ABROAD...again


Well, I am living abroad...yet again. After Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Korea the Netherlands (and returning to Spain for a Masters) I've unpacked my backpack a little closer to home in Mexico. I live in Culiacan where I am trying my hand at teaching English to University and high school students. Below you'll find random updates as I go to festivals, explore my city or just feel like sharing a random story.

What time is it?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

TWISTER

OK...so I hate Thursdays BUSIEST day. AND I have teachers yuck

Today was the best teacher's lesson ever. We played Twister :-)

Woot

They learned

Red
Green
Blue
Yellow

Foot
Hand
Right
Left

and I added

On

woot

Field Trip...kinda

OK, so yesterday was like a teacher's field trip.

We went to the Inchon 22nd Annual Ceramic Festival. It was fun (granted after the tea bowl festival it was kinda a de-ja-vue). But I got to have dinner with the teachers which was entertaining.

I learned dhow to say blood pee (yes I am immature)

Pi-ga-na-da means bleeding.

koh-pi isnose bleed

da means its a verb(usually). See, I am getting better :-)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Photos

These are from my weekend with Gaeul

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27066776@N04/

What I want to do when I grow up

I was talking to a friend via e-mail and she asked me how I decided to be what I am today. This is what followed:

I wish I knew.

When I was younger I said I wanted to be anything but a teacher. My mom, dad, and many aunts were teachers. I heard their horror stories, the lack of respect and thought...no way...not for me. This was at the young age of five!!!

I started with a love for journalism. When I was young I made a newspaper about our family news. I called it NO NEWS, because no news is good news, really I was adorable.

I LOVED journalism until my last semester of high school. My senior year our journalism teacher had a nervous breakdown. She walked off campus in the middle of the day. They hired an English substitute but she didn't know journalism. My father taught at the high school and I grew up there (literally since I was three) so they decided I could just moderate the class. Yes, they put a high school student in charge of the journalism class. I just about went crazy. I learned to set fake deadlines (the real deadline was one week after) to allow me to get all the stories in on time. I called my teachers constantly from the journalism room saying I was getting a friend to take notes for me could they please mark me as present and I would not show up. I basically worked my butt off. I graduated, got into college and went to freshman orientation.

There was a computer glitch on my freshman orientation form. Turns out they didn't know if my major was journalism or communications. I instantly told them it was communications. I'd never heard of the field but I needed to get out of journalism. I began studying communications and actually found it a great field. It was about how and why people communicated. I learned how to communicate effectively in a group, all about inter cultural communication, and even nonverbal communication.

I had gone to France once with the French Club in high school(no I don't speak French I took Spanish in high school). And discovered I loved it! I went on to study in Singapore and LOVED it even more! I tried to drop out of college after Singapore, my father told me I could, but then I had to pay him back for the tuition he'd already paid. I decided to finish up college. From there I studied in Spain and did a month in Turkey. I was really very happy living out of a backpack.

I now have a degree in Communications, a minor in Spanish, and NO IDEA what to do with it.

I am teaching abroad right now, but I can't decide if I like it or not. The Korean form of education is certainly different than the United States. Teachers get more respect, however, some students are in school until 10pm! I can't support this! So I will work here the rest of the year pay my parents back the loan they gave me. Maybe I will WWOOF it for a while. Then teach for the Peace Corps.

I feel like I have no skills, no desires, and no direction. But I am still young, right?

Basically, I know I want to be happy, but I don't know how, and I don't know doing what. I wish I did.

Condoms and Potatoes

Some kid asked me what a condom was in class today. I asked him to repeat the word and use it in a sentence. I've found that asking where they heard it helps. As my friend who had a child ask her about the word sex found out. She tried to explain how when two people love each other they hug and make babies and that's sex. Turns out the girl was asking about secs, as in, "I'll be there in a few secs"

He said he had overheard it the other day. He's a good kid so I told him that a condo was like an apartment but you own it like a house. And then I assume his friend whispered the real answer in his ear in Korean. And the poor boy turned bright RED.

Poor boy!

I remember when Brad Lewis said "Coolo" in Spanish class in high school and Senor Naranjo told him that does not mean cool :-)

Or in Spain when Madeline walked into class late and said she was so "embarazado." Yes we mostly giggled. It is a bit hard not to when someone says they are a little pregnant.

And then there was the time in Spain I was trying to translate my cosmopolitan. And I was pretty sure lamed meant to lick. But I asked my teacher. She asked me to use it in a sentence (smart girl) I said "como con un dulce" like a candy. I didn't want her to know it was actually from a magazine referring to licking the sweat off your significant other's skin. Needless to say she came over to look at my sentence and began to blush. Hey I was trying to be polite lady, you were the one that had to look.

Basically, what I am saying is, learning languages is hard!

In other news. I had the Lotus root for lunch. Yes that's right the flower of enlightenment. It tastes like potatoes.

