Thursday, December 18

In case you haven't heard yet...

I found out on Saturday morning that the embassy rejected Samuel's visa application again. That means he will not be coming here for Christmas. I have no idea when he will be able to come. I'm not really anxious to apply again; I don't want to be rejected again. I guess we'll just have to wait until I go back to Korea, and then decide what to do. I'm trying not to concentrate on the disappointment. Sometimes it's hard to think about anything else, but I try. I have one more semester of classes, and then I will be finished my degree, and then I can go back to Korea. Then I will finally get to see Samuel again. It's only five-ish months. Five-ish isn't that long. Right? I'll just keep reminding myself that.

Tuesday, December 9

Pray this for someone today

This was part of my bible reading from yesterday. I thought I should share it.

Ephesians 1:16-19
I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparable great power for us who believe.

Isn't that amazing? Don't you want someone to pray that for you? I know I do. I want the spirit of wisdom and revelation. I want to know God better. I'm sure you all do.

Here's what I want you to do. Pick someone, or several someones and pray this for them. Pray it for yourself while you're at it. Let's find out what kind of difference it makes.

Thursday, November 27

Give this a listen

It gives me shivers.

Yep, it's been a while

I know. I haven't said anything for a long time. I haven't felt like saying anything. Everything is still the same. I'm still waiting. I'm still teaching. That's about it.

Let me give you a better update though. Samuel reapplied for a visitors visa. We decided to get the visa guy that Joyce knew to help. Thanks to Mom and Dad, and the other people who contributed to this. Now we just have to wait. I hope I don't have to wait long. I promise I will let you all know when I know something more.

I have only two weeks and two days left of my internship. I'm teaching full time right now. Most days I even like it. I'm glad I had the opportunity to work in Korea before I did this. I have changed so much and gained so much confidence in myself. Some days I am surprised with myself. I was sitting in class today, my students were all working, and I thought that there was no way I could have done this two years ago, but look at me now! I have to say that I am quite proud of myself.

Friday, October 24

It's Samuel's birthday on Friday.

Thursday, October 23

Bah Humbug!

I really wanted my next blog to be something nice. I was kind of depressing on the last post. Oh well. I'll be even more depressing this time. My countdown has increased indefinately. I don't know when Samuel can come. The embassy rejected Samuel's visa application. They said that there was not enough evidence showing ties to Korea, and that he didn't show that he had sufficient funds, and that I didn't show I had sufficient funds. So, in other words, they don't believe that he will return to Korea, they think he doesn't have enough money, and they think I don't have enough money. There was no place where they asked me to show that I had money. I don't have enough money, but they never asked. There is no place where they say how much money is enough, so it's a guessing game.

I was looking forward to Christmas, but now I don't care. I would rather it never came. Christmas was the end. I could stop waiting. Now I don't know when the end is. When can I stop waiting? My first Christmas in Canada in two years, and I'm going to spend it crying. It was supposed to be the best Christmas ever. Not anymore.

Wednesday, October 15

71 days

Well, I have been back in Canada for 71 days. Yep, I've counted. It's been okay. I like Canada. I like living here. I like the food, even if I find Dortitos disappointing. I think I would like it better if I were getting paid to work, but I suppose that will come later. While I do love Canada, there is something that is missing. Okay, not really something, more like someone. I have been in Canada for 71 days. That means that I haven't seen Samuel for 71 days. It seems like forever. Sometimes I think I will go crazy. I didn't know it was possible to miss someone so much. I know some of you did the whole long-distance relationship thing. How did you handle it? Sometimes I think, it's only been 71 days, how can it be this bad already? I have 67 more days until Samuel comes at Christmas. If I'm this crazy already, how bad am I going to be by then? I refuse to think about after Christmas right now because I know I'll just have to go through all of this again. For now I am only thinking up to Christmas. After that isn't important right now. 67 days seems like a long time. I think I'll go crazy.

Tuesday, October 7

Prayers please

I am asking all of you for your prayers on behalf of Samuel. His older brother died this week. He can't go home for the funeral. Please keep him in your prayers. Thank you.

Monday, September 22

100 things about me: Part 4

Wow. It has been way too long since I talked about me. I'm sure that there is lots more I can tell you, so here goes.

