Saturday, July 31, 2010

And the list keeps growing

Hi everyone! I'm enjoying my one week off school with my husband who is now officially done working. And what an exciting week it's been. We have been sleeping in until noon and going to bed in the wee hours of the morning (I've still got my full work schedule though). Luckily our friend Myra has been away for a week so we've been crashing at her place (my old apartment) -- getting some much needed privacy and enjoying her air conditioner is nice!

Today we woke up at 2. Enjoyed lunch at the mall, picked up some new books for Sung Hyun at the book store, watched the movie Salt at the theater, spent an hour or so looking at our travel photos, and ate dinner at the local kimbab joint. Now we are both enjoying a cold beer together. A wonderful day with my husband indeed!

Since we are leaving August 23rd, he's just decided to continue his welding school, specializing in pipe welding but not go to work. He certainly deserves this break. And I'm glad he's finally taking it easy. It will be a big transition for him once we get to Canada, so he'll need this month to prepare for his big departure. He picked up a book about Canadian culture and life at the book store today. I can't wait to teach him all about Canada!!!!!

As for me, my vacation is over as of Monday. I'll hit the ground running with full-time school and work. Also we've started a list of things to do before we leave Korea. A really big list:

- buy a new camera (me)
- buy a new camera lens (hubby)
- purchase new glasses (both of us)
- pack and ship boxes to Canada (me/ hubby)
- buy clothes on G-market (hubby)
- sell car (hubby)
- buy health insurance for Sung Hyun until his PR card is processed (me)
- send home money (me)
- collect pension (me)
- find job replacements (me)
- sell English books (me)
- cancel internet/ find a new home for my new cell phone (me)
- sell/ donate Sung Hyun's computer (hubby)
- plan good-bye part and send out invites (me)
- get teeth cleaned (hubby)
- send order for framing place (me)
- try to get my mom's hanbok top framed (me)
- write a good-bye letter to each of my 63 B/D students (me)
- buy level 3 & 4 Sogang books (me)
- prepare present for Charlie (me)
- make a video for Korean mom (me)
- get studio wedding photos done (me/ hubby)
- package and ship special wedding frame (me)
- make Sung Hyun's resume (me/ hubby)
- buy some Korean essentials to pack with us to Canada (me/ hubby)
- plan Vancouver itinerary (me)

Anything else I'm missing? Certainly a lot of things to do before we leave but I'm sure we'll squeeze them in some how!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My husband! I found this in the archives

WARNING! No musical talent, whatsoever! Sorry for the jiggles, but I couldn't stop laughing!

I love this guy:

"DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB!" as mom would say!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It just feels right!

Sung Hyun will be finishing his last day of work on Monday and we couldn't be happier to announce that we have purchased tickets back to Canada!

They're ONE-WAY!!!!!

Which means we'll be making the big jump to start our new lives in Canada in ONE-MONTH.

We're leaving Monday August 23rd and flying to Vancouver and doing the drive from the Rocky Mountains to the Prairies where we'll be back in time for a wedding over September long weekend. Once I told my mom the exact dates we'd be back, less that 24 hours later she had a detailed itinerary in my inbox about which hotels we'd be staying in along the way. I think she's excited. Now if only she was here to help me get my things in order before I leave.

The to-do list is long and keeps getting bigger and bigger and I feel like my head is going to pop off. So I've just decided to enjoy my last month in Korea which means I don't plan on taking my level 2 Korean language exam. It just takes too much energy out of me so I'm just going to go to class when I feel like it and do the homework when I have time. And just really take a passive fun approach to learning Korean. Which is how it should be! And then I'm going to do my best to say good-bye to this amazing country which I'm proud to call my home for the past 5 years.

The timing feels so right. Unlike a lot of people, who unfortunately left this country before they wanted to or stayed way past their expiry date, this is OUR time. I can just feel it!


Coffee Talk!

I buy an iced americano double shot almost everyday at school. I never drank coffee before this Korean class but when the 20 minute break rolls around and everyone from the class goes to the coffee shop I tend to join them. The local coffee shop on campus is cheap and easy.

The problem now is that I'm not drinking it because of the flavor but now because I can't seem to get through the morning without it. I never thought I'd be a coffee drinker but, like my mom, I like it black and cold.

About a month back, one of my readers made a comment along the lines of bringing my mug to the coffee shop so that I won't have to drink it in those god awful plastic cups that just get thrown out afterwards. And to be honest there was no way I was going to bring another thing with me to school. My bag already weighs about 4 KG (no joke) and recently has become a hazard to my health (still no joke). Most days I bring along my lunch box (which usually contains lunch and supper) since I eat on the subway between classes. Then I lug my 4 textbooks and notebook with me daily. Not to mention the gazillion lesson plans for the day. And then factor in the high heels and there is no room for a plastic mug.

