Miracles in December (the fact that I finally can post is the miracle)

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I know that I had mentioned that I wanted to do a 12 days of kpop Christmas but due to a high volume of drama and stress and then a high workload I just found no time to post.

But now that I have a little free time and with Christmas only 5 days away now, I figured I would post a Top 10 type of thing to get us into the Christmas mood (which is sorely lacking in Korea due to the fact that it’s a “couples holiday here”…strange.) These also aren’t in any particular order…just the way that I think to remember them.

But if you are like me sometimes become tired of the usual Christmas songs you’ve heard for 27+years ….then it’s really nice to listen to some of the songs I’ve listed below (as well as others I haven’t included) to get you into that Christmas spirit!

1-Jelly Christmas 2012

 

2- TTS- Dear Santa

 

3-BTOB – Winter’s Tale

4 IU You&I (It was hard to choose between this and Good Day but this just to me reminds me more of Christmas)

5 Starship 2013-Snow Candy

6 Infinite-Lately

7 Jessica -Wonderland (I’ve never been a huge fan of her voice but oddly enough I really find this song catchy and her voice fits the song well-plus this MV is so beautiful)

8 EXO – Sing For You

9-EXO Miracles in December (yeah…of course you know I would EXO two spots 🙂 I didn’t include their most recent one because I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and listen to it)

10 SHINee Winter Wonderland (their latest Japanese single)

Bonus Video 🙂

On Christmas eve…

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…I think I broke all my co workers because I gave them gifts.

 

While I gave my closer co teachers a bigger personal gift, I did give the VP and P some fruit and imported chocolate.

Apparently after lunch they were all talking about how nice and shocked and sorry they were.

It wasn’t meant as a feel bad thing but the VP must have went out and bought me a huge bag of clementines and special kind of rice after lunch!

I spent the rest of the day finishing up my Football powerpoint and realized how little I care about teams that are not in my League.  I chose to go with Denver because I couldn’t stand the thought of talking about the Patriots, and the Cowboys because children here know what a cowboy is.

Then of course I had to do the Steelers because Hines Ward ethnicity.  I think they will get a kick out of me using the Korea-Japan rivarly as an analogy to the loathing we Ravens fans feel towards Steelers and vice versa.

 

But now it’s Christmas eve and since I won’t be posting tomorrow most likely here are my final two Christmas songs.

 

1st : Angels we have heard on high-because it reminds me of spending time in church on xmas eve …and really what better way is there?

 

2nd: Waltz of the flowers from the nutcracker-because ….just because. I got into this tradition where i watch the royal opera house’s version of the nutcracker every christmas eve. and this is always my favorite part.

 

Have a merry christmas everyone!!! Or if you don’t celebrate christmas or any holiday, have a lovely winter break or holiday or whatever you want to call it .

On the second day before christmas…

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….I realized that my posts might have been way out of order or I might have skipped a day.

 

Forgive my confusion due to traveling all over Seoul this past weekend, having my wallet stolen, and then having to travel to Suwon for a new ARC card.

 

The good news: I applied sucessfully for the ARC in record time thanks to having an F4 status visa.  I’ve heard from my other friends it can take hours.  And when I had to go pay for the card, I had to walk in the waiting room and saw the line.

Sometimes it really does pay to be a gyopo.

 

I spent more time getting to Suwon than actually being in it.  I thought back to the last time I was there.  Yes it was just as cold.  But that’s about where the similarities stop.

I felt more comfortable, and I was less attached to my phone, worried I was going in the wrong direction. I’ve been all over Seoul, knowing how the subway works, can navaigate my way around Busan, heck I’ve even been to Jeju Do.

I can’t believe that it’s been less than a year.

Bad news: I still have to wait 3 weeks for my ARC.  Hopefully it will get here sooner than that because I will be leaving for American before that.  I would like to have it before then.

 

Yesterday was also my last class with 5-8.

