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Apr. 6th, 2010

My new website

Find me here now:


Thank you ~

Mar. 26th, 2010

What's going on with jjwmy?

So I'm preparing to move my blog from here to my new website, which will primarily have my photography and my blog! :) Yep, I'm moving my blog again, and you might ask, why does Janet move so much in the blogging world?
1) I like joining different blogs that are perhaps more up to date with styling/layouts
2) Sometimes it's a great to blog somewhere new (a good change)
3) Some new blog sites allow many different features over others.
4) The main reason I'm moving this time is because I will have my very own website! I'm so excited! I doubt I will have to move much after this.

I will post the link here soon, so stay posted! I already have many ideas on what I could write about, and hopefully I will post photos more regularly on there. :)

To all those who followed my blog during my time in Korea, thank you for all your support! :) This blog truly helped me during hard times, not only through writing down my thoughts, but from your responses!

In other news, I recently bought a new lens, so hopefully I will have more opportunities to go out to take photos when it gets warmer! It's been a good year since I've really taken photography for granted. I'm also looking for a part-time/full-time position (administrative or teaching related), while I anxiously await Teacher's college acceptance results! :)

Jan. 31st, 2010

Incheon airport

I'm sitting in Incheon airport now...surrounded by Filipinos lol because I think there is a flight to the philippines at the same gate. I always get sort of nervous before I get on the plane. I'm not sure why. I got my carry on checked by customs for the first time, I guess I stuffed too many souvenirs in there and I was suspicious :P Such a hassle, but I shouldn't get frustrated, it's their job afterall.

It turns out my friend who is on the same flight as me, is with her friends.

Amy is sooo kind! She helped me not only with everything in Korea, but she helped me until the end. She is one of the nicest people I know! She came with me to the airport (5hr bus ride), and it really helped me out A LOT considering how many luggages I had! We arrived like 4 hours early, so we ate dinner at the restaurants in the basement level (I never knew it existed!). I just can't thank her enough for her kindness. She gave me a calendar which had a lot of our photos on it. It's such a cool present! :D I can put it on my desk! I'm really going to miss her, she's almost like family to me! I will miss her a lot! I hope she comes to visit me in Toronto!

I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do, like send postcards to everyone back home :( I feel sorry... I should have done it earlier! :/

I am so excited to fly back home...just 1.5 hrs left until my flight! :D I can't wait to see everyone and share my stories!

Jan. 10th, 2010

With a blink of the eye...

it's January already! Which means I'm coming home soon! So much has happened during my holidays that I have update here, but I'm way too busy now to do so. :(

I might have to update here when I come back.

I'm really sad that my adventure here in Korea is coming to an end soon. It's truly been amazing and more than I expected it to be!

I'm thinking about creating a more professional blog maybe at some other location (one with no ads). I like blogging! :) Just no time now. Blog next time! Take care everyone, and Happy New Year! :)

Dec. 10th, 2009

rain + fan signs

Today is a rainy day. As I rode the bus home from school, I noticed these guys standing on the bus b/c I thought they were soaked from the rain. But then I saw that one of them was carrying an umbrella. It didn't make any sense to me if their jackets were soaked! Then I understood, it was their jackets, with the ever-so-popular "shiney" look!!! LOL Refer to below for an example! I swear it looked soaked to me!! All of them were wearing "shiney" coats...so I thought they were all soaked XD hahaha

Doesn't it look wet?!!! ^

Grade 1 & 2 are the hardest grades for me to teach here in Korea. The kids are so hyper, and so young, added to the fact they don't understand a word of English I speak to them - makes it hard for me to teach them as they lose interest, and start getting up out of their seats, talking to their neighbours. Today I went into class prepared and ready to take them on. I didn't want to be the super strict, no fun teacher. But I started the class like that b/c they didn't seem to be taking me seriously. I used a "3 strikes & you're out" system, telling them that if they reached 3 strikes, I'd take a sticker away from them, and also kick them out of the class. They listened, and it worked! So then, I erased my bad mood (my "getting angry" mood), by telling myself, 'they're young, they don't understand.', and didn't take it personally. I continued with the game I prepared for them to play. The game required the class to be split into 2 teams - it was the Fly Swatter game (team version). Each team had to win fly swatter rounds, for their bird to reach the top of their tree to the nest(I drew this on the board). I could tell they loved this game b/c 95% of them were listening, and participating. Quickly as the game progressed, I lost my bad mood, and laughed at how cute they were. When students were calling other student's bad names or making fun of them, such as "pa-boo" ("stupid" in Korean), I told them, "No, that is not nice to say, be nice and play as a team. I think they were surprised that I knew? So then, 5 minutes later, they got the concept of playing as a team. As the game winded down to a very close one, amongst the class, fan signs were being waved in the air, and they began to cheer for their teammates. It was the most hilarious thing that I've seen! And adding their cute factor into this...I couldn't help but laugh!!! It was so cute!!! I wish I took a photo of it! They had many fan signs and waved it back and forth like a soccer game or something. lol! I warned them to not be too loud, and they obeyed.