61) I think about every other sentence I have said since I got back from Korea has started with "In Korea", or "When I was in Korea", so something like that. I don't know how else to talk yet. It was my life for the last two years. If it annoys you, let me know. I probably won't care, but at least I would know if I am annoying you. I understand, sort of, why women only seem to talk about their babies. They don't know what else to talk about. You talk about your life. My life was Korea, now I have to learn something else. Could be fun. Maybe.
62) Stepping on crunchy leaves makes me giggle. It doesn't matter how grouchy I am or how bad my day was, if I step on leaves, I am instantly happy. That is partly why I really like fall. I love stepping on the leaves. The colours are nice, too.
63) Diane's keyboard drives me crazy. She set it up for Canadian English, so now when I push the apostrophe button, I get this รจ. To get an apostrophe I have to press shift and the comma button. I don't know what I would have to push to get a less than sign. Fortunately I don't need it very often. The question mark is shift 6. Weird. Interestingly, the computer told me I spelled colours wrong. It thinks it should be colors. How annoying.
64) I am updating this now as a way to procrastinate from doing the work I actually should be doing. I am really good at finding anything else to do than the work I need to do. I should be marking tests and making lesson plans. Later.
65) I like to go back to bed for a little bit after I take a shower in the morning. I get out of the shower, and get back into bed. I have to get up earlier than necessary so I can do this. I suppose I could just sleep a little longer, but I would still want to go back to bed, so this works for me.
66) I don,t like talking on the phone that much. I can never think of something to say. I find small talk difficult anyway, but it is way harder on the phone.
67) My dislike of talking on the phone is not conducive to a long distance relationship. I'm working on it. I suppose it's okay not to talk every second. I don't always talk every second when I'm actually face to face with someone, so it's okay on the phone, but it seems like a waste. There is something about the phone that makes me feel like there needs to be conversation every second. I'll have to get over that. (The computer also tells me that okay is spelled wrong.)
68) I don't like having a long distance relationship. Who does, really? I knew that it wouldn't be very much fun, but what did I know? I decided that I had to come back to finish my degree. It's my fault. I'll just have to put up with it for now. I plan to go back to Korea when I'm finished my degree so I don't have to have a long distance relationship. It's only for a little while longer. I'll just keep telling myself that.
69) I can't wait for Christmas. Samuel is going to visit, if all the visa stuff works out, and I will be finished interning. I haven't been home for Christmas in two years, so it will be great for many reasons.
70) I worry that my students don't take my seriously because I look like I should be in their class, not teaching it. One of students asked me how old I am because she said I didn't look old enough to be an intern. I am six years older than the other intern at the school. I'm sure that when I am older I will appreciate looking younger than I really am, but right now I would be very happy to look 27. I would be okay with that.
71) I'm really bad with money. If I have money I spend it. I am really bad at saving any. I need to learn how to save money. It's a life skill I haven't learned yet.
72) I used to think that I needed to be married before I was 25. That's the way life works, right? Now I think people are stupid to get married before they are 25. I don't think you have enough time to know who you really are before then.
73) My personal space has gotten smaller since going to Korea. I get annoyed at people for leaving three feet of space after the person in front of them in line. Is that really necessary? Why do we have so much personal space anyway? Do we think that if we get within arms reach of someone that something bad will happen to us? Is it an invasion of privacy? I don't get it. Think about it. I know it's what we're used to, but why?
74) I really like reality T.V. Not shows like Survivor, but shows like Restaurant Makeover, Hell's Kitchen, and So You Think You Can Dance. Reality that actually is reality. Game shows are also good. Lingo and Wipe Out. Does Wipe Out count as a game show?
75) I wish I actually spoke multiple languages. I know words in several languages, but I would actually like to have a conversation in one of them other than English. I can swear quite well in Korean, but I only know three sentences, one of which is "I am not a pervert." Surprisingly, that is not a sentence you need very often.
76) I hate studying. That is probably why I don't speak multiple languages. I have started to study languages. I studied French in high school, Spanish for two years in university. I studied Korean for long enough to learn the alphabet and a little more. I think part of it is that I never had to study in school, so I never learned how to study, and now I don't know how to make myself do it. How do you learn how to study?
77) I am so not a natural leader. If there is anyone who shows any interest in being the leader, or who has a dominant personality, I will almost always let them take over. I'm sort of a push over this way. I can be bossy. I can be the leader if I have to, but I don't like to.
78) I like living by myself. I get lots of time by myself, and I can walk around with no pants on. It's great. On the other hand, I have to do my own dishes. Maybe I should get disposable dishes.
79) I have found Doritos disappointing. I know. I was surprised too. I love Doritos. I craved them. Then I came back to Canada, and I don't want them anymore. I think it's because they don't have the black pepper jack flavour anymore. That was so good. Cool ranch is good, but I liked black pepper jack more. What happened to it? I want it back.
80) I really miss Samuel. I have conversations with him in my head. Okay, sometimes out loud while I'm driving. He doesn't answer, so I fill in his part too. I wish he could fill in his part.

Monday, September 8

I know I haven't updated this in a bit. I don't have internet at home yet, and the school blocks a whole bunch of stuff. I can read blogs, but I can't read any comments or add comments. I can't check facebook at all. I'm doing this at Diane's house right now. I should be driving back now. Oh well.

So, for those of you who don't know, I just started my internship at a high school in a small town. It's quite a change from Korea. I'm trying to get used to it. It's going okay so far. I'm counting down already. 14 more weeks. I can do that. I actually do like teaching. I just don't like the paper work that the university expects to go with it. They make up silly stuff. Right now I am teaching a grade 11 math class, and a general math class that has all the students who need to be constantly prodded to do any work. I will get another class to teach in about three weeks. I think it will be grade 12 math. Maybe physics. I got a phone today. You can ask Dad for my number if you want it.

That's all for now. I will try to say more next week.

Saturday, August 23

Why does a number make such a difference?

Okay, as most of you know, I lost weight while I was in Korea. I look good. I know it. At least I thought I did. For some stupid reason I decided to weigh myself so I could see how much I had lost. Apparently I didn't lose very much. What is it about that number on the scale that seems so important? Before I saw that number I felt great. I knew I looked great, and I was happy with myself. Then I saw the number. All I could think was that number was too high. I was no longer happy with the way I looked because of that stupid number. Before I looked good. Now I'm just fat. All because of a number. Why does a number dictate how I feel about myself? It's stupid.
I think that as a society, we would be better off if we stopped being weight obsessed. Stop going by numbers. The numbers really don't matter. What matters is how we feel about ourselves. The number makes us feel bad about ourselves. So why do we look at it? Why do we have to know what that number is? The number will never be what we think it should be. Knowing it will only make us hate ourselves.
From now on I will refuse to let a number control me. I don't want to know what it is. I will not give a number control. I will go by how good my ass looks in these jeans. It looks good you know.

Thursday, August 14

Come on people!

Okay, how has the message not gotten out? I'm sure there has been a memo or something. Just in case some people missed it, I will reiterate; sweat pants are not to be worn in public. Ever.

I saw this guy today. He was wearing sweat pants. Going comando. Not only that, the elastic in the waist, or the drawstring, was not tight enough, so the pants were low riding. Lots of hairy butt crack was visible. Ewww. Oh, and his hands were full so he couldn't pull his pants up. Why? Why did he think it was acceptable to go out like that? Because it isn't! Sweat pants are only to be worn in your house when there is no posibility that anyone will see you. Okay, you can also wear them when you are sick, but you should still be in your house. There is nothing attractive about sweat pants. Especially on guys. Get real clothes. Comfort is no excuse for ugly.

That is my rant for today.

Oh ya. I'm back in Canada. It's cold. But the food is good.

Friday, August 1

Coming home

My plane arrives Monday, at 6:58 pm. I expect to eat hamburgers soon after. Well, maybe a shower first, and then hamburgers.

