Ankle Update

Just a heads up–This is kind of a whiny/vent-y post.

If you aren’t aware, I messed up my ankle a bit ago while ziplining (go read the original post for more info), and I’ve had my leg wrapped up in a splint for not-even a week. A week on Thursday.  (And I’m pretty much counting down the hours til it is removed this Thursday.  Uh.  I hope.  More on that in a bit.)

This is what is basically going on:
and I think a bit of this too:

Fun times.
It doesn’t really hurt or anything…just swollen and purple.  And a bit tender if you push on my calf or ankle region too much.
Aside from that, I feel (with my overwhelming amount of knowledge on the subject, haha) that it’s healing well.  Aside from the massive bruising and swelling, my ankle feels a lot stronger than last week.
Last week, I couldn’t put much pressure on my right leg, and had a pretty nice limp.
However, now I can put full standing pressure on my leg.  I don’t overdo it or anything, it’s just something I’ve noticed.
I can also use my toes and wriggle my foot to the point where if the splint were loose enough that I could pull my foot out (with no hands).  Again, if it were loose enough.  That was definitely not the case last week.

I’ve been trying to elevate it as much as I can, and pretty much have been lounging around for hours at a time after work, just watching movies with my foot propped up on a bunch of pillows.  Also applying ice for 20 minutes at a time every few hours (as able).

I’m honestly just really nervous (too much reading stuff online) that I’ve messed up my ankle for good.  I’ve read a lot from people who have permanently swollen ankles (or sore) because their foot didn’t heal right after something similar to what I have, or sprained ankles, etc.
I’m a runner, dancer and a generally fairly active person…and the thought of messing up an ankle at age 25, which would keep me from doing a lot of those things…is beyond horrifying.
Especially because this injury was just a split-second decision.  Granted, I had a fun time while I was ziplining, and would have gone again, definitely….but after this mess, now I feel like I’m scarred from the experience.

Anyway, I just needed to get a lot of that off my chest.  I feel like I talk a lot about it with people and I don’t want it to wear on them.  It’s just on my mind a lot.
I really, really hope I didn’t mess up my ankle for good.  😦 😦

I also really hope I get cleared to have this darn thing off my foot on Thursday.  My leg feels dirty with it on.  A wrapped foot..from the ball of the foot to about 3 inches below my knee…during summertime is really sucky.
AND Mudfest is coming!  😦

I’ll continue to be really careful with my foot after it’s out of the splint…I just feel like it’s gotten a lot stronger and is ready to move around on its own now.
And because I want to shave my leg.  And not have my foot feel all sweaty and gross.  haha 😀

//end whine-fest.

Ooohh!!! and….

No current plans for tomorrow or anything.  I know of some BBQs happening this weekend though.  Probably be attending something like that assuming the leg thing pans out accordingly.  😀

Happy 4th of July!!
Thank you to all of our past and present servicemen and women for all of your sacrifices that you’ve made toward ensuring our freedom.  It’s appreciated more than words can say.


*Updated the “Care Packages” tab

*In case you haven’t heard yet, I went ziplining last weekend at Herb Hillz in Daegu, Korea…which was AWESOME.  It’s a mini-theme park with a high-ropes course and zipline courses also within the park.
I did manage to mess up my ankle a bit when I was there though.  This past Thursday, after noticing that the swelling and dark bruising wasn’t going away (and after pushing from family and friends, lol), I went to an orthopedic doctor and had it looked at.
Thankfully, nothing was broken (Thanks Mom for making me drink lots of milk, haha), even though I wasn’t surprised by that because it didn’t doesn’t really hurt.  It’s just sore, swollen and bruised.
It wasn’t sprained either.
The doctor just said I had some deep tissue bruising and ended up wrapping my leg up and putting it into a splint.  😦  With crutches.  Fun times.

I just have one week with it on, but I’m already very anxious to be free of it.

