“I am thankful for my fucking face” (…and things I am thankful for too)

This week, I am doing a lesson on Thanksgiving. I’ve found that most of the students don’t know anything about the holiday other than “AMERICANS EAT TURKEY”, so I wanted to give them a little more history behind it. I explained the Pilgrims and Native Americans, other dishes Americans may eat for Thanksgiving, explained that it’s a day of thanks, Black Friday, Football, Macy’s Day Parade, yada yada. For a lesson I thought would be a bore to them, they’ve all loved it so far.

After the initial lesson, I have them do a writing activity where they have to write four things they are thankful for. Most students said normal things like:
I am thankful for my family.
I am thankful for delicious food.
I am thankful for my life.
I am thankful for being born in South Korea and not North Korea.
I am thankful for BIGBANG.
and so on and so on.

So, I’m in one of my 9th grade classes, checking the students writing and answering questions, when I see one student’s paper. In giant letters, she wrote, “I am thankful for my fucking face.”

Um…WHAT!?!!?

I immediately crossed it out and told her that word is a terrible word to say (…I mean, not really, as I say it all the time…but…yea…my students obviously can’t say it) I don’t understand where my students learn these things. They tell me they watch Big Time Rush and iCarly…obviously both of those shows are chock full of the word fuck/fucking. Sigh.

But keeping in the spirit of Thanksgiving this week (I also can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week!), I wanted to write about some things I am thankful for.

My Students

I know I’ve said this a bunch, but my students are truly wonderful. I had reservations about teaching in a middle school, especially after I heard so many horror stories, but I’ve gained my students respect and in turn they’ve opened up to me. This has allowed me to come up with lessons that I know they’ll enjoy, joke with them, talk to them about their boyfriends/girlfriends, American TV shows, share cosmetic tips with my girls, etc. Students that my co teachers said would never speak or do their work are now participating in class. I’ve seen the students become more confident in their speaking. I always tell them it’s okay to make mistakes, and I think that’s something that’s really stuck with them.  They are creative, smart, and so talented. I don’t know how I got so lucky to work at the school that I do. They make me laugh, they make me smile, and I’m really happy to be their teacher.

Shinsegae Department store in Jukjeon

Shinsegae Department store is the premier department store in Korea. But the one in Jukjeon is badfuckingass. There’s a Dean and Deluca, tons of wine, an awesome CGV, a Johnny Rockets, a grocery store that has awesome cheese and tea, a place that sells Chinese steamed buns, kebabs, conveyor belt sushi, Indian food, Starbucks, A MAC makeup counter…the list goes on. A bus right in front of my apartment takes me there in 15 minutes. It’s one of my favorite places to go, and for the expat that loves to eat, it’s the perfect place to get an inexpensive meal and go shopping!

Twitter/Tumblr/Facebook/Skype
I know a lot of ridiculous people that are like “ugh, I’m so over social media”, but let’s face it, it’s everything. I get 90% of my news from Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. I’m able to connect and talk to people from all over the world. On election day in the States, I was in my office, all alone, watching the returns on my computer. It was so weird being outside of the US on such an important day, but everyone in Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr was posting about it, so it almost felt like I was in the US with everyone celebrating Obama’s win. Like every expat, I sometimes get lonely and miss things back home, but social media definitely fills the gap.

Cafe Culture in Korea

I am a cafe snob. I always have been. Nothing makes me more excited than bringing my kindle or my computer to a cafe and being productive. I’m one of those people who cannot get work done at home. For me, home = relaxation/work free zone. I don’t want to worry about having to do anything but eat, watch TV, and whatever else I feel like doing when I’m at home. I’ve always been this way. In college, I was the student living in the library because I just couldn’t study at home. It’s impossible for me! So, cafe culture in Korea is a godsend. There are cafes everywhere. And I’m actually not exaggerating this time. Two new cafes opened up in my tiny little neighborhood just last week. I was really worried about how I was going to get anything done this winter since I wasn’t planning on leaving my house, but one of the cafes is a 20 second walk across the street from my apartment, so it looks like I’ll be living there part time.

So what are you thankful for?! Let me know in the comments!

And a Happy Early Thanksgiving to everyone in the States. I still have no idea what I’ll be doing, and I think it’s too late to go to one of the places having Thanksgiving dinner, so I’ll probably just buy a bottle of wine and make Johnny and I a super special dinner. I’m becoming quite the chef (more on this in a later post)!

13 Comments
Previous Post
Next Post