Happy Teacher’s Day!!

Today was Teacher’s Day in Korea (pretty much the same as Teacher Appreciation Day/Week back home).  I got to school and saw that some of my kindergarteners had brought in gifts with them for myself and some of the other kindergarten teachers.  Two of us (including me) got most of the haul because we have them more often and one of the other teachers just got here like a week ago so she hasn’t had a chance to make much of an impression yet.
It’s also completely optional for the kids to bring stuff (otherwise I would have had over 100 presents, lol).  I wasn’t really expecting much..maybe a card here or there or maybe flowers or something.  Or nothing, ha.  I know back home, most kids usually give lotion or a card or something.  Or the stereotypical apple.  haha.

This is what I received this year:

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I.KNOW.
WOW!!!!
I was completely blown away.
Most of it is from the kindergarten parents because we have their kids for the longest.  (hours at a time compared to a 35 minute class here and there throughout the week).
Again, this doesn’t happen with every student either.  Our school is also located in a wealthier area (and is a private school) so our presents would be different from other schools.

The details:
*Chanel foaming facewash–first time with Chanel…anything.
*TWO flower arrangements. (which, as a single lady, getting flowers is a very rare thing)
*Handmade paper flowers (origami-style)
*bracelet (was actually eyeing these the other day and talked myself out of it) 🙂
*30,000Won giftcard (just under $30) to Galleria Timeworld
*Burt’s Bees Boxed Set (even just one lip gloss from them is normally over $10).
*2 handwritten (in their best English) letters from two parents.
***Not pictured (because I completely forgot! ah!) –two free movie ticket vouchers!!  I got those yesterday and completely forgot to put them in the pic.  oops!

The whole day was a “I’m smiling so much that my face hurts” kind of thing.
Well, not the whole day, heh.  But, it was a fun day.
Also, a mom of one of my girls bought the teachers pizza for lunch.  DELICIOUS.
We also had a party during their normal snacktime (cake included).
Tuesday is also Art day for the kindergarteners (elementary school went on as usual) and myself and another teacher (we normally teach the art classes) had them make handmade cards for the two girls that work at the front desk (and work their butts off)…that would likely not receive anything because they aren’t technically teachers.
At the end of the day, we ended classes early (kindergarten) and had them all come into the library so they could each hand-deliver their cards to the girls that work at the front desk.

😀  Very fun day.
In case I haven’t mentioned it, I have kindergarten from 9:45-2:25 (with lunch from 12:25-1:45) then elementary from 2:50 to 6:45.
A really long day, and isn’t standard across all hagwons, but yeah…it’s what I do.  And hey, it gets me flowers and Chanel.  haha 🙂

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Currently listening to:
Gotye–Somebody That I Used to Know
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NhkK-1epUA
(love when it picks up at 1:33, but addicted to this song)

Taylor Swift–Eyes Open (Hunger Games Soundtrack)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vShCqrZiK_0

Drake feat. Rihanna–Take Care
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zzP29emgpg&feature=related

Rihanna–Where Have You Been
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBxt_v0WF6Y&feature=related

Annnnnnnd…I’m so in love with this commercial, haha.  🙂 🙂
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=instream&v=35KX4OHQfMc
It’s one that I actually stick around to watch when it comes up on Youtube 🙂 haha.

Odds and Ends

Not really a whole lot to report on currently.  Just going to work and all that sort of thing.
1.  Japan at the end of this month to visit a friend 🙂

2. I have a new favorite coffee shop that I frequent (for hot chocolate and their chicken panini).  The other place, Angel-in-Us, always seemed to take ages to get the food/drinks out to you, no matter how many people were in the place.  I’ve been to other locations and they’re better, but not planning on going all the way over there just to have a place to sit down and work on some things.  AND they have free wi-fi at this other place.  Hurrah!

