Archive for the ‘Snow’ Category

CO

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

So continuing from day 3…

Right after leaving the small town I headed up to the peaks again to meet up with the rest of the group… well riding up the Gondola it just stopped. And I was riding alone so I was mentally preparing to write out my will on my phone as the cables (including my little world) were raising UP and DOWN to extreme levels. It was a bit terrifying…

solo riding.

solo riding.

literally the rest of the day consisted of traveling to Lafayette , CO and running away to eat at a pizzeria where our cashier was obviously stoned out of his mind. Mary and I literally went to bed at 8:30… I went to bed because she did and she claims to still be on “virginia time”… its crazy. I couldn’t sleep. I just laid there being beaten by a thrashing Mary who sleep talked and screamed during the night scaring me to death. Woman.

(oh and my dad got us hot spot access on our phones… which is awesome and I love it. THANKS DAD.)

Day 4!

So woke up still really sore… but not on death row anymore so Mary and I were off to hit the slopes once again. We went to a different resort to board this time, Eldora! Mary decided today that she was going to try snowboarding… lets just say she got hit with some serious karma for making fun of me the other day. At least I stayed up except for getting off the ski lift and stopping at the very end.. (today I cleared it! no falls at either end thank you!!)

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Eldora Resort!

Eldora Resort!

To and from Eldora we stopped in an ADORABLE town called Nederland, CO. I was a little obsessed. We stopped in a coffee shop built in an old train car named “Buffalo Bills: coffee and confections”. They made fresh mini doughnuts there and let me just say, they were delicious…

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OH! I also saw like REAL prairie dogs just doing their thing in the wild. I liked it.

Since then I have eaten probably way too much, played role of soccer mom picking up the kids, and chilling on the couch watching disney channel. Life is good.

Mary is literally trying to convince me to have another 8:00 bed time.. I may fight her.


More Colorado :)

Monday, January 7th, 2013

so saturday night we were entertained by the children’s “talent show” which involved them standing on the fireplace under the lights and singing to us before bed :)

Day 2!

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We are skiing at Breckenridge resort and to get up to the slopes you have a gondola ride up the mountain. It is so cute and fun! Mary claimed feeling a little sick but hey I was fine and excited to take in all the views

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So lets just say an olympic career in snowboarding, or any other snow sport in that matter, is probably not going to be in my future. Im not TERRIBLE going down the slopes (90% horizontal) but definitely getting off the STUPID ski lift and stoping at the bottom are not my thing. what so ever.

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the dreaded ski lifts…

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My Roommate Mary and I :)

So after 5 (the slopes were extremely long too) i was done. too much whiplash landing on my butt at the bottom. Luckily I never had to realize the truth behind this sign….

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Mary and I rested for a bit before heading out to the ADORABLE town of Breckenridge to wander about and explore. Apparently it is actually college weekend or something out here only these wo losers were ready for showers and bed at 9:00… whoops.

Day 3.

So waking up today… I literally feel like death. even the half a bottle of Advil the night before didn’t save me. my neck doesn’t most and the right side of me feels like I got hit by a bus. Meaning, I am back in the adorable town wandering about and enjoying the views while mary (who skied not snowboarded) is back up on the slopes. But thats ok I am having lots of fun by myself :)

Today we are heading back to Boulder and we are going to attempt to get back on the slopes at a different location tomorrow :)

BUT if you are ever here you definitely need to check out this small town, Breckenridge.

Hope you are having a good day!!


Traveling once again, COLORADO

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Back to adventures with my roommate Mary! So Mary and I regrettably probably did not get enough sleep last night due to our excitement to travel (really hers.. i was excited but easily could have gone to bed) anyways we woke up nice and early and went to the airport only to be stressed out by the baggage check lady who was barking at everyone for being late when the reality of the situation was she just stunk… even the guys taking our checked luggage where rolling their eyes and making fun of her. We sprinted, thinking we were going to be late for our flight and sat on the plane for a good half an hour… thanks lady.

