Thursday, May 31, 2012

Florence + the Machine - Spectrum

I am happy as a duck. Here's the brand new music video for Spectrum and it is glorious!

Florence, beautiful ballet dancers, glitter, rock opera- ness, high drama, sparkle, darkness, triumph, Egyptian queens, ceremonial dancing, beautiful colours...oh my I love it all!

On a different note, it's the last day of May! Here's to a happy, sunshiny June :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Buddha's Birthday

This past weekend was a lovely 3 day long holiday weekend. The holiday? Buddha's birthday! Paper lanterns are hung along many roads, crowds of people head to Buddhist temples (usually located in the mountains), and we can enjoy an extra day off work. 

This year I joined my boyfriend's family at one of many temples for one evening. Other than that, I spent the time frolicking outside, eating oodles of ice cream (and bread, and spaghetti, and pizza oh my!), meeting lovely friends, and enjoying the beauty (and glorious warmth!) of spring. Finally, I don't have to wear socks (my hands and feet are ALWAYS cold so this is a big deal for me). 

Long weekends are the best. I love the feeling of going to bed on Sunday and not dreading Monday morning - one more day of sweet freedom! 

Now I'm looking forward to more frolicking, ice cream eating, leisurely reading, and hopefully watching Moonrise Kingdom. And Game of Thrones. Winter is coming! But not really, because now it's all about delicious summer! :-)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Giant cricket - not so cute...

The past two and a half days were intense, stressful, and suspenseful. Why? A giant cricket somehow got into my room and after getting attacked (by me), it went into hiding. I had completely missed when swinging my (Korean for Grade 1 children) textbook at it so now it was somewhere behind by desk, where I couldn't see it. Scary! Every time my eyelids started feeling extra heavy and I was on the verge of beautiful sleep, I sat up and checked the perimeter attentively. Scanning my room for giant crickets. Refusing to give in to sleep. Where was the cricket? Was it nocturnal? What kind of strategy was it drawing up? 

Peace of mind eluded me. Yesterday morning I cleaned and de-cluttered my apartment. Still no sign of the scary cricket. I went out with my boyfriend. We returned after dinner and he was just saying how my apartment was totally safe ("See - no bugs.") when I spotted it just a meter and a half away. I pointed and screamed. The cricket was as big and frightening as before, eek! This time my boyfriend promptly took care of it while I remained in the fetal position on my bed (possibly shrieking somewhat loudly). Ahem, I was a total wimp. But seriously, it was big!

Now I can finally feel inner peace again :-)  It's day 2 of a three day weekend for me, the sun is shining, and I'm ready to skip and enjoy feeling carefree again, yay!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Great Gatsby Trailer - sparkle sparkle!

Baz Luhrmann's films usually appeal to me because I love theatricality, brightness, sparkle, visual spectacle, and intense over the top emotion. When I was younger, my friends and I would read our favourite books out loud, write movie scripts and then attempt to film them, partake in seances in my basement, and dream about fantasy worlds in which we frolicked beautifully like elves. Drama class was my favourite (or at least tied with English).

Nowadays, going to the theatre or a concert is a rare treat. My friends are writing essays for grad school rather than scripts, and the only acting I do is in class to entertain my cute little students (which is super fun, I must admit). So I rely on movies and TV shows to feed my appetite for sparkly creative things.

I never really understood why The Great Gatsby was considered to be such an amazing novel. It's not one of my favourites (sorry!). However, I am excited about this film version and how Baz Luhrmann will bring it to life. Carey Mulligan is one of my favourite actresses. And even if it turns out to be less than wonderful, I'm sure my eyes will have plenty to feast on - the costumes, the sets, the shininess, oh my!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Laptop recovered from severe spillage + more grad school application stuff

Being the graceful swan that I am, I managed to spill sticky nut tea all over my laptop (and my bed) which rendered it close to useless for the last few days. Each morning, I turned it on only to find that at least two more keys had ceased to function. I felt sad for them, and terribly guilty. 

Well, here's one of the many plus sides to living in Korea - getting your Samsung laptop repaired is quick, easy, and cheap! My boyfriend lugged the poor thing to the service centre this morning, texted me that it would cost 90 000 won to fix (a little under $90), and brought it home the same day. They installed a brand new keyboard and the price ended up being more like $70, even cheaper than the initial quote. And it was so fast! Amazing! Now I have a fully functional laptop and will never drink tea again. Only half of that sentence is true. 

In other news, after trying to figure out which school I really want to attend for my Masters - such a hard decision!!! - I've finally decided that my dream school is the University of Nottingham. I submitted my application today and have my fingers and toes crossed. I am so impressed with their School of English and would love love love to have the opportunity to study there. Now comes the hardest part - waiting, more waiting, and nervous chocolate eating. And not overly deep sleep. Sigh. At least now I know exactly what I want and where I want to go. I hope I will be lucky enough to follow my dream :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Teachers' Day in Korea!

As soon as I walked into my classroom this morning there was an announcement to go outside. Why? For teachers vs. students tug of war, of course! I quickly changed my shoes from indoor slippers to outdoor flats and hurried outside to join the crowd. The students were all lined up by grade, military style. There were speeches and various announcements that I didn't really understand (my Korean hasn't been improving lately, eek!). That took about forty minutes. 

Next up - tug of war! We made two attempts, but the teachers quickly lost both times (and one fell down!) to the delight of the little munchkins. They looked like they were having a blast, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine instead of spending the morning cooped up in their classrooms. 

I got some lovely little notes from the students, and one girl wrote that I was as pretty as an orange. Ahem, interesting. It made me smile ;-) 

Just a little over a year ago, I was terrified at the prospect of teaching children. It didn't take very long to get to know them and love them. Their bright, positive, innocent, and rather hilarious energy and words make me laugh every single day. No doubt I will miss them!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Going to the beach in Pohang

I hadn't realized just how much I missed the beach, the pounding waves, the fresh air of the seaside until we arrived in Pohang last weekend for a one night, two day getaway. Our pension was right by the water so I pretty much ran down, threw off my shoes, and jumped around in the sand the second we got there. It felt amazing and incredibly energizing. I don't know what it is, but being by the water rejuvenates me more than anything else. The sound of the waves is deeply soothing and the city feels like it doesn't even exist anymore. I wish I could go to the beach more often but there isn't one to be found in Daegu. 

In other news, two amazing things happened within two lightning fast days. On Friday I was at Paris Baguette stuffing myself with cake (while my friend took tiny delicate bites haha) when I checked my phone and saw an e-mail from the University of Sussex - they offered me a place!!! So it looks like I'll be going to England this September to study Applied Linguistics. This is still so fresh I have to ponder it a lot more. Big changes are coming!

The next day, I went to a friend's wedding, which was super magical and lovely. I haven't been to many weddings so I felt super excited and happy to be there. And I got to catch the bouquet :-) In Korea, they plan who will catch the bouquet beforehand - interesting! After the wedding we all enjoyed a delicious buffet lunch. My friend looked absolutely radiant. I'm sure she's still floating on puffy clouds of joy :-)

These days, time is flying by quicker than ever. My goal is to enjoy these last couple of months in Korea as much as possible before I take my leave. And try not to think too much about it. Must remember to live in the moment :-)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Applying to England!

It's time for me to do my Masters, and the past few months I've been figuring out where to go, which program to choose, and what to do with my big exciting future. 

Sooo, the latest development is that I've just submitted my application to the University of Sussex in jolly old England!!! If I get the chance to go and study in England for one year, I will be beyond over the moon happy!!! 

So far the process has been smooth and straightforward. Fingers crossed everything goes well! 

These kinds of decisions are so thrilling! I really feel like it's up to me now to shape my life and decide where to put my energy. It feels amazing to imagine various potential futures and actually have the chance to make these things happen. Magic!