Friday, December 31, 2010

If you're tired of tea, then you're tired of life!

After our visit to the reed field, the teachers of Neungdong Middle School went to a famous green tea field.

It's a very pretty place, and it's been the setting of many commercials and films.

I didn't know tea looked like this! I thought it was more grass-like, but it's a shrub with woody stems.


Afterwards we went to dinner, and I think I've only posted one other picture of a traditional Korean meal. There are lots of plates.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Come on, get happy!

To celebrate the end of the school year, the teachers at Neungdong Middle School went on a field trip to Jeollanam province. We all got on buses and drove three hours to the province's most popular attractions. The first was a field of reeds.

Reeds! So many reeds! A whole field of them. The reeds were at Suncheon bay, the hometown of hooded cranes!


It was a beautiful day, but I did not see any hooded cranes. There was a big black bird flying, but I didn't get a good picture of it.


The sun was kind of blinding, but it was very cold. I was wearing leggings and longjohns under my jeans and a tee shirt and long underwear under my sweater (thanks, Grandparents!) and an awesome green scarf (thanks, Nate!) and a hideous leather jacket (thanks...Mother.) I was still cold.

See? The creek was frozen.
There was a small bridge suspended over the creek, and every teacher, regardless of age or gender, got some joy from jumping on it.

I asked my panting co-teacher which road we should take, and she said "let's follow them" up the hard road. And so it was.

And this was the view from the hard road:

And here's me on the observation deck.

I took the road of meditation back down, so that I could meditate on the difficulties I had overcome on the hard road. I didn't. I thought about how I should have worn tennies.

Also there was a windmill.

Monday, December 27, 2010

zombie eh eh eh

Second semester is winding down and there is only one more day of classes before winter break. During winter break, I'll teach introduction-to-the-next-book and a week-long English day camp. The students will come back for one week in February for graduation (this strikes me as very weird) and then get two more weeks off for "spring break" before the new school year starts in March.

But exams are over, kids are restless, and they don't even seem concerned that there are zombies hanging out outside the school.


For the last week, I've had my students create zombie survival kits and plans of action.

One of the groups in a 7th grade girls class included this list, which made me happy:
"bomb, gun, tank, sweater, noodle, bullet proof full-body suit."

One of the groups in an 8th grade boys classes had a list of heroes:
Optimus Prime, Bear Grylls, Spiderman, the Best Sniper in the World, Iron man and Lee Myung-bak (the president.) I said, "won't you need food?" and one of the students said, "eat Lee Myung-bak!" Okay. These are desperate times.

Friday, December 24, 2010

it's a gas gas gas

If you are on the subway system during an emergency, please wait patiently for someone to come with a key so that you can get one of the dozen masks available at some, but not all subway stations.


Also happy Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

the eagle in the sky

This one time, Autumn and I took a taxi to Kyungsung University, where there are lots of bars and restaurants that are popular with foreigners. Instead, we ended up *at* the university, where there were two huge cages with giant birds of prey.

This sea eagle looks like it's wearing bronze scales of armor.

And there were three vultures, who liked to fight over the meat slabs in a way that's very amusing to mimic. I need a picture of Autumn and I playing vultures.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


There is a restaurant across the street from Autumn's apartment called "Berry Yam Story." This is totally adorable, but we are creatures of habit, and have a habit of going down the road to Breeze Burns for their brunch on Sunday mornings.

I wish I had a picture of brunch at Breeze Burns. It's fantastic. (I stole this picture from a review. It was important. You can read reviews of Breeze Burns by clicking on the picture.)

At first you might be impressed by the sheer volume of food on that plate. You get eggs, hash browns, green beans, toast, bacon, sausage (or in our case, double bacon,) tomato slices and...a quarter of a waffle.

The best thing on this plate is the waffle, and unfortunately Breeze Burns does not sell whole waffles for breakfast. Which is weird (in fact, they sometimes don't allow double bacon and instead insist on two different breakfast meats.)

Well. One morning, on the way to Breeze Burns, there was a sandwich board with photographs of delicious-looking foods. On one side, the bacon yakisoba and curry shrimp fried rice beckoned, but on the other...there were waffles.

Upstairs, I was grateful that it wasn't sometimes.

This is the cutest restaurant in the world. It has little plants, books, and pictures on window sills and in a tree. There are crayons at the table.

And then...there was this.


Oh, yes. That is breakfast. A whole waffle, smeared with cream cheese, with strawberries, blueberries, almost slices, powdered sugar, a big scoop of ice cream and chocolate AND caramel syrup.

I tried to explain "sweet tooth" to my co-teacher a few weeks ago. She asked if there was a different tooth for different days. I said no, there is only a sweet tooth.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

you can get anything you want

I didn't celebrate Thanksgiving a month late; I just wrote about it a month late!

Some rad people (from BELLINGHAM) hosted a Thanksgiving party on the Saturday after the holiday. There was turkey. And pie. (They have Costco in Korea, so it was a lot like home.)

Here we are, fat and sleepy:

Thanksgiving festivities included some party games (which went from charades to more "we don't have to stand up to play this!" question and answer games as the day went on) and American tv shows! We made a list of things for which we are thankful, and took a picture, and it was good. Happy really late Thanksgiving, all.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Great balls of fire

Oh, it's been awhile. Sorry about that.

Back in November, there was a charity dodgeball tournament in Busan.

Normally I avoid things like competition, teamwork and sports but this is to send an orphan to college--so I signed up for a!


Our rockin' team played five games--and only lost four of them!

Look: teamwork!

My fabulous team.

(These pictures were taken by Ahnna. Thanks, Ahnna!)