Sunday, April 20, 2014

A good week for me

Happy Easter to all!

This past week, for me, has been an amazing one. Let me talk about why.
  • My job. There have been a few things that have happened over the past few days that have just made me feel good. It's nice to know when you are doing a good job at something. (Cue another indented bulleted list...)
    • Last Tuesday, one of my adult students asked what I studied in college. I told her that I studied geography. She responded by saying that she thought I studied education, because she really liked the way I taught the class. I responded by saying "Well, you are my third class of the day, so by the time you guys come around, I've been able to iron out the gross mistakes I made in my first two classes." "Thanks, that's kind of you."
    • During class, a student close to my age asked what I like to do in my spare time. I told him I like to go exploring. "Who do you go with?" he asked. "I usually go with other teachers or on my own. I have a few Korean friends, but I'd like to have more," I replied. "We can be friends," he responded. "I'd like that," I said.
    • After my last class on Friday, one of my students said that she wanted to repeat the course after the term ended (the term ends at the end of April). I should explain that most people hope to advance through all six levels, or courses, of the program as soon as possible, mostly because each course costs quite a bit of money. Thus, her request to repeat the course surprised me. I found out that she had thought that I only teach the course she was taking, and she liked my teaching style so much that she was willing to go through the same course again if I could teach. I felt very flattered and humbled. I encouraged her to go to the next level and explained that, since I'm teaching a few upper division courses next term, it's very possible that she'd be placed in my class.
  • Bike venture. Friday was beautiful in Seoul, so I decided to rent a bike and ride along the river. The rental only cost me about $7 for 3 hours. Not bad! This trip actually allowed me to get out of the city limits, so I was able to enjoy my first glimpse of life outside of Seoul.

The classic "Stone Star and Tulip" combo wins again.

Yep, spring's here.

The trail follows the Han River forever and ever and ever.

Welcome to Seoul!
  • More hiking. A month ago, I went on a trail that included a Buddhist temple. Yesterday, I went with a few friends from church and school to a trail (Dobongsan) that led to another Buddhist temple. This time, however, we had lunch, and the people volunteering at the temple fed us for free! We continued on the hike and enjoyed the views. WARNING: I took a lot of pictures and decided to throw most of them on here.
Natural waterfall

Chinese characters in a rock - these look so cool to me.

Mangwolsa Temple

Outside of the main temple. I went in for a bit, but since my phone camera makes noise when I take a picture, I decided it would be wise not to take any pictures inside.

Bell pagoda

The crew

This free lunch was an awesome surprise. All we had to do was wash our dishes!

Oh hey, windy ridge.

Caution: Steep slopes and weird foreigners.

These lanterns are hung in anticipation of Buddha's Birthday.
There you have it. I have to say that, for me, it's been a great week; I hope this doesn't come off as insensitive, considering that this has NOT been a good week for many people in South Korea (read more about that here). I realize that this is a hard time for many people here. I also think that it's important for people to talk about good things when good things happen.

Hopefully you're having a good week as well! If this week isn't, then there's one in your future.

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