Monday, September 29, 2008

Live music (and soup fun)

Remember the field of flowers I posted about earlier? Well, in a matter of about 48 hours it was transformed into a party zone - here was the new view out of my classroom window:

The music started around 6:00, which was horrible because it made the last 50 minutes of class (for all of us whose windows face that field) totally worthless - the kids couldn't stay away from the window. The rumor was that the Wondergirls were going to be there (they of the earworms "I'm so Hot" and "T-t-t-t-tell me").

So since I'm here for the cultural experience as well as the teaching, Stacy, Steve, Tyler and I decided to go check it out after school. But first, as is Tyler's obsession, we had to get some samgyeopsal and soju:

The concert/festival/whatev was really fun - I'm still not sure what it was for, but it was a good time :)

The next day, Jordan and I met for lunch. Often food is served with some kind of soup. It's always an adventure, particularly when the soup is opaque and you go digging around at the bottom for veggies - needless to say, Jordan and I were both done with the soup after this gem:

For the record, that's not such an unusual sight here :)

Love you all!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Milk School!

Every day at around 11:00 one of the Korean staff comes by our classrooms with little cups of milk for the kids. Inevitably, one or two children will say "Teacher, my no milk," at which point the milk-deliverer will plead with the child in Korean until they finally take a half-cup.

In an apparent effort to make milk seem fun and delicious, we took a field trip on Friday to Milk School!

The school got us there (about an hour-long ride) in a pretty fancy bus. The kids were pumped to go see the cows.

Of course, organizing over 100 kindergarteners is no easy task, but being super-teachers, we were able to handle ourselves and them quite well :)

They got to take a tractor ride:

And milk a cow:

At one point during the cow-milking presentation, the guide asked the kids a question in Korean, to which all of my students responded by chanting "EmilyTeacher! EmilyTeacher! EmilyTeacher!" This was extremely frightening. I didn't know if he just asked who they wanted to sacrifice to the cow, or who was the coolest teacher :) I found out later that he asked "Which teacher do you think would be the best at milking the cow?" Apparently my kids know I'm from Kansas :)

But really, this was my first time milking a cow:

Then we went to this room where the kids got to make and eat homemade ice cream!

It was at this point when I realized I really don't care much about germs anymore. I had at least 6 different kids feeding me ice cream out of bowls over which they had sneezed, coughed, and not-washed-their-hands-after-milking-cows. Which now sounds disgusting, but at the time, it was just my kids showing me they love me :)

After lunch (SIDENOTE: Lunch was ridiculous. The kids all packed a lunch, and HOLY COW. I remember in gradeschool, when your mom packed a lunch, it was a sandwich, small bag of chips, maybe an apple, and Capri Sun (if you were really lucky, it was a can of soda). These kids had boxes and boxes of food: Gimbap, fruit, chocolates, sandwiches, veggies, two drinks, etc etc. It was nuts)

Ok - anyways, after lunch, they got to bottle feed baby cows and give some hay and grains to grown-up cows (the stink was horrible at this barn!)

Then we left, and I and most of my kids fell asleep on the bus ride home. No rest for the weary, though, as we had to immediately run upstairs and start teaching our afternoon classes. LCI showed us some appreciation and delivered iced coffees to us as we were teaching. It was a really nice gesture, and delicious coffee.

Ok, much more to blog about - soup adventures and live music and Itaewon - STAY TUNED!!!

Love you all!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fun pictures

So I did my first bulletin board ever... Just stapling these things up made me really want to pursue teaching (again... yes, family and friends, go ahead with the jokes) when I come home...

The kids made the leaves and the pumpkins - Too cute!

Also, they made trees which I put on the window to accent the view:

Finally - Remember when I was whining about being sickly? Well, thanks to the wonders of Korean medicine, and the fact that you just have to go to the corner pharmacy and tell them your symptoms to get drugs, I feel much better!

Now Tyler and Steve are feeling the same yucks I had... And being male, they won't just go get the dang medicine!