The flight went smoothly, if not a little cramped (smallish plane and every seat taken) and we were lucky to sit by, a very nice, but super chatty woman who Mary and I were afraid would talk our ears off the entire flight.

Once in Denver and the lane landed the scenery was awesome. On one side of the plane you could see the rockies and on the other completely flat for miles. The rush began again to locate our luggage and check into our shuttle taking us to the condo location.

View from the shuttle!

View from the shuttle!

The condo is SUPER adorable and has a view of the mountains. We went for a little walk with the dog and got to step on REAL SNOW. I was a little too excited about that. But we went to get Mary’s skis and are in for the evening I’m sure tomorrow will come too soon.

love, k

REAL SNOW

REAL SNOW

 

our cute little condos

our cute little condos

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our view during our walk

our view during our walk

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Snow and Fuzzy Feelings

Friday, December 7th, 2012

There is an Emily Teacher-shaped imprint in the snow right outside my school where I fell this morning. Luckily it was right at the side of the building, so I doubt anyone saw me. In any case, nothing’s hurt except for my pride.

It’s finals week so I don’t have to be at school, but I had an appointment with some third grade students. They’re graduating in February, and the student government is asking ten teachers if they can film them saying “congratulations” and imparting wisdom to the graduating class. The third graders all received a list of teachers and had to choose the ten that they wanted. Somehow, I was chosen.

This means the world to me. I only taught the current third graders for one semester, when I first started at the school. Because we start in August, and the academic year ends in December, our contract starts and ends halfway through the academic year. I had a very rocky first semester, as I was really intimidated by the previous teacher. She had been there for two years and was an extremely competent teacher with teaching experience prior to F*lbright, and I was still (and am still) figuring out how to teach. It was better than my first semester at SG HS, but I’m not sure how much the current third graders got out of my classes.

Though I only taught them for one semester over a year ago, though at that time I only taught them once a week, though I was not at my best and I was still adjusting to the school, they chose me as one of ten teachers to videotape. I am so, so thrilled. Full of warm fuzzy feelings, even as the snow melts into a disgusting slush outside.

Speaking of snow, I wandered around the village at 5 pm yesterday after the snow had settled and the sun was low in the sky, and took pictures of the outskirts of town. Enjoy!

 

The houses behind my apartment are covered in snow.

The dogs play in the fields on the outskirts of town.

The road out of town.

Our school.

SNOW

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

This is technically the third snowfall, but the only one that has actually stuck. I was in the nearby city when it happened, but I got to ride my podunk bus back during the snowstorm. Let me tell you, nothing says “winter cheer” like speed bumps covered in ice. Since I have final exams this week, today I’ve had a lazy day and I haven’t even ventured outside yet, so these pictures were taken from my kitchen window. Maybe I’ll actually wander through town later, who knows.

SNOW! …and teaching issues

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010
    It’s snowing in Yesan! Finally! When I say “snow” I mean tiny white things that could scarcely be qualified as snow have been falling from the sky for the last half hour and dissolving on impact with the ground [EDIT: as of 12:00 pm it started snowing really hard and now there's snow stuck to the ground! I explained to my afternoon class that if it snows like this in Virginia we cancel school and they looked at me like I had sprouted tentacles]. Some of the students (my more rambunctious low-level 1st grade girls) tackled me yelling “SNOWSNOWSNOW” but other than that the students are going abut their business in an everyday fashion.I felt like such a grinch of a teacher when it started snowing during my class. Ever since the 수능 (the big test all the 3rd grade students took to get into college) finished I’ve been teaching the advanced 3rd grade class (my host sister’s class). They have no more tests and grades don’t matter so I was worried they wouldn’t pay attention but so far they’ve been great. It started snowing during that class and the students freaked out, and asked if they could go outside. As I am a new and temporary teacher, as much as I want to go outside too, I had to say no for fear that the principal would see me and freak out. Very sad.
    Teaching has it’s ups and downs, you’ve heard this all before, this is not a new fact. I’ve experienced a lot of ups and some downs, but I experienced my first major down yesterday. The students are studying for their finals so they’ve been harder to motivate recently (I am not supposed to give grades or homework in my class, and their English final contains nothing from my class). This particular class has always been difficult for me, in that I have students in there that flat-out don’t respect me. To further the problem, yesterday my co-teacher did not come to class. I teach a lot of classes without a co-teacher, it’s normally not an issue, but the combination of low-level tired students, final exam stress, and a lack of general respect led to an awful class. I had scrapped the actual lesson I was going to do last minute and pulled out my emergency super-fun pronunciation lesson (that has never bombed before) because I knew this would be a difficult class, but still it was bad.I demand absolute silence in my classroom. This is difficult to do with a class of 40 but luckily my classes are 30 or less so I can do it. In a smaller class it’s disruptive if 2 people are whispering, so in general I refuse to let anyone talk. This class had 15 people, and everyone was constantly talking or sleeping. If people weren’t doing either they were doing homework for other classes or blantantly spaced out. Some students were apologetic when I called them out on it, and others disrespectful. I make kids stand with their hands over their heads in the back of the classroom if they sleep too much (so it’ll keep them awake) or if they talk too much (so they’re not close to anyone to talk to) and when I told one kid to stand up he refused and put his head back down. So I got up in his face and loudly started counting down. Since I didn’t have a co-teacher and I wasn’t going to reward the class for misbehaving by leaving them alone for 2 minutes while I ran and found an authority figure I wasn’t sure what to do if this didn’t work. Thank goodness the class started counting down with me and because of peer pressure he stood up. The rest of class though whenever I would shake him to wake him up he would violently jerk and look at me like I was diseased and brush off his shoulder.

    The lesson consisted of tongue twisters, modeling and practicing R & L pronunciation, rap battling, and a slap game where the students are in 2 or 3 teams and they sit at their desks and scream a word (RICE! RICE) and one student from each team is facing the chalkboard and they have to look on the board for teh right words and slap it first to receive a point, the trick being that every word has a rhyming alternate (Rice:Lice; Right:Light; Road:Load) which makes it difficult. Not only were they blantantly disrespectful during the lesson but they cheated during the game – peeking at my word cards, spelling out words instead of yelling them, shoving and tackling each other. At that point I had had enough.

    I ended the lesson 5 minutes early and sat them down and read them a long lecture in highly simplified English, then as soon as class ended I ran to the bathroom and sobbed for a good 5 minutes. I have had a lot of difficulties in Korea, both with teaching duties and with adjusting to living in Korea/Yesan. This is the only time I can think of that I wholeheartedly wanted to board a plane right then and there and go back to the United States.

    An amazing class later that afternoon, last-minute meet-up with Joelle that night, and some distance has helped me gain some perspective. Not everyone in that class is bad, and many of them seemed truly sorry that they had upset me. Some of them are definitely rotten eggs but they’re also 15/16 year old boys… I am definitely not the same person that I was when I was 16. As a teacher my job is not only to teach English but to teach them about life in general – and that includes basic respect. Whether this is putting too much pressure on myself I’m not sure, but I will not give up on this class and I will demand and in return receive that respect without the help of an authority figure if at all possible. However, if I cannot I will not be afraid to turn to an authority figure, as that is what they are there for. I could also have it worse… I know some schools have major issues with bullying, others have a lot of swearing, or physical violence, or even drugs. Sapgyo for the most part is very sweet and my badly-behaved boys are an oddity, and comparitively not even that badly-behaved, it’s just that I expect more of them and by the end of my contract I will receive it.

    My most difficult class initially was not in fact this class, but the all-girls low-level first grade class. They’re known throughout the school as being really difficult. They smoke, and swear, and hit each other, and are super loud, and are always talking. I had a really difficult time with them because I didn’t know how to be strict but also have fun. They are now one of my favorite classes, because I have learned what works and what doesn’t – they are still loud, and still talk, and still shout out answers or non-sequitors but they also care about me and respect me, and always scream my name really loudly whenever/wherever they see me, whether that’s in class or on the streets of Yesan after school. If my least favorite class can become my favorite class over the span of one semester, then by the end of next year I will force these kids to respect me. So wow Em, this is really personal stuff, why are you putting it online where everyone (even spambots from as far out as Ukraine) can read it? Because this is a reminder to myself. Sometimes life sucks, sometimes life is hard. Sometimes you will cry in the bathroom at school. You will not get cute little notes from your students everyday. Eventually you have to leave the bathroom and go teach agan.

