Wednesday, October 31, 2007

when teaching is worth it (good)

Happy Halloween!!!

these are pics of a pumpkin WINTY carved. =)

wednesday was a good day. it was one of those days that reminds me of WHY i teach, the students and my relationships with the teachers.

it was the first time i ACTUALLY cried in school. my 1-2 teacher "made" me cry. no, not in a bad way, it was really the opposite. one of my 1st grade students came in before school started with a big shopping bag and said "this is from my teacher, i don't know what it is" so i was like ok thanks. i opened it up and she had sent me a thermos of 모과 tea and a bunch of clementines with a note explaining the tea was good for my throat cold. after her class (2nd of the day) i told her thank you so much and that i had been sipping the tea all morning. and she replied that i reminded her of her younger sister who is studying abroad in england and how she would've done the same for her. and she closed the door and left .... and i cried because it feels so good to be cared for and taken care of and i miss my sister and mom so much when i'm sick. i even miss ashley and wint when i'm sick because they would take care of me, too. my teachers have been soooo supportive and especially about me being sick, they've cancelled my classes nearly the whole week so that i could rest and then taught the classes themselves. and they talk about how hard it is to be sick when you're not at home and how difficult my time must be and are super super wonderful to me. i am truly blessed when it comes to my school-people relations.

so, this is lighter-hearted, my 1-1 teacher was leading english class and i took a pretty backrow seat in terms of teaching. so she's doing her thing, speaking her best english (which was pretty good in my opinion) and one of the boys says: "today is not english, it's konglish class." at which we both laughed pretty hard and then i gave him my best glare to be supportive of my teacher (although i'm starting to think my glares are not that intimidating bc usually the student response is to smile at me or laugh)

a bunch of my little girls have been visiting me and bombarding me in the hallways/schoolyard asking me how i feel, if i am better yet, have i rested enough? am i keeping warm? and they massage my shoulders and arms telling me to rest up. they are also adorable little ajummas-in-training asking if i live alone, if the people i live with are taking care of me. they keep suggesting the teas/foods i need to drink/eat to get better and fight off the 황절기(?) climate change bw seasons that makes ppl super susceptible to colds. i think this is a reflection of how much deeper the average student-teacher relationship is in korea as opposed to america. i could never see THIS many american students inquiring after a teacher's health just bc their homeroom teacher told them they are sick.

2nd to last paragraph i promise: so my 2-2 girls often come visit me in their free time and after school, yesterday they were telling me that the 2-2 students were discussing me and how they all like me because they think i am so 착해 (nice) and then one boy cut in and was like, well i like miss christine because she is "cute" *blush* hehe my students are so sweet

ok last one, this is hysterical, esp. to me. so my mom calls me and the firs tthing she says is, YOUR DADDY YELLED AT ME!!! and i was like, omg why? and she says, well .... (and i transcribed as best as she recalled) (also, my parents mailed out a huuuuge package to me on monday) (also, this happened in korean)

daddy: did you put chocolate in 지혜's package?
mommy: no, why?
daddy: what? why didnt you put chocolate in her package?
mommy: she keeps complaining about how bad her skin is getting, why would i send her chocolate? to make it worse?
mommy: (laughing) well i sent her cough candy (sic cough drops), does that count?
daddy: IT'S NOT THE SAME!!!
mommy: well why didnt YOU send it?
daddy: i thought it was OBVIOUS. she is going to be so are a bad mother ...

hahahahahhaaha ... my family is so awesome, i am a fan. i hope yo uare, too. i never even thought my dad really paid attn to american holidays and traditions, and then he pulls stuff like this and i am amazed at how in tune he is with my life. =]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

back to school, kindof (ok)

so, i'm back at school today. kindof. seeing how i was sick and then had a mini business trip this morning to the education college, my two remaining classes were cancelled by the teachers and i havent taught in 2 weeks. this makes me a bit nervous for tomorrwo but the 1st grade teachers have agreed to step it up even if the whole class happens in korean so i wont overextend my voice. my teachers really are the greatest. they take such good care of me. as does imo who stayed home halfday from work yesterday to make me 전복죽 for lunch and woke up early to make mussel 죽 for breakfast before leaving at 6am for her daughter's high school entrance exam.

i made better friends with dennis today. well, first he woke me up at 7:15 because he was bored (p.s. this is 30 min earlier than i NORMALLY wake up) so i wasnt too pleased, but it was nice of him to wake me up (since his mom wasnt home i think he wanted to make sure i got up and went to school). and then i skinned my whole hand and got ink all over it too. but that's the price of winning ur hostbro's friendship and that's fine by me. i was checking the weather (aka reading calvin and hobbes and dilbert online) when i notice he is struggling at the printer. so i go over and shove my hand in between gears and sharp plastic to unjam the paper that is stuck in there. he is amazed since he's been trying for over 5 minutes and we are somewhat closer, he said "thank you" - lately he just ignores me ... we attribute it to his budding adolescence and realization that i am a GIRL, and he is a BOY and thusly should not have exchanges. haha. this is kindof fun for me bc i've never lived with a boy before seeing how i only have a sister and have only had girl roommates. i like having a little brother kindof. maybe soon we will get to wrestling and it'll be exactly the same as having a younger sister.

i have a weird relationsihp with language. i do NOT enjoy speaking english to koreans who speak korean (most notably adults). this has long been a standard of mine (umma you kno this) and it really bothers me to speak english with koreans who are struggling with it or who think their english is GREAT, but it clearly isn't. i have a MUCH easier time undestanding ppl's KOREAN than their weirdly accented english. i'm not being mean, it's just a fact. i'm SORRY but i also feel rude and awkward, saying "what? excuse me?" a million times over and you still insist on saying it in english that i an't understand.

4th graders are funny. i watched a cotaught 4th grade class today and the english teacher (from ENGLAND!) said he was tired because he was a t the hospital for a long time yesterday and the class had to guess why ... everyone said "cold" except f or one group who guessed "치질" (hemorrhoids). it was kindof funny. then they wanted me to do some listen and repeats with the english teacher to show them a comparison of english and american pronunciation. then the original homeroom teacher said, "listen to my american pronuncation: sorry i can't today" and one student goes, "그건 한국식 영어" (that's korean-style english). they were cute.

back to the language issue later. english camp now.

