Saturday, June 29, 2013


Here are my kids in my Hummingbirds Class.  These are pictures that I took on the field trip.

Daisy- smart and quiet.  Good combination!

Eric- Smartest kid in the class and says the funniest stuff

Kyle- lives in his own little world.  Also, he has horrible handwriting.

Sally (I don't know why just one of her eyes are red)

Kelly- She is leaving next week because her family is moving :'(

Gina- Tiny little girl and adorable

Katie- Also super smart and quiet!

Sarah (with Kyle's head)

Joonyoung- I adore him so much!!  He is such a fun kid.

Field Trip!

On the fourteenth, I went on a field trip with the Kindy kids to a place where they make clay things.  I have no idea where it was, though.  I was riding in the back of a bus with a bunch of little kids and trying not to get car sick because Korean drivers are crazy.  The Kindy kids made clay mugs and they were all very excited about it.  Everyone is so cute and the guy who was telling them how to do it was very animated and excited about everything.
This is a picture of my hummingbirds.  Starting on the front left and going back, my kids are Kyle, Gina, Joonyoung, Daisy, Eric, Sally, Kelly, Katie and Sarah.  Aren't they the cutest?!

They also got to use a pottery wheel, too!  

After, they went into this fancy looking building

And inside was a playground place for kids!!  I was totally not expecting that, but the kids loved it.  

They had a lot of fun, as so did I!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


The name of my school is Poly Returnee Education Institute but it everyone just calls it Poly.  And here, they add "Teacher" after your first name so I am Suzannah Teacher instead of Ms. Herron.  Most of the kids are super nice and cute, especially the Kindy kids.  During the morning, I teach all of the seven year old kids (which is really six years old in the States). All of the Kindy classes are named after birds.   My homeroom class is the Hummingbirds.  The other ones are Magpies, Blue Jays, Robins and Canaries.  They're all so adorable.  I am the reading teacher so I read the same story with them about three times every week but I do that for all of the classes (except Canaries because they are a lower level Kindy class).  The classes start at 9:50 and are 40 min long and the Kindy and Pre Kindy kids leave around three.  The pre k classes are named something light Moonlight, Starlight and Sun 
The elementary kids come in after and are there in waves until I leave at 7:25.  It's definitely a long work day with lots if class prepping.  Today my feet are swollen.  Super gross.  Anyway, I have to have a lot of discipline with the kids, especially the first and second graders.  Today I made a kid stand outside of the classroom during break and not talk because he wouldn't pay attention to me and shut up.  It made him cry and probably be late for his bus, but hopefully he will behave better next time because he is a very rowdy child.  He probably didn't think I would actually make him do that.  
One of the teachers lets the kids do whatever they want and then she wonders why they don't listen to or respect her.  There are a couple of pretty bad teachers that I work with but they will be leaving soon (thankfully).   It's unbelievable how unprofessional some of these people are!  
Anyway, my kids are cute but it is very hard to remember names right now.  Just in the morning I have thirty six different Kids and then the afternoon way more than that.  Plus they have different schedules so some of the classes I only see once or twice a week, which will make it even more difficult!  My mom suggested that I write notes about what they look like but it's harder here because almost all of them would say "cute little Korean kid with straight, dark hair."  Luckily I am getting very good at the Kindy kids' names, but it's kind of embarrassing when a kid says, "hi, Suzannah Teacher!!!" and you don't remember their name.  Actually, most of the kids just like to say your name when you pass by.  If I don't remember their name I just say, "what's up?!" or I just wave to them.

My Dwelling

Here are some pictures of my teeny tiny abode.  All of the teachers live in the same building, so that is very nice.  We are only two subway stops away from work. 
These are some pictures after I first moved in.  It's a little messy and I hadn't unpacked much. 
It's nice that I have my own washer but apparently there aren't any dryers here.  So I suspect things will take even longer to dry once it becomes more humid than it already is. 
Fun times!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


It just started raining here.  Apparently the monsoons are approaching!  Anyway, at the mere hint if rain, the people in Seoul (Seoulians? Seoulars?) have their umbrellas at the ready, which is kind of weird because 1) Growing up in Tucson I never used an umbrella.  I'm pretty sure kids there learn about them but it's a fantastical thing- like snow.  And 2) in Seattle, everyone seems to walk in the rain.  You wear a hoodie or raincoat or something equally useful.   
So now I am going to have to learn umbrella etiquette- who holds their umbrella up higher when you walk past someone on the sidewalk? How do you not get stabbed in the eyeball by an umbrella point?  Where do you put your umbrella after you walk inside and it's soaking wet?  Am I allowed to turn around and smack someone if their umbrella juice drips on me?  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Trash and emart

The trash here is weird.  I know it's something kind of funny to write about, but whatever.
Apparently there are a lot of laws pertaining to trash.  It is required to recycle things, and it's illegal not to.  I think you can get a ticket for putting a plastic water bottle in the trash.  Anyway, they recycle almost everything and you have to separate the recyclables when you toss them.  It is also required that you save food stuff (like compost things) and toss them in a separate bin as well.  In addition, there are only certain bags that you can use for said "trash."  So no going to Costco and buying a box with a bajillion trash bags.  And each area of Seoul has a different requirement or color or something for these bags.
Where do you get these bags?  Why you get them at emart!!
emart is like the Korean Target.  They have everything there- commercialism at it's Korean best.  But unlike in America, they have an emart employee on what seems like every aisle.  And apparently they are really helpful, although I can't understand them.  Sometimes they try and talk to me and I look and them with a dumb expression and smile then go on my merry way feeling a bit moronic.  Some things are super cheap here (food!!) while others are very expensive (import taxes are high).  Food is dirt cheap it's incredible.  My friend and I just had a massive dinner that cost us $6 each, whereas the exact same thing would have cost at least $20 in the States.  I have the feeling that if you go out to eat with one more person, you would have to go to a higher echelon type restaurant to pay more than $10/person.
Cab rides are also unbelievably cheap!!  It's actually cheaper to take a cab to work than the subway if you have three people.  The ride home from work today was $4.50, which was a bit higher than normal.  That's normally a $40 cab ride in Seattle.  Plus, you don't tip!  Crazy, yes?
Yay for saving $$$$!!!!


