4.26.2007

Just another of day...

...full of questions.

My students today were full of questions today. Maybe it was the hot sunny weather that got their little brains pumping or maybe they're becoming clever enough to know how to veer me off course. At any rate, my 6:00 class was on fire today, shooting me right and left with questions about America, Americans, my family, being adopted, my biological parents etc...

It began with eye color. They wanted to know the eye color of Americans. I explained that there are generally blue, brown and green eyes but there are various shades which makes a broader spectrum. They asked if a mother who has blue eyes will automatically give birth to a blue eyed baby. Well of course I was about to draw a punnet?? square but then realized that would take forever to explain so I just said sometimes. I then told them my entire family has blue eyes and I am the only one with brown eyes because I am adopted. Well, this of course led to the most obvious question from sweet Alan and with the pursuit of truth in his face and conviction in his voice he asked, "teacher, uh, do your eyes, when you go to America, go blue??" It took me a second to realize this is not the time to laugh. Instead, I just said no, without laughing - without killing his curiosity.

As the students were listening so intently, he also asked me if my family hated me because I had brown eyes. At this point I noticed we weren't talking about calenders and months anymore and attempted to get the class back on track. I failed. Actually, I didn't care that much so we continued to talk about how Kimberly teacher looks Korean but can't speak the language and has a white skinned blue eyed family (GASP)!! Somehow the class managed to take up 45 minutes of talking before we played a game that I had promised them last week...good teacher huh??:)

Overall, it was a really good conversation and the children were very interested and perceptive of my story. I've never been pitied for being adopted by Koreans until recently when I learned the Korean equivalent - which I thought would make my life much easier to say "eeb yang" rather than pointing at my face saying, "yes, Korean, but, mother & father American, no hanguel (No Korean)" but today my students said I shouldn't use this word because it is sad and has a negative meaning. I tried to explain that it's not sad...that my birth parents were very young, unwed and probably would have been scorned by their own people for being in this particular situation. I also tried to explain that my "American" parents (yes, I've found i have to specify which parents I speak about even though I obviously have no clue who my birth parents are, nor do I consider them parents in any capacity) were unable to reproduce. I tried to tell them that I was happy I was adopted otherwise I wouldn't be the person I am! This of course gets very lost in translation when speaking to 11 year olds in a language they can hardly say the twelve months in...

Anyway, an interesting day of conversation to say the least. I'm sure they will rush home and tell their parents that mothers with blue eyes do not necessarily give birth to children with blue eyes and they'll all gasp and have a little chuckle over their kimchi and rice.

4.23.2007

My my...

...how the mighty have fallen.

A great weekend has come and gone. I decided not to make a big go of it and wanted to just hang out in Gimhae. Plus, I had heard of a women's soccer team that played on Saturdays and some friends and I had plans to check it out. It was great fun too!! After our few laps around the field, passing drills and prep talk from the coach, we scrimmaged foreigners againsted Koreans. I think our team was a little more competitive and aggressive than the Koreans but it was great fun. I wiped out once and because it was a dirt field, I bummed up my elbow and knee a bit (fall #1). Oh well, the price you pay for recreational exercise...along with hardly being able to get myself out of bed on Sunday...and today.

Last night (Sunday) a few friends went to see some other friends play hockey...they practice with the Gimhae team but are rarely allowed to play in the games. I've never been to a hockey game so I was excited to watch. Unfortunately they lost...:( Anyway, on our walk home I was having a nice conversation when suddenly I felt my flipflop hit a tiny little ledge and all I could think was "oh shit"...before you know it I was sprawled on the ground thinking why the hell am I on pavement and oh man my knee...is it bleeding (fall #2)? Well, clumsy Kim happened to have tripped over the tiniest little uneven patch of pavement and ended up wiping out landing right on my knee that was sore from soccer. Sweet Mark ran over and helped me up but I was really embarrassed. Tripping is quite an ordinary part of my life. I sometimes tend to sluff around but I usually catch myself. Last night I just bit it.

Oh well, Monday's done...

Happy birthday brother.

4.16.2007

Black Day...

