Archive for the ‘study’ Category

Study Abroad Pre Departure

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Well I believe it is time for me to set up my blog and get it ready for my abroad experience. I hope you all will enjoy the several posts and follow me as I explore Spain and the surrounding European continent. Feel free to leave comments and share the blog with other whom you might think will enjoy it. My goal is to explore different cultures, meet fascinating people, master another language, and see what the world has to offer.

Study Abroad Pre Departure

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Well I believe it is time for me to set up my blog and get it ready for my abroad experience. I hope you all will enjoy the several posts and follow me as I explore Spain and the surrounding European continent. Feel free to leave comments and share the blog with other whom you might think will enjoy it. My goal is to explore different cultures, meet fascinating people, master another language, and see what the world has to offer.

Amurica the beautiful and free

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

HAPPY BELATED INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!  It was way different celebrating the 4th in Spain.  A few girls and I went to the beach first which was extremely hot! Then Karolina and I were so hungry we found a kebab near by!!  That was my first kebab and it was so good.  Karolina said they are so much better in Europe than in America!  Good thing I had it here first! Anyways, the students tried to get the whole program to hangout at a bar and they would play american music.  That was pretty fun, but it was a Thursday so everyone who lived far from that bar had to get on the last metro to Bilbao — which was like 10:30pm.  That night ended early.  I chilled outside my apartment and just embraced my surroundings.  It was nice!

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FRIDAY


So everyone wanted to go the beach after school.  I went to the res. halls and had my siesta there.  Then, I went to check out the mall with Brittany. There is a McDonalds and a Burger King there.  The McChicken is call the McPollo…. bahaha! But the Big Mac is the same.. Do you Spain! Also, they serve beer here! What an option!imageAfter that, I went back to my place and chilled in the park and just was in realization that I’m so excited to be here, in this country.  I was literally smiling for like 30 mins, then I heard this owl, but it wasn’t an owl.  It was some like of pigeon.  Annoying little thing! image

Saturday


We had a planned excursion by the school to Urdaibai, Spain.  It was about a 30 minute bus ride to the east near the Bay of Biscay. (The video I posted yesterday was from the Mundaka beach. The place was spectacular!  This is the beach that people are allowed to surf at.  We didn’t have much time to go in the water, mainly because we were hungry so we chose finding food over getting to the water.  But we had a great view of the beach and was able to watch the surfers do their thing.  It was awesome! image

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image(also this is a tortilla de patatas)!

The view was so great, seriously I thought I was dreaming again.  Angelica and I were talking about how we dream about going to amazing places in the world.  We’re here at this beautiful beach and now what you know? We just sat there after the ledge and watched the surfers and enjoyed the short time provided to us!  Then it was time for SIESTA!!! Can we begin by stating that there were only 3 serves for 120+ students and staff there.  Let’s just say it took a long time to get the food to everyone!  Our first course was a ensalada con atún = salad with tuna.  They love themselves some tuna!! It was good, but they drenched it in vinegar and oil! The second course was this beef with veggies and mash potatoes.  That was good, but the mash potatoes were different; there wasn’t a real flavor to it.  Almost like paste!! I don’t know!  The dessert was cheesecake.  I do not like cheesecake for real, but this was more like whipped cream and it was soooooo good! I which I could have had seconds on that! It was drizzled with cherries and pistachios! YUM, then they gave us coffee to end the siesta!  It took us 3hours to do all of that! 

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We ended that trip with at tour of the Gernika Museum and of Peace.  That was pretty cool with the conflict with the Civil War and the Basque Country and also how other countries helped Spain recover! image

TOPIK Update

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Most of my energy outside of school has been put into figuring out my future (finding promising looking jobs to apply for, updating my resume, cleaning my apartment) or studying Korean. I have my proficiency test this Sunday, and I’m hoping to pass the intermediate level test. The intermediate level is much more difficult than the beginner, so while I’m miles above the beginner there is a fair chance I wont’ pass the intermediate. This would be unfortunate because then the only level documentation I have (other than my certificates of completion for various Korean classes) would state that I was at a beginning level.

Furthermore, this test is only offered once every three months, and the next time it’s offered in Korea will be after my contract ends and I will probably have already left the country. I CAN take it in America, but it’d be much better if I could just pass the intermediate this time around.

Wish me luck!

Words Words Words

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been busy preparing for my trip to Japan, my time in Seoul, and the TOPIK exam (the Test of Proficiency in Korean). The most difficult thing about the TOPIK is the sheer amount of vocabulary I’m expected to know. The listening section is alright, and I actually do okay with the grammar, but many times I’ll read a sentence and understand it, only to be told that I should substitute in a synonym for an underlined word and realize that I don’t know what any of the options mean! At that point the only thing I can do is guess.

I’ve been thinking a lot about language. In July I’ll be heading back to America (for good?) and I’m scared that I’ll lose all the Korean that I’ve gained. Though I’ve been studying for over two years, sometimes it feels like I’m getting nowhere. I’ve been reading a lot about language acquisition, and I’ve been observing my students struggle with English, and part of me wonders if I’ll ever get to “fluency,” however you define that. I read an interesting article written by Antonio Graceffo about fluency, and how many words it takes to read a newspaper, and started thinking about my own vocab level. How many words do I know?

