summer

How to Make Your EPIK Job AWESOME #3 – Make Your Office Comfortable

This is the 3rd post in a 5 part series about how to make your EPIK job awesome. This tip is more straightforward but surprisingly causes new teachers a lot of grief, especially if its unexpected. You will be spending a lot of time during the hottest and coldest days of the year sitting at your desk. Here are some tips to help make your office more comfortable!


Letter from Korea, October 2013

Suwon, Korea
Ocotober, 2013

Dear Ireland,

It has been well over a month since myself, Herself, and +1 have been back in Korea, and what I expected would be my September letter got left by the wayside and is only being seen to now in October. You know you’ll get the usual excuses for not doing anything which isn’t vital to one’s survival, such as being busy with things which are vital to one’s own survival.

After two and a bit months in Ireland, returning to Korea for life, work, and more life, was less the shock we had thought it might be. A smaller home, no garden, no dog, less rain, and that view from all the way up at the top of our tower just seemed to be what was right at the time. There seems to be less culture shock the more we travel between Ireland and Korea.


The End of the Summer

It’s still hot in Korea. By hot I mean warm enough to prefer shorts to trousers but pleasant enough to consider the walk, wherever it is you’re going, enjoyable. Only this afternoon it started raining the kind of rain that smells of the heat that has warmed it. Like some kind of stagnant puddle water. And as it drops and hits the ground the water mixes with all the other smells walked into the street, then stewed up to create a black paste which seems to follow every foot’s step in the city. It’s a summer rain true, but not a high summer deluge.

When we returned to Korea from Ireland a little under two weeks ago we were told we had missed the worst of the summer. The breeze which we found chilly was a much welcomed breath of life into a country drained to exhaustion from the hottest of summers. We were grateful that we had chosen our flight dates well.


More Summer Swimming

A waterfall and plunge pool in Jeri-on, Changnyeong is our new go to place to cool off. It is a short bike ride away and it is very pretty. Another place we will miss when we leave Koreae! :(


Home to If I Had A Minute To Spare Towers

I kid because I love. But in this case I’m not kidding. I do live in a tower, a twenty storey high tower pitched between what seems like a thousand other twenty storey high towers. Although mine is made from concrete, steel, and glass, not ivory. This may or may not be a good thing.

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After a long summer away in Ireland, myself, Herself, and +1 have returned to our perch overlooking the ever present traffic which persists along that big long avenue that runs through Yeongtong-dong which I have no idea of the name.


Bing Su! 빙수 Famous Korean Dessert!

Every season in Korea brings delicious treats specific to the weather. One of my favorite ways to cool off in the summer is to eat Bing su! Bing su is basically shaved ice with a topping, usually fruit. The “normal” bing su is Pat Bing Su, which is Red bean shaved ice! Red bean is used a lot in desserts in Korea, and I think it’s safe to say that most foreigners here are NOT the biggest fans of red bean. I can eat a little bit of it, but not usually the huge mound they pile on top of the shaved ice!

I prefer the variety of other toppings they offer, like mango, strawberry and sometimes green tea! With Koreans I’d say the most popular bing su is red bean and green tea, usually with dduk (rice cake) on top! My favorite bingsu I’ve had this summer was Cafe Pascucci’s berry banana bing su. Delicious!


Italian Students Speak

As a full time teacher of English as a Second Language I come across many ways in which to encourage learners to activate their acquired language. During this summer (2013) I was teaching teenaged Italian students in Ireland, and I found that more so that my past experiences, my students were very active online. I thought of ways in which I could get them to use this interest in a lesson.


The Koreans of Europe

No two cultures are the same but every one is similar, right? You could certainly say that about much of Europe, where thousands of years of breeding, trading, warring, traveling, and sharing across ever-shifting borders has caused a mixology of international characteristics of which one can be difficult to discern from the other.

In Asia, it is a little more difficult to separate the differences because the continent has suffered less fluctuation of its borders, and in terms of today’s map, colonialism for the most part decided on today’s borders. But still you can throw in the changes, regardless of actual influence, of international trade, development, colonialism, the sharing of ideas, television, and migration, and the wind at the weekend if you wish, and you will soon realise the stark similarities between peoples and cultures there.


Let’s wrap this up?


Color Me Rad Korea!

At the weekend we took part in a Color Me Rad run in Seoul. It was a lot of fun! The event was held in Seoul Olympic Sports Complex. As it was extremely busy there was not a chance to run, it was more of a fun walk but this was okay with me. At various points of the course colour tunnels were set up. The first colour was orange, then pink, blue and yellow. As you walked through a group of volunteers threw coloured powder all over you!  The atmosphere of the event was fantastic. Everybody was having a lot of fun and were very happy to be covered in so much colour! To participate in the race the sign up fee was 35,000 won. This included a t-shirt and a pair of sunglasses. There were also a lot of freebies to be had at the end of the race. Everybody got their own colour powder pouch(s), wet wipes and vitamin water(s).  It was a very messy experience but I am glad we did it!


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