Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dear National Healthcare

Dear National Healthcare,

I think you are absolutely awesome.  Let me tell you why.  In my past 11 months in Korea, I have visited the doctor more times than I probably have in my 30 years in America combined.  Why?  Because I seldom have had to wait more than 5 minutes to see a doctor.  Because no appointment necessary for most things. Because I can actually afford to take care of myself here.  Am I going for silly cold and flu type of things?  Goodness no.  I’m going for things that need(ed) to be done.  Primarily dermatology and dental concerns that would have cost me nearly ten thousand dollars at home, even with insurance.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I’m A Good Little Patient

Every doctor I’ve had as an adult has told me that.  Well, except one, but he was not a nice doctor.

Two wisdom teeth were removed on Friday and I’ve been eating pudding galore for the past 36 hours.  It frustrates me that they would only do two at a time, but I’ll work with it.  I don’t know when I will be able to get time off work again for the other two but at this point in time, it’s at the bottom on my list. The two that most needed to be out were removed so, I consider that success.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cracked… And Service-Uh

This is one of my new favorite things.  Cracked nail polish.

I never paint my fingernails because it’s simply requires too much upkeep.  I always have my toenails painted though because I think it’s pretty and no one can tell when it starts to chip so I can be lazy with it.  And I think toenails look gross.

I know they have this in America but its hugely popular here.  I see it on tv all the time and I finally went out and bought it this weekend.  Cracked Nail Polish.  It’s awesome. You apply it just like regular nail polish, only on top of a bright color, and it dries up like cracked glass.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chuseok Gift Suggestions

I took as many pictures in the grocery store as I could, until I was kindly asked to not take anymore pictures.  I hate to be that rude customer.  With Chuseok gift shopping in full swing stores everywhere were set up with gift sets galore.  Here’s just a few…


This is the ginormous sign on HomePlus. Our Wal-Mart/ Target/Everything-You-Could-Ever-Want-Under-One-Roof store


We actually did our shopping at Lotte, which is a large posh department store. Floridians – think Millenia.  These pictures were taken in the grocery store located on the basement level.

Happy Chuseok!

Hello and Happy Chuseok!

Chuseok (Chew-Sock) is the Korean Thanksgiving and is the 2nd most important holiday in Korea, behind the Lunar New Year. I spent a lot of time this past week talking with my students about it trying to gain a better understanding of this holiday.  It’s the day where they celebrate the year’s harvest, as well as pay respects to their ancestors. It seems to be the one day a year when the children can be successfully pried away from their computer games.  They often travel to their grandparents house and while the ladies spend all day in the kitchen, the gentlemen play card games and similar activities.  The children sing songs, play traditional games, and they eat a ton food just like we do.  Children love Chuseok.  Oh, and they also receive gifts of “pocket money” from their elders.

My favorite part of Chuseok? I get a long weekend.  And I think that’s just wonderful. 

This blog will not be about the history and traditions of Chuseok.  If you are interested in that information you can read about it here.  My blog is more about the gifts given for Chuseok.  (hehehe)

My director asked me to stop by school on Saturday evening to receive my gift.  My friend Kate was in town from Gwangju so she came with me to pick it up and she got to see my school briefly. I already had a pretty good idea of the types of gifts given but I must say… I am in love with my gift.  Are you ready for this???

Thursday, September 8, 2011

If The Sun Never Set The World Would Be a Desert


One of my students told me this in my advanced free speak class this week in response to the question “What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?”  It’s some kind of proverb, not sure if it’s Korean or of another descent. And I think she read it in a newspaper, rather than it being the wisdom of a parent or a wiser been there/done that older sibling.

3 Things I’ve Learned in 3 Days

Student: Teacher, are you drinking Sprite or water?
Me: Sprite.
Student: Good. You are much happier when you drink Sprite.


Me:  Where do phobias come from?
Student:  Africa.


Apparently my (Korean) plants are dying because I feed them water and not beer.  My good friend, Chang Lee, told me I am doing it wrong.  I’ll have to go out and buy a beer tonight to try and revive my tree.  His plants are flourishing.  One of mine is. It’s bright and shiny and has beautiful red flowers.  But the tree… it’s brown with no leaves. It’s time for emergency tree CPR.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Students & Their Pets

During our middle school prep period I am given an exorbitant amount of “Free Speak” classes with my elementary students. With these classes, I am expected to come up with hours of games and entertainment for these children, and ensure that they are speaking English while we are “having fun.”  I’m not that kind of teacher. However, every third month I have to be that kind of teacher so we make it work.

One of my most used exercises is that I give them a topic, they have to draw me a picture about said topic, and then they have to tell the class a story about their picture.  Depending on class size this can take only ten minutes, or you can stretch it up to the better part of an hour if you need to.  Here are my two favorite pictures.