Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Il a plu hier

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Il a plu hier


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.


Thursday, November 15th, 2012
It’s been getting colder. It’s still pretty warm in the teacher’s office, and relatively warm in the classrooms, but it’s cold in the hallways and outside. This morning I ran into a male student (class 2.8) leaving the second grade building. He was just wearing a button-up shirt and a sweater vest, with no jacket in sight.
“HI TEACHER” he shouted.
“Hi, aren’t you cold? Where’s your jacket?” I replied, shivering, huddled in my massively oversized jacket, contemplating putting on my gloves.
“It’s in the classroom.”

A Whiff of Fall

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

If you can have a false spring, can you also have a false fall? You know, in February when it suddenly thaws and everyone’s wearing t-shirts and the tulips start to poke out of the ground, and the next day all the tulips are dead, there’s a layer of frost on the ground, and everyone’ s shivering because no one got the “put on your coat” memo. That sort of false spring. We had it every year at UMW, and every year it caught me by surprise. By the time I knew to expect it, I had come to Korea, where we don’t have false springs – we just have very long, uninterrupted winters. I have never heard of a false fall, but that’s the best way I can describe our current weather.

It’s still summer, but the double typhoons (that’s right – instead of a double rainbow I got TWO typhoons, back to back) swept through and seem to have taken most of the summer heat and humidity with them. Looking at my town, we came out of the typhoons okay. There are no broken windows that I can see, though the wind did blow a fair amount of shingles off of the roofs those can be replaced easily, and only one tree fell over. All of the leaves on the ground shaken off the trees prematurely by the storm are starting to decompose, which just adds to the smell and feeling of our false fall.

Yesterday as I walked home, I noted that there were patches of sky uninterrupted by clouds, the first time in a few days, and the sky was so blindingly azure blue that it matched the colors of the roofs of some of the houses around me. Earlier in the day, I had peered out the window of the one of the first grade classrooms and noted that all I could see beyond the field surrounding my school was a gray nothingness, and the comforting familiarity of the mountains surrounding us, encasing our school and town in a valley and protecting it from the elements, had disappeared.

Korean summer has always been alien to me, as being from Virginia, while I’m used to the heat and the oppressive humidity I’m not used to the constant rain, and the winter’s always been too cold and harsh. On the other hand Korean spring and fall,  so similar to the ones I grew up with, just shorter, are pleasantly familiar. Today as I walked to school I wore a sweater, which considering the temperature is just continuing to rise was a ridiculous idea, but I wanted to bask in the snugness of false fall for just a little longer.

Em in Asia! 2012-04-02 23:42:15

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

I’m in a gray sort of mood… it’s probably partly influenced by the terrible weather. It’s gray and bleak, and the clouds are so low you can’t see the mountains. The wind is so sharp and strong that doors constantly slam open and closed and it pushes students screaming down the hallways. It’d be funny if it wasn’t happening to me as well.

It’s also probably influenced by the fact that due to school trips I only have one class today, and it’s after lunch. My students are the highlight of my day, and the reason why I’m sitting at this desk right now, and when I’m at school and don’t teach I feel uprooted and awkward.

It’s also that time of year where I have to decide if I want to stay another year or leave. This would be the final time I could extend, because you can only have a Fulbright ETA grant for three years. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to stay (I love my school), but I talked to an old college friend today and it set me to thinking.

I’m scared of failing. I didn’t have any major issues in high school (academically, at least) and though I love my college, for me it wasn’t a reach school. In fact, I only applied to three colleges. The F*bright was the first thing I had really applied to that I wasn’t sure I’d get, and it stretched me so much. Being surrounded by all these talented people who have seemingly done so much more with the same resources was and still is daunting. It makes me want to be a better person. I’m finally getting comfortable here… I love my school and I don’t just fit, but I bring something to the table. At some point I’ll have to leave Korea, and face a whole new set of challenges. What if I can’t live up to them? What if I don’t get into any graduate schools, or I’m not able to find a job that utilizes my talents?

I don’t think this is my reason for staying, but this fear of failure is something I’ll have to face eventually.

It’s the end of days

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

…is what I thought when I left the main building this morning to go teach second grade and first smelled the air – instead of the relatively clear and fresh air I’ve grown accustomed to, it smelled like smoke. I looked up and saw little twisted black spirals floating down, as all the kids ran to class with their hands over their face.

