Fall Semester Comes

As I woke up semi-late this morning (7:45 AM) I knew tomorrow was going to be a work day. Usually I am woken by Tom nudging me or climbing on top of me to get a good petting in before the day starts. On work days I can only give him that good petting for a short little time. But I am not here to complain, just saying my lovely two weeks of vacation are quickly ending.

I feel this vacation was especially good for me because I feel balanced out. The free time allowed me to understand what transpired during the last semester and what I need to focus on for the next. I feel mentally ready to take on the challenges.

Jeju Naval Base Controversy

Since I recently spent some time on Jeju the news of a military base being built on the island perked my interest. However, I am not to sure what is happening so I took the time to read up on the issue. From the gist of it I believe that the South Korean Navy has been building a naval base on Jeju within the city of Gangjeong. The function of such a site is summed up clearly in a New York Times article:

What is Jeju Jet Lag?

When coming back from a trip to Jeju Island one might experience, "Jeju jet lag" as I am having right now. What is this? You might be asking, since Jeju is just about 50 minutes away by plane from Seoul and doesn't require one to change time zones. Well then, let me enlighten you.

Jeju jet lag is a mental and physical condition where one experiences the rush that comes with leaving Jeju and arriving back in Seoul. The body will immediately feel toasty from all the sunburns but also tired from all the hiking, walking and swimming. The mind will feel a sense of nostalgia for the Jeju country side and vast green spaces. Also, ones mind will feel the readjustment of being back in the urban jungle of Seoul.

To cure Jeju jet lag I recommend heading home, taking a good cleansing shower and hitting the hay. If you have to pick up two cats along the way (one is yours...the other your friend's) for cat sitting, then so be it.

Dinner at Suji's: Itaewon

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.

May School Field Trip

For our school's May field trip the kiddos took a bus ride up to Pocheon to visit the Africa Cultural Center. Who would of guessed there was a little slice of that great continent here in Korea?

Like the previous field trip we were swept around from place to place, but this time the kids got to take part in several activities.

The first activity involved making a wooden-beaded necklace, which was pretty simple to do but also a lot of fun.

Portrait Event for the Kolleen Park Exhibit

As part of the Kolleen Park Portrait Exhibit the organizers put on a sketching event. People were invited to come out and practice doing portraiture art.

Located at the Shinhan gallery in Yeoksam, Gangnam a small group gathered and enjoyed drawing from a live model. Mike Stewart led the way by giving us examples and pointers.

Cultural Difference: The First Bite

As JH and I were served our meals at an Outback Steakhouse today something happened that made me realize an interesting cultural difference between us two. First let me say that I generally do not like going to Outback Steakhouse, Fridays or any of those chains here in Korea. Mostly because they are expensive, but also due to that the food is often really greasy and too salty. With that said, we usually just order salads since we have found they are the freshest thing on the menu.

There I was ready to take my first bite when JH shoved his fork (with a piece of meat on it) in front of my face asking, "Do you want to try it?" I leaned back and exclaimed, "No!"

Korean High School Life: Perspective

Got this from Ahlumdapda's site first, but want to spread the word. An American high school student in Korea, with intentions on making a documentary about the culture here, ends up finding so much more. Watch her video and possibly take part in her cause.

Certainly, even it at the young age I teach the pressure to do good in school and be beautiful has already affected them. Only they get to leave school at 2:30 instead of 9pm.

"My Name is Khan" A Must See Movie

Now that OBL is dead, whether you care about all the details or not, it might be a good time to think back on the past ten years and how this whole "terrorist" thing has affected your life. I think for most of us it affected the world we live in, but for other people it likely affected everything immediately in front of them.

That is why I recommend you watch the movie, "My Name is Kahn." Because, you get to see a great piece of cinematography that weaves a story about a certain family affected by 9/11, but also sends out a great message of peace.

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