Monday, August 30, 2010

Wee little update :)

I have a full week of lessons to look forward to and I'm ready for it. I have spent the entire day building lesson plans since apparently that is what I'm supposed to do this week. Oh well. The more time I spend here the less I have to spend during my free time.

This weekend we went to the East Sea. I have pictures but they are all on my home computer. I will load them when I get home.

One of the things I will have to get used to is this feeling of always being watched. Funny thing is, I am. It isn't because they think I'm doing suspicious things or up to no's because I'm different. Oh well. Back to the sea:

The East Sea was beautiful and not too long of a drive away. I went with Ian, Sara, Heelak, and Katelyn. I dipped my toes in the water and that's about as far as I got. We then went to Pohang and i saw the fish market for the first time. I was literally surrounded by living fish caught in tanks and swimming around. I couldn't help but think they were trying to escape! I started to get a little upset and was trying to get a grip when my friend turned to me and pointed at some crabs on ice. She said, " See, isn't that more humane? They're on it's like they are sleeping." I lost it. I was very upset. Not at anyone...just upset. I think something on a smaller scale would have been preferable for my first time.
Oh well. A few tears over the lives of some nameless fish isn't too bad. I just needed some alone time. Some recovery time. Heelack went to visit his uncle and I stayed behind to cool down and reflect. Oh man, that was intense.

We made it home safely and now I'm at my school getting ahead. The faster I work the less I have to do in the future and perhaps the more time i have to tweek the lessons into perfection.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jeo-neun Amanda imnida

I am Amanda  or.... 저는 Amanda 입니다

It has taken me approximately two days to say "Jeoneun Amanda imnida" with some confidence. I still do not know how to say Goodbye so I can start a conversation....but I do not know how to end it.

I should practice the basics, right? Hello. Goodbye. Where is the bathroom? Do you speak English? and How do I get to ___________?

I'm really good at saying "Annyeongha-seyo!" ( 안녕하세요 Hello) to random people which is a good start.

The last two days we've had Korean Language lessons. It is more like reading Hangul, the written language, instead of learning any words or useful phrases. The first night, after a long day of lessons about Korea and lesson planning, we were coralled into a classroom only to be told we were in the wrong class. So we relocate into a already crowded room where the speedest lesson I've ever had in my life began. All I can say is I think I left more confused than when I came and the cloudy sense of doom seemed to hover a bit closer to earth.

Tonight we were once again put into a different room and quite honestly 10 minutes into the classroom I wanted to give the teacher a hug. Knowing that he wouldn't accept such behavior from a student I had to sit calmly in my seat and stick to learning. I'm still a mess but I think that cloud got kicked back up into its place. For that, I give my humblest of thanks to Mr. Chullsun Juhng; 감사합니다 (Gamsaha-mnida =thank you).

Would you like a little language lesson one day? Maybe I'll prepare something and pu t it up for you :) right now I'm bushed so I'm going to go to bed. Until then, here are a few photos to get you by!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Though that is by no means how it is spelled you now know how to say "hello" in Korean. This is one of many phrases that I must master by the end of Orientation in order to show my future co teachers respect and that I am very interested (and happy?) to learn about Korean Culture.

For those of you who know me pretty well you know that I struggle with learning any language.

However, I DO know that they are a forgiving group of people and will enjoy my efforts at the language.

So far my trip here has been eventful but in a non-threatening or worrisome manner. I am at Jeonju University with a lot of other EPIK teachers all anxiously awaiting for the next day and particularly Wednesday when we all find out which city and school age we will be working with. A lot of people already know the city but I think that is because it is a metropolitan city, like Daegu, where it is practically its own province. In fact, because I thought i was the only one who didn't know where i was going, I looked it up. Daegu is considered its own metropolitan province which is now separate from Gyeongbuk (loosely pronounced John-book). Gyenbuk is my province and I can't wait to find out where I will be going in this wonderful country.

Already a new friend and I have gone exploring around the little university town and find the strange symbols to be quite engaging. We both have decided that we need to take some lessons in Korean so we can get around a bit better.

