Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Last post :((

So i guess this will be my last post here about Seoul, South Korea.  It's been several days since I posted... So I will pick up where I left off.

Saturday and Saturday night were really enjoyable.  My host mom took my brother and I to go see Spider-Man at a local theatre in a mall.  I thought it was interesting that the last time I was in Korea for the Hanyang exchange, I went and saw the first Amazing Spider-Man... And now that I'm back, the sequel came out, and I saw it here in Seoul as well.  The movie was amazing, and Minseong loved it as well.  After the movie, I bought an electric shaver at the mall (mine broke due to wattage differences), and we had smoothies.  After the movie, we caught a cab back home.  I got ready, and headed to Namyeong on the subway.  I went to my friend Dina's apartment... Her and some of our other friends were having a going-away party for me.  We stayed there and played games for a while, then took a cab to Itaewon.  It was very nice to see that they cared about me leaving enough to see me off with one last get-together. 

Sunday was very relaxed.  I mainly just naked and hung around the apartment all day.  That night, one of Minseong's friends came over, and I helped them with their English homework.  We then had dinner, and shortly after, went to bed.  

Monday was great.  There was, however, a misunderstanding.  I was told that during my last week, I would only be observing.  When class started though, I could tell by ms. Lee's body language that she expected me to teach.  This was no big deal, I didn't mind at all, I just wasn't expecting it.  I had two classes of fifth grade.  We did the clay lesson.  Both classes were as good as gold.  After classes were finished... Ms. Lee and I hung up the rest of the fauve portraits (4th and 5th graders).  The principal and some other staff helped us hang wire along walls in the hallway, on which we hung the portraits with paper clips.  It took a really long time... But it looked nice.  After this, I helped an English teacher with one of his after school classes, and left for home around 4:30. That night, I gave Minseong and his mom the gifts I brought them from WKU. They were just simple things... But they seemed to really appreciate them.  

Tuesday was my last day at the school.  It was definitely really really sad for me. Saying goodbye to the kids was really depressing.  I had fourth, fifth, and sixth.  All classes went well.  As I was leaving the art room for the final time, Ms. lee, and the students who came to the art room for an after school program walked me out and bowed as I left.  It was really sweet.  After school, The English department got together and had a going-away dinner for me.  I thought that was really awesome of them.  It was a small Korean place.  I'm going to miss them, I feel like I really connected with some of them.  After dinner, I actually went to one of the teachers apartment with her and another one of the teachers, and the three of us just had a glass of wine, and chatted about Korea.  It was a very nice, relaxing night.  

Wednesday, I did not have to go to school.  I woke up a little later than normal, walked Minseong out to the bus, and met professor Ahn outside the apartment so she could say goodbye.  She even had a gift for me- a Kookmin University mug.  I was sad to say goodbye to her... She has done so much for me during my stay.  After she left, I headed back up, showered, and headed to Insadong via subway to buy souvenirs for people back home.  I really enjoyed spending this time alone, walking around the city and.  I then went home and waited for Minseong to get home.  His aunt, uncle, and little cousin came over as well one last time to tell me goodbye.  Once he got home, we went to a place nearby to eat.  We had live octopus, fish head, sea cucumber, sea slug, sashimi, pajong, and other foods... As well as soju.  It was a huge delicious dinner. After dinner, we stopped by Paris Baguette, where my family got a chocolate cake for me.  It was so sad saying goodbye.  Minseong was so sad, he even slept in the floor of my room that night.  

Thursday marked my last few hours in Korea.  I woke up, packed everything, and waited.  Minseong was at school, and his mom was asleep, so I just waited until it was time for me to go.  Once it was close to time, Minseong's mom and I went to pick him up from school, and we went to the bus stop.  I may or may not have cried a little as the bus drove away. The bus ride was a little over an hour and a half long.  Once at incheon, I checked in, checked my bag, and got on the plane.  I was right on time.  The flight was fine.  I had a window seat, and I literally slept the entire flight.  All 13 hours.  

I am now sitting here in Dallas/ Fort Worth airport waiting for my connecting flight to Nashville.  I'm honestly very sad that the trip has already came and gone. I've been looking forward to it for a long time.  It's alright, though.  I know I will be back to Korea soon enough, and for hopefully a longer amount of time.  I am very grateful to WKU for giving me this opportunity.  

Student ceramic work: 

Sixth grade students saying goodbye:  

English department gloing-away dinner:

Family going-away dinner:

Sea cucumber 
Sea slug 

Friday, May 9, 2014

May 8th and May 9th

May 8th was the day I was scheduled to present at Kookmin University to Professor Ahn's art education graduate students. That morning I woke up, went to school, taught my two blocks of art, and then observed an international class until 4:30.  At 4:30, I caught a taxi to kookmin university, and met Professor Ahn there by 5:00.  The campus was beautiful. She also showed me the fine arts building, and introduced me to some of the students and their work.  Kookmin's art department is ranked #5 in  Korea, so their work was amazing.  After the campus tour, we ate dinner at a really fancy restaurant on campus.  We then walked over to her classroom, and I gave my presentation about the art education program at WKU.  Professor Ahn translated for the class as I went.  The presentation was over an hour all together with translations and questions. The class was really welcoming, and seemed really interested. I was really
Nervous about the whole ordeal, but it turned out fine. I then caught a cab to giurem station, and took the subway home.

