This is what I looked like when I first arrived in Korea, back in spring of 2008. At that time I was exhausted but also thrilled to start my Korean life. For the next four years I learned a lot about Korean culture, it's people and mostly myself. I've had two serious Korean boyfriends in that time, and they helped shape my experience here. So what am I getting at?
I'm leaving Korea.
For the past several weeks I have been teaching my students a scene from the play, "The Blind Men and the Elephant." It's an adapted version for EFL students and includes several songs which they dance to. For the most part I have been having fun teaching my students to sing, dance, speak loudly and act. However, doing it this time as a team leader adds on more challenges. There is pressure for the students to perform well, and it comes from the Korean side of the school. As foreign teacher's we know that we can do our best, but the students will decide in the end how to perform.
Even though most places will be closed I will be out hunting for one that is open with friends in hopes of celebrating the occasion. If on Sunday this doesn't work out then I'll have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to celebrate. Plus there are festivities going on at the palaces (which will be free to enter) and with weekdays off next week I could do more exploring.
I'm one happy gal this Chuseok :) Thank you Korea!
So it is the time of year again in Korea where the town empties out and stores close for the Chuseok holiday. But you know what? It's also my birthday and so I am a happy camper this Chuseok as I get to celebrate my birthday and also get a 5 day weekend!
I'm actually doing much better now with all my symptoms practically gone. But it took some time and I didn't get off work that much when I was feeling like crap. Instead I trucked through my class loads and stuck it out. Working when sick in Korea is a given and you pretty much have to do it or you will look like a sorry person to your Korean colleagues. Here for you is how I got through teaching with tonsillitis and generally feeling horrible.
We got our level testing done and unfortunately not much was changed in one class that needed it. However, the rest of the groups seem to be doing all right. A handful of students dropped out of my school, a few of which I was happy and sad to see go. There are some empty spots and I'm sure they will fill them up quick.
The first week of the Fall semester has flown by, and was all right. I started things off by giving one of our homeroom teacher's a gift for her baby. It was a nice soft blanket I found at a baby store. She was very surprised to get it from me. This is her first baby and I thought I would give her a gift to celebrate such an occasion. Later on in the week she came up to me in the lunch room and told me that her son slept very well with the blanket I gave her.
However, the humidity is here and the cicadas are buzzing away. My school doesn't allow the air conditioner on till 9:30 and then I can't keep it on if there are no kids in my room. Thankfully, my room is attached by door to one of the Korean homerooms. This guy doesn't mind breaking the rules and keeping the aircon running after hours. So I open that door and feel a nice cool breeze waft in.
Last night there was a mighty lightning and thunder storm. Although I mostly heard the thunder, since I sleep with an eye-mask on, it sure did a good job of rattling me. However, I like these types of extreme weather. It's something I missed when I moved to California from Florida, and is one of the reasons why I look forward to summer in Korea.
The summer can be considere half-way through already. It's my 5th summer in Korea and it seems the rain, heat and humidity are just passing me by without much thought. I've kept busy this term with school work and life changes. Vacation planning is currently preoccupying my mind. I plan to do something mild this season, just venture out far enough and not spend too much to make it valid.
After that trip to the Korea Design Museum
, I was inspired to make some new works. I took away the red outline from some of the postcards I saw and went with it. The first one there just going from my imagination then having a swell time creating the vibrant red border.
Today I completed my second time of open classes at my current school. When I went through this last year I was way more nervous. I really wanted to make a good impression last year, and so rolled out high energy and a lot of activities. This year, I was still a little nervous but seemed to calmly get through it.