They were a class I oringally liked a lot.  But then, they got too quiet, and sleepy and our final class was less than exciting.  I had them read the story 3 times.

I don’t think they are at that age yet where they can fully grasp that the longer they delay whether by talking or not doing the work, they waste game time.  I try to explain that to them and even my co does, but they don’t seem to care.

I was happy to see that one student whom I thought must have left for another school (this happens quite often apparently) was in the hospital.  I don’t know quite what happened but his knee had been cut open and then sewn back together.  It was kinda gross but I’m glad that Jaewon is back and healthy.

 

As for today’s Christmas MV, I’ve finally decided to do….EXO! Yes they have their new Christmas single out “Sing for You” which is really good/ sad and I love how the acoustics make it sound like they are singing right next to you.  But I love “Miracles in December” as well which was their first song.

It’s only the vocal line: though DO and Luhan switch out during the Korean/Mandarian versions.

But because I like the way Korean sounds better, and I’m DO biased, I’ve put the link to the Korean version.  Feel free to watch the Mandarian version as well,though I guess DO has to sing it in Chinese now that …you know Luhan peaced.  Also if you get a chance also listen to the “sing for you” single which really is heartbreaking.

Though I still find the whale kinda strange, and the MV super depressing, I guess I’m glad that they’ve acknowledged all the issue this past year and are starting to either really get used to being 9 and are happy now despite being depressed and upset about it in the past.

 

on the fourth day before christmas….

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i will be spending my afternoon going to suwon, and getting a new arc card.

 

have i been sounding salty lately? yes well I am.

 

Anyways as i try to remember that money is just money, and haul my ass a good 50 mintue subway ride to suwon when i could be doing my winter camp work, i will leave you with this xmas MV

 

When I was a senior in high school we went to disneyworld to perform the candlelight processional.

Sadly we missed cuba gooding jr as our narrator by one week and instead had steven chapman who I awkwardly enough had music of.

 

We fininshed with the Hallelujah chorus which actually isn’t that hard of a piece to learn.  Also you never forget it.

 

It just so happens that also my church finishes xmas service with this piece every christmas eve.  It’s the big finale and all of the people stay to here and watch and give the choir and Nancy a big round of applause that is well deserved.

 

anyway here is a candlelight version.

on the fifth day before christmas

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….which was yesterday….

 

I was way too tired and stressed that I don’t think I posted anything.

 

Due to the fact that I will be spending this afternoon in suwon getting a new ARC card this will be a double post.

 

so for the first xmas MV this will be Jesu joy of man’s desiring…whatever that means.

 

Basically it’s one of those songs that comes on classical CD’s of christmas music you buy.

 

Also i chose to make it a handbell version.  I spent a lot of my youth at church in the handbell choir and think that it not only gives the song a more xmas feel but a lighter feel as well.

 

enjoy

 

On the 7th day prior to Christmas…

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….I went to the Nutcracker Ballet in Seoul.

Clearly if you read the post before this one, you will know I am going to see the Nutcracker tomorrow but due the fact I will be traveling and ballet watching and yes…..shopping..I will not have time nor access to a computer as I will be in Seoul.

 

I will give my update on Monday which will also have Sunday’s post in it as well. If you don’t understand what I just said…like this.

Friday (today) Friday post and Saturday Post

Monday -Sunday and Monday post

 

If anyone actually cares about it.  I admit it’s weird when I see that people actually like or read my blogs.  Or maybe you just look at the pictures. Or maybe you just need a laugh and find that I spazz over my cute students and KPOP funny.

I promise I am not this funny in real life.

 

Before I get into the Christmas song part, to make this post a little interesting and a little longer, I will say…my sink clogged.

Yep. Really lame. But it did about a few….days ago and at the suggestion of my dear friend I used Drano…like 3 bottles of it.  And it kinda worked…and then it didn’t. And I got upset and put it off because that’s the kind of person I am.  Just like with laundry and dishes.  Don’t want to deal with problems now..so put off until it becomes a huge problem.