I think my class had fun with the game, and for the most part, they were awesome. That's all I could ask for from my Grade 1/2 class, who is forced to sit for 80 minutes listening to me and probably not understanding a lot of things I was saying. Although they are the most challenging class, I truly want each one of them to improve and to learn from my class. I'm trying my best to find a teaching method that will work best for them. So far, I think it's a well thought out, simple game, and worksheets. Although I may get really angry at them sometimes, I truly care for each one of them, and boy are they cuties! :)

Dec. 9th, 2009

the smart kids

Sometimes I wish the smart kids wouldn't be so gosh darn smart! b/c they deprive me of my extra worksheets for them, causing me to search for more suitable worksheets for them. I'm just joking though, it's amazing to have smart kids in my class. They can help me with translations/helping others. The level of English some of them are speaking is incredible. For example, 2 of my kids in Grade 2, I think they should be in the Grade 4 level. It's incredible how much Hagwons (private tutoring) improve their English; how much parents rely on these schools for their children's English education. I used to not respect these schools as much as the Public school system, but actually, I have a lot of respect for these "Hagwons" now. They really make a difference, and this difference is seen in the English level of the students that I teach.

I took a really long nap (since my internet wasn't working). And boy, do I feel good now. I guess I was sleep deprived without even knowing it. I can't wait for the weekend, 2 more days! :)
I really can't believe time is flying by so fast here in Korea. It just seems like yesterday that I arrived. But at the same time, I miss everyone back home, and can't wait to see them! I'm really sorry for not writing to a lot of you (via snail mail) sooner. I feel really busy here, and haven't gotten around to doing so. HOpefully soon! I apologize once again! Hope you all are doing good!

Dec. 4th, 2009

bouncing back

I had a good day today. I'm proud of myself for bouncing back up from a chaotic day of teaching yesterday. Today, I guess my 5/6 class got my message (after giving them 5 min of silent detention yesterday). They listened more, and liked the game I came up with (a variation of Connect Four). They liked how it was strategic.

Yesterday the topic was Amusement Park, and when I asked the students, "Who has been on a rollercoaster before?" Some students didn't have their hand up. I found it funny b/c they were trying to explain to me that they were still too short to go on the rollercoasters. lol

I've been itching to play badminton ever since I saw all the students carrying badminton rackets to school. It must be badminton season for them. So today I saw some of my Grade 5 students, so I was like, Can I play for a bit? lol Wow, I had so much fun playing badminton with them! Even though I didn't play for long, I enjoyed it A LOT! I realize how much I miss the sport. The kids ended up beating me. LOL ><" But it's ok! I had lots of fun! :D

Just shows, never give up, and keep working hard, and it will pay off!

Nov. 23rd, 2009

Michael Jackson

I laughed as I was taking attendance today b/c two students in my class sat together today, and their names are: Michael & Jackson. LOL!! Maybe they did it on purpose?

Today I bought ginger tea from e-mart! It actually has ginger in it! I'm excited to try it! :)
In other news, my sinus cold is getting better. :) You won't believe the difference, how much better I feel while I'm teaching when I'm healthy.

My head teacher today told me about the ski cultural trip that I'll be going to, on Dec. 21 & 22. It's PERFECT timing, b/c that's right before Lisa & Sherry come to visit me! Plus, I get 2 days off without taking any paid leave days. And I get paid! I'm so happy!!! I can't wait until then! :D:D I'm really excited to 1) go skiing here 2) see Lisa & Sherry 3) for christmas to come! I love the xmas spirit, although koreans don't really celebrate it here supposedly (only couples do).

I talked to my landlord lady, and she's so nice! She can't speak much Korean, but she asked for my cell phone #, and told me to text her b/c she wants to learn English. lol! Then she called me, saying she wants me to pick up some mail tm? I hope I understood correctly... lol

Anyways, got to do my applications today! I need to finish most of them by Wednesday, latest!