I also vacuumed yesterday. I really need to buy a mop but I keep forgetting to. Oops!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Korean Wedding

My office-mate (teacher I share an office with) picked me up at 10:40 and I headed to the wedding (luckily I went to an 80s party the night before so the overdone 80's makeup and hair had calmed to a subtle wedding look in my sleep. It worked nicely)

It is held at a wedding hall. Everyone waits around in the lobby. The groom stands near the gift table usually and the bride has her own room. She has this big chair and people go in to say hello and take their picture with her. She looked SOOOOO pretty! I know I've said before that I don't want a fancy wedding dress...but I've changed my mind. I want to sparkle. I want to be a pretty pretty princess.

Anyways so you go take picture yay. Then you go to the gifts table take an envelope put 30-50 bucks in (Everyone told me 30 or 50 so I figured 40...THANK GOODNESS I talked to my Korean friend Shannon. Turns out it is good luck to give odd numbers (30, 50, 70) not even) So I gave them 50,000 won (50 bucks).

Then you go into the "wedding hall" its like...a large room, small hall. Maybe as big as my classroom. And everyone stand around (or sits) and talks and waits for it to start. Or so I THOUGHT.

The ceremony starts, but no one stops talking. It reminds me of my class sometimes! SOO FRUSTRATING!! The teacher inside me had to bite my tongue.

I don't know what they were saying, but the ceremony was pretty much guessable. Oh and they used a LOT of smoke.

Traditions:

The mothers walk down the aisle and light candles. The groom walks down the aisle followed by two girls with swords. Then the bride walks down people clap, take pictures(I didn't bring my camera because I thought it would be rude, I was wrong), but I figureed it out), still talk!!!

They do the talky thing (I understood, Juseyo(like I want), Kamsamneeda(thank you), and keesah (kiss).

They kiss. (smoke)

They thank the parents (I think) by bowing (the bride bows from the hips, and the groom actually gets on his knees and bows down)

They do strength test where the groom holds the bride and does three squats.

The groom kareoke'd to his bride. (smoke)

They did the cake thing (but with a sword) (smoke)

They poured champagne in a champagne tower. (smoke)

The did some yelling thing??? I don't know what they were saying.

Then to the buffet. It was like Todai!!! Quite yummy. Its like an open bar (but not) each table had a pile of drinks (it was about 2 beers, one bottle of soju, 2 pepsis, two sprites and two apple juices) and you just divide them up.

Lots of my students were there so I got a lot of HELLO TEECHA!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Random things that irritate me but shouldn't

So...I was walking home yesterday and my neighborish teacher invited me to go home with her...well travel home with her...which I figured meant walk...nope, her husband drove us home :-( I LIKE to walk. Its the only friggin' cardio I get people!!!


Same thing this morning. Walking to school and the vice principal pulls over and practically pulls me into the car. I mean...I get they're being nice. And in the winter when I am freezing I am sure I will be BEGGING for rides. But right now the weather is pretty and I enjoy walking..


Other odd bugs me thing:

So we have the news coming today. Yeah yeah I've done news before whatever no biggie (there's that communications background too so I'll be fine) But we had to like COMPLETELY revamp our lesson plan to make it look like we had a more active class.

If the news wants to see an active class they should come when we HAVE an active class...like third grade, or my discussions but nope, they only wanted to come at this time. FINE but don't make ME rearrange MY schedule just so the school looks good on TV

I never liked made to order news.

In other news. I am currently planning the summer camp. I am thinking the first 10-20 minutes watching part of a movie. Then discussing what happened doing an activity on whatever I decide to do (like if its a scene with lots of emotion an emotion project if its raining weather, making food its not peanut butter and jelly its MAGICAL peanut butter in jelly) I am thinking of having the third and fourth get subtitles in Korean and the 5th and 6th get subtitles in English...

Its about four hours a day for five days...I am torn between sword and the stone...and jungle book...I kinda want to do an older Disney they haven't seen...but I need to make sure i can buy it with Korean subtitles

Still looking into this

Also...we're supposed to plan an "English fair" for September...a WHAT??? With like skits and stuff?? Erm...clueless

Absolutely clueless

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I have pictures

I've just been busy to load them

Anyone use a good online photo album so I don't need to send my parents to my facebook???

Anyways, been keeping busy planning the summer camps, seeing new cities and hanging out with friends...we had a wine tasting night at my apartment...thankfully I have "wood" floors and not carpet...red wine seems to spill faster than white wine

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The things that make me happy

I just bought some kimchi and bread from a street vender and a small bakery


and I literally am sooo proud of myself

Its funny how your standards change when you dont speak the language

P.S.
My bread is purple

Weekend

So Thursday a co-worker invited me over. I had cucumber kimchi (which I think is officially my favorite) bulgogi (like a meat) rice, and some other stuff. I joke that a Korean meal is kind of like spain because you get all of these side dishes (which remind me of tapas).

