Well, we are slooooowly moving into fall weather over here. By slowly, I mean that the mornings and evenings are sweater weather with summer hitting in the afternoon. It makes picking out clothes for the day a tiny bit difficult. But I know I'll regret it all when winter comes, so for now, I am content with the cool mornings and warm afternoons.
Again, it was a pretty standard work week. A while ago, SMOE asked if any of us wanted to post for a week on the SMOE Instagram, so I did that this week, so a few of these pictures are from when I posted on that page. It was fun to share my life with other people in SMOE and potential EPIK teachers.
It was a pretty easy work week this week. I taught my sixth graders about currencies around the world, taught fifth grade about the past tense, and fourth grade about sports and outdoor activities.
Korean class is still going well, even though I often feel like skipping haha. This weekend was pretty swell, so I'll get to that in a few.
|we have a magnet board in the English room.|
Usually the girls try and make their
favorite idol's names. Here are 2 sixth graders
working harder than they ever do in class haha
|It usually ends up being someone from|
EXO or SNSD...
|I was grocery shopping and saw this. You can|
get Hello Kitty toilet paper, or toilet paper with
a free box of tissues attached. Awesome
|Foot mask time! It's basically like putting lotion|
on then putting a sock on, but I like these better.
|This is my favorite building on my walk|
to work. It's called Espresso Haus and it's
|a beautiful day at school|
|the dreaded rib lunch. Delicious, but difficult to|
eat because of the bone. It makes my hand hurt
because I have to grip the chopsticks so hard.
|OMG cat on my mailbox|
|I JUST WANNA ADOPT YOU|
|a new Samsung store opened in Hongdae|
so this guy was advertising
|Lauren found a guy who sells goat cheese, so|
we ordered some. IT'S SO GOOD.
|I love and hate spaghetti day, because it's|
yummy but also hard to eat. Bonus- carrot/apple
juice. More delicious than it sounds!
|Sometimes I walk home a different way and get a really nice|
view of the mountains and I love it.
|How I feel during Korean class. My poor|
brain has to work hard after a long day at work
|Friday is our weekly meeting time, and we usually|
get snacks for the 4 o'clock meeting. This week
was smoothie time!
Recently, I've been watching a show that's the latest craze here. It's called 비정상회담, which means "Abnormal Summit" or "Unusual Conference." It's a show about a group of 11 foreigners who get together and discuss issues brought up by the guests to determine if the guest is abnormal or not. Issues range from "I don't think my friend should move in with her boyfriend before marriage," to "I think sex education should be offered in Korea like language and math." The guests, who are from a variety of places, (Italy, China, Ghana, Turkey, America, France, Belgium, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Germany) all discuss their opinions about the issues by reference their own culture. It's a super interesting show, and it's exceptionally inspirational for me because the show is entirely in Korean. These foreigners are SO GOOD and I'm so impressed. It's also interesting to hear about other cultures and to learn how that shapes our opinions of things.
The show, for me, is also discouraging in a way, because I am very envious of the foreigners there. Some of them are around my age, and their Korean is leaps and bounds ahead of mine. I know it's silly to compare, because some of them have lived here for a long time, or they were in immersion programs or things, but I'm sad that my Korean isn't better after a year. Sure, I can get by, and yes, I know more than a good amount of foreigners here, but it's hard to feel like it's enough when I can't understand what my 9 year old students say...
Watching the show has made me want to study even harder though, even if it's tough. I wish I could practice more, but I get so nervous...
On Friday, I had a long chat with young ah about my insecurities using korean at work or in general. I'm annoyed that I encourage my students to try but can't seem to get myself to do so outside of Korean class, but it's daunting to try when there are 12 native Korean speakers around you. In English class, it's just me listening- everyone else in the room is learning English, and I think that makes it a lot easier. I speak a lot more and try a lot more Korean in my class, because I'm with other similarly able people. But man, talking in front of native speakers is scary.
Young Ah assured me that I was doing fine, and that my listening skills were getting better, and that I was working hard. She told me we could start doing "Korean time" at work, but I still find it daunting because her English is so good and my Korean is so bad. It's easy to just be lazy and use English...
