Korea Livin'

this is a new chapter in my life...let's see where it takes me...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

First, I have to apologize to the family and friends that check my blog religiously and are disappointed to see that I have not posted an update in a month. My only excuse is that at the end of the day...all I want to do is snuggle up on my couch and watch an episode of Friends, Ally McBeal, or NCIS. I spend quite a few hours in front of a computer making worksheets and planning lessons, realizing how much time it takes planning a fun, worthwhile, and interesting lesson for my very tired kids. One of my New Year's resolutions is to attempt a blog update at least every two weeks...instead of the usual four.

Now onto the newest news...

December has flown by. I can't believe it's already 2012. In Korea, this is the end of the school year. They get a month or two break from their Korean public school, but that means there are "intensives" for private (English) school. We started intensives on Monday the 2nd...which means instead of teaching 6 classes a day, there is the potential to be teaching 9 classes a day. Our campus was really lucky. The 5 of us English teachers have a pretty good schedule. Our students have gone into a higher grade and possibly a different level...I am a little sad because I am not teaching the students I have become close with ...we do not get the option to follow our students. On a positive note, knowing that my kids are not only going up a grade, but also leveling up makes me feel I am doing my job well. I have talked with them about how they feel leveling up and they say they are very nervous. It is nice to reassure them that they deserve it and need it in order to better themselves. A challenge is always needed for growth. Also, I have students that are sad because we will not be together...talk about making me emotional! For Christmas, I received letters, cards, and cookies from students. Their cards and letters were so sweet. Some stated that I have taught them better English and others tell me that they were happy to have a 'pretty' teacher (Thank you kids for the ego-boost!) LOL. There are a few that I have built a special bond with...and they have promised to come visit me in the native teacher room. It will be fun to change things up and get to know a new group of kids though. It's all part of the journey.

On Christmas Eve, I invited friends to my house...I had a total of 11 guests including Joe & Steph, Joe & Trish, Em, Ames, Nara, Cathy, Jin Joo, Julia, and Jessie. It was quite a lot when you think of the size of my one bedroom apartment, however it worked well. The menu was homemade meatballs (which Joe & Steph highly approved), spaghetti, and chicken fettucine alfredo. My guests were only in charge of bringing their own drinks. I was pleasantly surprised when Ames brought a really cute Christmas cake, a cheesecake from Julia & Jessie, pound cake from...I think Nara & Cathy, and a pecan/walnut pie from Jin Joo. No one went home hungry! Joe (my co-worker) brought over his music and speakers so we could have some nice music playing in the background. OH! And I cannot forget that Ames brought her Yorkshire Terrier, Choco, and Em brought Layla, a Pomeranian. It was a full house, and I loved every minute of it. It was organized chaos just like home, making it feel exactly like Christmas in Oregon. After everyone left, Ames and I went out with some friends. It made for a late night but reminded me of going out with friends after family festivities. Christmas Day, I was going to go with Em to her friend's house. She knows her from England. But instead, I stayed home. I was tired and needed a break, however I cannot lie. Staying home, watching Christmas movies, and making deviled eggs and dinner alone made me a little homesick. I kept thinking of the years I watched Dad make deviled eggs with Juju (Onna, my sister), playing games with Mom, Juju, Aunt Sandy, and Bear (my cousin, Carrie) while the men watched TV, watching everyone open their presents, and torturing Bella (my cat), and Sue (my stepmom) always trying to get me to watch It's a Wonderful Life (Sue, I almost gave in this year). Although, in a weird way, it was also kind of nice to have quiet time to myself. It was a mix of emotions, let me tell ya! The end of Christmas Day, Em came by to see me. Let a couple tears shed...sad and happy. The typical girl thing, you know?! We shared some sparkling wine and talked for a bit while cuddling with Layla. It ended nice.

New Year's was SO much fun! There was a big group of us that went out together. First, I met up with Ames and her date, Joe (Yes, another Joe) at the guesthouse (hostel) they stayed at for the weekend. They were there with a group of friends that I had not met yet. They were very nice and welcoming. My date/friend, Daniel came with me. Shortly after, Em and our new friend, Heather met up with us. After visiting and the girls freshening up, we headed to a place we have been to before. We went for Halloween. It has a mix of foreigners and Koreans which is always the best atmosphere. There was a lot of dancing and laughs and pictures involved. It almost felt as if you were famous. Everyone wanted to get pictures of everyone. The night was a lot of fun, made lots of memories, and am happy to report, NO HANGOVER! I am sad to report, I still got sick...

I had body aches on Friday the 30th, but did not think much of it besides that I maybe slept wrong the night before. Turns out, I was getting sick. Body aches, headache, cold sweats, coughing...very frustrating, especially because I was sick last month. I ended up going to the doctor and had to miss a day of work. Unfortunately the language barrier kept me from understanding what he was trying to tell me. But I did understand "prescription" and "1st floor." I went to the reception desk and paid 13,000won which is about $12. Then at the pharmacy downstairs, I paid another 13,000won for my prescription...talk about CHEAP!! While waiting for my medications, I was looking around and found a box in ALL English. A multi-vitamin is definitely what I need here so I bought it too. The pharmacist spoke really good English. She said that she strongly suggested the multi-vitamin and explained how and when to take my medicine. It has been two days of taking the medications and multi-vitamins. I am feeling a lot better and only have a bad cough. As long as I keep up on taking the pills at the right time, I don't feel too poorly. One of my classes is full of high energy fifth grade boys...they love mocking my cough...little brats! When they do it, it makes me laugh, which then makes me cough more...it's a vicious cycle. LOL

The next couple weeks, I plan to lay low. I want my body to be fully recovered for when mom comes to visit. The schedule at work has changed. Actually, I like my schedule a lot more these days. We start in the morning and the latest class I will have is on Wednesdays and it ends at 6:40pm. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I end by 2:40pm which means I still have my afternoon and evening. Fridays I am done at 5pm. Sundays and Mondays are of course, my days off. Adjusting to morning schedule hasn't been too bad. It also makes lesson planning more fun because I have been cuddling up on my couch, drinking tea, and listening/watching Ally McBeal. A cozy environment instead of at a desk at work. Em came over last night to lesson plan with me. And on Sunday we are going to spend the day together watching Ally McBeal, lesson planning, eating, drinking tea, and just being lazy.

I think I FINALLY have you caught up on my life in Korea.

Mom JUST text me to remind me she will be here in 43 days...I am getting excited as her itinerary is filling up fast and she doesn't even know it (well, now she will)! I have a few things up my sleeve planned.

Time to get to class.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and fun New Year's.


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