Lucky (month) number 7

5:56 PM Jmo 0 Comments

Another month/Another packed post.

I know it's been a while since I've posted. My new schedule has me budgeting my time down to the last five minutes at school. It's nice though actually. The days go by fast, I get all my work done, and I'm feeling more fulfilled. My desk warming time has turned into more lesson planning and co-teaching prep. Working with these new teachers has put a new spin on things. For the better. It's more responsibility, but I now feel like a stronger presence in the classroom. Teacher Jessica: Living up to the name.
This past week I also wrote my first test. It was part of an English contest my school was putting on. The contest had four components: Speech, Interview, Song, and Golden Bell. Golden Bell is the name of the test. The test was composed of 40 questions drawn from 25 short stories that the children had to read. That's a lot if you ask me. So I tried to make the questions span a variety of levels and types. I was also in charge of giving the interviews. After the students were done giving their speech they came into my office and I had to ask them questions about what they said to gauge their fluency. I felt bad because most of them were incredibly nervous and had stock answers no doubt drilled into them. But I told them not to worry and try not to be nervous. I'm not big and scary. The lowest I gave was a 17/20. haha, guess I'm the Good Cop.
Another note about school: Today I had my first open class. Open class meaning parents could come in, watch, and evaluate your class. As scary as that sounds, it wasn't at all. Class went about as usual and we only had 3 parents come in to visit. It felt like a normal day; aside from the fact that my school put on airs in terms of the cafeteria. Lunch was fabulous. ;)

I spent my St. Patrick's Day in Seoul. Another toe dipped into the water of Seoul if you ask me. I've only been to Seoul three times and each time I go I feel like no matter how much I try to cram in, I'm barely scratching the surface. (Be it that the surface is usually laded with Mexican food and pizza -not complaining.) Kyle and I took the slow train and got into Seoul around 2:00pm on Saturday. We made our way to join the others at the D-Cube Plaza for an evening of green. It was a foreigner fest. I felt like I was back home in my college town of Grand Rapids at Founder's Fest or something. Once the festival ended we all crammed onto the Seoul subway in search of Mexican food and Irish bars. I've come to the conclusion that if I lived in Seoul I'd be extremely broke and even more fat than I am now. It's quite the foreigner playground. So yes! I woofed down a veggie-burrito with a side of guacamole like it was the first burrito I've had in months, oh wait it was. After some regrouping we made our way to a couple Irish bars where I indulged in some Lost Coast, Guiness, and Baileys. Like I said: I'd be broke and fat. Fat and broke.
The weekend went by incredibly fast: So much fun. So much green. So much beer. So many foreigners...

This past weekend went by just as fast. Honestly, I can't believe I've already had another weekend since I've been to Seoul (and it's already Wednesday!). Time goes by SO. FAST. HERE. There's always something to do and always friends to do it with. So, Friday night. What I intended to be a calm night at home, preparing for a big hike the next day, turned out to be another wee-hours of the morning outing. Sombreros were worn and drinks were had. Saturday morning I met up with some friends to tackle Daedunsan (Daedun Mountain). About 12 of us met up at a bus station to take the hour long ride out to the middle of nowhere. This hike proved to be one the most difficult I've ever done. This mountain was listed as #36 on CNN's top 50 places to visit (outside of Seoul) in Korea. It made list mainly for a suspension bridge that spans between two peaks of the mountain. Now, I never used to be afraid of heights -I know I've mentioned this before. But there are some things that make me a wee bit shaky. The bridge was a little terrifying but it was the "stairs" that killed me. Past the suspension bridge was a set of "stairs" (I use that term lightly because it was essentially a ladder.) that ascended another peak. The incline was so steep that photographing it was a challenge. I couldn't do it. I knew that I'd get about 1/4 of the way up and turn into a road block. So, I opted to lay down in a pagoda, bake in the elusive Korean sun and let the others go ahead without me. I felt lame. But, I really didn't want to risk further humiliation, haha. My legs were already untrustworthy from the hike up. Exhausted muscles plus a psyched-out mentality equals me falling off a cliff.
 The total hike was estimated to be about 4 hours. But with breaks along the way, it took a little bit longer. Once we made it down the mountain it was time to walk back, board the bus, and head home to get ready for another International Party. Saturday was a looooong day. Another amazing day to add to the books. I woke up on Sunday feeling comfortably exhausted. That content-exhausted feeling after a long day spent in the sun.

To combat my ever-growing kimchi belly (Yes, that sounds gross. But how could I resist?) I'm going back to the way I was prior to living in Korea. Active! Fit! Ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Badminton has started back up again and I've been practicing with the new male gym teacher. The first time we practiced together he had to take a time out because he was sweating and out of breath. And, during the time out...he asked if I had a boyfriend. I'll take that as I sign that I haven't completely lost my athletic edge! And yesterday, when we finished practiced and were cleaning up, he walked over to me and said, "Jessica. Power. Woman power." Aaawyeaaah. I've come a long way since Spice Girl's "girl power", haven't I? Side note: I no longer have an English speaking go-to person at practice anymore. My substitute co-teacher that I used to play with is no longer at my school. So! I'm learning purely by example; and what English-Korean words are synonymous with badminton. A lot can be gathered from grunts and gestures alone...haha   "Uggh!" *jumps up and swings racket*
I'm also planning on joining a gym and going back to a vegetarian lifestyle (or at least what I can/what is possible). I can't wait!!! Spring weather is almost here and I fear for how I look in shorts...


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