Monday, October 29, 2012

Currently...

Hello blog world.  I disappeared there for a while, didn't I?  My two major class assignments were due last week so I took the weekend to chill with Sung Hyun which is something I haven't done in a really long time.  What a glorious weekend it was.  Okay, so here's a funny story...we were doing his weekly grocery shopping (he lives 2.5 hours away) and I found him in the apple section counting the apples like this:  "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.....I need a Friday apple too"

How cute is that?

In other words...I can finally hang out with my friends and cool internet people like this lady.

So I'm playing her game.  Join along!

Currently...

feeling pretty pumped for having killed two major grad assignments

reading The Struggle for Legitimacy: Indigenized Englishes in Settler Schools

longing for ma' lover.....saying good bye to him on Sunday is always the hardest

crying when we walked out on a deal this weekend that we didn't seal because of $600 (we're buying a truck, fyi)

looking extremely tired right now...everyone seems to be commenting on this

journaling hardly ever.  I need to get back to those Korean MIL stories

celebrating my freedom

eating a lot of junk lately

running tomorrow!

hoping I get a good mark on my two assignments

anticipating going for dinner with Jolene (because I owe her a dinner and I need a good chit chat!!!)

planning a winter vacation

drinking anything alcoholic preferably with my mate Lori

missing my buddies all over the world

listening to I WILL WAIT FOR YOU......LOOOOOOVE this song as of late

making (not food!) a mess in my office

Okay that is it for now.  I'll pop in a few times this week.  Lots of things to update you on!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lessons from a Korean mother-in-law (part 14)

This is a post, in a series, dedicated to a mother-in-law that I deeply love and dearly miss.  All posts in this series are true events that happened to me.

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Want to read the others first?


When all Asians look alike!

"I saw your girlfriend outside the apartment today," mom told Sung Hyun.  "She was exercising around the track in the front there."

This was when I first started dating Sung Hyun, but after I had met his family once maybe twice.

"She didn't say 'hi' to me," she continued.

"She works from 10 to 6, so it's not Jennifer," Sung Hyun commented.

"No it was her, " she insisted.

Sung Hyun calls me on my cell.  "Today, you teaching?" he asks in English.

"Yes, why?" I question.  "Did you today exercising mom's apartment front?"

"No"

"Today mom see you exercising apartment front"

"No, me no" I reply.

Sung Hyun speaks to his mom in Korean "Jennifer was working today.  It wasn't my girlfriend," he says to his mom.

"YES IT WAS!" mom remarks.  "It was chubby foreigner!" she exclaims.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I cheated once

(but not on my husband!)

I checked Facebook once this week.  Now that I've confessed let's see how I did otherwise.

The break - away from the internet - allowed me to focus on only my studies.  After a few quick calculations in my head I average about 3-5 hours on the internet checking emails, blogs, blogs, blogs, and facebook per day.....Although I think my dad has me beat (hi dad! go unload the dishwasher), I still spend way too much time doing relatively nothing.  It's true that blogging is an outlet for me, but that doesn't excuse the other 4.5 hours I spend online every day.  There is a difference between a hobby and a bad habit.

Well last week it stopped and here's what I've learned:

1.  I love grad school now (I'm in the love phase of the love-hate relationship I have with school)
2.  I am so excited to wake up in the morning and go to my office.  I sit there and just think and type.
3.  I am so consumed with my studies that I'm not focused on food.  I eat at my computer while I'm working.  I pack small healthy meals that can be eaten at any point.
4.  Last Tuesday was my longest day of studying:  16 hours!
5.  I emailed an 81 year old retired professor in the States to ask him some questions about my research group project.  After double-checking to make sure I wasn't a "lazy student", his words not mine, he answered ALL of my questions in detail.  I cannot express how appreciative I am for the time he spent typing out his concepts just so that I could understand them.
6.  I have volunteered to help other students with their SSHRC application so I'm going to speak at the information session tomorrow.  Hopefully one person will be able to take away one piece of valuable advice.
7.  I conducted my first interview for part of an assignment.  This will give me practice with my thesis.  I learned that I loved asking questions and hearing people talk.
8.  I am starting to enjoy reading.  This is a big step for me, a self-proclaimed 'reader hater'.
9.  I used to always have to work with someone around me.  When I was young, and even now, I'd do my homework in the kitchen where the action was.  Now, I embrace moments of peace and use that time to get really deep into my studies.
10.  I'm still disorganized as shit, but I'm just accepting that as who I am right now, instead of being frustrated about it.

