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Posts from — December 2008

Happy New Year!

New Years, 2008


Top 10 From 2008

I was inspired by my friend m’s blog to do a Top 10 From 2008 list. My list is basically the top things I can remember that I am proud of or happy I did or just something that makes 2008 a one-of-a-kind year. In no particular order:

1. Chicago, Silver and Gold – I made some wonderful new friends this year, rekindled old friendships, and I got to spend tons of time with my best friends from IU. I don’t think anyone could ask for much more. Oh wait, they can, and I will. An amazing family. Ooops, I’ve got it!

2. Explore the Wild - I created the concept and organized, advertised, and curated a show for three young artists in Chicago (Casey Searles, Andrew Heber, and Kate Korrcoh). The show was a success and I loved doing every part of it. I not only had work I was excited to share but I also got to do what I am really good at and see wonderful results. Not to mention I got tons of amazing support from friends from many different parts of my life, that was very special.

3. As a self-employed artist/artist’s assistant I paid my rent and bills for a year on time with no financial assistance.

4. Two Birds, One Stone – I have a job that has amazing health care AND the job is in a foreign country. Along those lines, one of the birds, I am living in a culture that challenges me to a new extent. This is not my beloved Italy where I could communicate well in the language, eat all of their food and where all people where equal no matter their sex occupation. I wanted a challenge and I got one.

5. Jens Lekman hugged me (because we said “Bloomington” which makes it even better)!

Kate, Jens, Chad
(Okay, not the best picture of him but it’s my proof!)

6. I now eat meat and I can no longer drink regular coffee. Two major lifestyle changes for me.

7. Megabus – Made it possible for me to survive a long distance relationship spread over the vast Midwest. One trip I got from Chicago to Saint Paul for one dollar!

8. I started doing yoga (and liked it this time) and I ran 6 miles a few weeks ago.

9. Last April Chad and I flew to Virginia to spend a long weekend to see my sister, Molly, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. My Mom’s Aunt Liz and Uncle Nick and my Grandparents were all in town for the show. We had one special morning with everyone, then Grandma and Grandpa took off and we spent some amazing days with Aunt Liz and Uncle Nick. We did lots of fun site seeing (a large portion on the water in various boats), ate wonderful food, had wonderful debates and more laughs than I can count. Uncle Nick has been battling cancer and passed away a few days ago. I am incredibly thankful that we got that time with him. We had a blast, a perfect way to remember him. Not to mention Chad had a chance to get to know this incredible man who is extremely important to my family.

10. Colorado – Chad’s parents and I drove for two days out to visit Chad. I got to ask lots of questions and hear lots of amazing stories! We arrived to find Chad changed from an Audio Recording Dude to a Mountaineer! We had a great time hiking and looking around Aspen. I ended up staying a little bit longer than planned to climb my first (and only at this point) 14er, La Plata! That was a a great trip.

BONUS: The man bellow. I couldn’t be happier. I am one lucky girl. :)

La Plata, July 2008

It was a good year. Thank you for being part of my 2008.

I hope you have a fabulous 2009!

December 31, 2008   3 Comments

See Mom, that voice degree wasn’t for nothin’! :o)

A few weeks ago we got an email from our coordinator Chance that read, “Some of you may have heard about a planned “Korean Performance” that is to be put on by us EPIK teachers. If you haven’t heard, this is being planned by the Samcheok Office for December 18th. I don’t want to influence any judgements, so I’ll try to keep my language neutral and unopinionated here. They want us to put on a Korean performance, singing songs or giving speeches in Korean.”

A long string of emails between the other EPIK teachers followed… complaining about how we signed up to teach English and not dance and sing like English monkeys and about how if we don’t do a performance they might take away our banana privileges (as English monkeys) and how we wish we actually were paid in bananas because they’re probably worth more than the won right now… etc.. All said, no one was pleased with this idea.

Over the next couple of days, reports came in from other EPIK teachers about their schools asking (or telling) them to perform. Two Fridays ago Teacher Kim came to our house after school to give us our subpoena to the dreaded performance. She understood how awkward it was for us but said the Principal would be very sad if we didn’t do a performance.. (so, we had to…) We talked with some other teachers and came up with a plan to sing only the choruses of a few Korean pop hits and dance like fools. We put it together last Monday, rehearsed it on Wednesday and had the performance on Thursday evening. Here are two videos from the evening… try not to laugh too much. :)

All in all the evening turned out to be just fine. Everyone who performed was nervous and everyone messed up a bit, so it was entertaining. Although we were in a nice hotel conference room, with round tables and glassware (with forks/knives!!), and the entire administration and other school principles were there… it was fairly laid back and everyone understood how hard it was for the EPIK teachers to do this. So, our humorous rendition of k-pop songs was greeted warmly. (Thank goodness!!) And hey, we each got 20,000 won in gift certificates and two boxes of traditional Korean cookies for our performance!!

We all were dreading it, but it turned out well and now I know the words to a few choruses of Korean songs. It’s strange coming from singing classical music in foreign languages everyday (in college) to this… but I’d like to think everyone could hear all the training over the terrible sound system :)

All for now…

Here are some links to the songs we covered in our mix…
“Arirang” (Traditional Korean Song.)
“La La La” (SG Wannabe)
“Nobody” (Wondergirls) — (the youngest girl in this group is 16.. oldest 20. whoa!)
“Ochada” (Brown Eyed Girls)

December 20, 2008   2 Comments

Final Days… (of the semester)

Sorry for the long break between posts.  We’ve been having trouble accessing Blogger from work, and we’ve been busy in the evenings with school activities.  Hence the lack of posts, but we will be better in the coming weeks.  We’re working on some changes for the site.  Better hosting for photos of our travels, new page layout and design, new hosting service.  We will also hopefully start using WordPress in the near future so we’ll have more flexibility and control.  (and because I really want to learn WordPress :o)  So look forward to those changes in the next few weeks.
General Update:
Boredom has set in as we are finishing up the final days of the fall semester.  Geundeok had it’s end of the year tests a week and half ago, so all of our afterschool classes and camps have been canceled since then.  So, we come to work and sit on the computer all day…   This week we taught one class together for the parents of the afterschool students, and I taught 3 of my 4 classes with Korean teachers, Kate hasn’t taught any.  So we sit – dream about our vacation in a few weeks, plan for it, lookup grad schools, dream of coming home and going to said grad schools, catch up on emails, do online crossword puzzles, and then repeat.  Not so exciting at school, but we’ve had some interesting distractions at night.   Wednesday afternoon/evening we had our final Volleyball game against the other Guendeok district schools.  This was a lot of fun and we got to leave our computer posts a few hours early.  Thursday we had a Korean speech and song festival which was.. well interesting.   Another post will be up soon with more details on that exciting evening.   So, that’s about it as of late.  We’re gearing up for a ski trip with our school next Tuesday-Wednesday, and for Christmas we’re having a number of the other Weigooks (foreigners) over to our apartment for a pot-luck and dirty Santa gift exchange.  Should be fun!  
More soon!

December 18, 2008   1 Comment