See you all soon.

Wednesday, July 30

Black Belt

It's official. I can beat you up. All of you. I won't though. That wouldn't be nice. I wouldn't want to hurt you. I found out last week that I passed the test. I actually got the belt the week before, but found out the results of the test after that. Isn't that weird? Korea doesn't always make sense. Anyway, after we got our belts, but before the official results, we had a photo shoot in our uniforms. The Korean guy is our master. He was very nervous before our test, but we did him proud, and he wasn't so nervous after. We all did really well.

This is my name on my black belt. We wanted them to write our names in Korean. They put Craig's in English and spelled it wrong. We figured they couldn't get it wrong in Korean, and it's cooler that way.

Monday, July 14

Think happy thoughts

Okay, I had my moment. Now I will think happy thoughts. I want to go home. I'm tired of Korea. On Saturday I yelled at a little girl for staring at me. I think it's time to leave now.

So, happy thoughts. I will get to see all you guys soon. 21 days. I will get to go shopping and find clothes that actually fit. I will get to play with those kids that are doing all of their growing up without me. I suppose I could even babysit Xavier and Niles just for old times' sake. I'm sure they would appreciate it. I can go to a Rider game. Play my trumpet. At the same time even. I can go to a restaurant and not have to sit on the floor, and not have the wait staff be afraid to speak to me. They might have to speak English you know. I still want a good hamburger. I can have one in three weeks.

I am excited to go home. I really am. I just don't want to leave. Oh well. I can always come back.

Sunday, July 6

Mixed feelings

I have four weeks left in Korea. That's 28 days. That's not very many. It's scary. I want to leave. I'm tired of living here right now. I'm tired of people looking at me, I'm tired of being a freak. I can't go anywhere without people staring at me, or trying to practice their English. I want to go home and see everyone. I want to go to church and have a church family again. I want to know what is going on. I want to drive. I want a hamburger. (Diane, I expect to have those yummy hamburgers. You know, the ones that have all that cheese on the inside so when you take a bite you get a mouthfull of cheese. Ya, those ones.) Yes, I am looking forward to going home. I do want to be there, but at the same time, I don't want to leave. I have changed since I came to Korea, and I like who I am. I'm scared that I will change back. I'm scared that I won't let myself be who I am. I'm scared about my internship. We all know how well it worked last time, and I'm scared that it will be the same this time. I want to go home. I really do. I don't want to leave. I don't want to go months without seeing Samuel. I know lots of people did the whole long distance relationship thing, but I don't want to. I like seeing him. I don't want to leave. I want to go home. I can't have both.

Monday, June 23

Black Belt Test!!!!!

Yes, it deserves multiple exclamation marks. It was so cool! Sunday was my black belt test, and I DID AWSOME!!!!!!!!! (Don't comment on the grammar of that sentence. I know it's wrong, but I'm saying it anyway.) After waiting around for hours for it to finally be our turn, there was a group of 300 kids infront of our age group, it went by so quickly. It literally took ten minutes from when we walked into the gym until we were finished. It was the fastest ten minutes ever. I didn't have time to be nervous. First, we showed the judges three poomses (forms), and then we demonstrated some kicks, and then we had to spar twice.

Here we had just finished the first form and were waiting to move on to the next one. The judge was writing down our numbers, that's why we are all facing the side.
Demonstrating one of the forms. The uniform is not all that flattering, but it is surprisingly comfortable. I actually just got the red belt on Saturday because we don't actually have to wear them in class, so the master never bothered to give us belts. We needed them for the test, so we got them the day before. I didn't know how to tie it properly, so Master had to dress me.
Getting ready to spar. The equipment is not very comfortable and it makes it harder to move, but you can kick people and it doesn't hurt. Unfortunately, I kicked Sara in the elbow, where there is no padding, and really hurt my foot. Oh well. It was fun anyway.

After our test. We were all giddy with excitement.

This is one of the forms we had to show. There are eight forms required to get your black belt. We had to show three of them. We knew that we would have to do number eight, but the other two we found out just before we had to show them. I wanted to do numbers six and seven. I really didn't want to do numbers four and five. We got out there and found out that we were doing four, five, and eight. I was not very happy about that. I think I did okay, even if those ones were not my best.

I was going to put on more, but it won't work right now. I will put on more later.

Wednesday, June 11

Oooh. Pretty.

Last weekend was a long weekend, so we took the opportunity to go somewhere else. We went to a city on the east coast and were tourists. We all took lots of pictures of pretty much everything. I think the best part was that everything was so pretty and relaxing. I thought I would share some of the beauty so you can have a relaxing time, too. Enjoy. This was in a small town close to a temple. It was in the mountains and everything was so green. It was also very quiet. We all thought we could stay there forever.
This is a rice field on the edge of a forest. The trees were pretty. There were lots and lots of tadpoles in the rice field. Rachel dropped her extra camera battery into the water. Oops.
I think this was at a temple in the mountains. I took lots of pictures of walls, so I don't remember for sure. I just like this picture, so it doesn't really matter where it is. Can't you just here the birds and the water?
We found a pond that was almost completely covered with lilly pads. Here is a lotus flower. We also saw a frog sitting on the lilly pad. We were sure that frogs do that, so we looked around until we found one. I'll show you a picture later.
A drop of water on a leaf. Isn't it pretty?

