Tuesday, May 11, 2010

sorry it has been a little while. i guess time flies when you're having fun! speaking of...i am going on 4 MONTHS of living in korea. my mind cannot fathom it. i'm almost 1/3 of the way through my contract...how did that happen?!

since the last post, i was able to enjoy a long 5-day weekend. it was a beautiful, beautiful thing. i spent the time with new and old friends, got some shopping done in seoul, slept a lot, watched some korean dramas, and enjoyed the weather. it made it infinitely harder to get out of bed monday morning, but it was so worth it.

i had a ridiculous experience last weekend. but not really all that ridiculous because these things happen to me all the time...just a day in the life! i was watching a movie with some friends in one of the dorms on campus, when i suddenly hit a wall and knew i needed to get to my bed asap before i passed out. i said my goodbyes and slipped out the door and down the elevator to the first floor. at KNU, there is a mandatory 10:30 curfew every night. (yes - 10.30pm. i never want to hear another american college student complain about midnight curfew!) i'm really not used to it, so i was surprised when i went to walk out the main doors and they were locked. i stood there trying to figure it out for awhile, when the guard came in from outside. i thought maybe i could just sneak out the door before it closed behind him, but he was having none of it and slammed the door shut in my face. i jumped back in surprise and he gave me this mean look like "hey you dumb student. stop trying to sneak out. go back up to your room." i sighed because i knew i was in for a long ordeal & i was way too tired to deal with it. i told the guard (in korean) that i was an english teacher from america and that i didn't live in that dorm, so i needed to get out. he looked at me like "do you think i'm an idiot?" and kept grunting at me and shaking his head. i kept trying to explain and he kept getting really irritated with me. finally i spoke to him in english, even though i knew he didn't understand a word of it. he did an about face when he heard that i spoke without an accent, and i knew that he realized i wasn't lying. he instantly became the nicest guard ever and escorted me to the door, waving goodbye to me the whole time. i was frustrated and relieved and tired and laughing all at the same time. hahaha. oh korea!

a friend of mine is a professor at KNU & she connected me with one of her students in the rehabilitation major at the university so i could learn a little more about the program. i got to meet up with hyun-soo yesterday for a little tour of the department. i was amazed in many ways. first of all, hyun-soo broke his finger yesterday morning playing basketball, but didn't want to cancel on me so he showed up with his left arm in a cast up to his elbow. i felt terrible! secondly, he gave me the entire schpeel in english...while on pain meds! i couldn't believe it. he kept apologizing for his "poor english," but i was amazed at his level. conversational english is one thing, but technical things related to rehabilitation facilities and equipment are another. i got a tour of the rehab engineering center where some of the prosthetic arms, legs, wheelchairs, etc. are actually made. the center has all kinds of expensive, high-tech assisted living technology for people of all types of disabilities and all ages. i couldn't believe all of the equipment that they had. i am really, really proud of KNU and the work they are doing in this area. of course, i didn't bring a camera. :/ but my professor friend got the same tour last year, so i stole a couple of her shots! thanks, jolie! =]
before i left the states, i was doing a serious workout regiment very faithfully. but since coming to korea, that has gone by the wayside. i think it's natural because i was fighting jetlag, learning a new culture, and just trying to get by for the first little bit. but now that the weather has gotten nicer and i've put on a million extra pounds from eating all of this rice, i've gotten serious about working towards better health. i've been walking to and from work and spending more time outdoors exploring (which has gotten me lost more than once. more on that another time). i've tried to cut back on my rice/rice cake/noodle intake and focus on making myself exercise more. i can already tell a difference in the way i feel...pray that i can keep it up!

i should go work on lesson plans for my saturday class that is coming up. everyone stay healthy and enjoy the springtime weather! and please remember the devastation that the city of nashville recently experienced with all of the flooding. visit http://www.hon.org to find out how you can help!


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