4 07 2009

We had hereby altered the ecosystem of Korea, possibly forever, by doing this last weekend, and with a soup ladle, no less:

Two hours later, a violent thunderstorm dumped around 20 tons of rain on Jookjeon, thereby lessening the effect of our efforts to alter any environments.  And by that I mean we think the chestnut tree is dead.



10 06 2009

Happy Anniversary to us.  It’s one year today that we have been living here.  Let it be said that we know this from adding up  the hatch marks on our concrete wall.  Also, we have lived in this cell block apartment for longer than we’ve lived in any other dwelling since we have been together.  It’s weird to know where everything in our apartment is.  It’s about time we moved again.

So Now What Do We Get to Panic Over?

28 05 2009

Yesterday was my Open Class (Jake’s was last week), an event where, after several weeks of panic, Korean style, the students’ parents sat in our classes for a total of 40 minutes, watching their children be, well, children.  No matter how hard they try to squeeze it out of them, darnit, it turns out a five year old’s will to party is much stronger.

But my kids were awesome.  They sang their songs, did their dance moves, answered my questions, sat nicely, and no one cried or went crazy.  I am so proud of them (and me!) for doing such a good job.  And they were handsomely rewarded with, what else? 20 cent toys from China that probably broke on their way to the bus.  But I digress….

Today is the final day of Open Classes, and I believe tonight there will be some to much celebrating.  We’ve been on the wagon for so long, I am kinda nervous–like first date nervous–to hang out with Sirs Vodka and Tonic again.  What if they have changed?  What if I have?  What if we don’t have anything to say to each other?  Who am I kidding?

We are officially under three months to go here.  We have decided not to go to China this summer, and just tour around Korea a bit.  We have made a very grown-up decision here (Let the Record Show!!) to save money for the future blahblahblah instead of gallivant about Asia, especially considering that we have already had two fabulous vacations in the last 6 months.  And truly who knows how long it will take us to find gainful employment?  I worry that all the fruits of our sacrifice here will disappear into the ether shortly after our return home.  Any suggestions?

We are going to hike Mt.Fuji before coming home though.  It will be early September, and I hear that it is a night hike with a summit sunrise.  We are so excited.  I am really looking forward to clean air, crisp winds, and views.  I did not realize how ingrained my need for open space was.  We are nestled into a foggy, smoggy valley here, and even on hikes we are lucky to see to the next ridge over, at best.  My mom always said that cloudy days made her claustrophobic, which I totally understand now.

This weekend we will visit a local temple/museum/park with some friends.  I am looking forward to doing something out of the ordinary.  These past two months has been a lot of business on the weekends and not a lot of playing.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and does not spend too much time missing us.

Ho, Hum

22 05 2009

I’d like to say that the reason we haven’t posted in a week is because of the faulty internet connection, but that’s not true.  We have been slacking again, but for totally legitimate (albeit unexciting) reasons.  School demands, extra school demands, being sick, being tired, being uninspired, and generally because nothing great has happened around here in a while.  Sadly this post is no end to the dull streak.


28 04 2009

My kindergarteners are all around 3 years old, and seriously are the cutest things at school, save for Jake.  I have been teaching them the basics, like “May I go to the bathroom?” “May I have some water?” “Please” “Thank you” etc.  This week is basic vocabulary-building with fruit.  So it’s appleappleapplewatermelonwatermelonwatermelonplumplumplum until they get it.  It’s fun and easy and I love to see their excitement regarding strawberries and the like.  But today we got to “Mango” and they didn’t know what it was, so I decided to teach them an alternate pronunciation (Maaahhnn-go!) and a corresponding dance move.  Watch the whole video to see what I mean.

Fat Chance

18 03 2009

Well,  after several false promises, hopes raised and crushed, the waxing and waning of love, surgery, 34 poops and pees (in the house no less), and several sleepless nights, we think that maybe we have a Korean taker for the damn dog.  We’ll find out tomorrow for sure– we think–as the communication is between us and a 9 year old with limited English skills.  Here’s hoping.   However thankful we’ll be to them for taking him,  we’re still telling the new family his name is “Purple Turtle Umbrella.”

He still hasn't figured out which end is up.

He still hasn't figured out which end is up.

Perpetual Juvenile

22 02 2009

We often come across such misspellings in our students’ writing, and I would like you all to take note that we have restrained ourselves until now from spoiling your delicate sensibilities.  We’ve held on to this one since Christmas, not wanting to spoil that time of year for my mother, who doubtless would have told me to go to the bathroom and stay there if I was going to talk about potty things.

be sure to mak them, teacher

be sure to mak them, teacher