Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's been a while...

Sorry!!! I often just assume that nobody reads these, but it turns out I'm wrong, says Robert. And since it's been so long I DO actually have updates!

In January I went to the Philippines for 10 days. This was amazing. I spent most of my time on Borocay, a tiny touristy island known for it's beautiful beach. I technically traveled by myself but managed to plan to meet up with a bunch of my friends from Korea there at the same time. We had a fantastic time...swimming, kayaking, boating, partying, eating, zorbing and adventuring. I also spent a few days on the island of Bohol, which has these tiny little tarsier monkeys. Unfortunately, towards the end of the trip, my camera stopped working :(. I was able to use my phone for some pictures, but it's not as good. So I need to look into buying a new one SOON!

What else...ahh! Before the Philippines, Dad and Robert came to visit. Unfortunately, their visit coincided with absolutely the COLDEST snap of the whole winter and also one of the most busiest times for me (I was planning two different English camps for the winter break). The last vacation Dad took was to Hawaii, so this was a little bit different haha. The two of them managed to see A LOT in just a week. I was able to join them in Seoul for a weekend, and we did more sightseeing then I had managed to do in the 4 months prior to that haha. Robert was brave enough to try out a Korean spa (jimjilbang) which is something I haven't worked up to yet (they are strictly NO CLOTHING spaces, men and women separated), though they are supposed to be absolutely marvelous. He said it was the only time during the whole trip he felt warm haha. Dad bit the bullet and tried his hand at using chopsticks and DID IT! Not well, mind you, but he picked up the food with the sticks and put it in his mouth, and that's really all that matters when you're eating in Korea.

What else...the new school year started at the beginning of March here. So all my 6th graders graduated and I got 3 new coteachers to work with. And my rowdy 5th graders have turned into too cool for school 6th graders with odd fascinations that I can only attribute to hormones. Puberty was hard wasn't it!? Poor kids haha. I've had to develop a "Game or lines" policy. They can behave in class and play the game well, or they get lines. They don't understand a word I say so this is the only way I really have to discipline them where they are still practicing English. Last week I caught this kid giving me a death glare in the cafeteria and I couldn't help but laugh at him. They take these things so seriously. I have been generally super busy at work the past month. There is a big English Festival coming up next month that consists of a speech competition, a reading comprehension test and a play competition. Extra work assigned to me has been: find a script AKA WRITE a script (luckily only one school is doing the play), judge the speeches from both of my schools to pick one winner, help speech winner improve their speech and prepare for interview questions that will be asked to them, judge play auditions, read the short stories used for the reading comprehension quiz and make 40 questions based on them, administer reading comprehension test, mark reading comprehension test (at 2 schools). I imagine I will also have to help the reading comprehension winner students prepare for the big district wide competition, and help the kids doing the play too. I hate this English Festival! Haha. I HAD been making pretty good progress on my Korean, but I haven't had any time to keep studying in the past few weeks :(. Oh well, at least the weather is getting nicer and spring seems firmly established.

I'm also pretty much decided on staying one more year. If I was finishing in August I would basically have to start arranging something for when I come home now...might even be too late. Mom is planning a trip for September. I won't be able to come home for a visit this summer just because there won't be enough time, but I should have time in the winter to do it.

I think that's about all that's interesting for now. Today is Labour Day, but hardly anyone gets it off. It's a Wednesday, first of all, because Koreans haven't figured out that having a holiday in the middle of the week is stupid. AND, I am the only person who didn't have to work at my school. All the students are there, all the other teachers are there. The banks and post offices are open. I think they should just go ahead and change the name of the holiday to something else, it's clearly failed as Labour Day. BUT, I have today off, and the weather is nice. So, I'm hoping for patio brunch and kayaking and a baseball game (the Daejeon hometeam is worse than the Blue Jays even haha).

If there is anything in particular that anyone would like to hear about, please let me know. I often don't write simply because I feel like I have nothing to write about that would be interesting to anyone.  You can tell me in the comments, or email me or something :)

Okay, bye for now! Missing everyone!