Friday, May 8, 2009

Quotes from the Kids

So I was trying to think of something funny to blog about and this is what I came up with. We have a quote board at work where different teachers right down funny things that the kids say. Sometimes I feel bad, but sometimes it's so funny, and when learning a new language we all mess up and it's funny. They laugh at my Korean all the time. So read and enjoy...

The students learned the proper responses to different things that happen. One of the things they learned was sneezing. The teacher gives the prompt and the student is supposed to say the correct response.

"Achoo" - Erik Teacher
"That's ok" - Kevin

"What is 11 + 12?" - Teacher
"Twelben" - Rachel

"I eat hermit crap." - Ace

We had pepero day and I gave all the students these chocolate covered bread stick things. Well one boy licked all of the chocolate off of his and proudly announced...

"Teacher, my pepero is nude!" - DJ

I was asking my students to name the parts of a bug's body. I was trying to get them to say thorax and told them it was the middle part of the body. They pulled out their electronic dictionaries and began yelling the words they read...


"Santa's not coming this year." - Joy
"Why not?" - Erik Teacher
"Because oil is too expensive." - Joy

"How long have you been bad tempered?" - Erik Teacher
"Since you arrived." - Jane

"Are you cute" - Teacher
"No, I'm beautiful" - Holly

"Teacher, I want to change my name." - Sarah
"To what?" - Kristin
"Bling-bling" - Sarah

"Jun-Young, we voted, you have to bring all the snacks for the snack party." - Harry

"What are two things we get from trees?" - Kristin
"Christmas and Mother's Day" - Jason

"Hey guys, what did you get from your girlfriends for Valentine's Day?" - Kristin
"Jun-Young can't get a girlfriend." - Harry
"Oh, why not?" - Kristin
"Because of his face." - Harry
"You're not very nice." - Kristin
"I am being kind, because I made him aware." - Harry

Friday, April 17, 2009

Promotion, Prospect, and Purple Fingers

I guess it's been a while since I've blogged. Two months in fact. My sincerest apologies to my adoring fans. Ha. I will start where I last left off. I was able to go to the States for a week long visit and it was marvelous. I saw my family, met my nephew and my best friend came down from PA to see me. I felt like I hadn't missed a beat, I owe a lot of that to modern technology. Without facebook and skype things would be drastically different. It was a very refreshing trip packed full of catching up and gearing up for the last leg of my Korean adventure.
When I got back to Korea I was rather quickly thrust into my new position as head teacher. A role that I was nervous and excited about taking on. I've never really thought of myself as a leader, but I saw it as an opportunity to be stretched, and it has proved to be just that. My first day back to work my best friend e-mailed me with the most beautiful and heart warming letter of affection. I was completly caught off guard but clearly see the work of Christ in our lives and in our relationship. It is truly incredible when things are done in His way and in His timing. I feel as if blessed isn't a strong enough word to express the favor the Lord has shown to me in the past few months and even year. And although long-distance is hard and at times frustrating, I trust the Lord to cultivate this relationship into one that is pleasing to Him.
Many people have asked me what is next for me. I've never been one to make plans, I just kinda go with the flow. Initially I was going to stay another year in Korea, but in light of the recent developments in my relationship with Jud, I've decided to reconsider, and do my best to factor him into my plans. I'm currently looking for a job in the Pittsburgh area in order to be closer to Jud and try my hand at the Northeast, pray for me, cause I feel an adjustment coming for this Southern girl. I've also had spurts of fear about not being able to find a job, but then I remember that He will provide. So I'm doing my part, and waiting to see what the Lord will surprise me with next.
Here is a funny story to end with. Yesterday I was sitting at my desk making some samples for an English Village we are going to have at school. It will include a bank, police station, store, and library. The kids will go to the different places and participate in different activites. Well one teacher thought it would be a good idea to do fingerprinting at the police station. So I was gonna make a sample to show in a meeting. I found an ink pad on a shelf in the teacher's room and decided just to use it. I got a scratch piece of paper and fingerprinted my fingers, then I went to the bathroom to wash it off. I expected it to rinse off easily however I was sadly mistaken. I scrubbed and scrubbed and to my dismay every one of the fingers on my right had was stained purple. All I could do was laugh and be thankful that I was done teaching for the day. So the moral of the story is, don't use ink you find on a shelf to fingerprint yourself. :-)

I teach a class of first graders and they speak little to no English. We usually have fun, but sometimes kids disagree for silly reasons. Well not being able to understand what the problem is makes it difficult to resolve and so as I was helping some girls with their assignment two boys were having a fist fight behind me. I turned around and they are just wailing on each other. I had already warned them twice about not hitting and staying seated, so I promptly grabbed their hands and marched them to the front desk. While we were standing there and the two boys were explaining to the "desk teacher" a.k.a. secretary what the argument was about the bell rang. So she scolded them and sent them home. Later I asked her what the problem was and she told me that Tredjor had put the tip of his umbrella on Peter's shoe. Peter got mad and hit Tredjor in the chest. Then Tredjor explained that the umbrella on the shoe could not have killed Peter, but Peter's punch in the chest could have killed him, so he hit him back. Then he proceeded to use the analogy of a cartoon he had seen to better explain the situation. We both kind of laughed about it, but I was a little concerned. I know kids fight, and I've seen it before, but this was serious. After some thought I came to conclusion they learn this from their fathers. I have seen grown men in suits fighting on the subway. It makes me sad that children are taught from such a young age that this behavior is acceptable or appropriate for dealing with conflict. Pray that the little ones will have a better example of how to resolve problems.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

An Update

This post is going to be just a general update. I don't really have any funny stories to share, sorry.

So, I got a promotion at work!!! I will be head teacher beginning in March. I'll basically be in a more administrative role, but still teaching quite a bit. I'm excited about it. We are changing a lot of things for the next session including textbooks, classes and teachers, so I've been really busy lately. I'm excited for the next few months and I think it will be a good growing period for me.

I've also changed churches. Many people have been a little unsure about this decision, but I assure you I have no qualms about it. When I've told friends about this new change many of them were weary and cautioned me, which I much appreciated while at the same time was frustrated by. I understand that my friends care about me and that they want the Lord's best for me, and for that I'm thankful. However, I've always been a fan of church and so when presented with the danger of church-hopping and how the tendency is to stop going altogether, I was kind of annoyed. I fully understand that this is the case many times, even the author of Hebrews warns us to not give up meeting together, so I don't want to be so arrogant to say that it can't happen to me, but as a general rule, it's not something I struggle with. I love church. I also want to say that the church I previously attended, Onnuri, is a wonderful church, I had no problem with the theology or the people I simply didn't fit. I guess the way I view the situation is that I'm just changing pews. God is at both churches, I'm just moving to a place where I'm more comfortable. I also don't want to make this about me, because I know that worship isn't about me, but there is a reason that a community of believers comes together and I want to be able to build relationships not because I'm forcing them, but because I have things in common with people and because we connect. Sometimes it requires more than the bond of Christ to build a deep friendship, God did give us personalities. Making friends has always come natural to me and so why should that be any different in Korea? That being said, my new church is called Jubilee. It is a bit younger demographic than Onnuri, and people are just so welcoming. My friend Erin goes to this church and she raved about it for months so I decided to give it a shot. Well, my first week there I met so many new people, I joined a small group, and the choir that will sing at a special Easter service. During my small group we were talking about how we can worship all the time, and what are some practical ways to worship the Lord throughout our day. So we went around the room and each told about a way we would worship the Lord during the upcoming week. My plan was to keep my ipod on Christian music all week. Our leader also encouraged us to check on each other throughout the week and see how we are doing, well all week I've been getting facebook messages, e-mails, and texts encouraging me to keep up my worshipful lifestyle and I've found that I have been much more joyful this week. I'm excited about this new church and all that the Lord will do in me and through me.

Today is Valentine's Day which means that I have only 12 days until I come back to the States for a visit. I'm elated that the time has gone by so fast and I can barely contain my excitement. Everytime I talk to my sister's on skype I do an 'excited to come home' dance. I just can't wait!! Also, a little Korean fun fact for you... Korean's have 2 Valentine's Days the first is February 14 and on this day the women give gifts to the men they are in a relationship with. The second is White Day it is March 14 and on this day the men give gifts to the women. Now so as not to leave out the single people there is also Black Day, April 14 and this day all the single friends have get togethers and hang out with each other. I think it's a great idea.

