Saturday, July 31, 2010


1. In 18 days, I will be in the air on my way to Korea.
This week, I secured a one-way flight (!) and acquired my visa to live in Korea for a year. It should make everything more real but for some reason I'm still in denial. Is it okay that I'm mostly excited for the movies on the international flight? I can't think too far past that right now. My head might explode.

2. Getting your teaching certificate online is a lot of work, but it's worth it.
I thought I was good at grammar before taking these classes. What I REALLY learned is that native English-speakers really take their language for granted. It's difficult at best to learn. But now that I've had these classes, despite loathing the English language before I even become a teacher, I feel prepared to teach any grade level now. My hope? 1st-2nd graders. Adorable.

3. I love learning Korean. But I don't know nearly enough.
Knowing the language isn't required to be a teacher in Korea, but I wanted to know some before leaving. Podcasts have been the most helpful. If you are ever interested in learning Korean, Youtube or find their podcasts in iTunes. I even took them on vacation with me and found it pretty easy to pick up.

4. My suitcase remains untouched because I'm scared to put everything in it.
It's hidden by a pile of clothes sitting in the corner of my room. And I don't even want to think about the extra things I'm going to need to get before leaving:

-lotion (because many lotions in Korea have skin-whitening agents in them)
-deodorant (because it's pretty uncommon in Korea)
-grammar book (for obvious reasons)
-watch with alarm (so I can still get up on time for orientation while I don't have a phone)

and probably some other things I haven't even thought of yet.

5. Ulsan is 16 hours ahead of Seattle time.
So if you ever want to know what tomorrow's going to look like, just ask me. Well maybe not.
But to find out what time it is in my corner of the world, you can

a) Guess.
b) Take your current time, add 4 hours and flip the am/pm (for people in PST only).
c) visit this link, which also includes a weather report. You can even search for other locations too, to keep up with all your friends around the world.

6. This is going to be a great adventure.

Enough said. And above any challenge or hesitance I know it's going to be worth it.
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Kimchi explosion.

So, the stats:

6= the approximate number of weeks til I touch down in South Korea.
17= the number of units I have left to complete for my teaching certification.
1= the number of twists it took on a jar of kimchi for it to explode in my kitchen this afternoon.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish. Essentially, it is pickled cabbage, marinated with chili and other Korean spices to make a hot and pungent delight. And when I say 'delight', I mean 'acquired taste.' But after the initial shock of seeing red kimchi juice splatter the counter in an 8-inch radius, I really grew fond of the flavor. Thankfully.

In my excitement to try new things and desire to experience more of Korea before my departure, I failed to look at the top of the jar, which says quite clearly: "Due to fermentation, contents of this jar may be under pressure. To open, place a napkin over lid and twist over a sink." Simple enough, if only I had caught it prior to opening the jar.

Hopefully the rest of my preparation will be just as exciting... but maybe a little less messy.
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