Read From the Beginning

Our Bunny-foo

24 Nov 2009
Posted by Jordan
Jordan's picture

Keep watching, and you'll get some crazy hops starting at 1:20.

Let it Snow

20 Dec 2009
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

It's been snowing for so long here in Gunsan that I no longer remember it not snowing.  Yesterday we took a walk out to the park to enjoy the fresh snow, please enjoy some of the pictures we took.


Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

Sometimes people ask me if I think it is dangerous to live in Korea.  I always wonder why they ask me this because Korea is a very safe place with very little crime.   Sometimes I remember that they ask me this because we live so close to North Korea, and word on the street says it's a little crazy up there.  Generally for me though North Korea is just a place on the news that other people worry about (my mother not included).  

This weekend Jordan's good friend Jed came to visit us, so we picked him up at the airport and took the opportunity to visit the DMZ.  The tour started in the Joint Security Area, an area that has both a North and South presence, where the two sides meet for talks.  We were "lucky" enough to see real, live North Koreans on a tour from their side.


Apparently this is a rare occurrence and both sides were busy taking pictures of the other side.  The visiting rules are very strict, so we couldn't point, wave or make any gestures to the visitors on the other side.  There are very serious South Korean guards standing around you all the time to make sure you behave and to keep the North Koreans from getting you.


After the Joint Security Area, we toured a tunnel dug by the North Koreans to secretly flood Seoul with soldiers.  Luckily the tunnel was discovered before this happened.  So far they have discovered four tunnels, however they estimate that as many as 17 more exist.  In order to cover up their true intentions, the North Koreans painted to tunnel black and claimed they were looking for coal.  Any rock sample will tell you though that the rock is solid granite.  We got to wear cool hard hats as we walked through the tunnel, but pictures weren't allowed, so you will have to imagine us looking cool.  

We ended with a view of Freedom Bridge, which was where prisoners of the Korean war were exchanged when a cease fire was declared.  Now it's a place of pilgrimage for South Koreans to leave messages for their families in the North.


Click here to see more pictures.

Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

This past weekend we took Jed on a quick trip to Jeonju to see the traditional Hanok village.  They have one of the largest surviving groups of traditional Korean houses there and it's a big tourist destination in our province.  We were lucky enough to go on the same day as some sort of festival; we think they were celebrating the deity in a tree.  We made a little video about our experience, some things to look out for are: jump roping, a cute puppy and Marisa dancing. 

Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

The first lesson in our book this year is about making goals.  So, of course, since I always like to stay on topic in class, I had my eighth graders write down their goals for the year.  Here are the best ones:

"I want to grow at least 7cm this year.  This will make me better at English."

"The first goal is to grow up.  The second goal is to score up."

Despite the fact that I never would have thought of it as a goal, about half my student's goals were to grow.  A lot of milk will be consumed this year in the middle school.

"I hope to new world children.  I hope to grow at least 3cm this year.  I hope to rule the world.  I hope to become a demon."

And how will they do this?

"I will get up early.  I drink milk.  I need to be stronger than before."

"My goal is musician.  Because of I like listen to music.  I am goal very fantastic.
Um...always all day long study music!! many listen and many study!!"

"My first goal will make a battle ship.  My second goal is to make a B-25.  My third goal is to make a B-17G."

And how will they do this?


"My first goal is to president.
My second goal is to get up early.
My third goal is to get great grades in test."

It's good to have your priorities straight.

Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

There was a bit of a todo last week about my computer.  For a long time now I have been bringing my own laptop to school to use instead of the ancient, scary Korean machine that sits on my desk.  I of course plug into the school's network so that I can be a part of the hip and happening things online.  However, recently the network had a security update and my presence was discovered; at least they (correctly) deduced that "Marisa EEE" was me.  I don't think anyone really has a problem with me using my own computer, as I have good reasons for using it, but apparently I had a virus, at least the system update had detected one. 

I know that viruses are out there, but I am married to someone who knows at least a thing or two about computers, so I figured I was safe from such an infection.  I showed the computer man my virus program, of which he was dubious and decided we needed to run a Korean virus scan.  This gave me a little panic because you really have to watch out for Korean programs because they will dig into your computer and become impossible to root out no matter how hard you try.  But I had few options, so I said okay.  The virus scan scanned and determined that I was virus free.  This led to some discussion, and later it was reported to me that another virus program should be run.  Double cringe, will my computer ever recover from this?  Second scan also declares that my computer is healthy.  Another consulation is held and it is determined that you can never really trust a foreign virus scanner (of which only the first, the one that I use, is one), so we'll try yet another virus scan.  At this point I have really given up hope on my computer ever working again, and to at least make me feel like it was all worth something, this virus scan also came back with a clean bill of health.  Computer man then tells me (through my coteacher) that some sort of reformatting will be necessary to rid my computer of this super stealth virus (which at this point I have decided is a figment of the system update's imagination).  

When I relate this story to Jordan he of course says it's ridiculous, especially since he's the one who will have to reformat my computer.  But, and this is the point of the story, I reminded him that before we start making big warpath type plans, we should remember that in Korea, whenever someone tells you something bad and/or crazy you are best off ignoring it.  Because 10 times out of 10 whatever has just been told to you will never happen.  And today, when I tiptoed back to school after the weekend and plugged my computer in it was allowed to connect to the internet (after being banished the previous week due to its "virus").  No mention of anything from anyone about anything, everything was just back to the way it was.  And so, once again, "ignore it and it will go away" proves a successful way of life for the foreigner in Korea.  

Posted by Jordan
Jordan's picture

To me the most interesting aspect of this video is how critical the Korean government seems to be of its own education system--Obama's compliments notwithstanding. Thanks to Marisa's dad for passing this on.

Spring is Here

21 Apr 2010
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

 So after being delayed for several weeks, spring finally came, and with it the world's most beautiful sight (site? which one is it?): cherry blossoms.

Cherry Blossoms

There is nothing prettier in the world than a street filled with cherry blossoms, except perhaps if that street is next to a lake called Eunpa.  Luckily we live next to such a lake.  Everyday after school I get off the bus a little early and walk down this little piece of heaven.  Jordan meets me and we eat snacks as we go.  It's the prime holiday week for Eunpa, so all the street snacks are out.  Our favorites include chicken on a stick, waffle, and lately we've found ice cream sandwiches at the GSMart across from the lake.  The other day we had chestnuts and sometimes we have cotton candy.  Jordan eats hot dogs occasionally and once in a while I have a corn dog.  We never eat the stinky silk worm larvae (well, Jordan ate it once).  

Spring not only means the blossoming of the trees and the ability to wear only half my closet to school instead of everything to stay warm, but also the fact that I get to chillax at school.  If this year is anything like last year (and it looks like it might be) I hardly taught at all once we got to the last weeks of April.  The first month and a half is hard work, but from here on out it's coasting time.

Luckily I am very busy running a new digital scrapbooking website:  Pixeled Memories.  Jordan is also very busy helping me to get it up and going.  We are both very excited about it and are hoping to take over the entire digital scrapbooking community soon.  We seem to have just the perfect skills to make this website and I can hardly believe that the nicest website on the internet is mine.  Jordan also recently finished a game related to the 10 Days board games, although it's not posted online yet, so we'll let you know when that's up.  

And that is a brief update of life in the Dream Hub, even dreamier now that we have our very own Subway and Coldstone.  

If you want to take a peek at lots of pictures of the beautiful cherry blossoms, go here.

P1080956 copy

Jordan looking cute.

The Next Dubai

08 May 2010
Posted by Jordan
Jordan's picture

 This is where we live. Yes, it's awesome.