stop and smell the flowers

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how about an update, yeah?

october has been crazy busy. students had midterms and while i should have had plenty of time to craft a post or two, i came down with my first heinous cold of the season and spent the two days with my head on my desk. sinus pressure is a beast, man.

the next two weeks will also be crazy busy. my third graders (us equivalent of ninth grade) are preparing for their speaking tests, which they have with me. i gave them their topics last week, with three choices based off material and target language we’ve covered since i started back in august. but honestly, they can talk about whatever. i just want them to talk.

life at school is also super great. i’m getting to know my co-teachers more and more and i really like them. one of them–we’ll call her mrs. p–gives me a ride to school every day. she’s wicked sweet. i also have a dinner date with miss j, another one of my co-teachers, this week. when she asked, it was literally like being asked to sit with the cool kids. i maybe did a dance once she left my classroom. speaking of quality time with my co-teachers, this past week the yeosu office of education (or whatever they call it here) hosted a cultural bonding day wherein native teachers (that’s me!) and their main co-teacher (that’s mr. g!) went on a field trip to the suncheon garden expo.

now, this expo has been going on since may. it’s a huge tourist pull in korea. it features gardens from all over the world (or, rather, themed gardens from countries all over the world as korea sees them)(which wasn’t bad, just amusing)(i’ll explain later.) it was the perfect day for walking around a giant park. it’s fall here in korea, which means gorgeous colors and nice, cool weather. funny how years of living in texas could make me completely forget what fall looks and feels like. not too sure i can live without it again.

but back to the expo. going on a weekday was perfect because there weren’t a lot of people there. it was mostly student field trips (so many kids saying hello to me, too–so precious!) there was a guided tour, but mr. g encouraged me to go explore and spend time with my friends and, well, he didn’t have to tell me twice. and it’s for the best, too, because if he hadn’t, i wouldn’t have had the guts to take all the ridiculously goofy pictures that i did take.

the country gardens we visited were france, italy, holland, spain (which was just a fountain and some lounge chairs), and america. of course, i didn’t even realize we’d been in the american garden until someone told us afterward. i later joked, how could i have known? there was no sign saying the place was closed! (government shut down joke!)(cue rimshot!) anyway, the american garden was very funny. it consisted of a giant suspension bridge, a flower tunnel with heart-shaped windows, and a kiddie train that played “she’ll be coming around the mountain.” i know, i really should’ve known.

my favorite part of the garden were the spiral hills. it’s hard to get the effect in just a picture, but there were two narrow, single-file paths wrapping each hill–one going up and the other going down. it was fun watching everyone go up and down, but even more fun going up it myself. and from the top, you could almost see all of the park (the west side, anyway)(the place was huge!)

i’ll stop blabbing about all the stuff and just get to the rest of the pictures. i took so many, but i couldn’t help it! there was so much pretty that needed to be captured.

the suncheon garden expo had it’s last weekend this weekend, so i’m glad i got a chance to visit. i would’ve been real bummed to have missed out on this awesome experience.

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