chips, cookies, candy, weird cheesy sausage things, really anything you could buy at 7-11 they brought. And they brought so much of it! It was enough to usually share with everyone. They were also so nice about sharing it, it was refreshing to see. They even decided to go trick-or-treating at  one point!! They took a bag and went friend to friend saying trick or treat and traded food! It was too cute!
                           Bin and Ryan Trick or Treating


The other big difference was the photographer!! For all the major events we have a photographer (imagine a wedding photographer documenting you life). He first takes a class picture of us then a picture of each kid. Then he will be around the whole time snapping pictures of the kids. He is literally everywhere you turn. Then when we went back to school and wrote about the trip he was still there taking pictures in the classroom. There is a real classic picture of me with one of the kids :) Anyways, so after about two months we get a huge stack of photos (about 300) to sort through. Then the parents pay for what pictures they want. Its crazy because they parents buy all of them, even though some are terrible. I guess though it makes sense because they can't be there but these are the shots they would probably get. 

John is learning how to slide down a pole


Overall the picnic was a lot of fun. The kids had fun just 
running around, it was one of the first nice day of the school year and they didn't have to do any work!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Heaven's Newest Director

So I know this blog is about my life in Seoul. But at the same time it is about my life.... And I feel it is not right for me to go on posting without talking about something that has happened recently that has had a big affect on me, even if it did not happen here in Seoul.

A little over two weeks ago the world lost an amazing person. Sissy DePrima lost her battle with cancer.  Mrs. D was my musical theater teacher starting in third grade (I think) all the way through high school. With her I performed in various parades, in countless shows and around Lake County. With her I was a southern belle, a beggar selling flowers on the street, was a toy doll, a french aristocrat, a daughter of Canna, walked down the yellow brick road, was a poodle girl, dickens caroler and countless other characters. To say though she was just a brilliant director would not do her justice. She was also much more than someone I saw every Wednesday for an hour. She was someone who witnessed almost every major event of my life. She was one of the first people I wanted to share something with and was always one of my biggest supporters. Whenever I told her where my next adventure was taking me she was always so excited for me. 

She also taught me some of the greatest lessons of my life. She taught me the importance of being truly dedicated to something and not stretching myself too thin. It is better to be great and passionate about one thing than decent and wishy washy with many things. She also gave me my love for performing. I also liked to be on the stage from a very early age but she taught me how to command a stage and audience. From her I feel in love with musicals. There is hardly a musical you can give me that I do no love.... to be honest there is hardly a musical you could play for me that I have not performed at least one of their songs if not the whole show and you would be hard pressed to find a Christmas carol I do not know by heart... with hand motions. 

Some of my fondest memories as child and teenager was staying after in the studio talking to Mrs. D. We would all hang around, secretly hoping our parents would be picking us up late. It was even better when we were able to drive because we could stay as late as we wanted. We would talk about anything and everything sitting in these little pink benches. If it was a really special day we might head to baker square to get a slice of pie! 

Mrs. D also worked at the local catholic high school. She ran a show there in february that many people from the county would come see. In middle school I would always go to the shows and wish more than anything I could be on that stage but thought it was not an option because I would be going to the public school. It was that show and her that helped persuade me to leave all my friends and go to the catholic school. The two years (soph and senior year) that I got to do the show were some of the best memories from high school. Also, it resulted in another great lesson. It taught me to never give up. My junior year I did not make the show because of a bad audition. I was heart broken and I think normally I would have just quit going to lessons on Wednesdays. But Mrs. D made me realize that things do not always work out as we want. Instead of giving up though you just have to work harder. I started attending additional lessons in addition to my wednesday classes. 

It is has been very hard for me to process this loss. I feel like even halfway around the world I am constantly reminded of her. I would say about every 4th song that comes onto my iPod is a song that I have song with her... I have decided that my iPod random shuffle is a major no-no for awhile if I want to stop tearing up randomly on the streets... I already get enough stares being white. 

It is even harder to think that when I go back home she will no longer be there. Every place in town holds some type of memory of her and I think it will be a rough shock when I finally go back home. I just hope that I can continue her legacy. I hope that I can spread the same lessons that she gave to me. Below I am attaching a video of one of her last shows at my high school. This only gives a little insight into what an amazing director she was. 


video

Open Class


So I am going to try to get caught up this week on what has been going on since the next 5 weeks are going to be CRAZY! Mom, Dad and Colin come on August 3rd. When they are here I know we are going to be running on all pistons since there is always lots to do in Seoul. We are also going to take a weekend to go down to the coast. And what I am most excited about is........ LADY GAGA!! Lady Gaga is coming to Seoul on August 9th and we are going to go! I can't wait!! But before the family even gets here I will be going to a Mud Festival this weekend, a Music Festival in the South next week and then a week in HONG KONG! Needless to say there are many fun things ahead!!!