Have a happy day! :)

Nov. 15th, 2009

Updates - its been awhile!

Starting tomorrow, my students change, and I get a "fresh set" of students! :) The reason for this is because the school wants the most number of students to have the chance to learn English with a foreign teacher. It was really sad for me to say goodbye to a lot of my students. Most of them really cared, and worked hard in my class. I'm really happy when my students are so eager to participate. Those sticker sheets work wonders! For the students who were real troublemakers, I miss them in a way, that I won't have the chance to help them improve, and get it through to them that English will be important to them in the future. But for all their disruptive behaviour, I will certainly not miss that. lol :P A lot of my students are really keen. I'm very proud to teach a lot of my students. Just seeing their drive and motivation to learn English at their age, while English is very difficult for them - makes me reflect. They motivate me to improve on my teaching, so that they will learn more efficiently.

There is no Daylight Savings Time here in Korea. I must admit, I like DST because there is more light in your day. Now, it's 5:47pm, and it's pitch dark outside. :( Makes me think that my day has already ended when I see the darkness.

I've started taking Taekwondo classes (with my friend Megan) for exercise, and I want to learn Korea's sport! :) The classes have been amazing. My muscles were feeling cranky, and Taekwondo was the best way to cure my laziness! We do pretty intense cardio exercises - like sprinting, skipping rope, jumping in sets. Then we do push ups (which I can not do :( ), sit ups, jumping jacks. The stretches are like heaven for me because in a day, I just sit at my desk usually, and get up for a few hours to go class, then sit back down. I take the classes at night, and by the end of class, it usually makes me feel very awake. :) I also feel less stressed, happier, more confident and energized. The down side from all this, is that it takes up a lot of my actual energy, and I've ended up catching a cold :( Also, my muscles ached the first week...but that doesn't set me back, because it's when your muscles ache, is when you feel you've actually done a good amount of exercise. The actual moves - like kicking, punching, blocking - are very technical. I find that a lot of the time, I get very confused with coordinating my two hands, and my feet. lol - in the end, I have my trainer/master laughing at my miscoordination. But it's ok, I'm determined to do well! It's hard to remember the names of each move too. But with practice, we'll get it right! I really love the front kicks!! :)

The weather here in Gyeongsan is getting colder. It's currently 6 degrees, and feels like 1. I feel like the weather is so cold. I can't imagine going home to weather below -10 degrees o____O. I bought a winter hat to prepare myself for the cold. My friends come visit me in 1 month. I'm VERY excited for Christmas in another country! I can't wait to go Christmas shopping too! I wish there were more pretty Christmas lights here in Daegu. I've only seen some at the big department stores.

Yesterday, Megan & I went on a hunt for Krispy Kreme donuts, haha! It all started when Megan saw this guy carrying 2 boxes of them when we were exiting Banwoldang station! So then we both wanted to eat donuts! So we searched this part of downtown Daegu, where we thought the donuts might be at. Megan hasn't tried Krisy Kreme donuts before too...so she prob wanted them more than I did? But I was really craving the soft donuts. YUM! In the end, it was a disappointment, we couldn't find the store :(. lol But right when we got back home, Megan instant messages me the location of one downtown, she googled it when she got home. Sooooo I'll be dreaming about those donuts! lol Oh and yesterday I ate Pho, it tasted the same....ohh it was so yummy, a nice change from Korean food, & reminds me of home! It was more expensive though, around $8!

Ok, I need to get back to work now. I'll think of more updates later! :P

Nov. 1st, 2009

POE Cultural Experience Trip #1: Juwang Mountain

I spent the weekend in Cheong Song (near Andong) - and it's a town famous for their sweet apples! It was cute, when we entered the town, we see apples everywhere, and they even had apple lights! It was really cute. Our POE, Gyeongbuk TaLK decided to organize a cultural trip for us teachers, to Ju Wang Mountain (Ju Wang San). We woke up super early in the morning, met up at Daegu station, and boarded a tour bus headed to Andong. The bus rides felt extremely long - ~4hours to get to our destination - Ju Wang mountain. It didn't help that I left my mp3 player at home charging. :( Let's just say that I had a lot of napping & thinking time in the stuffy, hot bus. :S But despite that, the trip was a lot of fun!

