My biggest goal for my day on Thursday was to get to school ON TIME! In fact, I wanted to get there early! I was not going to have a repeat of Tuesday’s occurrences… I woke up at the same time as I did on Tuesday, but I rushed trying to get ready. On Thursdays (and Fridays) instead of wearing our normal uniform, we get to wear 생활복 which consist of some jogger type pants and a sweatshirt that says 하나 (Hana). It is really comfy and baggy and I am glad that we can look frumpy– and for it to be acceptable– during some days of the week. This made it possible for me to get ready quicker this morning and have 20 min to eat breakfast rather than a rushed 10 minutes.
I met up with Katie at the subway station and we proceeded to take the bus to school together. While waiting at the bus stop, a female greeted us and then asked me about Katie. Eventually, I recognize her voice and face and realize that she was the teacher in the library when I had my English conversation class. (The one who called me on the bus too!) We talked to her while waiting for the bus to arrive which was also pretty awkward but good practice in speaking Korean for Katie and I. Also, while riding the bus, our English teacher Andrew got on. Will we be forced to have these awkward interactions with our teachers for this entire year???
At school, my first period consisted of 세계문명사 (which actually translates to world civilization history but everyone in my class said it was AP World History). We are covering the American Revolution right now which is nice because it is familiar and I already know the vocabulary. During this class I sat next to 지은A (There are two 지은s in my class. On Tuesday I sat next to 지은B but today I changed it up a bit!) She talked with me before class started and during the break (all in Korean). It was nice to have someone to talk to– I really appreciated her being so kind. We sang the Korean Independence song again today! I just loved hearing the students getting so into it! Screaming and throwing fists in the ear. Today, the boys sitting in the back of the class even harmonized! They all said certain lines of the song at different times– it was the best. Also, today the teacher played one that had English subtitles (I am assuming for me).
After history, I had art which I was honestly not looking forward to in the least bit. When I was younger, I really enjoyed art and drawing but because of school I pretty much dropped those hobbies. I also do not like the ideas of art classes in general. I think I took only one art class in high school (I only took it because it was mandatory; they are not really my thing.) When I got to class, my teacher let me know that because the midterm period was coming up, the students were given the class time to quietly self-study. I spent the two 50 minute class period studying for my quiz in Korean class in a couple of hours. I did not talk to any of my classmates because it was so silent during the class and I did not really wanna bother any of them. Hopefully, art will prove to be fun in the future, though.
(random photos of the inside of 하나고. The first photo is their waterfall wall–it is kind of hard to tell in the photo–it is a black wall that constantly has water flowing from it. I wonder if it ever turns off? We have been at 하나고 at like 7 before and it was still going although there would not have normally been any students still on that floor (study rooms and the library are a couple floors up). The second photo is just a hallway shot of the 4th floor.)
The best part of the day by far was lunch– and no, not because of the food (Though that is definitely a plus.) It was because Katie and I finally had a friend to eat lunch with. When I met up with Katie in front of the cafeteria, she was like “This girl asked to eat lunch with us! We will not be alone!” I could not have been any happier~ We met up with the girl, her name was 서린, and she introduced us to her group of friends. (Who were all so very sweet!) We sat at a table together and talked about a variety of things. Meeting the other girls was great! Katie and I have not had the easiest time making friends… so it was really nice to have a built-in friend group– even if it was only for today. I found out that one of the girls was in my 국어 class (a class that I assumed I would hate in the future because of how the class was structured and the students own opinions on it… but I know that assumptions should not be made when studying abroad!) I was happy to know that I would now see a familiar, friendly face. Maybe I could sit with her from now on?
For lunch that day, we had Pho (Vietnamese noodles) and chicken wings– everything was so good. But, unfortunately, we had Korean class that day so we had only 20 minutes to eat lunch which meant I wasted so much food! I would have eaten more if I had the time! We said goodbye to the girls and practically ran from the school to the bus stop so that we would not miss the earlier one this time. While waiting for the bus to arrive, Katie and I were gushing out our feelings on how happy we were that we did not eat alone and that we were able to make friends! It felt so nice~
Today, in Korean class, I was the first to arrive which was a surprise but also nice because I got to pick the window seat (it is cooler there~). Instead of learning any new grammar points this class, we focused on reviewing the four chapters that we have learned in the past three weeks (chapter 8, 9, 10, and 11). Because we were just reviewing, we had a lot of fun conversations and time to tell lots of stories. We also got to share a lot about our days. One of the funniest parts of class was me freaking out because this one random number kept calling me and I answered the call (finally) during the break time and I told him that my name was Emma and not the person he was looking for but then he kept saying things (things that I did not understand). Josh witnessed me freaking out and was just standing there watching me make a fool of myself. Finally, I hung up and then he called back again. My teacher walked in to see my freaking out and I explained it to her and she was like “give me the phone next time and I will help you.” Luckily he did not call me back again during the rest of class time. (Though the same number called me for a couple days after…)
At the end of class, we started talking about race and stereotypes. A lot of vocabulary went way over my head so it was kind of difficult to understand everything. I was getting really frustrated at this point because I really wanted to know what was happening but I could not understand so much and then when I caught on at one point, my teacher asked for my opinion but I could not express my thoughts coherently at all. I was so upset and when class ended, I was in a really bad mood. Just earlier in the day, I saw myself making language strides when talking to my classmates all in Korean and then with that conversation in class, I realized how much I have yet to learn. But it was so frustrating because my classmates already are at that point and I am so behind in comparison to them…
I did no studying this night (which honestly makes no sense because I was so frustrated in Korean class and yet I did nothing to prevent those feelings– besides convos over dinner with my host family). I just relaxed, watched iCarly with my younger host sister, worked on some blogs, and messaged my new friends! A very good day nonetheless.
Thank you for reading!~ I am currently on Winter Break!!! So, hopefully, I will have more time to edit and get this posts up. I mean it is the middle of December and I am only just getting through the first week of October… my bad. It has also been more than a week since my last post, so I apologize for that. I blame the hectic schedule of our last week at 하나고. Until Next Time!
- Emma 엠마