Category Archives: korea

student quotes, edition #2

we are very hungry, so we eat boodaejjigae.  We eat more than next table’s boys.

I’m ever summer was born.  I’m eat some blood.  I’m fly bug.  I’m bear in water.  I’m comeing night. people is. kill me.  electricity whip.  is fire my body.  my mouth is very long!  my body is head, breast, and abdomen.  I heat F killer!  see you soon

One day, when is puppy sleeping.  However I heard laughting.  It’s unretable situation.  The sound forward to puppy!  Maybe puppy is dreaaming.  So laughing.  It’s very mystery sound.  but my puppy is pretty and lovely!!!  I will love my puppy.

(I love how she describes the dog as laughing!)

A later I want grow beautiful and quietly live in the marado.

Hello, my soul.  I’m your body.  I’m really throb.  because I go to the Jeju island. tomorrow morning.  You too?  Ah!!  I must speak you.  first, You think seriously of every thing.  I speak to your think.  I am a very difficulty.  Second, keep the mind, please.  Many people laughed by my expression.  I’m very shame.  But.  I love you.  You have an original idea.  It is a very important, in our time.  We must succeed in our time.  good luck my soul ~.

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If only i could be a vagabond…

…moving to a new city every few months. Not becoming known or committed to anyone or anything anywhere.

I miss Vietnam. I treated my two weeks there as a parallel universe; i convinced myself that nothing i did there mattered to the “real life” i led here in Seoul. I did whatever i wanted without a thought or a doubt. And i came back here feeling…different. I wouldn’t say “transformed;” not only is that way too cliché, but it doesn’t even really make sense. I felt more sure of myself, like i shouldn’t ever be afraid to do anything anymore. Like i hadn’t properly lived before i took that trip. Like i hadn’t trusted myself enough.

I’ve only just realized that i’ve been more confident in everything i’ve been doing since my return from Vietnam. I’m much more confident in my teaching, i’m more confident with people in general, i’m more confident in being myself at work, at a place, in a culture, where it’s probably not a good idea to be entirely myself. I don’t really give a shit about acting “Korean” at school anymore. I’m fed up with surface courtesies and the never-ending obsession with appearance. I hate feeling like i have to act Korean because i speak Korean. I hate that everyone there expects me to do so. It’s not fair that i have to take on all the responsibilities of a Korean teacher just because i’m capable of it. I don’t get paid nearly enough for that.

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Pleasant dreams that haunt

My last dream was the only one i remember being so perfectly pleasant from beginning to end.  Everything was so convincingly real; from the main plot to the characters right down to their individual quirks, the story and its framework were a carefully lifted extension of real life, my life here, my life now.  I was fully invested in the story; i dreamt it in the first-person, and every move i made, every feeling i felt, was analogous to my character in waking life.  It was too real for me to even tell whether i was dreaming what i wished for or what truly will happen in the near future.  It was everything i wished for (and still wish for, possibly, maybe subconsciously), yet there were enough flaws in the story—pitfalls in the dream life—to convince me that the dream could be real enough to be premonitory.

It was part three of a series of dreams i’ve been dreaming on the same issue.  It’s amazing how much the story develops with each episode.  Every development is believable; there’s a clear explanation for every story arc, logical reasons for everything that the characters do.

I regularly have premonitory dreams.  This is only my second set of episodic dreams.

My dreams rarely ever make this much sense while being completely fictional.

The dreams i have the most trouble with are the ones with people i know in them.  When a dream moves and haunts me as much as this one does, i feel obligated to tell the people who were in it.  This time, i can’t bear to.  And i lost episode 2.

What if it is a premonition?  What if it’s the kind of premonition where it’s best for everyone to know about it?  But even if i did tell them, how could they possibly understand exactly what i felt, what i saw, what i knew so certainly in the dream?  It was something i could never believe in real life.

Or what if it’s the kind that doesn’t come true unless you do something about it?  Like a whisper in your ear urging you to go after what you were always too afraid to pursue?  Because you could never do that in real life?

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Losing everyday

You encounter a problem.  A big, but simple problem that can be resolved in one of two simple ways, one of which hurts you.  You know how this problem will be resolved, and you know it’ll be resolved in the way that hurts you, and you know there’s nothing you can do about it.  It’s like being trapped in a maze, a maze with a “good” exit and a “bad” exit, except you don’t get to find your own way out; you’re getting dragged towards the “bad” exit, where pain and suffering await you.

It’s not fate.  There’s no such thing as fate in this world.  It’s like being at the mercy of someone else, having a say in what they do to you in this maze, and being heard—intently and with great consideration—but ultimately not having any power to change their mind.

It’s unfair.  It’s unfair because you can’t shake the feeling that you have a right to influence the outcome—the right to make moves of your own—but you can’t plead your case because it’s just a feeling, not a fact.

And meanwhile, with each passing day, with every turn you’re forced to make, you inch closer and closer to the bad exit.  How would you feel?  How are you supposed to feel?

If i were the one making the moves, i’d not only listen, but change my mind.

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the yogurt series, iv

I’ve been slacking on the yogurt review series, so here’s an update:

I’m currently living in Seoul, and i am impressed with the yogurt here, though there’s always something missing (i miss the pure, homemade taste of Liberté, and that unforgettable perfection of La Fermière).  Today, i’m going to write about the two Korean yogurts i like the most so far [UPDATE: Maeil’s new organic yogurt mentioned]:

pure by Maeil


viyott by Seoul Milk

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I have a complete life here now

 

A dragonfly at the SETI campus, 10/15/10

 

The last three days have been so emotionally charged, i don’t even know where to begin.

Things have been amazing at work.  My girls and i have bonded so much that i already get misty thinking about how i won’t get to continue teaching my 2nd graders next year when they move up to the 3rd grade.  One of my favorite students took the opportunity of my midterm exam essay prompt to write a letter to me expressing the same exact sentiment, thanking me for all my efforts and dedication, and asking if we can be friends.  Luckily, she lives across the street from me, so i’ll be able to hang out with her next year.

The days leading up to the SETI training were so stressful with students mobbing me to argue about grades that the training was the most gratifying vacation i could’ve asked for.  It was so good seeing  everyone (well, mostly everyone) in one place again; i wanted to hug everybody but there were just too many people.  I think learning is my favorite bonding experience.  I can’t help but bond with fellow students (i don’t like the word “trainees”), and i just feel so at ease in a learning environment.  I’ve always loved school.  I love that i still get to go to school everyday, and i hope to learn and teach in some manner for the rest of my life.  I want my second home to be a school, always.

And finally, i don’t know what i’d do without the friends i’ve made here.  I have friends who travel over an hour just to help me mark essays, and we somehow make a great time of it.  I think that in itself is a testament to how amazing they are.  And i now have an important person in my life whom i can care for and who cares about me in return.  He makes my life here complete.

For once, i’m perfectly content.

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