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Showing posts from May, 2007

Old Lady

Is it possible that you can't function as an ESL kindergarten teacher WITHOUT 10 hours sleep?

I chose last night to go out - NOT TO A BAR - but to a movie.

It was a long one - perhpas too long - and a late one but Jack Sparrow is always worth the time.

And I was in bed by 1am, which means since I get up at 9am, I still got a good 8 hours (everyone cheer for me because I mastered some math)

But now, after 4 kindergartan classes, I feel like I've gone 10 rounds with Tyson. Except no body parts have been bitten off. But my clothes are pretty drenched from the EXCEEDING AMOUNT OF TEARS today.

I've never done a job where I needed this much sleep. I like my sleep, I'm a bit of a hibernating bear, but I never used to actually NEED this much sleep to function.

I'm so tired that I actually figured you all might be interested in how tired I am today.

If that doesn't show mental incapacity, then I'm not sure what else would.

Maybe another whole entry about the weather?

Countdown

Scene opens: 10:30am with the kindergartens second class of the day, after a 5 minute break.

Teacher: Okay everyone, please sit down in your desk

Students: meeda meeda meeda meeda (Korean for 'continue-babbling-with-my-friends)

Teacher: Okay, sit down. Please everyone sit down.

Students: *clearly paying no attention to teacher* meeda meeda MEEEDA MEEEDA

Teacher: T-student, close the door please.

T-student: NO

Teacher: *blink blink blink*

T-Student: *cheeky smile*

Teacher: T-Student I said close the door.

T-Student: NO

Teacher: *smoke out of ears blood boiling over* 5...4.....3...

T-Students and others: *T-student-slams door**scramble-knock-each-other-over-to-get-to-seats*

The countdown. For when a simple 'please sit down' just won't do.

Happy Birthday To Me

Every year, I get a LITTLE BIT EXCITED about my birthday.

I'm not quite sure why. Maybe it's because I don't yet have kids of my own's birthdays to get excited about.

Maybe it's because I'm like Peter Pan, will never grow up and am eternally a 5-year-old.

As today is a national holiday in Korea, I was lucky enough to not have to go into work.

This means I continue my 8 year "no going to work on my birthday" streak that started after I graduated from university.

As they say in Korea, "Assah!" (Otherwise known as YEEEESSSSSSS!)

Although I am celebrating today by doing whatever I want, last night was the big mexican food party at my house. Followed by some singing in the singing room. FOR 6 HOURS.

I went to bed as the sun came up, begged the drink fairy to let me awake without a killer headache and a sore tummy and had a fantastic time.

The best part about birthdays is that it's a great excuse to get everyone out. Because, you can always make an e…

Stranger in a Strange Land

On Sunday night, I felt this weird sensation when we got into bed.

Kinda like, I was living in a new house. Or living someone else's life.

It was so bizarre. Everything felt strange and unfamiliar.

Throughout my life, I have been known to have the occasional anxious moment where all you want is a big hug from you mom. And, I always took advantage of the hugging when possible to make the willies go away.

But this was different. It wasn't a scary feeling. Just more surreal.

We have recently started planning our next travel jaunt and this one is looking to be a big kahuna.

We're talking about places like Singapore or Sydney as though they were Toronto or Montreal.

We're deciding on whether to go to Vietnam or Laos first like it's a decision about chicken or steak.

We're discussing day long trips on trains across Mongolia and Russia like it's a decision about whether to walk or ride our bikes to the store.

All the names, all these places, that for so many years were far…

Stronger Than Yesterday

When I lived in Belfast, I was kinda addicted to the gym.

I say kinda because it was in a can't-go-out-Friday-till-I've-pumped-it-up type of way as opposed to training-for-the-next-body-building-championship type of way.

I fell in love with Body Pump, a class dedicated to pump *clap* you up. (SNL? Anyone? Am I dating myself here?).

I always just felt so strong after a class and, as D could attest to, frequently walked around the house, checking out my biceps and asking him, REPEATLY to 'feel them, come on, feel how HUGE I am'.

I was glad to hear that in Korea, they had gyms. When I arrived, I realised the Koreans have a little obsession of their own with fitness and that maybe I would fit in just fine here.

They enjoy being healthy SO MUCH that in parks, there are actually OUTDOOR WEIGHT MACHINES. I mean, this is genuis! Run around the park AND get in your weight training all FOR FREE.

Alas, the gym I joined did not have a Body Pump class. So I was stuck singing the songs in…

My Super Healing Powers

I did not realise until I began teaching what an AMAZING gift I have.

Did you realise I can cure any and all 'boo boos' with a simple kiss-hand-touch-ailment trick?

If I had known I had such a powerful gift, I most CERTAINLY would have exploited it earlier.

It seems to be children who are alway more perceptive to those with special abilities. I mean, they're the ones that see ghosts and 'dead people'.

They certainly have a way of exposing us.

I'll never forget the first time I discovered what I was capable of. It was in a classroom, probably within the first month of me being here, and a small little kindy came up to me.

She had a tortured look on her face, one that made me second guess whether or not I should have asked them one more time to 'REPEAT AFTER ME'.

