Saturday, November 3, 2007

Everyday is a holiday at Everland

Everland is a Korean amusement park - think more Disney than Cedar Point - whose slogan in "Everyday (sic) is a holiday at Everland!" In my limited experience - one day at Everland, which also happened to be a holiday, Halloween - this statement is one hundred percent true.

Instead of having a regular school day on Wednesday, APIS had a field trip to Everland. I think it had something to do with reconciling Christianity and Halloween, which apparently is difficult for some people, by avoiding the issue entirely. Personally, I think anti-Halloween parents are overreacting a bit, but then again, I have seen some pop star costumes on little girls that offend me, much less God. So to Everland we went.

I was quite concerned about the safety of the rides, but it was actually a high-quality amusement park. And I've never been to one in the fall, and I have to say that the cool day was much nicer than some of the scorchers I've been to at Cedar Point (although the water rides aren't quite so much fun). My seventh graders behaved impeccably. We did lose a couple of sixth graders for a while, and I had a crisis where the cafeteria lady said my lunch voucher was only valid for the acorn noodles, but all came together in the end. The kids got a kick out of seeing Justin in jeans.

What really amused me was the fact that on Thursday, back at school, all the kids seemed like they'd been steamrollered. I was pretty pooped, but I had to bounce back to teach, so I did. Aren't kids supposed to have faster recovery times? The difference probably came from Justin and my 8:30 bedtime. Amazing what eleven hours can do for you.

And on a last note- thanks so much for all the wonderful birthday wishes! We had a party last night at a fellow teacher's apartment and I baked cupcakes from care-package cupcake mix. No Korean birthday soup for me! Two students actually gave me small presents - a lavender aromatherapy pillow and a picture frame - which I thought was very sweet. And tonight, Justin took me into town for a birthday hamburger at TGI Friday's. Hooray birthdays!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Land of Murphy's Law

I'm not really feeling "Land of the Morning Calm" for Korea these days, and I'm really leaning towards Murphy's Law as the defining characteristic of life here. For instance, our really anticipated outing today? Toast, due to slow breakfast service at McDonald's, constant transit problems, and directions to go to "Yongsan Post Office" when there are at least three post offices and the only one that shows up on the map is very evidently not the one where we were supposed to be. So we got up at 6:30 on a Sunday for absolutely nothing.

Really, it's been frustrating. I know you've seen our posts about how the Internet refuses to work (both at home and in our classrooms), about the fact that the recycling pickup is on Saturday mornings before 10 AM, about how I can't eat the food without getting sick, about the month-long delay in our shipment... it just seems like nothing will go right here, even the stuff that honestly shouldn't be that hard. And I know that once you get in a funk, you always pay attention to the negative and forget the stuff that's going right - for instance, my care packages from my mom have gotten here great, and the slingbox is working right now and has provided us with football and an amusing new show called Pushing Daisies on top of our beloved House. But even typing that, I want to point out how I can't use some of the stuff in the care package because we're the only school apartment without an oven and how the slingbox still cuts out for no reason, sometimes in the middle of shows.

Anyway, we were pretty bummed to miss that trip today for yet another stupid reason. I'm going to send an e-mail and see if we can get some refund or at least apply the money to a future trip.

Now, back to Slingboxed college football...