Monday, August 30

Why do we do complain?

Okay, one more. Why stop at two posts when there can be three?

I was thinking today. I know, dangerous situation. Why do we complain so much? Is there any reason for it? Does it actually make us feel better? I'm getting really tired of hearing complaints. The most common things to complain about are the weather and work. The weather is never good enough. If it's hot out we want it to be cooler. If it's cool we want it to be hotter. If it's warm we complain because in a few weeks it's going to snow and then it will be cold. It's never good enough. I frequently complain about the weather here. It's really humid and I hate it. It's often so humid the air feels thick and it's hard to breathe. I really could do without that humidity. I do know that the humidity will end, and I will get through it. For now I will spend a lot of time in my apartment where I have air conditioning.

People complain about work a lot. We got our schedules for the new semester a few days ago. People have complained nonstop since we got them. They don't like the classes they are going to teach, or they don't like when their breaks are, or something. They don't like our boss or the way he decides things. I'll admit it. I have complained about my job. Who wouldn't after teaching for ten hours with no breaks? But, you know what? I realized that I actually like my job, and I like my boss. When people complain about the job or the boss it makes me feel like I shouldn't like my job or my boss. I like my new schedule. I have a break every day. I get to teach interesting classes. Yes, I have to teach a few classes that I don't like, but sometimes you have to do things that you don't really like. I think I can teach a few classes that aren't that interesting. I have a job. I live in a cool place. I have air conditioning. What is there to complain about?

My view

Okay, I wrote that last post and then decided that I should show you the view from my apartment. I don't think the pictures do it justice. The is really nice, both during the day and at night. Across the street out one window there are many, many apartment buildings. Out the other window there is a mountain. I like the view. It makes my tiny apartment really nice.

My apartment

This was what you used to see when you came into my apartment. Yep, that's pretty much it. I have a little apartment. About ten steps from the door to the window. The only furniture by job supplied was a bed, so that's all I had. You walked in and you could see my bed and my laundry. I didn't have anywhere to sit except my bed or the floor. There was no place to go in the apartment where you couldn't see my laundry or my dishes. Not all that cozy. The upside is that I like in a corner apartment on the 11th floor, and I have 15ft ceilings. I have two walls of windows. So there was nothing to see in the apartment, but outside was great. Another great thing about my apartment, it is only two blocks from work.
Then I bought a sofa. It took almost six months to choose one, but I finally found one that I liked. Some teachers who were leaving gave me the mirror. Now I have somewhere to sit, but I sit on the floor. It's easier to type that way.

I moved the bed to the other corner, and bought a set of drawers. It's actually a television stand, but I don't have a television. And really, it's drawers. Now, when I sit on the bed, I can't see my dishes. The book shelf makes a wall. Now I have two rooms in my apartment.

This is the book shelf. It is a very good book shelf, and a very good wall. It looks empty in this picture, but now there are a few more things on it, and it looks wonderful.

Now this is what you see when you come into my apartment. There are still only about ten steps from the front door to the window, but now it looks so much cosier and homey. I really like my apartment. I will probably only live here for another few months though. My boss said that after I get married he will find me a bigger apartment. It won't be two blocks from work, but I am willing to take the bus to work if it means that I will get to live with my husband.

Monday, July 12


Awww. Aren't we cute? And isn't he incredibly good looking? I sure think so.

I like living in Korea. I get to see Samuel every weekend. I like that. It's like the year and a half in Canada never happened. It feels like we were never apart.

We are planning to go to Jeju Island at the end of July with some friends for a few days. We're going fishing on the ocean! I'm super excited. No one else seems to think this is nearly as exciting as I do. They are all from places that are close to the ocean. Samuel's family lives right next to the beach. I am from Saskatchewan okay. I think fishing on the ocean is pretty exciting. I will have to show you all the fish I catch.

We are starting to get the paper work together so Samuel can come visit at Christmas. I hope you all can meet him then. Your prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, May 9

New shoes

Samuel went shoe shopping with me yesterday. He told me to take my time and he suggested other stores to look at. He even helped me pick out shoes. Then he carried the bag.

Saturday, May 1

More kids

This is Amy. She is the newest addition to my class. She came about three weeks ago. She is very smart and she can sound out some words already. She is always the first to finish her work. The nice part of that is she will sit quietly when she is finished instead of bothering the kids around her like the other students will do.

This is Rex. He is usually very serious, except during art time when he gets very silly and turns everything we are doing into monsters. Last week I handed out pictures of teddy bears to colour and cut out. He cut off the arms and legs and drew on more eyes to make his a monster. When they were drawing pictures of their classmates he drew a monster. He is very concerned with getting things right. He very much wants to be the leader of the class, but so does Eric, so they don't get along very well at all.

