The Past Month Or So...

I guess I have a lot to cover. Let's start with the basics:

Woohoo! It's a new school year!

Yes, the school year in Korea starts in January and ends in December. Perhaps I've already explained that in a previous post, but I feel like some of you might have forgotten.
So it's a new semester and all my classes have changed. In short, my 2nd graders are angels (except a few trouble makers....Park Chan Ho and Kim Min Sang... but I still love them). My 3rd graders are pretty unmotivated, but I have a good group of them who come to my conversation lunch class on Thursdays.

I'm still playing soccer with my boys. Except for today because it's been raining nonstop all day.

Here's what I've been doing:

I went to Seoul with Anna and Annaliese! We went to Ihwa Mural Village near Dongdaemun.....

Failed attempt to use a timer to take a group photo.
"Can you take my picture?"

But our real reason for coming to Seoul was to run in the Seoul International Marathon (10K division).... LOLZ at all of you who thought I was running a marathon...

Pre-race smiles!
I'm not sure what the lady with the microphone said.
It was something about high fives and 화이팅 (fighting!... like you can do it!).
Post-race smiles!
Then (a different weekend) Alex, Annaliese and I went to Jinhae (for the day) for their Cherry Blossom Festival!
I promise I had more fun than this photo shows.
Oh, at some point I dyed my hair darker. It was like purple for awhile.
It was a good time.
The next day Annaliese invited me to try on hanboks. A teacher at one of her schools said she "has many hanboks." Many was an understatement. She had like hundreds of them. It turned out that her mother-in-law was a master hand maker of hanboks. She's like *SO GOOD* she's made a hanbok for the president. That's like Tommy Hilfiger making a suit by hand for Obama. (Yeah, like that would ever happen.)

The only traditional dress I've worn from my heritage is traditional Hawai'ian muumuus. I've never worn a kimono, so this was sort of a big deal for me. When Annaliese's teacher commented on how well the hanboks fit me I had this strange feeling of... happiness? Satisfaction? Sadness?

Sort of like, I fit the hanbok in every way that I am physically able to... But I'm still not Korean. 

Most recently, I went to Jeju-do for Fulbright Korea's Spring Conference. While Fall Conference was a teaching workshop, Spring conference was half teaching workshop and half presentation time for the junior researchers.

In short, we spent two days locked in the basement of the KAL Hotel in Seogwipo for workshops and presentations.

And then we got a day of touring/freedom:

A place on the Fulbright guided tour: Seongsan Ilchulbong

A place where we went to play: Jungmun Beach!
In summation, I am alive and well in Korea. I won't lie. Sometimes I get really sad in Korea. But for the most part I am really happy here. I love my students. I love my host family. Speaking of family, my sister and mom will be in Korea in about 2 weeks! I am so excited to share my life in Korea with them.

Peace & Blessings


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