Monthly Archives: June 2006

Canadians in Korea vs. Tuesday Night

::Take That, France!::
The entire world thought that Korea would lose to France in the World Cup. They tied. Take that! I expect next weekend to be utter mayham because of that. I hope you are all cheering for Korea to beat the Swiss on (our) Friday night. DAE HAN MIN GUK!
::Field Trip::
Today we took a field trip up the mountain. It is the second time I have done this, so I thought there would be no surprises. I was wrong. First, the bus I was on was playing Christmas carols. How much more wrong could the day get, you ask? As we were hiking down the mountain, I noticed that one of the kids that Judy-Teacher was leading down the mountain was wearing high-healed "princess shoes". With HEALS. I bet she was seven. Awesome. I heart fieldtrips.
::Let’s Go Oilers::
Tonight a few of the teachers headed into Itaewon to watch game seven of the Stanley Cup, even though the results were already posted and done with. We ignored all that, and threatened those who may have known so they wouldn’t tell us. We all pretended that the game had not been decided yet (and none of us knew the results) so we cheered our hearts out for the Oilers. Shame that they lost. But I will tell you this: I got chills listening to the crowd in Korea singing our national anthem. And I was amazed at how unified every Canadian in Korea was that Edmonton should beat Carolina. It was truly moving.


Yesterday in Science my kindergarten class made anemometers. We didn’t get a lot of time to play with them, so the kids left them in the classroom. I made a sign that said "Do NOT touch. -10 stickers!" so the big kids would not play with them (I still had to take 10 stickers away from one of the wee bastards).  Well, the next day, many of the anemometers had fallen over. So Ryan2 comes busting in the teacher’s room and indignantly asks, "Teacher, who was touching our anemometers??"  Yes! He is 6 years old. And Korean. And he asked me about his anemometer. They are like little sponges. *I* didn’t know that that-weather-wind-dealy-with-cups was an anemomenter until I was… okay. Okay, I found out yesterday that its really-real name is "anemometer" and not "that-weather-wind-dealy-with-cups". Did you know what to call it before now??

Tickle Trunk Closes Up

This made me feel a little sad this morning… I loved this show!
(taken from The Calgary Sun)
The end of an era in Canadian children’s programming is at hand.

After 11 years of daily reruns, the CBC is cancelling Mr. Dressup, says a Toronto news report.

In July, the show will be bumped to a Sunday morning slot and by September will forever disappear from the CBC lineup.

The network’s management has been reworking its children’s lineup over the past several years and decided it was time for the friendly, bespectacled Mr. Dressup and his "Tickle Trunk" to go.

In his prime, Mr.Dressup would draw 500,000 preschoolers every day, but ratings have been in steady decline.

Ernie Coombs, the man who was Mr. Dressup, died of a stroke at 73 in 2001.

Coombs came to Canada in 1963 with Fred Rogers to launch the original Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Rogers took his show to U.S. public television a year later, leaving Coombs to create Mr. Dressup on Butternut Square in 1964.

The series became Mr. Dressup in 1967 and remained in production until Valentine’s Day, 1996. In all, Coombs logged 32 years and 4,000 shows as the the fun-loving character with his puppet friends Casey and Finnegan.

