Thursday, November 3


I suppose I can write about my kids now.  It has been long enough.  Because it was Halloween on Monday, we had a party and all the kids dressed up.  In my classroom there were only two costume choices; princess or superhero.  Does Buzz Lightyear count as a superhero?  I suppose he does to little kids.  Anyway, there was Buzz, Batman, Superman, 6 princesses, and two Spidermans.  Should that be Spidermen?  Hmmm.  Two dressed up as Spiderman.  There was a little more variety for the school as a whole.  For the girls there were a few witches, a gorgeous Monarch butterfly, one homemade owl, which was really cool but she cried because she thought she looked stupdid, one leprechaun, and a bunch of princesses.  for the boys there were a bunch of superheroes.  One of the costumes even said Superhero on it.  The rest of the costume looked like Superman, but said superhero where the s goes.  There were also several Transformers, one Musketeer, a Woody, and one boy was Jack Sparrow.  That was a really cool costume.The teachers also dressed up.  Most of the Korean teachers don't really get the whole idea of costumes, and just wear something that they think is Halloweeny, like black and orange, or jack-o-lantern antennae.  I didn't go all out. I just wore a big rainbow clown wig.  It is pretty cool.  One teacher was Snow White.  She matched several of the children.  There was also a witch, a butterfly, a monster mask, devil horns, a mad scientist, and Batman.    The kids had a really good time at the party.  We did face painting and watched a movie.  There was a really bad magician.  He was entertaining, but not very good.  I could hear two little girls say "I saw how he did that!"  They seemed to enjoy watching to see him mess up, which he did a few times.  I felt sorry for his pigeon.  He did a few tricks with it, but really should have skipped those ones.  After that we got to go trick-or-treating around the school.  All the kids had a wonderful time, and were really excited about all of the candy they got.  I don't really like Halloween, okay, I think the whole thing is stupid, but the costumes were cute. 

Saturday, October 22

Thoughts from a teacher

Sometimes I read parenting blogs. I teach five-year-olds. They're not mine, but I am parenting them. I'm sure I see some of them more than their parents do. I like to get parenting information from time to time to see if it helps with my students. Sometimes it does. Sometimes the advice is stupid. The other day I came across one that talked about how to talk to your kids. It said something like we often talk to our kids in ways that we would never talk to our friends, and we would never allow someone to talk to us like that. I thought, "That is so true. I'm going to try to talk to my students how I would like to be talked to." That lasted for about 10 minutes. Then one kid climbs on the table. One pulls another's hair. Two start fighting. One is using her spit to draw pictures on the table. The rest are all running to look out the window because someone saw a really cool car. It's very true, I would never speak to my husband the way I speak to my students. I never speak to my friends or family the way I speak to my students. You know why? They are adults. They don't paint on the table with their saliva. They leave their clothes on in public, usually. They don't start wrestling in the middle of a lesson. They don't start crying because someone is copying everything they say. They don't say poo every other word. I never raise my voice to adults because I don't have to. They know how to behave.
Kindergarten teachers are very special people. There are frequently days when I think that I am not special enough to be one. Okay, really, teachers are special people. All you with kids, go show your kids' teachers some appreciation. They put up with a lot. And, yes, some of it is from your kid.

Monday, October 10

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is Thanksgiving. I'm at work. For some reason Canadian holidays are not observed in Korea. Weird. My coworkers and I decided that we had to do something, so we made Thanksgiving dinner at my house. There were nine people (two were American, and one British, but we let them in anyway) in my little, tiny apartment, way too much food, and two gigantic pumpkin pies. We didn't have turkey, but apparently we can buy them here now, so we are planning for Christmas. We had roast chicken, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. To make it Korean we had a Korean chicken stew and a bowl of glass noodles. The pies were from Costco. What a wonderful place. I also made brownies with peanut butter glaze. They were wonderful. I like Thanksgiving. I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving and your turkey and football. Go Riders!

Wednesday, October 5

I hate computers

Okay, I know you're all thinking, "What? This is the first Saturday, and no blog post. Robin promised that she would update every Saturday. Where's the post Robin?" Well, I did write one. I really did. I wrote it and then I pushed the publish button, and nothing happened. I pushed it again. Nothing happened. I pushed the save button. That worked. I pushed the publish button again. Nothing. I yelled and screamed and said mean things to my computer about how it's worthless. Just because it's four years old does not mean that it's ready for retirement. I pushed the publish button. Nothing. I asked nicely. Nothing. I gave up on my stupid computer and went to Samuel's. I pushed the publish button. Nothing. So, no post on Saturday. Now it's Monday morning at work. I will push the publish button at work.

