Taking over the NSLI-Y Instagram {& School} 11/12-13/18 (NSLI-Y AY Korea)

11/12/18 Monday

I wasn’t looking forward to Monday because I would have to go to school without Katie and that could never be any fun… riding the bus to school and not having anyone to meet up with during breaks proved to be a bit lonely and boring. But she had thrown up a lot over the weekend and could still be contagious… it was best she didn’t come.

day 4


In 영미문학, we started reading an excerpt of this one story by Virginia Woolf which was quite interesting. From now on, we will only be reading in class which is nice because I won’t be needing to SparkNotes any longer {sorry Andrew쌤! In all honesty, I wanted to read the novel alongside the other kids but I didn’t have a copy in time…}

My last period of the day before I left for Korean class was my favorite class ever: 심화 통계학 {please note the sarcasm}. The class wasn’t bad, however. I got to talk to 세림 more which was nice~ Also, I finally mustered up the courage to tell my teacher that I really could not do the coding homework. I told him that I tried but it’s been very stressful for me, and I need to focus on my Korean studies. I explained all this using long sentences and grammar points I learned in class— I was so proud of myself. When I finished speaking, he just looked at me and said “Okay.” It was that easy but I was so terrified this entire time! I even considered writing him a letter!!! Wow! I also returned his laptop to him to seal the deal that I would not be expected to do any more coding homework.

day 1

I didn’t want to eat lunch by myself so I left school early to make my way to 홍대. I planned to just get a convenience store lunch and eat at the youth center with the other students. It was a lot of fun though because I got to watch Kaitlyn teach June a Twice song. I even got it on video! (It will definitely add some spice to our Instagram Takeover! (In case I have not mentioned it before, Katie and I will be taking over the NSLI-Y Instagram on Tuesday (11/13/18). We will be posting pictures on what an average day on our program looks like! I cannot wait! We will be taking some pictures actually on the day, but it is easier to get some things prepared beforehand as it can be difficult taking so many pictures in one day with our busy schedules. So, I took a Korean class photo today and got some footage of transportation.

day 2

Took this while walking to the Better World office! Look at that sky~

Korean class today was very overwhelming but rewarding (two words that I would use to describe studying abroad in a foreign country). Today we answered questions from our workbook about a new grammar point we learned. I think that these are great practices because it makes us think on our feet to try to answer the question posed or fill in a sentence using the new grammar point; however, that does not make me dislike it any less. I feel so anxious when my turn comes as I feel ashamed for having to take a longer time to answer. At one point in the class, I answered the question wrong and the teacher tried explaining to me why it was wrong. I got so frustrated with myself but even after she tried explaining it the second time I could not understand. I asked her to do it one more time and she called for a break so that the others could rest while she explained to me what I was doing wrong. This made me feel worse as I felt so incompetent in comparison to my peers. I felt as if I was such a burden that she could not waste precious class time on me so she called a break time. I also started getting mad at myself for not understanding the grammar point (or at least not looking it up before class because there are no English descriptions of the grammar points in the textbook). Tears started literally brimming around my eye. My teacher explained things again, and I was able to somewhat coherently explain to her why I conjugated the grammar point wrong. It turned out that it was due to my misunderstanding of the situation in the example sentence rather than the grammar point itself. I took a step back and left the class to wait for the rest of break time out in the hallway. I realized that I should not get mad at myself for not understanding things–everyone has their moments. I also should not expect myself to look up grammar points/vocab before class all the time; I have class time to learn those things. I will admit that the class period was very difficult, but I got over it. I got right back to learning Korean.

민정쌤 was going home with Josh this night for his host family home visit, so we walked back to the subway exit together and chatted a bit.

day 3

Host Mom’s homemade 붕어빵 (Carp shaped bread filled with red bean)

The rest of the night was spent studying for my quiz in Korean class the following day. I did my workbook homework as well as some worksheets I figured she would collect later. At 11 pm, I had a rehearsal for the Citizen Ambassador Webinar I would be doing with iEarn on the 14th of November. Because of the time difference, Josh and I had to stay up till midnight for it… as well as for the actual one. The rehearsal went well though! At the time I was not the most coherent… but I can practice that before the actual D-Day. I went to bed really late that night (for me) at around 1:30 am. But, I got comfortable with all my new grammar points so the lack of sleep was justified.

These are the promotional images used for the webinar! I edited them myself!