 

Turns out I finally told my co yesterday.  School’s contract plumber took a look at it, and BAM within 2 hours fixed. Korea you give me hope with you plumbers that show up when they are supposed and do the work quickly. Same goes from medical care.

Seriously…if you ever have any kind of medical problem come here.  Cheap, effective, clean and fast as lightening.

Though I will admit I will be a little wary when I first pour something down my drain tonight.

 

Second point to make this longer…hmmm winter camp?

 

I mentioned that I’ve become a workaholic this past week.  I mean though it might seem strange if I get dedicated to a point at work I will be there for hours on end.

I think that’s why my eye has been twitching the past day.  Too much time at my computer.

 

So I figured winter camp might not be as bad. And it’s definitely not. While I do have a lot to do, I’m really enjoying it.  I literally had to tear myself away from work last night an hour after I was free because I wanted to continue. But the heat was off, and I was afraid that I might get locked in the school.

 

I’m really enjoying it because I think now I know what to expect.  I’ve also improved and changed a few lessons.  I’m really happy with the way things are shaping up so those two weeks before I leave for America won’t totally suck.

 

Next to make this post longer….my Korean is improving.  I mean it’s not incredible and still I can’t spell (I can’t spell in English that well either as I have admitted to my students. I also told them I can’t do math which they think is cute).

But I feel more comfortable with words and trying them out.  It also helps that a bunch of my students wanted to help me yesterday instead of watching the movie I put in.  Everyone tells me I sound really cute when I speak Korean.

I’m not someone to stroke their ego or ask for compliments. In fact I really beg people not to. But it’s reassuring to me that they are happy that I’m trying.  It also keeps me humble as a teacher and things in perspective for my kids.

There…I think that is sufficently long enough to now post Christmas song.  Also…because it’s almost time to leave and my desk is a mess.

 

No, I’m not a crazy Christian lady. No I don’t go around proclaiming that Christian hymns are the best.  However, Church music really makes Christmas for me. It’s one of my favorite parts of Christmas and it will be the hardest part (apart from being away from my family) of missing Home Christmas.

Every year since I was a baby,  I always went to Christmas Eve service.

Whether it be 4 services (that was insane and I was exhausted the next day) because I was in 2 choirs, or just 10pm service because I had to work until 5pm, I always made it.

I don’t like to brag about myself, but I will always brag about my church. Not only is it beautiful, and historic, but it’s an accepting community. We have an openly gay and married deacon. 2 of our reverends are female.

But our crowning jewel is a music program that really has no match. I was lucky to grow up with this and participate in the choirs.  And I was spoiled by it.  I don’t mind when I go to Catholic service on Christmas Day with the family ( my dad prefers it) but the music pales in such comparison it’s sad.

No one does Christmas like St. John’s Episcopal Church.

This is one of my favorite songs that was always played at the end of the Nativity Sermon. (This is not my church.)

 

I hope you all have a good weekend and I will enjoy myself in Seoul for the ballet and spending money 🙂

On the 10th day (before) Christmas …

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…my students gave to me…exhaustion and too much talking.

Today was the final class for 5-5 and 5-3: the two classes I still to this day have troubling telling apart (by number).

5-5:

Oh 5-5….for a few weeks they made me want to throw the lot of them out the window.

Yes while there are quite a few smart students who pay attention, as a class they tend to get rowdy and talkative.

Originally I liked this class.  It wasn’t a bad class-it was just a class. Then somewhere in the middle of the year they became super loud and obnoxious, finally culminating in one student throwing a paper ball at my head and his friend trying to climb out of a 5th story window.

After that, I cracked down on them, with a little help from their homeroom teacher, and surprsingly they settled down a little.  With the teacher change, they got even better.  I don’t know what happened but I guess when I stopped disliking them so much, they began to act better.

