Thursday, March 31, 2011

2 WEEKS

Last weekend was great. As I've said before, Teralyn is my soul sister. I laughed for 24 hours straight. Yes, I even laughed in my sleep.

A few pictures... (too busy talking/laughing to be whipping out the camera).... Daegu is a great city. I could see myself living there--plenty of mountains, not too big, and delicious food. Alas, it is also supposedly the "hottest" and "coldest" city in the country. I don't know if I could handle that. ;)

Hands down, the biggest dog I've seen in Korea. 
Darn thing wouldn't stop moving.

On our walk to Daegu Stadium. Appppple trees!

A mountain. A neighborhood. A stadium in the distance.

Stadium Grounds. Or...where they play soccer?

YES.

Warm enough to sit and sip coffee, even!

The One and The Only. 

I have to run, now--work time! This day marks  2 WEEKS LEFT. Ohhhh yeah.

Heading to Tong Young for a bit of a hike this weekend. I leave from Seoul at 11:30 tonight, so wish me luck on getting there in time! We're riding a bus down to Tong Young, will hike tomorrow on an island (Sa Ryang Do), then check out the cherry blossom festival in Jinhae on Sunday. Here's hoping I return with a lot of pictures!

Happy Living!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Meh, we all have our ups and downs, even Mother Nature

It SNOWED.

That's the big news. After temps warmed up, flowers were planted, and public restrooms were painted, (all in preparation for spring)...it SNOWED. Pshhhh. Don't tease my senses, Mother Nature. When I feel that heat of the sun on my skin, when I start rolling up my pants and wearing flats, when I buy strawberries from the street market, I expect SPRING. It's been a chilling winter. My skin is the whitest it has been since infancy, and my bones are cold. I need some heat, Miss Earth. Don't fail me now.

Arguments for spring:

A perfect Sunday morning stroll...made better with strawberries.

If pansies aren't a sign of spring, then I don't know what is.


Mandal Park restroom...just gleaming in the sunshine after its fresh coat of paint.


LAST NIGHT:
Made me feel like this:

Luckily, today brings sun, the melting of snow, and a cool breeze to energize the soul on my walk to work. It's Friday, which marks EXACTLY 3 weeks until my job here is done.

Fittingly, the first "bad" thing to happen in Korea occurred this week: I am now a crime victim. Yes, on Tuesday, at about 1:05pm, all of my (newly withdrawn) money was taken out of my wallet. At school. In my classroom. When I was just next door. After going to the mart at about 2:00 and having zero cash to pay, I was sick, thinking I had somehow misplaced the 100,000 won (almost $100) that I had just withdrawn. Then, I realized that NO, I could not have just tossed my money (plus the 6,000won already in there) on the ground. So, luckily, our school has CCTV in all of the classrooms. Lo and behold, after watching the video, I was able to confirm that a woman came into my classroom, noticed my bag on the desk, and took my money out of my wallet.

Well, lesson learned. I can only hope this is the worst thing that will happen to me in Korea.

In more uplifting news, I'm heading to Daegu this weekend to visit Teralyn. This will be our last meeting before we both head out of Korea. Hopefully, we will both be back in the next few months to enjoy plenty of laughter and wine again. :)

Happy Weekend! Here's hoping it's not snowing in your neck of the woods, unless you LIKE that sort of stuff, of course.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

weekly update

Last weekend, Hiroko and her friend, Nabe, visited from Japan. I met Hiroko at WSU and Justin and I visited her in Japan last summer. It was so wonderful to see her, especially since she flew over the day after the big earthquake.

Prior to meeting up with Hiroko and Nabe, Justin and I went on a tour of the "Blue House," or the Korean president's house. We didn't actually get to go inside, but walked around the grounds and listened to a pre-recorded tour on our headsets. It was pretty interesting...and FREE. We even received two free coffee mugs! Sweet!

After meeting up with Nabe and Hiroko, we wandered around for a bit in Myeongdong, then took the tram up to Namsan Tower. It was fun to see the tower at night... they light it up and it's very pretty. We found a restaurant, ate, and then went to a random bar for a drink. Quite fun.

Sunday, Justin and I raced up to Seoul again to meet with, not only Hiroko and Nabe, but some of their Korean friends from school. I got to wander around a new area (Hyehwa) that I most definitely want to return to. Then, we went to NANTA. For those that I haven't told yet, Nanta is amazing! It's a drum/musical/entertainment show that keeps your head bobbing the whole time. The setting is a restaurant kitchen and the cooks have to make a bunch of food by a certain time. They like to have a little fun cooking, so they use all kinds of kitchen utensils to make music. My cheeks hurt from smiling/laughing so much.

It was an exhausting but VERY fun weekend. I really enjoy Hiroko and Nabe--probably two of the nicest people you will ever meet--so it was wonderful to spend time with them.

Sadly, most of the pictures from the weekend were on Justin's camera, which was lost on our way home...--so I only have pics from Saturday at the Blue House and a few from Hiroko's phone.

The Blue House (sorry for the bad shot!)

hehehehe 

 Caught the changing of the guard at Gyeongbok Palace...
 
