Saturday, October 25, 2008

and your bird can sing

hello!
i am still having a great time in seoul! it's sunday afternoon and heather and i just wet to get some lunch. we have had a pretty lazy weekend! but yesterday was cold and rainy and gross. it has gotten cold here, like out of nowhere. so, maybe we don't get a fall here either... which makes me sad! although the leaves are all brown and falling and that is really pretty!

heather and i have started to try and plan our winter vacation! we definetely want to go to thailand... which i am super excited about! we may try and go to either vietnam or cambodia as well! we have a whole week off so we want to make the most of it! we also have january 26 and 27 off (monday and tuesday) and i talked to elijah (my friend who is living in japan teaching english) and he said that we could come stay with him! so we have a trip to japan in the works as well!

the kids have gotten better, and i have gotten better at teaching! my classes no longer end 25 minutes early! i was nervous that i would never get it! but now i feel a lot more confident! sometimes i even feel like a real teacher and not some kid pretending!

i think i have also gotten a lot better about being homesick... i had a few really bad days this past month where i just was so sad! but now i can be sad but still be happy at the same time. i think i am just afraid of everything changng while i am away. most of my friends who haven't graduate will have by the time i get back. so i am afraid that they will all move far away and it will be impossible to get all of us together again! that is one of my biggest fears! so, guys, freaking stay in carrollton until i get back! i also miss my babies so much! i am afraid that they will hardly remember me when i get back. seth made me cry the other day when he told me that i "better come come soon!" he is so sweet!

i have kinders who are just soooo sweet, though! steve and abi! they hug me and sit in my lap suring class so they give me a chance to give out the hugs that i would be giving my boys!

we are going to a halloween party in seoul next weekend! it is for english teachers! so, hopefully that will be fun... although probably not near as fun as our halloween party we had in september! but it will be cool to be able to speak english to people! and hopefully meet some new people to hang out and travel around with! also, heather and i may be going to see billy joel next month!! YEAH!!! billy freakin joel! it's hard to get tickets to see him back home, so maybe we have a better chance here! i love him so that would be really cool!!

so, i made a huge mistake today! i tried to use an atm to get $70 out of my bank account... however, i am totally stupid (and can't read korean) and accidentally took out $700. yeah, well, there is definetely not $700 in my bank account! when the money came out i was confused and thought the atm made a mistake (ha!) then i looked at my recipt and saw that my account was -480KW(korean won) so, yeah. luckily we get paid this week so i will be able to open up a korean bank account and transfer the money back into my account! but when i walked out carrying a HUGE handful of bills and told heather i made a mistake she died laughing! i can't believe i did that!

well, i am going to go. we are going to clean up a bit and probably watch a movie... school tomorrow! hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend!

all my love!!
heather, the director (cinderella) and me at the Changdeokgung Palace


me and sweet little abi


heather and our favorite bar snack.. we have no clue what it is.





they have hoegaarten in korea!!! if you've never had it, try one!! they're great!


fruit soup! it's water, ice, peaches, a few slices of oranges and sprinkles... yeah, it is strange!

oh, so korean! PEACE!!!




rainy day in the park... so beautiful!




this a little pavillion thing right outside the park


this is a sign that the school made and hung up outside of the nearby elementary school... there is also one on the side of the van that picks kids up and takes them home. so all young deung po-gu can see our pretty mugs!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

one thing that really surprises me about seoul is how safe it is! parents let their kids walk to school and home from school alone, take the subway, go to the store alone! it's awesome! just a thought i wanted to share!

so, my kids are starting to get comfortable and act up... especially my kindergarten class! i had such a hard day one day last week, they were terrible! even my good kids... most of them didn't even get stickers! that's their bribe for being good! so julie told them that if they were really bad and made me really mad i was going to go back to my country and tell everyone how bad korean kids are!! they have actually been a lot better since then, ha! yesterday dylan said, "teacher, you leave korea?" i had no idea what he was talking about until julie told me what she said!

we had a school picnic on saturday and it was so much fun... it gave the kids a chance to get to know us! and to like us since we weren't yelling at them to quit speaking korean! i actually got a little nervous about being a teacher in the future. i thought that if i had trouble controling nine kids how could i handle a class of twenty four? i hope it's the language barrier that makes it more dificult!