3.  Feeling like a Celebrity–That’s what people around here call it anyway.  My city is big enough to where this doesn’t happen super often, but small enough that it still does.  Anyway, with Korea only recently having so many foreigners within its boundaries comes a few side effects.  lol.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that people stare at you.  Not all the time, but often enough for you to notice.  I’m sure they don’t mean anything by it, they’re just intrigued or curious…or whatever.  I try not to think about it much past that.
I’ve also recently had people who will randomly come up to you and ask for a picture with you.  Ie: you and them in a picture together.  Complete strangers nonetheless.  lol.
I can’t help but laugh when it does happen because it’s so random and would definitely not happen at home, ha.  (The most it happened was yesterday–3 times in one day).  Usually also comes along with a compliment “You are so beautiful.”  😛
I also experienced this one yesterday.  I got approached by a university student and he had an assignment from school to interview a foreigner on ‘Life in Korea’.  Favorite parts/least favorite/biggest change/things you wish you could change.  I kept my answers pretty mild but still honest.
It’s a weird but funny experience in general.

4.  My tutor for my online TEFL course filed for an extension for me to finish my course!  YAY!! I have an extra month now..Originally, my course was set to be due in about a week.  Whew.  🙂

5.  I’m going to work on my course stuff, but I’m going to do a superstitions post in the near future.  Also included in that will be stuff related to fashion here and the whole “Summer doesn’t start until June 1st” thing…and everything that goes along with that.

 

Completely Unrelated…

Hey all–
My cousin’s son is in a contest for a magazine cover (SO ADORABLE) and I would love if you could please vote.  Please?!  It takes just a few seconds.  🙂  Thanks!

http://photos.parents.com/parents-cover-contest-2012/18/2012/597

Also (unrelated to Korea…kinda):
I bought a new dress today!! 😀

http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/candy-counter-dress


It was the last one in stock…and it was my size…and I’ve been eyeing it for a few months now.  Anyway, I also don’t have anything fancy to wear here, so…yeah.  That was all the rationalizing that was going on in my head.  🙂  Also, wasn’t too expensive and either was the international shipping.  I’m pretty happy.

I love Modcloth.com. Good stuff 🙂  Unique styles and fun clothes at decent prices.  Amen.  🙂

…currently working on my TEFL course…on number 11 of 20.  Hoping to finish 11 and 12 tonight.  Getting close to the deadline, but I work well under pressure.  Bring it.
Oh hey, and it’s Friday tomorrow!  Hurrah!

I also love this dress…but not for $80.  Maybe when it goes on sale.  I’ve been eyeing that one too.
http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/savor-the-date-dress

Doing Something About It

I’ve decided that while I’m going through this homesickness, I’m going to try and make a list of all the things I like about Korea.  I’m going to try and make this an on-going list, so I’ll come back and update from time to time.
Note:  Keep in mind that I’ve been going through homesickness and my outlook right now is a bit bitter, so I’ll try to update when I’m on an upswing on my mood.

Things I like About Life in South Korea
*Getting an entire case of strawberries from the fruit seller guy on the corner…for less than $5.  (It’s 5,000 Won)

*The landscape/scenery/natural beauty of the country  (love the mountains!  and how close the beach is)

*The bluntness of the people–I hear that I’m beautiful about 400x more often here than I did back home.  (at home: in bars by drunk people, my family, or just general compliments on my eyes or hair, or comments from old people)  Here: more common and very direct.  An actual “You’re beautiful.”  which…feels awesome.  Definitely better than “damnnnn girl, you fine!”  lol.
^^However, there is a huge flip-side to this.  Those jeans make you look fat?  You’ll hear about it.

*The KTX//High Speed Rail System

*My kiddos

*The fact that hugs and playing with my kids is encouraged..not shameful or something that could put you at risk for a lawsuit.

*Cheap food

*Not having to pay for gas.  (love driving, don’t like the expense…especially now that I’ve experienced what it’s like without it)

*Sending half/$1000 (a bit less than that with the fees) home each month out of my paycheck.