This is Sienna. She is quiet and very sweet. She is always watching the other kids so she can help when they need help. She is always worried about the others' feelings.

Wyatt is a funny kid. He says hi to everyone he sees all day. "Hi Robin Teacher! Hi" Seriously. All day. At least 20 times. It's pretty funny. Last week he was sick and missed two days. It was really quiet. We all missed him.

Cathy is the newest addition to the class. The day she came she pretended that she didn't want to come. She wouldn't go into the classroom without her father and she cried when he left. The next day she had absolutely no problem coming to class. She talks a lot and likes to tease the other kids. She is probably the smartest kid in class.

Jamie is so painfully shy. When I started teaching her she wouldn't ever make eye contact with anyone and you couldn't hear what she said, if she said anything at all. Now she plays with some of the other students and she is much louder. If she is answering a question about phonics or the story she is loud enough to hear from a few people away. If the question is about her or what she wants, then you still have to be right beside her to hear her answer. She won't ask to go to the bathroom. I have to tell her to go. She does the "need to pee" dance, so I can tell when she needs to go, but it would be so much easier if she just asked. She has gotten much braver in the last few months. I'm interested to see what changes the next few months bring.

Saturday, March 13

A few of my students

These are a few of my preschool kids. They are six years old in Korea, which means they
are four or five. They are at school from 9:50 until 2:30 everyday.

This is Molly. She is determined that she is big because she is in the six-year-old class. She has a lot of attitude to match her determination. The other day I wouldn't let her sit where she wanted to so she cried and then sat and glared at me. She will be angry for about two minutes and then forgets that she is angry. She likes to pretend that she is a princess. She is very smart and tries very hard to learn all the words she can in English, probably so she can yell at me better when she is angry. She is pretty cute, don't you think?

Next is Eric. He tries very hard to be good, but it is not easy to be good for that long. He wants to be good so he can get stickers, but he can't seem to be good for more than about 15 minutes at a time, which I think is pretty good for a five-year-old. He likes to talk and tries very hard to always speak English to me. He doesn't always know the right words, but he does very well to get the message across. Last week one of the other teachers was teaching the class and Eric told him " good boy." He didn't know the word for naughty, but Brian sure understood what Eric meant. Eric used to be the one that drove me crazy, but now he is one of my favourites. He has a lot of personality. I'm pretty sure he is going to be a ladies man. He likes to sit next to the girls and help them. One day I had him sitting at the next table over from his current interest. He wanted to sit next to Sienna, but the table legs were between them, so he moved his chair over so he could sit closer to her. It is really very cute.

This is Roy. He started out as my favourite, and has pretty much remained there. He has got to be one of the cutest kids I have ever seen. He is the youngest kid in my class. He doesn't know as many words as the other kids, and he knows it, but he speaks louder to make up for it. He tends to yell a lot. He definately knows his name and can spell it and he won't ever let me write his name for him. He will do it himself thank you. He can't say the s sound at the end of words. It always comes out as a t. Absolutely adorable. He really likes busses.

This is Clara. She is going to be a comedian, I'm sure. She loves making the other students laugh. She also likes reading books and will entertain herself for a long time with a few books. This picture was taken after we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to go with the song. Something that you would definately not be able to do in Canada. For that matter, I wouldn't be able to blog about my students and put their pictures up in Canada either. But this is Korea and it's okay. The parents would be thrilled. Anyway, you can see the sandwich on her face. Strawberry jam.

This is Daniel. He has no clue. They all know the alphabet, and we have been working on phonics, so they know the sound that each letter makes. I will ask for words that start with a certain sound, m, for example. He will say dinosaur. No clue. He likes to ignore the teachers and do whatever he wants, which is usually something he shouldn't do. He definately has selective hearing loss. At least he's cute. He likes dinosaurs and books about Thomas the Tank Engine. Unfortuately, there are only two in the library and I am tired of them now.
Well, that was half of my preschool class. I will introduce you to the others another time.

Wednesday, February 24

New Year

For Lunar New Year, Chinese New Year to the rest of the world, the kids all dressed up in their hanbok and we took the afternoon to play games instead of studying. They were all very cute. The pictures are from the game I was running. It's a traditional Korean game where they throw arrows into a tall container. It's a lot of fun. The kids enjoyed themselves, but later when I asked my class if they had fun one girl said she had no fun at all. She hadn't won the prizes so she didn't have fun. The girl who had won a prize said she had a great time.

Tuesday, February 2


Oops. That wasn't a good start to getting back into a weekly blog. Oh well. I'll try again.