On the Home Stretch

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

For better or worse, but mostly for worse, we’re almost done. Almost to the point of packing suitcases and getting on transatlantic flights headed for the States. Even with finals looming and the calendar telling us flat out that we only have four days left together in Salzburg, it’s a bit surreal. Last weekend, though, it seemed like we were never leaving. That I was going to spend the rest of my life cooped up in my dorm room writing research papers. Because of my three independent study classes I had three very large papers to write, and fortunately for the procrastinators among us some conveniently timed Austrian holidays gave us a five day weekend to work on them. Over the course of those five days I managed to finish nearly all of the work I have left for the semester, my only remaining tasks being editing one last paper and writing a short summary for my International Conflicts class. My papers will not be the best papers ever written, but they definitely include some creative turns of phrase included to help reach the 6,000 word minimum.

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But tales of homework make for a pretty boring blog post. Saturday night Rachelle and Max and I took a study break to head into town and catch a ‘Krampuslauf’ which means Krampus Run. The Krampus are creatures said to accompany St. Nicholas the night before he makes his rounds, and they weed out the naughty children by hitting them with whips or switches. It’s a tradition that basically only exists in Bavaria and this part of Austria, so we figured we had to see it for ourselves. There are officially sanctioned Krampus who aren’t allowed to really hurt you, but then there are also unofficial groups who have no qualms about actually beating people. A combination of both types floated about Salzburg the week leading up to St. Nicholas Day, and many friends reported having not so pleasant encounters with the terrifying men in furry suits and scary masks. When the last Krampuslauf of the season rolled around we were a little nervous, but mostly convinced that they couldn’t possibly be as scary as everyone had said they were. We bravely made our way to the route of their run and then stood in wary anticipation. The crowd got thicker and we eventually heard bells in the distance. When the six or so Krampus got to our spot on the street we found ourselves struggling to reconcile our desire to take photos with our even stronger desire to run for our lives. Krampus are scary. Really scary. They are huge and get right up into your face threatening to hit you. Everyone in the crowd was screeching and attempting to hide behind one another as the Krampus grabbed random people from the crowd and tormented them. When the Krampus (plural Krampi? Krampese?) finally shuffled past us we heaved a sigh of relief and made our way to the bus to get back to our dorm and back to safety. It must have taken a good half an hour before my pulse returned to its normal rate. All I can say is, no wonder Austrian children are perfect little angels. If American kids were threatened with a Krampus instead of lame coal in their stockings, they’d be much better behaved too.
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The Krampuslauf was the most drama I experienced this week. We went out for Italian food with Kirsten and Rachel on Tuesday night but that was just about the only other time I left the dorm during our five day homework marathon. Thursday night brought the last karaoke night of the semester at O’Malley’s, an evening of terrible singing and smoke inhalation to be enjoyed by all. Friday we ventured back out to Hellbrunn Palace to see the Christmas Market there. I had been with my parents, but Kirsten and Rachel had yet to see it, so we wandered around for a bit, though their lack of reindeer disappointed me yet again. Friday was a shopping day, and Rachelle and I trekked through the Christmas Market in search of various things for ourselves and our friends. I’m trying real hard not to think about the fact that each time I go into a certain store or catch a certain glimpse of the town might be the last time I do so this semester. Taking my mind off of our imminent departure was a Christmas party at Frau Schoettke’s today, which was fun and probably the last time a large group of us AIFS kids will be together outside of class. It also snowed this morning and again tonight, so we got to experience something at least resembling a snowy Salzburg. It didn’t stick on the roads, but walking home from Frau Schoettke’s tonight was about as wonderfully Christmassy as it gets. This week: the Silent Night chapel, final exams, one last kebap, packing, and more crying than I’ve done in a while.
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