Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Em" Time

This week was certainly far from eventful…the weekend is where I usually get all my stories from but I decided to stay in all weekend and have "Em" time. I always enjoy "Em"time… in fact, most of my friends stayed in this weekend and enjoyed "detox time" for themselves (once Tuesday comes… aka, Hong Kong, plenty of drinks will be had. We've got to save ourselves ya know). I had a really nice time just relaxing… I got quite a few pages done in my scrapbook sketchbook done, I watched a variety of different movies and shows, did a little reading and of course ordered some of the best pizza in town. When Sunday came around, my friends and I all thought we should definitely have some human interaction. We all met up for a couple of good movies, popcorn, dinner and endless laughs.

I added some pictures out of my sketchbook… thought you might be curious as to what I am creating. It's been so relaxing, yet fun, putting together this scrapbook. It allows me to reminisce/reflect while I paint/draw some of the best memories of my life. So, as you can see from the pictures: The picture is one from the beginning… my sweet mom hid several goodies in my bags as she was helping me pack. When I unpacked I found several sweet treats, a stuffed bunny and a letter. I taped the letter in and drew what the bunny looks like… I clearly couldn't tape the bunny in, he keeps me warm at night.The middle picture is one from the beginning of the book as well, when my trip first began. I taped in my boarding passes and drew different images around them that set my journey off. One very memorable thing I roughly sketched was my incredibly heavy luggage. I will never forget those HEAVY bags of mine… lugging them all over the airport and bus station (one was 60 pounds and the other was 80 pounds). The last picture: bamboo- this was when my good friend Katie and I took a crazy adventure out to this little town and explored the bamboo forest as well as the random little town that surrounded it. Taped onto the page is my ticket into the bamboo forest and the card from the little Korea man who painted the fans for us. This sketchbook has been so much fun to create… as my adventures continue, so will the book.

Other than the fact that my colleagues and I had to redo several lesson plans,tests, scopes… you name it (hard drive crashed and lost most everything), the work week went very well. I think I am one of the proudest teachers at TN… I can't get over how well my pre-K kiddies are doing. Now of course, they have their bad moments but they are kids… it's only natural. This week I made the time-out chair and man is it sad. Since the girls don't understand exactly what I say, I found some really sad and angry faces which I colored and taped to the back of the chair and on the wall that the chair faces. I really got their attention when I did this… threatening the chair when they don't follow directions makes me feel like such an evil teacher but you can't always be nice. My friend Molly said.. "how bad could the chair be, is there a child molester sitting in it"… ohhhh Molly- how I look forward to spending 5 days with you in Hong Kong! So anyway… my liaison had a little talk with me this week and congratulated me on a job well done. Apparently the Korean staff is so happy with the way I have been doing things (especially with the pre-K class) that they have now put every bit of confidence in me. They are sad to see me go in August especially since my Kindergarten class will only be half way through. The parents will not like it when a new teacher takes over my class right in the middle of the school year. Speaking of my Kindergarten class… it begins in only a few short weeks (March is when their school year starts). Everyone is signed up for the Kindergarten class. Other than Jen and Jenny, I've got Jasper and Bruce. Ahhh haha, it's Bruce Wayne to be exact. Bruce's older brother Kevin is in the Kindergarten class now and he named his little brother. Since he loves Batman so much he though Bruce Wayne was a fitting name, I love it. I can not wait for this class to begin, the months are just flying by.

I am currently packing for Hong Kong… pulling out fall clothes, not missing hats, scarves and gloves. It's not quite bathing suit weather but it is going to be gorgeous. I am excited to finally wear my new Ray Bans because every day we are there we've got perfectly sunny skies and warm temperatures to look forward to. It will get cold at night but a light jacket will be so much better than a heavy, down one. We will not be back in Gwangju till late Sunday night so, don't expect a blog till later in the week. Hopefully, it will be well worth the wait.

Korean Facts/Korean Randomness

Curious about the Korean New Year… here is some facts:

Korean New Year is the most important festival in Korea. It is a family oriented holiday. Korean New Year is also commonly known as Seollal. Korea follows a lunar calendar and for this reason, the dates of Korean New Year vary every year. Korean New Year 2010 was celebrated on February 14 while Korean New Year 2011 will be observed on February 3. Seollal 2011 will be observed on the first day of the lunar calendar. The New Year celebrations in Korea last for three days and the three days are declared as public holiday. Apart from the Korean Lunar New Year, they also celebrate International New Year with the rest of the world on January. However, the enthusiasm and grandeur with which they celebrate the traditional New Year is missing in the International New Year celebrations.

Seollal or Korean New Year 2011 will fall on the 2nd New Moon after winter cosmic time. If you follow the traditional, it is noticed that Korean New Year shares the same day of new Year in China, Vietnam, Mongol, and Tibet. As Chinese New Year, Korean New Year is also called Lunar New Year.

The first day of Korean New Year is known as Sol-nal. The first day of celebrations is restricted within the family. All the family members unite and gather for New Year dinner. During the Korean New Year eve, the Korean people keep rakes and straw scoopers at the entrance or on the wall. They believe that these articles will save their family from any evil force.

All the people in Korea wear colorful and new dresses on the New Years day. This symbolizes a new beginning. Everyone gather at his or her respective house to greet the eldest family member. In Korea, there is a popular tradition of ancestral memorial rites, where the young members in the family bow to the elderly members. The elders pray for the good health and opulence for the young members. The elders also present money to the younger members as a good luck charm.

Without food any celebration is incomplete and Korean new Year 2011 is not an exception. All the family members sit and join in for the New Year feast. The traditional New Year meal include ttokkuk, a must-have dish, which is made of rice cake. According to the Korean New Year traditions, this soup can add extra age to a human being's lifespan.

Koreans also play a number of traditional Korean New Year games on the eve of New Year. Some of the games are yut nori, stick game, and see-sawing. Yut nori is a very popular broad game, which the entire family can take part in. The male members of the family fly kites. They also play jegi chagi is another popular game for men in Korea. Jegi chagi is more like football. The female members of the family play neolttwigi, a traditional game of jumping on a seesaw. The kids play paengi.

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