I know this is a tad late, but whatevs!!
I am currently experiencing some mild culture shock.  It's very difficult being in a place where I can't understand anyone.  I think it wouldn't be so bad if I didn't look like I understood what people were saying...but I digress.
When I first landed, I was so tired after the flight that I was almost apathetic about landing in Korea!  The flight was 12 hours long but I think that I slept through some of it, so it didn't seem too bad.  I (thankfully) had an aisle seat.  What's really strange when I departed is that there were a group of girls in the Tucson airport who were on the same flight to Korea as me, and some other guy not associated with them who was on the same flight as us as well.  He had a U of A sweats on and I think I heard him check in.  But I thought that was really odd.  Apparently that was the day to fly from Tucson to Incheon.  LAX has the most confusing airport I have ever been to.  There were absolutely no signs on how to get to the international terminal and I had to stop and ask three different people.  I feel bad for the ones who don't know English!!  I had to completely leave the United terminal and get on a bus/shuttle next to taxis and people being picked up and then take it to a different terminal.  Then I waited there forever so Asiana would open their check in line and after I checked in, I was starving and there were no restaurants or barely anything there.  So I ate a couple of stale bagels for my 11 pm dinner from a tiny Einstein Bagel stand.  I was going to get a turkey sandwich but it was $12!!  A total rip off for a tiny triangle snack.
When I was waiting for my driver, there was a gaggle/pack/group of girls with long lens cameras waiting and after a while, I saw them take a flurry of pictures of a group of young guys.  So I think some K-Pop group came through.  I was super tired and I took pictures out of the car on the drive to my apartment, but the drive was long because Incheon is quite far from Seoul.  I have since learned that Korean drivers love to switch lanes a lot, but off people, and honk.  And it also seems that pedestrians generally never have the right of way and scooters can drive wherever they feel like- even on sidewalk looking places.  I almost got car sick because the driver pulsed the accelerator instead of just using steady pressure.  So I would try and close my eyes so I wouldn't barf then I would take a picture out the window then close my eyes again.  I'm so classy.
I have a small apartment (which I shall post pictures of later) that is basically one long room with a tiny bathroom.  Although it is a bit larger than the one I had in London, which is saying something, but not much.  My London bathroom was so tiny it could have been on a ship and you would have expect a port hole to be in there.  You could sit on the toilet, wash your hands in the sink and wash your feet in the shower.  So when I say this one is "bigger," it might have about an extra square foot or two of space.  Silver lining: I have my own washer!!  But everything has to air dry and it's quite humid here.
However, when I first arrived to my room, it was filthy because it hadn't been cleaned.  It was pretty nasty but I knew this little old Korean lady called "grandma" was going to come clean it.  So I tried to go to take a nap but I couldn't so I would try and do something else.  When I finally fell asleep, grandma came and I had to leave for a couple of hours.  She doesn't speak a word of English but my friend says she cusses a lot.  It was nice and clean when I came back, though!!  A relief for sure.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Road Tripping Part 2

I had a great time in Lompoc!!  We spent the day wine tasting and Jennifer's dad made some amazing Chinese dinner!!
Thanks for letting us stay!

The following day we meandered to LA and I visited my good friend from college, Sarah, and had a sushi (yum!!) lunch with her in Burbank.  It was great to see her and she said she might go to shanghai this year for work.  I hope she does so we can visit each other!!!
Afterward, we headed to Hemet to stay with Jenn's grandparents in their retirement home place. We got our own little room the looked like a hotel and it came with a fruit basket.  Fancy!!  We watched Star Trek 2 and Benedict Cumberbatch is freaking awesome.  
We were sad once we left and started driving in the desert.  No more ocean!!!!

We ran out of playlist music so we started listening the Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  Jim Dale is amazing. 
After I found Maria Sharapova's candy (Sugarpova) in Scottsdale, I reluctantly dropped Jenn off.  
But I got to spend time with the Hunt Clan!!  Hollah!!  I got to see everyone except Papa Jack because he was in Globe with their dog Boris. All the kids are getting so big! I can't believe it!!!

After driving almost 2K miles, I made it to Patagonia!!!   It was nice staying with my parents and it's pretty down there. Visit if you get a chance.  My cat will welcome you with open arms. Just kidding. You'll get a nice hiss from her. 

One Day I'll Fly Away

Well here I am sitting in the airport in Tucson. I am getting ready to fly to LAX then I have my flight to Seoul. And it's only 13 hours......
I had a great time in Patagonia and I got to see a lot of my friends.  Shout outs to KK, Salamanda, Captain Bailee, Paul, lil sis Alyssa (with Alvin!), the Obuchs, Cathy (with  Mateo!), the Hernandez, Laura, Jennifer (with Sophie!) and Karin (with Pascha!)!!  
I also met lots of great Patagonians and will miss everyone!!
Now please excuse me because I have to call and complain to United for charging me $100 for a second bag even though I am flying internationally and allowed two...