Monday, July 30, 2007

Silk Worms and Long Shutter Speeds

[1]The Light in the Alley
[2]DVD Bootlegs
[3]Silk Worm - smells bad, tastes like lima beans
[4]Silk Worm - up close and personal
[5]Dave and I had some traditional Korean food "Beokeo Keeng" (Burger King)
[6]The Subway Turnstiles
[7]Entering the Subway
[8]Riding the Subway
[9]The Standing Night Couple (6 seconds at 1/22, ISO 100)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Day at the Park and More...

Now that Dave is here, the fun can really start. Priority one... take lots of pictures...

Pictures in no particular order... Zoo, The Dolphin Show, Bowling, Sinchon, Lotte World

Friday, July 27, 2007

Enter "The Grappler"
(cue Eye of the Tiger music)

I recently learned from the students that Korea has comic book rental stores. You can rent a comic for about 50 cents. You get to keep it for a day. That's awesome. I just wanted to share another cool Korean idea.

My student Candy wanted to tell me something, but couldn't figure out how. So she wrote down seven Korean words and had me read them. Stan translated for her... "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday." Candy pointed at the word for "Saturday" and with a smile said "Seoul Land" (Seoul Land is an amusement park). I said, "Are you going to Seoul Land on Saturday?" She nodded her head. I replied, "Ah-ssah!" (The closest translation I can think of is "Awesome!" or "Sweet!" or "Yes!"). Somehow, her smile got bigger.

Also, Candy decided I needed to have a turn reading, so she pointed at me and said, "Teacher, read." How can you refuse a request from a cute little girl... I obediently read about Henry and his big dog Mudge.

I have a student whose chosen English name is "Grappler". You know, like a wrestler or fighter. I had forgotten his name (I know, seems impossible with a name like that)... so to remind me, he started attacking and tickling the kid next to him. The other kid was really confused. I understood "Grappler" immediately and quickly shouted his name to prove it.

Interesting cultural note:
In Korea, there is a seperate word for "Hello" when speaking on the telephone. At first, I thought this was strange. But then I remembered the many times people have said "Hello" and I said "Hello" back, only to realize they weren't talking to me, but to their phone. Here, I always know if they are saying hello to a person or to their phone. Another sweet Korean invention.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Well, it's that time again... Intensives. This means 5 weeks of working 8:30am to 8:30pm. I've got all new classes. It's fun and tiring.

A few stories...

I have a pair of identical twins in one class. It's very difficult to tell them apart. However, I think I've got it figured out. Jessica has two freckles high up on her cheek and is an aggressive natural leader... while Anna has one freckle low down on her cheek and is a bit more reserved. They are both great students.

I teach a fun reading class with three 8 year old students... Stan, Jeanie, and Candy. Jeanie and Candy are always giving me little gifts of food... a few sticky lifesavers or a half eaten cookie. Stan likes to try and hide from me under his desk, and he thinks it's fun to sneak up behind me.

In one class today, I entered the room, shut the door, and accidentally ripped the handle off. It was amazing. The kids thought it was awesome.

The students informed me that my hair makes an "M" shape. They soon learned some new vocabulary..."widow's peak".

My student Jane is obsessed with knowing whether I have armpit hair or not. The rest of the class thinks she's hilarious. Especially when she tucks her ponytail into her armpit and pretends it's armpit hair. Scott started laughing... I told him he would have armpit hair one day... he looked at me in horror and said "No, I will cut it off!" He then proceeded to make scissor like motions under his arm. This sent the rest of the class into hysterics.

More stories to come I'm sure.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Beach Story

How to meet a girl in Korea:
[1]Find a girl with the same shirt as you.
[2]Splash her with ocean water.
[3]Splash her some more (try and get it in her eyes).
[4]Make a funny comment and give her a silly grin.
[5]Walk away holding hands.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mud... it's good for your skin.

So I went to a mud festival on the coast. First, our tour bus took us to the actual location where they obtain the therapeutic mud. A family watched all of the foreigners make fools of themselves. Quite a funny scene actually.

Next, we were taken to Boryeong where the actual festival takes place. There were thousands of people. Mud stations were set up on the beach where you could paint yourself with the special mud. Large paintbrushes and mirrors were provided.

I swam in the ocean a lot. It was awesome. So cool and relaxing. I loved watching all the different people.

At one point, I was swimming near two teenage girls. One fell off her tube and then called to me "Foreigner... help!" She didn't need any help... it was just a ploy to get my attention. Later, she and her friend floated closer to me and asked "Are you boring!" I replied, "Do you mean 'bored'?" Then I said, "No, I am not bored, are you bored?" She got flustered and giggled "Sorry". To which I replied, "Ken-chun-ai-oh" (It's alright).

I was staring out into the ocean, when a Korean couple asked me to take their picture. I gladly agreed. After taking the picture, they invited me to join them on their beach mat. The woman insisted I eat some watermelon and kiwi. And she literally fed me... she spooned the kiwi into my mouth like I was a child. It was so funny, and not unusual at all actually. Then middle aged woman joined us. None of them spoke much English and of course my Korean is still limited, but I managed to learn a few things. I learned the middle aged woman was a photo journalist. I learned the man liked soccer and his home town was Suwon. I learned the couple were recently married... going on 3 months (they gave me shy smiles when I said "Congratulations").

One of the first questions you are asked in Korea, is your age... so that a person knows what language forms to use with you. Korean is almost like two languages, one that is casual and used with friends, and one that is very formal and used to show respect. This sometimes makes learning difficult for me, because I have to learn how to say everything two ways.

I learned the wife was 25 and her husband was 24 (the age differece being somewhat unusual in Korea). They were awesome, and I appreciated their hospitality. The photojournalist took my email and I hope she will send a picture of me and the couple. Meeting these people was actually the highlight of my time at the mud festival.

There were many interesting happenings... too many to share.