World Cup 2006 Korea 2 – Togo 1

It has been wonderful to be in Korea for the World Cup. I am not a huge sports fan, but seeing how much pride Korea has in their country and their team has been really remarkable. I have never seen anything like it.
Korea played their first game against Togo at 10:00pm our time on Tuesday. On Monday afternoon, the kids informed me that "teacher, tomorrow everyone red yes". They weren’t kidding. There are 110 kids in our kindergarten program. I would say more than 100 of them were wearing red team shirts. It was unreal! Almost all of the foreign staff (Jennifer missed the memo, I guess… ha ha) were wearing red. The kids were really worked up, and would start the "Dae Han Min Guk" chant at any opportunity.
~Side Note on "Dae Han Min Guk"~
If I was in charge of Romanizing this chant, I would write it as "Day Hand Mink Gook". Those words are pretty close to how you say it. And all it means is "Republic of Korea". But it sounds really cool when tons of people are yelling it.
~End Side Note~
After classes Joe, Orla, Brooke and I got on the 5500 bus and headed into Seoul to watch the game at city hall. The ride is normally 50 minutes. It took nearly 2 hours. The traffic was horrific. On Wednesday, the news was estimating that over 650,000 people were crammed into those few city blocks. I suppose that explains the traffic. It was a lot of freaking people. But it was also very exciting. They shut down one of the main roads for blocks alongside city hall (this "main road" downtown Seoul is eight lanes wide, to give you an idea). Everyone put down cardboard or newspaper and sat on the cement. You could feel how excited everyone was, even though Korea didn’t score in the first half of the game. After Togo scored, everyone chanted "It’s okay… it’s okay…." Koreans are amazing fans! They would cheer every time their team was touching the ball, every time they got to throw it in… almost all the time! They would also cheer every time there was a replay. I’m sure that if they show the goals tonight on the news, someone will cheer it again.
~Side Note on Polite Koreans~
The first time everyone got to their feet and cheered was when one of the Togo players got a red card (moms… it means that guy had to leave the game). The fans got to their feet, jumped around, screamed, chanted… and then sat back down when the game resumed. It was so strange. Especially since I can even get 10 kids to do that… let alone 650,000. Can you imagine this happening in Canada?!? Also, we didn’t see a single fight. Excellent.
~End Side Note~
Unfortunately, Joe and Orla headed home at the half to try and beat the traffic. Fortunately, Brooke stayed with me to watch the game. I heart Brooke! I would have stayed alone (sorry Moms, but that’s the truth) because I figure this was a one-time opportunity. Am I ever glad that we did!
In the second half, Korea scored two goals. After each goal, there were fireworks and everyone would jump to their feet and cheer. They went crazy! It was great!!
~Side Note on the World Cup~
I just thought of this… some of you may not realize that the game was NOT being played in Korea. The World Cup is in Germany this year. All those people gathered downtown to watch the game televised on giant televisions (we could see five from where we were). All that excitment… all those fans… all for a game on TV.
~End Side Note~
At the end of the game, there were more fireworks and much craziness because Korea won. There were people doing conga lines and dancing around in the street. As soon as the game ended, Brooke and I knew we were going to be in for a rough time to get home. It was already midnight, and we had school the next day. Based on the size of the crowd, and knowing how bad the traffic was on the way in, we figured we would be lucky to get home by 3:00am.
We grabbed hands so we wouldn’t lose each other and headed into the subway. We weren’t in there even 10 minutes when we realized we may have made a mistake. But there was no way back out – there were thousands of people wanting onto the train. For better or worse, we were taking the subway. In the end, it took about an hour to get onto the train. It could have been worse. But not much. It was so hot and humid in there! We took the subway to Itaewon and then a cab home. I walked in my door at 2:00am.
All in all, I would go through the crowds and lack asleep again to be able to be part of this again. It was absolutely incredible and moving, and will be one of my favorite memories of Korea. The next day, our boss even bought all the teachers pizza, because Korea won the game and we had supported them. AWESOME!
Last week, when I spoke to Mike about Korea’s chances for this Cup, he mentioned that they probably wouldn’t do as well because they didn’t have the "red tide" (the fans) behind them like they did when Korea and Japan hosted the World Cup in 2002. Being here, Mike, I disagree. The fans are behind them 100%. And I know that the team isn’t here to see it first hand… but I bet the team knows it. They would have to know it. I’ve got 43 pictures on Flickr to prove it.
The next game is Sunday at 4:00AM. And, much as I hate mornings, I think I might get up and watch it. Wake up, grab a beer, get back in bed, and watch the game. Sleep for 2 more hours when it is finished. And I was never a soccer fan. Now… DAE HAN MIN GUK!!!

Crazy Corea!!

Okay, okay. I have a lot to write about and it is already 12:14am. I would like to go to bed. I will try and tell the story of the first game of the World Cup tomorrow, okay?
If you go to flickr though, I have posted some pictures of our Black Belt test. Tomorrow… pics and blogs about the World Cup in Seoul!

The Madness Begins

Tonight at 10:00 is Korea’s first World Cup game.  Yesterday, one of my Kinders said to me "Teacher, tomorrow everyone will wear their RED shirts." Even at 6, they know that today is a big deal.
There is a school across the street from me. And at 8:30 this morning I could already hearing them cheering for Korea. We are going into the city after work to join in the fun. I will take lots of pictures.

Update Already!

I’ve been really lazy about writing lately, but with good reason. I don’t feel like it.
Lately, I’ve been feeling a little bit down. Not depressed or anything, just blue. Perhaps melancholy without the infinite sadness.
I couldn’t really figure out why for a long time, but I think I’ve mostly put it together. You see, nothing has really happened to make me feel this way, but there are a lot of little things lurking that I think finally ganged up on me to take me out. Some of them are obviously more important than others, but they all add up to Jodi-Teacher not feeling 100%.
1. Got the black belt. This is a good thing, yes. But you guys would not believe how worked up I was about this stupid test. Which is strange for me, because I have NEVER worried about a test in the past. Or about getting up in front of people to do… well, to do anything. But I was all worked up about it, and now it is over. And there was nothing afterwards to get worked up about. So although I should be feeling pleased and relieved, I feel like something is missing.
2. My fish died. I don’t know what happened… I fed him in the morning and he was fine. I went to get something out of the fridge for supper and he wouldn’t move off the bottom of the bowl. He was so dumb that he didn’t even know to float when he died. Idiot.
3. 24 season 5 is over. It was a great season, but I had to watch it (for the first time) mostly all by myself, and now it is over. What am I supposed to pirate now??
4. The weather has shit the bed. It is either smoggy, muggy and hot hot hot… or there are storms (like today). The barometer is fucking with my emotions.
5.Part of my Victoria Secret order was back-ordered. I hate that.
6. My back is bothering me again a little bit. I blame doing TKD 5 or 6 times a week… but STILL!
7. My dad died in June just a couple of years ago. And although I don’t really think about it specifically very often, I think that may be one of the underneath, lurking things that is underpining everything else that is happening.
8. I signed up for Bebo and only have 2 friends. I should be MUCH more popular than that.
9. I’m out of Skor bars. My coffee and gum stash is fine though!
10. 64% of our staff is leaving within the next 6 weeks (Brooke and Chad in just 2!). I like the people I work with (for a change) and I’m going to miss them.
Sigh. So that’s what’s going on. And there’s more than that going on inside my head, but the world-at-large isn’t ready for what goes on inside my head. And the other things aren’t for sharing. And a bitch-list of 10 things of what’s "wrong with me" is long freaking enough. Hopefully with the rain today the weather will get better and I’ll feel more like myself next week.

Two Words