Here is the post I wrote on Saturday:

My Class

I got a new class of 6 year-olds way back in March. Last year by this time I had posted about my class twice. This year I haven't posted about my class at all. Not even once. You want to know why I didn't? Of course you do. You are dying to know. It's because I didn't like them. Not even a little bit. They drove my up the wall. I didn't like them at all. They were loud. They didn't listen. They couldn't stand in line, or sit in their chairs. They were terrible. I would go home and cry and tell Samuel that we were never having kids because the kids in my classes didn't listen to me. I couldn't write about them. Six months later, I don't cry anymore, but I still don't really like them. Sometimes I think that they're cute, but mostly I think that they are loud and don't know how to listen. They listen a lot better than they did at the start of the year, but I still don't like them. They are so bad. And it's not just me. They other teachers all have trouble with my class. I think I would like my kids if I weren't their teacher. I have one student who, no matter what I say we are going to do, says, "I don't want to." To absolutely everything. She is adorable, but I don't think she's adorable when she's being a brat, which is a lot of the time. I don't know how kindergarten teachers at home do it. I have 12 students in my class, and I think I'm going to go crazy. I can't imagine having more than that. Kindergarten teachers are very special people. I am not cut out to be a kindergarten teacher. Bring on the high school math. I'll teach calculus. That's easier than 6 year-olds. And I wouldn't have to wipe anybody's nose.

Okay, I'm not good at this

So I haven't blogged in a long time, did anyone notice? I did, but didn't care too much. Sometimes it's hard to think of things to write about, and sometimes I have things to write about but can't find the time to write, or just don't want to. It's mostly that I don't want to. I work a lot. When I get home I just want to sit and watch television, I don't want to have to think anymore. But, I realize that I have been very bad at communicating with people from home. It has been a long time since I have talked to most of you. I feel very disconnected from everyone. I need to fix that. I will try to blog more often. My goal is every Saturday. I may blog more often, but I won't promise that. Expect Saturdays. You have permission to nag me if I don't post something. Feel free to comment the rest of the time too. I would appreciate that. You could also email, or facebook, or write letters. Those methods of communication would also be appreciated.

Thursday, May 19

I Ate Bacon

So? What's the big deal about that? Well, here's the thing; about 6 weeks ago, maybe a little longer, I decided to become vegetarian. Mostly for the heck of it. Why not? I have been enjoying researching new recipes and then cooking them. One good thing about being vegetarian in Korea is that tofu is easy to find. I can get it at the 7-11 downstairs. I found a really good sweet and sour tofu recipe. I really like that one. I have cooked lentils and chick peas and barley soup and other yummy stuff. I have the best recipe for brocolli that is so good no one cares about the rest of the meal. It really is that good. It's even better than brocolli with cheese sauce. Samuel doesn't appreciate being vegetarian so much. He's not home for dinner very often though, so I cook whatever I want. Yesterday it was tacos with refried beans, corn and black bean salad, and fresh salsa.

So where does the bacon come into the picture? Well, since I am vegetarian for the heck of it, and because I live in the land of galbi, and because my husband likes to eat a lot of meat, I will eat meat occasionally. Like, on weekends sometimes. Last week I had a pizza pretzel. It had pepperoni on it. Anyway, back to the bacon. After church on Sunday my friend and I decided that we should have breakfast for lunch. I ordered an omlette. It came with bacon, so I ate it. And you know what? It wasn't even that good. I could have skipped it. My omlette was delicious though. I really have to learn how to make omlettes. Whenever I try I end up with scrambled eggs.

I haven't really eaten meat in quite a while. I don't miss it at all. I really like lentils. I love eating just fruit for breakfast. There is a vegan restaurant a block from my apartment that has the best food ever. The lady makes a great mushroom salad, and the sauce she puts on her tofu burger is so good I want to lick the plate. She also makes the best caramel nut tart ever. It's a great restaurant. Who needs meat anyway?

Friday, March 18

Day 30 - A Dream for the Future

Samuel asks me this all the time. He has all kinds of plans and dreams for the future. All I want is to be happy. I don't care where we live. I don't even care about my job. I want to be happy. That's all I want.

Day 29 - Hopes/Dreams for the Next Year

I'm going to start even smaller than that. I hope that in the next week or two I remember how to like my job. I really wish that parents would discipline their children at home. I am so tired of spoiled princesses crying whenever I tell them no.

Samuel and I are planning to go to Tanzania this summer. I hope to see many giraffes and elephants not in a zoo. Real ones.

I hope that Samuel does well in his classes so he can get a good job after his degree is finished. Then we can have some adorable babies. That's my rule. Samuel has to have a job first.

I don't like to make plans. Somehow they never work out as I planned. When I make plans then I am always disappointed. When I don't make plans then I'm not. Well, I am disappointed but not because my plans didn't work. Disappointed in a different way.

I sure hope my Tanzania plan works.

Wednesday, March 16

Day 28 - What's in My Purse?

