Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Teacher's Day

Recently, South Korea celebrated Children's day, Teacher's day, then Parent's day. Those are some wholesome values to install in a society if you ask me. This country and it's people have seriously altered my view on what life can be like. Especially families.

For teacher's day, my student Alice invited me and the couple I work with to her father's "sum-gip-sal" restaurant. It's mostly fried pig meat, but they made "kimchi bokembop" for me. (Fried rice w/fermented cabbage.) Of course, there were a zillion side dishes for us all to pick from and everything was delicious. My other student (Bruce) came with his mother b/c he and Alice are good friends. They're only 10 years old and had to translate the entire evening. They're very good at English and did a fine job. Alice's entire family was there and they treated us royally. People here appreciate their teacher's like you wouldn't believe. Her father goes scuba diving all the time for the seafood at his restaurant and has invited me to go sailing with them in July. Also, Bruce's mother drove us all home from the restaurant and offered to take us to dinner in the future. Bruce and I discussed a lot on the ride back; he's really into automobiles. And I asked him what he wanted to be when he grows up. I thought he'd said a police officer or soccer player in class. But he said, "I don't know." I said, "You don't know?" and he said, "I want adventure." That was a great feeling. He's too intelligent not to explore this world.

The other day in class I was going around the classroom asking, "What do you like to do?"

me: "Bruce, what do you like to do?"

Bruce: "ME? Really? Are you sure?"

me: "Yes."

Bruce: "I like to listen to music."

me: "And what does Sarah like to do?"

Bruce: "I don't know."

me: "She just said she likes to play basketball."

Bruce: "She's lying."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


My sister Angela graduates from Towson University today with her degree in Biology (Pre-med) and I couldn't be more proud of all the hard effort and self-discipline she's put into it over the years! She's one of the most responsible people I know and she will go far in life.

Speaking of graduating with a degree in the medical field, my good friend Nicole is now officially a nurse. !!!!!!! She's been doing it for some time, and has helped brighten the days of so many munchkins, but now she has the official TITLE. Go Niki!

Aimee has her Masters in Edumacation. And has said PEACE OUT to Albany once and for all!

Then there are the birthdays of 3 special ladies in my life.
Both my grandmother and niece celebrate their births today. Violet will be ONE!!! Tomorrow her mother (my good friend Jenn) celebrates HER OWN birth. One big happy celebration of life.

And I can't forget one more special lady in my life.... MIKI!!! (his day is May 27th)

"Oh miki you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, HEY Miki!!! ...HEY Miki!!!"

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Mike!!!!!! Officially a dirty old man, who knows how to party!
We all got together today and followed Mike's orders
which were, "Enjoy yourself, it's a celebration!"
He couldn't have picked a better day to have a birthday;
GORGEOUS weather, free tickets to the baseball game, and the Daejeon Eagles won!

After the game we all went to the Outback Steakhouse... which the Australian couple loved. We all loved, even me - the veg head. The waiters loved us, sang "happy birthday", and gave us 2 free ice cream cakes as "Service". I asked the waiter about it & he said (in perfect English) "It's Mike's BIRTHDAY!!!"

As you can see, we're a very mature bunch!

Monday, May 08, 2006


This stud muffin can be my best man any day. Not only is he charming, witty, and incredibly handsome.... he's also a great friend to have. It took a while, but someone finally captured this sexy beast on film and now he's eternally exposed on my blog. Relax yourself ladies, there's a line.
"D" (yeah that's right, just D) has been at the top of my list since we met in college - despite 2 very important issues we don't see eye to eye on: the New York Yankees and god (though some have trouble differentiating). Right now the Yankees are tied with the Red Sox. As long as the Yankees aren't in first place, I'm happy... and all their spoiled fans are not. I'll be back in the New England area just when things are heating up and I hope to witness the fall of the Evil Empire.... yet again.
Now the "g" word is something I usually leave alone, out of respect for other people's beliefs, no matter how warped they are. But lately I've been getting this petition via email attempting to reinstate the pledge of allegiance into public schools. I'm not even gonna get into the separation of church and state or freedom of speech. I'm just going to say that I'm very happy the country I call "home" doesn't FORCE me to stare at a flag, put my hand over my chest, and say, "one nation under god...".

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lantern Festival
Buddha's birthday (May 5th) has brought out the lanterns all over South Korea. Our group took a day trip up to Seoul this past Sunday to watch the parades and enjoy traditional activities. We were blessed with perfect weather.... thanks Buddha. You're the man!

We caught the early train and started off with a nice Western-style breakfast and a few beers in Itaewon (foreigner's district). We then walked through a small parade and toured the vendors. Us girls had our faces painted and I made boxes with some foreign teachers we ran into (but know from Daejeon). We watched a man carve this amazing wooden statue, saw a fan dance show, and stood witness to a prayer ceremony behind dedicated monks in their temple. Many older, married women ("Ajumas") pull out their Hanbouks on special days like this. Men have them too, but usually stick to modern business suits. My tank top got some looks in Daejeon. The smaller parade was fun; lots of people dressed up. We even got to dress up like Kings and Queens and have our photos taken. We also had T-shirts made up with our names in Korean and cool cartoons characters. We bought lanterns and saw a band play. We devoured Subway sandwiches, then perched ourselves on the corner for the BIG PARADE. Lots of pictures at

Monday, May 01, 2006

Dong Chun Dang Park is right outside my classroom window; it's a huge park with "traditional style Korean homes", 3 ponds, paths, play areas, etc.. I take the pups there every day and enjoy the great weather we've been having lately. This past friday was Dong Chun Dang's 400th birthday so there were vendors everywhere selling cotton candy, squid, corn on the cob, ya know, the usual. A grand stage was set up for performances including drummers & singers. Our school decided to let the little ones go to the park, seeing we did our monthly "Themeroom" book on playground activities. God-forbid the kids get fresh air and play without it being for the sole purpose of education! Well they enjoyed themselves. Each teacher was set up at a station & had to help the kids do something. I had to teach them how to jumprope. As you can see, Nick catches on quickly.

I was on the BLUE team. The red team thinks they won the relay race, and to keep the peace, we let them think that. (heart stickers indicated the color you were). Here, Betty is wearing the popular over-sized plastic visor and being cheered on by her partner in crime, Jennifer. The pro-jumproper to your left is none other than the infamous Max. And below.....

The little angels , just waiting around like sitting ducks. Poor lads, didn't know what hit them! As you can see, Linda is still incredibly adorable, but there's a fresh crop of munchkins at Little America. The new "Berkeley Class" has 5 students. SO cute, nice, smart.... and just the right size to sneak in my luggage when I go home to the states!

Tomorrow we're taking the kids to the zoo, Thursday a musical, and friday we have OFF because it's CHILDREN's Day!!! woo hoo! I'm gonna climb in the cage with the monkeys!