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The National Gallery of Art

The Lincoln Memorial

It wasn't the sunniest or the warmest day on our trip, but seeing the Lincoln Memorial was worth it. I took my family to Foggy Bottom station and we tried to catch a bus closer to The Mall area. But you could easily have walked the distance.

Approaching the memorial, you start to sense the significance and iconic power of it's structure.

The United States Botanical Garden

Although we had about an hour to see The United States Botanical Garden, I had a good time. They were having a special orchid exhibit, which were lovely to look at.

Bye Bye America Again

I'm up way too early here in my hotel near the SFO airport. Maybe I'm excited to go back to Korea or ready to get there, rest and prepare for the first day back to work.

I had a good time here in America and am so grateful to spend time with nearly all of my family. When I get the chance I will definitely continue to post the rest of my trip from Florida and D.C.

I'm not sure when I'm going to come out here again, as I need to consider saving money and also I still want to see other parts of the world.

Deerfield Beach

No trip to Florida would be complete with out a venture over to the beach. On both sides (the Gulf and the Atlantic) you have choices. On this day we decided to head to Deerfield beach, which brought back memories.

2011 You Were...Well..

Wow! It is the end of 2011 already. I'm 30, single and the battery to my wireless mouse just died. This past year was marked by mild discoveries and accomplishments. For one I finally found a school I am comfortable working at and also a neighborhood that is nice to live in.

I got out and saw some nice places, one of which was the beauty that can be found on Jeju Island.

Memories of the Summer

Now as the temperature drops I am fondly looking back at the sweat filled humid days of summer. Sure people complain during that time of the heat and bugs. But what about now, with freezing noses and fingers?

Last summer I headed to a mountain near my home. I picked up some kimbop along the way and took to a trail I found on my phone map. I found myself the only one on the trail and quite liked this.

Thanksgiving Meal at O'ngo

American holidays seem to come and go without much notice here in Korea. For example, the Fourth of July just swept on by, along with Memorial day. But, Thanksgiving seems to have a special place here in the land of kimchi and dumplings. You can choose to either order all the fixings yourself and have a party locally or choose from restaurants and hotels serving up the infamous meal.

Then and Now

Today I realized something while watching the minutes tick down to my check-out time at work. I realized how I am happy to be where I am. An image of my life flashed to me of the time I was living in Eureka, California. It was summer vacation and I was trying to find a job to pick up some extra cash for the next semester. However, things weren't looking good.

I recalled being in the unemployment office where there were flyers and bulletin boards with listings on them. Then I looked around my classroom and understood just how far I have come in life. Back then I didn't get a summer job and just worked a few weeks at McDonald's.

Despite some of the hard times I have had in Korea, and the fact that the future is uncertain (as it always is) I am grateful to be here.

My "Ten Years Later" 9/11 Post

You might be already a little sick of the news generating article after article about the ten year anniversary over the events on 9/11/2011. But for me this year's anniversary feels more potent. I can't help but think about all that has transpired in my life and the world within the last ten years.

Last Few Days of Camp Finally

There are just three more days of camp and thank goodness! Although, tiring and often mind-boggling strange, the camp has been going pretty well. I have learned what the low-levels need and how better to pace myself for them. They take time to process the English and I try to give it to them in a slow yet understandable manner. But mostly they want to learn through games, crafts and activities. I guess that is true for all first-graders.

Camp, as mentioned earlier, wasn't planned very well even though the planning committee did do hard work. I want to step up for winter camp and plan some new stuff for them, but am trying to lay-low so not to seem like a pushy person.

First Semester is OVER!

My gosh did it go so fast! I am really pleased that this semester has come to an end. Of course, kind of not looking forward to three weeks of camp with the same group of kids. But, in essence the toils and trials of everyday work will not come to me again till September.

Things I've Learned:
First graders do require a lot of energy, but you don't have to put on a show all the time. They like games and things for them to do that can keep their minds and hands busy. Teaching at a private elementary school has a lot of benefits when compared to my previous job. I have enjoyed the lack of coteaching and love being in control of my own classroom. However, I have not escaped the Korean workplace and still encounter many snafus related to this. I've learned that patience is the key and one can be strict with the students but not take it emotionally. 

Cat Sleepover

Hamster's mom found herself a new job and so was moving this weekend. Actually, Hamster's name is now Kaiju. This meant that the third brother of the kitty-cat trio got to stay at my house with his brother Tom.

When I brought Kaiju home Friday evening at first Tom wasn't sure what thing was walking around his house. He followed Kaiju around and finally the two had at it. It wasn't aggressive fighting but more like brotherly love. However, their rumblings lasted all night which wasn't helpful for my already exhausted body.

Buddha's Birthday 석가탄신일 in Pictures

Leave and get on the train. Know that where you are going is considered to be one of the oldest temples in Seoul.

Reflections: First Few Months in Korea

If it weren't for my recent three month stay back home I would be celebrating my three year anniversary in Korea this month. Despite that I have to wait three more months to truly celebrate, I have already been doing the trips down memory lane in my head. 

well rounded.

I cannot drink alcohol for a month (don't really want to either, only 4 months left and still so much left to do!) so I have been filling my weekends with plays, festivals, dinners, shopping and sightseeing. Last weekend was the Vagina Monologues, (which I had never seen and it was amazing) and this weekend a friend is starring in Macbeth in Myeongdong so we will spend our Saturday night getting a little culture. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom now so Sunday will be spent outside on Yeoi-do (do=island, this being a small one in the middle of the Han river, connected on the subway line) enjoying the trees and fresh air.. or nuclear fallout from Japan, whatever.

The Dead and The Living

The cemetery was peaceful - but that's what people always say about cemeteries, don't they? They're always carrying on about how "peaceful" they are. I can't say that they're really wrong. Except for a couple of maintenance guys, there was no one really there. Bunches of flowers gave a break of color between the green of the grass and the grey of the headstones. It was quiet, and a slight breeze blew. So it was peaceful, save the hiss of the freeway, which filtered in through the evergreen trees that ringed the field of the dead.

For You, Pops

He had a heart as big as a truck and a laugh that could move a house. This was a hearty, sonic boom of a laugh, drawn from a seemingly endless well of mirth. It was released most often around the dinner table (where pops was the happiest), suddenly erupting and literally shaking the room. The man had an unstoppable joy, a playful, joking spirit that really had a life of its own. He laughed, teased, prodded and razzed, all the way until the end. So it should come as no surprise that my father was, in part, a mighty jester. After all, he was born on April 1st.

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