Well, there is my gorgeous wallet. It's orange eel skin. Very soft and pretty. There is also hand lotion, makeup, a pen, my iPod, gum, and chapstick. I think that I may have put some paper so I can write a letter but I may have just thought about it and didn't actually do it. I'm not actually looking in my purse right now. I'm doing this from memory. On Sundays I put my score for Requiem and a bottle of water in my purse. That's it. It's not very exciting.

Day 27 - A Bad Habit of Mine

I agree with Joyce: potato chips. I love potato chips. I eat them for dinner sometimes. Not right now though since I gave them up for Lent. If I have potato chips in my house I will eat them. If I walk past them in the store I will buy them and then I will take them home at eat them. Often I even walk past them on purpose so I will buy them.

I also have a bad habit of mocking people in my head for being stupid. I'm a total bitch in my head. Especially if people make grammar mistakes. Sometimes it escapes. Mostly I try to keep it in. I can't be mean outloud. Okay, sometimes I can. Sometimes I block people on Facebook so I don't have to see their terrible grammar on their status updates.

Tuesday, March 15

Day 26 - My Week

Monday; Get up at 7:30. Leave my house at 8:45. Get to work just before 9. Okay, I usually leave my house at 8:52 and get to work just after 9. Bus duty is at 9:30. That's when we get the kids from the bus and into the elevators to get up to the school. Classes start at 9:50. Classes are over at 7:30. Go home. Eat dinner. Sit. Go to bed.

Tuesday-Friday; exactly the same thing.

We usually go out after work on Friday. Last week we went to a new buffet restaurant. The food was okay. The best part of the restaurant was that the buffet included all the wine you wanted to drink.

I sleep in on Saturday. Then I sit around in my pajamas and knit or watch tv. Go hang out with people in the evening. I generally stay up way too late.

I sleep in a little on Sunday too. Not usually for as long as I do on Saturday though. I sit around in my pajamas for a bit and then I get ready for choir. Choir practice is in Seoul and it takes almost an hour and a half to get there. Choir is from 3 to 7. Then I eat dinner and head home. I try to go to bed early so I'm not tired for work on Monday.

That's my week. There's a lot of working in there.

Monday, March 14

Day 25 - My Day in Detail

Well, it's only Monday morning here, so I will tell you about yesterday.

I woke up when Joyce called me at 8:30. That call didn't work. I tried to call Joyce but she wasn't at home. I woke up again when Joyce called me about 15 minutes later. That call didn't work either. I woke up again when Joyce called me. That one worked. I talked to Joyce for an hour or so. I got out of bed and showered. Then I dried my hair and did my makeup. I watched an episode of NCIS while doing my makeup. Then I knit while watching another episode. I washed the dishes. I decided that I should leave my apartment so I took my computer and went to a coffee shop. My goal of the day was to make brownies so after the coffee shop I went shopping for all of the stuff I needed to make the brownies. I went home and made yummy soup and then brownies. Samuel came home and we ate dinner. Then it was bed time. It was a good day.

Usually I have choir practice on Sunday but the director was at a conference in the States so I had the day off. Choir will resume next week.

Sunday, March 13

Day 24- Where I Live

Sorry, you don't get any pictures ofr this post. I will talk about this again later and I will make sure to take pictures to show you.

I can still tell you about where I live though. I live in Dongtan, South Korea. That probably doesn't mean anything to you. Dongtan is a new addition to the city of Hwaseong. It's a brand new city in the greater metrapolitan area of Seoul. I can take a bus from close to my house to Seoul in about 30 minutes. Dongtan is a new city so everything here is brand new. Really, really new. The entire city is only three years old. Before that this area was wilderness. Now there are high-rise apartments everywhere. Not far from my house is the Metapolis aparment complex. Right now it has four towers that are each about 60 stories. There will be one more tower that will have more than 70 stories. I have heard that this is the tallest living structure in the world. I haven't checked on that at all. Feel free to check it out for yourself. Those towers are only apartments. No offices or stores or anything. Just apartments. Next to the giant apartments is a mall. We were all excited when the mall opened. There is an ice rink, several coffee shops, a few hamburger restaurants as well as all of the clothng stores and shoe stores. Krispy Kreme Donuts opened yesterday. It also has a store called Home Plus. It's kind of like Walmart. It's very convenient.

I love this city. Everything is beautiful. The people who planned this city are very smart people. They built the city around a park. Central Park goes through the entire city. There are walking trails all over. I love that I'm so close to Seoul. There is beauty in all of the towers. My home is so different than Saskatchewan and I love it.

Friday, March 11

Day 23 - A YouTube Video

I teach pre-kindergarten. Some days it feels like this.

Day 22 - A Website

I don't spend a lot of time playing around on the internet. I read my siblings' blogs. I read some friends' blogs if they ever update them. I watch television. I check Facebook once or twice a day. I'm pretty much constantly logged on to my work website.

