Archive for August, 2009

first day of school

Today has the honor of being my first day as a teacher, which involved hoards of giggling girls running up to me, saying that they loved me, and running away. Because of the swine flu, I won’t be teaching until next week, which give me loads and loads of time to *yawn* lesson plan. And act as the local movie-set-starlet for a preteen crowd. I’l be working with 5 co teachers and teaching 2nd and 3rd form, once a week each, and doing two after school english clubs —> for a total of 21 hours teaching per week. My main co-teacher took great pains today to let me know that our students are from a  low-income level, and that we should 1. be easy with them because of this and 2. not expect them to succeed. This is ….problematic, I think.

I can’t wait for the deskwarming to chill out, and the teaching to begin!


That’s it! I’ve changed my mind about my career completely: I want – no, I NEED to be – a Taekwondo master!  As one of the closing events here at Orientation, a fabulous troupe preformed for us, complete with song and dance.

I’ve found my calling :p (jk, jk)

Orientation is almost over, and then we’ll be unleash unto Korea. All 500 or so of us SMOE teachers have been under quarantine at a university campus just outside of Seoul, because of the swine flu. While not terrible, this means that for the past three days I’ve seen a grand total of 5 buildings. Whooo! Go brick! Go concrete! Blew me away, 100%. Hahah, I can’t wait to get back into Seoul!

There’s some unknown-ness about what Monday (our first day of work) will be like. I’m going to prepare a multi-level lesson about myself, all introductionary: arts, AmeriCorps, Miami, Michigan, Jewish, blah blah blah. Middle School in Korea is 7th, 8th and 9th grades, and I’ll probably only be teaching two of those levels.  I think the activities that we’ve done have prepped me pretty well. o_o Hahaha, maybe I’ll be eating those words come Monday!

Oh yeah ~~ Video of Amma/YoonJi/Naomi shopping. ❤ eeel, eeeel. So cute!

jet lag

Today is the second day in a row that I’ve woken up at 5am. I’m not sure if this is jet lag, but I wanted to sleep till 8am! Anyone have some suggestions on how to readjust an internal clock?

a video burst

I’ve been in Seoul for a few days now. Still jet-lagged, but having tons of fun. Right now I’m at orientation, and I’ll be here until friday — there are tons and tons and tons of teachers!! It’s been so cool to meet everyone, and find out about your schools (but no word on districts yet).

A short vignette before the videos roll:
Yoon Ji and I were coming back late the other night on the subway, and I really had to go to the restroom. Knowing it would be another 15min before we made it home, we followed the neon orange arrows on the station floor to the public restroom. Relief! I lunged for the nearest stall, finally, finally — only to find what!? At first I thought it was my eyes, or lack of sleep, or some strange construction. As is stood there, dumfounded, I realized it could only be what I had feared the most: a squat toilet. No amount of practice could have prepared me for it. “YOON JI!!” I cried, “YOOOON JI??!”

“Oh,” said Yoon. “A squatter. Hm. Use stall number five instead.” And so I backed out of stall number three, into stall number five, and found what I so desperately desired: a throne. Yes. Yes yes yes. Seoul is so beautiful.

Hopefully, tonight I’ll get some better sleep, so I’ll stop head-nodding in the presentations. :p


There’s a prayer that we have in Judaism that you say before a voyage, known as the Wayfarer’s Prayer. Some translation of it /// –>

“May it be Your will, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Who hears prayer.”

In less than five hours I will wake up, gather my luggage and 120 film from the fridge, and drive with my mom to MIA. On Friday afternoon I will land in Seoul – a rudimentary form of time travel. More than anything I’m excited about this radical shift in my life. It’s kind of the most intelligent thing I’ve set out to accomplish and the most naive (my family keeps using that word, haha). To be alone, to grow into my own twenty-something-self, while being immersed in a new culture and language seems perfect. Seoul has so much (at least on paper) and I’m so young. And open to it all. Open to everything!

It was hard though, to say bye to my friends and family in Miami. I feel like I’ve barely set foot down, time liquid through stubby hands, as I head off once again. Is it weird to say, “see you in a year”? Maybe all of life’s moments are weird in the right light, haha. Just life.

(10 things to do in Seoul in 24 hours, from TIMES)

Am I a tourist or what?