Sunday, July 31, 2016

Camp, Zombies and W

Weird title huh? It'll make sense later. 

Soooooo Young Ah got two of my 6th grade classes to make a goodbye video for me... She even used 2 of my favorite songs, cause dad used to sing them all the time around the house. It's so adorable, isn't it? I also received many interesting renditions of my face via 3rd grade drawings. Haha it's been a challenge saying goodbye, but also a fulfilling reminder that, even thought was hard, the kids did love me like I loved them.

My teaching journey here in Korea ends with English camp, which is usually the bane of every native teacher's existence. It is a lot of extra work with like zero rewards. This year, I prepped a lot to help Sun Kyung, but we also decided to do very chill and lowkey activities, so that has been making the task much easier. It's the easiest camp I've done, both in prep and in action, and I couldn't be happier.

For our special classes, we did mosaic coloring, where the kids color only part of a picture then have to put it together. On friday, I taught them how to make s'mores! It was awesome.

What is NOT awesome is that the bathrooms are under construction, so we had to move buildings to do camp. When did they tell us? Thursday. When did camp start? Friday. So, because we have a lot of materials in the office, we have to hike over to the Eng room and haul lots of stuff every day. I also need to trek there if I need to use the bathroom, because the middle of my school is gutted.

I also broke out my old skills at string games, but teaching elementary school students takes like 30 minutes to do a simple one haha.

Found a familiar face in the teacher's room that we are borrowing.

Ces came over to hang out after camp one day to destress, cause its annooooying. We decided we needed ice cream. Hersheys Coco Slush Ice. hahaha the names here, man.

Ok thanks timehop for being really scarily
accurate right now. I also did not think I was
capable of living and adjusting to Korea so well.
The last Wednesday of the month is cheap movie day in Korea, so Grace, Ces and I headed to see 

부산행 Train to Busan 

It is definitely one of the better zombie movies I have seen, with the virus being fast acting and the zombies being uniquely fast (so it's more like 28 Days Later than the Walking Dead). It was a bit long but still awesomely paced, with lots of great scares. Sun Kyung asked me why I would want to pay money to see blood, gore and death and to be scared. Haha, I'm actually not sure, but it was super entertaining. We saw it without subtitles, but my Korean is good enough to understand about 80% of the movie, especially since the dialogue usually has to do with the zombie situation at hand. 


On Friday, Sun Kyung and I left school early (I usually have to stay till 4:40 even after camp) so we could meet up with one of the other teachers who used to work at our school. She moved schools last year (they change every 5 years in Korea) and she just had a beautiful baby girl, so she's busy, but I'm so happy she made time to meet up with us, so we could hang out like we used to in our office. It was noisy, cause they're chatty, but it was always entertaining and fun. Much more social and bright than this year, because of the crazy teacher in the office -__-

We had way too much fun chatting and laughing. I'm so lucky I got to meet so many wonderful people here.

Sun Kyung makes the best faces in pictures haha

Cesca, Grace and I were supposed to do something for Arirang TV Saturday, but the lady told us around Weds it might need to be postponed and she would let us know. Then never contacted us again??? SO we waited but decided we wouldn't do it regardless, so we went to a racoon cafe instead, because Grace's BF had never been and we promised we would go together. 

One of them really liked my bracelet and tried to steal it!!! It was hilarious yet terrifying.

After a lovely evening, Ces and I hung out at her place before dance. I had been anticipating a new drama starting last week, but I normally wait till they're finished to start, since the anticipation can be killer, or for kdramas in particular, they start well but fizzle, so I wait for reviews. 

But after following the press, knowing the writer is the same one as Queen In Hyun's Man (my favorite drama) and Nine: Time Travel Nine Times (another awesome time travel drama), and hearing Sun Kyung gush about it, I decided to start it and follow it weekly. It's amazing, so I roped Cesca in as well. 
His says "Now you can't go back/leave" and her's says "I'm certain that woman is the key to my life."
It's called W or Two Worlds, which some people interpret to mean double u as in 2 universes, because that's the conceit of the drama. 

Image result for w two worlds

The woman, Oh Yeon Joo, is a surgical resident at a hospital in Seoul. She's not confident nor that talented, but does her best. Her father is a famous webtoon author. While he was unknown at first, his webtoon "W" became a critical success in Korea. The main hero, Kang Chul, is talented, smart and rich. But the reason for the title? W. It means Who and Why. 

Kang Chul's entire family was murdered, and he wants to know who did this and why.  Kang Chul vows to find the killer and sets out to become a successful businessman in order to fund his research and attempts to find the killer. Thus far, the killer is unknown. 
Two worlds, two people, in an inter dimensional romance and mystery filled drama
When Yeon Joo's father goes missing the night the final issue of the drama is due, she goes to his office to investigate. She's shocked to see the ending that her father has been working on, but is even more shocked when she is pulled into the webtoon herself! Before she knows it, Yeon Joo becomes an integral part of the webtoon that has now taken on a life of its own. But what are the consequences of such interference?

Chaos, hilarity, romance and mystery ensue in a drama that I KNOW is going right on my favorites list. 