Monday, May 19

100 things about me: Part 3

It has been a few months since I added to this list, so I thought I would continue with the list. I have no new adventures to talk about this week either, so you get to know a little more about me, instead of a little more about Korea.
41) I think I'm on the right number. Sometimes I forget things like that. I actually did look back on my previous posts so I would remember what I had already told you, but it didn't occur to me to see what the last number was. I'm also lazy, as well as forgetful, so I'm not going back to look. I'm sure one of you will check for me and let me know if I'm wrong. Thanks.
42) I think as I'm getting older, my springtime allergies are getting worse. I like to take pictures of trees and flowers, but at the moment I don't like the real ones so much. I am liking my antihistamines a lot though.
43) I think I must be getting old. Everytime I see, or hear a baby, I think, "aww. I want one of those." Then I tell myself "no, you don't." Stupid clocks. I'll just have to enjoy everybody else's babies. It's a good thing other people have babies for me to appreciate. Wow, how was that for not trivial?
44) I am getting much better at being myself with people. I think that's because now I know more of who myself is, did that make any sense? I am much more comfortable with who I am now, and that makes is easier to share me with other people. See, still not trivial. Good for me.
45) I like the "new Robin" way more than the "old Robin". This is how I describe me now and me before I came to Korea. "Old Robin" was boring. "New Robin" is way more fun. I like me more now. I hope you all will, too.
46) I really hate when people fight. Even when people are grouchy at each other. It makes me so uncomfortable and I want to go hide in a different room so I can escape the tension. I have a very sensitive tension sensor. I notice.
47) I don't do grouchy very well. Probably because of the previous entry. I don't like when people are grouchy at each other, so when I'm grouchy I tend to stay away from people. I don't want to create tension.
48) I'm getting grouchy a lot lately. People stare at me. It's annoying. I'm tired of being a freak. I'm tired of people thinking they need to talk to me. It must be time to leave.
49) I am procrastinating from packing. If I pack it means that I'm leaving. I don't want to leave, but I really do. It's confusing and frustrating and sad, all at the same time. I want to go home, but I don't want to leave. Does that make sense to anyone?
50) Okay, let's get trivial. Garlic makes me gassy. That's really unfortunate in a country where garlic is added to practically everything. Oh well. Everyone gets gas. It's nothing to be embarassed about.
51) I like to paint my toenails. I feel naked when I don't have colour on my toes. Right now my toenails are purple. They're pretty. I have to think about what colour my toes are when I decide what shoes to wear. My shoes can't clash with my toes. It's not a problem in the winter, as I don't show my toes, but now that it's summer, it's a major concern.
52) I like to have popcorn for breakfast, preferably air-popped. With orange juice. I see nothing wrong with that. I haven't actually had popcorn for breakfast in a long time because I don't have a popcorn popper, or a microwave. Makes it harder to make popcorn. I only have popcorn when I go to the movies. The popcorn at the movies is cheap here, so I always have popcorn at the movies.
53) I bought shoes today. I knew as I was paying for them that I really didn't need new shoes and that I had to pack and all the sensible things that I should have been thinking to talk myself out of it. And then I bought them anyway. Even when I am trying to be sensible I can find a reason to buy shoes. I didn't have black flip-flops with a heel. That's a good enough reason.
54) I don't like to wear pants. Who needs pants? I get home from work and take my pants off. I'm starting to think that a nuddist colony would be great. Maybe a little cold.
55) I'm quite excited about getting my black belt in taekwondo. This is totally not something I would have done before. I am definately not a sporty type person. Getting my black belt is so out of character for me. I love it. I'm just full of surprises. My test is in a month. Cool.
56) I can't actually admit that I'm excited about stuff. That would require, you know, showing emotions, whatever those are, and that is not something that I do. So, disregard that last comment. I never would have said anything like that.
57) I totally forgot what I was going to say. It was good too. Hmm. I wonder what it was. Oh well, I'll tell you something else. I can't sleep with my hair down. I have to braid it so Ican sleep. If my hair is loose it gets all over the place and I end up pulling my own hair when I roll over, and that's really annoying.
58) I hate when pictures are crooked on the wall. I am much to, well the best word is 'anal', to allow pictures to be crooked. There is a restaurant here where the pictures are intentionally hung crookedly on the wall, and screwed into place so they can't be moved. It drives me crazy. I have to very carefully not look at the walls. I get too distracted if I do. It's like Diane with mirrors.
59) I'm almost as obsessed with mirrors as Diane is. I like to look at myself in the mirror, provided, of course, that I have done my makeup. There is one mirror at taekwondo that I don't like to stand in front of because it's what I call a "fat mirror". You just can't look good in that mirror. The one next to it is so much better. It's a nice mirror. I'll stand in front of that one.
60) I don't like to look in the mirror in the bathroom in the dark. I think this goes way back to elemetary school where the girls at a sleep over would tell the story of "Bloody Mary" and tell you that if you said her name three times while turning around in the dark in front of the mirror she would show up behind you. I still don't look in the mirror in the dark. I know it's stupid, but that's how it goes. Oh, and there are alligators under the bed, too, so you have to jump. We weren't allowed to have monsters, so we had alligators instead.

Okay, that's your "learn about Robin" session for this month. I hope you enoyed it. Now it's late so I'm going to go to bed. Good night.

Wednesday, May 7

Yes, I am still alive.

Okay, I'm sorry. I know it has been a while since I updated my blog. I have been lazy. What can I say? Right now I am procrastinating from cleaning, and also from making lesson plans, so updating my blog seems to be in order.

Last weekend was a long weekend. Monday was a national holiday. It was children's day. Any reason for a holiday is good for me. We crammed as much into the weekend as we could. On Saturday Rachel and Leah and I went to the Hanji Festival in Jeonju. Hanji is traditional paper made out of mulberry bark. The festival included a parade with costumes made out of paper and a marching band playing traditional Korean instruments.

