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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Aunty Em, Aunty Em! :)

1) Thanks to Google images.. I found a beautiful picture of Cebu (read on to see why....)
2) Friday night farewell dinner




I am happy to report the wonderful news… I am an aunt! Baby boy Liam Stechel was born on February 17th at 2:30 in the afternoon. I can not wait to see him via Skype but until then I am enjoying his beautiful pictures. He is perfect! Congratulations Katey and Fabian… or should I say, mom and dad! I am really looking forward to August when I can meet him in person! If all goes well I should be home in exactly 6 months or less… lets hope!

Work was kinda hectic this week. We had our big 3 month tests on Thursday and Friday. Ahhh, poor kids. I hate tests… it stresses me out just watching them rush through these long, detailed tests (it might as well be the SAT). The majority of my students did really well which makes me very proud. I have lots of goodies for them Monday and Tuesday. Even though we have 8 more days of the school year, technically, since tests are done, so are we. This last week of school will consist of fun and review. For a lot of my older students, this will be the last time I am their teacher. Most of them will move up to the next level and begin the new school year which always starts in March. I am really looking forward to a fresh start. Next Friday is the Kindergarten graduation and we all have to attend. The kiddies have been practicing a variety of different songs to sing… "A Whole New World"- from Aladdin, "Lean on Me", etc… an array of music that says.. goodbye, we did it, hello new world! I look forward to hearing them Friday morning. If you're wondering why Kindergarten graduation is such a big deal at my school, it's because…. once you finish Kindergarten, you go on to be part of the after school program.

So…as for my little ones… I think I will throw them their own little graduation. After all, going from pre-K to Kindergarten is a big step (even if pre-K was only 2 months long). In the last week and a half, along with many other things, I have taught Jen and Jenny the days of the week and the months of the year. I was so impressed that they caught on so quickly… the months of the year are tough, a lot of those words are 3-syllables, some, 4-syllables. I've learned that singing is one of the best ways to teach ESL. It's a good thing the cameras in our room don't pick up sound. Man, they would die if they heard me everyday…. I sing my heart out and it doesn't always sound pretty. Although, I really enjoy singing this particular months of the year song… Jen and Jenny always request it. Maybe this is why they learned it so quickly.

On Friday, the management randomly decided they were going to rearrange the whole school. This was just so convenient in the middle of the day when we were administering our 3 month tests. Hmm… oh well! I guess they figure since schedules are about to change, we might as well change the rooms around?! Whatever…. what's new anyway, things are always changing. I am pretty much used to the constant change, I'm just really anxious to see what the school looks like when I go into work on Monday.

So, last week I was talking a lot of SMACK about the management… now, maybe they sensed my frustration because on Friday, they invited all the teachers on their annual vacation (damn, they always hit me with some sugar right at the point when I am about to scream). Ya know, maybe the discovered my blog… who knows- really, I've got nothing to hide but it's doubtful that they found it. Even if they did take the time out of their busy day to search for it on the internet, they would have to find someone to translate. Okay… back to this vacation… we were all invited to go to the Cebu, Philippines for our spring vacation (May 25th-31st). We will pay between $800-$900 for flights there and back, food the whole time, scuba diving certification, scuba the whole time and lodging.. WOW! Now, tell me that's not a great deal! I am most definitely going…they are booking our flights this week. I love that I don't have to plan anything.. I just get to go. It's like Hong Kong all over again. Kevin (our new teacher) and myself are the only teachers going.

I got the chance to hang out with Kevin a little bit this week. He is a really nice guy! He came into the job at a messy time.. 3 teachers are leaving, tests are being taken, the school year is almost over and the school is being rearranged- he certainly saw his fair share of drama this week. Come March, it will be smooth sailing… Ha, I say that now… just wait!

This weekend started a little early… I went downtown to QUIZ-Trivia on Thursday night with some co-workers. Luckily, my team is a bunch of smarties so, out of about 11 teams, we got 3rd (only 1 point behind 2nd place)… pretty damn good! Can you believe, I went downtown and enjoyed several glasses of water, not alcohol. Somehow, I didn't manage to make it home until 3 am… UGH. That made for an exhausting Friday. Later that evening I dragged myself out the door, on the subway, into a cab and to my friends' farewell dinner. We enjoyed a tasty meal, and many, many beers at Miller Time.

My girlfriends and I went to a few bars and sure enough, who did I run into… the big boss and my liaison. 4 am rolled around I caught a ride home with them. Now, remember… if your with your high roller boss… going home is not that easy. First, you've got to have a 2nd dinner at a nice restaurant… roasted chicken and salad. Then, you've got to take part in a late night Thai massage. This 5 am, 2 hour massage was not quite as lovely as the last one. I can't decide if it was because I was heading down the sober road or because Thai massages are just that much more intense. Either way, I tried my hardest to enjoy it but I left feeling like I had just gotten beaten up. Ohhh no, it didn't stop there. After we slept for an hour or two, we woke up and enjoyed an early breakfast (10 am is early when you don't go to bed until 7).

Friday night's massage … let me rephrase that, Saturday morning's massage definitely got the best of me… I could hardly drag myself out of my apartment. I stayed in Saturday night, watching movies and sketching. Luckily, I was feeling refreshed today (Sunday). I invited our new teacher Kevin to go with me to Yang Dong market (the biggest, fresh market in all of Gwangju). It was a fantastic day… sunny and high in the upper 60's. A nice day for some outdoor shopping! I made a delicious stir fry with all my fresh,crisp vegetables- a lovely way to end the weekend!

Korean Facts/ Randomness:

-I had parent teacher conferences this week…. ya know, I really enjoy parent teacher conferences but not so much when I can't exactly speak to the parents one on one. We had to have a translator there so what would have normally taken 20 minutes, took 40.. haha! Oh well! The parents seemed really nice and all I could do was look pretty and smile. Hopefully, everything I said was translated correctly.
-Korea has the most abortions of any OCED (interesting for such a conservative country)
-Korea has the lowest birth rate because of the terrible rights for women in the workplace and because it's so expensive to raise a child here.
-sock/underwear hangers (from the picture above)… your lucky I took all my panties off- I thought I'd spare myself the humiliation! Since we don't have dryers here, this is a great way to hang up all your delicates. My go-green sister loved this so much, I sent home a few. They are great, cheap and easy!
-It's very odd.... since I have been here, I have started to really like certain things... things I never thought I would like so much. Such things are: milk, black coffee, unsweetened tea, bananas..hmm...

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