The weather is hot and humid, much like Missouri, so I'm finding it easier to adjust than most people. Literally there are people from 7 different countries all here for the same thing. I have met countless people from England, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US. The US dominates, though, as I found out at our official orientation meeting.

I wish I had brought my camera since we were treated to a drum show, a fan dance, and a taekwondo demonstration. I learned my lesson. From now on I will bring my camera EVERYWHERE!

I have pictures of some of the food I have already tried. Kimchi, the side dish that I see everywhere, is going to be an acquired taste. It is a spicy dish of pickled or fermented cabbage with spices. Thank God I love spicy food or I'd be in a world of disappointment with this staple of the Korean diet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

in seoul

Arriving in a new place while it is still dark out is recommended I think. As i sit by a window after the stress of finding the place i need to be there is something calming about the new world being revealed a little bit at a time. Of course the strange language whispering through the speakers in the airport tells me right away I'm no longer home I think the stress and panic I would normally fear has been lessoned considerablly by the simple passing of the sun.

the plants aren't entirely different but there is a unique strangeness to it all that sends jolts of pleasure through my body. I'm scared out of my pants...but I know everything will be alright.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Can I smell your hair?

My last post about my epic journey on the kansas city bus. I am almost sad that it had to end like this but I honestly should have known better than to think it would be a quiet exit.

Sitting in the bus on my way to work and this guy hops on and gives me "the look". Girls, you know what look I am talking about. Automatically I jerk my eyes away and try my best to prevent the rolling of my eyes. Incidentally this may have made me appear shy or interested since he sat himself across the aisle from me.
"You look nice today" I can't help but groan inwardly. A seemingly nice compliment can all too quickly turn to raunchy suggestions and appraising eyes. However, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and thanked him for his compliment. Then...he fulfills my original assumption that he wasn't just making a comment to pass the time.

"Can I smell your hair?"

Of course I'm more than a little confused at this point and I have to ask him to repeat himself. No way is this guy really asking to smell my hair.

"Can I smell your hair?" Oh God, he meant it. So I politely shake my head and tell him he may not smell my hair. He then slides in this interesting little opinion, "It's just shampoo, girl. It smells so nice from over here."
Disturbed and a bit concerned over the well-being of my hair I cock an eyebrow and promptly suggest he purchase his own bottle of shampoo so he can smell it any time he wants. After a bit of convincing he slowly realizes that he isn't getting anywhere close enough to me to smell my hair he pushes towards a new topic of conversation: How much money he has.

Basically the guys that talk to me all have the same speech. I could break it down as easily as I could in a 7th grade paper.

Introduction: Has to have that GRABBER sentence, that obscure strange or just plaine weird statement that will hopefully grab the girl's attention. Don't forget about the thesis. Their body language and choice of words will easily tell you what will come next.

paragraph 1: talk about money. talk about how much money you have. If she asks you why you're riding the bus say you were in an accident or your buddy was borrowing it cause you're sweet like that. Or that you've won the lottery but like to still ride the bus. Please, be believeable and dress the part by wearing over-sized pants and top it off with a leery smile.

paragraph 2: talk about how tough you are. you can hook the first paragraph to this one by saying someone owes you money so you're going to beat him up to get it. sadly this make your "millionare" or "lottery" story seem rather weak and most girls with half a brain can see right through it.

paragraph 3: You're somehow famous or WILL be famous but you're still the family type. Please, be sure to talk about all your babies from different mamas and how you take care of them ALL. One day I will see you on the billboards and whatever. Pick a talent you think you have and go for it.

conclusion: then compliment her weight, chicks dig this. Espeically if you like overweight chicks since they really like being reminded of that on the bus. We do see it as a turn on when men point out what could be a real problem for us, the pandora's box of all our insecurities. Don't forget to keep eyecontact at all times. It doesn't creep us out. OH and be REAL assertive if we refuse to shake your hand after your wonderful speech about how amazing YOU are.

I think that concludes my trips on the bus. They haven't been that horrible to be honest. Don, the bus driver, was amazing. Richard the rider kept me smiling. It got me to where I needed to go and it kept it mighty interesting.

Thank you for a great year!