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my life as an esl teacher in south korea.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4


two weeks
2008-05-20 21:44:00
is too long without an update.I seem to have lost the art of writing about daily life. I feel most of the time like I'm just living... not that interesting... though on second thought, it might be to you, dear reader.I've been at my new job for a little over three weeks now and things are going well. I'm itching to get my hands on a camera and be a VJ... but I know it will come in time.Other than work, I've been going out like crazy on the weekends, wearing shoes that are too tall, dresses that are too short and make up that makes me feel like I'm 20 again! My confidence has been at an all time high, which might explain the few dates I've been on... though they haven't developed into anything, they've been learning experiences.London is a strange place when it comes to meeting people... especially romantically and I've been learning a lot. I've actually had text message relationships that didn't go beyond a night out because of them. Weird. Nobody CALLS anyone here, they ...
More About: Weeks
Cans Festival
2008-05-06 21:09:00
On Sunday I headed down the Cans Festival with a couple of girlfriends. It's a graffiti festival that was set up on Leake Street, in a disused tunnel, near Waterloo station.It was well advertised and in the media because Banksy was a part of it. There were tons of other world famous graffiti artists who spent days setting up the exhibit, as well as lots of lesser known artists. You could even sign up to paint once you arrived and there were quite a few artists jumping on the bandwagon. Good for them to be able to have their work next to that of the big names.Instead of going on about it, though, here are some of my favourites in no particular order... sorry there are so many, I just couldn't cut it down any more!It was, as you can see, an amazing exhibit. If you can believe it, I have another 120 or so photos from it.... So there are more!I've heard that for some silly reason, the art will all be painted over eventually, at a cost of about 300,000! What's the point?? Leave it t...
More About: England , London
new beginnings
2008-04-29 21:22:00
It's official. I am a career woman! I started my new job yesterday and I have to say that being happy about going to work makes a world of difference.I was nervous at the beginning of the day, but slipped right into it. I was teamed up with a colleague who use to do my job and he showed me a lot. By the end of the day I was uploading to the wire all by myself!The programs that I've learned so far are relatively easy to use. The real challenge will come tomorrow when I have my Avid training. My confidence is way up though and I know that I can do this job and anything they ask me to.It's a different world for me now. I like going to work and it doesn't even really feel like work. The day flies by and before I know it, it's time to go home!I'm still, of course, in the honeymoon stage here, and who knows what the future will bring... but for now, I'm loving it. From now on there are no more annoying people calling me and no more dealing with the public, which is a first for me!A...
More About: England , London
a new job
2008-04-20 21:13:00
I've been seriously ignoring this blog since I left Korea last year. It's disappointing since I was so stubborn about it while I was there. I imagined it would be similar here in England , but I have let myself, and you dear reader, down. So, I will apologise again, I'm sorry.I guess I just haven't felt like I've been doing anything terribly interesting. Of course, I do things, but it's more like living life than anything to write home about.I do have some big news though.I applied and interviewed for a job way back in January but was only number two after the interviews were done. When they called me to tell me I didn't get it, (weird I didn't just get an email) I could hear the disappointment in the interviewers voice. He told me they were going with someone who had more "experience" - to me this meant that the other person knew how to edit with Avid where I only know Final Cut (thanks a lot ConU)... Anyway, he asked me if it would be okay to keep my details on file and to ...
More About: London
La Suisse!
2008-04-08 20:35:00
We left London on Friday evening. The ferry from Dover landed in Calais at around midnight. After a night of driving clear across the north of France we finally arrived in Champery, Switzerland at around noon.Being Canadian, it might surprise some of you to know that a) I have never seen the Rocky Mountains and b) I had never skied before. So, you can imagine (if you've seen them) the awe that came over me when I spied the Alps for the first time.We came around a bend and there they were, looming above everything else, with Lac Leman sitting serenely below - if only pictures out car windows were any good... oh well, next time!We climbed up, and up, and up, until we (had there been any at the time) were in the clouds. Luckily, the weather was brilliant. Having driven through the night we sat on the balcony of our 100-year-old farmhouse and cracked open the beers. It was such a beautiful day that we could have been tanning in our bikinis.Our farmhouse.The view from our balcony.At dus...
the Cure
2008-03-21 01:43:00
So, everyone knows that my favourite band of all time is the Cure . I saw them live on the Wish Tour in 1995 in Montreal at the Molson Center (when it was still called that) and have been waiting for them to return to Montreal since then... they haven't. Last summer I heard that they were going on a world tour and they were actually going to come back to us in September. Being in South Korea at the time didn't make getting tickets easy, but I did (thanks S). And they were good seats too...But then in August, they announced they were postponing our show until May. I held onto my tickets, but then I decided to move over here, and well, my dream of seeing the Cure again disappeared with the return of my tickets.I knew they were playing London, but the gig was sold out. My friend had tickets, but they were all accounted for already (since they'd bought them months in advance). I had resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't see them this time. Unless, of course, I wanted to be goug...
More About: The Cure
2008-03-16 12:14:00
is good, right?I thought it was time for a little change on this little bit of the world wide web that I call home... I made a new header - you like? Thanks to elmobong for making me think about it and inspiring me to finally do it. It's more what I wanted the first time around, but I didn't have the picture at the time...This is one that I took in Chambly, Quebec last fall on my bike trip there... read about it here... you can even see the image in its original form...Anyway, I'll be working out the kinks over the next little while, but I just don't feel like dealing with all the little things right now... so this will have to do. I'm hoping for a complete overhaul, but blogger doesn't make it easy... if I completely change my template I'll lose all of my link and stuff in the sidebars... and who wants to re-type all of that?!? So, I'll see what I can sort out.In the meantime, enjoy, at the least, the new masthead... I think it's pretty cool... what do you think?
More About: Change
The English language
2008-03-14 21:23:00
When I moved to Korea I knew that I would have a whole new language to contend with. So, in preparation, I learned Hangul (the alphabet, or written Korean) and a few handy phrases. I learned a lot more when I was there.I am discovering that anywhere you go language will be different, even among countries that speak the same language. I already knew that British and Canadian English had differences, as does American, Australian and South African, but I have been surprised at the number of different and new words I have learned.These are words that I would never (or very rarely) use in Canada that have become a regular part of my vocabulary. I've been compiling this list for a few weeks with the help of a friend at work... He loves it - it makes him feel like he's teaching me English!!!1. queue - we all know this means 'to line up', I just never used it before.2. trousers - as opposed to 'pants', which in England means 'underwear'.3. post - as in 'the mail'4. handbag - no, i...
More About: English Language , Language
2008-03-09 13:11:00
I've been having trouble of late. Nothing serious, maybe just a case of the winter blues, maybe a case of homesickness, and maybe it's some kind of mid (quarter) life crisis, though I thought I was done with those... I think it really comes down to me sorting out what I'm doing.I have dreamed of living in England for as long as I can remember. I don't know why, I can't explain it, even to myself, so I won't try to explain it to you. But here I am, realizing a dream that has been simmering inside of me for half my life, and it just isn't satisfying that itch.I came here, at this point in time, because the opportunity arose. I had some money, nothing going on back home and no idea what to do with myself... so I figured why the hell not? But now I'm starting to ask why?I thought that I would have some great opportunities here to hone my craft and possibly (hopefully) get a job in journalism. To get some experience that I could take home (or wherever) with me when it was time. B...
More About: Visas
Leap Day
2008-02-29 20:58:00
I figured since this day only rolls around once every four years that I should probably post something to mark the occasion.So, for those of you who don't know, this will be a little lesson in what leap days are all about. *on an aside, I taught some of my kiddies in SK about leap days though I think the only thing they came away with in the lesson was the word "leap".As we all know one solar (calendar) year is 365 days long. This calendar is based on the fact that the Earth revolves around the sun. It actually takes the Earth 365. 2422 days to complete its revolution, but that would screw with time pretty badly since we have 24 hours in a day. Imagine a clock that had 12.2 hours on it? Basically, we have an extra six hours in the year that we need to deal with.So, way back, Julius Casar (famous for the salads?) decided that any year divisible by four would be a "leap year", thus creating the leap day.Now, it's all a little more complicated than this, (and believe me, my lesson to...
More About: Leap
Flat Stanley
2008-02-27 20:01:00
Flat Stanley is a children's story by Jeff Brown. It's about a boy who gets flattened by a bulletin board. Although it sucks to be flattened, he makes the most of it and mails himself really cool places.My good friend Kat (of the adventures of liz and kat in korea fame) has started her own flat Stanley project with her students (she actually still lives in SK). I got an email from her a week ago asking for help. Attached in the email were two flat Stanley's and a letter from a group of Korean students. I was instructed to take my Stanleys out on the town and show them around London . So I did, despite being thought insane by half the population of the city!This is the "letter" that I'll be sending back to the kids who sent me their Stanley's... I hope you enjoy it and that they eventually do too!Dear students:Thank you for sending me your Stanley's. I live in London, England , but my home is Canada. I was very excited to show your two Stanley's some things in London that are di...
More About: Flat
my worst nightmare
2008-02-23 13:41:00
Anyone who has known me for any length of time (or has been reading this blog from the beginning) will know that I have a herniated disc in my back. My L4 vertebrae to be precise.It went undiagnosed for many years, with doctors saying I was having severe muscle spasms every time it flared up. About a year and a half ago, my (amazing) doctor at Concordia finally sent me for a CT scan which confirmed her suspicions of the herniation. I won't go into details, since there are already lots on this blog (check here to find out more on herniated discs and what they are), but, needless to say, it is a constant worry in the back of my mind. As any medical problem should/would be.After the diagnosis, where I spent about 4 weeks in bed, and another 4 recuperating - going to physiotherapy twice a week and doing small exercises hourly. I decided that I never wanted to have to go through that agony again - It is like having a large, sharp knife dug deep into your spine with someone twisting it ...
More About: England , London , Nightmare
the hunt
2008-02-19 21:06:00
I have been applying for jobs constantly since I arrived in London . It took me about a week to get an "on-going" temp job. Basically, you find a temp agency (which is easier said than done, despite what you hear) and they find you a job.Often these jobs are on a short-term basis, a day, a week, a month, but the on-going is the best for several reasons. First, you are guaranteed a pay check every week (the most important). Second, you don't have to get used to a new boss every other day. And third, it gives you the opportunity to make ends meet while you look for something you really want to do. Which is what I have been doing for the past month and a half.At first, it seemed to me that journalism jobs were abundant in the UK - but that was before I got here at the height of the holiday season. When I first arrived, the pickings were slim. As it turns out, tons of people get new jobs in january - time for a change, I suppose. (Apparently the rate of divorce is higher in january too...
More About: England , Hunt
2008-02-13 21:33:00
It seems that lately I am constantly apologizing for this blog... So here it is again, sorry I haven't updated in so long again... I'm really not keeping my word on this one. I don't know what it is, but the only thing I can say is that life is busy in London (not that it isn't everywhere else).When you're not at work (which is all the time), you're at the gym, if you're not at the gym, you're doing chores, and failing that, you're so tired from the above that all you want to do is go for drinks at the pub or veg in front of the TV.I know it's no excuse, but I promise to make a concerted effort to write here more. I just haven't been feeling "it".What is "it"? That desire to share all of the wonderful amazing things that I've been discovering about London, because honestly, I haven't really been discovering much. My life is exactly what I described above, work, gym, home. I go out, obviously, but it's not really anything to write home about.I, sadly, missed the opportu...
More About: England , Life
a serious update... or january in a nutshell... or it's a really long one..
2008-02-04 20:01:00
I can truly say that I brought in the new year with grace and style this year. I think I did anyway. The evening started out that way, kind of. Ok, maybe I'm wrong and it was actually a night of total and complete debauchery... it was so long ago now that the details are fuzzy, though that could also be blamed on the champagne.Lisa and her most wonderful flat-mate hosted a party - and since I was still living with them at the time, I sort of did too, even though I didn't know very many people there. Lisa and I started cooking the day before - sausage rolls (from her dad's famous recipe), vol-au-vent, dips of all sorts (two Canadian imports - my world-renowned spinach dip and an onion dip). there were meatballs, and plates of veggies - and that's just what we made. There was also a cheese porcupine (you know when the cheese is stuck to toothpicks and they are stuck into a melon to make it look like a porcupine!) sandwiches, crackers, breads, and on and on, like I said, my memory ...
More About: January , Update , Long
we have internet!!!!
2008-02-02 18:10:00
of course, the day after i write about it, i get it!! WOOHOO!!! i don't have time at the moment to really write anything that i've promised, but i just wanted to let you all know it's here! i'll have my skype open whenever i'm home... call me, email me... love me over the net! i'm back!
More About: Internet
2008-02-01 09:15:00
i am SO sorry. i've been putting off posting until i got the internet at home and could take my time to realy write somthign interesting. sadly, this will have to do for now as it seems impossible to get the internet in london - even though there are ads for it on every bus, tube, and billboard. i'm waiting for the package with, i suppose, the router and whatnot to arrive... the guy in my house who is doing all this keeps telling me "tomorrow"... so far tomorrow has never come... bear with me in this time of non-activity... i have LOTS to write about jolly-old... so, coming up, all about my 'hood, the Tate Modern, Green Park, the Queen's house, working and living in london, all about the tube and much, much more. i know promises, promises, but really... believe in me...
More About: England , London
my house... is a very very very small house...
2008-01-11 14:00:00
I live in a rooming house. I know how that sounds (or do I?). There are seven bedrooms in the house, a bathroom with a bath, a shower/toilet room, and a kitchen. I think there are eight people living here (but I have yet to meet them all and so really can?t be sure)and because of the uncertainty of sharing a house with so many there are some inevitable shocks.Shock 1 ? no paper in the toilet. I guess that everyone just brings it with them when they go. I?ve left a roll in the toilet for myself, and I hope that no one minds? but it doesn?t seem that any do.Shock 2 ? everyone has their own kitchen equipment. Obviously we all share the oven, stove top, fridge (one upstairs and two down), toaster, microwave, sink?etc? but they all have their own plates, utensils, pans, pots etc?This was a huge shock to me today when I got home with a work friend (after shopping for other household goods ? pillows, sheets?) with a load of food to cook some thai green curry and discovered that I was meant...
More About: England , House , London , Small
a home
2008-01-07 16:51:00
It?s official. I?m a London er! I have my very own room, in a flat, in Cricklewood. I don?t really know much about my neighbourhood yet, but as in Korea, you?ll learn about it as I do.My room is nice. It?s big. That?s the important part, right? It?s actually about the same size as my apartment in Korea was? minus the kitchen and bathroom. I have a double bed (that will require some kind of mattress cushion, or something to make it more comfortable), two dressers, a wardrobe, a ?comfy? chair, a coffee table, a side table, and a plastic patio chair (which might actually belong outside?). It also came with a free webcam and headset, and space heater, which I can only assume were left by the previous tenant. Did I mention the (non-working) fireplace?The carpet and curtains a little ugly, but things can be done about that? Someone is coming in next week to super wash the carpet, and I can always hang other things over the curtains.I?ve just unpacked my bags and slightly organized things ?...
More About: Home
Christmas in the country
2007-12-30 18:05:00
I spent Christmas with my surrogate family this year, it's not the first I've had with them and it likely won't be the last. They live in a small village (population 300) called Feckenham in Worcestershire (yes, the place the sauce comes from!).It's a really lovely little place with a great community of people that all know each other. On Christmas eve "the kids" spent the afternoon at the pub getting sauced. Then we went to the village square to sing carold around the tree and drink mulled wine. There was quite a turn out for that sort of thing, but Feckenham is just that kind of place.Singing in the square!Prezzies under the tree!Christmas morning we all woke up to see what Santa brought us. He was generous and kind to everyone. There were SO many presents. The dog, Tess, got overexcited in all the wrapping paper covering the floor and was a little sick for all the excitement.Tess and her antlers in the paper.At lunch time we all headed over to the local pub "The Rose and Crow...
More About: Country , London
quick update
2007-12-22 10:53:00
Hi all. Sorry for not posting for a while, I've been super busy here in London ... and while that's no excuse, I'm sticking to it!I just want to wish you all a very merry Christmas since I won't have time for a real post until after that (and probably a while at that!).I DO have lots of great wonderful things to write about, so stay tuned... Check back in about a week for something interesting! Coming up: the London Eye, my work Christmas "do", Christmas in Feckenham, Worcestershire, my new job, work experience at The Times, and looking for a flat.So, see? Lots of news, but no time to write about it all....
More About: Update , Quick
2007-12-16 19:11:00
A good friend of mine is studying for her PhD at Cambridge , so I headed up for the weekend. I took the train on Friday from King's Cross station in London and arrived around 5 pm. It was already dark out so there are no pictures from the first night, but there will be lots of pictures in this post, so bear with me...The house.We got to her house and made dinner - leek, tomato, cheese, and bacon quiche, with salad - then headed out to the pub. We started at the Pickerel, a pub near her house but moved on to her college pub and then to the Maypole before heading home for the party. The party was a small affair but it was okay. We went for a walk around midnight and then to bed at around one.We (I) woke up late on Saturday, but we got moving as fast as we could so I could see some sights before it got dark (around 3:30/4). While Anna was getting ready I went for a quick stroll around her 'hood, which is right next to the Cam River. It's a beautiful area... but so is all of Cambridge...
More About: England
2007-12-13 21:09:00
It's been more than a few days, I'm sorry. I haven't felt like posting much and oddly, I still don't, but I am anyway.I've been searching for a job all week. On the internet. With agencies. On the street. It looks like things may be looking up now, though I was pretty discouraged earlier in the week.On Monday I met with my first agency. I had to take a bunch of tests. Word. Excel. Typing. I scored intermediate on all of them. What did I learn from that? I thought I was better at all of them than I actually am. The agency told me it was okay and that I'm employable, but that didn't mean they had anything for me.I think I've applied to about 25 or 30 jobs online as well. Some of them I've heard from and some not. I got really discouraged when one guy told me to never mind when I told him that I was on a working holiday maker visa. That means that I can only work for 12 months, so who is he that he thinks he's so important that I'll still want to be working there a year from...
More About: London , Stuff
The British Museum
2007-12-09 17:55:00
I woke up late this morning. I just didn't want to get up. I felt congested and flu-ish. Not a great way to start my life in London. After lazing about for an hour or so I finally got dressed and figured out how to make my way to the British Museum .It's really quite easy to use the public transit system once you know how it works. I used the website to plan my journey and then wrote it down even though it wasn't complicated. It took me about an hour to get to the museum.The main entrance - Montagu House on Great Russell roadFounded in 1753 it has always been and remains free to the public. That was the point in the first place. Sir Hans Sloane, physician, naturalist, and collector, left his 71,000 objects to King George II in his will, on the condition that the King pay 20,000 pounds to Sloanes' heirs. The King wasn't terribly interested, but parliament was, and so, the British Museum was created.One side of the Great Court - the middle building is the Kings' Reading RoomIt's...
fun in london
2007-12-07 17:44:00
On Wednesday (the day I arrived) Lisa had over a couple of her closest friends - A and K - and we had a vegetarian green thai curry and way too much wine. It was a lovely evening and I was able to meet a couple of really great women. A is an aussie but has been here for years and K is from Kent, I think. Anyway it was really a great night, though my stomach didn't appreciate it the next day!Yesterday Lisa and I went shopping. We hit Oxford street and went to some of the big department stores -the names all escape me at the moment- and then went to Tottenham Court road to continue the search for one of her Christmas gifts. We ended up finally buying most things online as it's cheaper, and as it turned out, easier.In the evening we were invited to the Of Montreal concert (or gig as they say here) - which was hilarious for me, since I'm from there and only just left there. The band, however, is not from Montreal... They're American from the States somewhere. They were pretty good a...
More About: London
in London at last!
2007-12-05 22:56:00
My flight arrived about an hour late this morning. We were stuck flying around the airport for ages before we could land. Then we had to wait for our gate... nothing more annoying when you're on a flight than to sit for forty minutes staring at the airport out the window!! Oh well. I got in a cab (yes the fancy black ones, though mine was blue) and a half hour into the journey I realized that I should have tried to navigate the train with my luggage... another "oh well."I wasn't too keen on taking a cab into the city, but there was a time constraint with Lisa having to get to work and we just thought it would be faster and easier. It wasn't. That's all I have to say about that.Lisa's houseI arrived after Lisa left for work, but her flatmate Kate was here to greet me with a coffee. I wandered around the house in a daze for a while then decided to take a nap. I couldn't sleep, so I managed to log on to the wireless internet (!) here and check my mail and facecrack. Then I did ta...
More About: London
it's only life after all
2007-12-04 19:24:00
I'm leaving for the airport in about two and a half hours. So this will be my last post from Canada for a while. People keep asking me how long I'm going to the UK for, what I'll be doing there, and why I'm going. So as a last post, I thought I'd clear up the confusion.When I was a teenager I dreamed of going to the UK. I couldn't have told you then, exactly why, and I still can't today, it's just something that I've always felt I needed to do. I hope to find whatever it is that deep down I'm looking for, maybe I won't, but at least I'll be able to say that I tried.I think that one of the most important things in life is to live it - and I know from experience that it is often a lot easier said than done. If you would have told me five years ago that I'd have graduated from university, lived in Korea for a year, and was about to get on a plane (again) to head into the unknown, I probably would have laughed in your face. Yet, here I am.Something inside of me changed. I d...
More About: Life
winter wonderland...
2007-11-23 15:48:00
Uh, ya. Wonderland. Mother Nature is playing catch up. I wasn't here last year, but I know/heard there was no snow, and winter didn't really start until January. That was just because mother nature knew that winter would start early this year and she was giving everyone a break.In the backyard. This is the same shot (almost) as the leaves one in a previous post.I hate writing about the weather, since it's the kind of thing that you talk about when there's nothing else on the menu... but seriously. This week we've seen every kind of nasty winter weather possible. Sleet. Snow. Rain. Freezing rain. High winds. You name it.I didn't measure, but it looks like about two inches on the railing...It's not fun. I know that I wrote a little about it earlier in the week. I know that I said I thought it was kind of fun, and that I didn't mind it so much, but I also asked that there was no more until I left. I guess mother nature doesn't read this blog.Out back.Anyway, I must admit it is...
More About: Winter , Otterburn
2007-11-21 00:41:00
I had forgotten about snow. Well, not really, but in the way that you forget what sand between your toes feels like, or the taste of salt water on your lips after you get out of the ocean. I was rather rudely reminded of snow this morning and also completely unprepared for it.I first noticed it when I looked out the back door. I was bending over to pick up my shoes to bring them to the front of the house, and there is was, covering the balcony in all of its glowing brilliance. I didn't notice that it was still snowing until I opened the front door to walk to the bus stop.It was kind of magical at first. I haven't seen snow in a while now... well, let's say a year and a half, but I grew up here in Canada and last year was my first snow-less winter. While I did miss it when I didn't have it, I don't miss it anymore. It's one more reason for me to leave Canada. I joke a lot with friends by saying "I think I'm going to spend the rest of my life avoiding winter". While I do despi...
More About: Snow , Otterburn
Fall in Montreal
2007-11-14 01:40:00
So here I am, stuck for another three weeks (no! I'm not counting!)... I've been staying with a friend at her mother's house in Otterburn Park (see previous posts on that), the thing is, this is a HOUSE, which means lots of cleaning and tons of yard work.I've been enjoying it mostly, but that 's probably because I don't feel entirely obliged to do it. I'm sure I'd be way less gung-ho if it was my OWN yard. Anyway, last weekend the three of us headed outside (thankfully the weather was nice) to rake the leaves.a BIG pile of leaveswith the bag to give it a little perspective...I'd already done 17 bags at hallowe'en and this past weekend the three of us managed to bag another 35!!! And we still have half the yard to do! We're hoping for good weather this weekend to get it all done. Anyway, I took a few pictures. Now I'm wishing I'd thought of shooting the 35 bags lined up on the road for collection, but oh well... Maybe we'll have just as many this weekend and I can show ...
More About: Montreal , Fall , Mont
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