Showing posts from September, 2007

Out of the frying pan......

It was a strange feeing at first, like a pressure in my chest that didn’t move or lessen no matter how many deep breathes I took. It moved up into my throat and mouth, tasted metallic, and bitter. I blinked and the world swam, white spots danced in the corners of my vision, and I couldn’t breath. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted to punch something, someone. I wanted to breath and I couldn’t. I wanted to scream but I didn’t. I wanted to punch someone or something but my arms felt frozen, tingling and dead. There was only one more option left to me. Let me tell you, crying while not being able to breath is not something I am going to recommend. It was like a dam broke inside of me and everything was pouring. Things I didn’t realize I had been thinking were swimming out of me, feelings I didn’t realize were in me became torrential, and it suddenly became clear how very far I was from where I had thought I would be, now, in this moment in my life. I am in the middle of someth…

Inner Struggles and Vodka Tonics...Discuss.

A good friend of mine recently moved to my hometown, a good city, but a far cry from her own personal comfort zone and a scary step in what is known as “personal and professional growth”, or what I like to call, “stepping up to the motherfuckin plate and doing what you’re afraid to do”. She is an incredibly talented writer, playwright and actor, one who I am proud to say I knew when, and even prouder to say I still know. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree at the University of Calgary. Smart, talented, funny, witty, possibly one of the best senses of humor I’ve ever encountered, oh and did I mention she’s gorgeous? And did I also mention the fact that the main reason she decided to pursue a career in Calgary was for her boyfriend? A boyfriend who decided mid-way through this transition that he just wasn’t feeling up to it, and proceeded to bail? I guess finding yourself is a noble quest to embark upon….after all, you wouldn’t want to do anything silly like buy a house, get a …

Life and other such nonsense.

Life can be a lot like buying a cell phone in Korea; seemingly overwhelming, more then a little confusing, and no matter what happens, you feel pretty sure you got screwed in the deal.
Yesterday found Dave and I on our way into Seoul to find the Youngsan electronics market to buy ourselves some way to communicate with our new friends in Korea. It’s been something on our to-do list for some time and at last we decided to bite the bullet and go for it. The bus ride in was less harrowing then usual, due to the holiday I’m assuming and we arrived in Gangnam district unscathed and less queasy the usual. We had only begun to meander up the street when we decided to stop for a quick coffee and snack at a place that was too cute to resist☺. Inundated with a plethora of some of the yummiest baked goods to can imagine (Wine Cheesecake anyone?), we decided, however, to stick with coffee and a sandwich, one of the only places I’ve seen here that actually knows how to make a sandwich. Herbed chic…

Short and sweet.

Stumbling home drunk at 5am is not conducive to waking up at 9am to chat with friends online…….just FYI.
Today is the start of a five-day weekend for me!!! Cheousak (sp), the Korean Thanksgiving holiday is next week and as such, the school is closed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Sooooooo excited to have a bit of a breather from the first few weeks of insanity and stress. Celebrated last night with some Galbi (Korean BBQ) and a few drinks with friends and at Pavox. Good times….as usual☺.

Other then that, not much to report right now, although we’ll be having a few adventures in the next couple of days with a few trips into the city so I’ll keep you posted.
Final note: as much as it pains me to admit this, JT’s new album is freaking sweet. I’ve been listening to it at the gym in the mornings and it’s good. All of it.

Teaching and stuff

I have recently made a rather startling discovery. One that shaken me to my very core and challenged beliefs that I have held close to me for many years. My convictions regarding this subject have been thrown into question and almost everything I once felt sure of has now been painted in every shade of gray. It’s scary, thought provoking and inspiring when things such as this happen. It’s like a light has been switched on for me, no longer can I feign ignorance and remain blissfully unaware of this astonishing new development.
Kids are people too.
I know……unbelievable as it sounds……I know.
And just people, they’re the same whereever you go. I mean yeah, cultural differences aside; we all want the same things deep down. To be happy, to be loved, to be well fed and cared for. To be able to watch the two seasons of Arrested Development that you were given for your birthday but had to leave behind thanks to Air Canada’s dumb-ass weight restrictions on international flights that you wonderf…

Reality Check

Life here is starting to resemble something of a routine, things are feeling a little more grounded, solid, and dare I say it….normal? Living in a place where people don’t speak my language, where most of the time, when I order food in a restaurant I really have no clue what it is I’m about to be served, where skyscrapers encased with flashing lights, neon signs and various symbols and phrases are commonplace, where there is a Dunkin Doughnuts and Baskin Robins on every street (and I mean EVERY street). Where they sell booze right next to the chocolate bars in convenience stores, and stuffed animals on the street corners, right along side deep fried potatoes, skewers of meat, seaweed soup and kimchi. All this. Normal☺.

