Confusing Times at School & Back to our Favorite Cafe {10/26/18} NSLI-Y Korean AY

10/26/18 Friday

I would not necessarily call today one of those days where I felt my nerves consuming me {Those days were really representative of the beginning of my AY journey}. However, I would describe it more as a chill day with a few nervous pockets here and there. In the morning during homeroom, my classmates (and I) figured out when we would have a class meeting so that we could talk, hang out more, and have a nice dinner together {With our homeroom teacher, 민정쌤, too}. I let them know that I can do Fridays seeing that I don’t have Korean class those days, but our teacher seemed to be busy Friday nights {understandable} and Wednesdays were for club activities. We talked for a bit on the subject and I let them know that I am willing to make the trip back up to 하나고 after Korean class so that we could make the meeting sooner rather than later. We decided on Monday~ So after Korean class on Monday, I have to hurry and try to make it to school on time. If only the walk from Better World to the station and the walk to the platform itself wouldn’t take so long…

Friday was the second full day of the week and I started off the day with 철학 (philosophy). Our teacher just played two documentaries the whole time {one about a Catholic all-male university in Korea and the other was about young people choosing to become monks.} It was pretty interesting but I didn’t pay too much attention to it in all honesty. I was filling out my planner and organizing my Korean class assignments. Everyone else in my class was sleeping so you can’t really get mad at me or anything…


I found this photo in my camera roll… I know it is a scene from the documentary but I have no idea what is actually being shown… any ideas?

경제학 (economics) was next and our teacher wasn’t there, so we just got to self-study. I spent the two hours “trying” to do my coding homework… but that did not turn out well. I could do some but then when new concepts came up in the textbook, I didn’t know what formulas to use..: 인터넷으로 코딩을 어떻게 하는 것을 검색했는데 아직도 코딩을 할 줄 몰라요… I could have asked 세림 sitting next to me but I didn’t want to burden her more with my questions… she’s already helped me so much! And she had her own studying to do.

Also, during this class, I was not using my own computer… nope! It was my 통계학 선생님’s (Statistic Teacher’s) computer. He gave it to me because I can’t download the coding program on my laptop since it’s just a Chromebook. He said he has two computers and I can just keep this one until I leave for America! And he said I can download other programs too; he will just delete them later. He is being so nice… we need more teachers like him, but I really don’t think I can do the work… How do I tell him this?

When lunchtime came around, I ate with Katie and some of our friends again: 서린, 혜지, 도윤, 윤세 and this new first year who had been wanting to eat lunch with us for a while. Today’s lunch was 5 stars. Forget the stars… it was worth 5 planets! We had Korean barbecue {삼겹살} for lunch. We had the pork, the lettuce wraps, a lime drink with coconut jelly, soup, 김치 (kimchi), and shrimp fried in some batter. Lunch was a lot of fun as always~

After lunch, I had social studies as one student put it but I think it’s more like sociology? So far, every time I have seen this teacher, he has been wearing a sweatshirt for an American University: today was Stanford. In class, we read this thick packet on globalization and international trade. Honestly, I didn’t understand much… except for the part when we talked about Disneyland! I kinda wanted to talk about it but no one asked me, unfortunately.

Katie and I both had our English mentorship/conversation class next so we walked with each other to the library; however, we were both not in the best mood. Katie was frustrated with her 한국사 (Korean History) class and trying to rant about it me while I was trying to quickly Sparknote a chapter from the book we are reading in my literature class. We were both stressed and very much distressed which led Katie getting mad at me for not paying attention to her and I got upset at Katie for distracting me so when we got into our study room she began complaining loudly once again so I yelled at her for being too loud and to close the door which made us both very pissy at each other. As soon as the students walked in, our anger subsided for the time being. This was our first real fight and it was so silly… we were just in really bad moods and really stressed. Later while on the bus back to the station, I apologized for being so snippy and she did the same. We hugged and laughed about it.

Our mentorship class was fun as always. I had a blast speaking to the girls in my group about so many different topics: our weekends, famous Korean variety shows, Disney movies, and then somehow we got onto the topic of Korean history?! And we talked about this dictator {or at least that is what they called him} and other presidents/important officials that were killed or imprisoned. It was a very interesting conversation, to say the least. I would love to learn more about that time. At the end of the meeting, Katie and I asked them some questions that we were required to ask for our cultural activity the following day. The questions were about World War II, the Japanese Occupation of Korea, and the idea that Koreans dislike the Japanese till this day. {I will talk more about their answers in my next blog post~}

The plan for our Friday night was for Katie to come back to 고양시 with me and study at a cafe together (eat a convenience store dinner) and just relax and enjoy a chill Friday night. We bought some 녹차 호떡 (green tea pancake-like pastry– AKA winter street food) at the 시장 (market) near the station and took the subway to 화정역. While we were riding the train, this man started asking us questions in Korean–kinda creepily? He asked us if we were in 7th or 8th grade? And then he said 10th grade after we said no. We got off at the next stop mostly because I am a fool and thought that that stop was the last one for this train (it was the next one, unfortunately) but I am glad we got ourselves out of that situation. It was quite uncomfortable.


My one true love: 호떡

We went to the same cafe that we visited on Sunday. (The drinks were delicious, service was very nice, and the prices cannot be beaten!) I cannot remember the name of it still… but I will include it the next time we visit if I do not edit it in this post. (Dodori Coffee!) I ordered a 민트초코라떼 (Mint Chocolate Latte) while Katie got an iced chocolate drink. We were quite productive and both did our homework (workbook pages, vocabulary, etc) while enjoying the nice atmosphere. There were quite a few other people in the cafe also studying. We ate dinner at the convenience store– just some 김밥 (kimbap), a random 음료수 (beverage), and a 쿠키 (cookie). I got a 전주 비빔밥 김밥 (Jeonju Bibimbap) which I assumed I would like it because my favorite flavor is 참치김치볶음밥 (Tuna Kimchi Fried Rice). However, this flavor was may spicier! Instead of a pocket of tuna in the middle of the rice, it was a pocket of straight up 고추장. Too spicy!!

I said goodbye to Katie in the station and walked home (the long, scenic route) by myself. I spent the rest of the night finishing some studying and writing some blog posts. It was a good day, and I was excited for the weekend~ A cultural activity, volunteering, and a day trip to 인천 was waiting for me!! I was anticipating a fun weekend~ That is all for this blog post! (Wow… I have been really lacking with the photos lately… oops) I hope you enjoyed anyway~

  • Emma 엠마


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