Monday, October 29, 2007

sick day (ok)

halloween designs on desserts at george's dinner junior year before asa semiformal
my chocolate cake

john's "fast cat"

heather's cheesecake

i took a sick day and didn't go to school today. i'm not horribly dyingly sick, but i knew if i went to school today and did my normal clown show for 4 classes and then did an adv. class and teacher workshop i would be dying the rest of the week. and i can't CAN NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT be sick this week/month. i have too much going on at school and outside of school. so imo called my coteacher and told her i was dying but if i slept all day today i'll be better for tomorrow. i feel bad that imo lied and exaggerated and apologized to coteach for not taking better care of me that i'm sick all the time, but it was def necess. i got 죽 (porridge) and 유자차 (special citron tea) and slept all day and actually my swollen throat feels much better now. lets hope it holds out. so no late nights for me this week ... which m,akes me sad bc wednesday is one of my faaaaaaaaavorite holidays of the year. HALLOWEEN!!! gahh!!! i LOOOOOOOVE HALLOWEEN!!! i am gonna dress up and go out every year until i die. that is my goal in life. i have NOT missed a single halloween yet so this year i MUST get better and make GOOD decisions (a la wint's halloween card - i may transcribe later on).

seeing my family this weekend and being sick today has really made me miss my family at home. esp. my daddy, lil cricket, and my mommy. i thought i was melancholy last night jsut from missing my fams but now i think that was me being sick ... ugggh ... tomorrow morning is another "field trip" to the education college to watch an english coteach in action, then i get a WHOLE HOUR to ask that coteach questions ... YES .... AWESOME .... ok lesson planning before early sleep. nite.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

redemption (good)

1st grade school festival dance

host brother (dennis) w/his knex bridge

은비 (my cousin) and me in insadong

my 1st little uncle, wife, and 은비 (the boys didnt come) and rebecca eating intestine

me, in insadong, with a sign that discriminates against my hodduk

rebecca and me in insadong

me (new haircut) w/jess

joan unni, me, jess, reflected in subway stop

BLOGGER is not letting me upload pics ... annoying. pics and videos up soon. i promise.

ok, first of all, thank you to everyone's wonderfully supportive comments. it really does help to know that i'm not the only one who feels this way and the pressure and all this random stress that you hadn't REALLY expected ... and it's nice to know that cognitive and 느낌 (emotional/feeling/something) is totally different and that discrepancy is one of the annoying things for others helps (a horrible sentence, bu you know what i mean)

this weekend was korea's redemptory weekend on many fronts. i had a lot of fun, it was relaxing, i got to be me in a lot of different enviroments, and i just feel good. also the food this weekend was fun.

as always, my weekend began on friday. i woke up and went to my school's festival. i got to see a lot of my different students show off differnet talents and it was fun. i was pretty happy to see them all dressed up and outside of a classroom environment. after the fesetival (i will post videos on youtube soon) i went to their classrooms (1st grade - i actually have no idea where my 2nd graders have class) to see their differnet artworks. i was so impressed at how GOOD they are. then i went home and took an awesome nap and then went out to run errands, send mail, pick up my fixed shoes, etc. i did a little of self-esteem boosting, got a delicious 졸졸호떡 and took the bus and walked a lot (in heels!). i had mandoo for dinner YES!!! and then went to the gym and wrote letters all night.

saturday we woke up at 6:30 to go to my host brother's award ceremony (KNEX SUPER PRIZE!) for his bridge in seoul. afterwards i went to meet my cousin, jess, ramie, and rebecca r. at dongdaemun for some shopping. then my cousin and i went to insadong and i showed her some of my favorite places. then we met up with rebecca h. and went to eat dinner with my uncle and aunt. they bought me a new north face to keep me warm during my fall travels - i am very thankful and warm. next we had TWO dinners, one with normal meat and kalbi for me and then the 2nd was with intestines for all the rest of them, Rebecca included. her and my uncle are now best friends due to their similar food tastes. my uncle drove us and we got back to the hostel around 1am and fell asleep pretty quickly and happily.

sunday we woke up (today) and i took rebecca H. to insadong for some more tea (haha i love free tea) and gift shopping for ppl. then we separated and i went to meet up with jess and joan near ewha to get my hairs cut. so now i have new hair, and a new appreciation for korea (not really kindof maybe). haha. we ran into rebecca R. at the bus terminal and saw some of the stuff she bought yesterday. it was cute!!! hehe i love shopping and clothes. also joan and jess took the bus with me to cheongju (then onward to gumi) cuz their bus was sold out till much later ... so yayy for not taking the bus alone. now i'm exhausted and am winging my 2nd grade lessons tomorrow (since its my las tlesson i'm gonna do the letters-lesson plan- and then halloween!) nothing big ... jus a ppt and then making paper ghosts. (or maybe haunted hosues? since our lesson is Our House). hmm we'll see. tomorrow is a big day (workwise) since i did no prep for this week's lessons i'll have to do it all tomorrow.

this week and month (nov) are gonna be super packed. this week i have dinner with maia's family, lunch w/jamal, and a new grade for english camp. also doing a college walk w/eric (i have no idea what this means haha). this weekend is personal me time with jesus (i wont have my phone dont bother me!), next weekend is free (i was confused with my schedule), next weekend fater that is early tday at the ambassadors, then i'm going on a trip with my hostfamily to the beach and kangneung, then it's december!!!

ok good night.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

i hate korean beauty standards (negative)

(in case you haven't noticed i started rating the mood of my entries)

i HATE HATE HATE HAAATE korean beauty standards.

it is EXACTLY what i expected in terms of the shallowness of this country. the pervasive plastic surgery, the same exact conformist look that most koreans fit into the mold of, the freaking starving looking crane-like women that are adored and admired.

if i sound bitter it's because i AM. i have NEVER (RARELY) been in a situation where i am considered so ugly. let's start at the top:
*i don't have bangs or some weird mullet haircut or superlong straight goth hair that korean men (apparently) find superattractive
*i have small eyes
*my skin is dark, and full of scars, not clear right now (this is your own fault, korea)
*i have strong, broad shoulders
*my arms are too fat (esp. upper) korean shirtsleeves slowly cut off my circulation
*my torso isnt that long or lean
*i have a lower tummy poof
*my hips are too wide
*i have big feet (they barely fit into the biggest size korea has to offer)

i hate having people constantly talk about my figure/face/size/skin color/etc.etc.etc.

i KNOW that i am NOT fat. i have never been "overweight" in my life. i am no longer the skinny rail i was up till about 10th grade, i've filled out and ykno gained my "woman" weight but i have still never considered myself, or BEEN considered "BIG". and i am NOT ok with that. i know i should just be happy being me and not care what others think but sometimes it gets tiring. the thick skin eventually gets cut, especially when there are like 5 cuts a day.

even imo, whom all my blog readers know i adore and is vastly responsible for my sanity in this country, falls victim to this korea body image culture. it's not her fault, i don't blame her, it's just part of her being in the korean "water" for too long and so she can't NOT do it. but she's made comments like "oh i saw your pants drying and thought they were dennis (my 13 yr old host bro) bc they were so narrow - i thought your butt was bigger" or "hey your butt is kinda on the big side huh, you're not exactly the "skinny" body type". so WHAT? who CARES? maybe i'm jus supersensitive and she was juts making factual observations, but after being SURROUNDED by so many confirmations that i am NOT attractive in korea, it's hard to take in stride.