Love you all!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I feel like I need to get something else posted STAT so you're not all left with just a whiny post!

So here you are, a comment on Korea:

This is an extremely image-obsessed culture. Rarely will you see a woman over 20 without perfect hair, makeup, stylish clothes (usually a short skirt) and at least 2 inch heels. Another teacher told me that all their sunscreen has whitening agents in it to maintain their milky skin. And even one of our former supervisors, as she was leaving, talked about how she was leaving the care and control of LCI to supervisors who were "Much more beau-ti-bul and will get more students because they are so beau-ti-bul."

So the other day a bunch of us had to get yet ANOTHER set of passport photos taken. Apparently the 12 I got in the States wasn't enough :) We went to E-mart, the local two story superstore, to get them done. They told us one hour. At Kinko's it took me about three minutes to get my pics, so I thought this was strange.

Anyhow, after an hour (well, more, because SIDEBAR: we saw the horror flick "Mirrors") we picked up what turned out to be the most airbrushed passport photos I've ever seen! I look like a mannequin with nary a flaw in my skin. I even think they reddened my lips a little and brightened my eyes! And we got 6 pics for only $8. So I have two extra photos to send as my headshot in my America's Next Top Model application, hahahahha.

Anyways, anytime I want to feel pretty, I'll just go to E-mart and have some pictures done. It beats two-inch heels anytime!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Kind of a whiny post...

It's very rainy today... I actually heard thunder for the first time here. A bunch of us trekked to Butterfinger Pancakes and it was an extremely damp excursion. Also, I'm feeling sickly today, so I didn't get to eat all of my $13 breakfast.

And first thing this morning, I found out that my Grandma Rosie (dad's mom) died - I wasn't particularly close to her but she was the only one of the WHOLE Weigand family who made an effort to show me she cared that I was alive. So I'm fairly upset that I can't go to the service and say goodbye.

Also, selfishly, I'm upset that I won't get to go and see my dad. It's pretty much the only way I'd get to see him. Now it'll probably be HIS funeral when I see him next. I'm not even sure he knows I'm in South Korea...

So yeah, kind of a whiny post.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Medical test and Noraebang

Last Wednesday I had the most efficient physical ever (no offense, Dr. Kready). In order to get your Alien Registration Card (a requirement to live here) you have to have a medical examination. So Steve and I got picked up at 7:30 am and ushered to the hospital by one of our Korean staff members.

Basically, we entered a main waiting room with about 10 numbered side-rooms all around. We went through eye-tests and hearing tests and blood tests and chest x-rays, each in a different room. At the conclusion of each test we were simply told "Now go to room 5" and we had no idea what kinds of poking and prodding the next room held! It was so exciting! :)

The really weird part was the pee-in-a-cup part. I was basically handed a Dixie Cup and three test tubes and told to go in the cup, then fill each tube. And of course, the restroom was OUTSIDE of the main room through the hospital corridor. It was very strange to be carrying three test tubes of urine.

As a special bonus, LCI treated us to Burger King at the hospital. My first crossian'wich in months!

On Friday, I FINALLY went to my first noraebang. It's basically a place with lots of little karaoke rooms that you can rent out with your friends, which Steve, Tyler, Catherine and I did. Oh my gosh it was a blast. In fact, I still don't have my voice back all the way (although the butchering of my voice allowed me to sing a very convincing Janis Joplin at the end of the night). I'll let the pictures speak for themselves:

Also, the one open field in Jukjeon is now afire with the most beautiful bright orange and pink flowers. So this is the image I get to, from, and out my window of school:

Keep the comments coming! Love you all!

Friday, September 12, 2008


I want to use a little of this highly coveted blog space to announce that


Which of course, is no surprise.

