a new semester & new adventures.

Hello friends,

We're beginning a new school year here on the other side of the world, and my new kids are wonderful.  For the most part, I have really loud, rowdy classes, but I love the energy level.  I have to be mean Miss Jones at times, but I've found that my favorite students are often the troublemakers, who when they're good, are fantastic and so much fun.  I just have to stare them down and say a few words when they're bad and that puts them in their place reeeal quick...most of the time =P  Sometimes, however, my rules backfire-

For example, one day I had scolded one of my 2nd graders for constantly talking and disrupting the class.  After helping a few other students, I look across the room and see her with one hand quietly in the air and the other cupped under her nose holding a pool of blood.  I cry out madly as I run to her and cup my hands under hers.  Of course we didn't have any tissues in the room that day... "Clear the way everyone!  Can someone open the door please?!"  All of my other 2nd graders jump up to help as they watch Flora and myself with concerned eyes.  By the time we made it to the bathroom, my hands were covered with blood, as was her shirt.  Poor thing.  She's okay now, maybe it was the dry air? 

the kiddos like to give me stickers =)

My kindergartners are a little difficult and require loads of energy from me, but they are SO precious.  All of the morning program classes have been given animal names.  I teach the Lions class (my home room) and the Bears class.  I haven't been able to take very many pictures yet, but here are a few-As you can see, they won't really hold still long enough for me to take a descent photo.  We'll have to work on that...


total cutie pie

Sunny & Eddie



Lily & Sarah


Sunny & Olivia
Gordon & Daniel

some candies they gave me for White Day

I know it's been a while since I've written, but I've been so tired when I get off work that I haven't had the energy to socialize, even if it is just through the internet or skype, lol. I have transitioned into the new semester fairly smoothly, although I still feel like I'm always fighting to stay on top of my work load.  Most nights I leave school around 8:00pm, without finishing all of my grading and I get home around 8:30pm, only to eat, sleep, and do it all over again at 9:00am the next morning.  I almost always have a scratchy voice because I lecture in most of my 11 classes everyday.  I've been trying to go to bed early in order to catch a break from the perpetual sore throat and runny nose.

So that's the bad part.  I'm done complaining now.  I also have seen and experienced really lovely things lately.

Catholic church in Meyongdong

A couple of the new teachers wanted to go sightseeing in Seoul and asked if I wanted to join.  I did want to walk around and take some more photos so I agreed.  I took on my role as tour guide and began trailblazing through Insadong, Gwanghwamun, Namdaemun, and Meyongdong.  We left pretty early on Saturday morning and, when I got up, I was regretting the fact that I had accepted the invitation, but it was worth it.

I want one! *Dilemma: I'm still struggling riding bicycles...

Our first stop was Insadong, where one can find art galleries, souvenirs, and other traditional goods.  It was a lovely, sunny day and we encountered a generally pleasant bustle of people as we wandered the city streets.  We also stumbled upon a park which held a memorial for, what we think was, the Japanese occupation of Korea (the signs were completely in Korean).

shop in Insadong

Sam & Simon tasting a traditional Korean candy called "Dragon's Mustache"

taking pictures with cardboard celebrities can be fun ^.^

a pretty park we stumbled upon...



gambling in the streets


After spending an hour or so in Insadong, I wanted to see Jogyesa temple which was nearby.  After taking some photos at the temple, we took the subway to Namdaemun, which is a huge outdoor market where you can find most anything.  The boys were a little overwhelmed by the crowds one has to shove through to walk along those streets.  Meyongdong, which is another outdoor shopping area with retail stores and most brand names, is right next to Namdaemun, so I showed them how to take the bus home because I wanted to stay and do a little shopping.  Because, let's face it, it's difficult to shop with boys. Or maybe it's just me, but I like to browse and ponder various purchases while men are more of the "grab it and go" philosophy (correct me if I'm wrong here guys).  All in all, it was a fun day and the weather was beautiful, giving us a little taste of Spring :)

Jogyesa Temple

tea museum in insadong

fruit cart in insadong

I have SO many more photos and stories, so I'll write more soon!

I hope you are all healthy and happy,

<3 Miss Jones