Thursday, May 28, 2009
I don't drink coffee, but I enjoy cafes, and Seoul has many of them. Most of the cafes are grouped together in certain districts of the city, as most things are grouped together in Korea. A couple of my friends are coffee aficionados so they enjoy tasting espressos from various cafes. This man roasts his own beans in a rather small, book cluttered, cafe.
Life in Seoul is much the same as before the North Korean nuclear testing of their bomb. South Korea is technically still at war with their neighbor, so they are quite used to the raised tension. Some of my fourth grade students painted some posters promoting peace and reconciliation between the two countries, and some were very creative. I'll try and grab a picture of a few and post them next week. Maybe there is hope that one day North Korea will rejoin the world instead of trying to provoke their neighbors.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Last Friday caught me off guard, because it was Teacher's Day. I was not really expecting anything from my students, but to my surprise I received flowers (real and fake), chocolate, and many letters. All of the letters were precious and fun to read. Most were in English, and a few were written in Korean where my co-teachers had to translate them for me. I was not expecting it to be such a big deal.
While waiting on some friends at a subway station a radio personality came up and interviewed me on what I was doing in Korea, the radio program being one that helps Koreans learn conversational English. Through the interview I learned that May is the month of family holidays in Korea, the main ones being: Children's Day, Parent's Day, Teachers Day, and a couple others I can't remember. The interview reminded me that I wanted to do some radio volunteer work while here in Korea, but I've managed to stay busy enough not to attempt it. But I imagine while in grad school I'll do some radio work again.
Later this week I'll have my Art, Tech, and Politics Blog up and running, and by politics, I mean general social issues and how they affect us. I uploaded it to my website earlier this week, now I just have to tweak it a bit and make my first post before I post the link here.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Went to a film festival this past weekend, as it was also an extended weekend because of a few Korean holidays. The film festival was called JIFF, standing for Jeonju International Film Festival, and it was quite impressive. Last year I went to Pusan's film festival, but it was much more hectic, JIFF was more relaxing due to its more laid back country atmosphere. In Pusan it was nearly impossible to obtain tickets, but since JIFF is not as well known as PIFF it's much easier to get tickets. Yet JIFF still has that raised excitement and a nice crowd for the movies which is important for a film festival and probably has even more excitement and a bigger crowd than Atlanta's film festival.
One of the highlights of the film festival was being able to watch a Korean film with a talk back with the directors and the two actors after the film; the film festival would have people translate to English so that foreigners would participate in the talk back.
Jeonju is a small city with a traditional Korean flavor. It's known for it's bibimbap and small traditional Korean village.
Last Friday we had a sports day because in Korea they are about to celebrate Children's Day, a holiday where children, or teachers of those children, under 12 don't have to go to school. Which is one of the reasons why I'm only working Thursday and Friday of this week.