i am mostly wider/bigger than most korean men my age here also. that helps, really. it makes me feel a lot better about myself. times like this i miss america's obesity epidemic and eric's big duck butt that make me feel normal and attractive and not OGRE or MEGATRON-like. even in america i was jokingly called "ogre" by my guy friends cuz my asian girlfriends were so teeny tiny that i was relatively really actually an ogre.

i dunno, it's my students constantly telling me i look prettier with makeup (a joke to begin with, but not when you hear it everyday). today one of my girls started massaging my shoulders and she says "teacher, you have very muscular shoulders!" in alarm, and i was like yes thank you (i thought it was a compliment) and she repeated with even more alarm. and i was like whati 'm confused??? and one of the other girls goes, you know if you have muscle that makes you fat. i was so bewildered by this idea that i was left speechless. the other girls all agreed and backed her up. THESE GIRLS ARE 10. i can't believe this is what they believe. this would explain why i am the only female at my gym who actually TRIES to work up a sweat on any of the machines even though i am probably on them for the same time or less than the other women who go there to "work out".

ugh. sorry so negative. my school festival tomorrow morning should cheer me up. i miss america and her "healthy" women. i miss america and her diversity of body shapes/sizes/colors. i miss having stores with clothes that are NOT free size and that actually fit differently sized people. i try so hard to like korea and every day she throws this crap like this at me that makes it so hard to like her. korea is so FREAKING BACKWARDS AND CLOSEMINDED AND RETARDED SOMETIME I JUST WANNA SCREEEEEEAM. (here it is, i'm laying it out: 100% honest and organic)

edit: ok so i realize the model is NOT korean, or a picture of a "korean beauty" but somehow i feel like even tho this image EXISTS in the "western" world, it's not so enforced or as pervasive in the general average cultural space as it is in GENERAL korean culture.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

school stories (good)

last week i had dinner (hwaeshik) with my 1st grade teachers and it was a lot of fun. i learned a lot about different students, faculty, etc. at our school and they asked me lots of questions too about me and my life in america and how i like life in korea and so on and so forth.

a funny skit from 6th grade english camp: (my kids are hysterical)
1: i have a stomachache
2: when did it start
1: last morning
2: what did you eat for dinner?
1: i had a steak
2:ok pull your pants down and get on the bed, i will give injection
1: wait wait i am afraid
2: no no its ok. (injection)
2: now you must pay
1: i have no money
2: what?
1: i am thief. (runs away)

ok, today more school stories:

apparently, some english hakwon (academy) teacher called our school to complain to our principal that their 1st/2nd grade students have been dropping out and they have been losing business since school started. our principal WHIPPED out my resume and started challenging the hakwon teachers' creds and then said, "that's right, our native speaker teacher is pretty legit, and THAT is why you're losing business and it's not my problem" ... hahaha

also, this came out during some teacher/parent meeting thing, but one little girl's dad was all like, hey i'll let you sleep late today and you can stay home and we'll spend time together. and she JUMPED out of bed and said "no daddy not today, i have to go to school because i have english class today!" hehe and her dad was sad that she liked me more than him but it's stories like this that make me glad i'm here and make all the stressful stuff worth it.

the 1st grade teachers have also found it quite effective to threaten the students with NO english class when they misbehave, and that sets them straight.

my principal is one of my biggest fans at school and that makes life more bearable. apparently he starts EVERY meeting (pta, teachers, etc.) by explaining how accomplished i am and how smart and pretty and how much the students love me and all the calls he's gotten from parents who say their students can't stop talking bout me, and then he tells them how LUCKY our school is that they have me and how much money i could be making elsewhere teaching english and how my volunteer (봉사)at their school just is another reflection of what a wonderful person i am ... haha it's great. i heart him.

NEXT, my 1st grade teachers found out somehow that i LOVE going to public baths in korea. sooo apparently there is a family style one somewhere in cheongwon where everyone is in the bath area together but you wear bathign suits so they said they were going to take me one of the next 놀토s. so i asked if i should buy a new bathign suit bc the ones ive seen in korea have many much more material than the ones i brought from america. and they were like, oh NO don't worry. wear YOUR bathing suit ... we will thank you ... an the other people at the bath will also say "thank You" ... hahaha i love my 선생님s, they are the best. =)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


a. i was rethinking, and i do NOT think i'm so mean just bc i am pretty exclusive with my friendships/time. its a smart use of resources. i "go big or go home" and as such, rather than putting a little of my resources in each "friendship" i put a LOT into a select few (betting big on a few rather than placing small bets on many). and altho it's possible to fail, i find that most of my bets pay off. i'm pretty icy cold to begin with (so i've heard) but once you get me going on the friendship path i'm an open book. so, i'm sorry if i come off uninterested or mean or something, it's not that i doN'T like you, it's just that i've put my resources somewhere else already. even in college, i had many acquaintances that i had amiable relations with, but really a select group i got super close with, and i've stopped being the social butterfly i was in high school ... and found that my new system works much better (for me and my personality, anyway).

b. i MISS: johnny rockets, pauly dogs, blue devil shakes from quenchers, my catalogues, wint's gossip magazines, the new yorker, going to barnes whenever i want, perusing the duke store, my mommy, my daddy, my sister, my dog rocky, my scarves/clothes/shoes/bags at home, leaving voicemails, speaking better english, being a korean in america, not standing out, not being stared at because of my language, running to/the waduke trail in the fall, wint laughing at my underarmor, running with wint (my penguin), my barearmed WM boys at the gym, running into ppl on campus, calling my mom whenever i want, calling my dad whenever i want, calling my sister whenever i want and getting yelled at for bothering her, txting ashley ridiculous thoughts/comments, american commercials/informercials

c. i AM: learning, changing, laughing, crying, missing, being missed, having aHA moments, exploring, being alone, journeying, resting, dying, staying the same, making new friends, keeping the old ones, writing, thinking, reflecting, trying to get faster, trying to be happy, happy, questioning, confirming, growing up, moving backwards, realizing, amassing, shedding, becoming korean, becoming more stubbornly american, widening my horizons, becoming a better friend, talking, discussing, freaking out, calming down, on the move, staying still, being.

d. i LOVE: (this is a cumulative list, i've been working on it for 2 years) my family, my friends, fountains, my feet, chocolate, shiny, breakfast foods, straight lines, daisies especially gerbera, smell of jasmine, smell of lilac, pens, stationery, office supplies, closets, organizers, lists, pink, new books, taking pictures and generally pictures of flowers, pirates, designer jeans, shoes, purses, lip gloss/chapstick, sunblock, sun, cookies, baking/cooking/hostessing, puzzles, light (vs. dark), niceties, puppies, black pumps, recipe books with pictures, pearls, pumpkin flavored stuff (ice cream, pie, cheesecake), lacy underthings, Easter lilies, cashmere, packages, letters, real mail, Pirates of the Caribbean, quotes, miniature things, fireworks, pedicures, water, laughter, friends, bridges, words, cheese, corn silk tea, banana milk, french toast, grilled cheese, clothes i steal from my friends, mushrooms, cherry/grape tomatoes, laughing

