Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What else don't we know about...

...BILL GOLDBERG!

(This is the first installment of my "What else don't we know about" segment. Want me to research someone? Let me know! I can Wikipedia anyone you want)

Who is Bill Goldberg, you ask?

If you don't already know, he is a world renowned professional wrestler. He fought in the WCW and WWE and is basically awesome.

He is 43 and I am attracted to him. Or maybe I'm attracted to his muscles.
Either way, bam. He looks good.

Goldberg is also currently on the hit TV show Celebrity Apprentice and is kicking butt.
(Like we'd expect anything less of him.)

But what else don't we know about William Scott Goldberg?

Did you know that his mom is a classical violinist? And his father was an OBGYN? Who would've thought that combo would turn out such a giant man?

Did you know that his mom also breeds flowers and came up with a hybrid orchid, naming it after her son? Yes, this guy has a flower named after him. If you weren't jealous of him before, you should be now.

Did you know he's Jewish? Enough said. Respect.

Did you know he's just a stand up guy? Seriously. Watch Celebrity Apprentice. Reality TV is real. He's perfect.

Did you know he's my new obsession? You do now.

World News

Other than the whole Ricky Martin thing (i mean, wow), there have been some captivating stories revealed around the world in the last couple days.

First off, the moon resembles Pac-man. Or maybe Pac-man resembles the moon? The world may never know, but now I'm waiting for photo evidence that Mars resembles a ghost. Or some sort of fruit.

(pic)

Also in the news, a little boy in China has 31 fingers and toes. Yes, 31.

Here are his feet.


This trips me out every time I look at it.

I love the news.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shocked

Almost.


Turns out this Bon Bon is gay.

Just when he's looking better than ever he has to pull a Clay Aiken and shock the world.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Speaking of hair...


On Saturday I headed up to Seoul with my friends for a little cultural gathering called Nanta.

It was sweet.

It's a performance of these four Korean chefs who make music by banging pots and pans and drumming with knives and while that might not sound super awesome, it is. I was giggling the entire time. It was real funny. A highlight of Korea, for sure.

Along with our tickets, we got a free cupcake and sandwich! BONUS. And we got to draw for a random souvenir.

I was super stoked to win one of the bigger prizes: a 100,000 Won (think around $100) gift certificate to get my hair did at this fancy salon!

Booyah! We all know how I love to change up my hair.

So this is where you come in. I'm trying to keep the length in my hair, so what else could I do? Do I change the color? Should I just abandon the length and go short again? Do I go red? Do I do something crazy?

These are my questions. Now I want answers.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Year


Can you believe my little mullet is over a year old?

Just yesterday I brought it home, unsure at how it would change my life. I was a little overwhelmed but it was the best thing to happen to me.

The stats:

Currently past my shoulders (65%)
Natural color (first time in years) (50%)
Desire to cut it back into a mullet (89%)

My little baby has changed a lot (see self-absorbed photos above) during the last year and it's amazing to see how different it is today than when it was born.

Sometimes when I look at pictures of the younger days I want to go back. I remember that stage of life and it was so serene and easy and fun. But I'm excited to see how much it changes in the future and I know every stage will be worth it and enjoyable in its own way.

Currently LOVES:
Being pulled back into a high ponytail (its been a long time since this could happen)
Being pampered
Headbands

Currently HATES:
Bath-time (we're hoping this changes to LOVE soon)

It's been a wild year with a lot of changes, but its been the best thing to happen to me. I can't imagine my life without it.

Today was awesome

It all started when my eyes popped opened to a clock that read 7:57am.

Uhhhhh-ohhhhh

I am supposed to be at school by 8:10am.

This was a problem.

I jumped out of bed, threw on some pants, put back my hair, and made it to school by 8:15am. So even though I didn't make it on time, I felt good about that. (ps my first class isn't until 8:30am so I wasn't really that worried. and i also threw on a shirt).

This never happens to me. I don't even remember falling asleep last night.

So this morning I was just not happy. I felt gross and wished I didn't have to teach all day.
Align Center
But universe! You show me who's boss!

Today turned out to be really awesome.

This week I've been teaching my students "what's up". To go along with this phrase, I also incorporate a new high five and a new handshake. Its been hilarious all week.

ME: Class, what's up?

KOREANS: What's up?

M: No, no, now you say "not much, you?"

K: No no not much you?

M: OK, class, what's up?

K: Whats up?

M: No, not much.

K: Not much.

And so on and so forth, until they finally understand that you have to respond to the question "whats up". Maybe even funnier is sometimes my coteachers will have to explain things in Korean and they sound really great saying 'whats up' amid all that Korean.

Another reason today was awesome: people started talking to me at lunch! Wow, what a concept. Actually, they started yesterday, but today was the real breaking point. I even remember two people's names. Bam!

It only got better after lunch.

Classes went swimmingly.

Two students came into my office at one point to drop off some of COT's things (i swear, she has students pick up and drop off her laptop at least 40 times a day) and while they were talking I overheard my name. Being that it was the only discernible word I picked up on, I immediately looked at them and asked them what was up. After some persuading I got them to tell me what they were saying about me. Expecting something much different (albeit worse), I was pleasantly surprised when the only thing they said was, "Isn't Cindy-teacher pretty?"

That just warms the heart right there. Especially after I got home and looked in the mirror for the first time all day and saw 'ready in five minutes' Cindy. I'll take it!

Perhaps one of the best moments of my day (perchance my LIFE) was when I walked into my last class of the day/week. On Friday's we have 7 periods instead of 6 (why? don't ask me) so it's not one to typically look forward to. However, this 7th period class is the best thing to happen to me.

Last week I did a powerpoint on different jobs/occupations. Every time there was a picture of a black person they would shout out "OBAMA". It made for an entire class period of laughing.

Today when I walked into my last class, the entire room literally erupted into cheers.

Full blown cheers.

There is nothing in this world quite like seeing 40 Korean 8th grade students smiling and excited to see you.

And that my friends, is why today might have changed my life.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cookie Monster



Let's be honest. I've always been admired for my unique? awesome? embarrassing? fashion sense.

Korea has only contributed to this part of my life.

Say hello to the 'Cookie Monster'.

It's so popular my friends request it to be worn out.

"Cindy! Wear the cookie monster!" they say.


I oblige. Probably more than I should.

But when it looks this good? I can't help it.

Best part?
It was second hand, bought from a strange man on the street, for only 2oooWon.

That's less than $2.

And its fuzzy.

And I let myself eat as many cookies as I want when I wear it.

Bam!

St. Patrick's Day

Even though I'm pretty sure I'm not Irish at all (let me know if I'm wrong, Dad), I feel inspired to celebrate St. Patrick's Day every year.

This year, I felt extra special celebrating it in Korea. I had Italian for dinner and then headed to a local German pub for some Catch Phrase. Booyah. I'm so international.

The real party was on Saturday. Some friends and I went up to Seoul for the parade! It was maybe the shortest and most horrible parade I've ever seen, but anywhere I can go in Korea that has a high amount of English speakers is always fun.


First off, we painted each others faces while waiting for the parade to start. In the local KFC. (They didn't really appreciate that.)


Then we watched the ten minute parade.


And then, of course, everyone wanted to celebrate with booze. As clearly shown in this picture, I stayed close to my mul. Eh, I mean, water. Mul=water in Korean. Gosh I'm so fluent sometimes the languages are blurred together. Hahaha not.


As you can see, we looked awesome. Multiple Koreans stopped the group for a photo. I hope we're on TV or something.

Its hard being famous in Korea. But somebody's gotta do it.

Hahahappy birthday?

So someone random came and brought Mrs. Kim (pictured above. yes, that is her) a cake today. I didn't really think much of it, because random things like this happen all the time.

Turns out its her birthday? She mentioned it like I should've known.

I didn't know.

But I really, really want a piece of that cake.

That is all.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In Love


The Sartorialist is one of my many guilty pleasures (along with a dose of Perez Hilton and Donald Trump).