I have discovered a blog or two that I like to read. One is called It is stories about stupid customers. It is pretty darn hilarious. I also check out That is a photo blog of the weird/horrible things you see people wear at Walmart. Sometimes I feel bad for laughing at those people but really, what were they thinking? Do they have any friends? Why would their friends let them out looking like that? You should check it out for a laugh or two.

Thursday, March 10

Day 21 - A Recipe

I was going to tell you a recipe for Korean food, but usually when I eat Korean food I go to a restaurant and say "참치김밥 주ㅅㅒ요," and then someone brings my yummy food.

So, I will tell you my recipe for the best brownies ever.

Mix together 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 cup oil, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla (I never add vanilla but you can if you want to), 3/4 cup flour, 1 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp salt.

Spread it in a greased 8' pan. Bake for 45 min at 200 C. (I think that's 350 F but my toaster oven is in Celcius and so I know it in Celcius).

Now, what makes these so good is the peanut butter glaze. Melt 2Tbsp smooth peanut butter with 1 Tbsp butter. Stir in 3/4 cup icing sugar and then add 2 Tbsp very hot water. Pour the glaze over cooled brownies. Then lick out the bowl. Don't waste any glaze.


I want to go make brownies now. I don't have any of the ingredients or a pan to cook them in but I do have the toaster oven. Maybe tomorrow then.

Wednesday, March 9

Day 20 - A Hobby of Mine

I like to knit. Right now I'm knitting a baby blanket for friends of mine. It's taking a long time since I don't have a lot of time to work on it, but eventually I will finish it. Probably not before their baby is born. Oh well.

I also like to read. Again, I don't have a lot of time for that. Too bad. Books are fun. I always feel smarter after I read. It's too bad most of what I read doesn't stick.

Tuesday, March 8

Day 19 - A Talent of Mine

Um....well...this is a hard one.

Well, I can read Fox and Socks in less than three minutes. That's got to count as a talent.

Day 18 - My Wedding

My wedding was just a little while ago. I liked it. It was fun. Of course, there are some things that I would have changed.

I would have liked to plan my wedding. Okay, not all of it. I kind of like that I got to Canada and a wedding had been planned and I didn't have to decide on all of the details myself, but I would have liked to have done some things that I didn't get to do. Like dress shopping. I loved my dress, but I didn't get to go to the store and try on lots of dresses until I found the right one. I didn't get to go dress shopping with Joyce and Jackie. The dresses they chose were perfect, but a shopping day would have been fun. A honeymoon would have been nice. Really, getting up the next morning to have breakfast at Mom and Dad's house is not a normal honeymoon activity.

There were parts I really liked. I liked the cake. It was really good. Especially the white cake with the chocolate icing. The Aunts made extra delicious buns for dinner. The hot chocolate bar was great. Dad sure was thinking when he decided that we needed Shirley Temples. Joyce made superb shortbread, and Jay made way too many dainties that all required sampling. I think I sampled them all and they were really good. It was in Canada. Samuel got a visa so he could be there. I really liked that part. Oh, I didn't mention my shoes. My shoes were gorgeous, even if they weren't very comfortable. I also really liked our vows. You know how I chose the vows? They were the ones that made me cry when I read them. I found a website with modern vows on it and read through them until I found the one that said all the right things. They were good vows and I said them to a pretty great man.

Monday, March 7

Day 17- A Work of Art

Everyone else posted art by real artists. I'm not going to follow the crowd. I'm doing my own thing.
I made this. It's hanji paper on canvas. I wanted art for my wall so I made some. I wrapped a canvas in the dark green hanji paper and then ripped strips of light green and pale yellow to put on top. I think it looks cool.

Day 16 - A Song That Makes Me Cry

Who cries?

Okay, I do get teary eyed at times, but not usually because of a song. There have been times that songs have made me tear up, but it depends on the surrounding circumstances and my emotions at the time. There isn't one song that will make me cry every time I hear it. I don't often cry because of something that I have heard in a song. If I cry it's usually because I have spent too much time by myself and then I feel sorry for myself and I think too much, but not because of a song. Usually.

Friday, March 4

Day 15 - My Dream House

Yes it is. It's only a dream. I live in an apartment. Before that I lived in an apartment. Before that I lived in my parents' house. I'm 30. Yes, it's sad. For me a house is a dream. But that's not what this post is supposed to be about.

