Sunday, December 15, 2013

16 month update

jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the wayyyy!!!

I absolutely cannot believe Christmas is already only one week away. I am definitely not in the Christmas spirit at all this year.This is my second Christmas away from family, but last year I spent it in Malaysia with my friend and her family so I had that to look forwards to, this year my vacation dates are kind of strange so rather than having two full weeks off, I only have one so I've decided to spend it in Seoul with whatever friends aren't leaving town to spend it with their families.
Last week we had quite a bit of snowfall and I felt very grinch like watching it fall from my office while all the kids where playing in it and being happy. Unless I can stay home nicely bundled up, and not have to ever walk on the snow, it's okay. My problem starts when it stops being fresh white, and becomes ice and makes it nearly impossible for me to take two steps before falling and embarrassing myself.

Things at school are going slow, but okay. This is the last full week of teaching before the Christmas holiday and because the kids (and myself) can't really concentrate on anything, we've stopped using the textbook and instead spend the first 15-20 minutes of class chatting or going over an interesting topic (today's was Konglish) and the last half of the class we watch a movie.

Since I'm not traveling anywhere for Christmas, I decided to treat myself and go away during the two weeks I'll have off in February instead. I've decided to hit up two places from my SE Asia travel wishlist, I'll be spending time with old friends from university in Bangok, and escaping the harsh Korean winter on some Thai Islands, and then finish off in Cambodia where I'll get to see Ankor Wat in all it's glory. Once I bought my tickets I drove myself a  little crazy because I started researching all sorts of touristy things that I thought I just HAD to do, but then I came to my senses and realized that I really just want to have a chill time and enjoy a new culture. So hopefully I'll be able to leave the control freak side of myself behind, and just enjoy the trip for what it is, not for all the photo ops i could have/should have taken.

I can't remember if I've mentioned this before, but when the new school year starts in March, two of my current three co teachers will be replaced. In Korea there's this rule where teachers can only teach at one particular school for five years and then rotate to a different school. Not only will my co teachers change, but some of the homeroom teachers whom I've grown close to will also have to leave, so I'm rather sad by that. In particular one of my co teachers who is leaving, actually one of my really good friends in Korea, so while we'll still see each other on weekends, I'll really miss working with her and having her so close by. She's not actually my main CT (the one who is in charge of my papaerwork, housing, life in general) but she's the one I usually go to for help or questions.

I'm really anxious to find out who my new co teachers will be, as the kind of CT I have will set the mood for how my classes go. I strongly believe that if two co teachers don't really mesh well, even if they keep it professional, it will still come across to the students and it will affect the quality of classes we have together. Also, the kind of CTs I have will affect whether I choose to renew a third year or not. Just out of curiosity (and back up security) I've been researching teaching jobs in other places, and I've found a few that seem promising. There is one program for teaching adults (university students) in Tokyo that lasts somewhere between 3-5 months with options of extending. I'm interested in it because I THINK that I might like to one day pursue a masters degree and become a university professor, so before spending all my time and money on that degree I think it would be a good idea to try it out first, specially since the contract length isn't very long. If I hate it, or I'm really terrible at it, I think I could stick it out for 3-5 months. I've also looked into teaching in Latin America, just because I really miss being around Latin culture, but unfortunately the pay level for most jobs in Latin America are rather low, and while the cost of living there is cheap, being a slave to my student loans puts a damper on things.

What else is new this month?? .. hmm.. I've been cooking a lot more! and by a lot more, I mean once a week which is a huge change from before when I cooked at home maybe once a month. It makes me excited to open up my fridge and see it stocked full of goodies. The number one reason why I never cooked before was simply because I'm lazy. I'm specially lazy in Korea because my kitchen is so tiny and somewhat hard to maneuver. The second reason was because I don't know how to cook, or so I thought. And the last reason being that I hated cooking for one person and then having to eat the same thing for a week straight so that it wouldn't go bad. My solution for that has been to look up the easiest recipes I can find online, absolutely nothing fancy, and nothing that calls for ingredients I can't pronounce, or 10 different types of seasoning. And my solution for only cooking for one is to have friends over and share with them. It's also a good way to avoid leaving my house now that it's cold, people complain a lot less about making the long journey up north to where I live once I offer up a nice home cooked meal.

(this post is 3 days early because i honestly couldn't remember the exact date i arrived/left home, and i didn't wan't to risk forgetting it when the actual date came ^^)

Monday, December 2, 2013


 After a short hiatus, the KTO came back with tickets to attend a live performance. This time it was a show called Rival.
On Saturday,  November 23 I met my friend at Exit 7 of Chungmurro Station (lines 4 & 3) and we headed to the show. The hall in which it took place was a 5 minute walk from the station and easy to find. Once we arrived, we picked up our tickets and took our seats. We were towards the middle in the first three rows, but the venue is rather small so I don't think there's a bad seat in the house. I quickly noticed that there were many kids in the audience, and for the most part I think the show is geared more towards a younger audience than adults. It was silly with a bit of martial arts blended in.  The show lasted approximately an hour and a half without an intermission. Overall, I really enjoyed this performance but I wouldn't go watch it again, unless I had children to take along with me.