Friday, November 25, 2011

Dinosaur Museum!

Haha, so the field trip for this month, we went to a dinosaur museum. It was interesting. All the little kiddies had a blast and that is all the counts. While we were at the museum, two of my friends from homes voices rang in my brain. They always make fun of me saying that as an archaeologist I dig up dinosaurs, which is not archaeology but paleontology. This is for you Tom and Jeff!

There was one dinosaur display that was kind of gruesome. It had two dinosaurs feeding off of a dead dinosaur. There was fake blood and guts. It was very interesting.

Yep, gruesome!
All of us!


So I successfully survived my first major holiday here in Korea. It was my first Thanksgiving away from my mom. It didn't really feel like thanksgiving during the first part of the day. I went to school in the morning and did my daily routine with the kids. A week before I made hand turkey's with my little kindergarten kids and had them decorated in the class room. But other than those hand turkey's, it did not feel like Thanksgiving.

Normally at home, I would wake up in the morning and my mom would have already started making our feast. I would prepare the candies yams and a vegetable dish that we always eat, and have them ready to go in the oven when the turkey is done.

The American teachers at my school and then one of the Korean teachers and the Chinese teacher decided to have our own little Thanksgiving dinner on the night of Thanksgiving. We each decided to bring a couple dishes to make a large feast. At the foreign food market in Itaewon, I purchase a couple boxes of Stove Top's turkey stuffing and when I made it, I added some mushrooms and celery. I also made some pumpkin pie and I attempted to make candied yams. They do not have cans of yams here but they do have Korean sweet potatoes, which I find to be sweeter than the sweet potatoes I have had in the states. I was also able to find marshmallows at Costco. It did not taste the same, but it was still very good.

Everyone brought lots of food and it was all very delicious. We did not have any turkey though. It is very hard to find turkey in Korea, so instead we had chicken. It was still very good. I was in a food coma by the end of the night.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NaNoWriMo Halfway Update!

Here are some of my stats! I am halfway there. It would be dumb to give up now. I am still fighting through, getting me daily required number of words per day!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pepero Day!

Well, today is Pepero Day, 11/11/11. You may be wondering, what is Pepero Day? Well, first thing, a Pepero is a long cookie that is dipped in chocolate. The South Korean company that makes them, Lotte, was inspired by the Japanese Pocky sticks in the 80's and so they made their own version of them.

Pepero Day is similar to Valentines Day. Pepero Day came about because the the Pepero sticks resemble 11/11, the date it is observed on. The day is usually celebrated by young people who exchange Pepero sticks with each other, very similar to Valentines Day.

Apparently the company, Lotte, denies to having started this "Hallmark holiday," but they had noticed an increase in sales on 11/11 and decided to encourage the holiday by making gift boxes and other Pepero gifts. Lotte apparently also does 55% of their Pepero sales in November.

Pepero gift from my co-teacher. I like the "Fake" part!
My Pepero gifts from my students and co-teachers. Thanks!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seoul Lantern Festival

Yesterday, I went to the Seoul Lantern Festival. I went with a friend that I met during my stay in Korea. She also knows Korean so that is a big help sometimes too. All the lanterns were very beautiful. It is located on the famous Cheonggyecheon Stream in downtown Seoul. The theme for the lanterns is 'Old Story of Seoul.' So a lot of the lanterns that were displayed represented activities or folklore from the history of Korea. There were also lanterns that were made by international artists as well as local artist.

A funny thing happened when we were at the festival. We wanted to get in line so that we can walk down next to the stream, as opposed to looking at them from above on the sides. We started walking next to the line wanting to find the end, but it kept going on and on, with no sign of the end. We decided to ask one of the security guards how long it will take to get through the line and he told us 3 hours. We were flabbergasted. We didn't have time to stand in line for 3 hours, plus the night was starting to get chilly.

So we decided to just walk around on the side of the stream from above. We really wanted to go down to the stream but 3 hours was too long. As we were walking, we walked probably half way (by the way this stream is very long) and then we noticed a rope tied to the trees next to the wall to look over down on the stream. We were wondering why there was a rope and then we started noticing ducking under the rope and getting in line. We were unsure of what they were doing so we did it too. We then peeked as far as we can over the wall to see if there were a set of stairs ahead of them that people were going down and it turned out we had gotten in a line to go down by the stream. The line was empty as we were walking by it, but all of a sudden the line filled up very fast. It took us only about 5 min to stand in line and head down the stairs. We were lucky from having to only stand in line for 5 min compared to the 3 hours.

Once we got to the bottom, the crowd at the bottom were walking in the direction to the beginning of the stream, so we decided to use one of the small bridged that crossed over the river so we can could continue in the direction we had come from. These lanterns went on forever. We had no idea when it would end, but eventually it did, and we crossed back over the river and go back towards the beginning. It was all very fun. I was excited we got to view them a little more up close.

We got some nice police officers to take out photo!
They were all so beautiful
There are some more photos on my flickr account, so be sure to check them out!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Survived my First Open House

Today, I had my first open house as an English teacher. The parents of my students came to the school and watched one of my classes with the kids. The entire week, I was pretty nervous for it. I wanted to do a good job so that that parents know that: a) there kids were learning English from me and b) that they enjoyed me as a teacher as well. During the week, we had practice open house where just my boss would watch me and I had to do that twice. I did well both times but I have also taught in front of her before too.

Last night, my nerves weren't really effecting me at all. Even when I woke up this morning and got to school. It wasn't until the parents came out of the classroom, where we held the open house, after watching the kids Chinese class that I started feeling nervous.

I then also had to wear a microphone, so that the parents can hear me, and I was being filmed. That just made me more nervous. One of the parents started talking to me. She knew a little bit of English, that I started relaxing a little bit. I think she felt how nervous I was, too. She even asked if I was nervous.

When the class time started, I walked in front of my kids, the parents on my right and the camera in front of me kind of off to the side, and greeted them as I normally do. I then just ignored everyone around me except my students. I taught the class like I normally do and it went well.

After my class, both of my bosses told me that I did very well especially for it being my first open house. The parents obviously knew it was my first open house and they told me that I did a great job. I was very happy that it was all over with and it went well.

I've heard that sometimes during the open houses the kids get really nervous and either not talk as much or not talk at all. For me, I sensed only one of my kids being really nervous. He still talked a lot but he didn't talk as much as he normally did but my for my other students, I felt they stepped it up a notch. They wanted to impress their parents so they made sure they were being heard.

I felt so relieve that it was finally over. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I was worrying over nothing. I feel much more confident as a teacher as well.

Until next time, which will probably be on Sunday. There is a lantern festival in Seoul that I'm going to. I am excited.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Hey everyone, I am taking a break from writing my novel for NaNoWriMo. You may ask, what is NaNoWriMo? Well it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It is a one month creative writing project in which you have to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days in any genre. Their slogan is quantity of quality. It could be the worst book ever but as long as you were able to write a story in 50,000 words or more, you are a winner. 

I have a couple friends who have participated in this event and I always wanted to but I never had the time with school and work. Now that I am here in Korea, I have time to to sit down and type. I posted the link at the bottom of the post to the website if you would like to learn more about the even. 

The basic concept of my book, is about a girl who travels to Korea to be an English teacher. It is slightly autobiographical in the characters history but I'm going to try and make her journey in Korea to be more exciting and more exaggerated.  

Anyway, I will keep you update on how I am doing with it. It is the end of Day 2 and I am on the right track.