Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Million Pieces

Drama club practices continue, now with some costumes

I didn't have 4th grade on Monday, which was nice, so I got to watch some rehearsals for the talent show. It was an easy day, and I was in a pretty good mood, but I knew something was up when my sister messaged me and asked if I'd be able to skype soon, as my mom had some bad news. I knew our lovable giant, Bandit, was getting thinner and my parents were worried about him, and when I got that text, I knew it was time. 

I spent a good part of the evening and night crying, since Bandit was a gentle giant and since last year, Smokey had died as well. 2 years away and 2 of my babies gone ;(

I took this pic of him before I left for Korea

He got a lot thinner, and he wasn't eating. It was time, but it
was hard to say goodbye.

On my walk to work, there were two cats.
Black and white, like Bandit. Cue the waterworks
I was exhausted and upset Tuesday morning, and so I was vaguely relieved when my first period was cancelled, though the distraction probably would have helped. I was sitting in the office trying to just be calm and get ready for the day, when Young Ah came in and said good morning. We sit diagonal from each other, so she said hi to me and then asked me if I didn't sleep well, because my eyes were puffy. I couldn't hold back the tears as I said, "My cat died." 

After my burst of tears, Young Ah went to get tissues for me and came back. I showed her a picture of Bandit and told her how he was over 16 years old. Seon Kyeong, my 6th grade co teacher, sits next to me and was just getting back to her desk, so she looked over and gasped. 

"This is your cat?" she said, "He is very fat!" and I burst into tears again. 

Young Ah reached across my chair and swatted her, "He just died!" she admonished, and Seon Kyeong gasped, "I wondered why tears came so suddenly!"

Then I sobbed a bit and the news spread through the office. I heard some of the teachers not quite understanding why I was crying still, so Young Ah, who had admitted she's never had a pet so she doesn't know the feeling, was explaining for me that he was my pet since 2nd grade and he was old and had just died. A few minutes later, I saw something out of the corner of my puffy eyes. Wordlessly, Seon Kyeong was sliding over some Ferrero Rocher chocolate to me. So sweet. 

Thankfully, everyone left me alone pretty much for the day, since they knew I was upset. 

bye bye, babies...

Thankfully, my 6th graders were mercifully attentive and we had lots of work to do for the talent show, so I was relatively busy during the day, even if my poor cat wasn't far from my mind. School events mean the dreaded process of making balloon flowers, which I am fairly useless at, given I can tie about 1 balloon every 5 minutes. I'm terrible. I simply took up balloon size measuring duty and handed the balloons to someone else to tie. 

Seon Kyeong decorated her desk with an extra haha


some artwork

Inexplicably, my school also has a parents' art section, which the subject teachers of course had to set up. And then hear the complaints about from parents who weren't satisfied with it. WAMP.

One dude made a paper mache T Rex

One of the teachers brought in Cheer Up! Yogurt
cause everyone was stressed out

we bought snacks to celebrate round 2 of balloon making being
complete on Wednesday.

Wanna learn some Korean?

4th grade art

4th grade art

My 4th graders doing a cheer. Didn't get
any more pictures cause I was relegated to
Keep The Kids Quiet duty

Have you heard? The pollution came early and was
so bad this week that I could stare at the sun
in the middle of the day without a problem.
Gotta put that mask on yo

I stopped for coffee with Young Ah before
Korean class for a nice coffee

This bug wouldn't leave me alone at class

My American born student, Serah, wrote me
a lovely thank you note for me (mostly my mom)
sending her some Cheetos after she'd mentioned them to me
in class one day. She drew me a picture my first week here
and is always helpful, so mom wanted to thank her.

Friday was school talent show/festival day, which is tons of work for the other teachers, but I'm mostly left out of the complex stuff, so I helped Young Ah with her drummer kids' costumes. 

4th grade janggu class

There were some booths to play with too

5th and 6th grade 

There was also another drum class. Check out those outfits!

I got to see some of the 5th grade talent show, where one of my classes performed a cute role play about the history of Korea.

We had cheesecake to celebrate

On Saturday, I needed some cat time, so I went over to Lauren's to see Oliver. He's getting so big!

Our friend Jeanie was having a birthday party, so we headed out to Itaewon for some BBQ and fun.

On Sunday, I was woken up by Cesca reading an invitation to go to brunch. I love brunch, so we got up early and headed out.

It rained Friday night, so the pollution cleared up a lot

Got a giant coffee while waiting for our friends.

Brunch buddies- Lauren found the brunch
invite, so we got free mimosas

We call ourselves The Brunch Bunch! The place is just testing their brunch menu,
and it wasn't amazing, but the company was stellar!

Cesca and I had too much time to go straight to class, but not much time to do anything else, so we just headed to my house for a catnap before dance class. We practiced Bang Bang Bang again for our dance studio Halloween party, which was exhausting but fun. It was fun to be able to play around with the dance more, so we will see how it goes Friday!

I had to run some errands after class, so after wandering around Hongdae looking for cheap stage makeup materials, I headed home pretty content. I hadn't really wanted to go to class today, because I was feeling lazy after brunch, but it was fun to hang out with my dance friends and get some errands done. 

Now I'm getting ready for my admittedly easy week. My school has a vacation this week, but since none of my friends are off and my drama club has practice later, I am not using my precious vacation days. That means I get to go to work all week and pretty much be alone the whole day. As an introvert, it will be nice to hang in the silent office, though all the teachers have fun plans and feel bad for me. Oh well. That's life as a contract teacher in Korea. Gotta get some study time in, I'll have plenty of room for it in my schedule!


Kyuhyun from Super Junior recently had a comeback, with a second solo album. Lots of ballad albums come out in the fall, and this one is gorgeous. I prefer his first solo, At Gwanghwamun, but A Million Pieces is also beautiful. 

The video was actually filmed in Zurich, Switzerland, which is a gorgeous, beautiful place that I've actually been, making the song even more special.

 Now, as a woman who has traveled alone, I would still be wary of the handsome stranger who kind of follows me, but hey, it's a music video and maybe Koreans would feel more comfortable with it. Of course, it's a fall song, so it's bittersweet, but gorgeous. Kyuhyun has one of the best voices in Kpop, so it's not surprise that he turned out another winner. 

I'm repeat listening to A Million Pieces and At Gwanghwamun this week. 

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