Sunday was Buddha's birthday party. His actual birthday is next Monday, but the party was a little early. We went up to Seoul to join in the festivities. There were lanterns all over. There was another parade. It was very long, but had a lot of cool stuff like a military marching band and a group of unicyclers. There were also thousands of people walking in the parade carrying lanterns. This was the lantern festival celebrating Buddha's birthday after all.
This is a five story high poster of Buddah. We watched the parade standing right next to it.
As Monday was a holiday we had to put it to good use. There was a professional soccer game in Jeonju, so we headed on over to watch. It was really cool. It was also really hot. I think it was 30 degrees out and we had to sit in the sun. You have to separate the fans, you know, and the shady side of the stadium was for the away team's fans. We couldn't cheer for Suwon. Jeonbuk, our team, has Rider colours, so it was obvious who we had to cheer for.
This Monday coming up is another holiday, Buddha's birthday, so I'm sure we will find something to do. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, April 22

More flowers and trees

I know. You're so surprised that I took pictures of flowers and trees. What can I say? I like plants. Last weekend we went on more adventures. We went to a city about an hour away that has Korea's equivalent of the Great Wall of China. It was an ancient fortress built to keep out invading armies. All the way around the wall was a row of those bright fuschia flowers. Very pretty.
After visiting the wall we went to a nearby temple. The temple was in a forest. We were rather excited to walk through a forest. We thought the entrance fee was worth it just for that part. There was a little river going through with some cool trees along it. I took many pictures of course.
This tree grows out of a rock. It's apparently a national monument. It is really cool, but I'm not sure it's national monument worthy.
Finally you get some happy spring flowers. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 17

Cherry blossoms

I'm a little late posting my weekly update, but I was busy procrastinating from making lesson plans for a new class I am going to teach next week. Then I was busy making lesson plans for that class. Now I am procrastinating again, so I thought I would give you an update.

Last Wednesday was election day here. To encourage everyone to go out and vote, it is a national holiday. Not wanting to waste a day off in the middle of the week we decided to go for a car trip to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. We went to a nearby national park called Naejansan.
Of course it rained on our mini-vacation, but we went anyway. There were fewer people in the park that way. The rain made the mountains look really cool because the tops were covered in mist.

There was a little babbling brook going through the park. I took lots of pictures because it was pretty.As the whole purpose of the trip was to see cherry blossoms, and to have a barbeque, I thought I would give you a few cherry blossom pictures. We didn't have the barbeque. The rain didn't let up all day. This is a close up of the cherry blossoms.

And now a road lined with cherry trees. I have to say that cherry trees are very photogenic so all the pictures I took look good even if some were fuzzy.
I think I have done enough procrastinating for now. I should make some more lesson plans so I will know what I am teaching next week.

Sunday, April 6

High School

Well, this weekend was my 10 year high school reunion. I couldn't go, as I'm in Korea and it would be a little expensive to go for a weekend. Instead, I did some thinking about high school. I don't have very many happy memories of high school. I never understood the people who thought that high school was wonderful. It sure wasn't wonderful for me. In Warman I was the quiet bookworm that nobody talked to. It wouldn't have mattered if they had talked to me, as I was too shy to talk back. I was determined that when I went to Western it would be different and I would do everything. I tried out for dinner theatre. Didn't make it. I tried out for Sonshine. Didn't make it. I tried out for traveling chorus. Didn't make it. I tried out for musical. Didn't make it. Do you see a trend here? I did play soccer, but I was not an integral part of the team and I knew it. How could I not have? The coach and other players never let me forget. The first few months at Western only served to push me further into my shell. That was not what I had planned. Why is it that our plans don't work so well? Grade 12 was a little better. I was student council president, I was an integral part of the soccer team and I made traveling chorus. I didn't make Sonshine, and yes, it still bugs me. That was something I had really wanted to do. I still didn't really talk to people and they didn't really talk to me. I remember at the end of the year when Mrs. Muller had us all write notes to each other and then she typed them up and gave them to us. The only thing that my class mates said to me was that I was smart. It made me sad that after two years with most of these people the only thing they could say about me was that I was smart. They didn't bother to try to learn any more than that, and I didn't have the courage to let them see any more than that.
I'm glad high school is over. I am also glad that I am not the person I was then anymore. I have changed a lot since then. I talk to people, and I hope that most days I let them see that I am more than a smart person. In some ways I wish I could do high school again as the me I am now. Maybe it would have been a lot more fun. Maybe I would have had more friends. Maybe I would have more good memories. The thing about the past is that it is in the past. We can learn from it, but we don't get to do it over. We just have to live with it. I was who I was then, and I am who I am now. I like who I am now. I will make happy memories now and give up the sad memories from then. I am a different person now, and all that happened to someone else.
I'm not sure if I am disappointed that I had to miss my 10 year reunion. It would have been nice to be home and to see everyone, but I don't know how much I need to relive high school. Once was enough for me. I am disappointed about missing the alumni chorus. I really like that. Oh well. Next time.

Tuesday, March 25

14,000 things to be thankful for

No, I'm not going to write 14,000 things to be thankful for. That was the title of a book I came across this weekend while in a bookstore. It was essentially a list of nice things. I don't remember the list, but I have been thinking about it, and I thought I would make my own list and see how many things I can be thankful for today, or just things I like and would like to be thankful for today. Really, it will end up being a list of stuff I like. This is a change from stuff about me, yet it will still give you insight into me.
  1. the smell of the linen closet.
  2. new sheet day
  3. the snap of the taekwondo pads when you get the kick just right
  4. the 'ding' of my oven timer. I just love it. It means the cookies are ready.
  5. the sound of rain on the roof
  6. the smell of rain. You know the smell. Kind of like wet sidewalks.
  7. Big worms on the sidewalk after the rain. It rained this week okay.
  8. a well stocked bookshelf.
  9. the smell of tomato vines
  10. raspberries
  11. laundry fresh out of the dryer. I would really like to be thankful for this.
  12. a glassy smooth lake with the sunsetting over it.
  13. ham
  14. pretty shoes
  15. stepping on crunchy leaves
  16. stepping on that cool ice with the air bubbles underneath
  17. marching bands
  18. playing in the flour container
  19. new notebooks or stationery
  20. chocolate
  21. blankets to wrap up in when it's a little chilly
  22. floor heat. Got to love it.
  23. when the trees are starting to get leaves and there's a kind of green haze all over
  24. hoar frost
  25. the smell of snow when you get up early in the winter to go to Grandma's house.
  26. the smell of fresh bread
  27. eating fresh bread with butter and cheese
  28. sitting around doing nothing with friends
  29. nintendo night with slurpees and lots of giggles
  30. licorice
  31. the northern lights
  32. loons on the lake at night
  33. hot chocolate at camp
  34. wild blueberries
  35. stepping on grasshoppers
  36. heavy blankets on you feet when you go to sleep
  37. waking up to your alarm and then remembering that you don't have to get up so you can just turn it off and go back to sleep
  38. flowers
  39. bamboo windchimes
  40. stained glass windows
  41. old church buildings
  42. church family
  43. singing with everybody
  44. potluck
  45. small groups
  46. sitting around after church and visiting for a long time
  47. church in English
  48. God's unfathomable love
  49. when you can feel God's presence
  50. hope

Okay, I think I will stop there. I'm sure I could think of more things to be thankful for, but I will let you continue the list.

