Wednesday, June 30, 2010

TA: Twihards Anonymous

Today is June 30, 2010.

You might ask yourself what's so special about today.

The answer is... drum roll please...

The opening day of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse!

I've already admitted to two Twilight related things I'd be doing in the US if I was a.) unemployed and b.) living in LA.

1.) I would totally be 'that' person who camped out for four days to get a spot on the red carpet at the LA premier.
2.) I would also (obviously) have midnight tickets to see the movie, dress in Team Jacob apparel, and wait for hours just to get a good seat.

Unfortunately, the movie doesn't come to Korea for another week, but I'm going to see it the second it gets here and I.can't.wait.

The End.

Unfortunately, this past weekend was the end of the World Cup for Korea and the USA. I showed some Korea Red Devil spirit by wearing my team shirt on Saturday. The streets were flooded (literally, thanks to monsoon season) with red shirts, light up devil horns, and vuvuzelas. After I found out Korea made it to the final 16, I was on a mission to find a HUGE red bow.

For a country where bows are a common accessory and the majority of stores sell them in every color, shape, size, and pattern, I had the hardest time finding exactly what I wanted. Of course, after Korea lost the game, I spotted what I had been looking for all week on a random vendor's table in the middle of Time World. I had to get it, so I did. I just hope I have another occasion that calls for a giant red bow.

101 and Counting

I just realized that my previous post was my 100th post! That's huge.

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog. It seems to be the easiest way to keep everyone updated on my life in Korea and it will be fun to look back on.

So, here's to another x amount of posts... cheers!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows Everywhere

One of the lessons I taught this week was about the difference between weather and climate. There's a section in each lesson where the students have to describe each picture and then make up their own story. During Hedgehog's turn he stood up and started describing different types of weather for each day of the week.

Example: Sunday- Rainy, Monday- Cloudy, Tuesday- Thunderstorm, Wednesday- Sunny and hot, Thursday- Snowy (it was obviously a weather forecast in Michigan, hot and sunny one day and snowy the next), Friday- Cloudy again, and finally Saturday- Sunny.

Not only did he describe the weather with lots of enthusiasm, but he struck a different pose for each day to match the forecast. To top is off he ended with a jump for joy (ironic how that was his original name) because Saturday was going to be sunny.

He literally looked like this at the end of this presentation.

More World Cup Madness

I'm finally feeling the effects of the lack of sleep I received last night. I was up dilly dallying on the internet at a ridiculous hour into the morning and I heard my neighbors and people outside cheering. I knew the Korea soccer game started at 3:30 a.m. so I turned it on to see what the excitement was all about. Before I knew it, I was sucked into watching the game until the very end.

The final score was 2-2, but because Korea had more goals (or points or something like that...) they advance to the Sweet 16. I also just found out that the USA made it to the next round too! Woohoo. I sported my Korea soccer shirt and red shoes to work the other day and felt very spirited. I was surprised as to how many students told me that they woke up early/stayed up late to watch the game. Next, on my soccer-spirit-things-to-get-list include a giant red bow and matching dress... clearly, that's all I care about.

L-E-T-S-G-O, let's go, let's go... gooo team! Clap clap, clap clap, clap.

Future Picassos

Every other week students complete thinking projects. They're broken up into three days: first, we brainstorm ideas (remember webs?), then they make some sort of picture and write about it, and finally they present to the class. I always love their creativity, use of color, details, and effort. Here are some good (and one bad) examples of thinking projects:

This project was about what you want to be when you grow up and she wrote about becoming a chef. Check out all of the details on the stove.
Project fail.
This project was about the most important body part and how you could protect it. She thought the eyes were the most important and made glasses. I love the hair buns. I definitely wore my hair like that circa my Lizzie McGuire inspired hair days, butterfly clips and all.
Same project as above, but this student made a hat and headband to protect the brain. I love how the girl and boy are winking (at each other?).
This project was about how to save endangered animals. I just liked the use of ROYGBIV and dots on the end of the letters.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Jet Setting Juvenile

As usual, on Monday I asked my students how their weekend was and what they did. Most students have school exams coming up so the majority of responses included studying. However, one little girl raised her hand and told me she went to Europe as if it were no big deal. A lot of students parents do work internationally and their lucky kids get to tag along on their business trips to different countries. I told her to take me with her next time and I hope she knows I wasn't kidding.