I said I would tell you about the school, so I should probably do that. First of all, it is two blocks away from my apartment so I leave at 8:50 so I can get breakfast on my way to school and still be there by 9:00. If I leave a little earlier I have time to go to Dunkin Donuts. I would much rather go to Tim Horton's but sadly, this country is rather lacking in the finer donut establishments. Anyway, we have to be at work at 9, but don't start teaching until 9:50. We take turns doing bus duty at 9:30. The school is on the 9th floor of the building so we have to make sure the little kids get to the right spot. We teach preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten in the morning and right after lunch until 2:40. Right now I am teaching a class of five-year olds. They have been going to English school for about a month. They know the alphabet and colours and they can count fairly high. They can read their names and some of them can even colour in the lines. What they can't do is sit down for very long. They try, some of them, but it gets very difficult. This one kid, Eric, is really darn cute, but just cannot sit for more than five minutes at a time. He tries, you can see it, he just can't do it. Another boy, Roy, is possibly the cutest kid I have ever taught. He doesn't speak very clearly, but it is so adorable it's almost better that way. I will have to take a video for you so you all can see how cute he is. Today we learned "my favorite...". They told me their favorite colours and animals. Molly, who always pretends to be a princess when the others are being monsters or dinosaurs tells me her favorite animal is a snake. A big snake. Very princess like. Rex says his favorite is people, because people are animals. We do phonics and reading and lots of colouring and songs. Then I get to send them home, which is probably the best part of the day.

After the little kids go home the elementary school kids come. I teach one class for two hours. I was told today that they are 7 and they will be starting elementary school in March. They speak amazingly well for being that young. With this class we read stories and study vocabulary and spelling. We talk a lot. I really like this class.

For now I am finished work at 4:30. Starting in March I will work until 7:30. That's a long day, but I think that will be okay as I will also get a raise. I walked by a purse store the other day and saw about five purses that I think I need, so I could use that raise. I also saw the most perfect shoes ever. I will try to control myself. I have a small apartment and don't have a lot of room for purses and shoes. Who am I kidding? There is always room for shoes and purses.

Tuesday, January 19


So part of the requirements in order to get an alien card for Korea is a physical. They want to make sure all of us foreigners aren't polluting the country with our drugs and STIs. I thought it was just a blood test, but no. I was in for a real treat.
The director of my school decided that I should go for the physical on Saturday morning. Remember that I only got to Korea Thursday evening. He thought it would be a good idea to get the tests over as quickly as possible so I can get my alien card right away. So I had to meet him at 8:00 on Saturday. I wasn't allowed to eat breakfast, not that I would have that early anyway, or drink anything other than water. The director picks me up and drives me to the hospital which is in the next city over. Fortunately the place where we were going for this only opened at 8:00 so we were second in line. It started with the nurse giving my director the bill and telling him to go pay. So he leaves me with these people who don't speak English to do a buch of tests. Allright. I can handle that I suppose. The first test was height and weight. Not sure what that has to do with drugs or AIDS, but it seemed important. Next was blood pressure, then colour blindness test and vision test. Then there was a hearing test. Then the nurse takes me to a new room and tells me to take off my clothes and put on a robe, then go to the next room for an x-ray. Okay. So I change into the robe and walk out of the room. At this point the director comes back. Oh good. I'm standing in front of my boss in a hospital gown. Nice. So I go to the next room where the x-ray technician positions me for the chest x-ray. There's a flat panel machine that you have to get as close to as you possible can. That means I had to squish up to it and wrap my arms around it like I'm giving it a big hug. I don't know if you noticed, but I'm not flat. I don't fit to a flat panel screen very well. Who am I kidding? Of course you noticed. Ya, not so comfortable. At least I got to go put my clothes back on after that. Next I went to see the doctor who was a little old man. He looked at my paper, asked if I felt sick, smiled and said, okay good. Apparently I was lucky. He didn't even speak to the last teacher, just stuck his hand down her shirt to listen to her heart. The last room was the blood test. I go in and the nurse hands me a paper cup. Go pee. Oh goody. All right. I go find the bathroom, aim for the cup, and pee on my hand. I did manage to get some in the cup, but I'm a girl okay. I don't aim. That's why I sit to pee. I don't have to aim that way. I clean up and go back to the room to hand over the cup. Then the nurse needs to take a blood test. He wraps the rubber band thingie around my arm and starts poking at my arm. Now I'm starting to tense up because I know that I have very deep veins and no one can ever seem to find them on the first try. Tensing up does not help this at all. Fortunately, he got it first poke. I could feel it the entire time though. I don't like that at all. He had to take three vials, and I could feel everytime he changed vials, and I bleed fairly slowly so it seemed to take forever, and again, I am tensing up which doesn't help. Finally he gets enough blood and the whole thing is over. It took forever, or ten minutes if you care about the real time. Then the director took me out for McDonald's breakfast which made everything better. McDonald's does some pretty good pancakes I must say.
The next adventure is actually getting my alien card. Then I can get my own phone, a bank account, and internet at my house. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, January 15