Friday I went to school then straight from school to meet up with Gaeul in Seoul. We had some noodley stuff, Korean BBQ and walked around planning the next day (they have a beer they are promoting on the streets so we took a few free samples, its basically beer with lemon...quite tasty)

Saturday we went to a palace saw the changing of the guards, had some Korean sushi, Korean ramen, and...erm..some kind of meat. Then we walked down the stream (they had a friendship fair so lots of differen countries had booths and were selling stuff I almost bought stuff for people but it seemed kinda silly to get Argentinian souveniers when I am in Korea. Then we chillaxed on the river with street food. Kimchi-jon which is like a dumpling meets a pancake as far as I am converned. Its like...dumpling mix (you know flour and cood stuff) but instead of dumplingizing it you mix the stuf youd put inside with it and roll it out like a pancake DELICOUS and some kind of stuff intestines...thank GOD I was raised eating Mexican food so I am used to things most Americans cringe at. We met up with some friends at the hard rock danced a little (I know I only seem to dance in Asia...deal with it) and then went to KFC to eat and catch the subway to Gaeuls.

Sunday I did the jim-jil-ban again with Mel, Cherese, and Amy. I LOVE that sana-ey place. Then we went out for dinner and trivia night at an English pub where we lost our thus undefeated status.

Monday (Buddah's birthday) walked to a temple got some free grub, prayed, caught up with friends for lunch had...erm...cheese donkette ok I am kinda making stuff up but like chicken cordon bleu except with pork and cheddar...DELICOUS with some cold noodle soup and OF COURSE kimchi :-)

Came home worked on lesson plans stayed up late to call mommy and wish her happy mothers day (I was a day late but you know its hard to coordinate schedules from over here)

Yep, that's about it :-)

Luvya'll

:-)

Carissa

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Koreans must be great at faking it

I have a degree in communications. I STUDIED communications for FOUR years. I KNOW what I am talking about...

yet...

I CANNOT read a Korean crowd.

I do not know if they understand or don't. They all look very intently and nod at appropriate intervals...but when asked a simple review question...NONE of them know the answer...and it is not just being shy as I thought at first...nope it is just NOT knowing

VERY bizzare

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Woke up late today

Wake up time 8:10

At school: 8:30

I didn't embarrass America...I threw on a dress, did my makeup in the elevator, brushed my teeth at school (we all keep toothbrushes there for after fishy lunches) and put my hair in a french twisty thing to hide the fact I didn't brush it

Basically....I rocked it

First day of solo lessons went ok, but we'll see

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Fast Weekend Summary

Well...

I saw the changing of the guards at a Korean palace, learned about the history of Korea, and Hangul at a museum 9checked out some local art and Vietnamese art as well) walked around the streets of Seoul, had traditional Korean BBQ, and hit a bar afterwards for kinda like tapas but not

THEN

I had YUMMY street food, learned some more Korean, headed to a Jimil-Ban (like a spa) has a nice soak, a hot shower, did the nakey dance in the shower, chilled in an oxygen room, a jade room, a room filled with salt, and a sauna grabbed some food and drinks, headed back to the shower, exfoliated ourselves in salt, showered, jumped into a freezing cold pool, jumped into a warm jacuzzi, got a massaing shower, more exfoliation, nakey dance well you get the idea

Dropped a dear friend off at the train station, met up with friends fro drinks, got dinner, got more drinks, bonded with a new friend

THEN Met up with GAEUL caught up had lots of food, charged my phone at a 7-11 for a $1, had dinner at a Greek place run by Koreans (leanred the hostory of the word Samuri) went to a club that looks like a cave, ROCKED the dance floor (pictures to follow once I get them from a friend) got street food, crashed at may place

THEN

woke up at five to get on a bus to go to a city three hours away to attend their tea ceremony, make a tea bowl, try TONS of traditional tea, meet the artists, learn about kilns, have three paid for traditional meals, get a small interview, and free roundtrip bus ride why...oh yeah I am a foreigner

Took the subway home for the first time ever and am about to shower...


How was your weekend?


How was your weekend??

Awesome video about living in Korea



These guys live in a small town called Geumcho the video is HILARIOUS! Some of the stuff they are talking about you might not get, but they talk about the romanization of Korean words, the visors, the public transportation food etc

its amusing


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Seoul

So the past few weekends I've beenin Seoul and it has been great! I've only done a little siteseeing (changing of the guards, war memorial, a palace,, and museum) but yesterday I got to go to a bath house I guess is the best word with my friend Amy and her friend Mel.

Lots of fun to be had there, I'd show you pictures but we were naked so well no pictures.

Today I meet upwith Gaeul and then have a friend's birthday party. Tomorrow I have a traditional tea ceremony and then I go home so Monday I can clean and prepare for class on Tuesday

I'll keep you posted as stuff progreses.

Followers