So it turns out that someone decided to burn their trash on the field next to our school, but the wind picked up the ashes and flung them into the air, and they’ve decided to land on the grounds of Changpyeong High School and in the lungs of Changpyeong students. I felt really really bad for the first period PE class…


This is a picture I took a few days ago, before the Trash Dust Bowl of 2012. I took this standing just outside the main entrance looking out at the soccer field and second grade (boys? not sure) dormitory. On clear days you can clearly see all of the mountains that surround Changpyeong… it’s beautiful.

When I first came to school I found another letter from MW, along with a little present. I had talked to her during cleaning period yesterday and she had apologized for not being able to photocopy the letter. I said it was fine and she could give it to me the next day. She asked what time I’d leave school and I said I wasn’t feeling well so I’d probably leave soon.

 DSC03262                       DSC03263

She made a box out of post-it notes and stuck chocolate inside. She is so cute.

That’s all for today, folks! Stay classy. Don’t inhale trash.


OHMYGOODNESS while writing this blog entry I found out that the hot water dispenser isn’t working. IT IS THE END OF DAYS. Now I have to use a hot water kettle to make tea.

Sturm und Drang

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Ok, so I used a semi-clever title to suck you into a post entirely about….

12. Learn to love the rain

Hey, it was a hard bucket lister to achieve. And my brain is overrun with terms for my Gothic Literature final tomorrow (For all the non-English majors, it means “storm and stress”). So, this week the weather outlook in England is bleak. Surprisingly, the weather’s been amazing the entire time we’ve been here, seeing sun more often than not is not something I expected. But this week a mega storm is hitting. A hurricane tried to stop us from leaving the states back in August, and now storms are trying to stop us from leaving England. Not that I need any encouragement, I’d just as soon stay here straight through winter! Hail storms are expected throughout the week, and we saw a bit of that today.I’ve never seen such temperamental weather! It went from bright and sunny to hail storms back to sun within 10 minutes, throughout the day.

I braved the weather for the weekly dessert run and was so glad I did, although not so glad I didn’t bring a camera. Let me attempt to put this into words. I looked up from the wet streets and saw the most alluring sky I’ve ever seen. To the right of my house was pale blue with wispy, fluffed clouds, typical of a summer day. The buffer zone had smatterings of dark gray, wrapped in tendrils like glow worms. And the left side, down the hill was smeared with soft pink, the kind of pink that adorns a baby girl’s bedroom. All of it looked like someone had gently spread their fingers and diffused all the colors together. And the sun was still out—but only shining on a small area in the pink, which made it look like the skyline behind the church hosted dying embers. I had another hippie moment and just stopped to look at it, my chocolate withdrawal forgotten for the moment. And none of that would have been possible without the storm and intense rains. I officially love the rain. I’ve never seen sunshine give that much color.

Finals are this week, I just had my first one today. They’re all sit-down, closed book essay exams; 2 hours for 2 exams, so nothing too strenuous. I have two tomorrow and my last one Thursday–then I’m officially done for the semester! Our final tea is on Friday, and afterwards the Prior Park ladies have a reservation at (drumroll)….Jamie Oliver’s restaurant! We’ll probably go out for one final Squeeze the Cheese night at PoNaNa (remember, the awesome cheesy music night at the Moroccan club?). I take a bus to Heathrow at 8am on Saturday, my flight is at 4. An 8 our flight. Luckily, I’ll have two ASE-ers on the flight too. I’ll try not to cry when I have to say bye to Bath, but I make no promises! I love this place too much :)


Em in Asia! 2011-11-16 20:31:50

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

We had a warm spurt for late October and early November. It almost helped me forget that this time last year I was getting sick every other week and absolutely freezing.  Alas, now winter is here in full force, and everyday as I walk to school I can see my breath. I also remember this time last year my coffee intake went way up, because I couldn’t stand to be outside for more than thirty minutes at a time, so whenever I met my friends we had coffee.

Seriously though, all I want to do is wear sweaters and eat soup.

This has been a stressful week. Yesterday I took a team of four students to YDAC, a Youth Diplomacy Action Conference that was thought of and created by a fellow f*brighter. Jeollado (broken into two parts, Jeollabukdo -north- and Jeollanamdo -south-) generally has less resources than many of the other provinces (especially Gyeonggido, the province that surounds Seoul) so this Jeollabukdo-residing f*brighter decided to create a diplomacy simulation that was targeted towards high school students in Jeolla. It was ridiculously fun.

