Sunburned, mosquito bitten, and full of sand.  And I only fell down once.  Jeju was a success. Check the pics here.


Just a few things...

I have some short and random stories I feel the need to share. In no particular order:
1. The number of funny thangs that come out of my kids' mouths never cease to amaze me. A fine nugget...(Wait, this needs a preface. Vicki is not bright. Hell, she's not even dim. I don't think her bulb is even plugged in) 
Vicki: "Teacher, where are you from?"
Me: "The U.S."
Vicki: "Teacher, but where?"
Me: "Idaho." This is usually met with blank stares. I quickly recover by saying it's near California. They ALL know California.
Vicki: "Teacher, you don't know?" Does this translate when reading, 'cause I was laughing my ass off?!
And another...
(Another preface. Sally is smart. And funny.)
Sally: "Teacher, who is Eleanor Roosevelt?"
Me: "She was the wife of an important American President."
Sally: "So?"
My thoughts exactly, Sally.

2. In my Korean life I am very clumsy. Not only have I fallen down the stairs on multiple occasions, but I have also cut my hand while making my bed (yeah, don't ask) and cut and bruised my foot WHILE SEATED on the bus. It seems everywhere I go I manage to slip, slide, and bump into anything around me. I even managed to bash my knee into the railing while STATIONARY on the escalator. Needless to say, I am a wee bit nervous about my upcoming vacation. I think Korea is trying to kill me.

3. Mudfest in Boryeong last weekend. Check the pics here.

4. Kids touch me all day.  They poke me, prod me, and make every attempt to generally annoy me.  I am unperturbed.  I am invincible.  That is, until I received a full-on nipple twist from a female student.  Little Jenny Foo Foo (see previous post) thought it pertinent to reach out and squeeze me.  Obviously I exercised great restraint as I am still employed.

5. Skype is amazing. 

That's all.


The Kiddies

I loved my job at home. LOVED it. I do not love my job in Korea. I'm not sure I even really like it. However, I do like my kids. Wanna see 'em?!

These are my "Shiny Golden Dragons". Okay not really, they're just first graders, but every time we play a game involving teams, they all want to be the "Shiny Golden Dragons". Go figure.

The ladies of S1-5. I hate to play favorites, but I really love Jane and Yura. Jane is in blue with the sweet pink glasses and Yura is sulking in the corner because she was feeling "icky".

Me: "Squish together! If you're in the front, sit down so we can see the smiling faces in the back!"
Them: "Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!"
They're gonna be good Korean pushers!

William diving for the camera. Everyday this kid says, "Mindy Teacha, thank you for teaching us!" Love it.

Anna Banana and Little Jenny Foo Foo. Yeah, and they know the song. Little bunny foo foo hopping through the forest...

My class of precocious, rowdy second grade girls, showing their ferosh side to the camera.

Sophia the wood nymph.

Tomorrow? The third graders. We'll see if they love the camera as much as these cheeky little monkeys did!



So it took me one looonnng week, but I have finally replaced my cell phone. Yay. And hooray for the two awesome people who work at LG Telecom. They were patient, accommodating, and ridiculously nice all three times I tried to get this task accomplished. It was only this afternoon that I discovered, along with my cell phone, they threw in a cellphone cover, mirror sticker and the ubiquitous cell phone charm FOR FREE. Nevermind that I will never use any of these items, it's the thought that counts.

Now, if I were counting, I'd say that's at least 3 points for Korean cell phone companies. We'll add that to their points for superior coverage, phones with FREE TV, and cheap plans that only charge for outgoing calls and I'd say they're kicking AT&T's ass. I feel spoiled.

Korea 2, Mindy 0

2 unsuccessful (ie wet, sweaty, disgusting and slightly frustrating) trips to Hongdae. I think I'm cursed. Damn you, Korean rainy season.


Wet, Hot Korean Summer

As per last post, I have lost my cell phone and have become completely unreachable for the last 36 hours. Needless to stay, I may become socially ostracized if I do not replace it STAT. That being said, I was ripped from sleep at 11am by Amanda knocking on my door, asking why I wasn't answering my phone. Conversation and condolences ensued and soon we made a plan to head to Beomgye for lunch and then off to Anyang Art Park. Have I mentioned it's like, the HOTTEST day ever? Yeah, like living in a greenhouse, is how Amanda put it. No worries, we shall persevere.

Lunch was good. A little *Italian* place called Sorrento. The food was acceptable, but the decor was NOT.

Anyway, bussed it to the park and all was well. That is, until we started to walk. Have you ever been so hot and sweaty it feels like yer literally swimming in yer own skin? Like you could float away in a sea of yer own perspiration at any moment? All I gots to say is I have newfound respect for Koreans. Especially women in heels, at a park, on a Sunday afternoon. Dayum.

So yeah, we never really made it to the Anyang Art Park. We did find a public pool, though. That's where you'll find me for the remainder of my Korean summer. Oh, and I promptly took a cold shower when I got home.

It's the Fourth and I have no sunburn

Friday was the Fourth of July.

Normally I would celebrate by awaking early from the morning sunlight reflecting off Lake Chelan and streaming through my window. I would curse the early sunrise and roll back over, but the lake would beckon me. Besides, direct sunlight begins to fade around 4 and it's one hell of a cold swim after that. So I would get up. I might stumble downstairs around 8 am and make myself some breakfast from the plethora of cereals I have come to associate with being at the Grout's. I might take my cereal to the deck. Eh, I might eat it in front of the TV with Ben and Hailey (the cabin has cable!) Slowly, the remainder of the Grout's would begin to wake -- they're late sleepers -- and we would chat about the finer points of sunscreen application.

The day would pass lazily on the deck. The company would be comfortable and the conversation would be easy. We are all so familiar to one another. Stephanie and Chris would fry. Sally and Doug would take Ben and Hailey to mini golf and ice cream at the Alpenhorn. The boys would take the boat out and I would devour all the books and chips I could get my hands on.
Later, the men would grill. Sally would slice fruit for the ever-present fruit salad and Steph, Chris and I would make fresh salsa and guacamole to tide us over until dinner is ready. And then we would watch fireworks.

For me, this is the epitome of contentedness. I am rarely homesick in Korea, so my emotion surrounding this holiday caught me off guard. It's a good thing I had all that soju to help make me feel better.

Oh, and I lost my phone. Happy Fourth of July!


Kickin' It In Geumchon

I couldn't resist, it's too hilarious.


Julie has excellent problem-solving skills.

Last week my school had monthly tests. This induces unimaginable amounts of stress in even the smallest of children, and I have found sometimes they take it out in their writing. A sample, if you will:

The prompt (by the way, I think this is the lamest prompt ever. A tiny family? WTF?!): Pretend that a boy finds a family living under his bed. Before you begin to write, think about a problem this little family causes. Now write a story about how the boy solves the problem.

In it's entirety: "The tiny family talking with boy. Boy wanted sleep. Tiny family like nosy sound. Boy can't sleep. So he think how can they stop talking. He thinking and thinking than he have a good idea! He question of little family like this. "Do you like a fire?" They said, "oh my god! No! I don't like fire!" So he get a slashlight (flashlight, people). Then, little family see the slashlight. They said, "Oh my god!" Than they get lots of scared. Slashlight is so shiny. So they can't see more and they die."

She killed they tiny family?! The Korean equivalent of going postal.

Oh, and the monthly tests are the grown-up teacher equivalent of doing ENTIRE report cards once a month. That's why we drink so much...