Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Happy Hangul Day!

Today's music is some Eric Whitacre, because who can ever get enough of that guy. I listened to a piece of his called October the other day, and then found this piece, which seems to be the same theme but arranged in a choral piece. There is only one lyric: Alleluia. Sometimes there is too much thankfulness in me to say anything else, so here's a song of worship for when your heart is full: Alleluia.

It's Hangul Day here, a day celebrating the incredibly awesome and logical Korean alphabet. Thank you King Sejong for being such a cool monarch. As I saw written so wisely somewhere on the internet, somewhere he and Sequoia are giving each other high fives. Linguistics Hall of Famers. If you feel bored, teach yourself the alphabet...might take you 3 hours tops to have it down pat? It's that good.

Last week we went on a staff retreat in Pocheon, spent some time together playing games and learning some more about restorative justice practices. One of my favorites was the game where we split into teams and picked animals for the people in that group that accurately represented us, then traded lists and tried to guess which animal went with which person. Some of them were more fitting than others, but here's our list:
Me: Swan             Karen: Sheep  
Yoonseo: Hyena     Sarah: Llama
Heather: Dolphin    Kate: Hummingbird
Juhee: Black Bear   Michael: Meerkat
Sunghyun: Sloth    Anna: Goat
Yongjin: Deer        Kaia: Koala
Minji: Hamster       Jae: Hanwoo (Korean Beef Cow)

Personally, I'm not fully on board with swan for myself. Maybe goose is more fitting. Anyway, it was an awesome time of fellowship, hanging out, playing some early morning badminton, listening the Vince Guaraldi trio while drinking Cass beer and Rooibos tea etc. The teachers also heard a little more about what our KOPI staff are doing with their lectures and workshops about restorative justice, which is a totally fascinating field that maybe I'll make a quick little post about sometime after I do more reading on it.

These days I have been feeling so blessed by this community that I get to work and live with. Basically all of them are awesome all the time, so it's hard to express it, but here's some concrete examples for you:
My computer recently bit the dust, which is a really huge bummer, because it would probably take me a few months to save up even for a little rinky-dink netbook, so I was trying to figure out what to do, when Yongjin said he had an old macbook that has a bad battery, but can be used if it is plugged in that he could lend me. I was actually starting to feel really stressed about the situation that day, and it took a lot of weight off my shoulders. Thanks Yongjin!

Two days ago I had a terrible sneezing cold/pressure sinus thing that made me feel like I simultaneously had been punched in the eye and had cotton in my head and a nose like a faucet. It was especially bad in the evening, and I was planning to just take some benadryl and go to bed without dinner, but Kaia came to the rescue and made me dinner in bed and chamomile tea. I was able to fall asleep early feeling all warm in my tum and woke up the next morning feeling so much better. Thanks Kaia!

Community News:
* Today is also Karen's birthday and baby shower day! I am making pumpkin soup again yippeeeee!
* All of us teachers and Kaia just ran in a 5k in Chuncheon to raise money for Justice or North Korea, which focuses on helping North Korean refugees. It was an awesome day. We met up with Eunhye, Yoonseo's school friend who lives in Chuncheon and all ran together and then went out for dalkkalbi after.
* TOPIK exam in just 12 days for me and Sarah. Yikes!
* Michael, Heather, Kate, Anna and I are going to start doing language exchange with a guy who is interning for KOPI, Dongwook. He's teaching us Korean and we're going to take turns teaching him English. I'm super pumped to get some more practice with conversation.

Recently Watched:
* Return To Me (2000). Because we can't get enough rom-com in this place.
* Last episode of Sherlock, the Reichenbach Fall. Holy crap. I'm late to the party but...SHERLOCK HOW?!
* Next Up: Downtown Abbey.

Recent Quotes:
* "Always pursue the greatness of sky-shaping...I'm a poet."--Man at the subway keen to practice his English
* "Are you guys home yet? Settlers."--Heather the recent game-a-holic.

In the classroom:
* "My mom is very old." Jiwon's spelling test sample sentence.
* " The Hen has a bread store and makes a lot of money." (accompanied by picture of a Tous Les Jours store) --Dongwon's ending to the Little Red Hen story.

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