Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Korean Wedding

Top: this is the fire escape slide (most of them are a lot longer... taller buildings)- this was in a small town with short buildings
Middle: There was so many people in this room that people were exploding out of the door and into the next room... seating was first come first serve.

Colleen wanted me to tell you to check out the fish at the top of this page... did you know you could feed them? Simply click in their pond and food will drop- they chase after the food...it's just great. Colleen, you would love this haha!
It's been a busy work week and i'm exhausted when I get home at 8:45 every night... sorry I didn't post sooner. Work... ugh, where do I begin. Last week when I came in I was told I had 2 more classes to teach starting in December which is tomorrow (a little nervous). I told you that I was taking over the Leopards 4 class (1st/2nd grade level) , but now I will be taking over the Arch class (Kindergarten) as well. A co-worker of mine used to teach this class but since he's a worthless schlep.... they took the class away from him so that he can just sit around and continue to do nothing. Nothing around here seems logical... ahh! Oh well, I guess I should take it as a compliment! I will admit, I am looking forward to teaching the little ones. I will have them on Monday,(sculpture and reading) Wednesday,(science and cooking) and Friday ( P.E. and reading). The sad thing about my very full teaching schedule is that I will have no time at all to work on the art curriculum... I was really enjoying that! I tutor a little boy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening (he is the bosses son). He reminds me of myself when I was his age (6)- he's got potential but the material just doesn't click. I am very patient with him and I enjoy helping him but he is extremely exhausted when he comes to my class at 6:10. When management asks me how he is doing I tell them that the biggest problem is that he is too tired (he goes to school 9-3 then has after school activities 4-6)... the child needs a break- DAMN! So, guess what... when my entire schedule got changed around, they changed this student's tutoring hour from 6:10 to 7:10... WHY! If he's falling asleep at 6:10 he's obviously going to be just as tired if not more tired an hour later. FRUSTRATING! I know I complain a lot in my blog but in the office i'm getting pretty good at just brushing it all off my shoulder. This week (Monday and Tuesday) were test days for the month of Novemeber. I promised my Tiger 1 students that if they all got a 90 or above on their tests, i'd give them a pizza party. Yayyy Tigers... I am so proud of them. Looks like I am throwing them a party this week!
This past week was Thanksgiving and a sad one at that. Instead of enjoying a lovely meal with my family, I went to Outback with my co-worker Alicia. Outback is always delicious so no complaints there but... it was no American Thanksgiving. Alicia and I met some very nice American men who were here on business. We enjoyed drinks and dancing at the Skyy Lounge in the Ramada hotel. It turned out to be a nicer evening than expected. I took one of the guys to the park Friday morning for what ended up being an intense jog. I found out he was a marathon trainer so he kicked my ass into shape. Thanks to him i've been killin it on the track this week!
So... remember I told you my friends and I were singing a song at our bosses wedding.... welll... it turned out sounding awful. We practiced all day Saturday which was a complete waste of time. I felt bad for the 4 Koreans singing with us. Most of them can't speak English that well so singing/memorizing an English song couldn't have been easy. By the way, we sang "Love" by Nat King Cole.... "L is for the way you look tonight". The wedding was a very interesting experience. It was very similar to an American style wedding except for a few things. When we came in we immediately went into a room where we took pictures with the bride. She was on display in a little room, for everyone to see...The wedding hall was decorated beautifully. There was a table set up outside the wedding room that had candles and pictures of the bride and groom.. it was a little strange because the bride wore several different wedding dresses in the pictures- all of which were different than the one she wore on the actual day. This whole set up reminded me of a memorial. When we left the wedding hall to go to the dining room, there were pictures of another couple already in place. Prior to the ceremony, the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride walked down the isle and lit special candles that resembled everlasting love. Once the bride and groom were married they stood to the side and watched while a friend of theirs sang and while we sang our terrible rendition of "Love"- Jessicas and Seth (bride and groom) seemed to enjoy it... part of me thinks that they thought it was a joke. Whatever, they looked happy and thats all that matters. After we sang, Jessica and Seth lit candles in front of the cake. I was really confused why they didn't cut the cake. In fact, the cake was never cut... it was basically just there for display. After all of this, people gave money,(a Korean wedding tradition) and were escorted into the dining room where we enjoyed a variety of different food… buffet style. The dining room was not decorated and there were no events, music, or any other types of wedding traditions. People simply ate and left. Well, the bride and groom did change into their traditional hanboks and walked around saying hello to people. At one point I saw them each cheers a pitcher of beer…and down it- WOW… I wonder if this is another Korean tradition?

The wedding (ceremony, reception… everything) took 1 1/2 hours. This was nice because it left my Sunday afternoon open. I enjoyed a day of shopping in shinae (downtown) with my friend Katie. I was amazed at all the shopping downtown had. Ya know, it's hard to tell when your going in and out of bars on the weekend nights.

I realize some of you are still a little bit worried because of the conflict with North and South Korea. I've been watching/reading the news avidly. It seems that the people of South Korea are just not pleased with the way in which their government is handling things. President Lee of South Korea says that he will defend his people…. this war will continue. Hmmm.. it makes me nervous. It definitely adds on to my learning experience in Korea. If it makes you feel better… I am registered with the USA embassy. If there is any kind of emergency they will contact me immediately via email and they will fly me home.

Korean Facts/ Randomness:

-My friend/co-worker and I are going to take a class called Hapkido (is a dynamic and eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs join locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as common primitive attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including a sword, rope, nunchaku cane, short stick, and staff which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined). I am pretty excited.. I will definitely let you know how it goes :)
- In Korea, don't be fooled by what looks like string cheese. Last week, one of my students brought me what I thought was string cheese. I knew it was too good to be true so I let him eat his first. I looked at his and smelled it.. ahh yes, sure enough I was right. Those little chunks were fish and that awful smell was fish- gross
- The majority of people in Korea are buddhist… a somewhat decent amount of them are christian. There is Christmas here, but the holiday spirit is not the same as it is in America.. I miss it!!!! I think i'll bust out my Christmas music and draw a picture of a Christmas tree and a menorah of course to hang on my refrigerator.
-The Korean flower is a hibiscus… it's called the mugunghwa which means Rose of Sharon. This flower comes in several different colors. Women use the red petals to stain their fingernails. They place the petals on top of their nails and then wrap up their hands with bandages and keep them there over night. I often see girls in my classes with stained nails- it looks orange.
- When you order food from a restaurant and they deliver, they bring it to you on/in real plates/bowls. After you finish, you rinse them off and set them right outside your door. The restaurant comes back later that day and gets the dishes- they don't charge you any delivery fee and no tip. I told you… people don't steal here. If we did this in America, those restaurants would never seen their plates, bowls and silverware again haha.
-I keep seeing these giant slides that extend out of windows on high floors of buildings. They aren't just any slides, they look like something you would see at an amusement park. I recently found out that these slides are not for fun, they are fire escapes.

** A special Happy Birthday to my momma and my brother-in-law Dave. It's not December 1st in America but since I live 14 hours in the future, it is your birthday here!! Have a great day
** To all my fellow jews... as you know, Hanukkah starts on Wednesday evening. Enjoy lighting your menorahs for the 8 crazzzzzy nights.

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