Even though I haven't really been doing a whole lot of blogging, I have been doing some things so I guess it's more like I have just been lazy at blogging. Last time we left off, I was hanging out in the goshiwon and getting settled into there. Since then, I had my mini-vacation within my vacation where I wasn't teaching any classes, but now I'm back to work and resuming my class at the University.
I guess I'll just give you the highlights of what I have been doing rather than a gargantuan blog post.
- I traveled to Daegu to visit my friend Elaine and help out with her winter English camp at her elementary school. It was really cool! I went the night before and stayed with her homestay where we had a nice dinner and got to hang out with her host parents and siblings. They were really nice and they spoke really good English! Her siblings are also very good at English even though they are both in elementary school. In fact, I think her host sister would probably fit right in with the advance class at my high school haha. She's very smart!
- It was really fun to help out with her winter camp too. They were doing kind of a food camp and the day I was there, they were dying Easter eggs. Elaine introduced me as "The Egg Master" since I told her that I am totally into dying eggs and that I still do it regularly which is true. It was really fun! Her kids were very well behaved and even though it was a bit messy and got a little crazy at times, it turned out to be a great cultural lesson for them as none of them have ever done it before. So yeah Daegu was great! Oh I also got a really nice new winter coat. It was definitely a lot more than I would normally spend, but it was like more 50% off and it had a really high quality and I know I'll wear it for a long time so it's worth it.
- My wonderful co-teacher, Ms. Jeon, booked my flight tickets over to Jeju for the Spring Fulbright conference! Yay!! I'm really excited to finally get over to Jeju. Jeju is the island off the southern coast of Korea and is frequently called Korea's Hawaii. Granted it is not nearly as warm, but from what I have heard and seen, it seems to be just as beautiful and has many lovely white beaches. Unfortunately, I will be there in April so I probably won't be able to enjoy the beach as much as I would like, but I'm not complaining! I'm really really excited to go to Jeju!
- Along with or invitation to the conference came a survey inquiring about the possibility of renewing our grant. With Fulbright, you are permitted to renew your grant for up to two additional years, provided that you have performed well enough during your first grant year. Well, I'm still not 100% sure either way so that's basically how I filled the form out. Honestly, I'm probably not going to renew, but I'm not completely committed to saying no yet. If I were to renew, I would change cities and schools. Suncheon is awesome, but there aren't really any ETAs around as I have mentioned before so I would want to go to a new city. If I were to renew, I would definitely keep an all-boys high school environment, but I think I would want students that have higher levels of English. I don't know. Like I said, I probably won't end up renewing, but I still have to get a little more info about it so we'll see how it goes!
- And yes, I started my new class at the university! I actually have two classes now so that's cool! It's pretty much the same thing as last time, just have a discussion and informal chats. The biggest difference between this and last class is that I have a budget!! Yay!!! It's about 400 dollars so I have to spend it wisely. A good part of it will probably be spent this week towards buying ingredients for a cooking class that I am doing. I am super stoked for it!! I think we are also going to go to Norebang/Karaoke and to a Board Game cafe where we can teach each other games and stuff. I'm pretty stoked.
- We went out as a class for Valentine's Day. The first class and I went to a coffeeshop and the 2nd one and I went out for lunch. It was really fun! In celebrating V-Day and most of our single-ness, we decided that the topic of the day should be love and relationships in Korea and America. It was pretty educational and it was fun to be able to talk about it and compare and contrast Korea and America with regard to those things.
- I have been continuing getting beatings at CrossFit Busan. I can't believe how much harder it is here! This week they introduced a new exercise called Hindu Pushups. It's basically like a push up except you dip down onto the floor and flow back. I don't really know how to describe it well. It's like combining "The Worm" dance with push-ups. For some reason, I just can NOT do them! I don't know if it's because my upper body strength is like non-existent or if I'm just too uncoordinated or if I have bad balance or what. It was pretty awful. He also tried to get us doing more exercises with the Kettlebell but that wasn't really working out because we couldn't get the right form down and he didn't want us to hurt ourselves haha.
- But I'm starting to get to know everyone there a bit better and they're all super cool. I was chatting with the owner and he told me that he is leaving in September to go to Dubai to compete in the World Jiu Jitsu Championship. I guess he got 1st place in the East Asian trials so it's pretty exciting stuff. He's going to get to fly over there and stay in the famous 7 star hotel there. He said that he's also entering grad school at PNU this March and he's going to get married in October, on top of all of his training for World's and opening the gym! It's crazy!! But yeah, all of them are cool and I'm kind of bummed that I have to leave so soon.
- I've also been able to hang out with some of my Fulbright buddies that have come down here to Busan! I got to meet up with Payal, Ryan, Adam, Hilary, and Lauren was just here for the weekend. It's great to be able to see them! Most of them are all up in Seoul now so I haven't been able to see them as often as I would like, but some of them are starting to make their way down here so I'm super stoked about that! I'm trying to get them to come to my class, but a lot of them are teaching winter camps and things like that so it's been a little tricky to coordinate, but I think I'll be able to get a couple of them to come in towards the end of this week and some of next week too.