This photo is fantastic. I am strangely attracted to this old, cigar-smoking man.

I think it's the 'stache.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's most surprising is that I've had the same job for 6 months


(maybe the two most unflattering pictures of me ever. but the top one is the last picture i took at home, in my basement, before leaving the US of A. and the bottom pic is me. now. six months later-get it? the 6 for 6 months? yeah. awesome. both pictures also adequately represent what I look like when i haven't had enough sleep)

True story.

Today (well, now Monday) is the six month anniversary of my arrival in Korea.

Wow.

I am experiencing a variety of feelings right now.

The time is moving too fast, but some days go by reallllllll slow.

Its hard for me to believe that I've already been living here for six months.

As strange as it is, it has become a home to me. I can mindlessly walk home in the dark without worrying I'll get lost or accosted by a drunk Korean man (they keep to themselves).

I can identify most of the foods I eat.

I have experienced the most freezing winter of my life. And for some reason it still won't quit.

Maybe more impressive is that I've actually worked the same job for six months. Whaaaaaat?! Yeah, I know. Mom and Dad are happy about that, I'm sure. The fact that I still like this job after six months (yes, it has its ups and downs, but for the most part I enjoy the actual job) is fantastic. I never believed I could like working the same thing for this long. Turns out I can. It's a wild, wild concept.

I've fallen in love with this country and its people.

I can tell my students apart and am even learning a good portion of their names. They don't laugh when I do roll call anymore.

Reading Korean has come in handy when I need it. I still struggle sometimes, but I'm getting better.

Also, being able to say numbers (in korean) still gets gasps of surprise by the kids. I love it.

Sometimes when I think about leaving I get really sad, mostly because I know I will miss my students. I love them.

I miss my family. A lot.

Skype can solve world peace. Over the internet.

I'm really glad I have friends. Here in Korea. And back home. I'm lucky.

Having my own apartment rocks. Even if it is the size of a shoebox. At least its my shoebox.

Sometimes I find Korean men attractive, but for the most part I've avoided the fever.

I like teaching. Again, who knew?

My bracket for March Madness really, really, really sucks.

Koreans are really blunt about a lot of things, but then really guarded about other things. Its a tough situation, but one I'm figuring out little by little every day.

I haven't fake used a sick day yet. I'm pretty sure I used at least four in the four months I worked at Target.

I'm genuinely grateful for the chance to be here and to experience everyday life in Korea. It is providing me with endless moments of beauty and laughter and truth. Even those days when I don't want to get out of bed because I'm tired and then I get to school and I'm cranky, I always (and i mean always) end up leaving with a smile on my face.

Yeah, Korea is awesome.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

YMCA

Today in my after school class (which sucks, btw), I had a slide show of different pictures and made the kids describe them.

You know, like this one:


I asked questions like "Who is in this picture?" or "What emotion is he feeling?" (HAPPY!)

Then I showed this picture:

ME: Who are these people?
Kid: I don't know

ME: Why would these six people be in the same picture?
Kids: ...

The only answer I can come up with is YMCA.

Have you ever actually watched the music video? It's pure gold.

(embedding disabled, CLICK HERE NOW! you won't regret it.
and a perfect way to celebrate mustaches-it is March after all)


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Example

Last week was a pretty solid week when it came to teaching. I had a most excellent time in pretty much every class. I'm not really sure what made it so special, but it might have been because I taught lessons on random topics.

And here, for your viewing pleasure, a rundown of last weeks lessons:

1st grade (7th grade to all your kids in America)
-Lesson topic: "About Me"
This was the first time I taught these 1st graders. Its always good to teach the young ones about me as a person and someone from a different culture. Basically it's to give them insight into American culture. Naturally I said some basic info (name, where i am from, favorite food, etc), but I also let them know my favorite Korean pop song (bonding moment), how much I hate dogs and cats (and a general shock of the fact that my family has 4 cats and 2 dogs), and then I had them guess what my favorite sport is. After football was eventually figured out, I played a clip for them to see.


