Thursday, August 25, 2011

Saturday School

Most American students would run kicking and screaming if you told them they had to attend Saturday school.  It’s quite the norm in Korea, though.  According to a quick (unofficial) survey of most of my students, most all of them attend school on Saturdays, for half days, and they are completely ok with it.  They are actually a little upset that Saturday is being taken away from them.

It’s a pretty well-known fact that the Korean president is not well liked.  One of the main reasons is that he is trying to streamline the Korean education system to make it more like the American education system. The primary reason for that is because in a recent study, Korean children were named the least happy (or second to least, I can’t remember) in the world. They spend too much time studying, and not enough time being kids. I put this statistic in the same category as the study that said that Orlando is the angriest city, and St Louis is the most dangerous. While it’s the president’s job to not dismiss such reports, I take them with a grain a salt.

The Batting Cages

This is my new favorite thing.  I know you don’t believe me. It’s okay.

While athletic ability is most definitely a recessive gene in the McCloskey gene pool, I find great joy in this.  It’s not about showing my skills with a baseball bat. It’s about aggression therapy.  And it’s awesome! 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Crazy Cat Cafe

Despite what the name suggests, this is not a cat café.  This a doll house. A ginormous doll house decorated with lace, paisley, and pink floral glittery wallpaper.  It’s a coffee/gelato shop located in Eunhang-dong, the older downtown area of Daejeon.  And it’s a bit overwhelming.

Joseph, Elizabeth, and I went in one night a few weeks ago during an evening of exploring.  Oh, and yay for finally having Florida friends in Korea!  I don’t think I’ve mentioned that on here yet.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Linkin Park & Wisdom Teeth

Dear Karma,

It’s my fault, I know this.  I taunted you a month ago and I’m sorry you didn’t find it as funny as I did.  I’ve learned over the last few years that you are a force well beyond my own understanding and are one of the only three undisputable facts of life - cemented firmly between death and the IRS. You keep the universe in check.  I respect that. Although you have definitely kicked my bum a few times - and it was always well deserved - I generally am a huge fan of your work. I work hard to be a good person so you have often been very gracious to me. This time, though, it’s personal. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I’m sure many of you wonder what I’m actually eating over here.  While I am surrounded by all the major fast food chains that I love, I try to stay away from them.  The newly open - directly across the street - Burger King seems be posing a bit of a problem, though.  Mostly I try to eat Korean food.  It’s cheap, and generally healthy.  Even if it’s as simple as kimbap.  Over the last week I have tried to take pictures of what I’m eating so you could see this part of Korea. I don’t think I’ve focused much on the food here other than the bbq.

Last week, I got a craving for some fruit.  That’s a very strange feeling for me.  I guess that shows how very little of it I actually eat here.  I stopped at Arista on my way to work. It’s a quick service restaurant/coffee shop that I get sandwiches from a few times a week, and I knew they had a fruit salad on the menu.  One of the fun things about Korea is that no matter how straightforward you think something may be, you never know what you are going to end up with.  Fruit salad seems pretty basic, right?  Well, the Korean version of it is far more literal.  A fruit salad is a salad with fruit.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Glass Houses

I've been inspired.  So much so that I initially wrote this while sitting at my desk with a pencil and paper as this is the 4th day in a row that I have forgotten to bring my computer charger to work.  I’ve been working a lot more the last few weeks which has slowed down the social life, and revved up the World According to Amy. Quiet time by myself always gives me time to work through my frustrations and this one has been frustrating me for months…  Settle in, this is a long one. 

As my little group of friends and I are all nearing (or passing) our one year mark in Korea, restlessness is settling in. The rose colored glasses are off and now visible are the eye rolls and looks of pure disdain and annoyance at cultural differences and daily frustrations.  It's happening to all of us, myself included.

We crave normalcy.  Not "normal" in the way that "America is normal, Korea is abnormal".  God knows that's not true.  Check out the local news for one day and you'll quickly remember just how screwed up American society really is.  I am more referring to our own personal definitions of normal.  We each had our own lives, friends, and routines before we came here and it all got turned upside down.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Gift For Teaching

Hi everyone!

Many of you know him (or know of him), and some of you don’t, but Matt is doing his annual fundraiser for A Gift For Teaching.  This is a really great organization in Central Florida that helps local schools. I’m a big believer in this organization and wanted to help him reach his goal this year.  (He’s already over 60% there!)   

Matt’s already written a few blogs that can tell you much more about this wonderful organization than I can so I will keep this short. I hope that you will take a few minutes to watch the video below and read his blogs here and here.

I Need A Vacation


I love Korea.  Really, I do.  I send home a ridiculous amount of money each month to pay bills, do and buy whatever I want to do during the month, and yet when the next paycheck comes there is still money in my bankbook. Where most people here have an alcohol budget, I have a food budget. a clothing budget.  a dermatologist/dentist/acupuncturist budget. a zip lining and concerts and celebration budget.  a whatever-I-want-to-do budget. And there is always money left at the end of the month. That’s awesome.  And really dumb at the same time.

I am purposely avoiding all the news about our country and it’s swift downward spiral towards bankruptcy.  It’s not going to help matters if I read it.  It’s only going to frustrate me and make me even less motivated to return to the States.  Nothing good can come of that.