Saturday, February 22, 2014

Whoa! Another post.

Crazy, right?! It hasn't even been a month! First, here are some pictures of our new place, we haven't decorated yet, but you'll get a pretty good idea of what it looks like!

This is the pool and hot tub.

Tanning area that I haven't used yet.

A koi pond...crazy!

Our bedroom.

The living room area.


Dining room.

Guest balcony, our room has one as well, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

Guest room, we'll get a bed someday!

We got insanely lucky with this place.  We are a 20 minute commute to work by subway, we are right next to a shopping centre, it came fully furnished...aside from the guest bed, our real estate agent was incredibly helpful and understanding, and we are only paying a little bit more than we had anticipated. We checked out some other places and they were either way too expensive or not very nice. We could not have asked for a better place to live!

Work is also going really well! We work at the same school and it has only been open a few weeks, so we don't have very many students enrolled yet, which gives us a bit of down time.  However, enrollment is increasing, and when we are not teaching we can do pretty much whatever we want, within reason of course.  The owners of the school are also incredibly nice! The type of school that we work at is similar to our employment in Korea, where there is a school name or brand and then the individual owners of each franchise. So, similar to Korea, you can have good and bad owners, and again, we got really lucky.  Our first day of work was the grand opening of our school, where the owners came up to us and welcomed us to their family.  They are a married couple and Kyle teaches their son.  Every Saturday they come in and chat with us, make sure we are getting settled and everything is going well.

So far, Singapore has been incredible, and things only seem to be getting better. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Not keeping it so Koreal anymore...

Sitting on my balcony in Singapore, picking up sketchy internet from the shop across the street, waiting for my fiance to come home so we can have dinner, I thought updating my blog a bit would be a good idea.

First of all, I am now living in Singapore. I have signed a two year contract and could not be more excited about it! I live in a beautiful condo with my fiance, in such a beautiful country, and things are really, really good. Oh yeah, and I'm engaged now. That happened a little over a month ago and I am so incredibly stoked about and so stupidly in love it's ridiculous. Hopefully I'll go into more details about that later, but a brief run down of our relationship...We were good friends for a year and a half, he lived in Daejeon and was friends with my friend Laura from university. We always liked each other, but neither of us said anything about it.  Then, one glorious 4th of July, I decided to tell him that, "I kinda dig you," and it has been crazy wonderful ever since. More later, but that's pretty much what happened.

So, I left Korea the 1st of December, me, Lola, and a bajillion suitcases.  That was a mess. Thankfully, Laura and our friend Calvin went to the airport with me to help me carry everything.  Laura was also quite crucial in getting Lola home. I was never told she had to go through quarantine, then they told me and quarantine was closed. So they said I had to go home the next day, I was absolutely devastated. Anyhow, I cried like it was nobody's business, and Laura was very adamant that I would be going home that day. No questions asked. I am pretty sure the language barrier, my crying, and Laura, made all airline staff quite uncomfortable, so they opened quarantine for me and I got to go home. Yay!

Well, this was brief. But I am going to start making dinner now. I'll write more about my last few months in Korea, my time home, and starting a new life in Singapore

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Everything is peachy!

So it has been quite some time, as it usually is.  There are many things to update on and pictures to post and I intend to do that soon, however, right now I just wanted to post an article on the current situation with North Korea and hopefully put any fears or worry to rest.  All is well here, I promise.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some gems from my nuggets.

Yesterday I was talking to my kindergarten class about the election, not quite sure they got the full picture...
Student: "Teacher, what is a president?"
Me: "He is kind of like the boss of a country."
Student: "Ohh, so he is like santa?"
I laughed, and moved on.

Today while teaching my after lunch class one of my students informed me that he has a hamster that he has named Gangnam Style, and then the class broke out in song and dance.  If you don't get the reference don't worry about it, it is a ridiculously catchy and annoying song by a Korean artist that has made it all the way over to the states.

I also think that I was asked out on a date by one of my six year old students, "Teacher, I dinner for you tonight?" Either that, or he assumed that I was going to cook and eat him.

I am sure there are more, but those are what stick out right now.

Also, yay America! I was constantly updating the polls while teaching yesterday, and when the final results were in I ran around and told all of the foreign teachers around me.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Not too much to say, but here are some pictures!

Halloween crafts with the kiddies, Emily, as always, posing.

Wendy and me with our spider hats!

Rita and I at sports day.  It was so much fun!  It was a beautiful Sunday filled with my kindies, their parents, and some athleticism. go red team.

Danny was dancing to get warmed up.

One of the events had the dads jumping over each other.  I was quite impressed.

Kids getting ready for tug-o-war.

The whole group.

The mens tug-o-war. White team. 

Red team.  Unfortunately, they lost.

It was such a fun day, and it ended with a beer chugging contest.  Weird to be doing that in front of my kindergarten students and their parents, but I am in Korea, so it was appropriate.  I made it through the whole day with only falling once, and my arm is still a bit tender, but I am not too concerned.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Why hello there!

It's been a while, as it usually is, so I figured it's time for an update.