Day 1 - when we arrived at Juwang Mountain, we ate lunch, then hiked to see a waterfall amongst the mountains. It was a long hike, but definitely worth it! I've never been so close to big mountains - let alone - hiking up a mountain! And I've never seen a waterfall in the mountains! The sad part was that 1) we didn't get to hike to the top 2) I had to carry this free apple (which was in a box), it's a nice gift, but it turned out to be a hassle to hold for more than an hr while hiking! We ALMOST made it to the second waterfall, but then had to turn back because it was getting dark :( I was so sad! I think the 2nd waterfall is taller and bigger! In the end, my legs were tired. I think it would have taken more than 3 hrs to hike up the whole mountain. :S I want to achieve it one day (considering how I'm not supposed to climb mountains). Hiking is really great for exercise! :) After that, we headed to our sleeping location - they are called "pensions". The girls slept in pensions (kind of like cabins, but smaller, and not made of wood - I forgot to take a photo of them :( ). The guys had to stay at a motel that was 5min away by bus. This was because there was a mix up w/ the reservation. The owners rented out some of the pensions to other ppl! After we got settled in, we ate dinner. It was a really good dinner that reminded me of Chinese food because we had roasted pig! Except we did not eat the pig's skin, and it was not crunchy -man I miss Chinese BBQ pig! But the whole pig reminded me of the whole pigs they sell back home. While we ate, some teachers got pressured into singing Noraebang (aka. karaoke), in front of all of us. It was quite entertaining actually! :) Then we had a bonfire outside. It was a HUGE fire o____O. It certainly didn't feel like Halloween - only 2 ppl had costumes. They had these wood sticks on a fence, and they lit them up, and it said "TaLK". It was very impressive! We didn't get any long sticks for roasting marshmallows, but the owners gave us these short metal skewers to use. We had to endure the heat to roast our marshmallows! D: But they were super yummy! My friend Megan is Australian, and she's never tried a marshmallow! So I was super excited to roast one for her to try! She didn't like it - "I don't like the crunchy part." -her words...Nicole (my other friend) and I were in shock, b/c that's the best part!!! We made a ring around the bonfire - like a chain...and sang our Gyeongbuk POE song "we are the best TaLKers" lol...it was lots of fun!!! :) After the bonfire, we sang lots of Noraebang! People were going crazy around us b/c they were consuming more alcohol. It was super fun at Noraebang, we all went nuts singing the most songs we could, dancing, rapping, you name it! Dragan, I think you have some competition ....ok maybe not. lol I admit, your singing is still the worst. lol but there was this one song where the girl murdered the song. lol When we sang Cher's Believe, I thought of all of you! The best song of the night was Outkast's Hey Ya! lolllll we all sang and danced, so funny I wish I recorded it. Caleb was the best entertainer with his MJ dancing, and voice imitation - he really went all out! lol After all this, we went back to our Pension, which I found out was the owner's house. o___O It turns out, in order to accomodate us (since they rented some pensions to other ppl), they were giving up their house for us to sleep in! It wasn't so great, we all slept on the floor, and all the flies/bugs ended up going inside the house b/c the lights were on while we were out. :( I guess it's a true camping experience in a way....haha.

Day 2 - I did not sleep well at all. I kept looking at my phone :( and the ground was hard, the room was hot - someone closed the window at night! Then in the morning, the tv turned on automatically to white "snow" screen. It freaked me out! I think the owners have it do that set on a timer. :S It was a rainy, cold day. Had a Korean breakfast (which is like lunch, or dinner) - had those glass noodles called "chap cheh", this spicy soup (which was good for hangovers according to my Korean friend who sat next to me), rice, and the side dishes. Then we did a small hike to one location to see this lake with trees in it - which indicates it's an ancient location. Then headed to look at this powerplant/water dam. The place near the dam was breathtaking. Actually, all the mountains around this time of year is breathtaking. Especially with the change in leaf colour! All the leaves are so pretty - just like home! :) The mountains are no longer plain green - they are brown, orange, red, and yellow coloured! So pretty! I was really amazed! After the powerplant, we got to get off at the top of a mountain. Wow, the view was spectacular! Then, we headed for lunch - had this Korean spicy chicken (that resembled a pancake/hamburger) - and chicken rice porridge. The chicken rice porridge is how my mom cooks her porridge lol, and the spicy chicken was good! After lunch, it was goodbye to Cheongsong. Back on the bus, and I was bored again the way back. So I tried to sleep, and when I saw the city, I was happy to be "home".

This cultural trip was amazing! It was great to see other teachers as well! I think overall, I was tired or something, I wasn't as talkative. :( But I still enjoyed myself, and it was a REALLY great experience. Thank you Gyeongbuk TaLK POE! :D

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