Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Hey lovely people! Bilbao has been treating me well.  Yes, classes are getting better as we speak….

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Hey lovely people! Bilbao has been treating me well.  Yes, classes are getting better as we speak.  The Spanish 4A (there’s a B class) class is tougher than I thought, but pray for me because the woman talks faster than what I’m use to.  Sorry if I am reiterating this, but there is a guy in my class that speaks French, Spanish, English, German and Arabic… tell me again how I got into this class. Well, he’s not the only one.  There are about 4 other people who are bilingual and are learning spanish as their 3rd language.  Also, it doesn’t help that my host family congregates in the living room and we don’t have dinner together because there isn’t a place to eat meals together.  That’s part of the experience I guess!?  I try to speak to them often, but I feel secluded in my room.  But it hasn’t been a whole week yet either! On the other hand, María complimented me this morning and packed me a lunch for the siesta! (:  And I discovered these beauties during lunch today.  America or UMW needs to step it up. It makes you coffee for like €0,60 (or not even $1) and gives you a good size.  The other machine has sandwiches and some other good options!  Why go out to eat when you can buy a while siesta here?! image


This International Business class is getting really interesting.  Since I am the only person that is not majoring or minoring in business, everything they say is so interesting about how globalization effects people.  It’s just different than what I’ve been learning with math and science.  So I enjoy that aspect of class.

Then, I was walking down the hallway with Brittany and I saw this man that looked so familiar and realized it was Dr. Jose Sainz (the program director for study abroad to spanish speaking countries I believe, I could be wrong?!)  !!!! I didn’t know what was going on but I was so excited to see him.  I gave him a hug and we talked for a solid 10 minutes.  He was saying that he thought about me when he was at the airport because they were about to miss their flight to Bilbao but they made it in time.  But we will have a UMW meeting tomorrow.  He is just a great person and I was so ecstatic to see him. Haha that was a great and happy moment!

Shopping again?! Psshhh yes, we (Brittany and I) went shopping in Moyua!  They had so many sales.  I think I might be broke by the time I get home?! Yeah, ehh WHEN IN SPAIN…  !

Yesterday, I meet this girl from Norway, Ida, and I asked her if she was with a group like CIDE or something at Deusto. She say she found this program online and doesn’t know much spanish but is in Spanish 3.  She knows the basics like hola and adios.  The point is, I saw her today and we had coffee at Café & Té (which is an awesome place to chat and/or do homework!) after class. While in this coffee shop, I talked to Erin B!!!  We were planning our trip to Rome (:  YAY!

Ciao for now! ("bye" in Italian)!

Words to live by: “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign." — Robert Louis Stevenson

Song of the day: Love and Happiness by Al Green

Madrid to Bilbao

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013


Day 1
Oh you’re so pretty! After that glorious nap I went to call a few people but I’m pretty sure the wifi hated me. Lucky enough a girl, Becca, from UMW found me in the hallway and introduced me to some people, because at that point I knew no one. I ended up going to Sol, Madrid with my new friends! There’s this one girl, Karolina, from the University of Northern Illinois and speaks perfect polish and is a pre-med student as well!! And her major is crazier than mine… it’s creative writing!!! Yeah, that was my same reaction!
We had dinner in Sol. Also, there were A LOT of prostitutes on this main street. Like when I say a lot I mean a lot; they were outside every building, that’s crazy!!! Interesting: majority of the people smoke, it’s crazy! Well in Madrid, haven’t seen the rest of the country.
Any who, we went to this bar and they gave us some good appetizers with your drink. Muy bien!
So like in the movies people lived above these stores and stuff. Well they do that here too ! I think that’s so sweet and cool. Can I do that!! They also dry their clothes outside on either a clothesline or on the railing. It reminds me of back on the farm *daydreams*.
Also can I just point out that I know Spanish, and being in Spain makes me feel like I just heard of this language today… The struggle! And I didn’t realize how much water I drink until I was here. Water is scarce and is not free here. Say what! Yeah, like riding on this bus, I would love some water right now. But I love this place!
Day 2
Today we started off with this OK breakfast. Literally, all I ate was fruit and bacon (well their version of bacon). Then we went as a group to the Museo del Prado. It had paintings from many artists within different eras from Europe. The tour was alrighty, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures though :(!!! Womp, womp! Afterwards, we went back to the hotel for lunch and it was even worst than breakfast. I tried some food (I live in a diverse household), this was different! Uhh no thanks. But they served water in a glass bottle and you could only have one!
Then, we loaded up again and headed for a 5hour bus ride to Bilbao to meet our host familias!! The ride was so, so long, but the scenery was muy bella. I tried to sleep but I didn’t want to miss out on any of the amazing scenery; so I just stared out my window. It was great.
We finally arrived in Bilbao!!! It was so beautiful and more green and mountainous!! All the host families were standing with signs and I didn’t see one for me. Once I went outside I still couldn’t find my host mother :(. Then someone tapped me on my shoulder and I turned around and this little Spanish woman had a sign with my name on it!!!!! She gave me a kiss on both checks and was so sweet, but not a lick of english!! I had to use that Spanish faster than I thought!! I was so excited I forgot words and I was like uhh no se! Or que or repeta por favor! Yeah the struggle bus. But her apartment is so pretty and small. They have a dog named Nino and a son that lives here. Like the view from my room is indescribable…. (:

I’m really excited I’m here! I would like to thank my parents and especially my dad for helping me reschedule my flights!! You’re the best pops!

Any who, I have to wake up tomorrow to go visit the univeraidad and tour!!! Ahhh adios amigos! Buenos noches!

Pictures will be posted next !!

Postcards from 2.1, 2.6, and 2.7

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

 Class this week was about vacations. Students were given fifteen minutes to write and decorate a postcard to anyone (friends, family, teachers, or idols) about their summer vacation (either their real vacation, or their ideal vacation). The had to use one of five idioms taught in class: cabin fever, the dog days of summer, R&R, hit the road, and veg out. Here’s what three of my second grade girl classes came up with.

Dear ES

Hi. My name is SM. Why do you like me? I know you like me. I know you care. But I’m so busy girl Sorry. ^_^.
How about your vacay? This week is the day of summer. Be careful your health. You should grow up!! Loser.

Bye bye ~

[E: Note, the words over 'Hell gate' say "Dormitory Building 1."]

Dear people in Jindo (my hometown)

Hi! Everyone I’m ES! I was very sorry to hear the news that typhoon came and destroyed all town. Although Jindo is out of the map now, I believe someday the most beautiful island Jindo will arise.
It was very very terrible vacation.
But luckily my family move the town. We’re okay.
Be health! and cheer up! and Be R&R
Sincerely, Eunseo

[E: Jindo wasn't actually destroyed by the typhoon, fyi. This was written on Monday, before the typhoon hit on Tuesday.]

Dear Emily,

I saw my feature of future in a dream.
In dreams, my feature was different each day.
I tried to do something that is the phase of my future dream, but I failed.
I want to be the person who was in my dream, but I didn’t even try it@
Please give me a cheer up words!
It’s the dog days of summer that sometimes I want to give up dream.
Help me!
Sincerely, NK

Dear Emily
I want to go Europe with only a backpack and money and eat a lot of country food. but I will escape Dog Days of summer. I like little cloudy weather (not rainny or humid day). I will take a lot of picture and meet foreign friends ^_^.

Dear Emily <3 ^ㅠ^<3
Hello. I got your letter yesterday so I was very happy. I had an unforgettable vacation like you. I met my lover ‘공유’ who is actor by coincidence. I approached him right away.. ^o^ㅎ I told that I’m a big fan of him. I asked him that I want to have dinner together. As he was not busy, he could have dinner with me. Seeing such a handsome man is really fantastic.
Sincerely, GH

Dear HNH
Hello, it’s me.What’s up?
I was sick so I went to hospital in Gangwondo.
I want to heard however,you stay home or anywhere. I misses my friends who live in Changpyeong. I misses my parents because I don’t se the. I met them once a week. I was very sad but I”m okay because now I live in CP high school.
Sincerely, DH

Dear 봉냔
Today your hair is 뭉치뭉치 [E: bunch bunch] like 삽살 [E:?] dog. You borrow my hairband.
Last week you borrowed my hairband.
So you have 2 my hairbands –
When they return me? –
Please return as soon as possible.
P.S. today 불라벤 come 한반도 [E: 불라벤: the typhoon; 한반도: the peninsula]
so we have to 사재기 [E: stockpile?]
i wish you have R&R, good luck.

Dear Crab Meat <3
Hi! I writing a letter to you. This summer I have a wonderful vacation.
During this summer vacation, I was really, really comfortable. I rest all day.
I relax all day. I slept all day. Complete R and R. I didn’t study, but instead of studying I read comic books of all worlds. Now I can concentrate at study, I think.
You like treat me roughly,  but I think I like it. I want to be your friend for long time.
Sincerely, intelligent.

Dear YR
Hello ~~ what’s up!! How are you??? ㅇuㅇ.
I’m so so happy ~~
Because!! I wen to “East Sea” with “Ki Sung Yong”
Do you know him??
he is very important and famous soccer player ~~
We play in the water ~~ We ate samgyupsal.
It’s so delicious ~ because we were deeply in love~~!!
We need R&R, so we went to spa.
It’s very very special summer vacation.
After I meet him with U. You expect him ~~
bye ~~~~ ^_^

Dear SY. HY.
Hi, I’m your love love DE.
This summer is so so so so hot.
We need  more R&R :( .
I hit the road 완도 [E: to Wando, an island] with my friends *^^*
It was short, but I satisfied with this travel. Because we went there together ~~. When we grow up, promise that we can go travel together next and after next year we always be together <3.

The Good, the Bad, and the BAD

Friday, May 4th, 2012

It is incredibly hot today. Korea seems to think that regardless of its position compared to the rest of the calendar year this week deserves to be a part of summer and has ramped up the temperature to 80 degrees. Apparently next week it will go back down to 70, and that can’t come soon enough because my apartment doesn’t have air conditioning.