Anyway, just watch it. The actor, Lee Jong Suk, is one of my favorites, having been in I Can Hear Your Voice and Pinocchio. It's so gripping from the start, and I love a good time travel mystery drama. SO GOOD. 

And theeeeen...

We went to dance class and thoroughly did not enjoy it, as it was a guest teacher and a song we don't like. But Pau, Ces and I had fun. 

I have less than 30 days in Korea, and only 4 days left of teaching camp before I'm on vacation till the end of my contract. This is a scary thought, but also exciting. I'm ready to see where my life takes me next, hoping for a new adventure!! After I relax at home with my cats for a bit, of course. 

Eeeeek this is strange! Hoping time flies but also doesn't go too fast??? Gaaaaaaaaah

Sunday, July 24, 2016

And Just Like That...

The semester is finished... I've been wanting it to end for a while, because it has felt so long, but the end of it seemed to come with a suddenness for which I was unprepared. 

The goodbyes and stress of camp, worrying about the teacher trip I had this weekend and all the preparations I have to do for coming home took their toll this week, and I was sick for most of it. 

A trip the international clinic later, I had a variety of medicines for the next week that cost me $7, thanks to my insurance here. Wheeeee. It's much easier to go to the doctor when the total for the visit AND meds is like $20. Anyway, it's been a slow but steady improvement towards recovery. 

Saying goodbye to my students sucked, but I got a lot of love from them so that's nice. A lot of them are asking me why I am leaving and keep saying "please don't goooo," but some of them try to be understanding. The older kids especially are a little more selfless. Some of them wrote things like "I am sad you are leaving and I think you are too. But you are happy to see your family so I am happy you are happy." Like... stab my heart out with a spoon. It will hurt less than this whole week...

My student that lived in Spain made me this card

he drew himself

They're so scared I would forget them. I dont' think
that's possible. The kids will move on quickly,
but I think I'll be thinking of them for a lot longer
than they realize

Banana milk farewell... it says, "remember us please"

I will kids, I really, really will. 

I used this celeb as an example in class and
the kids took it to mean I'm obsessed with him

On Friday, while I was busy getting last minute things ready for the dreaded English Camp, my office mates surprised me with a farewell cake and present. I kept it together for about 2.5 seconds then burst into tears. 

They noticed I always wear cute socks so I told them
months ago I love Korean socks. They decided to send
me home with a month's worth at least

They tied each one

I can't express how much they all meant to me and my time here...
such a wonderful group of people... I'll do my best, teachers!
be well and be happy ~

I'm such a mess

Happy sad crying tears of appreciation 

This weekend, we also had a teacher's trip for the principal, who is also leaving the school cause her time is up at the school. So it was a farewell to her (and a little bit to me). It was fun to hang with the teachers one last time, and many of them said nice farewells to me. Which was sad so it sucked, but was also really sweet and nice to hear. 

I wasn't feeling well, but decided to tough it out for dinner at least. We headed there after English camp. We also passed by the sight of the 2018 Olympics. The kids and my co workers kept telling me it would be nice if I came back for the games...

We ate dinner at one of the fish markets where you pick out the fish and they butcher it fresh for you. Is butcher the word for fish? Clean and prepare it? Anyway, it was fresh. My  we-had-camp-so-we-were-late group just got there for the tail end of dinner, but the atmosphere was so nice and I was feeling better, so I stayed with my school, which I told my mom I wasnt going to do. oops.  

I got pokemon go to work for like 30 seconds while I was there!

our hotel was on the beach.

We went to an outdoor sculpture park and looked around, and  then headed to the town of Lee Hyoseok, a famous writer from Korea.

It was so hot and sunny I had to use an umbrella as

His most famous work is about when the buckwheat blooms.

So we went to a restaurant that uses buckwheat and makes buckwheat noodles.

They were really good but I was so full I couldn't eat much,
esp since my appetite isn't back to normal.

 The trip was a nice way for the teachers and me to see each other before I go. I'll see the important ones again, but I wanted to make one last effort to be with them all, since I gained so much from a wonderful school. My principal told me I was so wonderful that I'll do great wherever I go, but that she felt like the universe had smiled on me and the school when it paired us together, because we suited each other so well. It was a nice sentiment. 

I met up with Lauren and Ces when I got home. We had dinner and relaxed, then I went home and hung with Ces. We went to bed early cause I was exhausted, and we needed our energy for Cheer Up on sunday!

We've learned this dance before, but it was extra fun to learn it again!

The spacing is awkward cause half of our group was sitting out (we usually split up and do groups), so don't mind that. Just look at the adorableness and awesomeness. I just love this dance. 

I deff needed some cheering up this week, and this helped a lot. I'm hoping camp will be a breeze and I can get the long list of things I need to do done soon, as it's just a little over a month before I will make my triumphant return to America. I'm excited but nervous, but as it gets closer, I really am ready to go home. Can't wait to hug my parents and my cats. Haha it's the simple things. Just have to reorganize my whole life here first. Whee. Wish me luck.