Return to Korea

Well, I'm back. I landed in Korea yesterday afternoon at 4:15. That's 1:15am for those of you from Saskatchewan. It took me an hour to get through customs and to find my luggage, but I made it through and so did my luggage. The driver from the recruiting company I used met me at the airport and drove me to my apartment. I had forgotten how scary driving in Korea is. I finally decided it would just be better if I closed my eyes and didn't watch where we were going. Much less scary that way. The director of the school met me and showed me my apartment and then we went over to the school, which is all of a minute away. Convenient. My apartment, or as I like to call it, my hotel room, is pretty tiny. About the size of a hotel room. No kidding. Not a big hotel room either. The bathroom is pretty snazzy and the appliances are new, but it is really small. The one nice thing about it, and this is why they decided to buy this apartment, is that it is a corner apartment, so the two outside walls are almost all window. The view is pretty cool. It's a little chilly but should be okay once I get the hang of the heat. Not speaking Korean has its disadvantages, but I can still push buttons until something happens in any language. The school is really nice. The kids are pretty darn cute, the director is nice and really helpful and friendly, and the other teachers seem like they will be pretty fun. So far I have been too tired to actually find out. I didn't sleep on the plane to Korea then I stayed up until 11 last night and woke up at 1, 2, and 5. I was awake for about an hour at 5. I'm pretty sure I will fall asleep as soon as I stop typing. There seems to be everything right around my apartment. There's a grocery store next door, Dunkin Donuts down the street, tons of restaurants and stores. I haven't looked around much yet, but I will do some exploring next week. I think I will tell you about the school later. Need to save something to talk about later.


Tuesday, January 12

I'm leaving

Now it really is official. I don't have to say "I don't know" now when you ask "when are you leaving?" Now I can say that I'm leaving Wednesday morning. That means I will get to Korea Thursday afternoon. Wow. Yep. That's pretty quick. I have a lot to do in the next two days. I don't want to do it. Does anyone want to pack for me? Can't it just transport itself there? It would be so much easier. Then I wouldn't have to worry about weight limits. You try putting all the stuff you need for a year in two suitcases with a weight limit of 22kg each. Not easy to do.

Friday, January 1

I hate Canada Post

I already have an update. So, after getting all of my stuff together to mail to the consulate in Vancouver, I went to the post office in Warman to mail it. I sent it Priority next morning. Thinking that it would get there the next morning. Silly me. Why would I think that just because all the posters on the walls in every post office say it will get there the next morning, and the web site says it will get there the next morning that it would have actually gotten there the next morning? I tracked it this morning, Thursday, I send it Tuesday, only to find that it is in Richmond BC, not in Vancouver where it should be. I called customer service, waited for 10 minutes listening to some really annoying Canada Post commercials, only to be told that because I mailed it from a rural location, next morning really means two business days. Never mind that the package was in Saskatoon that afternoon. It is not a major center so Canada Post couldn't possibly get it to Vancouver the next day. It's not like Saskatoon has an airport with direct flights to Vancouver everyday or anything. Oh wait. Yes we do. There are flights everyday to Vancouver. But according to Canada Post, we are some hick town and they can't do anything useful. So now, my stuff is not at the consulate in Vancouver where it should be. I don't know when it will get there. The consulate is closed this afternoon and tomorrow. So they will probably get it on Monday. Then it takes five days to process. Then they have to mail it back. I included a priority next morning envelope for them to return it in, but I live in a rural location, so it really means two business days. So, if I am lucky, I will get my stuff back two weeks after I mailed it. Isn't it good I sent it priority post?

Korea update

Okay, here's the deal. I am leaving. Probably next week. After some major dealings with the consulate in Vancouver, I finally got all my stuff together to send to Korea. I got my visa number on Tuesday and send a whole bunch of stuff back to the consulate in Vancouver to get the visa processed and put in my passport. Hopefully it all works the first time. My job starts next Tuesday, but I won't be there. I will be a few days late. My time left in Canada is very short. I am very excited to leave, but very worried about what I will find when I get to Korea. I am my father afterall, and I have to worry about things that aren't even going to happen. I am sure everything will be fine, and I will have worried for nothing, but it gives me something to do instead of packing. I really need to pack, but I only have a few episodes of Stargate SG-1 left, so I'm going to do that instead. Way more fun.

I will keep posting while in Korea. I will try to make it a weekly post again. Feel free to comment. I like to know that people read this.