Anyway, I probably won't post again until I get back from AMERICA, unless something real funny happens between now and then.

Continue to be in prayer for Korea and that they would see the truth of Christ's love for them.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Korean Spa

Last night some friends of mine, Allison and Sally, came up to Seoul for a visit.  The plan was to go to a show called Nanta which can only be described as Stomp but with kitchen stuff.  There was very little talking and lots of music and choreographed drumming. Well, the plan was to meet at the subway station and then go to the theater together.  Well as it turns out there was confusion as to which subway station is was.  At first we thought Gangnam which is on line 2 but the other option was Gangnam-Gu Office which was line 7.  So through a series of phone calls we discovered that Allison and Sally were headed towards Gangnam and I was headed towards Gangnam-Gu Office, and not to mention it was only about 20 minutes before the show was supposed to start.  Finally we realize I'm headed the right direction, but they have got to turn around.  Then to make matters worse we all decide to get in cabs and meet at the theater, should be easy enough, until I try to tell the cab driver where I wanted to go.  After 10 minutes of driving around and one phone call between my cab driver and Allison and Sally's, my cab driver informed me that he couldn't find where I wanted to go on his GPS and that I should change cabs.  So I get out, look for another cab and check the time, realizing that I'm supposed to be there now.  I hail another cab and this guy just rolls down the window and asks me where I want to go, I tell him and he tells me that he doesn't know where the theater is either.  Finally, I get a third cab and have Allison's cab driver tell him where to go.  Halfway through the conversation my cell phone dies, so frustrated I pull out my American phone and hope that the $2.50 a minute will be worth it and get me where I need to go.  Thankfully the cab driver stops and tells me we are there.  I very appreciatively thank him and get out, except I don't see a theater anywhere.  There's a huge Galleria with lots of designer stores, but no Nanta sign.  I call Allison once again and she says she's still in the cab too, and doesn't know where it is either.  So I proceed to walk up and down the street stopping in a 711 and ask if the two girls working speak English, they said a little, and so I ask them where the theater is, but they don't know.  So I thank them and continue my search.  I stop a family on the sidewalk and ask them if they speak English, they said a little and I ask them if they know where the theater is, success, they do and they tell me to turn oruncheok, which means right.  I head in the direction that they instruct and still don't see it.  Once again I call Allison and she says she's there and she gives me directions.  Thirty minutes after it's started we all arrive and head to the ticket counter, which is now closed.  We go inside and the sweet Korean ushers tell us to wait a little bit and then they'll let us in.  About 2 minutes later she walks us into the small dark theater to the third row!  My reaction was yay third row and at the same time, embarrassing third row.  From this point on we enjoy the show, funny and really cool.  Allison even got called up on stage to make Mandu, which is like a korean dumpling, and that was really funny.  After the show we decide to go to the jim ja bong which is the Korean Sauna.  Now, the Korean Sauna is somewhat similar to an American Spa, except it's only women and everyone is naked.  You go in and get a locker and put your stuff in it; then you undress and put on a robe that they give you.  Let me just tell you what all this specific jim ja bong has: 6 hot tubs one that is outside and one that is salt water, 1 cold tub because they think going back and forth between the hot and cold is good for your circulation or something.  They have 2 saunas that are super hot, as well as lounge rooms to just sit around and watch tv.  They have 2 rooms for massages and a nail salon, they also have this one area where they put this mud stuff on you and scrub you down.  Then there is a room that is like a primping room where you sit and dry your hair or do your make up.  There is also a snack bar and a restaurant and also 2 sleeping rooms, one of them is just mats on the floor, but for less than $5 more you can pay and get a bed, which is what we opted to do.  So after a sports massage at 1:30am I got into the hot tub for a little while longer and then went to bed.  The next morning I got up and got back in the hot tub for a bit before showering and heading to the orphanage.  I knew before I came to Korea that I wanted to visit one of these spas but just hadn't had the courage to go alone and so when my friends came up and took me I began kicking myself for not going sooner, and I think until it gets warm outside this might just be a weekly ritual.  If I hadn't gotten the massage it would have cost a total of about $12 to sit in hot tubs for 12 hours and enjoy the most relaxing evening I've ever had.  So if ever you get the chance to visit Korea, the jim ja bong is a must!