Wednesday, November 18, 2009

As the Little Things Go

This is more of an overall update. I'll post some other, more detailed posts over the next week or so.

This has been an interesting last few weeks. Nothing spectacular has happened, really. It's like the initial excitement of being here has worn off and I'm beginning to find the routine in things. At work, I'm beginning to understand more the daily workings of the classroom and all the difficulties that brings. While before I was scrambling to comprehend the curriculum and the flow of the classes, now I find myself scrambling to figure out how to keep my kids listening and engaged (a lifelong endeavor, I'm sure). I've gotten into a yelling match with one of my older girls (who no longer attends our school) and I've had to get a lot more strict with my younger kids. Overall, I'm seeing more and more what it means to work with children on a daily basis without going insane. Sort of.

Speaking of going insane, the H1N1 virus is a big deal over here and our kids are dropping like flies. I realize how terrible it is to say it that way. Let me rephrase: Our kids are getting sick like crazy. None of them are actually dropping like flies. Needless to say, all of the staff are on high alert, which means we wash our hands nonstop and wear surgical masks.....ALL THE TIME. You know how hard it is to teach phonics when your kids can't see your mouth moving? So frustrating.

I've had several opportunities to do some good hiking over the last few weeks, and I'm glad I did, as I was able to catch the leaves changing and the last bit of really nice weather. The temperature took a turn for the ridiculously chilly these last two weeks as we've been siting in the single digits (Celsius). Makes for a chilly bike ride, that's for sure.

I've had my first experience at a Korean hospital. After enduring a nasty head cold, I had a pretty significant case of vertigo. I waited about a week to see what it would do and then decided to see a doctor. At the hospital they have a foreign aid office which provides translators (mine just happened to be very cute and very friendly....we're probably going to go catch a movie sometime this weekend). At the hospital, I did a dizziness test, which is probably one of the strangest hospital tests I've ever had...and I've had some doozies. Basically, you wear a pair of blacked out goggles with cameras inserted in the lenses. You can't see anything, but you keep your eyes wide open so the doctor can see your eyeballs. He then grabs your head and moves you all over a table. From sitting, to laying down, head to the left, head to the right, head hanging off the table, back to sitting, back to laying, etc. Basically he's trying to make you dizzy and seeing what your eyes are doing. Tons o' fun.

This week I started my Hapkido lessons. I've never taken a martial art form before, and I figured, "why not learn a Korean martial art while in Korea?" So I went with Hapkido, as it's a nice balance of striking, Judo (throws), and using your opponent's energy against them instead of opposing it. It's not about strength but about balance and understanding motion and throwing people off of balance. However, there is a good amount of conditioning and I'm definitely using muscles I never even knew existed. I'm looking forward to being good and sore for the next month or so. Also, I get to play with nunchucks. Sweet.

Hope all are well, happy, and loved.


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