11/13/18 Tuesday

day 6

Our Morning Routine: Chatting for ten minutes in the sitting area in the hallway before homeroom starts

Tuesday was a pretty average day~ But it was also the day we were taking over the NSLI-Y Instagram, so Katie and I met throughout the day to write captions for each post for the Instagram story. As for class, my Mentorship class was a lot of fun. 건우 gave me my prize for winning the geography game from the last class. During this period, we talked a lot about movies at first: our favorite genres as well as actors. I was trying to tell them that I really loved watching comedy movies with Dwayne Johnson. 건우 knew who he was and it took him quite a while to explain to the others who he was but their reactions were so funny. 긍영 starts gesturing like he has big muscles and a bald head– it made my morning. After these fun topics, things got a bit heavier. We started talking about politics. Honestly, I don’t really remember how it was brought up but I compared peaceful protests in Korea during the whole 박근혜 scandal to the violent protests that are prevalent in America. We talked about school shootings as well as gun policies in different states and finally racism. It was interesting to hear what the guys thought about America and our current issues especially racism. I think that Korea deals with similar problems of prejudice but they are simply more invisible due to the homogeneous population and the history of being a one culture country. But also, Korea just has more curious minds when it comes to race and cultural differences so most interactions are not out of hatred but ignorance. I would love to delve deeper into this distinctive difference because I really do not know much about it. These are just my current observations.

국어 was tough as usual. I tried really hard not to fall asleep. At one point during class, the teacher started asking students questions about their reading homework. If the student did not know the answer (which was mostly everyone), they had to stand up. Let me just say that I stood up every single time he came to me (I could not even understand the questions he was asking!!) I also did not do the homework so there is that, too.

day 7

My last class of the day (before leaving for Korean class) was AP World History which included me just finishing up my homework while listening to the teacher talk about American history. During the break, I left with my friend 지은 to the 매점 (school store) so I could take a picture for the NSLI-Y Instagram story. We joked about buying ice cream but ended up leaving with nothing.

Before lunch, Katie and I gathered all our friends and took a group picture together to be able to post it on Instagram. We needed someone to take it, so 도윤 literally goes up to this random guy she knows and pulls him over to us by the arm and demands he gets a photo of us. Her aggressiveness with him was pretty funny.

day 9

After leaving 하나고, Katie and I quickly made our way over to our favorite 호떡 stand to get delicious 녹차호떡 (Green Tea pancakes) for an Insta picture (but also because we love them!) We asked this random 아줌마 (older woman) to take a photo for us but she said she really could not take photos well. She tried but it was obvious she did not know what she was doing, so this college student came up and helped us out. We were very grateful.


In Korean class, the grammar points were not too hard and I feel like I grasped them pretty quickly. However, we did take a quiz and if I want to use Korean slang… I would say 망했다 (I failed…) I literally failed my quiz. You heard that right… I got 50%! It was the worst I have ever done… I was so upset I almost cried. Especially because our teacher was not quiet about expressing how difficult the test was and so everyone saw my score too in comparison to their Bs… I felt so stupid at that moment! The mistakes I made were so stupid too! I studied the grammar so diligently yesterday and to make mistakes because of not noticing the particles in the sentence… I was very disappointed in myself.

day 11

My Korean Class~ ❤

I tried to ignore the frustration I was experiencing for the rest of the class. Once 4:50 pm rolled around, I felt free~ After class, Katie and I met up and sat outside a convenience store to write a caption for one of our Instagram posts. It was actually a very long process, so we were outside for quite a while sharing a cinnamon peanut butter roll type thing. It was pretty interesting, to say the least.

I came home and had dinner with my host family. Because I arrived later than usual, I only ate with my host dad and brother as everyone else had already eaten. I spent the rest of the night studying, editing some photos, and ATTEMPTing to catch up on overdue blog posts.

day 10


That’s all for this blog post! It’s gotten pretty long… I was originally going to write about three days in this post but obviously, that would have been a bit much. I think that I’ll try to make my next post be another compilation of three days because I don’t think there will be too much to talk about? {Though… I thought the same thing about this one but here we are…} Well, anyway thanks for reading!

