blogging because.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

taking it in stride

I often describe my life abroad as a vortex. An unrelenting spiral of emotions. Some days I live quite happily in my Busanite bubble. Some days I long for my familiar Toronto. Today…I don’t know…

Last week South Korea was reminded of its unresolved war with the North. I was reminded just how far away I am from home. North Korea launched a surprise attack, claiming two lives and severely injuring more than a dozen. This demonstration has made the global community anxious and prepared to meet any further aggression with comparable force. The more I think about it, the more I understand how unique it is for me, a Canadian, to be experiencing first hand the fall out of a very complicated history.  

This weekend I celebrated my first American Thanksgiving. Served with all of the holiday best, I properly embraced the idea of making new holiday traditions. Trying to re create what I am ‘missing’ at home will dishonour the magic of this experience.
our very Korean American Thanksgiving
complete with Jenga and Soju

  That said, Sunday we went in search of Christmas decorations. Much to our surprise we were successful! Tucked away on one of Nampodong’s many side streets, we discovered a real gem. Standing outside, a singing Santa ushered us into a winter wonderland.
Santa baby
city lights
I walked away with stockings, faux trees and ornaments. Now, I am ready for the Christmas countdown. 
I am going to Costco later. That will make my day.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

star light, star bright, take me to toronto tonight
Holiday spirit is now decking the halls of Seongnam Elementary. Last Friday I introduced my grade 3 classes to the joys of a western Christmas. Together we scrolled through some personal holiday snap shots, exchanged seasonal traditions and gushed over the sparkle of city lights amidst the quiet calm of snowy winter nights.
my wee snow flakes

Monday, November 8, 2010

chopsticks 101

Well, one would think that come the three month mark, and being a native of the highly Asian infused city of Toronto, I would have mastered the art of chopsticking. False. I have called upon every excuse in the book to defend my lack of dexterity: "my fingers are to…the sticks are too wide…the food is too small and slippery…" Enough!

frustration sets in
 Clearly the jig is up and it is time to admit defeat. I will be a western utensil user for life and I am okay with it. A special thank-you to those poor souls that fought to convert me. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

learn by doing

there once was confusion

I have been growing increasingly puzzled by the tolerance of violence in the classroom.
This observation climaxed with a swift blow to the back of my head today.
The culprit, Homer, one of my sixth graders.
The weapon, a pokemon pencil box.
His reaction, to point and laugh.
My reaction, shell shock.
Anymore would have been a waste of breath, the meaning of my vengeful rant – surely lost in translation. Fortunately, my co-teacher witnessed the attack and came to my rescue.
With one clean flick to the head, Homer got the message.
I have been converted, in the future; I will use the flick method to drive my point home. Miscommunications? Phiiiiish!

peace at last

Monday, November 1, 2010

lets paint the town and shut it down

And so we did.
It was not the monster mash this Halloween, but rather the foreigner mash up.
Not the usual Family Mart crowd
10.31.10 penguins, ajummas and superheroes roamed the streets of KSU. 
Me, I dressed up as Jinho and took my beloved Minsu out for a night on the town.  
Could it be? Is it she?

World, meet Minsu and Jinho

"Eat it Calvin Klein"
A lot more could be said about this night, but pictures really say it better.