My Travels

My Travels
Koh Phangan, Thailand

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New things all around and not a word to speak

New recipes and spices all around- what are the ingredients? (Or how do you put all this together to make it work?- will tell you when I find out!)

I have been away from here as I have been quite busy with getting the hang of things around here, as it is all new. Add to that the teaching and writing my novel for Camp Nanowrimo (summer camp version of National Novel Writing Month, which if you have not heard about is an awesome crazy writing adventure you can learn more about  here  (ALSO mix in a whole new bunch of spices with starting another blog- a book review blog- be sure to check that out on the sidebar to the right or at the end of the post!) and spinkle some traveling on top of that and you can see why my time has been a crazy new blend of flavors-very jam packed with new things and no time to tell all about them!

Getting ready to switch over to the new curriculum program. I am glad that we will have a curriculum all set up with media and interactive activities for the kids. I need to get to know it more from the inside out and be able to use it in my own way to reach the kids in the best way and keep them interested and engaged.

The main problem with the kids is keeping them from getting distracted. As mentioned in a previous post- (click here-under "Class of Chaos...") Korean students do not fit the quiet obedient student stereotype that many people have. They are the complete opposite to put it simply. The only time they are quiet is if they need to speak English in class ironically. Then they clam up and do not know what to say. Which is actually understandable, as they are not fluent in the language and don't want to embarrass themselves.

It is like a different world as I don't know what they are saying if they are speaking in Korean, so this is why English teachers here are encouraged to not allow Korean speaking in the classroom, as the students are there to learn English and they need to practice it and be able to understand explanations and instructions in English. I can definitely understand that this is difficult, as I obviously experience the feeling of not knowing what is going on around me living in a smaller town in Korea where it is not easy to find someone who speaks English like it would be in a larger city here. This is why I definitely want to learn to speak the language.

The students can very sweet on one hand, saying "I love you," to me which is a normal part of their culture to say to each other and to their teachers. But they can also be quite the opposite of sweet. Then, of course, we have the students who try to get out of trouble by acting cute, so I do not allow this. Although I can never stay mad at them long because they are just too cute! Of course some of them are not as cute and those students I kick out of the classroom when the do not listen! No really, they are all loveable and all very talkative, so it is a constant challenge to rein them in.

Not going to write anymore tonight, just wanted to give a quick update. I have been writing for Nanowrimo, which I need to catch up on, as I started late and also have been reading quite a lot for my new book blog. Check that out here!

Next post will be about my recent travels! Please sign up for emails to get updated about new posts, click on the gadget in the top right side of the page. And I would love to hear what you think in the comments below- what do you want to hear more about and do you have any travel suggestions?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Discoveries: New thoughts in Seoul and word play on Soul/favorite words/ramblings in the early hours of the morning

Discovering Two Souls? and Speech about Goals

*Disclaimer- this was written between 1 and 2 in the morning! Ramblings or deep thoughts ahead, depending on how you look at it...also this is just a "short" posting, not all encompassing! And yes, I know the word play on Seoul/soul has been done before, but this is my version of it, so it is new!*

I am currently in the city of Seoul- I plan to make the most of my time here and want to explore and see all I can see! My goal is to learn all I can, see all I can, appreciate the beauty in everything and make people smile when I can! I know this may sound mawkish possibly, but those are my goals and I am sticking to them. I had posted in a previous post (under "What Matters...") about my goals and how I want to learn more about loving others and what this means and trying to show others love. Even though I am an imperfect human being who does not always show love or put others first, this is my goal.

Two Souls? (or your own Doppleganger Twins)

We are all human and we all need to try our best to help each other and love each other. You can learn a lot about yourself when you are put into a new situation or when you challenge yourself (or when others challenge you, of course) I choose to challenge myself in this new situation as I am teaching for a year in a new way in a completely new place (South Korea!)with new people, new sights, sounds, words, feelings, new everything! Yet I am the same person, but different. We are all always changing, and when we learn more about ourselves, we can become a better version of ourselves- our truer selves hopefully. I have been reading a lot (yes I always read alot...but reading more philosophical pieces...?) and below will discuss some of what I have been reading and the impressions it made on me.

Is there a difference of who we are and the utmost highest that we can become- that best version of ourselves- two versions of one person? Is one of them more "real"?

What I have been reading

C.S. Lewis- Mere Christianity

Very thought provoking and really makes you think about who you are and what you believe and who you can become. I will go more into depth as I read further, just wanted to mention it for now.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

I have only begun to read this today and I am already fascinated and inspired by this book- definitely one to read, keep, and read again- it will inspire and DEMAND change for the better!

I will mention ONE thing I am currently turning over in my mind: (or that is turning my mind over!)

Chapter Two: The 10,000 Hour Rule

This chapter talks about the idea that you can be that rock star, that child prodigy (or can you, really?) as long as you put the hours in developing that talent or skill!

"Practice isn't the thing you do once you're good. It's the thing you do that makes you good."

I would like to apply this "rule" to develop a talent/skill of mine- thinking of a possible challenge/experiment on how to do this....just a preliminary idea!

I agree with this rule- so many writers, for one example, talk about getting so many rejection letters from their writing, but they kept trying and finally succeed in publication years later! After they put the hours in and became an expert at their skill.

It is easy to give up at whatever talent or skill you have, but the key is to ask yourself how much you want it and for what reasons? Then you will know if you are willing to put the time and effort in! And it's not just "a few hours here and there" that this is referring to. Check out this link: to find out how much time this is- change the time according to your wishes/plans to see how long this is for your talent! Thank you to Ryan Yacyshyn for this information from his blog!

A Million Little Pieces by James Frey 

Just started it and once again, just wanted to mention the mix or ménage à trois of what I am reading currently. The question- can you  be healed or "fixed" once you are "broken?"

Especially if you are the one who hurt yourself?


More to come! Guess what my favorite word in this posting is- put it in the comments! Winner will appear in a future blog post and win an honorary online award!