My weekend began much the same as the one before (hence the routine I was mentioning…..) with a Friday night jaunt to Pavox, the local watering hole for the teachers at YES Youngdo. As a precursor to the evening, let me just say that my desire for a few bevies was so str…

Some semblance of "normal".....

Taking charge of a classroom full of kids is a hard thing to do. Getting them to like you while simultaneously talking to them for hours about grammar is damn near impossible. And asking them to get excited interested and yes, involved in an English, History or SCIENCE (yes that’s right) lesson at 9:15pm on a Thursday night after having been in school since 7am? For-ucking-get it….
Regardless, we, the teachers at YES Youngdo English Academy are asked to do this. And we do. Some are even successful at it. Amazing, but true. Some of the teachers are so good, so involved, so connected to their students, they can make them care. They can reach out to these kids, and bring out qualities that I’m betting the students didn’t even know they had. It’s astonishing really. Inspiring.
How do they do it, you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you.
….and that right there is where our conversation ends. Why? Because I, brace yourselves, am not among those who can inspire 13 year olds to care about photosynthes…


Sorry guys, I'm still learning how to post pics on this damn thing:)

So the two lovely ladies that chatted us up at City Hall looked a little like this:

Me standing outside City Hall looked a little like this(for Drae:)):

Me gettin mushy after a few drinks looks like this:

Hope that worked! More to come soon:)

A Swear-free blog...for mummy:)

The weekend was a good one, and thank goodness for that. Friday night was a release of pent up, frustrated energy after one of the most draining weeks in recent memory…and that’s saying something. The doors of Pavox, already a familiar sight after only a few weeks here, swung wide open and welcoming. The bartenders there know the teachers from our campus by sight, there were already a few familiar faces there and those first few sips of ice, vodka, and lemon were perfection.
The early signs of alcoholism are overrated if you ask me.
Sidebar….they don’t have gin here. Or at least none of the places I’ve frequented in the past little while have carried any. The absence of my favorite drink throws me into further depression which can only be remedied by drowning my sorrows in my second, third, fourth and yes, fifth kind of alcohol. It’s a vicious cycle you see.
Stumbling home around 4am is something I haven’t done since university. Here I am, after traveling halfway around the wor…


I am freaking exausted and have been crying on and off for the better part of the last 2 days. I can't even help myself, yesterday I teared up in the middle of class. We were correcting a quiz, I asked who had the answer for number 7, this kid named John raised his hand, answered and I practically started to bawl! It was even the right answer....the poor kid. I pulled it together and gave them candy on the codition they not tell anyone their teacher is a sad pathetic mess who couldn't educate her way out of a paper bag.
I will write more this weekend. We get internet next week.
So thats good.

Blast from the Past....recent past, but still......

So I’m at the school, doing some work on my laptop and I come across a document called “Steph’s Blog”, and I’m all, what the hell? So I go in and it turns out to be a half-assed entry I tried to write on the plane on the way over here. It seems 17 hours of flying combined with approx 3 hours of sleep, jet lag that has been known to kill people, and the reminints(sp) of a little blue pill the doctor gave me blacked out this memory.
Funny, that.

In the air…….

DISCLAIMER: I cannot tell you what time I am writing this at, as we’ve now been traveling for a little over 9 hours, with the end in site but still a long way off. In my infinite wisdom, I decided that sleeping before traveling for 20 hours was for pussies and after staying up for around 30 hours and counting…my writing skills may leave something to be desired, such as not sucking. Moving on……

First of all, I’d like to apologize to my faithful readers (all both of you) that a very important piece of the blog puzzle was somehow overlook…


My first day of teaching. What can I say about my first day of teaching? Let’s see……
I’m still here? That’s good right?
Nothing boosts your confidence in something you have chosen to do for the next year of your life more then being confronted by a bunch of surly 8th graders who stare at you blankly and with barely masked resentment as you stand in front of them for 3 hours trying to engage them. Or attempting, and failing, to control a classroom of bouncing, running, shrieking, cell phone toting, video game crazy 5th graders who could care less about the fact that you are trying to teach them the importance of subject and verb agreement and how this will play a crucial role in the success of their future lives.
It was rather handy that these blessed events happened to fall on my birthday. It’s always nice to have an iron clad excuse to drink. To add insult to injury, was the collective gasp of shock and disappointment heard in each and every one of my classes in regards to the fact tha…