Wednesday, August 27, 2008

6 days in...

to the new school year! I cannot believe that is has started and is already at full throttle. It is hard to believe that I have begun my 6th year of many things still seem so new.

School has been going well so far and hope that it will continue. My kids are great. We have eight different languages in my classroom which makes it exciting. It is amazing that so many of my kids speak more than one language. Our languages include English, Korean, Portugese, German, French, Hewbrew, Turkish and Mandarin. Fun! So far we have celebrated two birthdays and sang in almost eight languages each time. Makes for an exciting event for sure. Next week there is Back to School Night which makes me a bit nervous, but I am praying that it will go well. Thus far I have had positive feedback from the students and parents. Pray for continued positive thoughts!!!

We have had a lot of fun in six days learning about each other, routines, and 4th grade curriculum. My kids are really into learning and reading which makes my job easier and more fun! I love it. I am tired though, but a good kind of tired.

Woo hoo for 4F!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

it's official...

today is my first official day back at work. friends have trickled back in from summer holiday and the school year is about to begin.

i have spent the last few days in my classroom getting it organized and set up. so far, i have only rearranged the furniture two times. i am hoping that i am done with it, but who knows i might change my mind. i have already made out the schedule for my class which is nice to have complete. although, again, it is subject to change. yesterday i received my class folders which tells me who is in my class. i feel like it will be a good bunch of kiddos. i know some of them already from teaching the older sibling, after school swim, or just in the halls. it should be a great year.

today will be full of meetings and the usual welcome back brew-ha-ha. after lunch i think i get to work in my classroom some more which will be good. i have lots to do before the kids come on wednesday.....

wish me luck!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

back in seoul.....

this time of year is the worst for weather in's hot and humid. you feel absolutely gross and are required to take two showers a day. we call this time of year "two shower days". being a native texan you might think i should be used to the heat and humidity. this is true, but there is a difference here that we don't have in houston--we are out in the weather all the time. we walk everywhere. for instance, yesterday i gave a tour of the neighborhood and was completely drenched by the end. we also had an outdoor cookout yesterday evening which was hot and sticky. again, i was sweaty. my shirt is constantly soaked in sweat. fun, fun, fun. on the other hand in houston, one travels from a/c to a/c rather than walking out in the heat all the time. i also do think it is more humid at this time of year in korea than in houston. it was weird b/c yesterday when i was all hot and sweaty i went inside to a building with a/c and actually got cold. enough that i went back outside instead of stay in. so crazy.

there is something i do love about this time of year in korea though. the cicadas.....they sing all the time and i do love it. it reminds me of summer time as a little girl. some people complain about them here b/c they are quite loud, but i enjoy their music. nostalgic for me. i also feel the same way about crickets....something about these melodious bugs i love. warm childhood memories from the glorious chorus of insects.....weird, i am sure. none the less i like it and get sad when the weather gets cooler b/c the music starts to wane.

Friday, August 08, 2008

home sweet home...

it is great to be back......

last night paul and i went to jenny's cafe in hongdae for dinner. we were hungry, had nothing to eat at the house, and also need to rally to not go to bed too early. things i did not realize i missed......the hot and sticky weather, the erratic driving styles of korean taxi drivers, the mosquitoes, and multiple showers in one fun!

we slept pretty last night which was nice. although now it is about 8:15pm and we are exhausted. i woke up at 6:15am and went to the gym. paul woke up early and was out of the house just after me to work in edae. he had much to report after his day of work and checking the scene out. it is common in korea for things to be open one day and the closed up the next. there was some closings in the area, but his favorite coffee shop is still alive. we did lose a few places, but so far the report has been good. after the gym i had breakfast with the new teachers and then came home to work on unpacking and sorting through all our stuff. it was a productive day. i had lunch with the new teachers again......cannot help the free meals and the lack of groceries at the house. :) then after came home to keep unpacking and organizing. i have the kitchen all sorted out. i need to attack the bathroom tomorrow. in the afternoon i volunteered to show new teachers around the neighborhood and then to the grocery store, sahruga. it was fun and i was able to get some essentials.

dinner was another free meal for the new teachers......a cook out. we were not the only returning teachers, so we were not free loading. it was nice, but really hot and sticky. paul and i ate and then came home.

now we sit waiting for it to be a reasonable time we can get in bed. we are fighting the jet lag, but hoping if we stay diligent our bodies will adjust soon. :)

the cats have been super lovable today. it has been really great. i missed them and from their actions today they really missed us. i need to clean streaker's tank soon, but he is doing well also. :)


our travels home to korea were pretty normal to be honest. at least after the initial crappy situation with the cancelled flight on tuesday morning when we were originally scheduled to leave. my brother, God love him, picked paul and i up at 4:17AM on wednesday morning and drove us to the lovely intercontinental airport. we checked in our luggage without a hitch.....3 trunks (each around 67lbs. each) and one small rolling suitcase (approx. 23lbs). yeah for packing queen mom! she rocks and does a phenomenal job helping me getting all the goods into the suitcases.

paul got some morning grub at mcdonald's and we waited to board the plane. we sat in economy plus (6 extra inches of leg room, baby) and also in the front so there were no seats in front of us....double score! it was nice....we both slept most of the way since we had stayed up all night just hanging out.

in san francisco, we hit the ground, checked out the lounges (they are ok) and waited for the seoul flight. while in the international lounge we saw many olympic athletes. there was a small group that we saw too which i think was the USA Triatholon team. it was pretty cool i thought. (anne, i thought of you friend!!!)

we ate lunch and then sat at the gate.....we had about an hour before things started moving.,..i read, paul played DS. once the gate agent arrived paul inquired about moving to business, but the only reply she gave was that it would vost us $, no. bummed we just sat there and waited. then another gate lady called paul's name.......there is hope....maybe, just maybe. well, ladies and gentlemen, we SSSSCCCCOOOORRRRREEEEEDDDDD!!!! upgraded to business for free b/c the airline needed our seats in economy plus. WWWWOOOOOOO HHHHOOOOOOO!!

we could not believe it.....what are the chances being bumped up on the flight out of seoul and then AGAIN on the way in.......CRAZY! we loved it and were able to get good rest on the flight. we watched movies, ate like royalty, and laid the seats almost flat. it was incredible, indeed.

a fellow teacher was on the flight and she was having another teacher pick her up at the airport. luckily they had room for us, so we scored a ride home too sans the taxi system. it was nice.

we arrived home to a warm apartment in which we instantly turned on the air con and to two kitties that seemed a little freaked out by our homecoming. they did give it to my loving eventually, but it was a challenge at first. :)

we are home, sweet home!!! it feels so good to be back!!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

summer holiday....

i know it has been a while since i last posted, but most of the time has been spent running here and there. i have been in houston since july 8th and now are leaving soon to return to korea. the time in houston has been super busy. filled with visits with family and friends, shopping, and many other errands. it has been great to see folks and catch up. i think paul and i are ready though for the return to seoul. we want to sleep in our bed, love on the kitties, and be able to have some down time before the school year kicks off.

thanks to all our family and friends who made our time in houston memorable and fun! it was great to see you and hang out.

more soon.........