Life is really good.  I hope I can continue to feel this way over the next couple of years throughout my academic career.  I'm actually getting excited to start on my thesis.

Who put something in the water?

Monday, October 08, 2012

Disconnecting (for just a week)

Hello Blog Friends,

I will not update my blog next week, because I've decided to go a week without blog/ Facebook.  I will however check my emails so if you need to get a hold of me for some reason then you can either call me or send an email to: burtonite@hotmail.com

I am working away at school and really enjoying one of my classes.  Last week I tucked myself into my office for 14 hours and got swallowed up in theory.  I am learning a lot and can't wait to share all of the progress with you soon.

See you in a week!

Jennifer

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving


Today I treated myself to some pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.  It was delicious and I'm so happy to have spent it with my wonderful family eating and playing games.  

Much love to you all!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Office Space

I managed to sneak my way into getting an office in the university.  And by sneak, I really mean ask nicely.  Anyway, I happen to share an office with a Korean PhD student.  We have the most intellectually stimulating academic conversations (in English of course) because of our shared connection with Korea.  He's doing a discourse analysis examining Korean school textbooks specifically focusing on fostering competition.  He's incredibly smart, articulate, and a critical thinker at heart.  Yesterday I was telling him about how I'm quite interested in the process of becoming a critical thinker in a society (Korea) that does not foster a kind of 'free think'.

I was giving him an example of how some Koreans I know believe everything they hear on the news as truth without critically examining the purpose or motives.  Who benefits from this news?  I went on to give an example about how some Korean I know believe in fan death.

The Korean doctoral student stopped me and said "What do you mean?  Fan death is real!"

Ummmmmm.....please tell me I'm not the only one who doesn't believe in fan death.  Is he for real?  I then went on to ask him if it was premeditated murder if I turned on a fan while my husband was sleeping and shut the doors and windows.  He said that it is still possible to die EVEN IF the doors and windows are open.

Are you kidding me?

Tomorrow I'm bringing my fan to the office!

All jokes aside -- after I wrote this post last night, I spent the next hour typing "fan death" into the University of Regina academic database searching for an answer.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Lessons from a Korean mother-in-law (part 13)

This is a post, in a series, dedicated to a mother-in-law that I dearly miss and deeply love.  All posts in this series are true events that happened to me (believe it or not!)

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Part 12 here
Part 1 - 11 here

Mom delicately pressed the ends of my towel together, matching the corners just right.  Her precision and attention to detail was admirable.  Things had to be done a certain way in mom's house.

"It's mom's way," Sung Hyun would often joke.

I knew what he meant.  My mother is the same way.

I watched my Korean mom fold my towel in half like she was piecing together a puzzle.  Then, with a needle and thread she started to sew it together.

"MOM!  What are you doing?" I exclaimed.

"You're towel is too big," she replied.  Mom mumbled something in Korean and I looked to Sung Hyun for translation.  "The towel gets tangled when you wash it with other clothes"

I looked back at mom, still trying to process what was happening.

"So mom is going to sew my towel together every time she does laundry?" I asked Sung Hyun, laughing.

"I dunno, it's mom's way!" he said.


Mom did exactly that.  For the entire duration that we lived with her she sewed my towel together just so it wouldn't tangle up the other clothes.  I often thought it would have just been faster to untangle the clothes rather than sew up the towel.

But that wouldn't have been "mom's way"