Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wo_oW Week of Craziness

Okay Really this week was the most hectic that I've had here in Korea, normally I would have at least one down day or something but no it just kept coming and coming and when I thought I could deal with one stressful thing, someone would pop out of nowhere and tell me that I had something else to do or get done immediately.
 But before I start ranting here is some fun Korean-English mess up.
 This post was brought to you by Oranges, the makers of Apples.
(read the label)

Sunday: Church was normal except we had a new president of the Young Women's called and she had only been a member for about a year and so knew practically nothing about Young Womens and her english is very much borderline. Thankfully the second councilor called is my friend, Veronique. (She is the french one). After church we thought we would have a short meeting to teach her about Young Womens and hopefully help her that way. Well that meeting turned into a three hour meeting and even then it didn't accomplish much.

Monday: We had an early meeting for work where we were told that my boss decided that it would be a great idea to invite the parents of the students to watch some of our classes. ( I guess I should mention here that parents are my enemies and that I have never had any good experiences with them). These classes would happen at this thursday and friday. We are expected to have the children ready to present their best perforance and that we needed to prepare a nice typed lesson plan by the next day. Meanwhile I have six classes to teach and Also they wanted us to start calling the students and 'counseling' them. (When I say counsel I mean just have a conversation with the students on the phone to give the appearance that we care.... biggest waste of our time). Then, on top of that we were told that we, the foreign teachers, have a mandatory meeting tomorrow.... at 9am.... that would probably last until we were expected to be at another meeting where we would be expected to demonstrate what we should present at the Open Classes (where the parents would join the class). Yeah, that was a fun day.

Tuesday: I woke up early and went to that redundant useless foreigner's meeting. In all actuality it would have been a very useful meeting had it happened within a month of me arriving in Korea. They talked about Korean and what to expect from the students and even how to gain an E-2 visa which we all already had for the fact that we were in Korea. I slept through the first hour and spaced out through the next. Then halfway through the meeting they had a presentation of Belly dancing. Random as ever and it wasn't really introduced so people were really confused. I snapped a pic because random things make me laugh and at that point I needed a good laugh. I felt bad for the dancers because people were still walking around from the break.
Anyways, we finish the meeting and get driven back to Masan and we all decided that we had enough time to go to lunch together. Which turned out to be really nice but made us late for our work meeting...darn. So, we get to the meeting and the Koreans had just finished their presentations about what they would do for their classes and the head teacher turns to us and asks if we were ready. I could care less at that point and so I volunteered to go first and got it out of the way. Then after everyone went, we were informed that they wanted print outs of all our lesson plans for the classes. Oh whatever. Yet another thing I am not sure we are actually going to use. I am a good employee and so I did the useless task.

Wednesday: This day was actually election day so we had this day off from work which was a curse and a blessing. It was a curse because that meant less time to prep our classes for the upcoming Open Classes. (which might I add had driven the Korean teachers to the extreme where one has given her two week notice). But it was a bless that we had a day off. I made the most of it and went to Busan and visited the temple by the sea.
( You should rub the Buddha belly and nose, just in case you want a son.)

I went shopping before and tried to time it to get there at sunset, well I got there alright and it was sunset and then I realized the sun was setting on the other side of the bay. At least I had enough time to take some fun pics before the light went out on me. It was a fun experience, mainly because after I took all those photos I went out on the rocky beach and ate my dinner next to the ocean watching the light fade away. Just over the crash of the waves you could just barely hear the monks chanting.

Thursday: I had lunch with my hopkido instructor and a few of the other students because the next day we were getting tested for our black belts. It was a fun lunch but in truth I don't really talk that much to these people because half the time we are just punch at each other or throwing each other around. Not much time for conversation. So it was interesting to talk with them. Then I had to run to work; where today was the beginning of the dreaded Open Classes. You could tell everyone was on edge and even a couple of teachers were sick because of the added stress. This was also the day where I had most of my students sign up to get calls. So all my free time I was calling students and it turns out one of the little brats had gone through on the sign up sheet and changed some of the numbers. So I was getting wrong numbers. Annoyances! The open classes went well enough and the parents seemed to enjoy it. Then I realized that next week was our first mid-term test and so I had to print that out and start preparing the students for that. It just wont end!

Friday: Today was the black belt test. I think I did okay but I am not sure if that is true. At one point I was supposed to stab my partner and instead the knife got caught on their uniform and it flipped out of my hand and flew across the dojo. I started laughing at that point and couldn't stop the rest of the time. So basically it was over after that, too much stress and I just have to laugh. We see if the board or Black belt judges will find it in their heart to pity the stupid foreigner and give her the belt and certificate. Then at school, it was a continuation of pointless calls and open class. The open class went better then I thought because when I left that last one, they applauded me out. Like I performed or something. It was nice to be done with that and I went to the store after work and splurged on chocolate.

Saturday: I went to a basketball game with my friend, Carter. He got free tickets and invited me along, normally I hate basketball but thought it would be fun to experience it. And in truth it was super fun watching the crowd and kids jumping up and down. I felt like I was back at rubber chicken but everything was in Korean. They had a cheer section where you would be recorded if you cheered hard enough. ( I safely stayed sitting down and hiding myself when I felt the lens of a camera.) I am pretty sure the only other foreigners their were the ones playing on the teams. And they towered over the Koreans too. Funny as ever, also the announcer was dressed in a Harry Potter costume and when I asked my friend why he was all dressed up, my friend replied it is because it is Christmas. Yeah, that didn't make much sense to me either but next Christmas I want to be Harry Potter, too.

Which brings us back around to sunday. I wont say much more other than the fact that I got super annoyed that at Church there was no Christmas special presentation, none of the talks were about Christmas or the original nativity story. All the talks were on was judgement and how our religion was so great. Then we had a combined meeting and that was about the ward's and church's history in Korea. What a Freaking let down! I am already Christmas deprived by being here and then my own church skips out on the whole holiday! Well, we are going to have a Christmas activity tomorrow... while I'm at work. Ugh, this is that last Christmas I am spending away from home willingly. Christmas isn't that big of a holiday here in Korea and that just makes me sad.

Found this tree at the mall, at least I know that commercially, Christmas isn't dead
Well, I just want to you all to have a great Christmas and to know how much of a blessing it is to be with family and friends during such a wonderful holiday. We celebrate the birth of our Savior and that is truly a blessing. Happy Holidays everyone, and Merry Christmas!


  1. Hey Winston here, always entertaining reading your blog, Meeeeery Christmaaaas

  2. You crack me up, Cyndil. Love ya & Merry Christmas, even if it is just in your little foreigner heart ;)