I wasn’t always, but these days I try to be methodical when studying vocabulary. It’s too easy to “think” that you’re actually learning and retaining a word, and then realize that you can only recognize it, and not produce it. Halfway through last year I started using an awesome website called Memrise to study vocabulary, and my rate of retention skyrocketed. It’s the only program I know of where in order to get the flashcard “right” you have to actually type out the word, which is great because then I’m being tested on spelling and there’s no cheating. If I can remember the spelling, then I’ll know how to pronounce it correctly.  When you get a word right the “plant” associated with each word is “watered.” With every successful watering, you have to water that plant less, so words I get wrong are frequently shown to me, whereas very simple and easy vocabulary is brought up once every few months or so in order to refresh my memory. I highly suggest Memrise to anyone who struggles with vocabulary (be my mempal – Memrise friend- I’m AnnPotski!).

Anyway, in the article Graceffo takes eight different articles from the New York Times online and through what seemed to be a painstakingly painful process counted all of the unique words (counting conjugated forms as separate words, so word would be counted once, and words would be counted separately). Apparently to read the New York Times you should have a vocabulary of approximately 4,000 words. Holy mackerel. After reading that, I headed over to Memrise to see how I was doing.

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Considering that not all of the words I know are actually on Memrise, I have a vocab of at least 1,000, probably closer to 2,000. Slowly but surely, I’m getting there. Time to go water some plants.

VIENNA

Monday, June 4th, 2012

this hills ARE ALIVE.. with the sound of music. (really want to watch the movie right now)

so the bus ride was uneventful. 4 hours. slept most of the way ha

our hotel on the other hand a gem. it historic and really cool on the inside and the rooms have been completely renovated this year! including GLASS walls for the ENTIRE bathroom. mary and i are lucky because ours has a slight amount of frosted glass (which is still completely transparent) but however we think the architect may have made a mistake because from the inside in the bathroom you can’t see out but from our bed (directly in front of the bathroom) you can see very well in. as i said though… we are the lucky ones. some of the others have COMPLETELY clear glass for their bathrooms. it has been interesting seeing their contraptions they have made to try to block the view. Austrians must really have nothing to hide.

notice the lovely glass walls

As every other country we were welcomed by rain. mary and i didn’t want to leave because we opened our window to listen to the rain and were playing cello music which complemented it amazingly but all good things must come to an end when we had to meet the group to be sent out in the rain to learn our way around the metro. we went to the location of the main cathedral, which was pretty but i have yet to be really awed here (in their defense i think we were in the middle of the city itself).

mary and i branched off from the others to kind of just learn our way around. we decided that we were hungry and went to find a restaurant, which strangely proved to be very difficult… and landed on some austrian hunting lodge off some random side street. it was really decorative and cute and the staff were very nice to us. we ordered out meal, mary spare ribs with potatoes and a side of spotzle to share and for my self pan fried beef an potatoes, little did we know we would be getting the entire animal itself! our portions were HUGE! like and thats saying the very least. mary got like 2 large racks of ribs with a heap of potatoes and mine was this entire thing of beef covering my plate and hiding another mound of potatoes. not to mention our bowl of spotzle. huge yes and VERY tasty.

mary and her absurd amount of ribs

We also go really excited because they had ice tea (which came in bottles of course) AND it was served with 2 ice cubes (ice is a rarity in europe so enjoy) we got so excited about the ice when he brought us the glass that when we asked for 2 more bottles he brought out this bowl of ice just for us haha. unfortunately we didn’t finish it all so we boxed and took it home to our dog (Dan) who gladly accepted our left overs. Back at the hotel we are all just getting worn down from moving around so much and just hanging out tonight. nothing terribly exciting.

We are listening to the CDs we picked up from street musicians (cello and acoustic guitar) and they are beautiful and well done. making a very relaxing atmosphere as well as like narrating our time in europe for us.

oh and can we talk about the amount of peer pressure i get from my mother to go out at night and party? what?!

4 days till home!

-K

p.s. for all those people that saw my comment about the pepsi bottle and were like “pepsi comes in bottles loser” i meant to say glass bottle which you DONT actually see at home. my mistake (dad and kristen I’m talking to you)

p.p.s the city was LIDICE not LIDICHE (said like hermione)


Jeden

Friday, June 1st, 2012

STILL IN LOVE WITH PRAGUE

Its just beautiful. So today we randomly had to wake up to meet at 9:30 even though we didn’t have our tour till 1:00. Mary and I abided to their wishes and rolled out of bed at like 9:27 and walked downstairs in our pjs to listen to the chat. (we were the only ones not dressed and ready to go.. whatever.) we then stepped over to breakfast, which is sadly lacking from the rest of the countries, and then popped up back into bed to grab as much sleep as possible. At 1:00 we met up with the rest of the group to go tour Prague’s castle.

It was beautiful! Ahh I like wish I could send you all vides of the amazing landscape and buildings. The castle was really cool unfortunately none of us could really understand our Czech tour guide… and not to mention for the tour (and only the tour) the weather decided to be rainy and cold. Not good for us sickies. The view from the top of the hill was also amazing of the city below

the girls!

After mary and I were starving and while the rest went back to the hotel (why?) we stopped at some concession stand and got corn on the cob, chicken kabob pita wrap thing, fruit and water. All for like ~$5 WOO! We then wandered the streets and found a cute restaurant to warm up in and got apple strudel (uhh yum) and somehow managed our way over to the Karluv Most (Charles Bridge) which was sweet and had a bunch of venders along it.

We then ended up back into the main square with the astronomy tower and did some souvenir shopping and grabed a tasty vanilla cream pastry before heading back to our hotel. We grabbed dinner at the local pizza place and DAD GUESS WHAT I got a bottled pepsi

Now im just chilling in the room about to go to bed before our depressing day tomorrow.. touring a concentration camp and Jewish children memorial thing… cant wait.

BUT tomorrow night a bunch of us are going out to have fun and explore I actually cant wait for that!

Miss everyone, single digits till we are home now!

-K