Monday, June 21, 2010


If this shirt doesn't scream me, I don't know what does. I saw it this past weekend and obviously had to get it. I think it's my best purchase yet.

Ohhh... We're Halfway There

Ohhh, ohhh livin' on a prayer.

A little Bon Jovi for you, in honor of a great norebang sesh last night.

But I would just like to bring up that I've officially reached the halfway point for my time in Korea. It's so hard to believe that I've been living in a different country for six months now. It's really amazing how fast time goes by and I've loved every second of it. April is getting two new teachers over the next few weeks so I will no longer be the newbie at April. I'm looking forward to welcoming them and showing them around.

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my Daddio! Times like these make me wish I was closer to help celebrate what a great dad he is, but I know he's in good hands.

Here are some reasons why he's the best dad:
-In high school every morning he would make me eggs and bacon, and warm up my car for me in the middle of winter.
-He takes good care of my bugggie boo and has even been driving it around (without flowers though).
-He makes the best cowboy beans.
-He loves me unconditionally (even after my infamous parties- the first one at the Birmingham house and the second one after the PC came to Camp Curtis haha)
-He tells the best campfire stories.
-He went to every one of my skating and dance competitions and maybe even sported one of those "Skater/Dancer Dad" sweaters... maybe, I don't remember.
-He has a very wholesome laugh, especially when watching Dumb and Dumber.
-Even though he can't see the ball, he's still a good golfer.
-He knows that I like my meat burnt.

The list could go on and on, but I'll stop there.

Also another Father's Day shout out to my brother! First time daddio!

So, Happy Father's Day to all of the dad's out there, especially mine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spotted: Teacher

Remember when you were younger and it was always such a big deal to see your teacher(s) outside of school? I never realized they had a life outside of the classroom even though both of my parents were educators and clearly had a life outside of their school.

I went to Home Plus after work on Monday and while I was trying to avoid being conned into buying something I didn't need* I noticed this boy running around the aisles with a shopping cart. As he turned the corner, I realized the boy was one of my former students. He was actually a well-behaved student in class so I was surprised he was a little rambunctious in the store. At first he looked caught off guard, but after he realized it was me he greeted me with a smile and bow.

Tonight I was in the lobby of my apartment building and another one of my former students plus her family walked out of the elevator. Students are always asking me where I live and I've always seem to avoid the dreaded question, but now at least one of them know the answer for sure. She had the same reaction the boy did in Home Plus, but eventually greeted me with a smile and bow. Luckily she's very quiet and I'm actually not even sure if she still goes to April, but hopefully there won't be a swarm of students hanging out at the Itel now.

*The HP employees did it again. I must be companies dream consumer because I'm easily influenced and will buy just about anything with pink or sparkly packaging. Even though I successfully avoided the tofu ladies, I was persuaded to buy a new brand of eggs.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

K-Pop 4 Life

I told a friend (a fellow Gleek and JBiebs fan) the other day that I listen to Glee, Justin Bieber and Wicked on repeat and that's basically the extent of the 25 Most Played songs on my iTunes account. Well, I forgot to add k-pop (Korean pop music) to that list. Even though I don't understand what they're saying, I think it's so catchy and I love it.

I remember the night before I left for Korea I was watching the SYTYCD finale and The Wonder Girls performed "Nobody." At the time, I had no idea who they were, but I later found out that they are a popular k-pop group. If you don't follow me on Twitter, (which you should @michellejae), I often post the latest k-pop videos. Here's a list of some of my favorites:

1.) "Bo-Peep Song" -T-ara
2.) "Shouting Korea" -Big Bang featuring Kim Yu-Na
3.) "Cabi Song" -2PM
4.) "Sorry, Sorry" -SuperJunior
5.) "Oh!" -Girls Generation

Bowling, Birthdays, and [no] Broken Nails

This past weekend was my friend's birthday. We took Friday night off and finally saw SATC 2. I know it got awful reviews, but I abso-(f*ing)-lutely loved it! It doesn't take much for me to be entertained, but the movie brought a handful of good laugh-out-louds, fashion-yes-pleases, and how could you not love Tim Gunn's cameo?! Also, the movie theater now sells Arizona Iced Tea, enough said.

