I apologize for the late entry...it is already December! It snuck up on me really quick...time is going by really fast here in Suji.
My middle school students have been testing the last couple of weeks which means I have had the chance to take the back seat and coast for a little bit. I have only had 9 classes a week, my elementary levels. For another week, work will be consumed with pre-planning future lessons and anticipating the arrival of new books for our middle school students. This week we have been preparing for our parent/teacher conference. My goal is to get a video of the performance that the other native teachers (my co-workers) and myself put together for the parents. If you have seen the cheesy, yet entertaining movie called, "Bring It On," there is a cheer they do towards the first part of the movie that we used, but our own rendition. We had our first performance this morning, which we had to do twice, one for middle school parents and the second for the elementary school parents. I must say, our performance was a "hit!" The second time we did it, we received a loud applause before we were done...as we continued, they seemed impressed. Looking at the audience, I saw 100+ smiles. It felt good to stand up there, knowing it was a cheesy performance, yet to them, it was amazing. Next Wednesday, we will be doing it again, twice.
Also this week, my co-workers and I have been planning when we are going to have our Christmas dinner, complimentary of DYB. We are thinking of taking a train to a different city for a nice, upscale, formal dinner. We want to have it before Daniel, my team leader, leaves for Australia. He will be gone for Christmas so we want to make sure we get to celebrate with him. On Christmas morning, I have a couple plans...Joe, Trish, Em, and I are going to get together for "family" brunch. It will be potluck style as we always do. Then for the evening, I will be meeting up with my good friends from home, Joe and Steph for Christmas dinner. We are thinking of going to Namsam Tower for dinner...will have to check with them to confirm. If not, we may just enjoy each other's company at their home or mine; we shall see.
As of December 30th, I will be M.I.A for about 6-7 weeks. On this day, my school starts Winter Intensives. This means 12 hour days, possibly 6 days a week + lesson planning (about 2-6 extra hours). I may be teaching up to 9 classes a day (normal schedule is 6 a day). It will be exhausting but worth it. I believe a small raise is involved during this time...YAY! If you did your math right, you will notice it ends the end of February, just in time for Mom's visit. It will be fun to get out and go on fun adventures with her...it will be much needed after Intensives.
Oh, my reasoning for this post......to tell you about my Thanksgiving!!
I had three different Thanksgiving celebrations. On Thursday, because we had to work, we (co-workers and me) decided to go out to dinner. Our favorite placeis an all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ restaurant. They know us there...which means we usually visit them once a week. While eating, we went in a circle to share what we are thankful for. It was a nice way to end a long day. My next celebration was Saturday night with a couple friends, Em and Amy. A bar in Suwon called Big Chill is owned by a westerner and his Korean wife. They made a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with Turkey, rolls, salad, stuffing, pies, etc. It was decorated with nice linens, candles, and the lights were dimmed. There were around 75 people there I think. I am not good at guessing but we'll go with it. Everyone there, for the most part, are teachers from the area. It was a good evening with the girls. My last Thanksgiving celebration was on Sunday with my "family." Potluck style as usual which consisted of me providing the desserts (Cheesecake and Pumpkin Pie) and drinks (wine, cider, and juice), Em brought mashed potatoes, Daniel prepared fruit and cheese platters, and because Joe and Trish have the amazing crockpot, they made our delicious roast! OH...and Jin Joo joined us as well. She is a middle school co-teacher and also lives in our building. She brought, what we would call, a Korean "pancake." It is made of spring onions (green onions), octopus, and shrimp that is dipped in a flour/water/sometimes egg mixture, then cooked on the stove in a pan. Joe, Trish, and Jin Joo played guitar while we visited. Afterwards, we went different ways. Em and I wanted to go for a walk to feel somewhat better about how much we ate...of which we found a HUGE outlet area close to home! Joe, Trish, and Daniel went to a JimJilBang, which is a Korean sauna. At a JimJilBang, it is open 24 hours. People can go there to sleep. Interesting...huh? The men's and women's showers are separate but then the sauna room is for both. You wear baggy shirts and shorts apparently. I will have to try it at some point. Anyways...later in the evening we met up at Joe & Trish's for dessert, which I must say, the cheesecake was DELICIOUS (not as good as yours Gma Hornick)! It was a perfect way to end our Thanksgiving week. I will post pictures soon.
I think this about does it for an update, however, really quickly, I need to add that I am missing my family and friends at home. Thanksgiving week was my first moment of feeling a little homesick. Decorating my "Christmas tree" aka houseplant without having mom in the background decorating the house made me miss the little moments we don't think about too often. And not having dad's famous deviled eggs left a small sad face on my heart. Also, I thought about how I was missing the football games on t.v and bouncing from each house to see family. As crazy as the holiday season can be back home, I miss it. I will even admit, I miss Black Friday...although I ALWAYS had to work on this day, it was always a fun and memorable day.
Okay, NOW I am done with the update!
I love you and miss you,