Sunday, March 23

He is risen!

Praise the Lord! He is risen! We have so much hope because the tomb is empty. Jesus died so that we could have eternal life. I look forward to that. Eternal life with God will be wonderful. Praising God forever. Wow. Sounds great. I hope it's lots of singing. Singing with other believers always makes me happy, and I'm sure it will be even better when I don't worry about getting a note wrong. I am so thankful that Jesus took my sin so that I can be with God forever. What a wonderful gift. I should be thankful everyday, but sometimes I forget. Today is Easter, so it's easy to remember to thank God for the gift of his son. Easter is my favorite holiday. I always look forward to it. I could try harder to get that Easter feeling everyday. Imagine how cool that would be.
He is risen indeed! (C is for cookie)

Tuesday, March 11

A momentous event!

It had to happen some day I suppose. I knew it would. I couldn't put it off forever. Saturday was the day. I bought shoes. Not just any shoes. Shoes with laces. Running shoes. Yes, it's true, I now own sneakers. Isn't it amazing? This is what they look like. They look a little out of place surrounded by all those pretty heels, but that doesn't seem to bother them too much.
I bought them because I had to borrow shoes from a friend when we went hiking, and then so I could go play Ultimate Frisbee. I decided that I could have my own shoes. Yay me!

I think I have procrastinated from my homework for long enough now, but I'm sure I can still think of something else to do. Some of you will probably get an email tonight. I can always think of something to do other than homework.

Thursday, March 6

A mini vacation

The residual happy effects of my vacation are fading, so I thought I would revisit it a little. These are some of my favorite pictures.
This is the beach we went to in Malaysia. I got a very bad sunburn at this beach, but I think it was worth it. We had the whole beach to ourselves for the whole afternoon. I could do that again. With a little more sunscreen. I did have sunscreen, but I wasn't careful enough applying it. My burn looked very funny because you could see exactly where I missed. I was striped.

When I came to my senses I went to sit in the shade. I found shade under this palm tree. That is not something you get to do in Saskatchewan, or Korea for that matter. I got to sit in the shade of a palm tree. I took a picture of the shade. You could see the shape of the leaves. It was cool.

This is another kind of palm tree. I thought it was very pretty. This was in Singapore. Singapore is absolutely beautiful. If you ever get the chance to go, you should. I would go again.

We got to go swimming with dolphins. Another thing you don't get to do in Saskatchewan. They were pink dolphins. After swimming with them we stuck around to watch the show so I got to take some cool pictures.

After the dolphin show and another stint on the beach we headed over to the aquarium. I love this picture. Jellyfish are pretty. We also saw sea dragons and unicorn fish.

This mini vacation was nice. I should do it more often.

Sunday, March 2

Random ramblings

  • Well, I was going to revisit my vacation and show you my favourite pictures and try to get back the vacation good mood, but for some reason I can't put pictures on today. I will try again later. For now I will just ramble on and give you some random thoughts. I had mashed potatoes today. It was very exciting. I know, who thinks mashed potatoes are exciting? I do. Last week I was teaching and there was a picture of a family eating dinner and they were eating mashed potatoes and all I could think of was ham with buttery mashed potates and peas. Unfortunately I can't get ham here, but I can get potatoes, so I made mashed potatoes for lunch today. They were really good too. Someone will have to eat ham for me and tell me all about it. I will be very jealous. I promise.
  • I called Diane's house today because I knew Joyce would be there so I thought I could talk to Diane and Joyce at the same time. I discovered that there was a baby shower. I got to talk to a lot more people than Joyce and Diane. It was a lot of fun. Xavier even let me talk to Patience. Nancy talked to me for a minute but then the baby started fussing so she either had to give up the baby or the phone. She gave up the phone. I got to talk to Monica then. Nancy did talk to me again later. If I didn't get to talk to you today, hi.
  • I have been very lazy today. I haven't really done more than making potatoes. I still haven't washed the dishes from making the potatoes. Or the dished from yesterday for that matter. I'll get to it, but as I said earlier, I hate washing dishes. When Samuel visited last weekend he washed the dishes for me. Wasn't that nice of him? He must like me or something. No, I didn't have dishes from several days sitting in the sink when he got here. I cooked. Real food. It was good too.
  • I'm listening to country music right now. Isn't that weird? I even like it. Carrie Underwood. I thought I should broaden my music collection.
  • I'm out of random thoughts for now. I will try to post again later this week.

