Thursday, July 28


I taught my kids how to make pancakse today and also how to say fractions by showing them the recipe. We couldn't find any baking powder so I just left it out, but added in bits of chocolate. They were a hit, "Teacher, delicious!" I heard over and over. Then I gave them a word search, without the words, and they worked in groups and were spelling and pronouncing the hard letters (r and l). What a great day! And lunch had raw veggies and seaweed/cucumber soup. Yum, finally healthy food! Although the kids were really confused, "Teacher, no bap (rice)?" And of course, I don't want to tell the girls that eating the rice will make me fat, so I just tell them that I'm not used to it for every meal, which is of course true.

Ooh, and on the topic of food last night we had chop chey, potato starch noodle. Delicious!

Wednesday, July 27

English Camp

Here I am with my kids. I'm the head in the sand. We took them to the beach yesterday. Yep, we're walking distance from the East Sea (call it the Sea of Japan and you might get kicked).

My experiences here have ranged from pleasant to nightmare-ish. I was led to believe my kids knew written and general spoken English and that I would be here to help them with they're spoken English as in school they are usually taught by Koreans. However, I've got a few kids who speak no English. Which would be fine if they all didn't, but I've got some who have a working knowledge of the language. I think it's frustrating across the board. Beyond that they aren't interested in lessons, they only want to play games. They don't work well in groups and one is especially disruptive. Ah, young adults. Really, what this has done has firmed up my suspicion that I want to work with older kids. Mine here are between 9-12 years old.

Oh, but I think I witnessed first flirtings today, one of my girls hit a boy! Normally, the two sexes avoid contact like the plague.

Signs, signs everywhere NEON signs

First impressions of Korea:

- In the bathroom in the airport they have "etiquette bells" which of course I had to press. It makes fake flushing noises.

- Going into Seoul from Incheon (where the International airport is) all you see is neon. Arriving into the small town of Sokcho where the camp is, population 90,000 all you see is neon.

- My first meal was in the airport waiting for Matthew, I got a hot pot of veggies and tofu. By hot pot, they mean a very hot stone pot that keeps the food boiling, literally for minutes, and there by way to hot to eat for many, many minutes. It came with a side of minature brined shrimp.

Saturday, July 23

The Time Traveler's Wife

Joy went on and on about this book. Chris lent it to me on Thursday to take on my flight. I connected through Vancouver (which actually ended up being over night so I got to see both Linda and Martin!) and was finished before I even boarded the plane for Seoul.

This is such a moving, deeply romantic, well written book. I'm so sad that it's over, I can't stop thinking about the characters. As the title suggests it's about a time traveler and his wife. That's all I'm going to say about it. Read it.


I never got confirmation from Matthew this morning that he caught his flight from Chicago to San Francisco and then from SF to Seoul. I'm in Incheon Airport waiting on him. I at least know that he tried to make it to the airport this morning, I presume he managed to rescue his passport, complete with Korean visa from the post office this morning.

The problem is, that if he didn't make the flight, then I'm spending 2.5 hours at the airport when I could be traveling up towards Sokcho. We'll see what happens.

I'm thrilled to be here. I've never felt more secure in a random travel deciscion than this. I'm excited to be working with kids, helping share my quirkyness in a way that helps them learn spoken English complete with all it's idoms and figures of speech.

I'm still waiting to hear back about teaching jobs I interviewed for before I left. The last was with Unity High School a bad ass charter school that I would love to work at. I went in and taught a quick twenty minute lesson on factoring trinomials and the kids were left to evaluate me. I also interviewed at Maybeck HS for a part time job that would most likely require me to work another job (bookstore?) but would be a great start for me to get some experience. I also sent in my application to Project Pipeline which is a teaching while earning your credential program which provides the training on weekends spread out over two years and is considerably cheaper than any University credential program I've found.

Who knows what this life holds for me? I'm waiting patiently to see what manifests and as always, just going with the flow.

Saturday, July 16


I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by my life and my own spontinatity. I have returned from Atlanta feeling sorry for my mom who is still entertaining and housing two of her sisters and two of said sister's kids. She and my dad will get their lives back on Saturday.

I've been studying for the Math CSET. I was in an internet cafe today along with three other people who were studying as well. One is a math teacher who's taking the Geometry heavy test (subtest II) again because he failed the first time by three points. I'm taking subtests I and II tomorrow. Am I ready? I've never been good at studying. I've done more than usual this time, but I'm sure the statistics and "foundations" of algebra will still throw me.

And in the midst of all this I've had an interview at a private school for an Algebra II teacher position (went well, fingers crossed) and bought a plane ticket to Korea! Egads. I leave on the 21st, less than a week. I'll be gone until August 10th, spending the time their teaching English, which of course, I've never done before. Sometimes, I amaze myself with my hutzpah.

Sunday, July 10


My mom is one of 10. Her side of the family has gathered from my grandmother's 80th birthday. We had 40-some people at my mom's house yesterday. A motley crew of aunts, uncles (14), cousins (12), spouses of cousins (3), 1st cousins once removed (1), great aunts and uncles (3), and of course my parents and sister were along as well. Yowza. If I ever get married, I think I'll be eloping. Actually, it's been great to see everyone, but we don't really have so much to talk about as we're very different. Most of the cousins that are here are 10 years old or under. The older ones are all married and live in either Ohio or Buffalo, NY. And as we all know, I'm an introvert, I don't handle large groups of people well.

The tattoo hasn't even been that big of a deal and it's been revealed that one of my mom's sisters has a couple as well. The one who also just bought a new Mustang, midlife crisis anyone? The hardest part has been explaining to everyone what it is I do, or don't as it may be. Thankfully, I've had the CSET to study for, so every day I leave for a couple of hours to brush up on my math. Like right now... hmm, maybe I should get back to that, because really, does anyone remember off the top of their head vector math? Multiplying vectors by matrices? Yeah, neither do I.

God and Cafes

I've been searching for cafes with free wifi. Yesterday I was at Cambridge Coffee in a booming strip mall district in Alpharetta, Georgia. However, their wifi was spotty at best. Today, I'm right down the street at a Port City Java spitting distance from my folks' house. When you're in Georgia you use words like folks apparently. Today's wireless is everything it should be, strong and clear. The similarities in the two places are that both include tables of people talking about god. Yesterday was a women's group trusting in god to make their marriages better. Today it's a father and two sons, one named Roman. He's lecturing them about what god will do or take away from you. And I quote the father, "If you see a homeless person lying on the street and you don't give them money what does this mean? It means that one day god might take away all your money." He asks the kids questions, when the younger one resonds with elaborate stories the father continually says, "now, don't get carried away." Right, because god doesn't like you to have an imagination either.

Now I know I'm coming across as all high and mighty. No, I don't have kids. I have no idea how I will teach them about what I think is right and wrong. Sure, I think the 10 commandments are a good set of rules, but I'm not going to present them as these things that "god said to moses." This man is continually using scare tactics on 10 and 12 year old kids. Ugh.