I hope everyone had a pleasant Easter. As for myself, my Easter this year was quite a bit of fun. First off, I received cards, chocolates, and an Easter basket from family & friends – big thanks all around! Jackpot! Secondly, I had a fun Easter outing that was different from my usual weekend routine. I hate it when you end-up doing the same-old thing every time.
Anyway, I started off my Sunday morning by going to church service in Sinchon. There was more people there than there usually is, because of Easter. Still, it was nice seeing a packed house. Afterwards, lunch was served & I got to chow down on some delicious, free food. Hooray!
Then I went to an area of Seoul I’ve never been before (Gangnam vicinity). Once there, I visited a local park, known as “Seoul Forest.” I’m not entirely sure why they call it a “forest”….maybe because it has some trees? :P Regardless, it was a really nice park. Beautiful flowers, statuary, and other facilities geared towards family fun activites (like an “Insect center” and an area where you can view a herd of deer—there are no wild deer in Korea). I didn’t get to see all of it, but I really enjoyed seeing all the flowers blooming.
Next I went off to see my first Korean baseball game. Although I am not a huge baseball fan, I really enjoyed myself. In particular, I loved that the stadium was full of excited baseball fans. I think one of the saddest aspects of a U.S. baseball game is that the stadium can be really empty (b/c baseball is losing popularity). At the Korean game there even was cheerleaders who did mini dance routines! Additionally, Korean fans were very supportive of their teams. Even when their players made mistakes and striked out, they applauded loudly and voiced their support. And almost everybody had clappers! In one of the pictures it looks like a sea of yellow clappers. Anyway, it was really fun & I hope I have the chance to go watch another game in the future!
As many of you know, I have recently started studying Korean again. For the past two years it has been an off and on process for me. But for now, I’m back in for round 2. It is my first time studying at a university, and I like it more. It all seems more legitimate. The books, tests, and the things available to you as a student. As a real student I have access to the school library and student counseling. Of course, I looked into both. The only downside…the price. Unsurprisingly, as a college student you pay college prices.
As I think it is with everyone, the biggest news of this past week has been the disastrous earthquake that hit Japan (followed by the tsunami). Currently (3/15/2011) Japan is not out of danger with the threat of a nuclear meltdown. It is all very scary and shocking. My heart goes out to the people affected by this disaster.
We’ve all had those day. Woke-up, looked into the mirror, and thought “Oh my….what is that on my face?!?!” Sadly, that day has been the past two weeks for me. Talk about a bummer. I had a bad break-out on my chin and 2 weeks later I am still trying to shake it. Normally, talking openly about acne is not something you do, because there is a level of embarrassment about it. But after two weeks, I have nothing to lose. lol Not only is it painful, but it is unsightly. Especially in Korea, where there is such a focus on appearance, I feel like the Phantom of the Opera minus conveniently placed mask. Recently I’ve existed by dashing across school grounds and stealthily slinking through the school corridors. It is almost funny.
But what caused these problems? I’ve always had acne problems (mild), and often grudgingly accept the occasional pimple. But this is not mild, but severe! Well, after perusing multiple medical websites, I’ve decided that my entire lifestyle is incorrect. Drastic changes must be made! No, no, the recommendations are too drastic for me. Seriously though, it is crazy the amount of material out there. Personally, I had just generally given up on clear skin. I figured that my skin wasn’t awful so, I should just be thankful and accept my lot. I don’t know.
Still, after reading a lot of different opinions I believe my downfall might have been in the Valentines Day chocolates. Thank you kind parents! ha ha No, a wonderful box of chocolate came my way & I consumed it all in several days. Apparently, the sugar in chocolate is really bad for your skin. 2nd bad thing, I was having more milk products than usual, because I decided that eating breakfast (cereal) everyday was a good idea. 3rd bad thing, I had several meat-based meals that were greasy. The culmination of these sins was the resulting Phantom face.
Hopefully, things will clear up soon. I am trying everything under the sun (cleansers, face masks, praying, etc). I am going to a skin clinic on Saturday and hoping the dermatologist will give me some aid. I went there once before for a rash under my eye and the doctor was really good (as were the results). So, here is hoping!
Question: I know this is a strange post for me, but does anyone want to comment on their skin-horror stories? Don’t be shy now~ Mom, I’ve always thought that you had really good skin? Is that true?
I read a very interesting article on the Yahoo News’ webpage about a teacher whose comments about her students on her blog has landed her in a load of trouble. In summary, the teacher left several remarks disparaging the state of the American school system and the students in it (describing them as “…rude, disengaged, lazy whiners”). You can see the full article: Here She did not name the students, or the school, and used only her first name; the blog was apparently meant only for family and friends.
I was curious about people’s opinions about her actions. Does she deserve to be fired for this? Personally, I think her comments were inappropriate; but she never named the school or the students. So, does she deserve to be fired for discussing her personal opinion online? I don’t know. Opinions? Regardless, the one thing I can conclude is that the Internet is a scary thing.
My short trip to Thailand this January was a tremendous amount of fun. I loved the warm weather after being frozen alive in Korea. I appreciated every sweat drop that glistened on my forehead. I really am a summer girl – my body and my spirits are better when I am warmer. I got a lot of collective dissing that I wasn’t traveling outside of Bangkok for my 10-day stay but I found myself very busy trying to see and do and all the things in this big city. I did succeed in doing two short day-trips outside of Bangkok (one to Pattaya Beach & the other to the Rose Garden). Going farther afield almost requires another plane flight! I opted for the more relaxed style – viewing Bangkok & its surroundings slowly instead of rushing around in a haze of what-can-I-accomplish-in-so-many-hours (my typical style). Did a fair bit of window-shopping & Thai massages with my two female friends. Ate a lot of delicious food — Thai food was a bit too good, I ate myself sick. The temples were unbelievable — and they say that European palaces are extravagant?! If I were skilled in the arts of thievery (& unafraid of Thai prison conditions) I might have been tempted to chip away some bits of gold off the temple walls. lol Back in Korea now though, missing the warmth and dreading the return to real, working life.
China-3 days. In Shanghai most of those days, but I was able to do one day trip to Zhou Zhang (“China’s Venice”). Shanghai was a very big city and the architecture of the city was very interesting because it was an utter mish-mash of different styles. Yes, as a city there was dirt (inevitable) but I thought it was a rather beautiful city.
Ate a lot of delicious food. Chinese dumplings were awesome!! (Sorry Korea, you lost hands down). And they should not be compared to the pathetic fare I’ve eaten in the U.S. My favorite was a type of dumpling called, Xiao Long Bao, which has soup inserted into the dumpling along with the meat (or vegetables). First,m you should carefully bite a hole in the dumpling, letting the liquid drain into your spoon. Second, drink the soup. Then eat the dumpling. If you just put the dumpling in your mouth without following these three steps - you will scald your mouth with the hot liquid (I read about this beforehand and avoided the situation^.^v). My other favorite Chinese treat was CoCo – a store known for their coffees/teas – that had jelly like things in them (i think the black jelly circles were made of tapioca). In the U.S. this is known as Bubble tea. I found it to be a surprising amount of fun chewing and drinking. My favorite drink was the coffee milk mixed with pudding, pieces of coconut, and jellies. Yum! If I were braver I would have tried the lemonade and prunes drink….scary. Anyway, enough about food…. (I could go on and on because often my trips become eating trips..but this enough for now).
This year, as many of you know I have had to do another English camp over Winter Break. I am never terribly excited about these “camps.” But I do believe this camp may have been my best yet, because the work/the outcome was totally dependant on the students. This is different from my regular classes, where I am usually up on my soap box. In this camp, students were working together to make their own website (in English). I gave them some suggestions on content (like doing a news section, music, etc) but it was up to them what they wrote & what the filmed. I merely double-checked them and encouraged them to work harder. I believe they liked the camp. I was hoping they would find something rewarding in creating their own website – because in normal classes, I can’t do this kind of activity. It’s just not possible logistically. Either way, camp finishes tmrw & I hope students will get it all finished. I am going to take them out to McDonald’s and treat them to an ice-cream for their hard work. I’m pretty proud of them. If you wanna check out the website, here is the link: http://cafe.daum.net/goenglishloving
Greetings from South Korea! We are enjoying our visit with daughter Melody during the Christmas holidays. It has been a very enjoyable trip, ending all too soon. To highlight our visit, we have agreed to post a few pictures and commentary. You can see the cooks at work in the kitchen in one photo, which was a gift to us from Melody. We learned how to make two Korean dishes, pajeon (pancake with seafood) and sundubu (tofu soup). After making the dishes, we got to eat them! Mmmmm good. Quite tasty, and definitely something we want to try and make at home. Tough part will be the ingredients, which are not commonly found in Food Lion or Giant (such as squid, shrimp sauce, and kimchi). But we will improvise!
A related photo shows Gayle next to a pig’s head! While touring a local market area as part of the cooking class, we noticed pig’s heads sitting on platters. Evidently, it is a sign of good luck! It certainly stopped us in our tracks, however. The photo of me eating the Christmas ice cream cake was a photo I asked not be posted, but the owner of this site does not follow directions, obviously. I note she did not post the similar photo of herself trying to eat the cake! Another photo shows Gayle and me standing next to a stone lion, which was outside the Blue House (Korean equivalent of the U.S. White House). There were beautiful gardens, and the presidential palace has over 150,000 blue roof tiles (very pretty) which of course give the place its name. Gayle tried to take a picture of the guards who provide security (she wanted Will to see the nifty uniforms they wear), but they politely refused her permission.
Another photo shows all three of us outside Seodaemun Prison near a stone arch marking the site of the revolutionaries who resisted Japanese occupation. The prison tour was very interesting, and graphically illustrates why the Korean people are not overly friendly toward the Japanese. The occupation lasted over 35 years (1910-1945) and was quite brutal. The prison tour gave us an insight into the hardships and torture suffered by the Korean resistance, both men and women. It is now a memorial to their fight for liberty and independence. Last is a photo of me relaxing on the couch beside the Xmas tree all decked out for Xmas. Those are the highlights. We also spent a few days shopping in various locations, and trying various places to eat. We have to leave soon, but we will be back in the spring, when it will be warmer! Adios, amigoes! Go Hens!
So, the parental units have returned to the Goyang hood. Joyous days have returned. I could go into detail about all the things we’ve done together so far…but I’m not gonna. So there! I am hoping that they will do the telling…as a guest speaker. So, you can expect their post next monday! As far as the dance performance went, I believe it was fairly successful. For those of you unaware, I was taking dance classes for fun M.W.F–Korean pop music. Our dance group did a good job; we won 3rd place in the competition. They very kindly gave me the award and it is going back home as proof that I can dance…to Korean pop songs. I must be very talented, right? That’s all for now. Signing out~