This week we had midterms so I didn’t go to school Wednesday and Thursday, and I went today because it was the teacher’s sports day. Teacher’s sports day is a once or twice-a-year event at CPHS and though the two teachers at the school I’m closest with weren’t able to go, it was still fun interacting with the non-English young female teachers, and my favorite older co-teachers. It was also fun watching the middle-aged men at my school regress to their high school ages and kick ass at a sport I didn’t even know existed (foot volleyball. It’s like soccer meets volleyball – there’s a net but you can’t use your hands).

I went to the Bamboo festival with some of my friends on Wednesday and Thursday and I’m supposed to take a bus to Mokpo, a city further south, to meet them but I’m stalling because I don’t want to go back outside in the heat. While I cool down, drink my iced tea, and prepare myself for the weather, I’ll tell you about what happened to me on Wednesday afternoon.

I have quite a few Bad students (students who either don’t study or do poorly on tests, or students who Do Bad Things like break curfew or even smoke). That being said, I rarely come across any BAD students. BAD students are those that are just bad people. Not those who’ve had bad days or a few behavioral problems, and maybe they’re not even BAD to everyone, but those where they’ve decided that they Just Don’t Like You and have No Interest in Pretending To.

I tend to get along with the Bad students rather well. They tend to range from shy and embarrassed about their ability to rip-roaringly exuberant. It’s not easy, but if you give the loud ones a stage and coax the shy ones to speak you can create some really deep relationships. The shy type generally get ignored, and the exuberant tend to be labeled as delinquents, so in putting in that extra effort to really see them as not just students but young adults, personalities, people, they appreciate it. However, the BAD students, well… that’s another story.

Now, I never want to label a kid as BAD, because once that label sticks in my mind, once I associate a face with BAD, it’s hard to approach them the same way. A warning siren goes off in my head when I see them and it’s difficult for me to judge what a good reaction to the things that they say and do are. I had an unreformed BAD at SGHS. He would sleep, swear at me in Korean and English during class, and try to stare me down, but other than him I’ve been pretty lucky so far. Most of my BAD-to-bes have redeemed themselves in my eyes at least (though, maybe not in the eyes of the school).

Fast-forward to Wednesday when I was waiting at the bus stop to go to Gwangju. I was wearing a shorter skirt than normal (which, by the way, followed the fingertip rule and I was wearing opaque leggings and a long sleeved high-necked baggy shirt – what more can you really do) when I heard a “whoo-hoo.” I assumed it was a middle-aged man or a soldier commenting on my outfit so I steeled myself and turned around, and saw a Bad and a BAD.

The “whoo-hoo” had come from the Bad, who was trying to get my attention, and who had immediately followed the whoo-hooing with frantic dual-arm waving, which was unnecessary as he was only about five feet away from me. The Bad’s an identical twin, and his brother’s also a Bad. A few weeks ago they were caught smoking and drinking in the dormitory and were temporarily kicked out, so they now commute to school everyday. I really like both boys – they’re exuberant, fun, try really hard in my classes, and quite a handful.

I have a long and complicated history with the BAD, and other teachers have had problems with him as well. Last year after I had lectured his class on being chatty and asked why they were so unfocused, he stood up and said that it was because my class was more boring than the previous ETA’s class and that I expected too much of the students. We had a one-on-one talk afterwards about his concerns about my class and appropriate venues for airing these concerns, but since then he’s been on my radar. His actions in class are strange – sometimes he’s focused and volunteers, and sometimes he tries to derail me or other students. He’s kind of spacey, but also he can seem really sincere about what he says,which causes other students to laugh, and I can’t tell if his spacey sincerity is genuine or if he’s putting on a front to amuse the other students and make me lose face by taking him seriously. Evidence from one class will point to the former option, but then the next week I’ll think it’s the latter.

Back to the bus stop. The Bad goes to chat with another student who’s waiting for the same bus a little further down the road and I steel myself for a confrontation with the BAD. Instead, we had a conversation. He asked me where I was going and said that he was going to Gwangju as well for music academy, and that he plays guitar. We then saw his father who works in Changpyeong and he asked if I thought they looked alike. I said “a bit” and he then went to go talk to him, and came back with two drinks – a coke for him and mango juice for me. I was so surprised that I practically shouted thank you, and he slowly smiled at me.

At this point the Bad (who is much less spacey, much more talkative, and basically demands attention) comes back to chat and tells me that the two of them are BEST FRIENDS. I teach him the term BFF (“Oh. Ok ok we are BFFS!”) and then the Bad questioned me about the American school system. He then mentioned that he wanted to be a doctor, but his friend (the BAD) didn’t have a goal. I asked the BAD what he wanted to study in college, and he said that he wanted to be a musician and do Christian music – like gospel. This causes the Bad to interject and state that since he (the Bad) was a Buddha (read: Buddhist) they were no longer able to be BFFs but only Just Friends. As I’m clutching my sides laughing at the turn this conversation has taken, the bus rolls up, we get on, get separated by people, a little while later get off the bus in Gwangju, and I wave goodbye as they troop off to the stationary store.

Maybe the BAD isn’t so bad after all?