I have now been back in Korea for three months and am living in Busan.  I absolutely love it here. Please see the photos below:

A palm tree that is in my neighborhood.

Most of these were taken at the beach that is about a 20 minute walk from my apartment.  I feel it is necessary to pinch myself several times a week to make sure that this is where I am actually living, it is quite beautiful.  On top of living in a wonderful city I also have a rather lovely apartment!

This is my view, Mt. Jangsan is in the background.

This is my bathroom sign.

I have a real shower!!!!!

Lola is still wonderful.

My kitchen.

The whole place.  It's kind of small, but I dig it.

Next, my new students and my new job.  First of all, my new job is great.  I have such supportive managers who are willing to help and make sure my time in Korea is nothing but enjoyable.  I also have a much more dependable employer than my last job.  Korean business is odd and, especially not being Korean, means that I am very easy to take advantage of. My last employer was not always the most dependable when it came to paying on time or making sure that I had health insurance, but I couldn't really do anything about it.  My current employer goes above and beyond to see that everyone is taken care of and we're happy, and that is something that I truly appreciate.

When it came to my new students I was a little weary at first.  I felt like I was cheating on my old ones by liking my new ones because, if you have read my previous posts, I was and still am absolutely in love with my first group of kindergarten students.  I still keep in touch with them and was even able to see them I first came back, it was wonderful.  My new students are just as great and I have been able to love them just as much. Here are some photos of the new group of little terrors who are filling my days with laughter and sunshine:

This is Wendy, she is probably my favorite.

Sarah and Annie are pretty silly.

Emily, on the far right, is a little princess, seriously.  One day in the middle of class she just said, "Teacher, I am beautiful," and then started dancing around. 

This is Yuni.  She didn't want her picture taken, though I wish she would have because she has the cutest most pinchable cheeks in the world.

These kids have come to call me Jungle Teacher or Lion Teacher because of my hair, which is now more often than not pretty curly.  They also are quite witty.  I still wear the necklace that I made at a temple stay as a bracelet, and my kids love to play with it.  They also wonder why I wear a necklace as a bracelet, "Teacher, do you wear you necklace as a bracelet because your head is too big?"  Wow. Talk about keeping you humble.  My oldest students are also pretty funny.  One day they were trying to coax me into not giving them homework so one of the boys, in an attempt to flatter me, said, "Teacher, your skin is like milk and your hair is like lemon spaghetti."  I still gave them an assignment that night. My oldest students also have decided that my insulin pump is not actually an insulin pump, but a device that I use to communicate with North Korea, because they have decided that I am a North Korean spy. 

I have also made that decision that this will be my last year in Korea, for now.  So I am prepping to take the GRE on December 15th and hopefully be back in Milwaukee in August of 2013!  Busan is full of lovely coffee shops, which provide for some lovely study environments.  My favorite part of the city is called Nampo-dong, one evening after studying I was walking back to the subway and stumbled upon this:

A group of old Korean men playing John Denver's, "Country Roads".

There was also a rap battle going down, I couldn't understand much, but there was a lot of talk about love. 

Usually I don't post too much about my personal life, especially interactions with the opposite sex because, well, there hasn't really been too much to report.  However, I feel this story is worth sharing and hopefully the humor in the situation will translate well when written.  The other night I was out with a few friends and when they decided to leave I was talking with a guy who I will call John, because his real name is far too unique to say without risk of him someday coming across my blog and know that I was talking about him. Anyway, John and I were talking about Lance Armstrong and my utter disappointment in his titles being taken away, I have watched the tour since I was pretty young and think quite highly of Lance, so I am not happy to hear this news.  We were sitting outside while we were talking and it was getting pretty chilly so we decided to go get some Korean BBQ and keep the conversation going.  Then our conversation about the Tour de France took a turn for the worse, and he started crying, yes CRYING to me about his ex girlfriend.  I don't really care that he was talking about his ex, he didn't seem like someone I would pursue, so his talking about her is not what bothered me.  What was weird is that HE WAS CRYING, to a complete stranger.  Then, he asked me if he could tell me a story, I said sure.  So he begins, "There is this puppy, and the puppy just loves his family.  But the owners come home, sometimes pet him, feed him, and then ignore him. But he loves his family, even though they don't pay much attention to him, he just loves them, and they don't love him the same."  The story continues for a bit, but it was pretty much him saying the same things, the puppy loves the family, the family doesn't pay much attention to him, blah blah blah.  Then I stop his story, and ask, "John, are you the puppy?"  He looks at me with tears in his eyes and gets out a, "Yes," through his sobs.  It took so much strength for me to not burst out laughing, perhaps that is mean of me, but come on dude, you just made up a story and in the story you made yourself a puppy. So, that happened.

My social life, is not always filled with men sobbing to me about their ex girlfriends, last night I was on a pirate ship! It was a halloween cruise, and it was pretty cool.

Here is a picture of the ship.

Here is my friend Meagan and myself.  I was dressed up as the Morton Salt girl.

Well, I feel like that is a pretty solid update for now.  I am off to go study!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

happy birthday Lola!

I got Lola a year ago today!

So, in celebration, I got her a hat that she clearly adores.