 I could already hobble around before the splint, but having it on makes it much more difficult to do much of anything 😦

However, I made it to the grocery store today…Hoorah!  And I can feel that my ankle seems to be getting stronger/less wobbly as time goes on.
Thursday can’t come soon enough.

Oh, and yes, I’d still definitely go ziplining again.  I’d just make sure I’m landing properly at the end of the line.  🙂

*Not really an update, but just something I’ve noticed about Korea that I wish we would do in the US.
If you’re going grocery shopping, using re-usable bags is HIGHLY encouraged here.  You can buy them easily at the front of the checkout stands for like $5, and if you need plastic bags, then you pay for each one individually.  They’re like the equivalent of like 20 cents.  They’re cheap, but I like how they have both easily available and how they encourage you to recycle and re-use them.

ALSO, those same bags (bright green) are very strong and can hold a lot…AND  are the same bags that people are supposed to use for their trashbags. The whole country (as far as I’m aware) uses the same green bags for throwing out garbage.
SO…if you don’t use the re-usable bags and buy the green ones at the checkout (can be bought individually or in bulk) then you can just use them again when you get home as your trashbags.  😀

The green bags are sold individually (at the checkout) and in bulk (right before the checkout–for home/garbage purposes).
The green bags (bulk) also come in various sizes too.  So, if you have bigger trashcans, you can get bigger bags and smaller bags for smaller trashcans.
Note: Most apartments here are small, so most people have smaller trashcans.

Anyway, just an interesting observation.
Personally, I have 4-5 re-usable bags (some were here before I got here, and then I bought 2 more myself when I first moved in, not knowing of the other ones yet).
I really only use like 2, at most, at a time because the re-usable/canvas bags are so big.  And because I don’t have a car, so I walk with my groceries and only have so many hands.  😛

**I also love how this is such a walking city (as are many cities here).  The sidewalks are large and accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.  I want this in the city that I end up calling home in the future.  I love being able to walk down the sidewalk and have outdoor lifestyles/being active as something that’s encouraged.

Anyhoo–I’m rewarding myself with a french toast dinner and a movie because I was able to make it to the grocery store and back even with a bad ankle.  Hoorah!

Note:  Buy 3, Get 3 FREE at Bath and Body Works this weekend! 😀
Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge.
My birthday is coming.  😛

Testing My Knowledge

Not sure how this post is going to work out, but I wanted to make a bit of a list of all the Korean that I know.  Month 4 hits on Friday and it’d be kind of cool to see where I am in a few months from now.
In no particular order:
annyeong-haseyo –Hello!  (Formal)  (remove haseyo) for informal)
kamsa hamnida–Thank you (Formal) (remove hamnida for informal)
chuseyo-give me please–Basically just the way to ask for things.
ex: hamburger chuseyo.
ca chuseyo–“take me there please”–used when getting into a taxi  (name of place + ca chuseyo)

hana, dul, set, net (numbers 1-4, used for counting items)–definitely need to work on this.

isseyo–I like/I have/There is/There are
upsseoyo–I don’t like/I don’t have/There aren’t/There isn’t any
oppa (or OPPPAAAAAAAAAA!!!! lol.)–Older brother (only used by girls), which I’ve also heard/seen that girls use this term affectionately for boyfriends

noona–older sister (only used by boys)
appa–dad (ah-pa)
amma-mom (ah-ma)

ne–yes (informal)

bang–room (b and p sound together for the “b”)
bbang–bread (stronger sound ^)
samgyupsal–grilled pork  (Korean BBQ, you are calling my name)
Soju.–enough said.
bulgogi–“thinly sliced beef sirloin or tenderloin” (Thanks wiki for providing a wonderful explanation)
galbi–marinated beef short ribs  (this portion is making me so hungry.  gahhh).
hangul–Korean (language, country, etc)

jimjilbang— Korean-style sauna/spa
noraebang–Karaoke room (:-D)
DVDbang–DVD room  (private room where you and your friends can go watch movies-haven’t been to this yet)
PC-bang–computer room.  lots of dudes will sit here and just play those role-playing game on one of the many, many computers in these places.  I used them when I first got to Korea and hadn’t gotten my internet set up yet.–you can spot them by just looking for a giant “PC” on the side of a building.
These, I can recognize them if written or in context, but they’re pretty recent to my vocabulary so I don’t want to include them in the top half just yet.

