Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Holy Crap! I am in Korea

1. My flight to San Fran went really well.
2. My flight to Seoul was uncomfortable.  The guy had his seat back the WHOLE flight.
3. I found a huge group of people going to the same place, so we sort of worked together, and have stayed close.
4. Our buses were delayed, so I didn't get to the university until 11:30 pm.  I was so sleepy.  I got my internet working and went to bed.  I met my roommate.  Her name is Paula, and she is from Limerick, Ireland.  I did not make a single joke or say a limerick.  Aren't you proud!  She is really nice.
5. I woke up this morning at about 6:45 because I could no longer sleep.  I just read and wrote some emails. 
6. I had my medical exam today.  I did really poorly on the colorblind section and things.  My blood test went well. They had a hard time finding my veins.  I also had to give a urine sample.  It was so hard! I already have weird pee anxiety that having to do it on command was really rough.  AND I had  just gone before the exam.  But, I think I will pass it.  In line for the exam I met a couple of people. I made friends with them, and I think I am going to really like Michal (from Scotland), Stephenie and Patrick (both from LA).  All of them are in Busan as well.  I think they will be good people. 
7. In the afternoon we had a welcoming ceremony which involved some speeches and also a traditional Korean band which had a small gong, a big drum , and hour glass drum and a huge gong.  It was super awesome.  About halfway through the song, a guy cam e out in their traditional garb and started dancing with a ribbon attached to his head.  It was like break dancing combined with ribbon dancing.  It was a fabulous twist.  Then there was a traditional Korean fan dance, which was beautiful.  But then, there was a tae kwon do exhibit.  And, Oh my God! I want to do that. One of the guys had people stand on a chair and another person stood on his shoulders and held up a board.  He ran used one of the other people as a spring board and backflipped and kicked the board in.  It was absolutely nuts!  They were flipping and kicking and being all sorts of awesome!
8.  We had our welcoming dinner, and I sat with some friends I've met.  I tried TWO new things today.  I ate Octopus and Kimchi.  The octopus wasn't bad.  It was a little rubbery, but sort of like a chewy veal.  The kimchi was spicy!  I had to drink orange juice like crazy to change the taste.  but in general it was very good.  And the barbecued beef is amazing! So many vegetables!
9.This morning we had scrambled eggs with carrots, onions, peas and random other veggies and this incredible spice that made all of the vegetables work together to not overpower the yolk.  So. Good.
10.  I had two 90 minute lectures in the morning.  One was on project based learning.  The lecturer reminded me of Dr. Risden for those who had him, and for those who didn't, a radical ball of energy that bounced about the classroom for 90 minutes.  His information was really well delivered and we did a mock lesson that was really fun and useful.  I will probably steal it. The second lecture was about intonation and how native English speakers use a lot more dynamics than Koreans.  He stressed that it is not as important for the fluency to be 100% but that the message of communication got through.  That was good information for my type A neurotic personality to know.  I need to really focus on the message and content words more than the function words.
11.  Then we had lunch.  It was some sort of soup.  I believe it was a fish broth with noodles and vegetables.  I didn;t care for it all that much.  I had rice with natural soy bean sauce.  There were sesame seeds and carrots floating in it.  It was so fresh and tangy.  It danced around my mouth for about an hour afterwards.
12.  Then, we had a 90 minute lecture on Reading and Writing comprehension.  It seems as though these people all got together and said, "Alright, let's give them so many different approaches to teaching and suggest that ours is the only one to use."  It is just a lot of conflicting information.  I think I liked some of the things in this one.  She told us that using KPOP (or Korean Pop) songs will instantly hook them.  I sat next to a man name Allistar Pincklesmith.  I thought his name was fabulous, but I was too skeered to tell him. He may think that I am just this pedistrian teacher from the cow state.
13. I had a Tae Kwon Do lesson.  It kicked my butt.  I will definitely be sore tomorrow. But, it did give me reason to work out more.   We did some kicks and running and stuff. They asked for dancing volunteers and nobody was stepping forward, so I finally caved.  I walked up and did the worm on the gym floor and then went up into a handstand and then stood.  I felt like it accomplished.  Then the instructor asked if I played sports. I told him I dove in high  school, but he didn't understand.  He asked me to show him.  So, not really knowing what to do, I did my approach, kicked my toes up into the pike position, then did a round off.  It worked well, I think.  Or maybe everyone thinks I am pretentious ass.  Although, I hope not. 
14. I had rice and Korean fried chicken wings for dinner.  There was no sauce on them, but the breading had a hint of sugar in it.  All of their breads are sweet.  It was certainly an interesting contrast.
15. Now, I am off to my Korean Language lessons.  I am about to lean the Hangul alphabet.  Huzzah!

Peace, love, and applesauce,


  1. 1. Fantastic fun writing to read. I like your style.
    2. You're making me hungry.
    3. Good luck learning an asian language- I hear they are the hardest and I really admire what you are doing.
    4. How jet-lagged are you?
    5. Allistar Pincklesmith is probably the coolest name ever. Totally out of Harry Potter.
    6. Miss you, grateful for internet :D

  2. "They asked for dancing volunteers and nobody was stepping forward, so I finally caved."

    This is me, not surprised.

    Can't wait to read more!!! This sounds this an amazing experience already!