Sunday, February 24

100 things about me. Part 2

So I can't think of anything more interesting to write about, so I will continue talking about myself. I'm interesting. Actually, writing about me is rather educational for me. I'm learning lots about myself.
21) one of my favourite books is As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer. I think I've read it at least 10 times. Everytime I read it I notice something new. I never get tired of reading it and althought I know how it ends I still can't put it down when I get close to the end because I have to keep reading to fnd out what happens next. It's a really good book. If you haven't read it you really should.
22) My favourite book of all times is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. I think I like it so much because I identify with Valancy. I see a lot of myself in her character. Everytime I read it I think that I should start saying exactly what I think and do whatever I want. You may not believe this, but I don't actually say everything I think. Really.
23) I read the Amityville Horror about 15 years ago and it still scares me. I think statues of lions are really creepy because of this book.
24) I like books. I know, shocking. I have a lot of them. I keep buying them even though I know I can't take them all home with me. I'm not sure how I will be able to part with my books here. It will be hard. I'll stop talking about books now.
25) It really bothers me when people point out to me that I got a sunburn. Do you think I didn't notice? Trust me, I know. You don't have to tell me. If I go outside I will get a sunburn, even with sunscreen. Side effect of being a pale red-head.
26) I am really disappointed that Skittles changed the green from lime to green apple. How does green apple go with orange and lemon? Why would I want green apple when I could have lime? I just don't understand.
27) When I was in elementary school I wanted to be an author. I still think I should write a book. I have ideas and one of these days I may get around to writing those ideas down. My life's ambition no longer is to be an author, but I think it would still be fun.
28) I don't like cashews. I think I must be the only person in the world who doesn't like them. I know, it's weird, but I think they kind of taste rotten.
29) One of my biggest fears is looking stupid. I think that's what holds me back a lot. I don't want to do things because I think I won't be good at it and I'll look dumb for trying so it's better to not try. I am getting over this a little, but I worry about it a lot.
30) I love to cook but I don't usually bother to cook for myself. I don't really see the point when I am the only one eating it so I usually end up eating salad or sandwiches. I like to cook when other people are going to eat it. I can't resist showing off.
31) I wish that I hadn't been so shy when I was in high school. I think I would have had way more fun. As it is, I don't have many good memories from school because I was too shy and quiet to actually do anything.
32) I'm really scared of ticks. I still remember the first time I saw one. I don't know how old I was, but I know I was young because I was sleeping in a crib at Grandma Taylor's house in the girls' room. A tick crawled across my pillow and freaked me out. I have been scared of them ever since.
33) I really need to dust. I can see a layer of dust on my bookshelves, but I probably won't get around to dusting for a very long time. Dusting goes with washing dishes as something I really don't like to do.
34) I hate the sound of swallowing. You know when you take a drink and swallow loudly? That sound. I can't even make that sound. I know Joyce can, and Xavier is really good at it. There was a commercial on TV here that had the sound. I drove me creazy.
35) Computers are a mystery to me. I don't know anything about them. When people start in with the computer talk I hear "blah blah blah". I don't understand anything they say. Sometimes it bothers me that I have absolutely no clue about computers, but mostly I just don't care.
36) When I was on vacation I went two whole days without wearing makeup. It was hard, but I managed. I have worn makeup everyday since.
37) I'm finding this very difficult today. I keep thinking of something I could say and then think that no one would care about that. The self-depricating attitude is not very helpful.
38) I love to look at the stars. I like to just sit outside and look. It's very relaxing.
39) I joined taekwondo last summer because Leah nagged me. I'm glad she did because I really like it. I have never been a sporty person, but I think I could be with the right kind of sports. Not basketball.
40) Sometimes I like to take a nap right before bedtime. I like to fall asleep on the couch and then get up and go to bed. I am so my father.

Sunday, February 17

Okay, you can stop wondering. I'll talk.

I know that many of you are curious about my boyfriend, so I thought I would try to satisfy that curiousity. This is my boyfriend. His name is Samuel. I first met him about a year ago when I went to church in Daejeon. We would talk whenever I went to church. I thought he was hot and that he was one of the nicest guys I had ever met. In September he called me and asked me out, but unfortunately someone had to get married so I couldn't go out with him then. After I got back from the wedding we talked more and then he came to visit for my birthday. I went to visit him two weeks later and that was when we officially started dating. Coincidentally, the next day the Riders won the Grey Cup, so it was a good week all around.
Now that you know how it happened, I'll give you some information about him. He is from Tanzania. He is studying social welfare and missions theology at a university in a city near Seoul. Right after we started dating was finals so I didn't see him for three weeks because he is very commited to his studies. Those three weeks sucked, but now that finals are over I get to see him more often. He's 34. Before he came to Korea he was a journalist in Tanzania. he decided that he wanted to help people and thought that social work and missions was a good way to do that, so that is why he is studying now. He has two sisters and three brothers. His older brother and sister are twins. He really likes hip-hop. Now, I am the whitest person I know, and hip-hop and I are rather ill-suited for each other, but I am trying, and it is growing on me. I actually like some of it now. He likes to exercise and read and watch the news. He also likes to go hunting. He shot a lion once. Isn't that cool? He told me on our first date that he loved me. It scared me at the time, but now it isn't scary. I like it. When I asked him if there was anything he wanted me to tell you on this blog, the only thing he said was to make sure I told you that he loves me. So I'm telling you. He loves me. I love you too Sam.
Now I'll tell you what I like about him. I like that he tells me I'm beautiful. When he says it I actually believe it. He makes me feel beautiful. I like how he gets shoes. The first time he came to visit me he saw my shoes and said, "wow Robin, you have a lot of shoes. It's so you can have a different pair for each outfit right?" Most people say something along the lines of "holy crap! You have a lot of shoes!" When I went to visit him we were walking around downtown and everytime we walk by a shoe store he would slow down so I could look at the shoes. I like that he listens when I talk and seems to be interested in what I say. I like that he wants to make the world a better place. I like that he seems to have infinite patience and that he is kind. I like the way he says my name. It sounds really nice with his accent. Not that he uses my name all that much because he calls me Honey, but I like that too.
And I said I was bad at girl talk. I hope this has helped to satisfy some of your curiousity.

Tuesday, February 12

Be very, very jealous

Okay, you should be able to get to the web album. Click on the picture. Or where the picture should be. There are comments in the album.

Monday, February 11

I am trying to update my blog with amazing vacation pictures so you can all be extremely envious of my vacation in paradise, but the internet is not cooperating with me right now. I will try again soon, but until then you can see some pictures on Facebook. Roy, you need to tell me how to link Picasa to my blog so you can see all of the pictures.