Great job, Ricecake. I love you!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Hanbok

This weekend is Chuseok. My understanding is it's similar to Thanksgiving, but the focus is Kimchi, the harvest moon, and family, instead of turkey, football, and family :)

Yesterday, as a special pre-Chuseok event, all of the Kindergarteners wore Hanbok - the traditional Korean clothing. It was probably the CUTEST I've seen them:

We also got to make songpyon (I probably butchered that spelling) yesterday. It's basically a riceball with raisins or sugar/sesame seeds in the middle. One of the bus teachers came in and taught us all how to do it. She doesn't speak a lot of English, so the kids were really got a kick out of speaking Korean to EmilyTeacher. At one point they were telling me "Teacher, say {insert Korean phrase here}" and the bus teacher looked at me and said "Um, you say 'I am a monkey.'" How funny are my kids?!?!?!

The two big ones on the left are mine:

The bus teacher told me if I make a beautiful songpyon, I will have a beautiful daughter. Hopefully that doesn't mean "within the next year." :)

Speaking of kids, yesterday in one of my elementary classes I taught them the concept of having a big head. Every day they say they are happy because they love EmilyTeacher and love that class, etc etc, so I told them they were going to give me a big head.
Later, we were learning how to compare with adjectives, using -er and -est, so I stood with two other kids and we talked about who was taller, tallest, smallest, etc. Then I had to slip in "EmilyTeacher is smartest." The kids got a chuckle. However, I think THEY are the smartest, because after break I came back to the room to find THIS note on my whiteboard:


Ok, I have much more to blog about, but I have to go to work. So next time, I'll tell you all about the crazy medical exam I had to have in order to get my Alien Registration Card!

Love you all!

Monday, September 8, 2008

And Mom said let there be food...

So, most of you who read this blog know me well... And if you do, you know that I love to cook! (You don't get a Renaissance derriere like mine unless you have a certain "joie de FOOD!")

Anyways, I haven't been able to much entertain my culinary creativity since I've been here, mostly owing to the fact that there's not quite the variety that I'm used to working with at the grocery store.

Well, Momma took care of that. Sunday, I went to Songtan (where an Air Force Base is) to pick up 3 of the 6 boxes that my mom sent me. I now have the most beautifully filled cabinets in Jukjeon (at least, in my building...or in my kitchen...)

I was so excited to put the food to good use today. So tonight I fried a little bacon in the pan (not too crispy, just enough to cook it and get the juices flowing), cooked some lemon-pepper and garlic seasoned chicken in the bacon grease, and added both chicken and bacon to an Olive Oil and Garlic flavored Pasta-Roni with a small can of peas. It was THE BEST MEAL EVER!!!!

Seriously, I forgot how much cooking makes me come alive. I had a perma-grin all night long. And a most satisfied palate.

Thanks, Momma!!!

And to everyone else, my address is posted on this blog - come on now :)


Love you all!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Excuse me while I cry

Please ignore the picture of my drama kids in the post below. They are no longer MY drama kids.

As a result of some issues that have nothing to do with me, I don't get to have my drama class anymore. My most favorite class is now in other hands. Very capable, beautiful, creative hands that will do a great job.... just not mine.

Now I have another science class. The kids are great and smart and I like them a lot, but they're not my drama children.

I am sad.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I came to teach English...

...and that apparently qualifies me to teach science.

Yep, we just started the September session and I am teaching science AND English! And I'm loving it. I had a blast discussing what science is and what scientists do. The subject certainly seemed to liven the kids up more than English usually does. Also, one of my other new classes is more grammar focused (verbs, nouns, etc) and I LOVE that too! (yes, I am mildly dorky)

So maybe next month I'll be experienced enough for History or Astrophysics :)

On a super-awesome note, I saw a kid with a mullet today... Pretty much rocked my socks clean off.

Random Photos:

Here's my drama girls - Our next play is going to be Little Red Hen, and I can't wait!

And a special kind of brownie they serve at Holly's Coffee by work:

Mmmm, make mine Reebok!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Muuido Stage

I just stole some pictures from George's facebook - they are the only ones of me on stage with the Koreans, and it was after the contest, when I was dancing with some old men :) I guess I didn't stop moving long enough to get a clear photo, hahaha

Also, he had another photo of Miss Wichita Shirt: