Sunday, June 20, 2010

hello dear friends!

happy american fathers day to you. i am missing my dear dad something terrible today. he's been my best friend for 23+ years now & we're still going strong. wish we could be together today to eat mexican food and nap in the man-cave basement with some sports blaring on the flat-screen. :( here's to you, dad!however, we will meet again soon enough! did i mention that mom & dad are coming to visit me in september? they're making the long trek over for a week of korean culture & more than their fill of time with me. hahaha. korea's a small country, but there is a ton to see. does anyone (reading this blog from korea) have suggestions of the best places to visit in a time crunch??

there is little to report from cheonan this week. unfortunately, i have been feeling extremely under the weather these days. i think it is a combination of a lot of things that has culminated into this pure, debilitating exhaustion that has rendered me pretty useless. i'll be making a visit to the hospital tomorrow to try to figure out what's going on. nobody should panic, as i'm sure it's nothing serious! just keep me in your prayers. my teachers sent me home from school early several days this week to just rest because they said i looked pretty terrible. hahaha. koreans are pretty blunt, so you can't take it personally! i appreciate their care and concern.

i have mentioned a bit about the world cup madness here in korea. it continues! haha. on thursday, some of us went to the sports complex/stadium here in our city to watch korea take on argentina. unfortunately, the game didn't turn out quite as we would have hoped, but it was still a great experience. there were several thousand fans there cheering like crazy as if we were at the actual game in south africa. alot of fun. the next korea match will take place this wednesday - at 3:30am local time! i have a feeling i might not make that game. :/

frankly speaking, the weather here is pretty lousy these days. i complained a lot about the humidity when i moved from ohio to tennessee. then i came to korea. hahaha. dumb, right?? i have never experienced humidity like this. it's miserable! it's the kind that makes you wonder why you even shower in the morning, because you'll be drenched as soon as you walk out the front door. also, A/C isn't as widely used here as it is in the states...i have heard it's too expensive. so while teaching saturday school yesterday, both me and my students were sweating our butts off. between the uncomfortable weather & world cup, my students might as well not even come to school! hahaha. their concentration is way off these days. and we still have another month until summer vacation!

in between long naps, i have been working hard on studying korean. i have really been amazed at the improvement that i've seen in the few short weeks since i got really serious about learning the language. it's still incredibly difficult and impossibly different from english, but i am slowly making progress. on friday, through a confusing series of events, john and i found ourselves in a part of town that we were totally unfamiliar with. the only way we could get to where we were going was by jumping into a cab. i was able to successfully ask the cabby if he knew of the restaurant we were trying to get to. when he said no, we were able to figure out a store that was near the restaurant for him to drop us off at. i was satisfied when i realized i would not have been able to accomplish such a seemingly trivial task just a few weeks ago. i am texting only in korean now, and learning a lot that way! my friends joke around and ask - "are you like a real korean now?!"

after school on friday, a bunch of the 6th grade teachers were sitting around eating watermelon and chatting. it was a pleasant way to pass some time until, to my horror, the science teacher brought this big cup of some white milky substance and sat it in front of me. she looked at me expectantly like - "i made it for you! please drink it!" i asked my teacher what it was and she said "homemade soy milk!" and by homemade she meant it was straight from the science lab. gag me! hahaha. but i couldn't say no and everyone was watching, so i picked it up and took a huge gulp. it was AWFUL. hahaha. like drinking straight sawdust. it was so chalky that you had to chew it and it resembled something like drinking pancake batter. only it was even worse than that because pancake batter at least tastes delicious. i really thought i was going to die. i somehow managed to choke down the entire cup and then had to fight the urge to vomit for the next couple of hours. by far my worst food experience here in korea!

2 quick stories from the classroom to close out this entry. on friday i was giving a speaking test to my 5th graders, which has proven to be a difficult task because their pronunciation leaves much to be desired. in an effort to help one of her friends pass, a student came behind me during the test and started massaging my shoulders! hahaha. i started laughing so hard. sadly, the massage didn't help her friend who clearly hadn't studied. in another 5th grade class, i had a student who actually did really well on the exam. i went to mark her passing grade on the grading sheet, and asked her for her student number. she told me in korean, but all of my kids know that i will only mark it if they tell me in english. i don't understand why, but the girl refused to tell me "eighteen" in english. all of her friends were like "just say it! just say it!" i am the most stubborn of all the stubborn people in the world, so i was not about to give in. i told her that if she wouldn't tell me, she wouldn't pass. then she started crying these huge crocodile tears. my heart of stone didn't budge. hahaha. she stood there crying for about 2 minutes before she realized that it wasn't helping, and she finally told me her number was 18. say what you will - i may be heartless, but i make my students use their english!

i'm off to take my sunday afternoon nap. :) if you are fortunate enough to be together today, give your dad a big squeeze and tell him how much you love him!


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