Monday, October 22, 2007

a few true confessions

ok because i'm super sleepy and made myself stay up to write postcards to people i love, this will be quick.

a few confessions:

1. i am a shopaholic
i originally started this blog (before i went public with it) to deal with my shopaholic-ism. i was really into it and researched it on many fronts. i would record my spending sprees and times i was good and restrained even when it was really hard. it was kinda like an AA meeting but just for me (and eventually my younger sister) in blog form. anyway, since i've been in korea, i've been spending nonstop. if it weren't for my parents and sister in college, i'd be totally in debt right now. one of my main goals in coming to korea was to learn to live without, to come with 3 suitcases and leave with 3 suitcases. right now that's totally not going to happen. i need to revert back to this goal and focus. my mom is sending some of the books i really wanted to read that deal with shopping as an emotional/psychological outlet and how to strip down the unnecessary things in life. hopefully, i'll work back to where i was (minimalist spender in april/may) and improve on now (altho improving on my habits now REALLY won't take much)

2. i am impatient and unkind
this weekend made me realize how impatient and intolerant i've become in recent months. i have especially been using my "i'm always on the edge of crazy bc of korea" as a shield/excuse for saying any and every little thing that crosses my mind. i've been unusually harsh on everyone around me, and i KNOW/recognize that happens when i'm really unhappy. so from now on, i'm gonna work on watching my mouth and NOT letting every little thing annoy me. i REALLY used to be much more tolerant of people. i was never GOOD at it, but better than i have been here. i guess part of it is also being thrown into such close proximity w/ppl i totally had no power to choose (in college it was easy to surround yourself w/only ppl you like!) - but the real world and "work" will be more like this, so it'll be good practice for my "people skills" - i was NOT good at sharing and being nice in pre-k and it's starting to show ...

3. my english is going downhill
my MOM is commenting on how horrible my english grammar and pronunciation are ... wow i need to learn english ... hehe ... also i feel like my korean is going downhill also, a lot of the time i get away with this pidgin of both english and korean (which i KNOW from linguistics only happens when you have a firm grasp on BOTH languages and their structures) but continually using the pidgin INSTEAD of rather than in ADDITION to the two original languages deteriorates my usage of the English and Korean. so i've missed the deadline for taking korean classes at chungbuk university for this semester (but i might be allowed to join anyway bc my hostparents work there) but i'm gonna try to at least hold on to english (someone send me the NEW YORKER) by reading more and watching more CNN hehe but will really concentrate on korean language acquisition/improvement next year, march. (the winter semester here is during my travel time)

P.S. i'm getting a shipment of books from home soon!!! 엄마-i LOOOOOVE YOUUUU and omg i'm sooooo excited, that's the best news i've heard in a long time!!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


one's way of thinking, a line of thinking (courtesy yahoo dictionary)

i've always heard this term, and i think it really applies to this quote:

"I don't just love you. I love the way you love me"~Gabrielle Solis in Desperate Housewives

it struck me how TRUE this is. not just whether or not someone LIKES you, but HOW they express that sentiment really matters. and i had only considered this in terms of romantic relationships. having the "like/love" feeling isn't enough, your "style"of caring and being cared for needs to match up somewhat also. there were def times in HS and college when the "liking" feelings were there but things didn't work out bc our "the way you love me" styles were so incompatible/incomprehensible to the other.

but i was on the phone with my mom for one and a half hours this morning and i realized, this is true of ANY loving relationship. my mom and i were talking and we argued/discussed a little and she knew EXACTLY what i needed to hear and if anything, that conversation just made me miss her all the more. i repeat, she knew EXACTLY what i needed to hear (even if i didn't want to hear it) and exactly what i needed (today it was a stick-ykno from the stick and the carrot?). so she doesn't just LOVE me, she knows the right WAY to love me. what i need and not just what i want (that would make me spoiled ... and i'm sooooo not.... haha coughahem)

so anyway back to the title of this post, one's 사고방식 determines their "way of loving" someone else. and so that's pretty important, your perspective or outlook on life. this frames all your relationships and dealings with ppl, etc. and so on. so i don't know that i really had a point, but more like, i had a realization/epiphany/dawning of sorts. i think this helps explain (and i'm HUUUUGE on explanations and reasons) why certain relationships thrive and others fail.

for example, what i consider my two most successful friendship/relationships, they work because i really like the way i am appreciated by those two friends. one of them i havent seen in around 4 years but is ALWAYS there for me and can always make me laugh and gives me the support i need and the jokes i deserve and in general is there for me in a no strings attached kind of way. he's always just in the wings, ready but completely undemanding. (dont worry its a 2way street, apparently i make him laugh, too) but yea, that was just one example, is the WAY that someone deals with you is SOOO important in how relationships (in the general sense) play out. you could really like a person's character/personality but NOT how they deal with others/people. like the AWESOME HILARIOUS friend who is ALWAYS late and you could just tear their eyeballs out. or ppl that you're like "oh yea i LOVE him but we could never date, he's too crass" i dont know - maybe that was a poor example, but you get the gist. anyway, im sleepy and off to kyeongju tomorrow. thinking about which hoodie to bring - my new "new york" one or my favorite jcrew one .. =) we'll see in the morning!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


hehe. so yea, i'm pretty ridiculous. that's just who/what/how i am. and you can either like it or not. =)

i was thinking about people that i like (friends, family, profs, boys) and i realized the thing that i like most about them, is also usually the thing that drives me crazy. so for me, i've pretty much accepted that people can either like me FOR my ridiculousness or dislike me for it. whatever, but what's me is me and that's not changing. not really.

for example, i've realized this past week that i've stopped effortlessly losing weight in korea. i've reached a kinda stable place (after losing all my american food weight). and how do i deal with it?? well, i get an ice cream and feel happy. =)

i love rosie, i had a dilemma on my hands so of course i called her. she was the perfect person to call today. my one month gym membership ends today. so i was supposed to go yesterday to renew but stuff came up and i couldn't. so here i was at home, with a dilemma, do i go to the gym and renew my membership then work out while i'm there and come back? ORRRR do i go to the gym and renew my membership and come home to take a nap??? ORRR (this is the best one) do i just call the gym to tell them i'll come by soon to pay and please don't throw away the stuff in my locker??? well, clearly if I CHOSE the latter two options, i would feel lazy and guilty ... so i called rosie ... and told her how i was super dizzy and tired (i only got 4 hours of sleep last night and taught 5 classes today) and she ADVISED me not to work out today, that naptime was what i needed. now, how can i NOT heed a friend's advice? she clearly cared about me and wanted me to get the rest i needed.