...a day for the unloved, unwanted and rejected...in other words, a day for people like me...:)

April 14th marks an informal holiday in Korea. Its a day where singletons (who didn't give/receive chocolate on Valentine's Day or White Day (3/14)) unite and eat noodles covered in a black bean sauce. My former co-teacher and I always make jokes about being single and decided to relish in this tradition with a hearty meal of 짜장면~Jja Jang Myun. I enjoy this dish on occasion, but aesthetically it has no appeal...I always think it looks like a big pile of human insides...anyway...we went to a well-known restaurant in Busan that specialises in noodle dishes. She said it's been there for over 30 years and they make their own dough in the front window...

Here is Charlotte, my closest Korean friend. She spent a year in Vancouver and her English is really advanced. It's nice to hang out with her b/c she gets my jokes and understands sarcasm...very sweet girl.


This is my JjaJangMyun before I mixed it together...


and here it is...just before my first bite. Delicious...
Being single is awesome.


4.12.2007

The longer I'm here...

...the worse my English becomes.

My student's English abilities range drastically depending on their age, level and desire to learn. One of my more "eager" classes is filled with 4th and 5th graders and I quite enjoy teaching them. The unit they've been studying focuses on health, accidents and remedies so we've been discussing all the different injuries we've had. They really seem to enjoy this type of conversation so today I had them write small stories about an injury they've had and then they were to present it to the class. Here are two that really stood out:

1. Ann is hitting me my health is very small. I am tired very hard. I will crazy. him say you after class him hit me. I will die. Ann homicide me.

2. I was 3 grade. I made a kite. I flied a kite. Criminal tripped for me. I fell down I hit my head on a very sharp square stone. I was cry. Streamed my blood. I called my father and my mother. I saw a doctor and sitched. That time was cut my head second time.

Please take note that these students' levels are above average in the curriculum we teach...with that said, you might have an understand why my English has rapidly depleted over the past 7 months.

4.05.2007

When in Korea...

...yaddi yaddi ya...

Koreans, especially younger girls (from what I've notice anyway), love to take pictures of themselves. I often see people snapping self portraits on public transportation or around town or in restaurants or in coffee shops or in (name your place here). These pictures are usually taken with cell phones and either include what I consider the "peace sign" or with a hand covering part of their face. When asked why this hand-covering-part-of-one's-face is done, my co-teacher said, "because small face is beautiful and hand covers part of face". OF COUUUUUUUUUURSE THIS MAKES SENSE.

So here is a very exaggerated version of how Korean's make their faces appear smaller...

...and here is Liz and my mockery of such an interesting concept.


On a side note...It's officially Friday. The sun is out, the flowers were smiling at me today. I threw around a Frisbee with some friends during our "Friday Lunch time" and I get out of work early tonight!! What more can a girl ask for? Oh yeah, Sunday I'm going scuba diving at the Busan Aquarium and am going to feed the sharks. If I never post again it'll be because one had me for dinner...



4.03.2007

A trip to Daegu...

...to celebrate Ben's birthday, meet an old friend, and rediscover that good ole' feeling of SPRING BREEEEAAAAKK!! A lot happened this weekend and rather bore you with words I'll tell it with pictures...

Ben teacher turned 24 on April Fool's Day, a fitting day for anyone who knows him. Here he is in his birthday hat presumably thinking, "oh, is it my birthday today??"

Here we have Dave & Blair really excited about spring break '07. Long gone are their University days, but really, who's to say they can't have fun anymore?? RAAAAAAAAHHHH

Here's shot of Bill and myself, I think Bill tried to tackle me off my chair. The details are fuzzy.

Abbey & Kelsey are so perdy

Myung Mi, my Korean friend who I met in Grand Rapids. She used to attend Grand Valley State Univ. and I was paired up with her as a conversation partner. I also ended up tutoring her two sons...pictured below

She brought me to her mother's restaurant...it was originally a traditional Korean home, but her mother and step-father remodeled it into a delicious duck restaurant...and it was the first time I ate duck...very good

Won Kuen, the older son and half of In Kuen's face

Ahh, the yellow dust from China that's swept over Korea. It's awful. The sky has a yellow tinge to it. I could feel my sinuses fill up and my throat started to feel scratchy. All the vehicles looked as if they were driving for hours on gravel roads. Hopefully it doesn't last too long...


GOOD TIMES. YAYYYYYYYYYYY.