I used to want a big house. A house with a wrap around porch and an upstairs and the attic as my bedroom. A house with several bedrooms so nobody had to share. That's when I was little. When I was in university I wanted a house with a kick-ass kitchen. Lots of space, marble counter tops, the works. It still needed an upstairs. Then I moved to Korea. I lived in a little apartment. I saw how other people lived in Korea. Houses in Canada are such a waste. They take up so much space. They are all so far away from everything. It's like we're afraid of space so we have to take it up by making giant houses that we don't need. But we also put them as far away from any other house as we can so we don't have to speak to strangers because they might be weird or scary. We have to drive gas sucking vehicles to get anywhere. My last apartment in Korea was about the same size and my parents' living room. I wouldn't want to raise a family there, but it was good for us. My new apartment is twice the size and has walls so we don't always have to be in the same room. It's not big, but it's big enough. You know what my dream house is now? It's a house where I can live with Samuel, and we can have babies, and we can afford it. A mango tree or two outside. The house doesn't have to be big or have marble counter tops. Just a house and my husband. One day.

Thursday, March 3

Day 14 - A Non-fiction Book

This is the book that I'm reading now. In case you can't read it, the whole title is; The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When it Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries to Hide it).
It's about whether accepting the doctrine of biblical inspiration necessitates belief in biblical inerrancy. Is the Bible without error in all historical details and ethical teachings? So far it's pretty interesting. I will have to find it again so I can keep reading it. I moved this week so everything is all over the place. My, excuse me, our new apartment will be another blog post when we finally finish unpacking everything.

Wednesday, March 2

Day 13 - A Fictional Book

The title of this annoys me. Fictional means not real. This book is real. It actually exists. I have read it lots. It happens to be a work of fiction.

Anyway, I haven't read fiction that isn't for kids in quite a while. I have been into non-fiction lately. But, really, are kids' books just for kids? We can all enjoy them. I enjoy story time. Who doesn't?
I will tell you about one of my favourite books in the school library right now.
The book is called Mean Soup. I think it's wonderful. It starts like this;
"It had been a bad day for Horace. He forgot the answer to question three. Zelda gave him a love note. And Lulu, the show-and-tell cow, stepped on his foot." He's in a very bad mood by the time he gets home. His mother cheers him up by making a pot of mean soup.
It's a great book. The kid's name is Horace for one thing. It's really fun to read because it involves a lot of screaming. The kids all love it. You should read it.

Monday, February 28

Day 12 - Something I am OCD About

I couldn't blog on Saturday, so I'm posting twice today. I don't know if I will be able to post tomorrow either. I'm moving.

I could go with the same thing that my siblings all said, but I'm not anal about the closet doors. For one thing, I can't ever leave the closet doors open since the closets are in the entrance and I can't get out if the closet doors are open. I always close the doors as soon as I am finished taking something out.

Something I am OCD about though is fluffing my pillow. Joyce always mocked me. I always fluff my pillow before I go to bed. It's more comfortable that way. And more fluffy.

I also always knock four times. I think three times is unfinished and more than four is just superfluous. Four is sufficient. I always count knocks. When someone knocks on the door, or an a table or something on television or on a movie I always count. They often knock three times. That's really annoying.

Day 11- A Photo of Me Recently

I took this picture of myself on October 30. It was our Halloween party at school. I wore a big clown wig. It was pretty awesome. The kids kept asking me if I dyed my hair. I almost had them convinced.

Sunday, February 27

Day 9 - A Photo That I Took

I bought myself flowers one day. They were pretty so I took a picture.

Friday, February 25

Day 10 - A Photo of Me Taken More Than 10 Years Ago

I'm skipping Day 9 for now. I'm at work and the picture I want is at home. I'll do it later.

Sorry that these pictures are small. Let's blame Roy. He scanned them and sent them to me. I don't know how to make them bigger and keep the quality. Again, blame Roy.
I like this picture of me and Joyce. I think it's funny that Joyce is smiling and I'm trying to be a grouch. We can't both of us be good. We can both be really cute though.

This was taken the day of graduation. Mom made my dress and Aunt Alice made my corsage. Grandma Taylor said that I looked like her mother. She said that Joyce looked like Great-Grandma Taylor. That day seems like a very long time ago.

Thursday, February 24

Day 8 - A Photo That Makes Me Sad

I'm posting this at work and so I don't have any pictures to add, but I wasn't going to post one picture anyway. This is more of a theme of pictures that makes me sad.

I love my family and nieces and nephews and I miss them all. I like pictures of them, but seeing the pictures makes me sad. I don't get to see them grow up. I used to babysit Xavier and Niles every day. I lived with Gloria. Now I don't see them at all. All nine of my nieces and nephews are growing up without me. It makes me sad that I don't get to see it. Living in Korea is nice. I really like it, but sometimes it would be nice if life on the other side of the world would wait for me.

Wednesday, February 23

Day 7 - A Photo That Makes Me Happy

I know, you were expecting a wedding picture, weren't you? I'm saving that for the wedding blog.

I took this picture one summer day when we went for a walk in the park. We got to spend the whole day doing nothing except what we wanted to do. It was a good day, and we look good together.