SOOOOOO, i got dressed (put on my cute boots-it's BOOTS weather finally!!) and walked to the gym, renewed my membership (and yea i woudln't have been able to do it over the phone, i dont know the word for "renew"), took the elevator downstairs to the MART on the first floor, bought myself an ice cream, and ate it merrily all the way home. =)

i think the checkout ppl there think i'm so weird ... i always get the most random/weird combinations of "stuff", today i bought: an ice cream cone, listerine, plum teabags, and a 수세미(koreanstyle loofah thingy). i saw a few of my students, so that was fun (i LOVE saying hi to them!) and as i walked home merrily enjoying my ice cream cone, i heard what the adults who all passed me were thinking "she must still be young to be enjoying ice cream in this cold weather" (hehe SUCH a korean thing to think/say) and i was like, ykno what? i AM a baby, and that's alright with me. young at heart right?

IM-ing with my principal

so my principal and i "cool messenger" (IM) each other several times a day, starting with:

me: good morning, principal! happy thursday!
principal: good morning, i can say happy thursday too?

and then he usually asks me several english-related questions during the day (i seriously have no idea what he does with it ... but oh well)

yesterday he sent me this, apparently its going out to all parents in a newsletter? he also sends inspriational warm messages to all the teachers randomly throughout the week.

so cute!! (he is like almost 60ish late 50sy and the MOST avuncular man i have ever met!)

I nspire warmth (늘 내 곁에 있는 당신에게 따뜻함을 불어 넣어주고)

L isten to each other (당신의 말을 상냥하게 들어주고)
O pen your heart (당신의 마음을 활짝 열어주고)
V alue your opinion (당신의 의견을 가치 있게 평가하고)
E xpress your trust (당신에 대한 믿음을 표현하고)

Y ield to good sense (좋은 말로 서로 충고하고)
O verlook mistake (당신의 실수는 말없이 덮어주고)
U nderstand difference (서로의 다른 점을 이해해주는 것)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


there may or may not be a meeting right now for ALL the teachers in the gyomushil ... that i am clearly not at. this would explain why my class is missing (NOT HERE) and why there is all hell breaking loose outside in the schoolyard regarding noise and roughhousing ... oops.

Monday, October 15, 2007

lots of good news, one bad news

saturday was equally packed and fun (compared to friday)

*first i woke up and played dress-up for imo
*then got to the bus terminal and pouted (sorry, oppa!) until we got on the expensive bus i wanted haha
*seoul!!! (omg bad news on the bus!)
*went to coex to eat BURGER KING and go to an Apple-esque store (ooohhhh it felt so goood!)
*then to insadong to find this vintagey store joan unni and jess were gushing about
*SSamzie market was sooooo fun, i can't wait to go again when i am NOT broke and coming off a weeklong shopping spree (gahhh my mom is going to kill me-but i'm TRYING to save i promise)
*then eating at random street vendors on our way to ichon to see the fireworks!!!
*met tom oppa's EPIK friends (it's a 2way street-he's met all my fulbright friends)
*watched FIREWORKS!!! for 2 hours!!! yayy!!!!
*then decide to go back home instead of stay in seoul (i was tired and sickly feeling)
*try to get dinner w/oppa's friends near our station (FAILED miserably)
*almost miss the last bus (sold out at central city stn) then get one from the 고속 terminal across the st.
*finally get home and sleep soundly in my own warm and wonderful bed!

i had a little me time it was wonderful. imo let me sleep in and when i woke up the day was BEAUUUUUTIFUL!!! so i got all dressed up in some of my new clothes and packed up to write letters in a cafe (a la amelia). i took a NEW bus i had never taken before, and just RODE it. it was really good for me, i think, to just be GOing without a real destination or deadline. i'm always freaking out and overly focused on the destination rather than the journey. so this was a good semi-metaphoric bus ride for me to realize that sometimes the journey can be just as worth it as the actual destination. i actually found this bus goes lots of places i had been lazily using a cab to go. so yayy me. also, i go to my fav angel-in-us location and get a yummilicious white choco mocha latte and blueberry bagel w/cc. yummm!!! i plug in the ipod (actually it's been in this whole time) and get to work. i wrote 3 letters and mused for a bit. then i started walking towards giordano bc the shirt i had ordered on friday had gotten in saturday morning. i love that store. i love stores and service in korea in general. they are SO good to customers. and i love being recognized and treated specially. the retail experience was MADE for ppl like me. it's so bad. haha. i picked up my shirt (even tho i forgot my receipt) and went along my merry way. i called lydia and she had some fun news for me (hehe) so that was good.

the day was a success bc it made me happy. also, weather was great. i wandered a bit. PLUSSSS i took a bus everywhere i went, NO spoiled little princess cab rides!!! hehe. i like the feeling of taking public transportation bc it makes me feel more independent and able to do things on my own-ish. oh yes, i AM jasmine when she escapes from the palace (anyone?).

ok, here's teh bad news of the wknd, I TOTALLY FOUND A WHITE HAIR!!! I FLIPPED OUT and when i was telling imo i guess i was freaking out a little bc i had to repeat myself and she had to tell me to calm down and speak slowly. but on the bus ride to seoul i was playing with my hair and i found a WHITE HAIR!!! I HATE YOU KOREA!!! even duke in all it's glorious stress and pressure and ridiculousness NEVER EVER gave me a white hair!!! gaaahhhhh!!!! i saved it, and will upload the picture soon ... omg it's horrible. after that i made tom oppa help me look through my hair for any more rogue white hairs ... none yet. hopefully that was a rare occurrence. i am not ready for this. THE ONLY THING I HAVE GOING FOR ME IS MY YOUTH!!! hehe.

also, i have 2 possible new hairstyles for after kyeongju and after my host sister's entrance exam. we are going to seoul together to get our hair done. i'm excited. =)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

great news of teaching

on friday, i get a phone call from my coteacher and she is sorry to interrupt me in my time off but she has such good news she wanted to tell me ASAP. so i'm all like, okay yes what??? AND she had a meeting with my vice principal that morning and the good news is that i no longer have to lesson plan for lessons that i am not allowed to teach!!! the homeroom teachers will be making their own lesson plans and i just have to read/speak when pointed to. not ideal for the students (in my opinion) or for my boredom level, but i now have more free time and less stress from the discrepancy from what is expected from me performance-wise and what is expected preparation/workdone-wise. so, YAYY!!! she just wanted me to finish out this month (2 weeks left since i had already planned for this week) BUUUUUT thanks to imo i actually only have 1 more lesson to plan bc im getting a week off!!!

so last week imo called my coteacher to ask about why there is no water cooler system going on in my school and to tell her that i am dehydrated. also, imo upped it a level and told my coteacher that i am always on the brink of a cold (감기기운) and i am so tired and stressed and just basically telling my coteacher that maybe could she PLEASE take better care of me at school since i am there so much of my day. annnnnnnnd i guess it worked bc my coteacher said that i can take the whole week of school after kyeongju conference (next week) "off"!! so originally i was going to come back early to teach on monday bc having only half my classes throws everything off, but then coteacher said that i dont have to come back early, just take monday off to have some ME time, then they'll solve my keeping the classes on the same lesson problem by taking me on a field trip to the english village on tuesday instead of teaching. THEN she said that they're also cancelling my wednesday/thurssday 1st grade classes so i don't have to plan or teach at ALL next week. however, it's a secret from my VP so i still have to show up at school, but not having to teach or plan sounds pretty sweet to me. she said she just wants me to rest and relax for a week. so yay!!! looks like most things are working out!!!