the first week and a half when i talked to people on skype i really didn't get sad or anything... but now i am starting to get choked up! i called my family at monterreys last friday and cried when i got off the phone.. i guess it was talking to everyone at once. then i called my friend max today, and she was at a party in carrollton... and i cried a little on the phone with her! i do miss carrollton... and the wonderful people who live there!

the people here are really nice too, though! everyone has been really nice to us! i have been sick and james and dylan's mom made me some tea to make me feel better!! and when i said that i haven't really ever been around snow and that i have never been skiing james said they would teach me this winter! it's nice to feel like you have people looking out for you!

well, i have about a million more things i want to say, but i am tired and i could really go on forever! i miss you guys!! be safe!! i will call soon!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

lunch break












it's monday morning/afternoon here and heather and i are at home on our lunch break! this weekend was really great. heather and i found a lot of stuff that is really close to our apartment.








yesterday was heather's birthday so we went out to lunch to this restaraunt called omu sweet. it sells a food called omurice, which is basically an omlette with fried rice inside. its pretty good. it come with a side of meat of your choice and it covered with honey mustard and some sort of gravy. sounds weird but it is really pretty good! then we went to a coffee shop and hung out for awhile. then we walked through the park... the park is huge and it is so close to us!!








so, everymorning before we start teaching our kinders they have a 30 minute singing time with the korean teachers. my group is younger so they have like 3 songs that i always hear them singing. but today i got a surprise! while i was in the teacher's office getting ready for class i heard my kids singing a beatles song! a really good song too, "i will" from the white album (if you care). so i got the to sing it to me again during class... so cute! i'm going to leave you with a video of my kindergarten class...




ben is in the green, dylan in the yellow, abigail in the white, sara in the pink, harry in the red, steve in grey and jack is in the green button up!








video





and a few pictures for you!!







This is me in the park





This is a little street off the main road


The mountains in the distance

Saturday, October 4, 2008

observations

so, these are just some random things about living in korea:

hearing everyone speaking in korean makes me want to speak in spanish! i guess i feel like if it isn't english it must be spanish! but it is a little hard to make myself not say "gracias" or "con permiso" i'm sure i'll slip up and say it to someone soon. also, sometimes i swear i hear spanish words when i hear korean. weird.

the kids call us either "teacher" or "anna teacher" it's pretty cute. for the older kids class is over at 50 past the hour, so around 45 past they start saying "teacher bye-bye" which is really annoying. i have a feeling that the word teacher might be insanely annoying by the time we leave!!

the kids in korea are also really sweet.heather and i have been exploring the past two days and we have had several groups of kids speak to us! i guess a lot of the kids have learned english. two of the groups were little girls and they were really cute.

south koreans love seafood... nasty sea food! there are tanks outside of a lot of the restaraunts full of octopus and eel and all sorts of funny looking fish. it's crazy! we are really hoping to avoid those restaraunts!

well, thats all for now. i took a lot of pictures today so i will post them soon!

Friday, October 3, 2008

I made it!!

me and heather with the director of the school


yeah! i've been in korea for almost a week now. i really love it so far! the school is really nice and the the other teachers are awesome! the director of the school is really nice, but she doesn't speak much english.
scarlet and julie are the other teachers and they have really made us feel welcome at the school. scarlet especially has done a lot for us. she has taken us to a few restaurants and done a lot of translating!
the kids are all so cute! and they all get an english name when they enroll in the school so it's easy to remember their names. i have a kindergarten class from 10 to 11:20 everymorning. they are insanely wild but very sweet. there are a few harrys at the school and they picked their name from harry potter, of course! and one of my older kids is named james... after james bond. i am really lucky with the kids that i have... only a few problems.
today (friday) is a holiday so we did not have school so last night scarlet took us out to dinner at this little bar type restaurant. she ordered this plum like liquor that you sip on and heather and i made her try hoegaarden... yeah, they have hoegaarden in seoul!!! then we went to a karaoke place. they have a surprising amount of english songs. they even had tons of radiohead and placebo songs!! and, of course, beatles songs!!

today heather and i went out exploring! we did really well and we didn't get lost once! my camera wasn't charged so i didn't get and pictures, but i will later. so i guess we may go out to dinner soon... but i am going to post a few pictures! i miss you all! and, in case you didn't get the email and you want to send me letter you can send them to the school:






Anna Walton
California Language School
4511 Shing Il 6-Dong
young deung po-gu
seoul, korea
















this is a park near our apartment





this is the view outside our apartment




our first breakfast in our apartment


heather's kindergarten class during the fall performance