Monday, January 28

Beauty and the Beast

I'll start with beauty because it is so much nicer. These are my new shoes. Aren't they pretty? Joyce, these are the shoes I told you I had to go buy. I saw these shoes in October and I absolutely loved them, but I decided that I didn't really need them. I'm not sure why I decided that, because of course I need green snake-skin pumps, who doesn't? Everytime I walked past them I would stop and stare for a while and then sigh and move on. It's not like I walked past them often, the store is in Seoul. I was in Seoul this weekend and I decided that if the shoes were still there I would buy them this time. After a conversation with Joyce in which we decided that having 31 pairs of shoes is wrong, it's a prime number, you can't have a prime number it just doesn't work, I decided that I had to go buy more shoes. In case you were wondering, we decided that 36 is a much better number to have, so I may go buy more shoes. These ones also come in black, and I still don't have sneakers. And a note on how wonderful Samuel is, when I said I wanted to go buy shoes, instead of pointing out that I already had 31 pairs, he just smiled and said "okay, let's go", and then he admired them with me. Isn't he great? Tony, take note.
And now for the beast. This is in the hallway just outside of my door. I thought it was my neighbours' laundry, because they always hang their laundry to dry in the hallway. I wasn't really looking. Who wants to examine the neighbours' laundry? Then I noticed that there was a funny smell, so I turned and saw the dead fish hanging there. Isn't that a pleasant surprise? The things you see in Korea.

In other news, I'm going to Malaysia on Saturday! Yay! I'm going with Rachel and Julie. We will be there for a few days and then we'll go to Singapore for a few days. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.

Happy birthday to Dad, Phaedra, and Xavier. I bought you presents. One of these days I'll get around to mailing them. Happy birthday anyway. Monica, I think you did a great job on Phaedra's cake, but I will gladly take my job back next year. I look forward to it.

Monday, January 14

100 things about me. Part 1

I got this idea from Jasmine. I think it's a great idea, so I'll give it a shot. I don't know how long it will take me to get to 100, but at least I'll have something to blog about in case I had a boring week. Consider this a comment, Jasmine. I love reading your blog.
1) I'm not very good at sharing feelings. Because of that, this will tend toward the trivial, but I will do my best to ensure that it is not entirely trivial. I will try to put something of substance in here.
2) I hate washing dishes. I usually let my dishes pile up until I have to wash dishes just so I can eat. I know that it would only take ten minutes to wash my dishes everyday, but those are ten minutes I would rather spend doing absolutely anything else. I also don't like to fold laundry. I don't mind cleaning the bathroom though.
3) I never actually learned the whole multiplication table. I have to seriously think about the 12's. This coming from the math teacher. I know, it's embarassing.
4) I have 31 pairs of shoes. I just counted. I don't wear them all and I should get rid of the ones I don't wear, but I find it hard to part with them. The sad part is, when we went hiking I had to borrow a pair of shoes from a friend because I don't actually own a pair of sneakers. Most of my shoes are either sandals or heels.
5) If I have potato chips in my house I will eat them all rather quickly. On the other hand, I have chocolate sitting next to my computer. It has been here for over a month and I don't even want to eat it. Chips are my weakness.
6) I always wear makeup. Even when I'm not leaving my house. I can't stand to see myself in the mirror without makeup on. I think it's important to look good for yourself, not for other people. Of course, I appreciate other people noticing, but really, I do it for myself. I know, I'm vain.
7) Sometimes I get distracted by my own cleavage. I wonder how often other people are distracted. I have to say that my bra is amazing. I love it.
8) I like to take pictures of plants. I'm not into taking pictures of people. I find the scenery more interesting.
9) When someone takes a picture of me I always pose. I get made fun of for this, but come on people, you can't just stand there and expect the picture to look good. You have to work it.
10) I'm scared of grasshoppers. I realize that there is nothing overly frightening about them, they are harmless and can't hurt me, but they're really gross. It doesn't have to make sense. Fear is irrational.
11) I think moving to Korea was the best think I have ever done. I have gained so much confidence, and I'm happy. It wasn't easy to leave, but I'm glad I did. It's not going to be easy to leave, and only part of that is because my boyfriend lives here.
12) I never had a boyfriend before. I'm going to blame that on the fact that I had no confidence and never talked to people. I'm still not really used to the fact that I have a boyfriend. His name is Samuel, by the way.
13) Sometimes in the evening I pull out my hymn book and sing. It's not the same without the four-part harmony, but I can hear it in my head, so I can pretend, and I can pick any key I want.
14) I love to buy stationery. I think the paper is pretty.
15) is one of my favorite web sites. I use it all the time. Yes, I looked up stationery to make sure I used the right one. I look up words when I'm unsure of the spelling. I like to look up new words. Here's a good one for you: borborygami. Look it up.
16) I think I'm lazy. I could spend all day sitting on my couch watching TV. If I didn't have to go to work I would probably do that way too often.
17) I don't like to get my hair cut. Going to a salon makes me nervous. I don't know why, it just does. I'm sure they won't ruin my hair, they never have, but it worries me anyway.
18) I like cemeteries. I think they're calming.
19) I'm really bad at girl talk. You may have noticed this. Maybe it's because I haven't had much practice at it. Maybe it's because it goes with the "bad at sharing feelings" thing. Maybe it's because I'm not all that girly. Whatever the reason, I'm not good at it.
20) I know, I own 31 pairs of shoes and nine purses, I always wear makeup, I just called stationery pretty, I pose for pictures, and I'm scared of grasshoppers, but I'm not girly. Really.
Well, I do ramble on. I think I'll stop there. I need to save some tidbits for the next time.

Monday, January 7

I'm proud to be a geek

I had a very exciting evening. My friend brought my clarinet back from Canada for me when she came back. Thank you Sarah. I got it tonight. I was so excited. I could hardly wait to get home to play. It has been a long six months since the last time I played, and my fingers were getting itchy for some music making. I opened the case, held back the tears of joy, and put it together. I got out a new reed. Oh, the grassy taste of new reeds. Nothing compares. I started playing. I sucked. It has been too long. My tone was awful, I couldn't remember how to play all the notes, and my face hurt after playing for ten minutes. Oh well. I will remember, I will get better, and my face will get back in shape. It's worth it. I love to play music. Band night was my highlight of the week. Yes, I'm a geek. I will freely admit it. I love band. I miss it. I'm glad I can start having my own band night. I'm not so sure my neighbours will appreciate it very much, but that's okay. I don't appreciate their early morning kimchi making sessions, so I think we're even. At least it's not my trumpet.