hyung–older brother
ye–yes (formal–to people older than you/bosses/etc)
mwuh?–what?–I saw this on on a Korean drama series that I’m watching.  haha.  Seems to be the informal version…
sunbae–someone more experienced in “x” than you.
ex: music industry–someone with more hits/awards than you.

Goodbye (when leaving): annyonghikyeseyo
Goodbye (when staying): annyonghikaseyo

^Those all sound really similar (and hello) when heard in context, so pretty sure I’ve just been saying hello to people all the time.  lol.  I just learned that there was a difference like 2 weeks ago.  ha 🙂

*NUMBERS!–There are two sets and I’m making it my goal to get them memorized. Urgh.  It annoys me.  That and my alphabet.  Now that my TEFL (teaching english as a foreign language–certificate) course is officially complete, I have no excuse.
My alphabet is like 65-70% there.  Too many darn vowels.  Blargh.

I feel like I know more than that…I’ll probably end up coming back to edit it as I think of things.  This was mostly off the top of my head.

Tie-Dye Fun!

For art class today, I joined up with the other teacher that teaches art, and we did a whole-kindergarten tie-dye project.
The school provided white t-shirts with the school’s name on the front…and the kids got to have some fun.

I was pretty much the leader/organizer for this particular project because none of the Koreans had done or even knew what tie-dyeing was and the other teacher that taught art hadn’t ever done it herself.

So, armed with my knowledge from when I was 13-14, we managed to get all 20-something kindergartners their very own tie-dyed shirt!
I had them in groups–all the students started in the main room, where they put on their plastic painting sleeves (little plastic sleeves that covered wrist to elbow) and aprons.  They they went into the other room where our other art teacher (another foreign teacher who just so happens to teach art classes, like myself) helped the kids write their names inside the shirts and put rubber bands on them.

She sent them over to me and I supervised the tie-dyeing process.  I had 3 colors for them to use and only had 3 students dyeing at a time.  I had any other students that came into the room sitting in chairs watching.  A bit stressful (ages 3-6) but really fun and I think the kids really enjoyed the process.  Our head Korean teacher also said that she wanted to make one.  (She’s never done tie-dye…it’s not really a thing here…yet.  😉 )
Some of the other Korean teachers helped supervise the kids, and our head Korean teacher was in the room with me, helping replenish dye colors as they were used up.  😀

I wish I could let the kids open the shirts themselves, but we’re off tomorrow (public holiday! yay!), so we’re just going to hand them back on Thursday.  Plus, having 20 something kindergartners undoing their rubberbanded shirts could be an ordeal in itself.  AND, I can try and get them washed/cleaned before handing them back.  That way the kids can wear them on Thursday if they want and not have to worry about colors coming off on their clothes.

AHHH..I’m so excited 😀
I like doing the art classes…and it’s more fun bringing some of our American-style art projects to the school here.  I just love seeing their reactions.  Our head teacher was amazed at some of the projects that we’ve been doing recently…she was even more amazed that I remembered doing them from kindergarten and elementary school myself.
Side note–Not sure if I mentioned it before or not, but prior to all these art projects, our kids were doing art books that were at about the 5th grade level.  Each one was centered on a famous artist from the past and they had to ‘re-create” famous pieces.  Um.  These kids are really young..some can’t even color inside the lines…much less doing projects like that.