i'll write about this weekend tomorrow, and i have an intersting post in the works about a boy/shoe metaphor. =)

Friday, October 12, 2007

fabulous life

i am really happy. really TRULY happy. for the first time in a long time. also the happiest i've been in a long time.

today was a cumulatively good day. i am super tired and want to wake up early to get some stuff done tomorrow morning, but basically here's what happened:

7:30am head to tom oppa's apt to go to craft biennale with his school/students
9:00am-12:30pm chill at biennale, make crafts, meet adorable middle school students (GET GREAT NEWS OF LIFE FROM COTEACHER-separate entry later!!!)
12:30-2:00pm best sushi i've had in korea, hweshik lunch w/tom oppa's school, soooo many courses, so delicious and so full
2:00-3:00pm batting cages with tom oppa and some man 선생s (i've always wanted to do this!)
3:00pm-6:00pm head to skeet shooting range and OMG SKEET SHOOTING WAS SOOOOO MUCH FUN!!!! i can't wait to do it again!
get dropped off at home bc i'm falling asleep and can't feel my arms/legs, eat mandoo and pizza dinner, chat with 이모
7:30pm head out to meet maia downtown, see a few of my favorite store ppl (em polham and giordano), take and get addicted to sticker pictures!!!, then get some bonjung cake for hostsibs and head to wall street cafe (again!) for cake and tea and SERIOUS gossip time
11:30pm get home, wash up, and read/respond to emails/ims that add to my happiness

saturday: change of plans (again!)
going to seoul with tom oppa to give him a makeover, then fireworks festival with a few of the favorites, (maybe seeing my cousin if she has time aka not studying for her midterms), slumber party with wooj, then back on sunday to attack my 2nd to last week of classroom responsibility (seriously, more on this later)

suffice it to say, I.AM.HAPPY.
PLUS, all 3 of my cab drivers today were REALLY friendly and sweet to me, which is ALWAYS a plus!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


people often ask/wonder how i read so many NYTimes articles and still have no idea what's going on in the world of politics/war/economics ... this is why, the stories that interest me are more about lifestyles and trends. These include ecnomic trends (sometimes) but just as easily technology and medical trends. There is something about what people are doing in real life that is much more interseting to me than politics (as much as that trickles down to me) and I'm just more interseeted i guess in something i can relate to. (things like how ppl are more into natural outdoor swimming pools (no chemicals), artsy urinals in private homes, popularity of clay floors in the southwest, etc.)

How fat isn't necessarily bad and how doctors sometimes suck at decision making
How e-mail cuts out a HUGE part of our communicative organ
About young paparazzi boys

In addition, here are some random notes i took in my little spiral at a bus stop a few weeks ago:

if i were ever in an artsy photo shoot, say for the cover of Vanity Fair (which has really good articles btw-i miss it) i would be completely naked and tastefully covered by draped pearl and diamond necklaces. Probably with the glossiest reddest lipstick, slick black hair, and looooong white satin gloves (plus GIANT diamond rings). OR wearing a painted on suit with a top hat, OR have a naked picture from the back sitting in a wooden barstool and i'd be looking over my right shoulder and down with a single line down my back (be it a diamond strand, black silk scarf, or a backwards tie). i don't know why, but i just somehow imagined these things. Something about vanity fair, they make naked look sooooo classy... hmm

next, if i ever dated an organic and he made me 삐젔어 i would buy him a t-shirt from TEENY WEENIE that said that on the front, and give it to him and laugh secretly. hehe.

i added another LIST to the bar on the right of the screen. as if my posts didnt make the webpage long enough already, it's a list of books i want to read, i've been adding to it for at least a year at this point, and it doesn't have ALL my books, but just the ones that are more non-fiction and the result of my reading nytimes articles all the time. not too much literature on there but that's another list for another time.

life as a teacher

me (M): what day is today?
student (S): ANGRY

M: how are you feeling today?
S: thursday
M: no no, how are you FEELING today?
S: oh, cloudy
M: hmm, are you feeling HAPPY? are you feeling very sad? are you very tired?
S: very thursday

M: how are you feeling?
S2: NO!! (glares at S1) Teacher, I'm feeling cold

M: this past weekend i went to busan, Miss Christine went to busan
S1 (in korean): ohhhh, she went to busan
S2: teacher, parents in busan?
M: no, i went to the international film festival
S1(in korean): she played basketball!!!
M: (confused) no no i went to see MOVIES, FILMS
S1 (in korean): she saw a movie about basketball!
M: no no no (with the BIG X hand motion and shaking my head)
S2: she was in a movie about baseball?
S1: no she was in a movie about volleyball ....
S1&2: (confused looks)

6th grade english camp role plays
S1: what would you like for dessert?
S2: i'll have the orange juice please

S: i recommend the famous, it's very delicious.

S1 (doctor): what is your problem?
M: umm, let's change that
S1: ok, what is the matter with you?
M: let's try "what seems to be the problem?"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

things i'm looking forward to

this coming weekend/tomorrow:
10/11 thursday: gossip night with maia, including dancing at the new CGV for free movie tix, and taking ridic sticker pics
10/12 friday: craft biennale w/tom oppa's middle school, errands?
10/13-14: seoul day trip poss, and catch up on sleep/lesson plans (lol somehow sleep>anything else in life)

next weekend:
10/19-22 kyeongju conference: chilling with the other teachers, seeing my FAV faces in korea

10/26: perhaps pre-halloween party for my school's kids? i was thinking of my advanced kids, the girls who clean my classrooms, etc.
10/27-28: being a bum in cheongju/travelling with hostfam to kwangju (depends on hostsis' exam outcome eek!!)

first weekend in nov: secret trip
2nd wknd in nov: trip w/hostfam
3rd wknd in nov: busan or kyeongju with hostdad's residents (poss...i'm debating!)
4th wknd in nov: thanksgiving PLUS JOAN UNNI'S FABUNONYMOUS BDAY BASH

Sunday, October 7, 2007

MORE words that do NOT start with P

because they do not start with p, or are not words
parcen (he spelled it out for me)
percel (he tried again)

words/phrases that DO start with P
pig 똥 (ddong/poop)
PICNIC (the superspeller from above told me what he meant in korean)
pool (which i heard) and pull (which he meant) (which started a new mini lesson for the other classes on pronunciation)
PC bang
parrot (which he defined as mother and father-i corrected him gently)

they had many other words that successfully started with P, but these were my superstars

(i could actually do a post on almost every letter i've done so far, english spelling is confusing - the words that start with N and O would've been a super good post)

