I spent all day Wednesday with my best friend, Ashleigh, and her two gorgeous little girls. I try to spend as much time with them as I can when I’m home because they are all amazing and I love them so much.
We had a great lunch with lots of hilarious conversation then made our way to Eureka Park in Denton, Texas for a photo shoot.
If you thought Ashleigh was beautiful, her two little girls will melt your heart! Continue reading →
The Art of Photography – covered basics of photography as an art form and photo composition
Camera & Lighting Essentials – Aperture/Shutter Speed/ISO, JPG vs. RAW
Practice – We were given assignments and were sent out to take photos
Adobe Lightroom 101 – How to backup, store, organize and edit your photos
The class is designed for true beginners. The instructor, Sam, explaned things in very simple ways and made things that are a bit complex a lot easier to understand. He was very patient and was willing to answer every question. I thought he was a great teacher.
The most valuable part of the class, for me, was the last hour on Lightroom 4. This is a program that I was already using, but not well. Sam taught me several new tricks that I wasn’t aware of that have really improved my photo editing skills.
I decided to take what I learned and put it into practice by taking some family photos for my brother and his family. This was my very first portrait photo shoot and I am really happy with the results!
I love my family! It’s so good to be back for a visit. I miss them a lot when I’m away. I’m staying with my brother and sister-in-law while I’m here. My nephew has been kind enough to turn his room into my hotel room.
I got a text from Mendi (SIL) before I got on the plane yesterday saying she was cleaning my room. I told her to be sure to leave a room service menu. To my surprise, she did. When I opened it up, it was blank. Hahaha
I’ll be in Texas until mid-March, then it’s back to Korea with my love.
Let’s fast forward to the present so I can tell you about the day I’ve had…
The students are all preparing for their final exams so all they’ve been doing in class is reviewing previous lessons and taking practice tests. My co-teacher and I had some time to chat today. The topics were broad and included fruit, Costco, the movie White Chicks, Texas, Las Vegas and In-N-Out Burger.
I mentioned how I can’t keep bananas in my apartment anymore because they attract fruit flies. It’s really sad because most other fruit here is really expensive, but it looks like I’m going to have to start eating fruit that I can keep in the fridge.
I was so excited last week when I saw blueberries in the grocery store, but the price tag kept me from buying them. They were 5,980 won ($5.50) for about half a pint. Yikes! I mentioned this to my co-teacher so she immediately pulled up the GMarket website (sort of like a Korean version of Amazon) to try to help me find cheaper blueberries. No luck.
I mentioned that I might try Costco this weekend so she started telling me all of my options for getting there (subway, bus, taxi). She even wrote out instructions for the taxi driver in case I decided to take a taxi. I posted them below if anyone is interested. The first line is a landmark near the Costco in Busan in case the taxi driver doesn’t know Costco. The second line is just Costco written out in Korean.
Later, my co-teacher confiscated a handheld fan from one of the students. You know… the kind you spread out and wave at yourself to cool you down. It was really cute (like everything here tends to be) and had 7 baby chicken heads on it. This led to her think of the word “chicks” and then she got really excited and told me that she really likes the movie White Chicks. She said it is “soooooo funny!” I don’t know why, but that warmed my heart. I love that she loves this movie! haha
She then started telling me about her friend (another Korean elementary school teacher) that moved to Oklahoma. She showed me pictures that she sent her and one of the pictures was her husband posing in front of the University of North Texas, which is the university I went to. I then tried to draw Texas so I could explain that UNT and the University of Texas are completely different and she laughed pretty hard at my drawing and said, “Really?” I’m still not sure if she was laughing because of the shape of Texas or because I’m terrible at drawing.
She also showed me her friend’s pictures of Las Vegas, which included a picture of In-N-Out. And that led to us looking at Korean blogs posted about In-N-Out… and then Five Guys. I told her about the In-N-Outs that opened in Texas recently and all the buzz it’s caused. After class I sent her the videos below, to which she responded, “after see the youtube, i really want to eat the burger, eh?”
After 4 classes, it was time for lunch. My first thought after walking into the lunch room was, “What the H is that?” I am pretty sure the rest of the teachers felt the same way. One of our dishes was some weird meat thing that was all smooshed… it looked like red mashed potatoes with little bits of peas and potatoes. It was actually pretty good, but looked rather sketchy. Sometimes I wish it wouldn’t be awkward if I took my camera to lunch with me.
So I feel like I have rambled on enough (maybe too much), but I was rather proud of one of my 5th grade students today. He decided to be clever and change the words of a Korean pop song to suit how he felt about today’s testing. He changed the words of Big Bang’s “Love Song” from “I hate this love song.” to “I hate this test.” I was impressed. At least he gets the meaning, right??
I finally got to teach on Thursday and Friday (March 3rd & 4th). My co-teacher spent about 20 minutes introducing the class and the rules and I had the other 20 minutes to introduce myself and my country. It was so much fun! The kids’ reactions were amazing. I’ve noticed that gasping is pretty common in Korea and my presentation got quite a few gasps, like…
When I told them that Texas is so big that it takes me 4 hours to drive to my dad’s house.
When I showed them the picture of the World’s Largest Pecan in Seguin.
When they saw the picture of Dallas at night and again when I told them there’s a restaurant in Reunion Tower… And it turns around in a circle!
But the biggest gasp came when I showed them the picture of my family… And they counted all 20 of them.
The kids loved seeing pictures of my family members. I showed pictures of…
My brother & his girlfriend
My brother & his wife
My niece & nephew
They loved my dad’s grey hair, that I look like my mom and thought my brothers were handsome and their significant others were beautiful. They also really loved seeing my niece and nephew.
Here are some of my favorite comments…
From a boy: “Teacher! Your face! ……….Beautiful.”
From a girl: “You are….. very.” (I took it as a compliment)
Also, one student said the boy sitting next to him thought my niece was cute. The whole class giggled.
Overall, the first week was great and it made me feel a lot more confident about teaching.