What have I been doing in the last month?!

"Sorry! I didn't mean to neglect my blog. I've just been so busy!" said every Miguk in Korea (including me!).

Today is test day! All of my students are taking tests and then testing some more and then ending their day with a little side of test. 

What am I doing you ask?

Desk warming. Aka blogging, looking at Facebook all day, and don't forget Pinterest.

So here you are.

Making new friends:
This is Sayshoe Hassi. He's friends with our neighbors Zack and Tiffany Church. He was in Seoul the night before his MARATHON and needed to load up on carbs with friends. Sayshoe is the sweetest and happiest person I've met. He's from Japan too! Hopefully we can visit him this summer.

Funniest thing about my students:
Some of them pick their own English names.

The heaviness in my heart:
All I can do is love on the North Korean children that I meet during Saturday tutoring. I hope to donate to Liberty In North Korea when I have a career going. Shin Dong-Hyuk is so inspiring.

My favorite food right now:
Dolcot bibimbap. Hot and FULL of veggies (I'm starting to stray from meat). The rice under all these beautiful vegetables is drizzled in a little bit of oil and the raw egg helps too. Because this stone bowl sits on direct flames the rice touching the bottom of the bowl is nice and crunchy. 

What I'm loving:
This guy. Even if we argue I can't stay mad at him. He's always making me laugh! Moving to Asia together has made us extremely close. We are always working together to overcome the new challenges we face in this culture. He's also a very good husband. He was a wonderful boyfriend and fiance too. He'll be a wonderful father (did I just say that?). Ha kidding... we're not having a kid, YET! Korea has given me baby fever. I mean the kids here are born with a full head of hair and their parents dress them to the nines. They basically look like miniature adults and I love everything mini.
 The weather lately:
That's me and Ella taking a break from desk warming to play in the snow!

Where I'm going in one month:
Phuket Island. For our winter vacation we have two weeks to explore and we picked Thailand. We will visit Bankok for four days and then spend the rest of the time being lazy and unproductive on a beach just like this!

What I'm missing:
The Plaza lights are making me a bit homesick this Christmas. I am however excited to spend my first Christmas as a married woman in a new country. My husband and I will start new traditions together.



When my co-teachers open all the windows in the winter I'm just like:


So...it's been awhile.

Things have been going pretty well lately. I have so much to write about and I don't have the time because I'm too busy desk warming (playing on Facebook and Pinterest). But good news: I'm over the homesickness I've been feeling this past month. I'll explain more later when I have time to give details!

As for the photo above, well let's just say I miss Western logic. Here in Korea 'fresh air' is the answer to everything. Well not really since the subways and buses are hot as hell because no one opens any windows. In schools the windows are left open (AND DOORS!) so that fresh air can flow through the rooms. I'm not really sure why, I've tried to ask and didn't get a clear answer. Some of my friends say it's so the students don't get sick from all the germs getting stuck in the classrooms. I can't imagine that being the reason since kids are forced to come to school with masks over their faces when the have the flu! That's right, the flu. 
So I freeze. I wear all my normal winter teaching clothes plus my coat, gloves, and sometimes my scarf if it gets really bad. By January I'm expecting to wear at least four layers and have adhesive hand/foot warmers stuck to me as the first layer. My Tuesday school allows the teachers to use their heat when they want. This is awesome! - I foolishly thought, because thirty minutes after my co-teacher turned on the heat the room was a stuffy oven.

Patrick's school told him their heat will only turn on when there is snow on the ground. This will be every other hour.

Oh did I mention that the doors are open to the outside even if the heat is on?

There is no happy medium.

Enough complaining. That's the last time, I promise. I have so much to post. Life here is so exciting and challenging. I'll make time!


Something to Think About.

Went to Seoul this weekend (trip #3)

Paper folding with little Yeo Won. The Keunsaem School for North Korean Defector's: English Outreach Program.
These are the best weekends.

This is a great video I borrowed from my friend. Take a minute and watch it!


Presidential Election 2012

I've been listening to the debates via internet with my coteacher when we have down time. They make me feel really uncomfortable! I have been asked some pretty weird questions about Obama and I never know how to respond. The best question was "is this a normal voice (accent) for a black person?"

It's really nice being away during the election. Seriously. And no I'm not voting. I blink and Monday suddenly becomes Friday evening. I'm not even sure what day it is right now. I missed my deadline for an absentee ballet. Sorry!!! I was distracted with life in Korea. I do care. I promise.


It's Fall in Korea

It's that time of year again. Except this time, I'm in Korea. The trees are beautiful and the mountains (are everywhere I look) are not too bad. I love this weather.
Patrick and I have completed our "everything here is novel" stage and we're in the middle of the "homesickness" stage. We're fine, don't worry. The days are long and our pillow talk has been about school and how to deal with..........things. The picture above describes the way I feel. Ha... which I don't even know what I feel anymore.

We'll be home in August, Missouri (ixnay on the extending our contract thing. Ha!).

I reblogged this gif from a friend in KC. Please visit his Tumblr.



English Morning Show

Hello and welcome to the English Morning Show!!!

Thought I would post about my Wednesday morning show since we took pictures last week. Every Wednesday at 8:30AM I sit  in front of the camera along with my two buds, Tommy and Crystal. I don't know their Korean names since I nic named them the first day they landed this job with me, but they don't mind. We read from a script that I write about the Korean cartoon, Pororo. He's a little penguin that lives out in the middle of nowhere with other little friends. All the friends play together and usually run into situations that teach them morals. 

