Saturday, July 31, 2010

7-31 So, it's been a little while since my last post, again, and with a little push (Thanks Jacki) I though I'd write one before I head to a concert tomorrow and thereafter won't have internet for a little while. So, I've bought a ticket to the Jisan Rock Festival in the Jisan Valley Resort area and I'm mainly going b/c I've really got into the band MUSE. If you're not listening to them, you really should, as they are a great band with some awesome tunes. So my buddy Terryance and myself have been jamming to MUSE and Third Eye Blind, of whom will also be there tomorrow as well. I believe I saw that Corin Bailey Ray(sp?) will also be there and I'm somewhat interested in seeing part of her show. It ended being quite the trouble in getting my ticket for the show however. I sent in my money and form on Weds and apparently they didn't get the memo. So, to make the story short I had to call them a few times and luckily they found my reservation and I'm set to go to the concert and rock out to some MUSE. One last note about the concert, I would have like to went today as well to see Mute Math, I've recently started listening to them and really like their stuff, particularly the song "Peculiar People".
In other news, the past two weeks I've been entertaining the kids at summer camp from 9-12 every morning. We mainly played games and cooked a lot. The first week on Thursday with 1-3 graders we cooked pizzas which turned out ok but afterwards I really though about what I had done. I was alone with twelve young children allowing them to cut peppers, onions, mushrooms, etc! Ah, probably not the best idea but no one was harmed and although the pizza wasn't perfect it was still pretty good. In the second week we had the 4-6 graders which turned out to be a pretty big challenge in that we have a 5th grader that is EXTREMELY ADHD and brings a lot of trouble on himself with other students but also gets picked on a little much. So, it made for quite the balancing act, especially seeing how I don't know the majority of what they are saying to each other!
To finish the week I let the students watch a movie and I had brought Monsters, Inc for them to watch, equiped with Korean subtitles and all. Of course it didn't go quite as planned as it did not work, nor did the Harry Potter's, etc in the room. So, I tried for a while to pull something off the internet. The boys wanted the Simpson's Movie and the girls wanted Harry Potter. Finally, I was able to find Monster's Inc online and got it to play. But, there was no Korean subtitles which made it difficult for the students but being an animated cartoon, it ended up being ok. That is until the computer shut down and I had to reload the movie again! In the end it worked out great but for a while it was quite stressful!
So, that leads to today, my first day of vacation! I don't have kids again until August 23rd! Like I stated earlier I will be attending the Jisan Rock Festival tomorrow to see MUSE. Next weekend I will be heading on another trip with Adventure Korea to the southwest coast to a private beach house for the weekend. I hope this trip is as much fun as the mud festival was, as it was pretty awesome. I should be able to finally get those pics up soon as my camera was acting up. Also in the next month or so is my other Adventure Korea trip where I will be checking out the 4th Tunnel dug by the North Koreans that was found in 1991 and is said to be able to transport 10,000 troops an hour if it had been used. I will get to look into North Korea as well as do some hiking and camping (in SOUTH KOREA Aunt B!). Early in Sept I will be running a 10K race up near the DMZ as well (DMZ International Peace Race) and I'm trying to get into decent shape for that as the races I've ran so far have only been 5K's and the last one was over a year ago when I ran the Ice Breaker in Great Falls, MT in April!
The final trip I will be taking this summer is during Chuseok, which is basically the Korean Thanksgiving. I will be boarding a plane and heading to Jeju Island which is a tropical Island south of mainland Korea. It should be a week of fun and sun and I can't wait. I've also booked a hostel for the week, so everything has been taken care of. I'm really excited and blessed to get to do all of these fun trips while I'm here in Korea.
I have been missing home quite a bit here in the past few weeks. I'm really looking forward to getting the next package from dad, especially so I can show up my Marine shirt he picked me up. It means so much to get these packages from home. Hopefully this week I'll get to mail some packages back home to as I want to get D the J a gift for his 1st birthday and I also want to send Allison a letter and coins and bills from over here as I know she said she is really looking forward to getting it. I've also picked up some books to pass the time the next two weeks. I recently read The Road, which is a sad but amazing book. I'm currently reading Theodore Rex, which is about Teddy Roosevelt's presidency and another awesome book. Today I purchased The Wilderness World of John Muir which is a collection of Muir's best writings from his other books. I really love Muir and his love for nature. John Muir played a major role in the formation of the National Parks and had a special relationship with Teddy Roosevelt. The other book I bought today is called The Koreans and it is a book about who Koreans are, what they want, and what the future holds. I've read about 20 pages in it today while riding the subway around Seoul and it's a very fascinating book and should help me gain a better understanding of this wonderful but sometimes confusing country.
Well, that's all that I can think to write today. It's about time to go bowl with some friends. Hopefully I can find a computer this week and write about some other things I've been doing but couldn't think about today. 'Til then. Oh, one last thing, if you want to know a little about Korea, check out this website, it's a guy that does cartoons about life for a foreigner sometimes here in Korea:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Random Thoughts

7-13 Ok, so I don't have any great thoughts today. Felt today would be a good time to write another blog and I thought I'd just see what comes of it. It's the last week of regular school as we start summer camp next week for two weeks. It will consist of the students being here from 9-12 every day for two weeks and myself being here for my regular hours (8:30-4:30). It should be a pretty good time as we have some interesting activities such as having the kids build and Indian Tipi as we will be teaching about Native Americans! After the two weeks of camp, I don't have to be back at school for over two weeks! It's going to be nice to have some time off and I think during my time off I'm going to be doing some traveling throughout the country with a friend or two and just chill.

I've also booked three trips through adventure korea, which is a cool site, if you are in Korea you should definitely check it out: For the three trips I'm going on, they are:

This weekend(July 17/18th) I'm attending the 1st Mud Festival. Activities include Mud Wrestling( or Wraslin' for those of you also from the south), Mud sliding, a concert, fireworks, and much more.

The weekend of the 31st and 1st I'm planning on heading to a water park with some friends which should be a sweet time. On August 1st I'm planning on attending the Jisan Rock Festival so I can have the chance to see Muse for the first time. I've really started to dig their music and having the opportunity to see them while here is something I simply can't pass up. There's not much I enjoy more than live music.

The following weekend (Aug 7/8) I'm heading down to Jeollanam-do province to stay at a private beach house. On this trip I'll visit the Muan Lotus Festival, go swimming, fishing, take a boat ride, have a camp fire, visit a brewery, etc. It really looks like an amazing trip and I will get to meet some cool people along the way.

The 3rd trip I've booked through Adventure Korea is called a Camping and Wilderness Trekking trip. It will take me up and over to the Gangwon-Do province. During this trip I'll get to visit the 4th Infintration tunnel the South Korean's discovered back in 1990. While there we'll get to check out the Ulji observation tower and get a good look at North Korea as well! Next will be hitting up the summer festival, set up tents and camp, head to Achimgari Valley for some hiking, have some Bibimbop and head back.

In September I'm planning on running the DMZ International Peace race up near the DMZ (of course). I was going to try and run the 1/2 marathon but now I'm just going to try and run the 10K. I think I can live with running that far. I'm currently right at the 3 mile marker and getting up to the 6.2 mile marker in the next two months is a legit goal! I'm pretty stoked to actually run a race. I actually haven't ran one since I ran the Ice Breaker last April in Great Falls, while living in Montana.

I do have a tough decision right now as I still really want to visit Beijing, China while I'm over here this year. Right now I think I may try and go during Chuseok, which is the Korean Thanksgiving. I just need to get my EXPENSIVE visa and book my trip. Visiting the Great Wall and the Forbidden Temple would be such an awesome experience. Just have to decide when to go. If any wants to go either in September or during Winter Vacation just let me know on here or FB. Well, I think I've done enough ranting for today. I'm very pleased with the trips I've been able to book and I expect they will be awesome adventures as I continue to explore The Land of the Morning Calm!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Writing lesson plans for imaginary people to turn into people that can't read them

7-6 I've still yet to become completely comfortable with the fact that Koreans do so many things last minute. I do come from a large family where plans can change quickly but I grew up with parents that always preferred to have us inform them of projects, sleepovers, etc in advance. It didn't always go that way but it was the way we were taught. Now I'm living in South Korea where it is not that way. Most of the time the last minute switches or in my favor such as a cancelled class, last Tuesday's was not. I was informed that I had to have everything up until September to turn in and oh, they wanted them the next day!

The most frustrating part about the situation was that I had to turn in lesson plans for people that I wouldn't actually be teaching the week I come back from vacation, and turning them in to people that couldn't read them. Anyway, all was completed and turned in, including my vacation sheet. In some ways this year reminds me of last year in Montana, in that I love the work, just not the paperwork it involves with the government. At least this year I don't have to turn in a time sheet stating what I was doing every hour of the day. In the end it's all worth it because I came to Korea to teach the students and that's what I focus on. So, if dealing with some of the paper work I'm not quite as fond of is what I have to do, BRING IT ON!

I'm also in the process of trying to plan some vacation time. I'm hoping in the next day or two to book a trip to China and send off for my visa. The only big problem with trying to head over to China is that it's about $150 for the visa and $50 to get it through a travel agency, so about $200 for the visa. The flight is about $300 bucks, so it's going to be around $500 which still isn't too bad. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have everything in order including my hostel and I can enjoy the Great Wall early next month. I'm also looking at booking a trip up north to Mt. Taebaek where I would be doing some cave touring, hiking, and also a cool Cinema Festival. I'm also looking into booking a trip doing my vacation time to the DMZ, have been wanting to check it out since I arrived here. If I can pull off these three trips during my vacation time I'd be really pumped. I must admit that I am a little nervous about the China trip as I have to book my trip first and then get my visa. I have plenty of time but it still worries me a little.

I think this weekend I'm going to try and take it pretty easy. I was going to stay in Ildong, but I've been asked to dog sit in Hanam, so I'm going to do that for a friend. I think I'm going to take a book or two and just chill in Hanam for the weekend. If I book these trips that I've been wanting too my money will be a low. Well, think I'm going to check out the sites and look at booking a trip to the DMZ. 'Til next time beautiful people. Oh, one last thing, I went to an area in Seoul this past weekend and had an American breakfast. Now, it was a little expensive but it was definitely worth it. We had to wait 40 minutes as it was a popular place. The Restaurant is called Butterfingers and it's in Gangnam. That's my breakfast above!