Anyway, extremely happy that our head teacher let us have a go at making up some of the art lessons ourselves and that we’re away from the books now.
She gave us a trial week a few weeks back (to see what we’d do in class for projects) and now it’s been a few weeks and we have all of June (at least) to do whatever we want in classes.  😀

I’m just really grateful for her allowing us (especially me, since I love the creative artsy/craftsy stuff) the flexibility to try some new stuff. I really think this has brought the life back into the place.  It helps to have stuff to look forward to 🙂

Edit: 6.6.12
Freshly hand-washed tie-dye shirts 😀  Lookin’ good!  (I panicked a bit when the water changed color when I dipped them in the sink…but looks good, I think!)


Weekend In Japan: Official

Hoorah!  I found some free time and now I can quickly write about my time in Japan (before I forget everything, ha).
Also:  I have some new *interesting* stuff that happened at school today.  “Interesting” takes place of some other words that could fit more appropriately here…but I’ll let you be the judge.

I got out of work around 7pm on Friday (as usual) and went back to my apartment to finish packing.  I took a slow train to Seoul at 8:55pm  (everything else was booked because of the 3-day weekend) and got there around 11pm.
I checked into my hostel around midnight (takes ages to get in and out of the subway area in Seoul because it’s so massive.  Then made my way to the hostel.)

I stayed at Seoulwise Guesthouse and had a pleasant stay.  Woke up, ate a quick breakfast at the hostel and off again by a bit after 9am.
Took the Airport Train (in the subway station–but a direct line) to Incheon International Airport (rated the #1 airport in the world btw.  And rightfully so.  It’s pretty awesome.  :-D)

Checked in and all that–flight out was at 12:30.  Made it there with plenty of time–airport wasn’t too busy at all.  Only a 2 hour flight to Sendai International Airport and I got a meal included on my flight (both ways!)  Yay Asiana Airlines!  🙂

My friend Bethany (who I was staying with and visiting during this trip) picked me up with a friend of hers at the airport.  We practically had one of those awesome airport hugs straight out of the movies. 😀  It’s been two years since I’ve seen this girl!
Anyway, we drove (well, her friend did) back to Sendai for about an hour.
I dropped my stuff of at her apartment and we went for dinner.  (Ahh! I forgot what it was called…)

Pretty tasty.  The left was just thick noodles with various seasonings (and crunchy things) added in.  On the left was fried shrimp (2) and chicken (1).  Pretty good combination.  I could have had a whole plate of shrimp, haha.

Then we met up with a bunch of her friends from her school and saw Men in Black 3–in 3-D!  I really liked it!..not the price ($22!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Granted, it was 3-D…but REALLY???!?!)
Apparently the movie is a lot cheaper if you don’t do the 3-D (like $10 cheaper) but the majority wanted 3-D.  It was cool though, but I would have rather kept my $10.
In Daejeon, our movies are like $7-9.

We spent some time in the movie theatre arcade and some of us girls did a photo booth thing.  It makes your eyes look huge (a big thing in Asia) and you can edit the pictures you take afterwards…adding hats or glasses, etc.
(Pretty sure this is when we did the sushi part…gah.  If my memory is this bad now…I’m scared for old age.)
After the movie, we (a few of us girls) went to this sushi place that had various dishes coming around the restaurant on several conveyor belts.  Each table had an electronic menu and you could just select what you wanted to order and within a few minutes (people in back had to prepare it) it would come zooming around to your table!  A bit of music would play to signal you that your order was coming–so you didn’t grab someone else’s stuff.  🙂
Note:  I’ve had sushi twice back home and was disgusted by it.  I wanted to try it here only because Japan is the home of sushi…unlike Missouri, USA.
It’s still not a favorite, but I’m not completely disgusted by it anymore.  It definitely isn’t something I’d ever eat again back home, that’s for sure.  I can only have sushi straight from Japan, lol.

