Yesterday I told you about the adventures I had in Seoul on Friday up through lunch. Today I will finish recounting what happened to me that day.
Following lunch, I walked south towards the 한 (Han) river in search of a museum for martyrs. I had memorized a map the night before, so I didn’t have much trouble at all. Down one big street and then follow the subway tracks as they ascend out of the earth to make the river crossing. I didn’t spend much time here because I saw a sign that seemed to say shorts are not allowed (at least that’s what the picture seemed to say, but I couldn’t understand the Korean). Since I was wearing shorts, I didn’t feel like pressing my luck. However, I did learn that 절두산 (Jeoldusan, literally “beheading mountain”) was where Korean Catholics were executed in 1866.
The path leading up the Jeoldusan Martyrs’ Shrine.
Yesterday I went on quite the adventure. I visited two art supply stores, found a museum for Catholic martyrs, saw the outside of Seoul’s World Cup stadium, and romped through several parks. I’m going to break up this adventure into two parts, with lunch being the dividing line. So today you’ll get up through lunch and my tomorrow you’ll get to find out what happened after lunch.
My adventure into Seoul started with me failing to get an early start. I wanted to take our video camera with me, but it needed to be charged. I also wanted to empty out one of my memory cards and charge a spare battery for my DSLR, just in case I took a lot of pictures. I brushed my tail. And I had dishes to wash from breakfast. So it was that I didn’t get out the door until around 9:30 am.
The walk to the subway station was pleasant. I didn’t even have trouble crossing the street at one particularly busy intersection that is lacking in walk signals. Though I did regret forgetting my Irish whistle. By the time I got on the subway heading north, it was 10 am.
Ever since the 신분당 (Sinbundang, but ‘sin’ is pronounced like ‘shin’) line opened, travel time to certain subway lines and stops decreased. For instance, I no longer have to take the 1005-1 bus to get to 양재 (Yangjae), which is where Costco is located. I can also get to Seoul subway line 2 much quicker, which makes travel to and from StarCraft 2 matches that much faster (not that I’ve been to any in a long while…). The current northern terminus of the Sinbundang line is Gangnam Station. Yes, it is located in the district that lends its name to the song “Gangnam Style” by Psy. No, I haven’t seen anyone dancing like that while walking through Gangnam. Though perhaps that will change if I wander through Gangnam next week…
I survived the first week of school! It was a bit touch and go at the start, but thanks be to God for helping me through it. I have four 6th grade ESL students (though one is on a family trip and won’t be in class until the 6th or so… ) and nine seniors for a senior seminar that is attempting to get them ready for American universities. [Before I posted this, another week of school had passed – the school open house and lesson planning took a lot more time than I thought they would.]
The ESL kids are fun – though when I give them a quiz or homework they don’t like, at least one of them says, “Teacher, no.” And I had to make all of the extra thumbtacks disappear because one of the two boys was poking the bulletin board repeatedly with them. That student also likes to lean back in his chair, though after he fell over backwards while doing so, he’s more open to my reminders to keep the chair on the floor! Devotions in the morning are hard – even with my adapting the text for their level, they still look like deer in the headlights. They’re good at math – the first four chapters of their math book breezed by this week (in part because they knew it and also because they didn’t have their matchbooks yet) – their only trouble is the English math vocabulary. I’ve been having them writing every day and on Friday we had a debate on “Are girls better than boys?” – this topic got them talking a lot in English, which was a blessing.
The seniors have been working on resumes – their final draft is due on Tuesday. And once that is done, we’ll do a reflective essay and hopefully I’ll have more to ramble about for them. It is and isn’t a blessing to not have a textbook. Continue reading →