  • Emma 엠마


Meeting Up with my NSLI-Y Summer Supporter and Ice Anchovy Kids Cafe {11/10-11/18} NSLI-Y Korean AY

11/10/18 Saturday

The morning was filled with a usual amount of anxiety and butterflies in my stomach. I planned to go out for lunch with my supporter 수진 {Sujin} which should have been deemed an exciting plan to have; however, I was extremely worried about how it would go. I highly treasure my memories with her from the summer program and I was very worried that we wouldn’t connect like we did over the summer especially with my Korean skills. I wondered if maybe we only got so close because of the whole group dynamic. What if it was Jodi or Casey that made us have such a good time? These worries were honestly very unnecessary as I should have known that our bond was special. I also knew that I recognized the fact that my Korean is better now than it was when by the end of the summer program and definitely better than where it was at when I first met her in July of 2016.

When I arrived at our meeting spot, 경복궁역, I could not find her. We texted for a bit wondering where the other could be. Had I already forgotten her face? That was impossible! Eventually, she ran up and hugged me from the side and we both walked to get some lunch. At first, I felt awkward but as soon as 수진언니 locked arms with me, I felt comfortable again— like she was truly my older sister. We chatted about being hungry and went to order soba noodles at this very famous place. At first, she could not figure out the self-ordering machine {a common thing in 라면 (Ramen) places it seems?} and when I finally did, she was amazed.

supporter 12

The noodles were okay? Whatever spice/seasoning they used did not remind me of Japanese food whatsoever… it was very beefy but tangy and spicy at the same time?? It wasn’t bad but I couldn’t finish the whole thing. After our noodles, we walked around a bit before buying egg tarts {the best ones I’ve ever had!}. We ate them and walked through the streets while updating each other about our lives. When a dog walked past us, 수진언니 hesitated and shrieked just the tiniest bit. I knew at this moment that she was still afraid of dogs. We talked about what we had been doing this year at school and she asked me lots of questions about coming back to Korea.

We found this book store turned cafe that is famous for its vintage look and the fact that IU took a very famous picture there (for her album cover I think). We took so many pictures outside because the architecture was so pretty! And then we went inside to get a drink and chat some more. 수진언니 got an Americano while I had 유자레몬차 (Citrus lemon tea). At the cafe, I even helped 수진언니 practice a little bit of English which was really nice and refreshing. We talked a lot and had a really good time.

After leaving the cafe {and taking more photos} we just walked around the area. We tried finding this famous cafe but we only stumbled upon a perfume store {took some more cute photos there though so it was not a waste}. Eventually, we just walked around after going into a few cafes and giving up. I just enjoyed walking around and chatting with her~ That is all I needed to be planned~

supporter 17

수진 언니 had dinner plans so we separated around 5:30 pm. She waited for my subway car to come before leaving to head back the way we came. At that moment I felt so grateful to have her in my life~ During the whole day, she was patient with me and we still had the best conversations despite the language barrier worries I had earlier in the day. I am so lucky to have had such a great supporter~~ ^^ Or should I just say friend now?

I came home early for dinner and ate with my host family. I also played around with my host sisters as they showed me this new robotic cat toy they bought? The rest of the night was spent preparing a PowerPoint for a Citizen Ambassadorship presentation I’m doing for iEarn {along with Josh} He wanted them done then so that he could compile them and make the final PowerPoint the next day.

supporter 13

11/11/18 Sunday

In Korea, today was Peppero day {11/11 represents 4 Peppero sticks. A couple would have one in each hand so 4 Peppero sticks. I didn’t eat any Peppero, however. {I also don’t have a boyfriend to exchange them with anyway…} It was a normal, chill Sunday with a twist. I went with my host family to an escape room made for kids!

At first, I thought we were just going to a kids cafe so I assumed I could find somewhere to sit and do work but no, we drove out to a mall to experience an adventure! The escape room was called Ice Anchovy {don’t ask me either… weird name…} Everyone got these bracelets that needed to be tapped against Anchovy stickers on the wall. When a beep could be heard, the point was collected. There were a lot of them on the wall; however, some of them were distractions and didn’t give any points.

supporter 34

In the escape room, we climbed through this Chuck E Cheese-like ceiling jungle gym contraption {that’s really the only way I can explain}, “rock climbed” across spikes {Styrofoam spikes}, climbed through a net web, and then had to solve little puzzles inside locked rooms (like your more traditional escape room). We finished off, escaping through everything, by going down this large slide into a foam pit. It was a lot of fun! I might be 19 years old, but that was such a good way to spend an hour. 

