On Thursday, I went to teacher training. It was just about as boring as it sounds, give or take a few minutes of sleep in the auditorium. It basically consisted of an hour drive with my co-teacher, who was dropping me off on his way to a meeting; a late breakfast; a presentation by this really hyper Canasian guy, which as Stuart and Chris can tell you is a Canadian Asian halfsy; lunch; another presentation, less hyper but more informative and without the Justin Timberlake song found in the first one; snacks; Korean games; closing ceremony; a 20-minute shuttle-bus, a 15-minute subway ride, dinner at a Sushi restaurant, a half-hour wait, an hour-long bus ride, a different 45-minute bus ride, and a 10-minute walk. Oh, and I couldn't find my phone the whole day either. So that's it, in a nutshell.
Anyone else picture that scene from Austin Powers anytime someone uses the phrase "in a nutshell?" No? Just me? OK, then...
So, most of the things I mentioned went exactly how you'd expect. There were some highlights. Specifically, the games. Korean kids play traditional Korean games... which look a lot like traditional American games played by kids and stoners. There were hacky-sack looking things. Well, no... they didn't look at all like hacks, but functioned much the same. They were actually little plastic cylinders with bells inside them, and covered in shiny pom-pom looking streamers. :) Yep, they're festive alright. Not as easy to play with as an actual real-live hacky sack, but still fun.
There were also lawn darts, more or less. 18-inch long rubber arrows that you try to throw into a jar that's set up 5 paces away, or so. Very difficult -- I played for 20 minutes, and got one (1) in. Then I quit, deciding to go out on top... like George Foreman.
We also jumped rope. Well, I'm not very good at jumping rope... specifically the whole getting into the rope-jumping area while the rope is spinning around. I remember doing this when I was younger, but everything moves much faster now than I remember, and I seem to be an awfully long way from the ground, and my feet just don't do what I tell them to do, or not immediately anyway.
Jacks. Except instead of jacks, they were little pebbles. You had to throw one up in the air and grab one off the ground, then catch the first one. You keep doing this until you have them all in your hand. If you drop it, you lose. Heady stuff, man, I'm tellin ya what.
Spinning a wooden top, with a little rope attached to a wooden stick. You get the top going, and then you swipe the rope along the ground to keep it spinning. There were a couple variations of this game: you can play just to see who can keep theirs going the longest, or you can try to make them fight. This is actually a lot harder than it sounds. They just aren't that big... have you ever tried to make two tops hit each other while spinning on the ground and hitting them with lengths of rope? It's like trying to get panda bears to have sex. We managed to get them together briefly a couple times, but then one of us would hit them the wrong way and we'd end up chasing them across the gym. Also like the pandas. Then it would take a minute or so to get them back together, but they'd just stand there looking each other instead of going at it. Is the panda joke old yet? So after a while of chasing these things around, I resorted to yelling encouragement at it: "Finish him!!! Don't just stand there! Do something! Take him out! Sweep the leg!" All to no avail... we never could complete a game like that. Not for lack of trying, and yelling, and panda jokes though, I swear.
Oh, and my phone had fallen out of my pocket in Bo Il's car, so that's all good too.
So I've finally joined the ranks of Facebook. And there was much rejoicing (yea...). I held out for as long as I could, but it turns out that everyone here uses it, and they all think I'm really anti-social for not using it. Not that I care what anyone thinks... but uh, yeah, I'm using it now. I ... don't hate it. :) There's my ringing endorsement. I need to get some kind of compensation for this wonderful free advertising I'm giving them here, right?!
OK -- I'm still kinda sick. Coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes... and I'm tired. So, although it's such a pleasure sharing myself with my adoring fans and devoted readers, I must bid you adieu for now. May the wind be always at your back and the sun shine ever upon your face.