the end trip…

March 28, 2011

As we planned and planned and planned for our 3-week trip to Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, and Ireland, we always referred to it as “the end trip.”  The trip came at the end of a trying (and in some ways great) year in South Korea.  When things were hard, and even when things were good, we always had this trip to look forward to.  We were so fortunate to have great friends and family to help us plan the trip, and great weather for the three weeks in early spring (not necessarily the most reliable season for traveling).  It turned out to be just the reward we had hoped for.

So here are the highlights of the end trip.  We had about 2,000 pictures.  Don’t worry…I narrowed it down a bit…

(If you want to see a bigger version of the picture, click on it…it will show up in a new window, and in this window you can easily scroll through all of the pictures.   If you want to see an even bigger version of the picture, click on it again).

Singapore and Malaysia

January 14, 2011

We had a great great great trip for our Christmas break!  We were in Singapore for to two days, Pulau Pankgor (an island off the west coast of Malaysia) for 3 days and Kuala Lumpur (the capital of Malaysia) for 2 days.

Here are more pictures than you probably ever wanted to see of Singapore and Malaysia.  🙂   I just couldn’t narrow them down any more…


Welp, the place is decorated for Christmas!

After a rather not-normal Thanksgiving day  (10- hour work day, then dinner with a couple of our American friends at a Korean restaraunt, where we ate dak galbi (our favorite food in Korea, but not at all Thanksgiving-y), which looks something like this:

…we came home, moved the Christmas music from the external harddrive into itunes, and began making paper snowflakes.  Little did I know that this simple act of Christmas cheer would spiral into a weekend of non-stop paper decoration making.  Several elements came together  to make the perfect storm of paper crafting:

One, I realized paper crafts were the perfect decorations for this year:  I didn’t really want to buy decorations or a bunch of supplies to make decorations.  But, I also didn’t want to NOT decorate for Christmas.

Two, I had a bunch of good quality red and green paper that I bought a few months back with intention to do hand-made Christmas cards (an idea that fell through…another story completely, and not that interesting, so I’ll spare you).

Three, I had just come down with a cold so I wasn’t feeling up for doing too much outside the house.  This meant I had a whole two days on my hands, and I’m not someone who knows how to sit around and do nothing.

So, soon the apartment floor was covered with paper scraps and half-used tissues (I have a gross habit of leaving Kleenexes lying around…not one of Scott’s favorite parts about me.)  And by Monday morning, the place looked like this:

Merry Christmas!  Happy Holidays!



November 28, 2010


I was bored one Saturday afternoon so I made this video.  Check it out if you like.





Well, it’s been too long since the last post, as I discovered while trying to figure out which pictures I haven’t posted yet.  There’s a ton of them!

Busan for Scott’s birthday shark dive, and an international film festival:

Field trip to a sweet potato farm with the kindergarteners.  We dug up yakons and sweet potatoes, picked pumpkins, and scrounged around for chestnuts.  Oh, and we did the hokey pokey, which we practiced at school the day before… about 100 times.

Day trip to Heinsa, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Korea

It’s FALL!!!!!!

Halloween party at the kindergarten

Scott with one of the other teachers, Ben.

Fellow teachers Ben and Janna.

Me and Jennifer, the newest teacher at the kindergarten.

and of course, cute kids (this is my favorite class)


Shark Dive

October 19, 2010

For my birthday this year I got to do a shark dive at the Busan Aquarium.  It was definitely one of the coolest and most surreal things that I’ve done.  Check out the video if you like.  I’m the one with the red shoulders on my my wet suit






October 16, 2010

We had a few days off for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).  Instead of going on a big trip, we took a few day trips and it made for a really great vacation.  Here are the highlights:

Jiu Jitsu

September 13, 2010

I’ve been doing Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing for about 3 months now so I figured I would try to enter a tournament.  Here’s some of the footage from that.  I ended winning a bronze medal.

Happy Chuseok!

September 11, 2010

Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving, is fast approaching.  The supermarkets are full of gifts to give for the harvest festival:

Spam and tuna gift sets.  Yum.


Be Smart

September 8, 2010

Our school has a contract with a Korean textbook company called Be Smart.  They make textbooks for teaching English.  We use them in all of our classes, kindergarten through middle school.  They are terrible; filled with spelling errors, grammar mistakes, ridiculous topics.  Here are some examples of why we hate (and sometimes love) using these books:

**You can scroll over, or click on, the pictures to make them bigger.

For the “Let’s Play” pages, we are supposed to explain what’s happening in the pages, act it out, and then have the kids act it out.  So, here’s the one that Scott and I both had to do recently.

So, after I explained the process of going to the bathroom, and acted it out (much to the 5-year-olds’ joy), I put a chair in the front of the room and said “Ok, this is our toilet.  Now you all can pretend you are going to the bathroom.”   They always love this part, and today was no different.  The first girl rushed to the front of the classroom.  I said “OK Joan (pronounced Joanne), show us the first step.  Pull down your pants.”  She proceeded to pull down her pants.  NOT pretend pull down her pants….REAL pull down her pants.

**side note, notice the expression on the boy’s face on the far left.

Mind Maps:

In the Be Smart book, there are pages dedicated to mind maps.  For mind maps, we write a word on the board and the kids tell us everything they can think of that has to do with that word.  We are supposed to write them on the board and encourage the kids to come up with 15 ideas for each mind map.  Scott and I have both had the good fortune to teach the Be Smart book that has a mind map for “anus”.  Below is a picture from the teacher’s book, with some suggestions written in by a previous teacher.  As you can imagine, the 5th graders’ ideas were not so scientific and mature.

These mind maps were kind of hard to do.  Basically, they just encouraged the kids to spit out every stereotype they know.  But, I thought the picture for American was pretty hilarious.

Each day, the kindergarten teachers put up an “Expression of the Day” which they get from the Be Smart books.  One morning, I walked into classroom and saw this one:

And the grand finale: