Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seven for Saturday

This week was a good one.

I'm doing something a little bit different with this post. What do you think? I'm calling it Seven for Saturday. I'll tell you 7 things about my week....on a Saturday. Just in case you didn't get that. LOL!


ONE


On Wednesday, I had not one but two pleasant surprises. 


First surprise, my co-teacher and I sat down and had a wonderful conversation about our teaching together. We collaborated and came up with some ideas and solutions for our students (they are not on grade level, yet we must use the grade level textbook). It was so good. I will admit that my heart started pounding a bit with excitement. This is HUGE people!


Second surprise, while walking home from school, a random Korean woman approached me and asked me if I spoke Korean to which I responded very little. She then tells me that my Korean is very good (I don't speak a lot...trust me), asks some more questions (where is my family and am I religious). Afterwards, she gives me this big hug (hugs, especially from people you've just met are simply not done). Korea, you surprise me sometimes. I sure do like surprises. 



TWO


I saw this picture on my friend's Facebook wall and realized that actually I do know how this feels.




How exciting is that? 


Up until several months ago, this was totally me! I would sleep 9 hours and then STILL wake up exhausted. And I would wake up often in the middle of the night with restless legs. If you don't have restless legs, you're lucky. They are a pain in the butt.


However, it's not me anymore! Now, I go to sleep easily, stay asleep, AND wake up refreshed...often after only 6-7 hours of sleep.


I never knew how great it could be.


I started taking Plexus in November, and it has totally changed my sleep. Woo-hoo!! I LOVE it!



THREE


I finished The Office last week and had asked for suggestions for the next TV show to watch.


I normally LOVE crime, murder, and mystery shows, but I was in the comedy mood.


My cousin's husband suggested Parks and Recreation.





So I started watching it.

I LOVE it! Each season gets better. I am now on Season 5. I feel like Ann and Leslie are my friends.


Does that make me weird? Wait...if the answer is yes, don't tell me.


Have you seen it? Do you watch it? If not, you absolutely must start. I absolutely LOVE it! It literally makes me laugh out loud, and not many shows do that.



FOUR


I am now 2/3 done with my year. That's just crazy! Can you believe it? I sure can't. I want to seize every day that I can while I'm here. Now that spring is here, I am loving it. Absolutely loving it.



FIVE


I'm not sure if you have had the chance to check out my teacher blog, but I have been working hard on it. I have started a Pinterest page...JUST for all my teaching and education boards. They were taking over my personal Pinterest page, and I sure do like having separate, detailed boards. Please check it out. And if you're a teacher, be sure and follow me!


http://www.pinterest.com/southernteachin/boards/


I also have just started instagram with my "teacher personality". I just got started, so I don't have many pictures yet. But I will. Don't you worry. I'd love you to follow me!


http://instagram.com/southernfriedteachin



SIX


On Tuesday night, I was walking home from the subway at 11:00 pm. I was joined by a big group of middle and high school students walking home from their hagwons. 


Many students go to their hagwon (private schools) after a long day at public school. No football. No band. No drill team. Nothing like that. It's all about studying for the big exam. 


I cannot imagine growing up like that. I simply can't imagine it. Would you have wanted to study from 8:30 am until 11:00 pm or even midnight every night?




Since my students are blind or visually impaired and most have learning disabilities, they do not go to hagwons, so I don't know the ins and outs of them.


Also, unfortunately only the rich can send their students to hagwons. They are expensive and run like a business. If you're poor, you're just out of luck. That's why many schools have now started to have after school programs, but they still just cannot compare to hagwons. Some of the classes at hagwons are English, music, art, etc. If you learn to play an instrument, you'd probably learn it at a hagwon.


My friend, Ashlee, says it the best...

As soon as kids hit middle school, any form of a LIFE goes out the window. I believe this is a reason the standards for males and females when searching for a significant other is so ludicrously high - their sense of reality when it comes to the real world and real world people is severely warped. There's a reason most Koreans go to Jeju Island on a honeymoon (many of them know NOTHING of sexuality before seeing the sex museums on the island). It's somewhat bizarre, but moreover sad.
Students RARELY made their own choices in response to their futures not that long ago, but that DOES seem to be slowly changing.
What's even more bizarre, though, is that most individuals here choose to dress, act, and live in the exact same way as their fellows (it's a VERY communal society), so the vicious cycle of high suicide and low college entry rates continues to fester.
This country truly is marvelous, but there are some things that just seem incredibly and unnecessarily unfair for these kids.


SEVEN


The last thing I want to mention is the ferry accident here in Korea. I'm sure you have heard all about it and watched the news. The country is in mourning. School trips, school events, city events, etc have been postponed. This country is a very collective society...they are all about community. By canceling or postponing events, it shows that you support the community.




My friend posted this on Facebook, and it had me in tears.


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/boy-and-girl-on-korean-ferry-drowned-with-life-jackets-tied-together/article18182140/


Please read this article. You will definitely have some questions. Possibly some questions that don't even make sense to you. Why in the world would those kids stay in their cabins if the ship was going down? That doesn't make any sense at all. You would want to get OFF the ship, right?


You have to understand how it's done in Korea. Remember when I said that it's all about community, and they do things together?


If someone tells you to do something, you do it. You don't question it. It's hard to explain, and I'm not doing a good job of explaining it. There is no going against the flow here. It's all about the status quo. So maybe that helps you understand why most of the children stayed in their cabins. The people in charge (granted they had NO safety training) told them to stay in their cabins. So they did.


Please join me in praying for these families. 


I'm curious to know who all is reading my blog. I would LOVE to get some comments! I LOVE comments! 


I have even met some friends here who found my blog on the internet and then sought me out on Facebook. How cool is that? 


One girl from Rowlett, Texas found me on Google. She and her husband (and 2-year old son) were going to move to Daejeon, Korea because her husband was being transferred. She friended me on Facebook, and we met up for dinner on Tuesday night. She had seen my pictures of the awesome House Grill burgers and wanted to go there. I think it's pretty darn awesome that people other than friends and family are reading my little blog.


So....hellloooooooooooo! Stop by and say hi! Or howdy! Or annyeong haseyo! Or hola! I'm not picky!

5 comments:

  1. Hello! This is my first time on your blog! I love it! I actually found your blog through Christina Teufel! I'm her student teacher for next year but I had observation hours with her this semester. I told her my plans to go to South Korea after I graduate and just see where God takes me after that! I would love to hear any advice you might have on going over there! I too have a blog but I haven't been able to keep up with it as much and it's fairly new. Simplymecaitlinmarie.blogspot.com

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    Caitlin

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    1. Caitlin, that is SOOOOO awesome! I just love Christina! I have loved this whole adventure! I used a recruiter and went through Greenheart Travel. Check out their website when you have a chance. http://greenhearttravel.org/programs/adult/teach
      They were wonderful and answered any and every question I had. Feel free to email me anytime! My email is texasgal95@gmail.com and I am also on Facebook. Can't wait to talk to you more!
      Angela

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  2. Hi Angela! Thanks so much for your consistent, beautiful blog posts. I've been visiting your blog for a while and it has helped me immensely gain a better understanding of Korean culture and the EPIK teaching experience. I'm working through Greenheart currently and have an interview set-up with EPIK this Wednesday. My boyfriend and I are hoping to be placed in the same city. We're leaving behind jobs in Chicago to pursue our passion for traveling and teaching...which I'm sure you understand is exciting and terrifying at the same time. Thanks so much for your posts and updates. They've really been insightful and inspiring. Will you be in Korea after this school year? Pending acceptance, we'd arrive in Korea this August. Thanks, again, for beautiful blog! It really is fantastic! -Jenni Shine

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  3. Jenni,
    Thank you SO much for your comment! You are so sweet! I'm so glad that my blog could help others out in their own journey. What a great feeling. That's awesome that you're going through Greenheart and have your interview this Wednesday. So exciting! I was SO nervous for my interview. It's great that you're coming with your boyfriend. It was hard leaving all of my friends and family and moving here all by myself. Are you looking for a metropolitan/city or rural area? I wish I could meet you here, but I will be heading home at the end of August. Feel free to ask any questions you have!
    Angela

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  4. Hi Angela,
    We would LOVE to be in Busan but are flexible and open to other locations. We've lived in Chicago for 5 years and enjoy city life but our priority is to be in the same area, rural or otherwise. Enjoy the rest of your time in Korea! I'll be sure to find you on Facebook so we can keep in touch there, as well! Keep the great posts coming! :) :)
    Jenni

    ReplyDelete