Hiroko's Pictures....(thank you!).....

Street food in Myeongdong


Namsan Tower

Woop! Nabe, Justin, Me 

Lunch on Sunday. "Ian" (Korean friend/English name) is on the right. 

Nantaaaaa

Hiroko and Spenser!

Three wonderful ladies: Nabe, "Sophie," and Hiroko  

I'm sad that all of the best pictures were lost...but at least I have the memories!

OFFICIAL COUNTDOWN: Exactly 4 weeks of teaching, 1 week of fun, and I will be in SeaTown!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

a shout to the woman who brought me into this world...

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!




You've given me a strong, feminist role model to look up to. You've shown me how to laugh at life's frustrations. You've cried with me, laughed with me, and taught me strength. You are a beautiful ARTIST, MOTHER, and PERSON. I feel honored to be your daughter.

I love you...even thousands of miles away. Thanks for being such a great mama.

Love, your pumpkin.

Things you may not know about my mother:
She's an amazing artist.
She grows the BEST cucumbers in her bountiful garden.
In her 20's, she hopped on a ferry, headed for somewhere in Alaska, and landed in Juneau. The story of her adventure is thrilling, hilarious, and will show you how strong she really is.
She makes a mean cup of coffee.
She always just "knows," as most moms do.
Her flower arrangements are fabulous.
She rearranges the living room every couple of months, and it always looks better, no matter how great it looked before.
She finished school while working full time with two kids...and became a teacher. She's even Nationally Board Certified.
She is not thanked enough for all that she does.
Now, she's a bad ass librarian in a small town, helping kids, adults, and seniors find new books to read.
She makes my life better, just by being her.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My World!

HI All. Please watch this!! These are the things I see every day here in Korea. This video helps to show why I want to stay another year. Enjoy!


Do You Know South Korea? from David Dutton on Vimeo.

Monday, March 7, 2011

quiet weekend of wandering

My most favorite student of all time, JiWon, just came back from a two month English camp in the Philippines. She isn't an April student anymore (used to be Junior Master and has since tested into a Chungdahm level) but still came downstairs to say hello, give me a hug, and these lovely souvenirs. She is awesome.....and I ate those mangoes in two days.


Last weekend brought a bit of poking around in Seoul... here are a couple of shots...

Baskets, anyone?
I love this truck!
Midday down a Sinchon alleyway
Subway Periscope?

Insadong

requisite crazy glasses picture


My favorite Korean street food: 
Hoddeok, a fried dough filled with brown-sugary, nutty goodness.
Finally-found a Loving Hut. Vegan cuisine...all for ME! 
I got to have a vegan "burger" and vegan dumplings. Yum, yum, YUM.
I'm somewhat ashamed to say this...but I made it to Hongdae for the first time last weekend. 
I don't know what took me so long. 
This park fair reminded me of Portland...with a few more people.


It's Tuesday, now, and I'm getting through the week. The sore throat and congestion have all but left me, leaving behind a sporadic cough and a chapped nose. I'm excited for this weekend--a tour of the Blue House (Korea's president's home) and a visit from Hiroko and Nabe from Japan! Should be exciting!

Oh, and in case you weren't keeping up with my countdown... 6 weeks left!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Term...2011!

As of Monday, Spring Term has begun. I have a full schedule (no more "writing class" at 715 MWF) so the days seem a bit longer. This week has been rough, as I have been battling a sore throat for a week and a half. Last weekend, I barely had a voice, and I woke up today completely congested. It seems that the bugs in Korea aren't quite finished with me yet.

SO far, my classes seem pretty good. I thought I would have a few trouble kids after Monday, but teaching them again on Wednesday wasn't as difficult. Maybe it was first day jitters and the kids were extra hyper?

I thought I'd post a few pictures of my kids from last term, whom I dearly miss and were definitely my best classes all year......

 On the last day of Junior Masters, 
I let them color/draw a flag for a "Global Village"


These are my smarties...
they all went upstairs to Chungdahm this term

Amy, the girl in the front sticking out her tongue, is the sweetest, 
most soft spoken child in the world. She was so embarrassed by this picture!!

 This was my lowest level class, Seedbed2. 
They were adooorable.


Wayne--hilarious kid

Waiting in the hallway to change classes

Super cuties

Another favorite class, minus the girl in pink. 
She told her mom that I didn't give her review tests back 
(just to get out of showing her poor grades)

One day, Chris, the boy in black/red said, "Yo, Teacher"
and I couldn't help but crack up.  

Love 'em

I did not love this class....but I guess they are good kids. 
I think Brad (with the awful face) has an attention problem.

Ending with my faves... T/TH Sprout 3. Smarties, for sure, and so, so tiny! 
I don't think any of their feet touched the floor when sitting.

Thinking Project... little hands

Best writer, Johnny

Ella. Smallest of them all. She asked for my email and
phone number to make sure we can still talk when I leave April.

Ella's best friend, Juliet. The only one who would smile for a picture. 

So, now, I'm counting down the weeks. At then end of this one, I'll have 6 more of teaching! Wahoo! Justin and I plan to go to Jeju Island for a week, and then I'm heading back to the states. Get excited.