Danielle. 26. Elementary Music Teacher in Seoul, South Korea. I love kids, music, and teaching - and I'm kind of a huge nerd, so if you know those things about me then you have an idea of what you'll find on this blog. :) BUT if you want to weed out the personal stuff and random reblogs, just click the "korea posts" link above to get only my posts about school/kids.


Photoset

Oct 19, 2014
@ 10:00 pm
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31 notes

ernrambles:

soupersmashbros:

danedear:

ernrambles:

Some photos of some of the free swag we got at Worlds.

you me & soupersmashbros need to make a group of 와국여자들 who like gaming. get that going and we can all be awkward together~~~~

still totally jelly. i was in korean class while this was going on ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

YES

Yes, please ~ We can go camp a PC 방 sometime ~
Although I have to warn you that I can be a terrible feeder sometimes ㅠㅠ

The last time I really played a lot was before I came to Korea. The items and champions were quite different, and the shop layout changed completely. Imagine suddenly playing in a different language and everything is not where you remember it being. My Korean is not good or fast enough for how quickly you have to make decisions in the game.. And some of the new.. Trinkets? I don’t really understand them.

So I would really love to get good again, but I also need to relearn the game a bit. ^^


Photoset

Oct 19, 2014
@ 9:43 am
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31 notes

danedear:

ernrambles:

Some photos of some of the free swag we got at Worlds.

you me & soupersmashbros need to make a group of 와국여자들 who like gaming. get that going and we can all be awkward together~~~~

still totally jelly. i was in korean class while this was going on ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

YES


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Oct 18, 2014
@ 10:49 pm
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1 note

I’ve been giving DH a hard time for almost a year now because I knitted him a hat last year, gave it to him, and saw him wear it exactly once. Then he kept forgetting to get it from home, then his family moved and he lost it.

Actually I thought he hated it, even though he kept saying he didn’t, but today he found it. Then he called and woke me up to ask if I can come to 의정부 because his sister wants to make one for her boyfriend. Can I teach someone to knit a hat in an afternoon? Let’s see..


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Oct 18, 2014
@ 5:31 am
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People need to stop using the phrase “this is really important” so liberally.

But then, maybe I’m just feeling extra sensitive after being betrayed by a book, so I no longer trust anyone’s definition of importance. TT


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Oct 10, 2014
@ 10:20 pm
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5 notes

Embarrassing myself in front of DH’s family round 1

Last night DH’s dad invited me to my first family gathering of any sort. I knew they were celebrating DH’s grandfather’s birthday and that he’s 90-something, but I was told nothing else so I didn’t exactly know what to expect.

When we first walk in, I feel assaulted right away by a bunch of surprised (and whispered) 누구야’s.. They didn’t know I was coming. Okay. But we are early, and only a few people are there. It wasn’t an angry surprise, just a noticeable sense of being caught off guard which made me feel guilty.

Whenever new groups of people come in, everyone stands to greet them. I don’t want to be the only one sitting, but I also know I shouldn’t expect a big round of “this is ____”

So I just stand in the back and pretend to ignore the people who keep whispering things like “who is that, there’s a foreigner here,” etc, to DH, DH’s dad, and basically anyone else besides me. Occasionally throughout the night, someone yells a question at him across the room. Asking the age of the woman next to him, her name, if she can speak Korean well. A few people lived in the US for quite a while and sound like native English speakers, so they are eager to either have a conversation or reprimand me for not being great at speaking Korean. One girl seems very kind and is asking me about my plans and if I have any intention of leaving Korea soon. When I say no, she responds, “but you don’t have any interest in trying to learn Korean?” I’ve been misunderstood. I explain to her that I have been studying for just more than a year, and although I have made a lot of progress I still have a lot of weaknesses in the speaking area. She softens a bit and and then suggests that I need more practice, then she goes on talking about that TV show with all the foreigners and how they said that they learned Korean simply by diving in and not being afraid to speak. It’s hard for me to explain that even when I’m speaking to someone in English I have a hard time not being afraid. But she’s right, of course, and I tell her that.

When everyone gets up to give their greeting and thanks to DH’s grandfather, I know I should join them when it’s time for DH and his father to step up and bow. But I don’t feel right forcing it, so I ask if it’s okay for me to stay. I don’t know if it was the right choice, but I don’t want anything I do to feel forced or fake. I hope everyone will understand. DH takes the microphone and says thank you to his grandfather, they bow, and leave. Then food starts coming out.