After that, we (Bethany and I) went back to her apartment after and watched a part of a Korean drama that she likes (she had been trying to get me into it for awhile, but I never had time.  Now, after watching it a bit from the beginning…pretty sure I’m hooked now too.  Boys Before Flowers is the name.. You can find it on Youtube and some other places.  With English subtitles :))

Day 2//Sunday
Went to a church service with Bethany and some others from her school.  They have this service in a bar that they transform into a make-shift church!  You really can’t tell once they get it set up.  There were probably 20 or so people there.  You really can have a church wherever.  Just bring the people and the music and the rest will follow.
It was also my first multi-lingual service.  It was done in both Japanese and English (speaking bits were translated back and forth and singing would be done in both–alternating songs).  Note:  I sang some in Japanese!  haha.  Granted, I have no idea what I was singing about, but the words were on the screen and you get into a sort of rhythm and start picking up on how sounds are made.

Then, I went with Bethany and her friend Ariel to Matsushima Bay via a boat tour/.cruise.  It was a full day event and really fun.  🙂  The whole bay area was really pretty and strange to think that a huge tsunami had been there just a year before.  Thankfully, it was still pretty much intact because there’s a huge cluster of islands in that area that helped to break up the storm and waves.  I did see some damage (debris) and cracks left in the pavement from the earthquake though.
Bethany did tell me a bit about some other complete towns that weren’t so lucky and were completely swept off the map.  As in…they no longer exist.  That’s…so surreal to think about.  Here you are, standing in a spot in a country that was hit by a major natural disaster (several actually) and thankfully, is still there…but, nearby, there are areas that are no more.

(Picture 1:  us on the massive long bridge (252 meters long) that lead to Fukuurajima Island (island full of just natural beauty–great for a picnic or a light hike)
Picture 2: picture off the island (Fukuurajima)
Picture 3: gorgeous trees near the Zuiganji Temple
Picture 4:  Creepy caves (Dokutsu) near the main temple–Zuihanji Temple)

Anyway, after sightseeing, we got back to Sendai around 8 or so, then went to one of her friend’s houses and hung out and had tasty breakfast burritos.  We all stayed for a few hours and then we went back to her place and went to bed.

Day 3//Monday
Up around 9–and the three of us (same group from when I drove into Sendai) went to Starbucks and then headed back to the airport.
I got there around 11:30 and had a flight out (the only international flight! haha) at around 1:50pm.

I had a really great time over there and would love to eventually make it back.  It’s so expensive over there so it’s actually kind of nice that my trip was short.  😀

Work stuff:
So, my school/boss has a tendency to make quick/hasty decisions that..well…are “interesting”.  Granted, she’s the owner, so she can do what she wants…but ya know.
Anyway, my boss took all of the games out of the school today and notified us that we were no longer able to use the laptop in the classroom because they think that the kids are being “exposed to too much media”.
So, we cannot use the laptops for Sesame Street videos, songs, clips for social studies class (to explain concepts such as: mudslide, etc)…nothing.

I would have thought a warning would be a good first step, or a “hey, let’s cut back on the use of technology in the classroom” sort of thing…but hey, who am I to say.  Anyway, so that’s the new policy at our school.

I was watching Cinderella with my kindergarteners in class today (could have stemmed from that, but they’ve never had a problem with watching any sort of clip on them before, so I dunno.  Maybe she’s having a rough day.)  because our units are meant for 4 weeks and this month had 5 weeks–so we can’t start the next unit til next week.  We’ve been busy and I thought they’d like to have a fun day today (we only watched it for 2 of their classes  (30 min)) and they had class the rest of the day.
Anyway, we’re normally in charge of running our own classes, so I thought my kids might like a fun day. Could have come from that, but we all use the computers at some point during the week in our classes.

I dunno.  Ah well.
Good thing my kids already know their ABC songs.
Anyway, I’m a bit more ranty than I thought I’d be, but I just think that’s an “interesting” decision.

Aside from that, There’s a lot more I could say about the goings-on around here, but I’ll save it for in-person chats.
I’ve found a new phrase that helps me get through my tough days:
Do it for them.  This is about the kids.