I loved reliving this moment 8 times last week. Each time with a new excited group of young Koreans. I also enjoyed having them hate on the Utes (we called them the red team). I'm shaping lives for the better.

2nd Grade (8th grade)
Lesson topic: Breakfast
Yes, I seriously based a whole entire 45 minute lesson on breakfast. But hey! Its a cultural lesson too. They eat rice and soup for breakfast here. They are jealous of our waffles and bacon (ps darren i told them that, "i have a friend who LOVES bacon. he would make a plate of bacon and watch baseball all day if he could" and they thought it was hilarious).

I also made sure to tell them about how we have 40584 types of cereal. And that we do, in fact, eat cookies for breakfast (Cooooooookie Crisp!). They loved it.

And then we played pictionary. This was a successful lesson.

3rd Grade (9th)
Lesson topic: English Accents
This was more boring because I was requested to relate it back to the chapter in their book. Goo. Anyways, it talked about the different countries that spoke English around the world so I had them listen to clips of different accents. This included a clip from Braveheart, an interview with Bob Marley (incomprehensible), and Steve Irwin (all Australians sound like that, right?). I also had them listen to part of Strange Brew for a Canadian accent and Christopher Walken for a New York accent.


Yeah. Last week was great.

ALSO! If you have any lesson topic suggestions, please enlighten me. The crazier the idea, the better chance I'll probably teach it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Few things

First off, you might have noticed the blog background being changed every two seconds. Sorry. I'm playing around with it and am not pleased with any of them. I never thought I was that picky; turns out I am!

Secondovely, please let me express deep gratitude for the sun. I am so happy it is coming around more in Korea. The frozen tundra of winter seems to be fading as hints of spring fill the air. I am welcoming this season, and hope the heat of summer doesn't come too quickly.

*INSERT*
It did snow last Wednesday which is supposedly quite rare here. It never snows in March (or so they say). It even inspired COT to round up some kids (myself included) to go outside for a lunchtime photo shoot. The photoshoot wasn't as great as we were hoping because as soon as we all gathered together in a group shot, the onlookers decided to chuck snowballs in our direction.
Not a good idea.
We got in a pretty decent snowball fight, and let me tell you, I was on a roll. You know that scene in Elf when Buddy makes a billion snowballs in two seconds and then chucks them all at those kids, hitting them perfectly? That was me. I was glad too, because I feel like the kids really respect me now (joke). I owned them.
The best part was when a couple students inside the school on the second floor kept taunting us, opening and closing the window and encouraging us to try to hit them. I took their encouragement, and at the most perfect moment, I launched a snowball up and hit the one kid square in the face.

Best.recess.ever.

I need to get those pics from COT. I think she recorded a video too, which I want to see, mostly because I really enjoyed yelling threats at these young Korean kids who didn't understand me.

*End insert.

Ok. So another thing, I think this is third on the list, I can name all the countries in the world.

I have become a tad obsessed with this site Sporcle and it has tons of quizzes and junk, one of which is a "Can You Name All the Countries of the World?" I took this challenge, and after much studying and practice, and a little awesomeness, I have completed it. With three minutes to spare. BOOOYAH.


I'm seriously really excited about this.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I attract men from India and Jehovahs Witnesses

The title says it all.

The last few weeks I have had a surplus of awkward conversations with JW's. Always at the train station. And they always make it obvious they are coming for me. At one point I noticed the woman first, so I ran to the ticket line to avoid confrontation. And then when my train wasn't leaving for another 15 minutes I walked back out to get a tasty treat from the local Family Mart and HELLO this woman was waiting for me. Let's just say I'm glad my train left in 15 minutes, because at least it gave me a solid out.

I also get stalked on the subway by any man from Nepal/India/Bangladesh/Pakistan. Somehow they find their way to me and somehow they have the balls to start up a conversation with me. Even when I'm obviously avoiding talking to them (you know the look. its a signature cindy glazed over stone cold face).

Last night I literally had to mission impossible this one guy to avoid talking to him. Every time I looked behind me, he was there. While going up stairs in a transfer station, I made sure to slow down my pace to avoid eye contact. He also slowed his pace.

I made sure to go down the opposite side he did. Then when I looked behind me, there he was. Smiling at me. No joke. I call him the ubiquitous man.

(ps a student came in and asked me what ubiquitous meant. i had no idea. now i do. i hope i used it right)

I quickly hastened to the front of the train.

The only way I successfully avoided him was by standing the nastiest smelling car on the train.

You have to pick your battles, you know?

Ugh

(i am also lazy)

Today I've had the worst case of the Monday's. Ever. Its terrible.

Yes I'm still alive.

I don't like my new blog header, so I'll be changing that back soon.

I came to school early today to finish up a few things for my lessons this week.

And then bam! COT comes in and tells me that school is being moved up 10 minutes. So there goes my being early to finish up my lessons. Fantastic. (how do they just decide to do this the morning of? i do not get it)

And then bam! She tells me that I will start teaching after school classes. Starting today. So there goes my free time on Facebook and Gchat. Ugh.

Gosh. Working at work is so hard. hahaha JK.

But really I was super annoyed to hear this. Good things come though, like I get paid overtime for teaching the after school classes (not a lot, but i'll take it). And also this means lunch is 10 minutes earlier, so I guess thats cool.

(except lunch is not that cool. the best part of today's lunch was the seaweed. believe it)

Also, all was not lost today because one of my other coteachers (not COT) and I were talking and she asked if I was planning on staying another year. I told her I hadn't really been asked yet and that I wasn't sure I would. Then she said she hopes I stay a long time. That just pushed us through to real friends status. (If only she had fb, then it'd be official)

(also, i'm not really planning on staying another year. don't worry kids)


Monday, March 8, 2010

For the 2

Ode to the 2 Bus

Oh you 2 bus,
you tickle my soul,
as you wind all around,
a tad out of control
i love you for bringing me
to where gold fish are sold
but sometimes i hate standing there
with only my hand to hold.
the bars are too high,
sometimes they're too low
and everytime you stop,
i think "i'll die this time, fo sho".
But despite your bad driving,
and causing some strife
I love you for helping me
and owe you my life.

(ps, the following two songs were playing on the bus while i created this ode in my mind. inspiring.)


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Friday=mostly awesome

The first week back at school was a declared success. I only taught 1/4th of the classes I was scheduled to teach, which meant a pretty smooth transition from doing no work to doing some work. I use the word 'work' loosely.

The first day of school included an assembly of sorts. All the students and teachers had to go to the gymnasium for a presentation, which I think was supposed to be mainly for the parents of the new students. I'm pretty sure only 30 parents showed up (for over 600 kids). It also involved some kind of pledge from the students and them singing two songs. And when I say sing, I mean they just kind of mumbled and it was really awkward. The student who was leading the music was really fun to watch though.

All the teachers were presented to the room as well. In groups of about 10 teachers, we walked onto the stage, our name was called, and we stepped forward and did a little bow. I was hoping for some louder claps, but I tried not tying my self esteem to Korean boys cheering for me in front of their parents and school officials. Still, I was maybe a little disappointed.

All in all, it was extremely boring. And freezing. They do not turn on heaters in Korea.

Throughout the week I kept thinking I would be teaching, but then the classes never came, so it turned into this kind of guessing game for me. Until I just stopped checking my classroom.

I'm really excited though, because some of the classes I did teach were super interactive and smart. I liked those classes.

A couple of the other classes, however, were the most boring group of students ever. They're going to be tough to work with.

Friday was by far the best day of the week. You see, on Thursday COT and I were talking to a student about something, and somehow the fact that he played the guitar was brought up. COT mentioned that he could bring it in sometime and play something for us. I kept this up and told him we could start a band and I could sing while he played. He didn't seem too receptive.

Until the next day, when he brought his little amp and electric guitar to school and played for me during lunch.


Yeah, it was awesome. He just sat there and played for awhile. After a few minutes, some other students came in and Guitar Master (i don't remember his real name...) started jamming out.


These are the things that I love most about teaching here. So random.