May 9th (Friday) was my last actual day teaching at Kyunghee. It was kind of rough because I had two classes of sixth grade.  The first two classes (6th and 4th) did the ceramics project.  The class after lunch (also 6th grade) finished their fauvism project from two weeks ago (I didn't see this class last week due to last Friday being a half day at school).  After classes were through for the day, mrs. Lee and I (with the help of another English teacher, some other school staff, and even a few student) put up a display of the student work from the fauve project up inside the main entrance of the school.  It looked amazing, and I think the principal really liked it.  Afterwards, the principal, the art teacher, and professor Ahn and I went out for dinner together.  I thought it was very kind of the principal to take us all out like that to a Korean place that he loves. After dinner, professor Ahn drove me back to my homestay house.  The family and I went shopping at Dongdaemun market.  Dongdaemun market only opens after 8:30 every night, and stays open til 5:00am.  My homestay mom actually works there, and owns her own business there called "again be".  She showed me her shop,and  I met some of her employees.  She was kind enough to give me some clothes from her store for my mother back home.  I bought some things as well. We got back home around  11:15 and crashed. 

Photos from Kookmin presentation:  

Student display:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 7th

Today was my first day teaching a ceramics lesson, and the first day after the long weekend. It was... Okay I guess. Today just was not my day, really.  I didn't get to go to sleep last night until really late, and I do not function well without enough sleep.  The first class was sixth grade, so they were a nightmare.  6th graders (in America as well) just generally do not listen well, and misbehave frequently.  They were just bad... And the class was a little rocky. Also, my stomach felt awful all day, and I was just sick and tired.  Also, professor Ahn showed up to observe... Which made me really nervous... Especially since the class was not going very well.  After the 6th graders left, though, the next class (4th graders) came in, and I pulled my act together for professor Ahn's sake.  This class went much better, that is, until the camera men came in.  Today, the school was shooting a promotional video to advertise the school, and so three camera men came into the class a little more than midway through to film out class. The kids got really distracted, and the camera men kept getting then off task by asking them to group together with their (very fragile) pottery to take pictures.  Many pots were fatally wounded in this event. Also, they took up a lot of time, and the students didn't have enough time to clean well, which left me to do the job.  Also, on the way home, the bus driver skipped my stop for some reason... So I had to walk forever back home with my stomach killing me.  Anyways... Enough complaining... I really am just glad to be here in this amazing city, and experiencing amazing things, and making great memories.

May 3rd -May 6th (long weekend... Children's Day and Buddha's Birthday)

This weekend was really great... Not to mention the fact that it was four days long.  It was full of new experiences and fun.  
Saturday, I met Professor Ahn at Hoegi Station, and we took the Subway together to Anguk station, near Insadong, and went to some art exhibitions.  They were all contemporary artexhinits.  All of the art was really conceptual, emotional, and very interesting.  That night, my host brother, his grandmother, and two of his cousins came over, and we went to eat calpi (spelling?) and then went to a Norebang (karaoke). I tried singing one song... But it was AWFUL!!!!

Sunday my host mom, brother, her brother and his wife, and their little girl all went to a Korean wedding in Gangnam.  It was beyond beautiful.  I have never seen such an ornate wedding.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures, because I wasn't sure if that would be rude.  It was very fast, and there was an amazing Korean dinner afterward.  Once dinner was over, the family and I went out in Gangnam for coffee and cakes.  It was a very relaxing and enjoyable day. 

Monday was children's day... And my family had planned a trip to Namsan Tower for this day.  There is kind of like a little park with traditional Korean buildings/ activities near the base of the tower. We played games, and took a Korean paper folding class.  We then went to take a cable car up to the actual tower.  The wait was VERY long due to the holiday.  It was worth it, though.  Once at the top, we ate dinner.  After dinner, it was getting late, and everyone was wearing down, so we went home.  

Tuesday was probably my favorite day of the weekend.  This was Buddah's birthday.  Again, my host mom had planned an amazing trip.  I'm so thankful for everything she has done for me.  I really feel like part of the family.  We went to Nami Island... Way out in the country.  It was nice to get out of the city for a day.  To say that Nami island was beautiful would not be doing it justice. It was breathtaking.  Nature, and animals, as fun activities, and just being together and bonding with the family.  We ate dok calpi afterwards. So delicious. 

Museum photos:

Host brother's cousins and I: 


Sunday after the wedding:

Monday, namsan tower/ park photos: 

Bondaegi (moth abdomen) 

Tuesday, Nami island: 

Friday, May 2, 2014

May 2 (Friday)

So today/ tonight was awesome.  School was only half a day because of children's day festivities at school.  So I had two classes, and left school at 2:30. After school, I met a friend at Wangsimni station, and we went to Gangnam to eat and window shop. There was actually a subway train accident at Sanwangsimni station (one station over) and my friend was almost in it. Luckily, she missed that train.  I do not know details, but I heard it was very bad. Maybe 170 casualties. So sad :((
Anyways...  Everything is very expensive in Gangnam, so we didn't really buy anything.  We are at a really nice Korean Restaurant, then walked around Gangnam. We actually met a really famous Korean celebrity in one of the stores we went into. The girl I was with almost went insane. It was actually really weird because he was just in there shopping alone.  He goes by "M". He took a picture with us!! After this, we window shopped a bit more, then went to a really nice coffee shop. Great night :))

Ms. Lee (mentor art teacher) and I:

One of my classes and I:

They're so adorable :)) :

Hyuna, M, and myself:

Our dinner: