Thursday, September 29, 2011
Oh dear, it's autumn already! Oops! I had a long summer vacation full of sunshine, patbingsu (shaved ice with ice cream, red beans, and fruit), cute cafes, lazy days, exciting days, and carefree fun :-D
I feel very settled now and everything seems to be going smoothly, although my Korean skills are still very basic and not as good as I would like. I'm afraid I haven't been a very diligent student!
I actually miss writing a lot. In university I was forced to do it regularly. Even though writing essays was challenging and hard work, it still provided a great creative outlet and I felt so good whenever I finished an essay, printed it out, and held the warm paper in my hands - hot off the presses! It's great to make something seemingly out of air - especially when you're dealing with words rather than something more tangible. Spinning words and carefully placing them together is like magic in a way. I miss making that magic happen :-) Blogs are so great at providing people with a splendid creative outlet - even if they are not professional writers or publishing geniuses. Everyone has a voice and it's lovely to get a little glimpse of other people's worlds through their writing.
Anywho, enough babbling! Today I'd like to mention three things: my trip to Seoul for Chuseok weekend, a gayageum performance that I attended recently, and returning back to school (work). Wow, that's a lot!
Chuseok is similar to Thanksgiving. Families get together, perform special ceremonies to honour their ancestors, and cook and eat lots of delicious food. One of these foods is songpyeon - rice cakes with various fillings like sesame seeds and honey. This year I got the chance to go to Seoul for Chuseok weekend - my very first visit there! It's a big city with lots to see and do. We didn't have a lot of time, so we saw some of the major sights like the biggest palace, Han River, some famous statues and a museum, city hall, the 63 building (with a great view from the top), and a traditional folk village. It's impossible to convey the beauty and uniqueness of these places using words alone - they're meant to be seen and experienced. That whole weekend I felt very excited and energized. It was so fun to explore a new place and do everything spontaneously rather than following the same everyday routine. Traveling makes it possible to really live in the moment. Eating lots of delicious food is great too!
Next up, one Friday evening after work I got the chance to see a gayageum ensemble. A gayageum is a traditional Korean instrument with a very unique sound that I love. At this performance, three young ladies played the gayageum and they were sometimes accompanied by other instruments such as the drums, bass guitar, and jazz piano for a kind of fusion-y modern, really fantabulous sound! I enjoyed it from start to finish and would love to see something like this again!
Lastly, I've been back at work for over a month now and once again the semester is flying by! Recently the kids took part in an English contest and memorized and recited stories or poems, or performed a play depending on their grade. It was so much fun to watch them! I feel incredibly lucky to have the chance to teach such sweet, lovely, cheerful students :-D
My goals now are to keep improving as a teacher, to explore more of Korea, to study Korean and become a more diligent student!!!, and to keep living in the moment and enjoying each day! Living here still feels like a dream! Woohoo!