Tuesday, February 22

Day 6 - 20 of My Favorite Things

In no particular order;

1. new notebooks
2. colouring books
3. going to the movies and eating popcorn
4. fresh strawberries
5. coming home after a long day of work to discover that Samuel had washed the dishes
6. spending hours in a coffee shop
7. being able to sleep until I'm finished; I get to do that sometimes.
8. big, fluffy clouds
9. band; I really miss it.
10. singing; I joined a choir.
11. knitting
12. traveling to new places and seeing new things
13. reading
14. cooking for other people, but not for me
15. the smell on spring mornings when you know that it really is spring because it smells like it
16. crunchy leaves in the fall
17. sitting around and giggling with my sisters
18. days off of work
19. teaching
20. realizing that I actually taught my students something

And, since I don't seem to be able to only blog about what I'm supposed to blog about, here is a list of things that aren't my favorite things, but might as well be because I am totally craving them;

1. tacos
2. Chinese food. Not the kind I can get here. That's real Chinese food. I want Chinese food from home.
3. Slurpees
4. Food Network
5. driving
6. Co-op breakfast
7. I really want tacos, okay, really I want a bean burrito from Taco Time. I crave that all the time.
I can't think of anything else at the moment. I'm sure I will think of more later.

Monday, February 21

My Kids a Year Later

This is not part of the 30-day blog challenge, but I have other things to talk about.

I have been in Korea for a little more than a year now. This is the last week of our school year. Next week I will get a new class of 6-year olds. I have to blog about my kids and how they have changed over the year.
Starting at the top left there is Cathy. Cathy has always been a smart girl. Over the last few months she has shown herself to be very determined and opinionated. She loves to dance. Every time I play a song she gets up to dance. I think she likes to show off in front of her friends. I also teach her older brother. They are a lot alike. Thomas doesn't dance, but he likes to show off.
Beside Cathy is Daniel. Daniel has always been slow. It took him a very long time to learn the alphabet and what sounds each letter says. He has improved so much lately. He can spell some words, and he can read a little now. He has the alphabet down.
Next is Clara. She started out strong and then seemed to take a mental break for a bit. She was definately one of the lowest in the class for a long time. Nothing seemed to click for her. In the last two months everything has started to click. She read me a book in the library the other day. She is definately the most improved student this year.
Beside Clara is Alice. Alice is the perfect student. She is always happy and smiling. She listens to everything and is always nice to the other students. She is perfect, but somehow it's the ones who aren't perfect who are our favorites.
Next is Amy. Oh, Amy. She is so smart. I think she's bored a lot of the time and so she makes up things to do. She does things like pulling apart her hair ribbons or ripping pages in her book. Of course, she doesn't like to do the things that I have planned. She likes to do everything her own way and when she wants to do it.
Jamie has amazed me. When I started teaching her she wouldn't ever talk. She would only go to the bathroom if I told her to. If I didn't tell her to she would hold it all day because she would never ask to go. She did everything very slowly and never, ever said a word. Now she is incredibly different. I have to tell her to be quiet sometimes. It makes me very happy every time I have to do that. She asks to go the bathroom. She answers questions. She plays with the other kids. I love seeing it.
Sienna is very sweet. She is also pretty slow, but she is getting it at her own pace. She read part of a book today with only a little help. Her diary today said, "I ate pork. Pork comes from pig. I will enjoy. Sorry pig." I thought it was really funny.
Wyatt is still one of my favorites. He is one of the smartest kids I have ever seen. He is five years old and he is reading at a grade three level. He is always very worried to get everything done quickly. He loves reading, but hates writing and drawing. He doesn't say hi as much as he used to. I kind of miss that.
Molly is still as determined as ever that she is big. She can do everything. She told me today that she wants to be a dentist when she grows up. Molly is the one who told me that I have big nostrils. She is very curious and wants to know how to say everything. She's a great kid.
Brian is new. He came when a space opened up after Rex left. Rex moved to Japan in November. Brian is not the smartest kid. He is very happy but doesn't ever seem to know what is going on. Ask that kid about dinosaurs though, and he will talk your ear off.
The last picture is of Eric and Roy. When I started teaching here Eric was probably my least favorite student. He didn't listen to anything I said and liked to make me mad. Now he has decided that I'm okay and he can listen to me. He knows so much and he tries to talk all the time. He doesn't know enough English words to say everything, so he stops and thinks for a minute and then uses the words he knows to explain the word he doesn't know and then he tells me what he wants. He is one of my favorites. I think I will miss teaching him. Roy has had some challenges lately. He was diagnosed with diabetes in January. He just turned five in November, and so he doesn't understand at all what is going on. He know that he has to leave class three times every day so someone can poke his finger and write a number in his book. He has gotten used to it now. He reminds me when it is time for him to go. He's doing really well now. He looks much healthier than he did in January.
That was my Blue Jay Class. Next week they will move up into the kindergarten classes and I won't teach them anymore. I will get a new class. I named then Flamingo Class. I will miss my blue jays though.

