Day 646

July 29, 2013

My last update (which was shamefully much too long ago) was about the island adventure that I went on with some amazing friends at the beginning of June. Since then, my work schedule has been all over the place. That, combined with my busy weekends and upcoming travel plans, has left my mind in the same crazy state.

Because of exams, classes began to wrap up (and my brain switched to 'vacation mode') in late June. Teachers were scurrying to finish textbook material so the schedule was scrambly and I just had to go along.

Prior to exams, there was also a week when I judged the speaking ability of all of my students. This test consisted of a chosen dialogue from the textbook which students had to memorize. They recited the dialogue to me and were judged based on fluency, accuracy, and pronunciation. While this isn't a good reflection of English speaking ability (many of the students had it transcribed into Korean and read from the paper), it catered to the (low) ability of most of  my students. In the end, the students who read from the page (rather than, you know, speaking) got a lower grade than the students who were able to memorize the dialogue and step it up with intonation/stuff.

Anyway, exams were held at the beginning of July which were followed by a painful post-exam week of lessons. We have a new principal who holds a strict "no movie" policy, so all teachers had to struggle to get unmotivated kids motivated to learn (or to at least pretend to pay attention).

Once that week was finished, teachers celebrated with a trip to Jindo. I've been to Jindo before, which I wrote about briefly here. This time, we visited a historical site where an artist once lived. Since his death, his sons have carried on his name and some paintings are displayed in a gallery there. We also stopped to see some Jindo dogs and killed some time at another art gallery.






For the past week and a half, I've been conducting vacation classes which I'll write about in a separate post.

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In terms of my social life, I've been keeping busy. July was the month when I tried to absorb all the time I could with my friends who will be leaving shortly.

For Canada Day, we headed to Yeonggwang to celebrate with our *2nd annual* gathering and feasting.




This past weekend, we headed to the Rock Festival in Ansan (about 4 hours north of Mokpo; 1 hour south of Seoul). This was a three-day event but we opted only to go for one day. The Friday and Saturday line ups included bands such as Cat Power, Vampire Weekend, The Cure, and a whole bunch of Korean bands. We opted for Sunday to see Yellowcard, Coheed & Cambria, Peppertones, and fun.

Seeing Yellowcard in Korea was pretty unreal. I'm not a big fan of them now, but I loved them in high school. If you had told me in 2003 that I would be seeing them in Korea someday, I'd have called you crazy. They mentioned that their album Ocean Avenue would be 10 years old this year so they will be releasing an album of acoustic tracks.



Peppertones. This is a somewhat popular electronic Korean duo who have been around since about 2004. I don't know them very well but they're pretty good!


fun. was, hands down, the best performance of the day. They
have the perfect combination of energy and stage presence.
The lead singer is probably the most joyful person I've ever seen.



I've seen Coheed & Cambria in Toronto a handful of times, but seeing them in Korea was a much different experience. Aside from the handful of foreigners, the crowd didn't seem to get into them much (which could also be attributed to the rain) but I still enjoyed them!


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Coming up in my life is, of course, a two week stint in Canada. I've got my days pretty solidly booked.

After Canada, the new semester will begin and many of my close friends in Korea will be leaving so I'll spend that week weeping.

The week following that, I'll be heading (again) to see G-Dragon in concert as he finishes off his tour back in Seoul.

Aaaaaand lastly but not leastly, my sisters have decided to save their pennies (and nickles and dimes and quarters and limbs) to make the trek to Korea in September. They will be staying for about 4 weeks and I can't wait to show them this world I've been living in. Now if only all my other favourite people would follow suit and visit me...!

So, all in all, my life has hardly slowed down and I'm loving every minute.

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