That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed~ I feel like recently, I have been doing a better job at posting regularly? On this blog? I credit that completely to having more time during winter break and using my blog as a distraction against real studying… (just kidding…just kidding). But since winter break is coming to a close… I will have to put more effort into keeping up with this blog! Until then, I hope to spam posts for the next couple of days! Till next time!

  • Emma 엠마

NSLI-Y Summer 2016 Reunion at Sookmyung Women’s University {11/09/18} NSLI-Y Korean AY

11/09/18 Friday

Friday was honestly a blur. I was lost in Philosophy {as always}. Though, we did watch a documentary in the second half of the class which was a nice change. It was about different education systems being compared to Korea’s—very interesting. They even had a segment on gap years and I was sitting there smiling like a fool feeling grateful that I even have the opportunity to do this.


Economics was not too memorable. I was able to understand some of the teacher’s stories which made me proud. {Mostly because I could laugh along with the students} The best part of the class; however, was being able to talk to 세림. We talked during the whole break. This time we talked about our siblings and what they are doing right now. Funnily enough, we both have siblings studying to be dentists!

Lunch was fun because Katie and I got to eat with our big group of friends. Lunch wasn’t too filling so we all met up at 서린’s locker later to steal some of her birthday snacks.

After lunch was sociology and then my Mentorship class. Wow, I love the girls in my group, we could literally make any topic fun! We discussed the differences between academy {학원} teachers and normal school teachers in Korean and the different ways respect is shown in the Korean and American education system. While we were talking about these things, 규원 and 주연 then started {playfully} arguing about which type of teacher they would rather be; they were getting heated and it was hilarious. Then randomly during the conversation 주연 screams and says she thought she heard a rat. So then 규원 goes on to mock 주연 and ask her what a rat sounds like. They are such a fun group.

My last class of the day was English and we just discussed the last chapter of our novel Exit West {still salty that I never got to read it….} But when I walked into class, I see “We need more time” scribbled in giant letters on the dry erase board. When Andrew walks in, we all start singing Happy Birthday to 서연. She then makes a wish which was to push back the due date of the essay. This was all hilarious! Andrew laughed at it too {and later pushed back the deadline for them by two days}. This was definitely something my class would do in AP Lang and Lit so it was nice to see the struggling student symbol be universal.

Once class was over, Katie and I took the bus to 연신내역 together. We got 호떡 together and tried to withdraw money for me {RIP the bank near 연신내역 doesn’t accept foreign card!} I rode the subway with Katie till her station and then transferred to be on my way towards 숙대역 in order to meet up with Addie and Jessica for a NSLI-Y 8 reunion!

While on the train, 민정쌤 sent out our monthly evaluations based on our unit tests. I was so afraid of reading it because 민정쌤 personally wrote in the email that I shouldn’t be upset at my grade {because she knew I would be} because it doesn’t matter. This really worried me and I opened the attachment while my heart was practically beating out of my chest.

I was shocked to see that I had moved up from my pre-OPI score. I could have cried in that moment if Katie and I were not on a train with a bunch of strangers. I was shocked because I didn’t think I could possibly be at that level yet {comparing myself to my classmates who were at that level coming into the class}. My teacher roasted me plenty in the comment section, however.

She said that I need to practice using the 습니다 form and mastering many basic beginner and intermediate grammar points {Which I knew}. She also said that I can be talkative when I’m leading a conversation or talking about something familiar but when it comes to speaking in class, I only participate when called upon to. {It is something I need to work on—confidence} But besides the many critiques embedded in the comments, she also praised me for studying so hard. I had a smile for the rest of the ride~

Addie and I got there the earliest so we changed out of our uniforms and walked along the streets of 숙대 together. The streets we walked down so often during the summer. I tried looking for my favorite cafe {Cafe Areca} but couldn’t find it… I’m really upset about it.. I’m hoping they moved locations? Ahhh this is depressing. (Good news! I left a comment on their Instagram and they did move locations! Thankfully!! I will have to visit at least once before I leave!

But eventually, Jessica showed up and she ran towards me and Addie. I embraced her in a giant hug! I couldn’t believe we were meeting after two years {so blessed to be still connected with some NSLIYians~} We decided to eat all you can eat Korean barbecue at a place that all of us had visited back during our days as 숙대 students. I went there once, on the last week of the program I think, with Abby, Yves, and Sofia {Link to that post here!} They upped the price to $11 {so one more dollar than two years ago} but I was still content! That’s a good price for so much food and filling up on meat at that. We talked while Jessica mostly grilled and fed Addie and me well~ I finally got to hear about Jessica’s life at 연세 and she even told us about her interesting yet kind of complicated love life. Addie and I updated her on our NSLI-Y struggles and some tea that we had. We laughed a lot!!!

