When I lived in Nebraska, one of my favourite activities was to sit outside on my aunt's porch in the morning, having breakfast, reading and soaking in the rays. I've spent entire days on that porch chatting, drinking and eating. It's wonderful and relaxing. When I moved home, I decided (weather permitting) to use the curb in the cul-de-sac beside my parents' house as my "porch," for the occasional breakfast under the sun. The apartment I lived in, out in Swords, had a balcony and the house on Dorset Street a concrete garden, which were slightly more adequate substitutes for that porch. Living in Korea, however, has meant letting that slide. My apartment doesn't have a balcony and the curb is far too dangerous. Luckily, I live around the corner from a wee park with a playground and some benches. On one quiet Thursday it provided me with an opportunity to have a mini date with myself.Read More
As I'm sure you are aware recently there was a ferry disaster in South Korea off the southern coast near Jindo. Many people lost their lives and many are still missing. A huge portion of those affected were students on a field trip. I'm not going to talk about the disaster itself as I believe that you can get way more informed news and opinions about it from the BBC or the Korean Herald.
However, what you may not be aware of is how much this disaster has affected daily life in Korea, especially for schools, students and teachers. Many schools, my own included, have cancelled events like Sports Day that traditionally occur on May 1st. IRead More
In my second school, my 2nd graders' home room teacher is an older man, nearing retirement. He doesn't have much of a "get up and go" attitude and so when the students come to my class they tend to be a wee bit hyperactive and silly. Thankfully, despite the silliness they are really well behaved and really like to have a chat and participate in class. Granted, much of the chat is held in Korean with a dash of English, and I have to guess what they are trying to say...but we get there!Read More
The lyric in this title is from one of my all time favourite songs from one of my all time favourite musicals - Paint your wagon. It's an irreverent look at gold-mining, marriage and religion. While Clint Eastwood may hate it, I consider it bloody fantastic!Read More
Back in January after my first date with myself, I wrote down a series of days I could set aside for myself up until July. However, life has a way of interrupting the best laid plans of mice and Maggie. I had wanted to do something for Valentine's weekend but when that weekend rolled up, I'd several dates with friends. Valentines was spent at Hongdae Park and Exit Bar near Hongik University in Seoul. A friend was DJ-ing so we danced the night away. The following day I met up with some other friends in Hongdae for a falafel dinner, cake and coffee (and in my case a glass of wine!). Needless to say, when you are having so much fun with friends, a date with yourself is the last thing on your mind. However, I was up in Seoul again two weekends later to say goodbye to some very dear friends, E and D, and a huge welcome to a friend, CG, who is newly arrived from Ireland. I decided that I'd go up Friday and get plenty of sleep so that I could party the night away on Saturday.
On that Wednesday, my co-teacher told me that the principal had decided that I could have Thursday and Friday off to spend how I wanted. I already had plans for Thursday evening with the same co-teacher so I decided I'd head up around noon on Friday afternoon, check-in and then head on my date to an art museum or a palace for the day. Sadly, I wasn't prepared to leave by noon but eventually, I made my way to Seoul. At this point, I'd decided to not bother with the date and to just while away the time reading my book, eating dinner and sleeping. However, I realised that the department store I was eating in had a cinema. One of my aims with "dating myself" is to do things that I am nervous to do alone or at all. Going to the cinema by myself ranked high on that list!
For the last few months the ice in my freezer has been building up and I have been steadfastly ignoring it because I really hate defrosting fridges. I know, technically, it's not hard work but it is time-consuming.
Anyway, after months of pretending the problem didn't exist, things came to a head last week when I realised that the inside of my fridge was starting to freeze too. So, with much reluctance I set aside Saturday morning for defrosting the freezer.
To be honest, it went great. I followed the steps on WikiHow and by 1.30 things were looking good. That is until, I was mopping up the floor where the water had run out the side of my fridge! Seriously! I still had a crap load of things on top of my fridge (you can see where this is going, can't you?) and as I shoved around the fridge to tackle the water, everything stayed in place. I was done and dusted and ready to plug in the fridge. So, I adjusted it to shove back into place when THUMP, SPLOT, CRACK. My jar of chickpeas smashed to the ground. It broke everywhere. Glass and chickpeas were mixed together and had flung themselves under my bed, across the kitchen and all around the fridge. I was so annoyed that I cried. I had to leave for a good-bye dinner with my friend at 2.45 and it was 2.15. I had planned to do the dishes, put out the laundry - and get dressed, in those 30 minutes. Instead, I spent the time cleaning up my mess.
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It's that time of the year, the dreaded desk-warming time of the year. School is out, camps are over but your job is not done. What seems like a pointless exercise is indeed upon us. You sit at your desk for around 1-2 weeks and try to find a way took busy. One of my friends, Chasing Glitter, posted a good amount of suggestions about what to do with this time for Reach to Teach. It got me thinking about why we have this time, what are supposed to do with it and how it is usually spent.
Firstly, this is not a blog post criticising anyone on how they spend their desk-warming. Goodness knows I haven't utilised my time very well in the past. This post is only to give you an insight into how I best believe I can make a difference in my time during desk-warming. You can choose to follow my new example or you can do whatever you want including what I used to do which was to spend a lot of time on Facebook, Imgur and Pottermore and watching How I Met Your Mother.
Imagine standing at the top of a hill. Excitement fills the air. A cacophony of sounds fill your ears. Fear fills your tummy: "What on earth have I done?" There you are standing at the top of a hill that suddenly seems a lot steeper than it initially looked (ok, Irish readers, it was twice the size of the hill in Griffith park. It's scarier than it sounds!) and sledding seems like a very bad idea.Read More
I'm not a huge New Year's Eve person. I don't remember the last time I truly enjoyed it in years. Ok, I do. It was my first year back in Ireland after college. My sister's friend MK came up for a visit and we stayed up watching Surviving Christmas and, I think, a Take That performance. We were dragged outside to greet the new year and then rushed back in for sausages and egg-flip. We stayed up late and, eventually, one-by-one crawled our way up the stairs and into bed. My younger brother and sister remained downstairs as they decided that they'd clean up so our Mam wouldn't have a heart attack first thing in the new year (yes, we were that messy). The next thing I knew my dad was shouting for us all to get up and come downstairs as there was a grand surprise in the kitchen. I remember grumbling and complaining that it was probably just one of the neighbours. I was so annoyed that my sleep had been disturbed (it was 9.am!!!) and so I reluctantly pulled on a jumper, scrambled for socks and shoes and made my way down stairs. A screech of excitement poured out of me and the rest of my siblings: My aunt from America was in town! She hadn't told my mam that she was coming and only the two dotes who had stayed up cleaning knew about it. We spent the day chatting, eating and, at some point, in Cineworld watching Happy Feet while my aunt passed out next to us. It was a marvellous new year as was the one following that (wow, this is not going well for my post about not liking New Year's!) as another aunt and a cousin visited us from America. My Aunt stayed with us on New Year's eve and we spent the evening drinking, singing, playing games and just having a good time. I think we all stayed up, parents and aunt included, until at least 2 or 3 in the morning.
Most of my New Year's Eves, however, have felt like a let down. There is this huge build up to what amounts to not very much. Maybe I'm a cynic and maybe I've been alone too long but I feel that, much like Valentine's day, New Year's is a couple's holiday and there is a stench of desperation in the air when you are single. "Oh, you're single? What are you going to do for Valentine's/New Year's?" "Oh, who are you going to kiss when it's midnight?" Seriously, who cares?
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