Day 5 - Quote

"I would rather regret the things I have done than the things that I haven't." Lucille Ball

Sunday, February 20

Day 4 - My Favorite Book

Well, this is an easy one. My favorite book is The Blue Castle By L.M. Montgomery. I blogged about it a long time ago, but I will tell you about it again. It's about a girl who decides that she doesn't like her life. She is unhappy and is tired of it. She decides that she wants to be happy so she stops living for other people and starts living for herself. She stops hiding who she really is, starts saying what she really thinks, and starts doing what she wants to do instead of what her family expects her to do. She starts to love life and she is finally happy. Every time I read this book I thought, "maybe someday I can do that too." I use the past tense because I haven't read this book in a few years. I don't need to anymore. I somehow found the courage to live my life and be the real me, and now I found my blue castle. I don't need to read the book to give me the hope of someday anymore. I am sure that I will read it again someday, but just for fun, not for inspiration.

When I moved to Korea the first time I brought two books with me, The Blue Castle and As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer. Both are books that I can read over and over and over again and never get tired of. If you haven't read As the Crow Flies you really should. Every time I read it I discover something new. As the Crow Flies tells the life story of a man starting from when he was a child until he retires. Sometimes the story is told from his perspective and sometimes it is told from the perspectives of other people involved in his life. It is interesting to see the thoughts of the other people. The characters in the story are all well developed and you feel like you really know them. As in any life there are trials, sorrow, joy, and everything else that goes with life. It is a truly excellent book. You really should read it.

Saturday, February 19

Day 3 - Favorite Television Show

Okay, I have to do this by category.

Favorite drama; NCIS. I haven't seen the new version of it yet. I have heard it's good so I will have to start watching it.

Favorite comedy; The Big Bang Theory. If you haven't seen it you really need to. It will make your life better.

Favorite talk show; Ellen. She is so funny. It is always a good show to watch. There are times when you laugh so much it hurts. Ellen gets so much joy out of life. It's great.

Favorite game show; The Price is Right.

Favorite reality show; I really like Top Chef. I used to like Hell's Kitchen but now I'm tired of Gordon Ramsey. I think he yells too much. That is one man who doesn't get much joy out of life. I always thinks that he's about a second away from a coronary. Top Chef is better. Much less yelling. I also like Project Runway.

Other good shows; Sex and the City, Star Gate (any of them), House, Glee, Lingo, and anything on Food Network. I sure miss that station. It would be nice to get it here. Oh well. I already watch too much television without it.

Friday, February 18

Day 2 - My Favorite Movie

Hmmmm. I like movies, but I find it hard to narrow it down. I like Dave. It's great. It's funny and not in a crude way. I actually like the characters. If you haven't seen it you really should. It's about a man who impersonates the president and then has to be the president after the real president has a stroke. I also like The Italian Job. It has a great car-chase scene and the characters are funny. Lately I watch Sister Act, either of them, when I want to watch a movie but not really pay attention. I like the music. Ooooh. I just thought of A League of Their Own. That movie is so good. It always makes me cry. Ya, I like movies.

Now to give you the flip side, movies I don't like. I don't like the Harry Potter movies. I have watched all of them but the newest one. Maybe I would have like them if I hadn't read the books, but I have read the books, and I actually liked the books. The movie strays from the book too much. It just annoys me. I understand that they can't include everything, but they don't have to change things, they could just leave out things. I will watch the newest movie since I have watched all of the other ones, but I can't see how that movie will be good. The last book wasn't the most interesting. They spent most of it not doing anything. There were good parts in the book, but there was a lot of nothing too. Oh well. I also didn't like The Matrix. I think I just don't get it.

I want to go watch movies now. It's too bad that I have to work instead.

Thursday, February 17

30 Day Blog Challenge

So Joyce decided that we needed to do the 30 day blog thingie. Maybe because she thinks people don't update their blogs enough. She nags me all the time. Now that she has made it a competition I have to update my blog everyday. I want to win the bragging rights.

Day 1- Favorite song

Well, I can't really say that I have a favorite song. It depends on my mood. A few years ago in one of my education classes my professor decided that we should make a mixer CD of everyone's favorite songs as a kind of bonding exercise or something. I couldn't decide what my favorite song was then either. I looked in my CD player and chose a song off of the CD that was in there. I think it may have been The Penny Merchants. That's a good group. This time I am going to look on my iPod and chose the song that I have listened to the most.

And it is . . .