Saturday was jam packed. We started the day off bowling. I'm not the best bowler because I'm always worried about breaking a nail (seriously), but I always have fun. I'd just like to point out that I had the second highest score (97) on my team, a few spares, and even a strike. After bowling, we headed to TFI Fridays for some good old chain restaurant food. It was delicious and I fell into food coma shortly after. The best part about TGI Fridays is that they know how to do birthdays. Sure, most restaurants sing and clap, but TGI Fridays goes all out and their silly hats top it off.

Later that night, we went to Yellow Taxi, a new, super chic bar. The birthday girl used to be a professional singer in Las Vegas and has an amazing voice. The quote "You can sing the YellowPages" as they say on American Idol definitely holds true to her. She performed for about two hours first with a guitarist and then with the Urban Achievers, a CDI formed band. The last song she sang was dedicated to me and my obsession with GLEE and sang, "Don't Stop Believing." The cast of GLEE sure has some tough competition and I'm not talking about Vocal Adrenaline.

Sunday was just as busy. A bunch of us went to dakgalbi and then went shopping. I need more summery, work appropriate clothes and funny enough, I ran into a bunch of Korean staff who were all doing the same. Sunday night was A's birthday celebration part two. We frequently go to La Cellier, a restaurant down the street from my apartment, to relax on Sunday nights. Some people there threw a mini par-tay for A and we enjoyed another concert from her. I'd say it was a successful, birthday weekend filled with good food, laughs, and music.

Check out the guys TGI Friday's inspired guitar.
The birthday girl!
Check out my form!
We should start a bowling league.
No big deal... M- 97.

Almost Famous

A few weeks ago I checked out a local flee market. On my way there, we were stopped by security and directed towards a detour because a movie was being filmed! Unfortunately, they didn't need any extras, but here's the scene of the movie from above:

The World Cup

I never realized how big of a deal soccer was (besides David Beckham) until now. In case you are less of a sports fan than me, the World Cup is taking place in South Africa over the next month. The South Korea Red Devils played their first game against Greece and won 2-0! I'm not really sure what the next step for their team is or even when their next game is, but I think their win was a big deal (question mark, ha).

Walking around Saturday reminded me of a typical tailgating scene at MSU (P.S. I know Izzo coaches basketball, but please don't leave MSU). Everyone was dressed in red, sporting light up devil horns, carrying noise makers, and rallying before the game. I felt like every restaurant, bar, and even the convenient stores had the game on. It was a fun crowd to be around so hopefully the SK Red Devils can keep their winning streak up.

R Rated

Today I led a Topic Discussion on the human body. For the first part my students had to make a list of all of the body parts they knew. We started at the top with the head and worked our way down to our toes. For the second part, they had to choose what they thought the most important body part was and list two reason why. I was thinking they'd pick obvious ones like the brain or heart, however, they didn't. A few students raised they hand and asked what "this" was called and pointed "down there." I tried to play it off and said stomach and quickly changed the subject really pushing them to choose the brain or heart. I didn't get out of it too easily because then a boy asked the same question. Really?! I kept talking about how important the brain was and persuaded them to choose that. Phew.

Daejeon Cribs

Pictures of my apartment are long overdue, but here are some:

The giant Christmas colored Easter egg in the background is a pinata.
I obviously have SATC and GLEE pictures on my closet doors.
I don't have a dryer, so I have to air dry everything, but at least I have a washer right in my bathroom.
My futon is open for visitors!
The best part about my bathroom is an actual shower door!