But that comment resonated with me and I decided a nice place where it would work. I teach English at the 63 building and for as long as I've been there (almost 2 years) they have a paper cup dispenser right next to the water fountain. More than 80 people work in the office and if they only used one cup a day then we're already at 80 cups. I asked some of my students on average how many cups they use a day and the average was 4. Four little paper cups everyday. Well you can imagine how much money each month is spent buying paper cups, not to mention how bad it is for the environment.

So I talked to the boss. He has agreed that something should be done, so starting in August they are going to take the money they would have spent on the paper cups and buy everyone a ceramic mug instead.

Let's hope this works

Thanks for the idea ;)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shrek in 4-D

Last night Sung Hyun and I went to a midnight matinee. I had never been to a 4-D movie before so it was a new experience. I was a little worried I'd fall asleep but after it started I was certain I wouldn't. It was AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!
The chairs moved, tilted, vibrated, and at times kicked us. Mist sprayed in our faces and bursts of air came from behind our heads. Things grabbed at our legs and disco lights flashed from above. And two times during the movie I could smells things. It was sooooo cool and I felt like I was a little kid again. Sung Hyun and I burst out laughing many times.
If you haven't seen a 4-D movie and have the opportunity to do so it's worth the 18,000W ticket price. I'd see it again in a heartbeat.
I'll be back again with an update on how Sung Hyun and I are doing shortly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

쓰기 숙제

This is some writing homework I had in my writing class. We had to bring in a photo of our friends and describe it to our partner while trying to incorporate the relative clause ending (동사) -는/은.

I love writing in Korean. Writing is my favourite class because I have an amazing teacher. She is so energetic and explains things so well. She was my writing teacher in the first level and I switched classes at the beginning of this term so that I could be in her class. She's wonderful! (선생님 안녕하세요!)

This is the first time I've written something and translated it into English. It was hard to translate because Korean is just so different than English. It took me about 1 hour to complete because I can't find the Korean characters on the keyboard very well. If you find any mistakes or can give me some positive feedback then please let me know. If not then enjoy reading my baby Korean!

위에 그림을 소계할게요........(I will describe the picture above......)
그 사진에는 세명이 있어요. 4 년전에 캐나다 식당에서 찍었어요.
저는 왼쪽에 있는 사람이에요. 큰 귀거리를 했어요. 귀거리 하는 것을 좋아해요! 그래서 보통 매일 귀거리를 해요.
(In the picture there are 3 people. It was taken 4 years ago at a restaurant in Canada. I am the person on the left. I was wearing big earrings. I like wearing earrings. So I usually wear earrings everyday.)

이 사진에서 다른 사람들하고 같이 술을 마시고 있어요. 저는 술을 잘 마셔요. 사진에서 저는 제 친구들 보다 더 술을 빨리 마셔요.
(In the picture I am drinking alcohol with the other people. I drink alcohol very well. In the picture I am drinking the alcohol faster than my friends.)

까만색 스웨터 입는 분이 세라예요. 그 친구가 제일 친절해요. 그리고 행복한 사람이에요. 세라 씨는 캐나다에서 살아요.
(The person wearing the black sweater is Sarah. She is very kind and she's a very happy person. Sarah lives in Canada.)

세라 바로 옆에 회색셔츠를 입는 사람이 크리스텔이에요. 그 친구는 초등학교 선생님이에요.
(The person directly beside Sarah in the green shirt is Crystal. She is an elementary school teacher.)

두 사람들이 너무 보고 싶어요!
(I miss these people very much!)

Friday, July 09, 2010


Random things as of late:

1) I watched as a father made her daughter hold this bike over her head for a good 5 mintues while he scolded her on the street

2) Met some random men, slightly intoxicated, on the subway and carried on a conversation with them in Korean for about 15 minutes
3) I spend way too much time on facebook. Should I shut down my account? I don't think I will since it's my main connection to all of my friends at home and in Korea. But, damn I really need to make myself more accountable for my time
4) In an attempt to get a picture of my cute work outfit my camera fell off the ledge and broke. This is the last picture it took. GOOD-BYE CAMERA!
5) My Korean mom, god bless her little heart, pulled an embarassing stunt this week. I caught her in the act and she told me not to tell Sung Hyun. I should definitely write a book about my adventures with her. They are ......... interesting ........ to say the least.
6) I passed all my Korean exams and if I average the scores together I got an 85% (my weakest mark was reading *surprise, surprise* at 75%). I'm not so stressed about getting a good grade now even though everyone is so competative.
7) I have fought with my husband way too many times this week. He often doesn't get home till after 11 and recently he has been working on both Saturday AND Sunday. This is NOT the married life I signed up for. I've loaded my free time up with work, study and play dates with my friends but that's no substitute for my husband. I miss him!
8) This week I've been checking tickets to Canada. Didn't book anything yet.
9) I have been doing really well with the eating clean plan for the past few weeks. I allow myself some treats and then move on without thinking about it. I love how I feel and the changes in my body. Can't wait for my weigh-in with Ursula next Tuesday. Today I plan to play catch with one of my students from 63 B/D, because my husband is (you guessed it) at work.
10) I guess that's it. Hope everyone has a good weekend!!!!