"Words of Love" by the Beatles. Okay, that's not mine. Samuel loves that song and he plays it over and over again. I never actually play that song. The next song is "Quando, Quando, Quando" by Michael Buble. How do you make the little accent thingie over the e? There should be one on the e in 'Buble'. Pretend it's there. Samuel also chooses that song frequently, but so do I. It's pretty good. The next song is "Nobody" by The Wonder Girls, a Korean girl band. I learned it so I could sing it for a Norae Bang competition. That's like karaoke, but with a private room. It's a good song. If you want to watch me sing it there is a video on my facebook. I can't believe I just told you that. Don't watch it. It's not that good.

I still don't have a favorite song. Right now I have an alphabet song stuck in my head. I teach kindergarten. It happens. You should hear the song. It's pretty great, but not when it's been stuck in my head all day. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 6

Getting Married in Korea

So the next step after getting engaged was to go get married. We couldn't leave it for long since we thought it would be better if we were married when Samuel applied for his visa to Canada. The Canadian government doesn't care if you're engaged. The previous times Samuel had applied for a visa the consulate people told him that it would be so much easier if we were married. Okay, we'll get married then.

At that time at work we were short a teacher which made it rather difficult to take a day off to go to Seoul. I asked my boss and he said it would be better to wait until October when we would have another teacher and it would be easier to fill in for me. I wanted to have the visa paperwork done by then. We decided that I could take the next Thursday off since it was a field trip day to watch a musical so it would be easier to have someone else supervise my kids. But, I couldn't have the whole day off, just the kindergarden part. I would still have to come back to teach my afternoon classes if possible. Okay then.

Thursday, September 9 came around and I got up really early so I could be at the embassy when it opened. I met Samuel at the subway station closest to the embassy and we walked over. When we got there we were given two different forms to fill out in triplicate. An hour later, once we had finished filling out the forms, we were given a number so we could wait. So we waited. Eventually our number was called and we went into this little closet-sized room with a woman sitting behind bullet-proof glass. We gave her our paper work, passports, and the forms Samuel needed from Tanzania. She stamped the forms, asked for money, and then told us to go to the Korean government office. We eventually found the Korean Government office which is not as easy as it could be. There are no street addresses in Korea. Usually there are maps, but they aren't always very easy to follow. The Canadian embassy is really difficult to find. Anyway, we found the government office. We took our number so we could wait. We waited. When our number was called we went to the desk and gave the woman there our paper work. She gave us another form to fill out. We filled it out and gave it back to her. She stamped everything and said, "You're done here." Um, that's it? Apparently it was. We were now married. It was not the most exciting event in my life.

After getting married you have to have some sort of reception, so Samuel and I went out for lunch at an Indian restaurant. Then Samuel had to go to class and I had to go to work. We didn't even see each other again until the next evening.

Wednesday, January 26

I haven't done this in a long time

So, it's been a while, like four or five months, but who's counting? Some stuff has happened since I last wrote. You could even say it was important stuff. I got engaged, went to a Rufus Wainwright concert, got married in Seoul, turned 30, Samuel got his visa to go to Canada, we went to Canada and got married, we came back to Korea, and I signed a new contract to keep working in Korea. Wow, that was quite the list. Thinking about it though, I got engaged before I wrote the last posts, I just didn't blog about it. Well, I suppose I will now.

Let's call this story "Robin's Really Bossy".

Samuel and I had talked about getting married many times. In fact, we had only been dating about a month the first time he asked me to marry him. That time I told him he wasn't allowed to ask me yet. He waited about one more month before he asked again. I changed the subject. The next time he asked I told him I couldn't marry someone my family had never met. After that there was the understanding that we would get married sometime, but we would figure out when later. Then I went to Canada and he couldn't, which made it really hard for him to meet my family. Once I came back to Korea the conversation about getting married continued. I was still pretty determined that I couldn't marry him until he met my family, even though Joyce and Jackie had given me permission. Samuel was pretty sure we should just go do the paper work so we could be married on paper and really get married later. I seem to recall that the week before we got engaged Samuel brought it up again and I cried because it wasn't just paper work to me; it was actually getting married. The next week I was sitting at home by myself, thinking about Samuel, and I thought about what was holding me back from marrying him. I wanted to marry him. I was going to marry him, we just hadn't figured out when. I knew that we were going to Canada for Christmas, as long as Samuel's visa worked out, and then he could meet everyone. Okay, then I could marry him. But when? The next time I could be in Canada would be the next summer. I didn't want to wait that long to get married when I knew that I wanted to marry him. I decided that we were going to get married at Christmas. So then I decided that I would have to prepare my family for that, so I emailed my parents and siblings to tell them that Samuel and I were engaged. Then I called Samuel and told him that I just told my family that we were engaged. He was thrilled. No, really, he was. About a month later we went to Seoul to sign all the paper work. I will save that for the next blog post though. Stay tuned.