**i swear this one boy is in EVERY single one of my classes. or at least there are at least 7 of him scattered throughout my classes ... maybe ppl aren't racist, asians really DO look alike?

the weekend of "i speak american" and "i talk english"

so this weekend in busan was good. the PIFF (pusan international film festival) was fun. i saw two movies: Cinta andWest 32nd. Cinta was like a Malaysian Love Actually but better and deepr IMO (and it was so good - jess and i cried - jason had no idea wat love was - and luke was figuring out the korean subtitles). West 32nd was about the Korean kinda ganglife stuff in NY and i liked it!!! it was kinda scary cuz ppl got stabbed and shot and stuff but it made me so homesick!!! the korean dudes totally reminded me of my friends from home/college and their silly bantering and stuff and it was nice to see some signs and streets and stuff i recognized. so the films were very good. =)

it was also really really REALLY good to see jess and diane (and the other teachers) but mostly these 2 bc i've only seen diane ONCE for like an hour and jess NEVER since yonsei day!!! and they are my buddies from korean class. also i saw jason, who i haven't seen in a long time ever. also there were LOTS of us teachers there in busan. there were a bunch from jeju and daegu and hongseong and etc etc etc. but it was good to see the others. busan was an interesting city. it's definitely different from cheongju. PLUS i got to play on the beach!!! i LOVE the beach (don't worry, mommy, i was careful of sharks!)

we got yelled at on the subway and i can BARELY remember any other moment in life that's made me so indignant and upset. this random ajussi started yelling at us that we were too loud and to stop speaking english blah blah blah. but it was so RUDE and IGNORANT of him. and we couldnt' do anything bc he was "older" but still, you can NOT tell ppl not to talk in a public place (it's not like we were at the ballet or the opera) and it made me so upset bc i've never been talked to like that. and it bothered me so much that he was so ignorant of social cues even more than it would upset me in america i think bc he was KOREAN and shares my blood nd it's like how it bothers you if you have a stupid sibling more than if you just have another stupid kid in your class or something.

on another note, life lately has made me rethink my policy of "honesty is the best policy" - sometimes i feel like it's true (what my mom's been telling me my whole life) that honesty can sometimes do more harm than good and that sometime my completely black and white sense of right and wrong and doing the "right/fair/just" thing no matter it's consequences for other ppl's feelings is not always the best course of action. however, i still believe COMMUNICATION is probably the best policy. better than NON-communication. so maybe that will be my new thing, i'll work on my honesty and bluntness by working on more productive communication skills rather than just saying exactly what i think. and on THAT note, i will say that sometimes taking the high road means 넌 안 변할거니까 니가 얼마나 우낀지 내가 잊어버릴때 까지 나는 너하고 말않석끌거야. useless한게 어느 종도야지. (thank you, my darlings for telling me this is NOT mean and is rather acceptable based on my friend's behavior).

BUT. i was talking to ashley and she agrees that my honesty and ridiculous approach to life are exactly what makes me ME and what makes me lovable to her. perhaps this is not true for all ppl (and thus we are not friends and you are not reading this so it doesn't matter) but for the ppl who love me, i figure that they like me for me and i am somewhat conflicted (and have been) about this whole "growing up" process. sometimes i think there are changes i could make to my character/personality/life perspective to "mature" or become a "better" person. but then, will that still be me? or will i just be trying to fit some mold that pleases certain ppl and is unnatural to me? i mean clearly there are certain things that will change and my behaviors that will change as i grow older just because of life. but, if i keep trying to consciously change things about me that maybe aren't PERFECT but not necessarily harmful, is that just taking away from who i am?

these questions of soul-searching and self-seeking have been plaguing me ever so peskily here in korea. where i have so much free time and not enough ridiculous duke ppl and family time to fill my mind/time with other things. it IS true wat ppl say about being by yourself and not talking (all the time). it FORCES you to THINK.

i will conclude with: 엄마 i am happy, this is a melancholy/mellow post. do not worry about me. today. haha.

my mom told me she reads my blog first thing every morning to check up on me and check out my mood/general well-being. don't worry, i won't censor myself but i think it's admirable that she can wade through this codswallop every morning. i guess that's why they say nothing can ever measure up to/compare with parental love. =)

another p.s. this past weekend my elementary, host brother, and i were all on arirang tv . that first kid in line with the blue and white striped polo is my host bro. i will post the video once i can figure out how.

notes to self: funny wknd update to come about: sharks, mcdonalds, apologies, wooj, engrish, etc.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

musical finesse?

i never thought teaching english would turn me into a singer. haha but it has. i sing almost every class. the teachers and students enjoy random high notes that i earnestly reach for and rarely attain. it greatly amuses them. like i said, i'm an entertaining clown. and then i sing after school with one of my english competition girls. she's sitting in front of me right now. i'm being super resourceful and using my *borrowed* iTalk(?) recorder thing (thank you, mr. ahn) to record her and then burning her a cd of herself so she can practice with a CORRECT model. the CD she had been using (children's english learning CD about snow white) was stressing all over the WRONG place and incorrectly pronouncing words. but anyway, i thought that was pretty baller of me to figure all this out.

im heading down to busan in about an hour and a half for the weekend. itll be good to see some faces that have been sadly lacking from my life. i got 2 super duper phone calls from 2 super fabumazing ppl today and that just put a smile on my face. yayy.

also, i talked to my daddy 2 days in a row and that was nice. ridiculous but nice. here goes a snippet of our awesome convo:
me: oh, daddy, i'm going to busan this weekend
daddy: i see, what're you going to do there?
me: well it's the international film festival
daddy: so you're going to see lots of movies?
me: well they were all sold out so i'm only seeing 2 on friday and then saturday is free
daddy: so what're you going to do on saturday?
me: probably fall asleep on the beach
daddy: ARE YOU CRAZY???
me: huh? what? why?
me: .........

so anyone else headed to busan, watch out on the beach for those landlubber sharks that just climb around the sand eating beachsleepers

also, if that sounds super formal and stilted, its because i tried to recreate it as accurately as possible, but the influences of all the "textbook" english i'm surrounded by have been slowly but steadily creeping into my brain.

lastly, i think my skin REALLY is THAT bad, my english head teacher today offered for me to take this coupon she has to get a facial massage next week. i gestured (it was during lunch and there was food in my mouth) that oh, no i couldn't possibly, if she only has one coupon SHE should use it and she interpreted it as, ok let's go together on wednesday. haha