Later on that afternoon, a couple students walked into my office. I try to get students to like me, so I just nonchalantly said "Want some candy?"

Bad idea.

The students were all about the candy, but COT was not happy. She then explained that these two students were not good students, and that they were there to be punished.

Oops.

She took her bamboo stick out and walked towards them, and they just kept saying "candy candy candy!". What a predicament.

So then COT smacked them around for a couple minutes, lecturing them at the same time. Then she was finished with them.

And then she said they could get some candy from me.

Oh Korea.

Welcome to the new school year!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I WANT IT

OK Just as my obsession is maybe getting pathetic and embarrassing, this has to happen...

Have you heard?

THERE IS GOING TO BE A BACKSTREET BOYS CRUISE.

hahahaha its so lame but so fantastic.

Yes, four days spent on sea with the boys. Could it get any better.

Do I just do it? I need your advice.


Dinner

After almost six months, I was finally invited to dine with my coworkers. You see, most of my friends here were taken out to eat as a welcome gesture, or on a consistent basis. Its kind of weird how my school doesn't really go, or if they do they don't tell me. I choose to believe the former.

We went straight after school to this dried fish restaurant. All the teachers were there to celebrate the start of the new school year, and boy did it get wild.

Ok, not really that wild, but it was entertaining to see my Vice Principal enthusiastic with the soju. And the cute little librarian can put it down for a Korean lady.

The best part, hands down, was when we got up to leave.

COT and I were headed towards the door with a couple other teachers, when the VP ran up to us and said whatever he said in Korean (I'm guessing "Why are you leaving? Stay and drink more!"). He then proceeded to grab COT's jacket by the hood and start shaking it, like a child. He just kept on pulling on it...and then he ripped it off. Granted, its one of those jackets where the hood is buttoned onto the main jacket, making it removable. But he just straight up pulled all but one button off, causing the other buttons to fly in every direction and the hood to hang there by a thread.

COT was not happy. She tried to play it off cool, but she was obviously not excited about it. I died laughing.

Drunk VP=crazy, and kind of awesome.

It was a real bonding moment for all of us.

Cheers to the new years!

Oscars 2010

It's that time of year again! How exciting.

I counted and I saw 44 movies that were released in 2009. You'd think this would give me a pretty good understanding for the film industry. It doesn't. Most movies I see go unnoticed by the Academy...and when the movies are Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and the likes, I understand.

Anyways, here are my predictions for this years Oscars!

Best Picture: Avatar

Actor in a Leading Role: Morgan Freeman, Invictus

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds

Actress in a Leading Role: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Actress in a Supporting Role: Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air

Animated Feature Film: Up

Documentary Feature: Burma VJ

Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band)

Music (Original Score): The Hurt Locker

Best Adapted Screenplay: An Education

Best Original Screenplay: Inglorious Basterds

And that's that. Someone let me know if I win, because I'm pretty sure I'll be teaching in the middle of the actual ceremony. Sad.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Still obsessed



this will never get old.

i've got a feelin

that i'll start blogging more frequently starting tomorrow (actually probably starting right now because i seriously need to finish some last minute lesson planning...perfect timing)

why, you ask?

well, because tomorrow i go back to class. i go back to school. the last two months have been full of a whole lot of awesome free time.

but tomorrow, tomorrow is when that changes.

i have a stronger resolve to be a better teacher, so we'll see how that goes.

i'm sure i'll scare some of the new kids, but they'll get used to it.

not going to lie, but i've missed the little rugrats. they make me laugh.

also, i heard from cot today. she called me. its the first contact made since the beginning of january. she called to tell me that tomorrow the teachers will be presented to the parents of the incoming 7th graders, so i should not 'dress casual'. like i would even think about doing that.

(i really wanted to wear my new gold shoes, but i guess that will have to wait)

so here's to the next big stretch of teaching!

(i can't believe that i've almost hit my halfway mark-WILD! how should i celebrate?)

fashion icon.

there are many reasons why you should be jealous of my style:



there are plenty more where these came from

(also, proof I shave my legs now. it was a new years resolution)
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