Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Karaoke Kinda Weekend....

Top: Friday night karaoke! At German Bar... me, Justin (behind me) and Jacob (a new friend).
Bottom: Some of the group enjoying BBQ and drinks at Seth's place.

Work is going... like i've said before, things are constantly changing. Last time I blogged, I was off the research team and teaching more classes. Well, i'm back on the research team and I still have a good amount of classes. It's interesting that they have me on their research team because I don't know nearly enough about the classes (especially the levels I haven't taught) and the textbooks to be doing the work I am doing. Someone who has been teaching here longer would surely be be more useful than me. I am helping to create a curriculum guide for each class/track/level. It is kind of confusing because there isn't just grade levels, it's way more complex than that. Each group (for example: the Zebras, which are a pre-K to Kindergarten aged level) has several different tracks and levels. For each track and level, there is a different group of books. I am currently writing a description for each level, giving a goals and objective page for each and creating a branches page that includes a detailed description of each books content. It is mostly a lot of tedious work. The shitty thing about all of this is.... I am doing this work and yet, in 6 months or so, the books are just going to change again. Excuse me but, it's bullshit! Oh well, I just do what i'm told... it is what it is! My friend/colleague Ryan is a big part of the research team as well. He is creating book guides for each individual book (a guide for how long each book should be taught in a given semester/class period). Our bosses took Ryan and I out to a nice dinner this week to thank us for our hard work. At dinner, everyone is always drinking soju (Korean liquor) and mikjew (beer) or somik (a combination of the two). I usually don't drink during the week (i'm a light weight, I don't think I need to be getting smashed at dinner in the middle of the work week with my boss) but the weekends is another story. I learned that if you are drinking alcohol at dinner with your boss, there are a few rules you need to remember: always pour your bosses beer first (this is just the Korean style... you always pour/serve everyone else's beverage/meal before your own), for your first few glasses of alcohol always turn away and cover your mouth while you drink to the side, never finish your drink before your boss- it's rude, and... always offer to refill your bosses drink as well as everyone else.

Friday night we went out to dinner downtown (Sheney) and ate FryPan... ohh yum! This is far from a Korean dish but man was it delicious... fried chicken fingers and homemade fries/chips-YUM! The night was very fun... dancing, drinks and karaoke. After hanging out at our favorite place.. Bubble bar, we went to German bar and sang Karaoke till 4 a.m. (that's early for Koreans- considering the bars don't close till 7). We were some of the only people at German bar so we owned that place! I can't tell you how many songs I sang... some with Laura, some with random new friends and some all alone. I was pullin out my favorite good time oldies.... Neil Young, Carol King, Queen, Billy Joel, Elton John... ohhhhh, the list goes on!

Saturday was perfect!!!! The weather was just wonderful... high of 75, no humidity and sunny. Our head boss, Seth had a BBQ for all the TNE staff. He lives on the 8th, 9th and 10th floors of the TNE building. I have always been so anxious to see his place and I finally did- it's a beautiful Korean home! His patio, where he had the BBQ is especially nice. The 10th floor is a garden with lots of random plants and herbs growing, the 9th floor is opened up and has such nice sunlight coming in- sitting out there drinking cocktails felt like a vacation. There is so many pretty trees and plants all around- I loved it! We enjoyed the traditional Korean BBQ (cut up pieces of red meat that you put inside two types of lettuce leaves- leafy, green, romaine like pieces and then sesame leaves, on top of that comes a sauce that is like a sweet/spicy chili bean paste and lastly, slices of fresh garlic cloves... the Korean style is to stuff this whole lettuce wrap in your mouth as one bite but... I don't always do this). This is a fabulous dish!!! The food never stopped on Saturday. Not only did we have endless amounts of BBQ but we had kimchee (a marinated, spiced cabbage) and rice (every Korean always has kimchee and rice... it's around for every dish, even breakfast), ribs, chicken legs, grilled veggies, bananas, rice snacks, hot beef jerky, fruit cheese, seaweed, dried squid (this is like the fishy version of beed jerky), peaches and oh course.. lots and lots of alcohol. The BBQ started at 2 p.m. and everyone (except for Seth's kids of course) was hammered by 3:30. Can you guess how the night ended... karaokee!!! Seth took all the guys out to an interesting karaoke bar (I am not allowed to say exactly what kind is was so if your really curious, ask me one of these days... let's just say, they have nothing like it in America)..... As for us wasted women, we stayed at Seth's with his wife and all sang karaoke in his living room.

It's Sunday and I am pretty exited because Laura and I are going to Seoul tomorrow after work. We have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday off for the Chuseok holiday (Korean Thanksgiving). I am currently doing laundry and packing all my things so we can leave right when we get off work!!! YAY! I will try and write by the weekend and let you know all about Seoul! :)

Korean Facts/Randomness:

- It is common decency to live with your parents till you are 30, although, under certain circumstances (a job in another town)... you can move out before then.
- Have I mentioned that the pizza is pretty tasty here... there are some interesting toppings that they use though: corn, potato, mayonnaise drizzled all over the top, rolled ham slices filled with potato and potato filled crust.
- Parking is all underground... they have parking garages in which you simply pull in on a little platform and then your done, the platform takes your car underground and finds you a spot.
-On toilets, the flusher can go forwards or backwards. I was always confused about this so I asked some of my students what the deal was. Apparently, if you pee you flush it forwards, if you poop you flush it backwards... interesting huh!?

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