But not to get ahead of myself. Here is some of the stuff I have been up to the past couple weeks..er.. months... May 27th to be exact

So every school has some type of Open Class. It is usually similar to open school night or parents night in the states. In most schools the parents come to the classroom for an hour and make sure the thousands of dollars a year they are putting into their child's education is not going to waste.

Well since at my school the parents put in thousands of dollars a MONTH our open class is just a bit more intense. So for the entire month of May we prepped for this open class. It consisted of an opening message, pledge, song with dance, a lesson by my korean teacher, a lesson by me, then a closing song with dance THEN a closing message and finally the kids give a gift to their mothers. 

Now in case you have forgotten most of my kids are 5 (easy to forget with the crazy Korean age system) and not always the most graceful. They also have trouble focusing for more than 15 minutes, once again the whole age thing. Now take the fact that we practiced this everyday for 3 weeks! It was all a little intense. To say I was a bit nervous before it actually happened would be an understatement....

I might have threatened my kids within an inch of their lives about a second before the parents walked in. 

And to everyones surprise they actually pulled it off!! Only once do I have to give one of my "unimpressed" looks to Daniel C. And we only had one kid almost cry. Poor Tommy got up to answer a question and forgot the answer. My Co-teacher whispered him the answer and he still could not say it. I guess Tommy has done this every open class last two years. Overall the parents seemed very happy and I still have my job! So now I just have to think about what we will be doing for the next one in October :)

Oh one more crazy thing about this whole thing... each child needs to speak an equal amount of times!! So everything is rehearsed with the kids before hand. Each question they know is coming and they know if it is their question or not. I did not do it as scripted because I thought it was pointless but I did give my three special boys their questions 2 weeks in advance which I had them practice all the time!! 

Here are some pictures from that day!


 This is about when I told DongJun I would make the next 6 months a NIGHTMARE if he jumped like a frog during openclass.






The kids giving their gifts to their moms. Andrew (boy in red) is resinging all the songs for his mom.


First song "Getting to Know You"

















Thursday, June 25, 2009

Korean Cowgirl







Very quickly I found out that my friend Kiwi and Patrick both have horses back home. Several nights we kept saying we should go riding so I finally decided to do something about in May... this is my tail... heheh couldnt resist
So as you could expect the riding places are not in the center of Seoul but instead on the outskirts. We found one place that was at the end of the subway line which is about 1hr15 from where we are. I had my Korean Teacher call the place a make a reservation for the three of us. So we got on the subway and headed up there. We had no idea where it was so we took the name of the places and finally when we got up there we jumped in the cab. Thankfully Patrick has wonderful Korean so he spoke to the cab driver and we were off. We got on the highway and drove another 10 minutes. Soon we were in this bizarre mix of suburbs and 
rural ko
rea. There were really nice proper houses right alone rice paddies. We pulled up to a bar that looked a little questionable. We walked into the main building and right away a woman walked up to us freaking out because we were english. P
atrick quickly saved the day by speaking korean though. Very quickly we met the crazy owner. He was one of hte scarier men I have met. He very quickly told us to come look at his riding pictures on the internet, then he demanded we eat the food he had for us, then he demanded that we sit in the nice seats, and about as quickly said in english "GET UP" when some other family came in and they were to sit there. We spent the next 30 minutes basically jumping whever this owner spoke. He was also pretty funny. When we first got there he kept saying he would be taking our picture to put it on their website. It would say that the "
Western people rode here". 

Our reservation was for 1:30 and by now it was about 2 and the owner had now kicked us out of the main building. He informed us we needed to go on a tour. So we sat outside the place watching the ring below. A man was training (maybe?) a horse that was being a punk. The man actually got thrown at one point, the horse was refusing to do what the man wanted. After our little show we were called into the other building which looked like 
a banquet hall through into a room with chairs and a mechanical horse! We were with a bunch of kids who were also riding. So the lady explained how to hold the reigns and put the kids up there. She made them post and all this other crap. Then she looks at us and tells Patrick in Korean it was our turn.... HELL NO! we just busted up laughing and made the little x sign with our hands that is so pop
ular. So finally it was time to go ride... we thought

We climbed down the hill to the arena. There was an big outdoor area with a jump in the middle then a really tiny covered arena. The kids went first on their horses on the inside arena. Then it was FINALLY our turn. By now I would say it was 2:30. So we got on our horses and they stuck us on the inside arena. Which was super small and annoying. I got a pretty tame horses that was fairly passive. Patrick got 
this beautiful horse but it had a bit of the crazies. This horse would not walk, it was constantly trotting. Patrick actually had a goal to walk once around the arena and it was one of the most painful things to watch. Though Patrick is an amazing rider so it was fun to watch him on an amazing horse. Kiwi also got a bit of a crazy horse and ended up switching horses a bit in. The second horse was also still a bit crazy.



