Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category


Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

It’s been a while since my last post here, because I was on vacation. I visited Madrid, Lisbon, and Porto.  It was incredible!  Ths vacation was my first time visiting Europe outside of France, and I really enjoyed discovering new places and noticing the differences between each country.  I think Americans tend to lump Europe (or at least Western Europe) together as one country, but in reality each country is as unique as the states in America.  One wouldn’t say that New Hampshire, Virginia, and Texas are all the same… Each country has its own language, its own traditions, its own history, etc.  Even within Portugal, there were regional differences between Lisbon and Porto.  

In Madrid, I visited two very famous museums: Prado and Reina Sofia.  Prado Museum is the home of many famous paintings and Spanish artists.  I saw the works of El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Raphael, Bosch, Van der Weyden, Picasso, and many others.  I took an Art History II class sophomore year, and I couldn’t believe I was seeing in person so many of the paintings I had studied!  I also got to see La Guernica, one of Picasso’s most famous works and an important part of Spain’s history.

Reina Sofia has more rotating exhibits. I saw an exhibit of modern art and sculpture called Metonymy by Cristina Iglesias.  

Another staple of Madrid: TAPAS.  It’s a menu of small appetizer-sized plates that cost 3-4 euro each; you order a bunch and share them, just to taste.  Many of the tapas items are something bizarre and gourmet, often atop a cracker: for example, duck confit with onions, foie gras and apples, smoked salmon, squid with ink sauce, etc.  I really ejoyed the atmosphere of these tapas dinners, and every plate was something weird and exciting.  Of course, when in Spain, we ordered everything with wine or sangria. 

I have many more experiences and observations to share, but I don’t want to make this post too long.  I will revisit the other cities later!

Upgrading Increasingly

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

I’m back in CP and preparing to teach on Monday. I teach a one week long winter “camp” which just means that I teach as normal, except that instead of teaching both first and second grade, I  just teach second grade. I actually like it, because I get to see second grade twice in one week! This is novel, especially considering that when they were first graders (a month ago) I saw them once every two weeks if I was lucky. After this one week camp, I’ve got one week of nothing in CP and then travel and living in Seoul.

During the super-short winter vacation our students have, they were pretty active on facebook. The first and second graders were alternately bemoaning their short break and complaining that they missed their friends and wanted to go back to school. The second graders in particular seemed to be having mini-meltdowns on facebook as they realized that this was their last real break before the 수능 next November. However, the third graders. The third graders. The third graders were absolutely adorable.

First, I didn’t actually tell any of the third graders that I had a teacher facebook because I didn’t teach them, but a few of them managed to find me and it’s been snowballing from there. They’ve been studying hard for most of their time at CP, and now they’ve found themselves free. They’ve been reveling in their sudden almost overwhelming amount of free time, and have been posting the most adorable photos of their homerooms and their friends.

How can you not grin when you read that?

On Vacation

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

It’s almost time to go back to Korea, which means it’s almost time to see my kids again. I needed the vacation, but I’ve missed my little terrors.

My female students told me (jokingly) before I left that I needed to take pictures of EVERYTHING. When I asked them to be a bit more specific, they requested pictures of attractive men and food. I laughed and agreed. When I thought about it some more, I realized that taking pictures of food was actually kind-of brilliant. I’ve always had difficulty describing “American food” to my students, because there is no set “American” menu. Not only does “American” food vary per region, but as someone who lives near the nation’s capital, there are so many diverse food options in my area. Whenever my students ask me if I eat rice in America I just have to laugh. I explain to them that not only have I eaten rice, but I’ve eaten kimchi. When they ask where, I reply that it’s fairly common at Korean restaurants. So, I’m not sure when I’ll use these pictures – maybe in my first lesson, maybe later as part of a food unit, but I’m excited to answer their food questions with pictures.

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mmmm I love food.

I still have four more days in the states, so obviously I’m not finished collecting pictures. If there’s anyone reading this that is upset because I left out a quintessentially American food do both of us a favor and take a picture for me to share with my students, and enjoy it! My students will either thank you, or curse you, depending on how hungry they are during class.