Then, she stuck her forefinger right in my face. To show me *gasp* what most people would say was the tiniest cut known to man.

But not me. Not the super healer. I suddenly realised SOMETHING must be don…

Teachers' Day Comes But Once A Year

I'm not we've tapped into this concept of Teachers' Day in North American but it certainly has it benefits.

I was able to sit on the beach yesterday, wade in the sea water and enjoy my book. This sounds like a nice way to pay back a teacher.

Perhaps if I had paid more attention to how I was applying my morning moisturiser - which has 25SPF - I wouldn't have come into school today look like I painted my entire forehead and nose red and my cheeks and chin white.

No need for pictures. I'll allow you to create your own image.

I was also given gift certificates to department stores. Almost a bit too extravagant. So much I wouldn't want to mention the amount but suffice to say I will enjoy shopping for my birthday next week.

(mention TWO on the blog of the birthday. there will be a prize for those who can point out how many times I can slip it into blogversation over the next week. cause I'm just THAT sad.)

I think the best gift though, was a letter I received from on…

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

Or do they?

I actually wonder if just a little part of me was EXCITED when this morning I woke to a grey day.

I've felt the need to be home bound recently. Just enjoying books or watching TV.

I'm preparing myself for cultural overload.

I know this is my mind's way of telling me that in a few months, I will have so many new and exciting things to see and do, that I need to prepare for it.

It sounds strange, coming from the girl who couldn't wait to get to the beach, but at the same time, there is something comforting in knowing you're not really missing out on anything if the weather has turned out in your favor.

I think I'm also aware that I have a day off next week. That day has already been allocated to relax in the sun. So I'm okay if today's activities will include surfing the web and singing in an individual karaoke machine box at the arcade.

Funny how, a year ago, that last one would have seemed so foreign. Now, it's as normal as kimchi and chopst…

Bye Bye Work Week

The weeks seem to go by faster then I'm expecting them.

Monday - well EVERYONE gets a case of the Mondays sometimes - and certainly that is the day I am most happy to be finished.

Tuesday - I'm finished early, well, earlier than on Monday Wednesday and Friday so it feels a bit like a holiday anyway.

Wednesday - It's HUMP day! Who doesn't like HUMP day? And who doesn't feel a great relief after lunch on HUMP day knowing that you're closer to the weekend than you were in the morning?

Thursday - again, early finish, plus the next day is Friday so all you tend to think about on Thursday is how happy you are that the next day is Friday.

Friday - and then there it is. TGIF. The weekend is dropping it's landing gear and looking for the runway. And by mid afternoon, well, the weekend has REALLY already landed.

I suppose what's not GREAT about this theory is that I am truly wishing my life away - you know, one of those phrases you hear in your head, your mother's …

Who's Got the Funk? Gotta Have the Funk

Peaks and troughs as my Korea E friend says.

I'd say I'm definitely in a trough. A deep, hollow, Grand Caynon-like trough.

I was chatting away to Korea E last night, about various frustrations going on in our current state here, just discussing the roller coaster ride that is living away from home.

Your emotions are so very exaggerated. When things are great and you're happy, you're very very happy. But when things get low, they just seem insurmountable.

It's so very hard to overcome, to understand, why certain cultures act the way they do.

There was a disagreement at work on Monday. In the end, we got what we wanted. But the price was yet again a loss of trust for us in our employers and a lack of understanding why, for something so small, our employers would risk so much.

I realise I'm being vague but I'm not sure details would make it any clearer.

We also had a strange altercation with a taxi driver this morning. He almost ran us over. We almost kicked his car.…

You Are Always On My Mind

Last Friday we tagged along with the kindergartens to see the Korean version of The Wizard of Oz. Part of me was confused why we had to go in the first place as we don't speak Korean and then the other part of me realised, that's EXACTLY why we should go along...because...well...sometimes it's very korean to do things that don't make any sense.

In the end we actually enjoyed ourselves, looking at the little kiddies eyes light up, learning new words such as "Dorashee" instead of the regular 'Dorothy'.

My favorite addition to the play, when they happen upon the Tinman, he seems to have his heart but longs to be a member of the circus as multiple chorus members, surrounded him on stage, dancing and contorting themselves as he enviously looked on.

There was lots of drumming as well, which I guess was a great distraction from the story line for 6 year olds but also made me immediately turn to D and say:

'I know who would love this musical'.

Almost in un…

They WILL Take Over the World

One of the boys in my 10-year-old class brought in some noodles for everyone to share.

He brought in two packages, dried, that conveniently can come to life after some hot water.

I had met him in the market about 2 minutes before class where he informed me he was going to purchase 1 ADULT PORTION for each child in the class. I managed to convince him that ALL NINE CHILDREN did not need their own portion.

He looked up at me, a bit conflicted and said:

"My mother said if I can only have if I get for everyone."

And so, we compromised, purchased two smaller packages and I promised to bring small Dixie cups to class so we could distribute.

I was touched by his generosity, even if it was selfishly fuelled.

When we reached class, with the noodles and Dixie cups in hand, he carefully distributed sections of the noodles into the cups.

The most sought after bit was the flavoring. Once everyone was appeased with the amount of spicyness they would be consuming, it was off the to water cooler/he…