November is the Thursday of the Year

Fall leaves of Mt. Soyosan.

Fall leaves of Mt. Soyosan.

October seemed to sneak by without a blog post, but there has been plenty at work to keep me busy. Several plans happened to fall through, so I didn’t make it out to Busan or Seoraksan, but considering the cooler weather, I don’t mind waiting until it warms back up to visit those places.

Cap'n Jac and the cutest first mate!

Cap’n Jac and the cutest first mate!

Work is always the busiest in October and March with open classes, parent-teacher conferences, new wall work, and staff pictures. One of my coworkers tore her ACL in September, so I ended up taking charge of two open classes and PTCs, which actually wasn’t nearly as horrifying as I thought it would be. Taking care of decorating two classrooms and a hallway wall has been one of the more stressful and constant things on my to-do list. And with Christmas around the corner, we’re redecorating all over again. While there are other things that can make the work week stressful, I continue to be amazed at how my little ones can pick up my spirits. They’re just little bundles of energy with so much love. Everyone had a fun time at our Halloween party, and I even have students from other classes calling me “Captain” in the hallways. Job well done.

My weekends have been calming down with the cooler weather, but I have managed to squeeze in a few adventures over the last few weeks. Some of our Korean co-teachers wanted to go out for a lunch-time hike, and it was a really good bonding experience. I don’t quite understand why the foreign teachers and Korean teachers are separated at KCTY, but it’s nice to know that they want to spend time with us as much as we’d like to spend time with them.

Everland!

Everland!

I finally managed to make it to Everland! I’ve been wanting to check out the lauded theme park since my first year in Korea. My students rave about it all the time, and some go every single weekend. I couldn’t imagine going every weekend and spending so much time in lines. Waiting 100 minutes for the most popular rides? I guess I haven’t been to a park in a while if that shocks me. Everland was a strange mix of a carnival, Six Flags, Disneyland, and a zoo. Again, once the weather warms up and the days are longer, I’ll head back that way and see if I can’t jump on the T-Express for a mad roller coaster experience.

I had a chance to hike Mt. Soyosan as well, and had a great time hiking through all the fall colors. My favorite part had to be when we were descending and all the yellow leaves started falling like rain. It was absolutely beautiful! Koreans really know how to power hike. They’ve got all their gear, hiking sticks, picnic mats, and magkeoli. We even ran into a guy selling magkeoli on the summit. The hiking culture up here is so friendly and fantastic, but I just cannot believe the fast pace these people keep. It really makes you feel like an awkward turtle when you think you’re keeping a good pace and then an adjumma comes along breathing down your neck to pass you on the ascent. Props to those ladies. I hope to be as fit as they are when I reach that age.

Urban Paradise

Urban Paradise

I finally tried coffee. Still not a fan. Give me sweet chocolately sugar any day. Finished reading “Ender’s Game” and I am so incredibly impatient for the movie to arrive over here. Some coworkers and I will probably catch Thor 2 this coming week. I’ve been able to Facetime and Skype more with my best friends lately, so that’s been really wonderful. Currently, there are no plans for Thanksgiving, but I did send a surprise care package to the family reunion, so I’m looking forward to hearing about that. I’m not going to make any promises about another blog post for the month, but I do want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. If you’re having some cornbread, eat a slice for me!

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