I had to choose a team of four students (I chose one second grade boy and girl and one first grade boy and girl to show an accurate representation of our school, and also to try to combat the gender division/grade division in school) and they had to write a mock resolution. We wrote one on global warming:

A Resolution on Global Warming

1. Whereas, the world became industrialized and the use of fossil fuels increased; and

 2. Whereas, carbon dioxide is increasing because of using fossil fuels; and

 3. Whereas, cars and factories, the source of greenhouse gases are increasing; and

 4. Whereas, harmful greenhouse gases lead to changing climate which causes abnormal weather and melting icebergs; therefore

 BE IT RESOLVED THAT Factories in developed countries should decrease their carbon dioxide emissions by 35% within 10 years.

Then the students had to prepare a 5 – 7 minute speech expanding on their resolution, as well as read resolutions that the 8 other schools had prepared and think up some counter-arguments or points to support them. They also had to later on in the day read a mock situation and respond to it.

I was really proud of not only my students but also all the students from the other schools that came.  My students seemed to really enjoy the conference. It was also fun just being able to hang with them, and having them want to speak to me in English.

On top of all that, today is the SCHOOL FESTIVAL! Oh man, I’m excited, even if many of the students aren’t. Turns out the reason why we don’t have classes today isn’t entirely because of the festival – all morning classes are cancelled for the school-wide essay competition. What fun. Also, there’s currently some school drama going down, because they had to cut some of the acts in the school festival due to time restraints, and ended up cutting some of the homeroom dances/skits, so now some of the students are mad at some of the faculty. Anyway, I’m still excited. One of my YDAC kids (Future Diplomat – referred to him a bit earlier) is apparently performing in the my school’s shortened rendition of Grease as “로저” which translates to “Roger” which is apparently Putzy’s name in the musical. I’m SO EXCITED to see FD as Putzy, it’s going to be hillarious.

Punta del Este

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

My trip to Punta del Este was over Semana Santa. I didn’t take that many pictures of this weekend, but it was very chill, I caught up on reading and slept on the beach.

We experienced a little mix-up getting there. We went through Buquebus and were supposed to take the ferry to Colonia and then a bus from Colonia to Punta del Este. We thought the time on the ticket next to the bus meant the time the bus was going to leave, but really it was the time to arrive. Whoops. They very helpful in fixing the situation (a reminder that I wasn’t in Argentina anymore) and it all worked out anyway. Although it took a lot longer and included a trip to Montevideo. Here we are wasting time at dinner in Colonia, waiting for the bus that had already left:

I promise this is not what I thought I ordered.

The first day on the beach I could wear my bathing suit! Well, it was a little too cold with the wind. Definitely didn’t have appropriate clothing so I basically wore the same strange mix of layers everyday.

Day two at the beach was a little different. This is how I found my friends:

That’s our hostel! My bed in the hostel was more comfortable than my bed at home. Although I’m sure much dirtier. On that note, I like hostel living a lot more than my Mom would think.  (Okay maybe only for a few days). And you can meet a lot of interesting people. Punta del Este was really expensive (compared to BA) so we made pasta one night and had tomato soup and grilled cheese for Easter dinner!

Marisa and I both bought this tapestry. There was only one left so we fought over it but then the guy said he could go get another one from the store. It turns out there are many uses for a tapestry. Towel, blanket, decoration, cape, slipcover, bedspead…the list goes on.

Another Lazy Friday

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

I had two midterms on Wednesday. Yes I have school work some of the time! I would just like to say that my global econ professor is a CRAZY man. Class time is spent on off-topic rants about his chocolate lab and Aerolineas Argentinas. He is hands down the most unapologetically biased professor I have ever had. And I know how biased some of you think all my professors are! He confirms my suspicion of the Argentine belief that opinions should be accepted as facts. This idea has come up over and over again and always makes me laugh. I don’t have a good example now though but will try and remember them. I think most of my notes from now will be quotes of him saying ridiculous things so get ready for that! Anyway, my grade is a crapshot really. He’s kind of brilliant and told us not to write anything stupid. Vamos a ver.

A few weeks ago I bought a very expensive Eat, Pray, Love book in English. I read 100 pages that night, probably because it was so nice to have an easy English read. And because it’s really good. I’m actually not finished yet somehow but I recommend it. I will probably get back to that this evening or El Principito because I need the Spanish. Also have Los Secretos de Sus Ojos (Argentine film which just won the Best Foreign Film Oscar), which I haven’t seen yet; and Valentín (Argentine film we watched in class), which I recommend.

It’s cold here now but has been indecisive the past week. I just noticed some leaves that changed yesterday! I guess it’s fall although I’m trying to fight it. The Argentines think it’s a lot colder than it is. Maria doesn’t let me leave the house without a sweater.