Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another poem I wrote a long time ago

Inspired by a picture taken at the children's musuem...I should post this on the poetry blog as well!

I’m back!
And I’m ready to play!
Look at me.
I’ve got my smock on
And I’m holding myself
Like I need to pee

If I don’t tell my teacher
Then I won’t have to stop playing
I’ll just keep going
I’m back for more
Of what
Only time will tell

My pigtails say that I am young
But they really don’t know how young
I’m not supposed to be at camp
My big sister takes care of me
Nothing to worry about
Because I am three

Story Starter Thursday

I'm putting this out there. Laugh if you wish. I'm starting a story starter day one day a week on here. This is something on my computer that I discovered just tonight. I wrote it three years ago. It's awful, don't judge, but I thought someone would have some fun with it. Feel free to continue the story on your own blog, or include it in your writing somewhere.

The adventurous Miss Caroline--ahem that’s Princess Caroline to you—and the awful case of the “I can get anything I want because I’m so cute” disease

There once was a little girl named Caroline Elizabeth Riana Schutzelbutz.

Her mommy called her care bear, her nanny called her C, her father, (whom she saw once a month on a good month), called her boo precisely because he couldn’t remember her name, and the kid that came over from the neighboring palace once a week for a play date called her Princess, at her request.

To put it lightly, Princess Caroline was a little hard to deal with. But who could blame her?

Somewhere early in her childhood someone had told Princess Caroline that because she was so cute, she could have anything she wanted. Without lifting a finger. It didn’t matter that her mother was exhausted. It didn’t matter that the pre-school teacher took every opportunity to remind her mother that she was raising a spoiled rotten brat.

Not enough Pepperidge Farm Goldfish on her plate at snack time? No big deal. Miss Caroline Elizabeth would merely put on her sunglasses, sprinkled with no less than 14-karat-gold glitter, and gingerly march on over to one of the teacher’s assistants. Can I please have some more goldfish? Why sure, the adult would say, and pour more goldfish.

Boys hogging the swing at play time outside? Simple. March over to the swing, slather up the best cute face and saliva in her mouth, smile, and plant the biggest, fattest, wettest kiss on the biggest kid in the class, Herman Hooverbinger. That sure got him to move fast out of the way!

I haven't been good about posting lately

And that is really because I haven't had the time or energy to put together a coherent post. I really don't have anything to say of substance. I'm in this foreign land. I don't really know what I am doing here, and I feel like I am floating in a cloud, on autopilot, to get from day to day in one piece. I'm anxiety-ridden yet hopeful, exhausted yet excited. I keep pushing and don't think I have anything left to give. But I will keep giving what there is left.

Tonight we had our before vacation staff dinner. It was at a galbi restaurant, and while I will spare you my feelings on pork galbi, I will say that it was nice to get to know a few of the Korean teachers outside of work. It was also the first time I sat on the floor to eat, traditional Korean style. Word to the wise: it hurts my legs to sit for an hour on the floor under a small table. But that's beside the point. I was sitting at the same table with two of the teachers that are relatively close in age to me, and it struck me just how much we had in common. How human we all are. It may sound silly, but at work I am so busy, I see these people as my supervisors, my bosses, and people above me. Tonight I got a different view. Tonight I saw two young, beautiful, graceful Asian women with a sassy sense of humor and a child-like sense of wonder.

They held their chopsticks in suspense as they coyly asked me in broken English: "Do you have boyfriend?" It was kind of cute how they debated back and forth for a while in Korean who was going to ask me this, as if they were afraid to ask this ridiculously girly question. They both giggled as they asked too. What are we in? Seventh grade? Obviously. We're sitting on the floor, crossed legs, giggling. It's seventh grade all over again. After I told them no and that I would prefer to be alone most of the time, they both looked sort of horrified, shocked even. One of them takes this into consideration, and then agrees that when she's with someone she'd rather be alone but right now she's searching actively. I ask next, because I have nothing better to contribute to this awkwardly funny situation "Are you actively searching?" Both answer "Yes" without hesitation. They later ask me if I have contact lenses and why I don't wear them. Don't know what that was about, but I'm not going to read into it too much. I love how superficial this culture really is.

I say this because I have a sick fascination here with women and marriage across cultures. In Korea, I'm finding that it's almost religion that women expect to get married and have children at a certain age. And it's expected that educated women marry educated men so that they can stay home with the children while the man goes off to work. At least I think that's how it works.

It hit me today just how strong these two women were. This was the second meal today I've had with them. We also ate lunch in the same room at school earlier in the day. During lunch, there were four women, all in different stages of life, speaking Korean but I could feel the strong woman energy vibes shaking me to my core. The woman directly to the right of me was about six months pregnant, in her mid-thirties. So dignified. Across from her was a recent college graduate, next to her was a middle-aged woman sporting a wedding band. Across from her was a younger woman in between all of their ages, from what I can tell. They smiled, they laughed, they spoke a lot of Korean, but I could tell they were happy. I'm not making much sense here, but in my mind this picture sticks out for some reason. So many different lives, but one life under the school roof. We all have ONE ASPECT of our lives in common. For better or for worse.

This was not what I meant to say at all. Tonight I'm rambling because I'm in a rambling kind of mood. I had a point to all of this, but somewhere between dinner and bedtime I lost it. That's right folks, I must be going. I will find my point, hopefully, and post away at a later time.

There was also a moment during dinner where I asked about children, and if they had any. I was unsure of the answer and if it was even socially correct to do so, but I don't think it was too bad. One of the women replied "I'm a miss...I'm not married." I wanted to say, "That never stopped anyone in my country before" but I figured I had better hold my tongue on that one.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Found this randomly online tonight, thought it was too cute not to post

With time, women gain weight because we accumulate so much
information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no
more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies. So we
aren’t heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think,

“Good grief, look how smart I am!?”

(Must be where the term ‘Smart Ass’ came from… )


Monday, July 19, 2010

I need ideas

For active games for six-year-olds using little or no equipment.

I am also glad I have vacation coming up in a week. And open class is over. And I'm thankful for Tuesday field trips and general lack of expectations. I'd write more, but I'm off to work. Later!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A View from the Subway

Every now and then I like to post a random picture to say to the world, "Hello, I'm alive." This picture was taken last weekend from the subway on my way to Itawon to get a haircut. Itawon is where the westerners hang out. There's a big western community there. Rumor has it the army base is there too. I'm falling into a rut with blogging and life lately, and that is probably due to the culture shock let-down. I'm here, and that's all I can say now. Just living life as usual. I need help. Leave comments with ideas.

Since I'm posting lyrics anyway...

Thought I'd go ahead and post this one, only my favorite number of all time. This is what I say to the Koreans and their crazy ways. I am a master of my territory. Don't mess with me. LOL.


Don't tell me not to live, just sit and putter
Life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter
Don't bring around a cloud to rain on my parade
Don't tell me not to fly, I simply got to
If someone takes a spill, it's me and not you
Who told you you're allowed to rain on my parade
I'll march my band out, I'll beat my drum
And if I'm fanned out, your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn't fake it, hat, sir
I guess I didn't make it
But whether I'm the rose of sheer perfection
A freckle on the nose of life's complexion
The Cinderella or the shine apple of its eye
I gotta fly once, I gotta try once,
Only can die once, right, sir?
Ooh, life is juicy, juicy and you see,
I gotta have my bite, sir.
Get ready for me love, 'cause I'm a "comer"
I simply gotta march, my heart's a drummer
Don't bring around the cloud to rain on my parade,

I'm gonna live and live NOW!
Get what I want, I know how!
One roll for the whole shebang!
One throw that bell will go clang,
Eye on the target and wham,
One shot, one gun shot and bam!
Hey, Mr. Arnstein, here I am ...

I'll march my band out, I will beat my drum,
And if I'm fanned out, your turn at bat, sir,
At least I didn't fake it, hat, sir,
I guess I didn't make it
Get ready for me love, 'cause I'm a "comer"
I simply gotta march, my heart's a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody, is gonna rain on my parade!

Why I love musicals, part IV

While reflecting on the topic of my favorite musicals recently, I neglected to mention this one. I LOVE Funny Girl, because I am Fanny Brice. No doubt about it. You will not rain on my parade. Maybe that's why I've been so moody lately. She's dead on in this song, and I now see why. It's really hard to admit when you are lonely. This song sums up the hidden emotions perfectly.

Fanny and Nick steal a private moment
at the party and discover they are both
a little lonely. Fanny sings:

We travel single-oh
Maybe we're lucky, but I don't know--
With them,
Just let one kid fall down
And seven mothers faint.
I guess we're both happy, but maybe--
We ain't.
People--people who need people
Are the luckiest people in the world,
We're children, needing other children
And yet letting our grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside,
Acting more like children
Than children.

Lovers are very special people,
They're the luckiest people
In the world.
With one person, one very special person
A feeling deep in your soul
Says you were half,
Now you're whole.
No more hunger and thirst
But first be a person
Who needs people.
People who need people
Are the luckiest people
In the world!

Nick has to leave the party early because
he's going to Kentucky the next day but
promises to call Fanny when he returns
to New York.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My criminals are always readers

That's right folks. In a breathtaking nightmare last night, I dreamed that among other things, I was being held at gunpoint by a man that sat staring at my bookshelf before he started firing shots. Was he upset at my book collection? Disgruntled at all the girly fiction on the shelf? I do love my Barbara Kingsolver and Jane Austen, among many others. All the shots he fired missed me, but whoa! That was one hell of a dream. I love my crazy, Korean life.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Minnesota Legend Strikes Again

I was talking with one of the Korean teachers tonight after work (I was supposed to be doing my Kindergarten lesson plan for next week but that's beside the point) and we got to the subject of where I'm from. When I told her I lived in Minnesota for three years, she promptly asked me "Are there a lot of big, strong men in Minnesota?" Uh? How does one respond to this? I guess so? I then realized after some charades playing that she must have been talking about none other than Paul Bunyan. Yes, he's from Minnesota. Yes, he's a legend. What's a legend? A story? Oh I love explaining things in broken, half right English. "He's a story? Made up?" She was shocked. Hate to burst your bubble there, but yeah, we call it a tall tale in the States. "Yeah, he was very tall." She replies. What do I say to that? So yeah, there's a lot of explaining to do. There's a lot that gets lost. And so begins my life. I just had to share this little interaction. I thought it was mildly amusing.

Upshot? I finished week SEVEN. Wow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I just want to scream!!!


Stop with the pressure.
The intensity.
The need for perfection.
No one learns under that much pressure to be perfect.
Or do they?
Tears happen for a reason people.
It's called fear.
Fear of failure.

I suppose one has to start somewhere. I love kids, but this is ridiculous.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Thirty Question

Directions: Create a new blog post. Write an introduction. Copy and paste the meme below into your blog, changing the comments to your own. Use the title of this meme in your subject line or create your own. Feel free to tag your friends or not. A link back to this lens would be appreciated.

1. Where is your cell phone? Buried.

2. Describe your boyfriend/girlfriend? Single!

3. Your hair? Burnette

4. Your mother? America

5. Your father? America

6. Your favourite item? Book

7. Your dream last night? Confusion

8. Your favourite drink? Tea

9. Your dream car? Functional

10. The room you are in? Studio

11. Your ex? None.

12. Your fear? Abandonment

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Thriving

14. Who did you hang out with last night? Friends

15. What you're not? Superficial

16. The last thing you did? Pee

17. What are you wearing? Pajamas

18. Your favourite book? Choose?

19. The last thing you ate? Bibimbop.

20. Your life? Thrilling

21. Your mood? Contemplative

22. Your friends? Amazing

23. What are you thinking about right now?Lonliness

24. Your car? Abandoned

25. What are you doing at the moment? Blogging

26. Your summer? Abroad

27. What is on your TV? Nothing

28. When is the last time you laughed? Today

29. Last time you cried? Today

30. School? Always

If you're into it, blog your own!

Saturday, July 3, 2010