Monday, July 05, 2010

You know you're in trouble when.....

Today was the practice exam for our Korean mid-terms which begin tomorrow. And you know you're in trouble when you spell 'thank-you' wrong in Korean. I mean I've been writing this word over and over and over and I spelled it wrong today. HELLO JEN, WAKE UP!!!!

It's funny because even though my exam is tomorrow and I know I'm not ready for it, I feel okay. Actually I had a stressful weekend and as a result I got a cold. It's my body telling me to slow down. And although I only got 4 hours of sleep last night I still pushed through Korean class then 4 hours of studying afterwards. And just when I was tempted to go to the little bakery conviently located a hop skip and a jump away from my school I held off and went to the grocery store to pick up some cherry tomatoes and bananas to snack on. YAH ME!!!!

And the best thing was waking up to David's kind comment on my post about speaking Korean to get me through the day. Never underestimate the power you have on other people. Thanks DAVID! At the end of this course I will have studied Korean for 20 weeks (2 levels). There are 6 levels total (so I guess that adds up to 60 weeks, just like you said!)

Okay I'm going to go over my vocabulary list one more time then hit the sack. Nighty-night everyone!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Let's play.....

The best investment we made this summer was spending a couple hundred bucks on proper baseball gloves so that we can take advantage of the park directly in front of my mom's house. Usually we make it out for a game of catch once a week.

Speaking Korean with Doyoung!

I love this guy!!! Doyoung helps me tremendously with my Korean. He speaks slowly and clearly and uses grammar patterns/ vocabulary that I use in my class. If I don't understand something I tell him I don't know and instead of explaining it in English, which he can speak quite easily, he uses Korean. He's really patient, understanding, and makes me feel comfortable speaking Korean. He's awesome!!!!!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Sogang University Korean Language Program!

Next week I crack open this baby..............I'M NOT AT ALL READY!!!!!

I had someone leave a comment asking me about the Korean Language program at Sogang. So I thought I'd briefly write about my experience.

I LOVE MY KOREAN CLASS!!!!! The first level was awesome and so is the second level (which is where I am now). I did however bite off more than I can chew so I will be happy when level 2 is complete so that I can slowly review the material and give myself a much needed break.

My classmate Saebom gives an excellent description of the program in detail so I suggest you check it out HERE

If you want to learn more about the Korean program from the actual site then go HERE.

Sogang is the best place to learn to speak practical Korean. The classes are fun but super intense. There is a ton of homework. You are expected to preview and learn all the vocab words yourself for the lesson. If you don't know them, it's easy to fall far behind.

If I had the choice I would ONLY study. It's too difficult to work and study this program (people do it though). But basically you get what you put into the class. Even within each class there is a wide range of levels. Some students have come from a full year of Korean study in their home country and they are placed in level 1 because their speaking ability is not up to par (even if their grammar is level 3). They don't slow down for the weak students or go faster for the stronger ones. Everything is consistent. The teachers use a wide range of materials: flashcards galore, worksheets coming out of my wazoo, interactive games (we play a game almost every class), CD dialogue, powerpoint slides, colour pictures, to name a few. This week for our reading class we made Korean food.

There are 3 different teachers each day. All the lessons from each teacher overlap and use the same grammar patterns/ vocab for the most part. But things move really really quick. If you don't catch something or miss a class then you're automatically behind. Playing catch-up is even harder! Or in my case, impossible!

Classes are fun. Each class we walk around and speak Korean. We don't just sit and learn. Students quickly become friends. Currently, I spend more time with them then my husband. It's a super fun and comfortable atmosphere. We mostly use the main text book during class time, but some things are skipped and worksheets are used instead.

It's a really really great program and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning Korean.
Here's a picture I took today of the grammar rules for quoted speech. All grammar topics are posted on the wall after class.

Here are the worksheets (in addition to the 4 books we study from) from the second half of the level 1 semester!

Hello dad!

I know my dad reads my blog but very rarely comments. Here is some of the recent art work he created for my brother's bedroom. He's so creative and luckily I get those genes from him (certainly not my mother, hehe). I can't believe how grown up my younger brother is. He knows exactly what he wants in life and doesn't mess around. THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF ME, IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY GUESSED!! He's a sucessful tax auditor for the government and bought his first house when he was 21. He's also extremely brilliant! I admire him for his direction and drive in life. Although I've got the drive, I'm lacking in direction as I often feel like I'm steering with my eyes closed and swerving into on-coming traffic (perhaps sometimes on purpose)! But hey, that's just ME!

love you and like you (nose rubs)