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5:09 PM Jessica Montgomery 0 Comments

These past three weeks have flown by. Almost to the point of nonrecognition. So much so that I didn't even realize that the 19th rolled around again. I've been here three months! 3 months. T-h-r-e-e. m-o-n-t-h-s.

This past weekend was a random mix of people, experiences, and places -a cocktail only living here can truly offer. Friday I galloped home like Psy in his Gangnam Style music video; far too excited to be off work, and immediately started getting ready for nighttime festivities. I was not about to waste the holy grail of weeknights. Especially after the week I just had. It may have went by fast, but that was for good reason. So me and a few of my friends, who were also feeling the pressures of school life, found solace in a nice bottle of wine and cards. After some time sharing stories and aspirations...it was time to go out dancing. Nice night. Fabulous friends.

Saturday was rehearsal day. We began blocking (theatre movement Ex: cross stage left and sit down) the first part of the show and that really woke up my long-dormant theatre brain. Like I said, the piece is a little abstract, which is great because that allows us to get just as abstract with our blocking.
I'm so happy to be cast in my role and I'm even more happy with my cast mates and director. They are extremely talented and dedicated to making this show something to take notice of. Aside from And They Danced Real Slow In Jackson, this may be my most challenging piece yet. Except...this is a comedy! Phew! Thank goodness...I don't think I could take a piece like Jackson living here by myself. haha
After rehearsals the 'Jack' to my 'Jill', our 'loudspeaker voice', and our fearless director took to the streets of Daejeon. We were off to meet the rest of the Daejeon theatre group for a dinner outing downtown. Frans, our director, has a car so we all decided to ride together as a little bonding adventure. And an adventure it was. It took us thirty minutes just to get out of the parking lot. Driving here it insane. I could never and will never attempt it. But we made it safely and made reservations for 11 at an Italian restaurant called BonBon (Yes, Italian). But! Alas, we were 45 early to meet the rest of our group. So we made our way down an alleyway to Wa-Bar for a beer. I had a dark beer that back home would've probably tasted like swill but here it was like heaven. Our little cast talked about everything from beer, to television, to dating, etc. -Almost everything but our show actually! Which was definitely encouraging. Great bonding.
Ok. So BonBon. The place was adorable. It was obviously a date-night kind of place; dark, moody, quaint -but us foreigners piled into corner booths and benches like we were back home. That's definitely a perk of having friends who have been here for 2+ years. They are extremely comfortable, resourceful, and easy-going. Our hostess was great and of course (only in Korea) even though we were eating in a pseudo-classic wine bar aesthetic, she was wearing a technicolored, LED, t-shirt which tickered BonBon across every few seconds. Why not? The food was good. A little expensive. But I wasn't exactly there for the food. I was there to meet and greet and chat. New friendships were gained by all.

Tuesday after class I had badminton. I must say I'm harnessing a pretty wicked serve. haha  After practice my Olympian instructor said I was improving. Aaawwyeeeah! After the confidence booster that was badminton practice it was on to being deflated by my lack of knowledge of Korean grammar: Korean class. I met a friend on the subway and we decided to kill some time prior to class at 'SaveZone'. Don't let the name fool you. I thought I was about to be submerged in a pile of low-price awesomeness. Instead I was transported into a department store world where 3,000,000won (appx. $3,000) for a coat was considered reasonable. Yuck. But it was fun to walk about, chit chat, and elicit the occasional "Hi!" from counter workers trying to get us to buy something. "Hi! I don't know English, but can say "Hi!" Buy my stuff!"
Korean class was great as usual and I feel like I'm moving right along at a fairly decent pace. We are beginning to conjugate simple verbs and form sentences. The formula is easy enough -it's just the memorization of the verbs themselves that is the tricky part. Like English, Korean words can often look and sound the same but mean completely different things depending on it's context. For example, the word for 'horse' also means 'language'. Yep. Confusing.
But after a hour and a half of my brain being spun about I headed out to dinner with a couple fabulous people. People that I've long admired but have yet to really get close to. The conversation was as lovely as the food. A common trend I find. And for that I'm extremely grateful. (The conversation of course! haha)

School has been trying lately. I've had to deal with a few issues that come along with the responsibility of being an authority figure and...guardian? I guess you can say. If you're a teacher I'm sure you can relate. I really care for my students. And when their home life is plagued by scenarios I wouldn't wish on anyone...it's hard to cope with. Especially with the language and cultural barriers. I want to help and be there for them but culturally it's hard to find my place. Uggh. I don't know...it's rough.
But my lessons have become more and more concise I feel. And, I feel like I've finally broken that 6th grade wall. I think Mrs. Nam sees that I care and I'm really trying to engage the students, relate the material to them, vary activities based on levels in the class, and! make things a little easier for her. At least those are my goals.
Random funny thing that happened this week: In 6th grade our lesson was 'What do you think of Sim Cheong?' -we were teaching expressions: "What do you think of...?", "I think...", "I don't think so.", etc. using familiar Korean stories as the basis.Well, at the end of class as the students line up I try to always ask them an 'out-the-door' question as they leave. So I was asking, for example, "What do you think of Robin Hood?" Students would respond by saying "I think he's brave.", "I think he's a thief.", etc. Well, one girl after she answered had a question for me: "What do you think of Morgan Freeman?" haha! I kid you not. At first I said "What??!" She smiled and repeated her question. So, needless to say we both think he's awesome and we bonded over our affinity for the man with the awesome voice. Ha!

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