So after going around about a billion times and feeling a bit dizy we talked the guy into letting into the outdoor area. So Patrick was the first to go out and his horse handled it pretty well. I was next out the gate and my horse decided to practice for the upcoming Derby. He shot across the ring in a nice gallop. Unfotunatley I was not at all prepared for this and definitely lost my stirups but thankfully stayed on. He did stop though when he got to the entrance to the barn.... it seems he thought it was time to go inside. After I caught my breath I rode for about another 15 minutes in the ring. I was nice to be riding again since I havent been in about a year. 

When we were done we went back upstairs. We found out that the whole time we were being watched on the TV and the owner actually offered Patrick to come back and ride for free in exchange for letting the owner take pictures for the website.

We asked the owner to call us a cab since that was the only way back to the station and he said he would. After 10 minutes though he informed us that there would be no cab we had to leave go to the end of the street and wait for the bus.... which did not make much sense because we were out in the middle of no where which had street construction on all sides. So we went down and sat by the paddies and shockingly a bus came bumping down the road. Patrick asked if we if went to he subway which the driver said yes. We made a school boy error though because we did not ask HOW long it would take. We ended up on that bus for about 45 minutes. We saw ALL of northern Seoul.

Overall it was a fun adventure. Can't say I will do it again but I am glad that I did it at least once!!! 

It's My Birthday









Going to stop trying to give excuses for not blogging... just going to have to accept it will be sparadic (and full of spelling errors) at best.

So in every culture birthdays hold some type of importance and with that importance comes a celebration. In Korea is the birthday this is a little difference since the actual day of your birthday does not hold a whole lot of weight in regards to how old you are. But Koreans do celebrate their birthdays just like we do in the USA, they actually might do it (at least in my school) about a billion times better! Let me explain....

So every month all the kids who have a birthday that month will hold a joint birthday party in the classroom. The parents will get together and discuss what they will bring and all that jazz. This is about on par, and at first I thought it kind of sucked for the kids they had to share their birthdays with someone else. I mean your birthday is your day! 

Anyways, I was wrong, very very wrong.

So the moms dont just bring in a cupcake for each kid or a little cake. Oh no... first they bring a feast for each child.... fried chicked, traditional korean dishes, hotdogs, juices, yogurt drinks, fruit and pasteries. Then there is the cake. Each child gets their own cake. So the day we had 3 kids, we had 3 HUGE cakes. I actually took one home completely untouched. Then there is the teachers meals. Many parents then bring a seperate meals for the teachers. This month we got three huge tupperware full of cut fruit, a box of these amazing tarts and then each our own box of rice cakes (which I was told were $75 a box). 

So that is just the food. Then there are the gifts. Each kid brings a gift for the birthday boy or girl. The gifts are supposed to be from $10 to $15. But when you have three people with birthdays there are just gifts everywhere. Then the kids who are having the birthday bring "Thank You" gifts for each child. These gifts now can be a bit crazy. This month the mom bought all the girls princess shirts and the boys power rangers. Last month the boys all got starwars books and the girls got shoes that are similar to crocs. The gift you give is a pretty big deal. 

Now the parties might seems a little out of control, but the thing is this is the tamed down version. The parents when they come to the school have to promise not to hire party planners!! One mom in another class wanted to bring someone in the night before to redo the whole classroom so it was themed!!!! These parties do not last more than 20 minutes!! The class next to me last week had a performer. She came dressed as Cinderella. She made the kids all balloons and then did this amazing face painting on each child. I am not sure how that mom slipped that woman in but I am sure now every part after that in that class will have a performing.... its all a bit crazy. 

Needless to say birthday party days are a big deal and we all look forward to them on the floor. The kids usually cant eat 1/3 of what is given to them so it usually ends up in the teachers room.  I am known to be slipping into the room to grab a slice of cake :) though most of the korean teachers know now so just bring things like cupcakes straight to my room!!

so much for hoping korea was make me herion addict thin... oh well!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mini-Olympics




So I am going to just forget about trying to post this stuff in order, I have come to terms I am going to just post when I get a chance. I want to at least get one post up a week!




So this post is about Mini-Olympics. Mini-olympics was actually back in May, the first week of May to be exact but I am going to go with it. So MO was an all day event at my school for the kids. The 6 year olds had it Friday then 7 year olds had it on Monday. So there were 5 stations set up and there were 2 foreign teachers in charge of each station. Then our Korean teachers took our classes around and they competed with other classes. I am proud to report that Jupiter Class (my class) beat Dolphine class in every single event. We definitely won the MO for 7 year olds... I refuse to listen to anyone who says there were no winners. So overall it was a lot of fun with the kids and was only better with the fact we won.



Though my kids did great, I did not get to see them compete in anything but my station.  My station was the hula hoop station. Now this station was a bit of a mystery for a couple weeks. The school gave us our assignment a couple weeks before the event and Ian and I got assigned to Holla Hoop. When we asked what it was my directors response was "they take the hula hoop and all go inside and they run across the yard and they win". When we heard this Ian and I were convinced we heard wrong. The day of the event we asked them again what they wanted and again we got the kids go in the hula hoop and run. So we made it a relay race with 4 kids in a hoop at once running from one side of the yard and back. We quickly learned though this was possibly the most dangerous race EVER. The really fast kids would just take off and be dragging the kid across the yard. Ian and I spent most of the time racing after the children being dragged. After the second group we changed the activity so they ran on the outside of the hoop, making it must safer but no where near as entertaining! 

Anyways, MO was tons of fun! I love fun days at PSA!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dr. Fish



I decided that I will try sticking with blogspot for a little longer. My friend Sarah did have a good point, it is google I should be able to handle it! I tried a couple other ones and they also had some annoying points so i might as well just deal with this one.... the devil you know is better than the devil you don't.


So Dr. Fish is this really cool pedicure service that is not done by people but instead FISH!! So I went there with Nick when he was in town. Its only $2 to do with a cup of coffee.
 So you stick your feet in this tub that is filled with fish and they just nibble the dead skin off your feet! It tickles a bit but its not as bad as I thought it would be. It was actually pretty fun. Though I think it worked, I think I would have to go for hours for it to have an affect on my calloused ridden feet!! 

Sunday, May 31, 2009

AH!!!!!

I am becoming VERY annoyed with Blogspot. It took me about 5 minutes to write this post and 45 minutes to get the pictures in! Then I hit preview and it looked find. I publish it and its a MESS!!! I had no idea that the fonts were all different sizes!! I need a new blog site.... stayed tuned to see if I switch where my blog will be! I just don't have the time or can be bothered with this bullshit (sorry grandma)

HiSeoul

yea.... so once a day did not work. The weather has been amazing here though and I have been doing a lot outside. Also keeping myself busying doing other stuff. Anyways, I am still trying to talk about stuff I did in May. Hopefully I will get through May by the end of June *^^* (these are the emoticons of Korea and I am trying my best to get into them!! My favorite is TT which is 
tears or sad face. I get that alot from DongJun's mom when I write how bad her kid is!)






 Anyways, one of my favorite things so far has been HiSeoul. Every season they have the HiSeoul festival. It is in a different place of Seoul every season and has different events.
I went to the May HiSeoul which was at City Hall and along the river.










Their theme was HotPink. So everything was
in hot pink, which was pretty awesome. There were events for 10 days and every night they had something at the grassy patch at City Hall. They drapped these huge white cloth strips across the plaza (1st picture). There were stages set up and they had different events everynight. They called it the HotPink Ball. The first night I went was Monday and it was musicals. It was SO much fun. They did all the musicals that are pretty well known on Broadway but they were all in Korean! It was so much fun to listen to it! There were two stages on opposite ends and the whole crowd would run from one end to the next. 


There was also some people dressed up in these crazy hot pink outfits. When they came out this song would start and everyone would start doing this dance. There were hundreds of them. They were all teenagers and really got into. It was really fun!! They worked really hard getting everyone to be involved and even had a couple dance offs with people. It would happen about 5 to 6 times during the show. I was OBSESSED with this dance. It was just a lot of fun.  Below is just a little video of it. 


So since I had such a good time on Monday night I went back on Saturday night with Jennifter from my school and then my friend Nick who was in town. Saturday night was the HipHop night. It was basically just like a big house party for 2 hours! Lots of dancing and tons of fun!!

We actually got there a little early and had a bottle of champagne that Nick brought with him from Dubai (Nick is a flight attendant for Emerites). Then when the show started the MC was running through the audience and of course found us! He starts asking Nick all these questions in broken english and Nick just kept answer he loves Seoul and bouncing to the music! He was on a huge jumbotron and also on NATIONAL TV!! HiSeoul was broadcasted on the national station. The MC then came back through 5 min later and starting to talking to Jennifer. I did a pretty good job of staying off the camera!! It was pretty funny (and typical). Seoul is really into making a point 
to show the western people at any event. 
I am getting used to being a local celebrity ^^ 

Anyways, HiSeoul was a blast and I am sad its over! Hope you enjoy the video and some of the pictures! 
video

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