Not a Tony, but Close

At the end of each term we nominate a 'Best Actor' and 'Best Student' from each class. There are also awards for 'Best Writing' and the 'Highest Achievement Score'. I'm not sure who makes the final decision, but I'm pleased to announce my students "won" a lot of categories including:

Best Student
-Seed 2
-Sprout 1
-Sprout 2

Best Acting
-Seed 2
-Sprout 1
-Sprout 2

Highest Achievement Score
-Seed 1
-Sprout 1

So, yay. I'm so proud.

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Term, New Name

Monday was the beginning of Summer Term. So far, I absolutely love my classes. I'm teaching seven different levels ranging for Seed 1 all the way up to Sapling 2. The only downside is that I have a lot more prepping to do, but I'm not complaining since some of the lessons I taught this week were on Oprah, dolphins, and Brad Pitt. The good news is that I still teach Joy/T-ara/Girls Generation/Cow. On Monday I made him choose a name and stick with it.

His new name is...


I guess he has a pet Hedgehog and wanted to be named after it. So, the saga continues... stay tuned for more Hedgehog stories.

Two Words: Pink Dolphins

As many of you know, I love the color pink and my favorite animal are dolphins so putting the two together is almost as good as watching Idina Menzel on Glee.

Today, my students had an assignment to make a brochure for an aquarium. It's a higher level class so I am able to have more detailed conversations with them and they always have something to say. This one boy raised his hand and told me about a new aquarium that's being built in Daejeon. He said it should be finished by late August and it's going to be the biggest aquarium in Korea. After he saw my excitement, he went on and told me that there are going to be pink dolphins! This is the first week of new classes so he doesn't know me well enough to know that I'm obsessed with pink AND dolphins so I don't think it's something he would just make up. I.can't.wait.

Peace, Love, and Dolphin Kisses

Whipped Into Shape...

Brooke Windham style.

Name that movie.

Legally Blonde. It's actually a song from Legally Blonde: The Musical and the scene involves lots of jump roping and it looks incredibly tiring and hard, but it's a great way to start off Act 2.

Anyways, the point of the title is that Brooke Windham is an exercise instructor and I just joined a gym to get whipped into shape. Shocking, I know. I've never been a gym goer. I think I went to IM West three times during my whole college career and it was just to watch Laguna Beach on the elliptical.

The gym I joined is right across the street from my apartment so I have no excuse not to go. There are also personal TV's on each machine so if I go at the right time, I can watch all of my favorite shows on the style channel. The staff there are all extremely nice and helpful.

There's this one guy who helped me sign up. He knows little English, but is fluent in Spanish so he always tries talking to me in it thinking that I'll understand. I mean I did take Spanish for four years, but all I can understand him say is si, si. They also provide you with gym clothes so everyone wears the same thing and it's less laundry for me to do. I need new tennis shoes and I really want Reebok EasyTone shoes. I hope to keep my gym visits frequent and will be ready to show off a bangin' beach body at MudFest.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

So as I was checking my regular website list a few days ago, I realized that Kristin Stewart and Taylor Lautner were doing press in Australia. W leaves for the land down under in a week, so I immediately wrote to her on Facebook telling her to keep an eye out for my future husband, TL. What if they were on the same plane?! I.would.die.

Anyways, so that was exciting and then I came to realize that their next stop was going to be SEOUL. S-E-O-U-L... as in Seoul, South Korea... as in the country I'm in... as in an hour train ride away. I couldn't believe it and I was going to do everything I could to see TL. I think I was getting a little ahead of myself because I was already brainstorming poster ideas to catch his attention. So then, I quickly researched the details hoping that I would be able to make one of their events, but unfortunately I missed out.

I just saw pictures of them online in Seoul, so they really were here. I just can't believe I missed everything. Maybe I'll have better luck next time... in LA!

P.S. Korea is really gearing up for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Not only did they host the two biggest stars of the movie (I'm clearly Team Jacob, RPatz, who?!), but the style channel just started playing The Vampire Diaries and Twilight. I'm obviously a fan.

P.P.S. R.I.P. (so many letter abbrevs right there) Rue McClanahan. She was obviously best known for her role on The Golden Girls, but she also played Madame Morrible in Wicked.