I learned 1 very important lesson from this class.  You may really dislike a class or some of your students, but you can’t let that show or affect how you interact with them.  If they know you don’t like them,  they are not going to want to like you or bother with class.

Once I realized this, things began to look up.

While our final class today was extremely loud and they wasted a lot of time talking so their game was very short, they have come a far way from where they were.

This class has my student Edward in it who likes to stay after class so we talk about KPOP-specifically VIXX and EXO.  He is a big Starlight and we both fan”peopled” (?) over their recent Chained up Comeback and EXO’s Sing for You comeback. He is one of my favorite students and I will miss him a lot next year.

5-3

This class has had an interesting year.  Even though they tend or be a little bit loud, they were good throughout the entire year.  They are a very smart class despite having a few students who are poor English Skills.

They were always the “open class” class but they never let it affect them.

They really like to come to class and participate (sometimes too much). One student in particular has a low level of English and always asks for me to help him. He tries very hard despite not knowing too much but I’m proud of him for trying instead of staring at his book like some other students.

I will miss this class a lot because they always gave me energy.

Ohio (he lived in Ohio for a few years) and his English will hopefully get better.  I don’t want him to lose it.

Taemin -Sadly I remember his name easy because well….SHINee….funny kid who will go places with his smart brain.

Lena is a bright student as well who I think will be able to do great things.

Over all I will miss them on Wednesdays.

 

Moving on: Today’s MV is….All I Want For Christmas!

Because what kind of Christmas countdown would this be without it!

Everyone loves this song (sometimes a little too much) and everyone tries to make covers.  Sadly I don’t think this song is meant for everyone.  I heard Michael Buble cover it and while yes he has a lovely tone and power to support….it was just not good.

I loved the version in Love Actually but I will post the oringal M.C. version and hope you guys enjoy it!

 

On the Eleventh Day (before Christmas)

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So I meant to start my 12 days of/before Christmas posting but due the fact I was getting over a hurricane of a cold that turned into a tsunami of a sinus infection (I don’t know why I’m using natural disaster weather termonology) I kind of missed it.  Also the past few weeks have been flying which I’m both happy and sad about.

 

So I will be posting yesterday’s and today’s posting all in one big wrapped up present.

 

I’ve decided to settle on posting a Christmas MV as well as my thoughts on my classes as I’m teaching the last lesson plan this week.

 

So let’s rewind and pretend it’s yesterday.

 

So first let’s do my class review:

 

5-6

 

This class has been pretty good all year long. They are good kids. The levels are extreme which has been a bit of a challenge.  I have one students who not only is unable to barely say the letters but was so shy of me that he wouldn’t look at me.

Now 영준 (Young Joon) let’s me help him with his work and he’s learning. He’s becoming more comfortable speaking too. Unlike teachers before me, I try to get his brain working rather than just giving him the answer to keep up.  I give him a choice, or will ask him to point to a picture.  I’d rather him do less work with my help rather than do all of the work by me giving him the answers.

He may never be great at English but I’d like to think I gave him conidence to at least try.  Yesterday I was so proud of him.  He had to say his groups job ad and while usually they would ask someone else to do it, I told him I would help him .  Even though he had to repeat after me, the fact he stood in front of his classmates and spoke was an amazing feat.

I will greatly miss this class.

 

 

5-4

 

This class has been a hit or miss all year long. Some days they are more talkitive than others.  Some days they want to listen and work and other days not so much.

So it’s only normal that their final day they would start out ok and progressively get more rowdy.

It’s a class that I used to dread but now it’s a class that I don’t mind getting through. As much as I hate having them talk, they aren’t malicious about it and that’s why I can’t ever truly be mad at them.

This class has come characters: between 야똥, 아침똥, “백현”, “찬열”, American accent student, and Luke it’s been a real interesting year.  Although I’m not so sure I will their talking, I will miss their silliness and willingness to participate.

