Tuesday, August 19, 2008

When it rains... it pours...

I can't believe August is almost over. This is a very significant month for me. It marks my one year mark here in Korea. Like I said in a recent email, I'm sure some of you are like "wow, he made it!" and others are like "wait, Ray was in Korea, huh?" Either way, it's officially the start of year 2 in Korea and most definitely the "last". Sometimes it's hard to believe it's been a year. It's hard to believe that I've seen all 12 months, and all 4 seasons. At the same time, my brain and body are physically gearing up for leaving. I had no idea that I was going to be staying past my 1 year contract. Eek!

I think it’s safe to say that the Olympics have monopolized my time a bit this last week, and it’s sure to continue into this week. It’s been a bit frustrating having to watch everything in Korean, and mainly only seeing the events that the Koreans are good at. I never took the time to watch archery, or hand ball, and ping pong. Those are the events that Korea dominates in. I get to see them in all their glory, lucky me?! Not so much....

It was pretty incredible though to see Michael Phelps win 8 golds. Actually, I didn't get to see any of his races. For those of you that know, Korea is 14 hours ahead of the USA.. and China is 13 hours ahead. When you guys are sleeping, thats when these events are taking place, and you're seeing them as replays or late at night. They are taking place while I'm at work all day. So I have only been able to see recaps of the races, after I've already read on the internet who has won what! China has a ridiculous amount of gold metals, I do know that!

It’s fun talking to the students about it, though. They all know who Park is (and seemingly every other Korean athlete) and they all know who Phelps is. I really enjoy talking about it with my students. I remember being a kid and always being really interested in the Olympics. So to see the same type of excitement is pretty nifty. I'm trying to get my students to break away from their addiction to soccer and understand other sports. In a recent journal entry, I had them discuss if they could compete in any Olympic sport which one would they choose, and why? Before they wrote, I youtubed gymnastics, and swimming, and diving. The kids all thought gymnastics was the coolest thing around, and most of them wrote that they'd love to do the beam or uneven bars!

When the Olympics are over, and the hype is gone.. I'll be on my way to Beijing myself. I decided a few weeks ago that I should do something special for my 24th birthday. I already celebrated my 23rd birthday here-- so it was time to do something different. I'll be climbing the Great Wall for my 24th. I think it's going to be exciting to be in Beijing almost immediately following the Olympics. I'm sure it'd be even better to be there now, but to see China after will be interesting.... I'm excited to go to the Olympic Park and see the Nest and the Cube. Maybe by that time, we'll be able to go inside and check it out!

When it rains, it pours. I've come to the conclusion that M-F are always nice and sunny and Saturday and Sunny are always rainy! The damn rain has defeated me, and I'm losing my tan from summer vacation. I want to get to the pool and relax and read outside. Obviously, that is a daunting task in a thunder storm. Because of the rain, I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on eating out again. I'm trying to get on the healthy streak again, and hopefully this next week or so I'll start to see some improvements in my body again.

Seeing as this is veering from topic to topic, I'm going to call it quits. Luckily, my kindergartens are working quietly in their writing books, and it gives me a minute to reflect.

I'm still learning, and growing.....

Miss you guys.

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