DH tells everyone that I have a seafood allergy so they won’t feel offended when I refuse almost everything. Maybe I should grow up and just eat it even if I don’t like it, but I’ve never been able to stomach fish and the thought of doing it now makes me feel sick. I feel thankful to DH for his lie, but then I feel guilty when everyone moves the no-seafood dishes in front of me. I don’t consider myself a picky eater, but in Korea, I am. And I don’t want people to show keep special treatment or feel uncomfortable just because my preferences are different. But I try to appear grateful and eat as much as I can.

When DH’s younger sister finally comes in, I suddenly feel ten times lighter. She looks at me for a few minutes - this is our first time meeting in person, but she recognizes me. We’ve had a couple of brief text conversations, and once I gave DH some money so he could buy her some shoes she was begging for. She wore them tonight and is showing them to everyone now because she isn’t sure what to say to me. But once we start talking, it feels comfortable and for the first time all night I feel like it’s okay when DH leaves to talk to one of his relatives.

After dinner, DH’s father insists (despite the sister complaining) that we have one more drink together. It seems like DH wants to leave, but I can’t say no to his father like that and I guess he can’t either. Most of the older men are now pretty drunk, and when DH goes to order drinks, one of them looks at me and asks me a question. I don’t understand him even a little bit and I feel a bit panicked and embarrassed. Japanese. He’s playing with me. Then DH’s dad starts talking about how proud he is that he and I can communicate well because I can understand his body language and gestures (I understand his words, but I laugh and nod anyway). His sister keeps telling her dad, “come on, it’s so late. 언니 is so tired,” pointing to me. Finally, without any warning, DH just stands up and says “okay, we are going home!” We say our goodbyes and then we are walking to the bus stop.

I don’t feel any regrets about last night. I laughed a lot genuinely, and I did my best to be as respectful as possible always. But I am not Korean, and I can’t be expected to behave the same way anyone else in his family would behave. I guess in time, I will find out if that is accepted or rejected by his family. But throughout the night, people kept reminding me about December. His family will travel to Jeonju and make kimchi, ski, and do.. Other things? I’m not sure, but I’ve been asked to go, so I suppose I have a chance to meet more of his family soon.


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Oct 9, 2014
@ 9:59 am
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2 notes

You guys are way more interesting than I am. I just went on a massive liking and commenting spree. Please keep posting so I can live vicariously through your stories about doing stuff.

Oh, but I DID do a thing today. DH’s dad invited us to a baseball game and it was only a little awkward what with his dad not being able to sit next to us. Also I sat there internally pleading with DH never to leave us alone because we are 100% incapable of achieving anything besides awkward nodding and laughing. Luckily DH stuck with me.

Anyway, shout out to all the hagwon teachers who have to drag themselves out of bed and work tomorrow. If nothing else, we have solidarity? Right, and the fact that next year 한글날 will be on a Friday, giving us all that glorious three day weekend we deserve. :)


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Oct 8, 2014
@ 10:27 pm
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2 notes

DH, holding out his phone so I can look at a picture: “SEE! I told you there are orange pumpkins in Korea!”

I hand him my phone so he can see several photos of pumpkin patch farms in Arkansas, and say, sadly, “It’s.. It’s not just about the pumpkins.”

Then I sit silently for a few minutes, looking down at my lap. I need to go home for a visit soon, but what makes me feel so sad is knowing that I can never go back at the RIGHT time. I can never be there mid-October for fall festivals, or during football season to watch my brother march at a game. Christmas could be a good substitute if the tickets weren’t just unbearably expensive. At least then my brothers and I could go driving down country roads to see the elaborate Christmas displays on people’s homes. We could exchange gifts and I could be with my family during my favorite time of the year. But it’s looking like the soonest trip I can make is going to be in July, and there’s just not much special about Arkansas in July. At least to me, Arkansas feels the most magical in fall and winter. But then, I’m not much of a fan of swimming or fishing.

Gah. Where did this wave of homesickness come from.. Right. It hit me pretty much this exact time last year, too.


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Sep 30, 2014
@ 4:09 am
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On Saturday night I went out to meet a friend for his birthday, and DH and I were both pretty drained. We went out anyway and I didn’t want to carry a lot so I just brought my little wrist wallet.. which I promptly left on the bus. :(

I realized it almost immediately afterwards and should have gotten into a cab and chased after it.. But instead I thought to myself, “nothing valuable.. no cash, no cards, just my Arkansas DL and social security card, someone is sure to return it”

…TT all day Sunday I was distraught because that turned out not to be the case. I’ve (DH has) called every number and asked about it and no one had received it. :( I’m honestly pretty bummed because my mom bought it for me right before I left.

So the past few days have just been spent decluttering my apt because that’s how I get rid of stress. This has actually been one massive job and I got more done in a day than I did in nearly two years. At least that feels good.