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

ETAriffic = happiness of life

my english head teacher made these for me. apparently if you hang out with a boy several times or more, they are automatically assumed to be your boyfriend. she told me she made couple cell phone accessories for me and my boyfriend. i told her they were too nice to give to that boy bc he is not my bf and she was like, oh well, just wait for someone an then give it to him. so i'm giving the blue one to my lover for life, amelia. =)

so. this past week has been pretty awesome. esp in comparison to the week before it. anyway last friday was rough, but since then things have been looking up. saturday i went out for lunch with the hostfam for some 추어탕 and i jsut had some 미꾸라지만두. hahaha yick. and then imo and i had a shopping date bc i wanted a long blazer and some new casual/cute shoes. i was successful on both points!!! AND made some more shoe store oppa friends. i heart shoe store oppas, they are so awesome. one was so flustered by the fact that i spoke english he kept forgetting to move his hand after putting the shoe on my foot and i kept stepping on it! i felt so bad!!!

anyway, on to more impt things. LYDIA called me to say she was coming to cheongju with rebecca!!! and we all met up at jamal's host fam's and his mom made us all samgyetang!!! and almost all the chungbuk etas came in (minus bryan) and we all ate together and then hung out. it was soooooo nice to see everyone!!! even minsuk (korean man of seclusion and mystery) came out!!! and eric came STRAIGHT from seoul to be with lydia. yayyy I HEART ETA LOVE!!!

rebecca and lydia both ended up sleeping over. i wake up sunday morning to find that LYDIA AND IMO ARE BEST FRIENDS!!! haha. they had spent like the whole morning together talking and chilling but i'm really glad they like each other bc imo is seriously so awesome, i wish all the ETAs had hmoms like her. she makes my life in korea awesome/bearable. so imo made us all french toast, which lydia helped clean up and she apparently knows more about my host fam's kitchen than i do already. but anyways, then we went for pho for lunch. we all met up at jamal's again and his hostfam drove us to gongju to visit lydia's school. i LOOOOOOOVE lydia's school. her boys are my FAAAAAAVORITE!

they remembered me from when i visited a few weeks (a month?) ago!! they were like, OHH CHRISTINE SUNSENGNIM!!! and i was like omg you remember me?? and they were like YES HIGH FIVE!!! hehe. so a bunch of our boys went and played bball with them and i played a little HORSE but then sat and chatted with a few of lydia's 3rd graders. and there's really nothing like sequestered high school boys for a little boost to your self esteem. they kept telling me how i have such a great laugh and how my smile is so cute. and they all made me promise to come back again to see them. (how can i not when they are so great and shower me with attention and compliments?) hehe. i was so busy talking i didnt get to take a picture with my favorite chat buddies, but they're really sweet and naive - i think partially bc they've just been at the boarding school instead of a normal hs full of horrible influences!

we had dinner at the caf with the boys and i got to talk to the boy who lives in cheongju in the apt. complex across the street from mine! he is an alum of my elementary school that i'm teaching at! yayy so then we went to downtown gongju (and that is a very liberally applied usage of "downtown") and had some more snacky foods and then had to chill at the bus terminal cuz the last bus was pretty early.

anyway, it was a good weekend. monday was rough but manageable and tuesay (yesterday) was a VERY GOOD day at school. 3 stars (that's what my VERY GOOD classes get). then the etas met up again bc today (wednesday) is National Foundation Day of Korea and everyone gets teh day off. which reminds me, today i went hiking with my host dad's residents and nurses from the hospital! i asked maia to come too and it was a lot of fun! i've been meaning to go hiking at some point bc it seems a very koreanesque thing to do. it was not too hard and just challenging enough to be fun! also we met some cute dr-y ppl hehe and they were very sweet at helping us at very steep points on the trail. =) so now i must make some lesson plans for next week's afterschool english summer camp bc i'm leaving for busan film festival and seeing some lovely faces tomorrow right after school! yayyy!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Losing's not my style

i saw this on a website a friend sent me, and it made me realize, i've never lost. not really. if it looks like i'm losing, or anytime i feel like i do, i just have to remember, that usually means the game's not over.

if i had one of these posters it would be like, well actually, hmm it would be :if YOU think you're losing, you probably are. if CHRISTINE thinks she's losing, there is clearly more game to be played. THAT'S RIGHT NS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!!! YOU ARE NOT GOING TO EAT MY SOUL AND KILL MY JOY AND GET AWAY WITH IT. CLEARLY IT'S NOT EVEN HALFTIME. maaaahahahahaha.

hehe i'm in a weird mood. school was awesome today. my lesson was very very well-received, everything went off w/o a hitch and my teacher workshop proved to me that my teachers understood that my actual unhappiness/complaint with the school was directd at the administration and DEFINITELY not at my wonderful homeroom teachers.

is it wrong that i have mini-crushes on the good-looking/adorable boys in my classes? (i love the girls, too!) they are so sweet. i love talking to them in korean after-school and during lunch. it's absolute BS that their english would improve if i only spoke english to them. the only thing that would do is alienate me from them and then i wouldn't talk to anyone and that would be sadness. i love little kids and have always missed growing up with millions of cousins, so korea's been good to me in that respect.

i'm pretty psyched for this month. i feel like i've been allowing myself to get down and a little too absorbed in the "here and now" (i taught my principal this phrase yesterday) and bogged down by the little things. that's natural i guess. i've always had a tendency to get distracted by the petty things and lose focus on the big picture. i say it's natural bc i'm such a detail-oriented person. there are always pros and cons to every personality/character quirk.

so i feel like this past weekend was a pretty good way for me to get a bit refreshed and refocus on the bigger picture (lydia's students have that effect on me-ooh another post on them later). hehe, my tendency to be super self-absorbed sometimes amuses me, and at other times annoys me. at least it's me tho, i pretty much love myself so much that even when i annoy me, my self-assessment is that i'm pretty awesome. hehe.

Monday, October 1, 2007

quiz time!

cuz amelia did it and im a sucker for online quizzes ... haha (amelia!!! some of our things are the saaaame!!! we are so meant to be!!!)

Your Love is Based on Commitment

You believe that love is something that develops and grows.
You don't believe in love at first site, and you never mistake lust for love.
For you, love is about mutual devotion, respect, and understanding.
You don't feel comfortable in a relationship, unless you're both in it for the long run.

Why your love can last: You don't take commitment lightly - or leave relationships easily

Why your love can fail: You're so committed, you often can't see the most obvious problems in your relationship

You're a Part Time Maneater

While you're not a black widow, you've definitely left a few guys feeling used and abused.
You're only out for fun, but sometimes you get a little carried away with your flirting.
Cute guys tend to make you lose control. You really can't help it!
You're a good girl at heart... you just can't help but let your bad girl side out sometimes!

Your Famous Movie Kiss is from The Empire Strikes Back

"Captain, being held by you isn't quite enough to get me excited."

Men See You As Playful

Men want a challenge and you are the perfect playmate
You know how to push men's buttons and attract a wide range of guys
You enjoy living and loving - it's one of your most attractive qualities
Men are often consumed with desire for you, and you love that!

You're an Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

What People Think of Your Mouth

People see you as both flirtatious and intimidating.
Your friends are secretly put off by your seductive powers.
And strangers either fear you or obsess over you - sometimes both.
No way to fight it - you're a natural vamp. Or rake.