I've been busy the past few months studying for the GRE, but that's over now so here's what I've been up to:

(note: idk y some photos didn't rotate :( )


During the first two weeks of January I had winter camp with my 2nd and 3rd grade students. Then I went back to America for 2 weeks.

This year I had to teach two weeks of winter camp. Originally they wanted me to teach two weeks with the same students, but last year I had trouble teaching first, second, and third grade students in the same class (their English levels varied so much) so I asked to teach one week of first/second graders and one week of third graders. Even though we did very similar/the same activities, I enjoyed this year's winter camp much more!

I capped each week to 16 students. We did a lot of games, mostly to practice English, but some (Minute to Win it games) were just for fun.

My favorite part of winter camp was doing Minute to Win it games.
The kids had so much fun and I got a bunch of great photos!

The students from my first/second grade week!

Winter camp isn't always fun. Last year I was really stressed out before it happened and felt like it was really bad after it happened. This year was better because I was more prepared, more relaxed and more comfortable with my students. Winter camp might be my favorite teaching memory from this grant year!!

After winter camp I went to America for two weeks. I landed in MN and spent a few days with my family (AKA watching as much Grey's Anatomy and West Wing as possible), went to San Francisco to visit some friends (AKA drink delicious lattes), and Chicago to see family (AKA eat deep dish pizza). All jokes aside, I loved being back in America; being with friends and family was so good!!!!!

I felt some fomo because all my friends were going to warm and beautiful places, and I was ~*just*~ going to America. I got over those half baked regrets though. I love being home and my family and America. It was so good. Here are some pics:

Oh yeah, btw my hair was blue/green.


I landed back in Korea and had no time to rest! The day after landing I was at work for my student's graduation. In all honesty, I don't know what happened. There was a lot of singing in Korean and a lot of awards for students (I think scholarships?). I went home almost immediately after the ceremony was over. I wanted to enjoy the celebration with my students, but felt really awkward and wanted to give them space for their friends and family. When I got home my coteacher called me and said there were students looking for me because they had a present to give me... Which just added to all the emotions I was feeling. Later, probably at my McDonald's (my McDonald's because it's where I like to do work), I had a short cry.

My students gave me this mug and my favorite snacks (Pringles and Binch)!

Part of why I stayed for a second year was to spend an entire year, from start to finish, with my students. And I wanted to be closer to them. And now I am. I think about those students often. And I look forward to seeing the students who now go to the high school attached to my middle school. They're so beautiful and handsome and I'm excited for their futures.

That first weekend back in Korea, I had plans to meet Bryan and Anna in Seoul. Bryan was doing a language class at Yonsei (which meant: wake up, eat, study, eat, study, eat, exercise, sleep repeat) and Anna lives in Seoul. We went to the Leeum Samsung Museum in the ritzy AF Hanam neighborhood. Everyone was sooo fancy and I rolled up in my birkin stocks and tall socks. *WHOOPS* Then we ate cake, American BBQ, and got drinks in Itaewon!

I recommend Leeum Samsung Museum. The set up of the museum was great. Each section of museum has a really famous piece by some western artist and then is followed by Korean artists who use the same technique/fall in the same style. This might be my favorite museum I've ever been to.

The next weekend I went skiing at HighOne Resort in Gangwando!

I remembered that I don't really like skiing. And that's all I have to say about that.

Following skiing (no really, I mean that Sunday), I was on a bus to Jeonju to work a winter camp at another Fulbright ETA's school. The camp was at an all boys high school (very different crowd to please compared to my students). And this high school acts as a funnel system (?) to the soccer team in Jeonju, Jeonbuk FC. Jeonbuk FC is a good team, which, after seeing the the high school team practicing, I can understand.

Unfortunately, I got sick sometime during all of this so during (and after) I just laid in my bed watching Netflix. I truly did not leave my homestay apartment for almost 5 days.

My final act of winter break this year was going to Busan with Anna, Mike, and Matt. Anna and I went down a day early to do the Igidae Coastal Hike (an item on my Korea Bucket List). Then we met up with Mike and Matt to go to Gamcheon Cultural Village.

A sign at Igidae Coastal Hike that made me feel really single TT
View of Gwangalli Beach and Haeundae Beach (in the distance)
Coffee w/ Anna! The Cafe owner gave us a box of cookies for the cafe's anniversary!
Anna in Gamcheon.

It's my second time here, but I'm always overcome with feelings.
The history of this place really gets to me.

Keep your eyes peeled for our new sitcom. Title: TBD


March means school *woohoo*/*booo* and new students! My new class schedule has 5 classes on Tuesday and 4 classes on Thursday TT :(((((((((( But now, two months later, I really like my schedule! I have plenty of time to lesson plan, and study for the GRE, and listen to all the podcasts and music I like!

I don't see my host family very often. Everyone is just really busy. But in the beginning of March we celebrated my host grandpa's birthday. Obviously, because I am not great at Korean, we don't talk much, but I see a lot of my grandpas in him. He's quiet and not overly affectionate; however, you can still see how much he loves his children and his grandchildren. It's hard for me to separate how much he reminds me of my grandpas because they're similar or because they're just a bunch of old Asian dudes.

Anyways, my host family was like "hey. it's grandpa's bday. we're going to lunch." So on Saturday, I was ready to go. In the car, about 10 minutes into the car ride, my host brother turns to me and goes "okay, only an hour left." I was like


While I thought we were popping out for a quick lunch in Gwangju, apparently we were going to eat 회 (hoe - pronounced "h-way" not hoe) in 무안 (Muan). 회 is basically sashimi and Muan is this small town to the west of Gwangju (I found out later that we specifically went to this restaurant because the fish they serve during the day is what the owner caught in the morning. V fresh.). I thought "alright. I can do some raw fish."

LOLOLOL nah. We ate like 4 rounds of raw fish. It was so much fish.

The best part was 낙지회 (nakji hoe, raw octopus). No need to be angry with me about animal pain and animal right... I'm angry at myself for liking it:

All the ladies on my host mom's side of the family <3

Around mid-March I ran the Seoul 10K (again). Man, let me tell you... Training makes a HUGE difference. Last year I didn't train enough leading up to the race so I was REALLY sore for the next... month.. or two... or three. This year I felt great and really enjoyed the race. Here are some photos I took on accident:

That next weekend Anna came down to Gwangju. On Friday night we met at my McDonald's and people watched for a few hours. But Anna didn't come to Gwangju for my McDonald's (Although people totally should. It's my #1 study spot in Korea.). She was doing a research project about the Gwangju Massacre/Democratization of Gwangju. While she went to museums on Saturday, I studied for the GRE. At night we went to Daein Market, a night market that happens every Saturday night, you can buy handmade crafts (soaps, macaroons, cards) and eat and drink (makgeolliiiiii and jeonnnnnnn :)) After Daein Market we went to Gwangju's only bottle store. A bottle store is exactly what it sounds like: a store full of bottles. They stock many kinds of beer/spirits (LOL @ using spirits) and because Korea has more relaxed alcohol laws (AKA you can drink basically anywhere) bottle stores are very popular. We grabbed a beer each and sat in the ACC complex.

WELL. I DID IT. You're all caught up on the past few months. And just in time because I only have a few months left in Korea.

Today is sports day so I'll be posting again in a few days about that and what I've been up to in April!


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