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Sep 25, 2014
@ 8:38 pm
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Well. Thor can get up on the fridge now. And this morning, he managed to knock over my cleaning supplies AND clear the coffee pot off the counter, leaving a huge mess of ground coffee all over the floor. This happened right before I had to leave for work, so I had to just leave the mess there. :( 

I couldn’t sleep last night again for like the third night in a row,  so I feel like a zombie this morning.. And when I got to school I found out that the coffee shop I’ve been going to every morning for the past year and a half (it’s right under our school) is closing on Monday. This is too much for one morning! This day needs to do better!

Well. Thor can get up on the fridge now. And this morning, he managed to knock over my cleaning supplies AND clear the coffee pot off the counter, leaving a huge mess of ground coffee all over the floor. This happened right before I had to leave for work, so I had to just leave the mess there. :(

I couldn’t sleep last night again for like the third night in a row, so I feel like a zombie this morning.. And when I got to school I found out that the coffee shop I’ve been going to every morning for the past year and a half (it’s right under our school) is closing on Monday. This is too much for one morning! This day needs to do better!


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Sep 20, 2014
@ 9:30 pm
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5 notes

Mosquito apocalypse, revisited

I found it, in the 14th floor hotel room where DH and I celebrated our first year anniversary together.. And he mistakenly left open a window trying to let some fresh air in. May my swollen arms rest in peace.. TT

Side note, the room was amazing and I can’t believe it’s already been a year. I remember three months into the relationship just preparing for the inevitable fade away, and now things are so much different. I couldn’t have asked for a more caring and dedicated boyfriend. :) Besides our hotel stay, we had a nice evening out together and he bought “super cheesy couple rings” for us (his way to keep from feeling embarrassed after doing anything romantic is by calling it super cheesy in the process). He also gave me the two cat mugs I’ve been wanting from Artbox for ages, and he took the ring my mother gave me for graduation and had it cleaned and reshaped. I can’t post about my gift to him on tumblr because he isn’t going to get it until he comes back from Jeonju tomorrow. :P

Sooo anyway, I had a pretty decent weekend, even if I am playing it low key with a solo day today before going back to work tomorrow. Lately things have been pretty hard here, but I think slowly it’s getting a bit easier. I need to distract myself sometimes by thinking about moving to a nicer apartment in February, focusing more on self improvement, and being thankful for the things that go well rather than being constantly brought down by everything that doesn’t go well.


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Sep 19, 2014
@ 1:36 am
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1 note

An observation

Having 3 classes left is like “ohh that’s not bad!!” and having 4 classes left (or 3 classes + tutoring like most days except Friday) is like “ughhhh…..”

When my phonics kids go home at 3:25 and my first graders come in it feels like the home stretch. The following three classes seem to fly by and before I know it I’ll be walking out at 6. :)


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Sep 17, 2014
@ 7:54 pm
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1 note

Step 1: distance myself from the situation before appropriate amounts of coffee have been consumed.

I said to the Korean teacher with a much too over the top smile, “I’m so glad she’s going to cry again today because you’re still holding her hand!!” she laughed so my passive-agressive sarcastic approach had the intended effect (none). Time to take many slow breaths and prepare for this girl to cry during the entire music class.


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Sep 17, 2014
@ 9:20 am
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9 notes

Thor loves exactly three things: following Winter around, sleeping on or inside of everything in the apartment, and just sitting around staring at stuff.


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Sep 17, 2014
@ 9:17 am
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6 notes

Also this random exchange just happened

DH: what’s your favorite animal?
Me, in a mumbled whisper, without looking up from tumblr: ..cats
DH: why?
Me, same voice: because.. cat

I almost didn’t post this because it’s so stupid, but I figure my real friends are people who put up with me saying something about my cats every five seconds.. and as a reward for those who still follow me my next post will contain pictures of them because I’m on my iPad and don’t know how to add them to this post


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Sep 17, 2014
@ 9:00 am
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1 note

We got this new five year old student and she’s a pretty emotional kid.. The other five year olds just cover their ears when she cries because they’re as sick of it as I am, and during the break I just see her walking around attached to this Korean teacher’s hand.. Whenever the class time bell rings she cries when that Korean teacher leaves her at the door, and I literally just want to yell at her (the Korean teacher, not the five year old) to go the eff away but damn it that’s so inappropriate :(

Anyway she’s been making a LOT of progress, I’m talking smiles during class and considerably shorter crying sessions.. but today someone freaking taught her how to say “teacher hug me please” and now instead of making progress she’s crying out the words “teacher hug me please” every time I walk away from her and duh she doesn’t understand “wait please” or “dude I can’t hug you for 35 minutes, there are four other kids here who love music class”

Not pleased.