Thursday, December 25, 2008

A few glimpses of home

It has been great to be home for the holidays. Here are a few highlight shots from my holiays thus far:

Hawley Christmas party:

Trip to Long Barn with some of my high school friends:

Family time:

Facebook album of the holidays thus far:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flashback to Group Bath Time

Tonight I ate a pomegranate. As I glanced around my kitchen that slightly resembled a crime scene with dark red fruit splatters haphazardly strewn along the counters, my memory leapt back to elementary school. In my mind’s eye I replayed a scene where all three of us kids were crammed into the bathtub and stripped before we were allowed to eat our respective pomegranate segments. Three kids in a tub with a lot of messy fruit and one smart mother.

While we’ve long since outgrown group bath time, I am so grateful that next week my brothers and I will be in the same place. For the first time in a year and a half my entire immediate family will be in the same house. And for Christmas! I’m pretty darn stoked.

Writing 2 Final Exam

My sophomore writing students had to present the cultures that they researched at our class "museum" for their final exam. Here are a few of my students with their creative masterpieces :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

More calculations

I'm thinking about quitting English teaching and taking up math instruction instead. I mean, no more papers...clear right/wrong answers...fewer ESL grammar more more papers... no more papers!!!

Okay, so I'm not really thinking about teaching math. But these days, a couple (or several hundred) fewer pages of student writing would be pretty nice. I did some rough calculations below on the hours of my life I've used grading papers this semester.

I teach 3 courses: Writing 1, Writing 2, and English 10. This semesters I have read (with varying degrees of seriousness) the following:
approx. 25 pages for each of my 8 writing 1 students (approx. 400 total)
approx. 36 pages for each of my 30 writing 2 students (approx. 1080 total)
approx. 45 pages for each of my 37 English 10 students (approx. 1665 total)

=3,145 pages of student writing in the last 4 months. And I teach really small classes in comparison to the states!! What was I thinking when I chose to teach English?!?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dancing with Jesus (and a few good friends)

I swear I'm not trying to be sacrilegious. I'm just procrastinating.... and slightly obsessed with Elf Yourself.

Monday, December 8, 2008

1,687 is the magic number.

As you might guess by the frequency of my recent blog posts, I am trying to avoid the massive piles of papers to grade, comments to write, and student excuses to address that accompany the last week of classes before finals. Accordingly, I took the night off and went to the jimjilbang.

In my attempts to avoid real work, I have have also completed the following pointless calculation:

I have now spent approx. 16 months in Korea. I tend to go to the jimjilbang approximately one-two times a month:
16 x 1.5=24

Each time I go to the jimjilbang, I probably encouter a minimum of 45 people in the sauna area:
24 x 45=1080

Several times I have far exceeded my 1.5 times a month (ex: vacations):
1080 + 3(45)=1215

When I was in Pusan I went to a MASSIVE jimjilbang that can hold 2000+ people:
1215 + 250 extras=1455

The next day I went to a jimjilbang with hundreds of extras crammed in:
1455 + 117 extras=1572

Can't forget the public school vacation jimjilbang experience last year (where probably 3 dozen children asked Kirsten and I over and over again how old we were, where we were from, and what our names were)
1572 + 115=

Approximately 1,687 KOREAN WOMEN HAVE SEEN ME NAKED in the last year and a half. About 3 dozen of them are my friends. Another 200 (at least) have asked me where I am from. Wow. Who would have guessed?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Survived my first turkey!!

This was the weekend of birthdays. In honor of my friend Emily's birthday, a group of us went up to Seoul on Sat. Then on Sunday, Kirstin and I cooked a turkey for a big thanksgiving-ish birthday extravaganza for Emily and Virginia. I can now say that I have officially made a turkey :)

A very cold Myeongdong...can you find the birthday girl?

You never know what characters you'll find on the streets of Seoul

The turkey that Kir and I cooked:

Kirstin and I posing by our masterpiece :)

The birthday girls

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fragments of Fall

New coffee shop in the O-jung Dong:

Last leaves of fall:

Alison's quite the henna artist (getting me excited to go to India this spring!)

TCIS 50th anniversary balloon release (supposedly special biodegradable balloons)

A small portion of the massive table at the TCIS Thanksgiving dinner:

My favorite contribution to the Thanksgiving feast (courtesy of Eric):


A few of my soccer girls who are OCKs and MKs(out-of-country missionary kids):