I think Pororo is really annoying but I have to watch each episode three times and I'm too old to appreciate his show.

Anyways, here's a picture of us in 'action.' We usually sit with our script in front of us and that's it, no weather or day cards and definitely no folders. But we had to look good for our article! Plus... the show is on Wednesdays not Mondays ;) ooohhh well.

Did I mention this is live?

Above is a script I made for this coming Wednesday. It doesn't relate to the episode below but you get the picture. *English key words and expressions!!!!


5th Grade Midterm Review: Gangnam Style

 It's midterm season here! I am in charge of making a review for the 5th grade (I see them on Fridays***today). Here in Korea kids will participate in class activities for candy, points in a game or any other reward. It might be a little wrong back in the states but rewarding works beautifully here. Most of the English teachers in our program use a website called Waygook for class materials. The biggest hit is the BOMB GAME! Some genius English teacher made a Psy version of the bomb game. Everyone is using it! Even me. Of course I used Andrew Bird in my Gangnam Style PowerPoint! Duh. I hope they like it.

The answer pops up after you hit the space bar.
All points are little cartoon Psy characters

 To get your question your team picks a letter.

Cross your fingers your team doesn't get this bomb!!!!

These guys do the horse dance too. It's brilliant. And they also give you additional points. Whichever team ends up with the most points at the end of the game gets to leave my class first! Wooohooo! Just doing my job. Changing the world one English class at a time.



Free Gangnam Style Ringtone

I can't deny my love for Psy. I think it's pretty awesome that we moved to Korea as soon as he hit it big. Because of his video our friends back home realize how modern Korea is now'a'days. They thought I was moving to the country and roughin' it in Korea. Oh no friends, it's hoppin'. I think it's time I honor Psy by using his song for a ringtone. You too!  

As you're reading this I'm making a Gangnam Style "Bomb Game" lesson for the midterm review. I'm using someone else's genius template from Waygook.org :D Korean elementary schools really know how to motivate students!!!


Third Time is a Charm!

Getting married to Patrick was fun, exhausting, exciting, stressful, wonderful, and probably the just the loveliest thing I've ever done. I cried most of the ceremony and (appropriately) partied the entire reception. I'm a lucky one. Then little Henry, who missed our wedding because he was ill, wanted to play his part as the ring bearer and would not take no for an answer. In his mind, my wedding waited for his fever to break. So, soon after our wedding day, we played pretend and had a small garden wedding. Our second wedding was wonderful. The only thing we missed were our parents, but we managed. Henry did a great job and all guests played a part in the 'ceremony.' Henry's parents even brought a delicious picnic. AND I finally played a game of croquet in my wedding dress.

THEN we moved to Korea. We never expected a third wedding. But it found us, somehow. The sweet woman that takes care of the foreign teachers in our program sent an email about the wedding one day. Patrick was checking his email when it popped up in the inbox. First come first serve, any volunteers? "Yes! Us! Pick us!" said Patrick.

Then a week later he sent me an email saying... "babe don't kill me but..."

Then another week later he came home with more information about the wedding. I was completely clueless up to this point. I figured there was a little event going on and some foreign couple was needed to play man and wife for a fake traditional wedding. Well... it turned out the traditional Korean wedding  was going to occur at the Cheonan World Dance Festival. One of the 'best festivals' in Korea. Over twenty countries come to Korea to compete in the dance festival. Basically it's like Liberty, Mo's fall fest on crack and then some awesome on top.

Then more emails from Patrick...

"you need to ask off from school so we can have our measurements taken" 
"what?! are we having the wedding outfits tailored to fit us?"
 "oh yeah! we get to keep the clothes, didn't I tell you?"
"you haven't told me anything really..."
"well I heard one million people come to this festival and there might be a couple hundred people watching the wedding!"
"oh boy"

This last picture is of me and Dong Hyuk Ham (like palm). He's the sweetest Korean I've met besides my co-teacher, Ella. And he's the ripe age of 19. He's a smarty pants because he knows English pretty well! I think Hangul and English might be the two most difficult langauges to learn. Go Dong Hyuk! He translated all the ceremony rituals to Patrick and me. And he was there to help us during show time. Then he even stayed with us as we wondered around the rest of the festival afterwards. Patrick and I went back the next day to see more dancing and there he was again, ready to help! This weekend was awesome! I had tons of ajumas helping me like I was their own family and I had a really cute set of fake parents and in-laws. I messed up every step of the way but it's okay... I was having fun, though, right? We even had a reception dinner. It was at this little hole in the wall place near the park. Patrick asked Dong Hyuk to order us his favorite (cue groaning foreigner friends ^^) BUT it was delish and everyone loved it. Think we had almost all of our group attend the wedding and dinner. 

I'll never forget it. Another wonderful wedding with Pat <3
Thanks Cheonan!

Oh did I mention a handful of my students saw this?! And both our principals were in attendance, one with a wedding gift. And I can't forget to tell you... there were well over fifteen 'professional' photographers. They photo bombed each other the entire time. ^^


Cheonan World Dance Festival 2012

Cheonan rocked it this weekend. There were over twenty countries represented and everyone brought their A game. The parade Saturday night turned into a giant dance party in the middle of one of the busiest streets in the city. I was on a bus home while this was going on since the wedding drained me.

But the best part was seeing groups from different countries dancing to Gangnam Style. I think I heard the song thirty times in two days.

I'll post about the wedding later this week!!