Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Essays on the environment

We just had monthly tests, which include a written essay. The first three are pretty average, but then the essays get awesome.

Prompt: In your opinion, what would be the effects of cutting down all the trees in the rainforest? Give examples of what would happen.

What you would expect: the animals will lose their homes.

The monkeys will have no home and people and animals will die in an avalanche.

Global warming and the earth will die early.

What's with the avalanches?

If you cut down all the trees, lots of people will die because we won't have desks or some other furniture.

And by far my favorite:
Without any trees, the rainforest would become a water park!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Things don't suck

The job has actually been pretty good. My classes are mostly good and I'm handling them well. However the stress in the office is a bit much. The director is insane and has been throwing so much crap at the new teacher that one of the other native teachers (out of four of us) is looking into changing jobs. Also, one more Korean teacher quit last week and is not being replaced, and another is leaving at the end of the semester. You'd think the director or the parents would realize high teacher turnover is a problem.

In other good news, I'm training to run a 10k in September, and it's going well. I love for logging my routes, distances, and overall workouts. Sunday night I ran 4.16 miles in 43:48 minutes for a 10:28 minute pace. Wow! This means I can finish the race in less than an hour and actually strive toward a time goal...of some sort.

My biggest issues right now are the smokers in public parks who provoke rageful coughing fits, and the parks are SO crowded in the evening. I work so early in the morning, though, that it's hard to talk myself into waking up at 5 or 6 a.m. to go running. I know it would be worth it and I'd have a great time in the cool morning air if I could just get myself out the door. Also I'm going the beach July 25 for the Mud Festival and am not quite feeling confident about showing off my bikini. Must try harder.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm signing up for a 10k

a little less than 3 months away. Not sure if this is a good idea. I like the warm weather and don't really have anything better to do with my free time, so. We'll see how it goes.


Tonight I ran 3.5 miles in about 45 min for a 12:53 min/mi pace. Setting out, my goal was to do intervals of 10 minutes running and 5 walking for an hour. After two reps, I did 8 minutes running, 5 walking, and 7 more running before my cool down. I'd say that's a damn good baseline upon which to improve.

Unfortunately, on a pain scale of 1 to 10 with 8 being high enough for me to give up and hobble home, my left knee was at about a 6.5 or 7. I'll have to go out and buy a second knee brace before I run again. (I already wear a pretty bulky one on my right because my kneecaps are crooked.) Also my stride is super wonky, so I'll probably start wearing my ankle braces and arch supports to hopefully straighten things out.

What I want to know is this: Do I get to count extra calories burned for spending a quarter of my time darting like a gazelle around all the fucking Koreans blocking the path, even checking some of them like a pro futballer? I may have to start running in the morning— hopefully the trail is less crowded at 7 a.m. than 8 p.m.

Also, how can I tell when I've stretched enough *after* my run? And how do you say "Move your fucking ass!" in Korean?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Red Dress Run

Yesterday was my sixth run with the Yongsan Kimchi Hash House Harriers, meaning I was finally named.

Typically, a person fills out a questionnaire about their experiences and funny/embarassing stories, which is shared with the hashers, and then they choose a name for you. Instead, someone thought it would be a good idea to let a hasher I'd never met before make up a bunch of lies for my questionnaire and name me based on that. So because I braided my hair and said I'd traveled to Australia, I was dubbed Pippi Longsucking. Great story, huh?

On the upside, it was my first try at the running trail instead of walking, and I really enjoyed that much. I'll keep running but am probably going to skip the down downs.

The Seoul PMS Hash House Harriettes met that afternoon with a lot of first-timers and about 15 total attendees, the most I've ever seen in the group. Finding the YKH3 name so exceedingly offensive, I asked PMS to rename me. Based on my stories of making men cry and the fact I spin fire, I am now known as St. Emo's Fire with that group.

(Wtf is up with Blogger's coding and how do I fix it?)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I think I'm gonna be sick

The director fired the new teacher yesterday after he's only been here two weeks. We other teachers are incredulous. He's been working hard to adjust, and it hasn't been easy.

I really do feel queasy and a little bit panicky about trying to get out of here before the end of my contract.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Idle threats

The director had a meeting with us teachers wherein she told us to henceforth send the unruliest of students to the Korean teachers to be threatened with an acupuncture needle so as to scare them into compliance. Yes, this really happened. No, I could not dream up something this outrageous.

I'm bummed that I can't buy a new laptop battery in the most wired country in the world, but it's not as expensive as I expected at Best Buy, so I can have a friend ship it instead.

I just realized that I've been here 7 months. I'm over the hump and getting even closer to going home!

I had other things to write about, but I can't think of them at the moment, having just come from the class that makes me want to drown hand...en masse.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Laptop temporarily out of service :0(

Not only does the new teacher not smoke, but he's also allergic to mold. That really sucks. He's nice, though, and I enjoy having an excuse to dine out and play tour guide.

In other news, I need a new laptop battery, don't know where to get one, and can't afford it for another week anyway. :0( I'll check around the Apple stores in the city this weekend and keep my fingers crossed.

I went on a hiking trip this past weekend at (Mt.) Seoroksan with Adventure Korea and it was awesome. I'll try to add pics whenever I get my home computer up and running again. I can't say enough good things about AK and all the cool people I meet on these trips. This time around, there were two people from Ansan and three from the DFW area (my hometown). I've already signed up for the second Mud Festival trip in July and am hoping to make it Jeju island the following week. I'm pretty psyched about it.

And I've already started planning my own welcome home party. Premature? Naw- personal accountability.