 

Today my 5-8 class got cancelled due to election day-next year’s student council. I am proud to say that I have a few students I know running.

I do have 5-2 which I will see later but I can comment on them now.

 

5-2:

This class was originally my favorite class. It was a class that not only had a high level of English so I could joke and talk comfortably, but it also was  a class that seemed to really just love being in my class.

They would always participate.  Unlike other classes at the beginning of the year where I would have to pull numbers to make them answer, this was a class where I would have to pull the number just to make sure they wouldn’t get mad that I wasn’t calling on them.

Though there were the rare days when they would talk too much, there seemed to be a general understaning between them, and my co teacher and me.

There was one day when they were not answering or anything and they told me that they had gym test day -this was when it was really hot outside-so they were all tired.  I was happy they told me. Instead of scolding them, I let them rest and we had an easy day.  It taught me how important our rapport was.

But when my co teacher left (as previously mentioned) 5-2 I guess decided to loose their brains.  Their first class with their new teacher, they were out of control, non stop talking, and we wound up doing 깜자 My first time giving it out myself.

They continued to act out for the next few classes before settling down a little.  They are still nowhere near what they are capabable of.  I know it’s the end of the year and some students are tired, but 5-2 seemed uncharacteristically so.

When I spoke to their class captain, and one of my best students, no doubt the student with the most fluent English, he said it wasn’t just my class.  They have started acting like crazies in all their classes and now were being constantly reprimanded. They were actually better for me.  He said they also were trying to test the new teacher as well because they didn’t like her as much.

 

It was a little disheartning. I was worried about the teacher switch, but this was the class I was least worried about. So I was really shocked by their behavior.

I’m sad that the end of the year isn’t as great as they were, but I guess that’s what happens when we put people on pedestals.  The dynamics for every class but two have changed so much from where it started.  I guess I’m a little sad they aren’t what they used to be, but I shouldn’t have expected them to be amazing the whole year with teacher switching and end of year blues.

I will always remember 5-2 with a special kind of fondness: 원 who used to be shy but now can almost do the work on her own, Hunter whose fluent English is so impressive I told him he sounds unnatural when he speaks Korean, Amy who is always up for participating, the one cute little boy student who has the deepest voice out of all the students I call him “man voice” 남자목소리” and all my other students who I will really miss next year.

5-2 is like that person you like so much and expect so much of them when they fall short it makes your heart hurt but then you realize they are normal and human so you accept that and continue to move on.

 

Christmas section:

 

Because I missed the 12th, I will post it first. So my first video, in no particular order is “What’s This” Tim Burton’s  Nightmare before Christmas.

I am actually showing my kids this in class this week as their ‘motivation’ video. We watched “This is Halloween” in October so they already know the character.  Yes this lyrics are so fast but they really enjoy the animation.

This was a movie that I wasn’t actually allowed to watch when I was younger because it was “scary” which it kind of is.

Some people say you can watch both Xmas and Halloween others say, one or the other. I don’t really think it matters but the animation while a little creepy, especially in Halloweentown, Christmastown is really cute.

The second one I hadn’t really given too much though to, but Jellyfish Entertainment debuted their new Christmas song today so I feel it’s only right to put it as 11th featured song.

While of course I listen for VIXX, their entire company has great singing voices so while listening to it you are really treated to a great sound. It has hints of Christmas but it’s not overpowering . The MV is quite cute and while none of the actual members from VIXX or artists appear other than pictures, it isn’t too sad though I would have preferred to see them.  But between the cute cat, and that delicious looking cake, it’s a really cute MV.

I’ve been looking forward to this one since it was announced because anything with more VIXX is the best. Jellyfish has I think 3 other Christmas songs out which are really good and you should check them out .

Whitney and I both said the nice thing about KPOP christmas songs is that we have grown tired of the typical Christmas pop songs in America which sometimes are also really bad. So it’s nice to change it up with KPOP Christmas.