A spin off of “But…think of the CHILDREN!”  lol.  It works though.  I’ve heard some say that they’ve stopped caring, and I’ve thought of that a few times too, but I really can’t.  I know that we deal with a lot of crap from this school, but I can’t withhold all creativity and my own energy just because the bosses do crazy things.
These kids are still kids and they’re making memories that will stick with them forever…whether I decide to care or not.  So, I have to care.  Because they care…and I AM making an impact on their lives.  Who knows, they might remember all of this when they’re older and decide that they want to do things the way that they remember doing it when they were kids (like myself)…and I can’t deprive them of the fun that they SHOULD be having as kids.  They’re in MY class, so I’m going to try my darndest to make sure they they are able to learn and live up to their potential…and have FUN doing it.
Whether it’s more work for me or not is beside the point.
It’s not about me or my school, it’s about them.  

It should always be about them.  Not in the “you’re so great, I’m going to give you everything you want” kind of way…but…I can’t just do the bare minimum because
1. I’ve never been that kind of person and it’s not in my nature
2. If I do the bare minimum…as their teacher…what can I expect from them?  They won’t get anything out of being in my class…and I can’t do that to them.  I want to inspire them to learn and to be great and to do great things…and to be good people.

I know I can’t do that completely because I’m not going to be with them for the rest of their lives…but I know I can lay the groundwork.
If I remember things that I did in kindergarten, who’s to say that they won’t remember what they did in Stacey teacher’s class when they’re 25?

and THAT is why I have to/want to keep working at this…no matter what obstacles are continuously put in my path to  make things more challenging.

//I feel like I’m making my job sound super glamourous…like I walk into class with a gold cape around my neck shouting “Let’s LEARN and MAKE SOME MEMORIES!!!” or something.
Uh…it’s not like that.  lol.  😀  And no, I don’t own a gold cape.  haha 🙂

Weekend in Japan


I had an amazing weekend in Sendai, Japan visiting a friend of mine, who happens to also be teaching English.
I’ll do a formal post when I’m not exhausted.  It’s been a long, crazy weekend and I had an even longer day today because of all the traveling…

Men in Black 3. Japanese Sushi (still not my favorite, but better than last time, definitely). Church service in a Japanese bar. Matsushima Bay and boat tour. Breakfast burritos with some awesome new friends.

I’ll post pics too…but for now, off to bed.  Back to work tomorrow.  Short day though!  Elementary classes are cancelled, so I can use that time as a work day (report cards are coming due, so I’ll finally have time to work on those.)

Goodnight for now!

Side note:
Happy Memorial Day!  THANK YOU to all of our servicemen and women.  You truly are inspirational and we all can’t thank you enough for what you have done (and continue to do) for our country.

Teenie Tiny Post About Something Awesome

I’ve had a pretty long day today–Full day of classes, but sent in 2 TEFL lessons (13 and 14–of 20) and made pretty great progress on Unit 15.  Hoping my tutor doesn’t send them back to be re-done.  I spent about 3 hours at a cafe near my apartment working on them.  Ugh. (Granted, I was on Facebook and Pinterest a bit too :D)

Anyway–I just wanted to note that the whole stuttering thing is practically nonexistent when I’m teaching.

Yes, you read that right.

I actually kind of forgot about it and then have to remind myself about it.  haha. It’s still there from time to time when I’m talking normally to people—but when I’m teaching…that’s a different story.  I’m not sure where it goes…but I also don’t really care.  Go and don’t ever come back.  ha 🙂
If it does show up (really rare) the kids just assume they’re just supposed to fill in the pause with a word (if I’m reading something to them or whatever).  haha.  Good stuff.  🙂

Anyway, off to bed…exhausted.

Japan in 2 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

//So much for a teenie tiny post 🙂  haha.

P.S.–Like the new layout?  🙂  I think it has a fun POP!