Sigh. The only way to get better is to practice though, so I'm gonna have to suck it up and speak more...
|That was a heavy few paragraphs. Cheer up|
with cute animal lotions!
|I really need to tell Korea that 'sand' is not an|
appropriate way to shorten the word 'sandwich'
Saturday was the moment Sarah, Cesca and I have been waiting for for aaaages, Super Show 6!!! Super Junior had a comeback recently, so obviously a concert was in order. After much help from Korean friends, we secured 3 standing tickets to the show. Armed with snacks, sunscreen, wedge sneakers (for the height advantage, which I actually have here...) and smiles, we headed down to the Sports Complex where they held part of the 1988 Olympic games for the concert.
|This was our section. Despite being let in|
after like 700 people, we got really awesome
|Waiting for the concert. Sarah was in a|
different section, so we debriefed after
|Concert swag- a Super Show official|
|we had an incredible view of the show|
|we sat waiting. The woman in front of cesca essentially sat on|
|Pics weren't allowed once the show started,|
so I had to get a quick show of the beautiful
sapphire blue audience
Most kpop groups have official colors, light sticks and fangroup names. BigBang's color is yellow, it's light stick is a crown shape and it's fandom name is VIPs. Super Junior's color is sapphire blue, it's light stick depends on the show, and it's fandom name is ELF, which means EverLasting Friends (yes, in English). It's a little corny, but it's nice to have so many symbols of fan unity.
Here's a video to show you just how lovely the Sapphire Blue Ocean looks. Soooo gorgeous!
I loooooooove Big Bang, but I have to say, the sapphire blue audience was one of the prettiest things I have ever seen. The yellow doesn't compare. And fans at this concert were much better about not keeping the light sticks up to high, so we got incredible views of, and a few waves(!) from the performers. The energy was high, the views were fabulous, and the acts highly amusing. We were close enough and had great views, so I barely even needed to look at the projection screens, we were that close. I know Korean style isn't for everyone, but I really diiiig it.
I enjoyed this concert immensely- it's probably the best one I've gone to. Actually, hands down it was. I was mentally and physically prepped for the standing section, and I didn't even have much anxiety. For a person who used to get panic attacks in department stores during back to school sales, this is a major step up. Guess that's what a year of dealing with incredibly thick crowds will do for you! It was either sink or swim in that regard, and so I think the crowded buses and subways have really helped me adapt and get rid of my anxiety about that.
Sadly, unlike BigBang, there was no 'photo time' during this concert. They were incredibly strict and pulled a good 10 people out of our section for taking illegal pictures. At the very end, however, during the final bow, everyone whipped out their cameras so I managed to get a few not great shots.
|Super Junior, you were AWESOME|
|Kyuhyuuuuun saying goodbye.|
This weekend was special, since Sunday's concert marks 100 concerts for Super Junior, an unprecedented number for Kpop. It's impressive that after 7 albums and nearly 10 years (they debuted in 2005), they still can sell out concerts and pack venues with adoring fans. Here's to many more concerts and many more years, Super Junior!
|we loved it|
|Cesca did great for her first standing experience.|
|I hope to go to many more concerts!!|
Sore from standing, we headed home. I slept for a while, and then met up with Sarah again to head out east to meet up with a friend we haven't seen in a while, Canako. It's too easy to get caught up in the routine and small group of friends. This year, I'm going to try and make an effort to see more of my friends across the city, and not be as antisocial as I have been the past few months.
We met up to go to a Rilakkuma cafe. Yep, another theme cafe. Rilakkuma is a Japanese character, and it's super adorable. It's also very popular here. We met up to just chat and debrief our lives, since it's been a while since we've seen each other. It was so nice to catch up in the cozy cafe, surrounded by adorable Rilakkuma themed, well, everything.
|We almost couldn't find it because the door|
isn't over the top
|This is Rilakkuma|
|So much fun!!|
I was glad to have so much time with my friends this weekend, and to be able to share so many fun experiences. It's easy to get frustrated with teaching or with my Korean levels, or a multitude of other things, but I always have lots of things available to cheer me up and remind me that moving here was a pretty great decision.
I've got a full week ahead of me, but I'm super excited since I'm going on a trip next weekend. For the 3 of you that read this blog besides my parents (hi mamma and daddy!!!), I apologize, as I won't be able to update until after next Tuesday, and if I'm super lazy, it will be a pretty late update. Buuuut I'm going to see Dokdo, which is a huge culturally and historically significant place, so that's pretty exciting.
I hope everyone has a fantastic week, and I hope your weekend was as awesome as mine. But members of Super Junior waved at us and I drank coffee surrounded by adorable stuffed animals, so I kind of doubt it.
You have to have expected Super Junior here, since I just went to their concert haha. Here are two songs that I haven't posted yet that have been stuck in my head since the concert.
An older 2010 era song, I really love this one, even though it uses more autotune than necessary, since everyone in Suju is decent, if not awesome, at singing. I think it's super catchy
This one has also been stuck in my head, even though it's not an official Suju song. Henry is part of Super Junior M, the mandarin subgroup of Super Junior. In fact, he's not even Korean. But damn, he is awesome. I don't listen to a ton of his stuff because it's not really my style, but I can't get this one out of my head. He's an incredible violinist too.
Do I understand the video? No. Does Henry look tough enough for the hip hop look he always has? No. Do I still love this song? HECK YES
Have a good week everyone! It's gonna be fantastic!!!