Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Original Jack and Sally (we look similar right?)
Tomb Stone: this was in the graveyard at the haunted house
Superman: James (one of the Kindergarten students) at the party
Jack Skellington (John) and Sally (ME) from, The Nightmare Before Christmas

Happy belated Halloween all my fellow Americans. For those of you who were wondering, Halloween is not a Korea holiday. A lot of Koreans celebrate and many, many foreigners celebrate but it's not big like it is in America. You can't go to the store and find Halloween decorations/candy/costumes (you have to buy it off line).

My school has been preparing for the last few weeks for Halloween. We had insane amounts of decorations all over the school and a big Halloween party on Saturday. Even though our school made us buy our own costumes and made us work 5 hours on a Saturday without getting paid… it was a pretty fun/interesting day. The best part was seeing all the students in their costumes and of course scaring the crap out of them in the haunted house. Laura, Ryan, Alicia and I stayed late on Wednesday and Friday (i'm talking 12 am) to decorate the school and make the haunted house as awesome and scary as could be! After staying up late on Friday night decorating, we all got some rest for the party. The party went from 1 to 5 with NO breaks (thanks TN for shoving me back into the face painting room when I just wanted to snap a few pictures). We all had our jobs… they made Ryan and I (the artists) do face painting.. other activities were: mummy wrapping race, learn the thriller, guess what's in the box, cooking mummy fingers, haunted house, TNE market place-shop with earned stickers and Halloween photo booth with friends. I saw all my students there and a lot of them were dressed up but a lot weren't (some of them are a lot older so I guess they've grown out of that). The TNE school from Cheongju came to help us out (sooo nice of them to come 2 hours on a Saturday). This was the school I was supposed to go to in the very beginning. The staff was really nice… I love Gwangju but after having met them, I know I would have loved working at their TNE and living in Cheongju. From what they say, it seems like their school is better but our town and living accommodations are a lot nicer (I will have to visit Cheongju sometime and check it out for myself).

After the Halloween party my boss had his own party for all of us… he had great food and alcohol but most of all, this was a shit show (for the Korean staff that is). I have never seen some of the Korean staff/managers so drunk, it was hilarious!!! Work should be interesting on Monday haha!!!

Today (Sunday) some friends and I went to a big art festival called the Gwangju Biennale. Here's a little information about it: Founded in 1995 in memory of spirits of civil uprising of the 1980 repression of the Gwangju Democratization Movement, the Gwangju Biennale is Asia's oldest and most prestigious biennial of contemporary art. Centered on the Biennale Hall in Gwangju’s Jungoui Park, the presence has elevated the city of 1.4 million to become a cultural hub of East Asia. Like I have mentioned before… Gwangju is home to some of the best-preserved cultural relics in the nation, and is known locally as the “City of Art, Cuisine and Culture.” The biennale has 5 separate galleries that branch off to reflect themes recurring throughout the exhibition. Gallery 1- works that deal with photographic representation, posing, and the construction of the self through images. Gallery 2- explores mechanics of vision through illusions and para-scientific imaginaries. Gallery 3- brings together works that deal with the representation of heroes and martyrs, exploring the ways images are used to create myths, preserve the memory of victims, or bear witness to war and oppression. Although I liked all the galleries, I think I liked this one the best because I learned the most from it. Although, it was rather graphic, I really enjoyed reading about each piece (everything was in English as well as Korean). Gallery 4- looks at religious figures and idols, fetishes and dolls… this one was somewhat creepy but really neat at the same time. Gallery 5- strikes an irreverent tone, presenting idiosyncratic perspectives on the structures of cinema and television. This was not like a lot of art shows I have been to in the past. It gave me a whole different perspective on art… it was fascinating to see so many aspects of history from all over the world being portrayed through random works of art…photography/sculpture/film.. etc. This art allowed me to feel so many different emotions.. not like the art that I create (hmm… i'm inspired in a whole new way).

In the middle of this blog, I skipped with my mom. She informed me that i'm drinking too much over in Korea, chin chay (reallllly?) come on. So.. I'm sorry for those of you who think i'm an alcohol (like my mother……) but, i'm not. I drink once a week… twice at the most (on the weekends when I am out with friends). Mom- the most exciting days that I usually blog about are the weekends and there is usually alcohol on those days, especially in Korea. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of eventful things happening on days that i'm not drinking but those days consist of work, work, work!!! Mom, I love you but you've got to let it go!!! Sorry for that interruption.. carrying on...

Speaking oh alcohol… here is comes mom, Thursday night… so, I think we have found one of our new favorite thing do to every other Thursday downtown at Speak Easy (a foreign bar)- QUIZ. Quiz is a trivia came that Speak Easy hosts every other Thursday night at 10 o'clock. You have to have at least 2 people to a team, 5 max. Everyone puts 5,000 won in to play. There is 8 rounds, 10 questions in each. Every group grabs a table and has a sheet of paper to write answers as the questions are being asked. The team with the best/most creative team name won a pitcher of beer… that was us with the most ridiculous name that John thought of: My Couch Pulls Out But I Don't… pretty funny! Whichever team got all 10 questions right in a round got a free round of shots… we got that too, thanks to Ryan. For that round the topic was: comic book heroes… Ryan is an insane comic book buff so of course we got all the questions right. The game was really fun and really difficult at the same time. We got third place (with no prize). First place gets the pot of money, second gets their money back and sorry to third place but better luck next time. We will have to try again in a couple weeks. After QUIZ we went to German Bar where Mr. Song (the owner) promised us a free dinner… he's such a nice man! It was a really late dinner so you can imagine how starved we all were. Mr. Song lived in Germany for 13 years so he picked up a lot of the German recipes. He made us one of the most delicious meals (curry rice, sausages, chicken and a really tasty salad).

Let me share with you some excitement from the work front… if you remember, I was asked to create the art curriculum for the Kindergarten students (did you know that their kindergarten starts at age 3 and goes to age 5.. WHOA). Anyway, i've been racking my brain and actually using a lot of my knowledge from college to create this curriculum. It's been so much fun and I think that it is going to be a great and incredibly beneficial program for their school. In the middle of the week my managers asked to take a look at my work thus far. I was ecstatic when all they could give back to me was positive feedback! Yay me! :) … It was so nice to finally get some praise from my managers- things are looking up!

Korean Facts/Randomness:

-Like I have said before, there is A LOT of plastic surgery in this country. The most done plastic/ cosmetic surgery is: double eye lids (like we have). It's crazy to me that they want to get something that a lot of older people try to get rid of. It's funny because now that I know about it, I notice women with it all around.
-It is getting SOOOOO cold here. I have already been wearing my down jacket, hat, gloves and scarf. Most of the reason it is so cold is because of the wind… Korea gets the siberian winds from Russia… BRRRR!
-In America, when you take a picture… people say "Cheese" (god I miss good cheese) but over here when you take a picture, people say "kimchee"
-Not a lot of people dive cars over here (it's the city life) but if you do, you get the privilege of having a special sticker in your car that guarantees you a free ice-cream at Mc Donalds every time you go (stupid I know but still interesting)

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