After eating meat, it was still pretty early {cheers to weekend curfew being 11 pm} so we went to the 설빙 {another place we frequented using the summer program} and got some 티라미수빙수 (Tiramisu Bingsu). We talked a lot more and laughed our heads off in that cafe. We were definitely fulfilling the obnoxious foreigner stereotype at that moment.


Jessica & Addie ❤ ❤ ❤

The night was over as quickly as we finished our 빙수 {I’m sorry was that cheesy?} and I had to rush back home to make it in time for curfew as I live a good ways away from 숙대 now. Especially because I didn’t know how to transfer on the right line at Seoul Station…so I got on a line that added some minutes to my commute time. {But don’t worry, I made it home right by 11 pm!}

It was a night of reminiscing and making new memories~ I cannot wait to meet up with them all again very soon~ That is all for this blog post~ I hope you enjoyed!

  • Emma 엠마

Japanese Ramen Dinner with Fellow NSLI-Y Students {11/08/18} NSLIY Korean AY

11/08/18 Thursday

Thursday at school was just a normal day; nothing really special happened. World History was four sheets of notes {which was a lot! I really hate sitting through lectures with no discussions or interactions…} and I tried to pay attention the whole time but it’s so difficult when you can’t understand! So every once and awhile I worked on my Korean homework or added things to my planner. Art was my second period and we started a project involving making a book. We could do whatever we wanted but we had to add a 3D element to it with other materials. I decided to draw out the folktale/fairytale I used in my last presentation for Korean class and spent the whole class sketching everything out.

For lunch, Katie and I finally decided to eat with the foreign teachers: Corey, Jason, and Andrew. Corey is from Chicago and has wanted to talk to us about that commonality because some students told him we were from there? Though fortunately, he was not disappointed when he found out that we were actually not from Chicago but the suburbs instead. And the lunch was a lot of fun! At first it was kind of uncomfortable and awkward but I really enjoyed being able to talk to them and we joked about life in Korea a lot! Corey and Jason were hilarious. I could listen to their stories all day. They invited us to eat lunch with them again so hopefully, we can do it more often~ Maybe Once a month?


Korean class today was not too bad~ I wasn’t lost very often and I felt that I was understanding more of the vocab words than normal! We had to give presentations on the individuals we interviewed and I memorized mine {like usual} but I know I shouldn’t so I will try to not do that… completely {or put all of my script on powerpoint slides}. My teacher didn’t fix that many things on my powerpoint slides which made me feel good.

During the third break, I talked with my teacher about my OPI. She told me what I expected to hear: I still struggle with basic grammar and topics and I am really bad at using the formal tense ~습니다 I am aware of this is my problem… mostly due to me never being placed in the right class for me {*cough cough* at my NSLI-Y Summer Class and the current one *cough cough*} I will say that I am catching up and do not regret being in this advanced class now but I’ve also had to do a lot of things outside of class to feel this way.

My teacher also told me that I need to participate in class more {I have trouble talking in class…besides for when she asks me specifically} and instead of staring at the board in confusion and not asking for help, I need to tell her when I don’t understand something. I have gotten better at that in comparison to the beginning but I still don’t do it enough {call it a pride thing if you will? Or an independence thing…} And I will try harder! This unit test was definitely the motivation I needed to get back on that study grind!

After Korean class, I went to get real Japanese 라면 with Josh, Jacquelyn, and Liam. And dinner was a trip I’ll tell you that. First, it was raining—like a lot. I packed an umbrella but it was broken so I had to share with Josh {I am not ungrateful! Thank you! But ya know, not an ideal situation} so let’s just say not getting soaked was not an option. Secondly, no one knew exactly where we were going and the first shop we tried to visit ended up being closed aka more time for us to be out in the rain cold and hungry.


Eventually, we got to a restaurant and were able to put down our wet backpacks and umbrellas to finally eat some warm noodles. We ordered with a machine and then sat down and talked until our food arrived. I’ve probably only had “fancy” Japanese ramen once or twice in my entire life, so this bowl was highly anticipated and it DID live up to expectations. The noodles were so delicious and the right texture while the broth was heavenly. You could have given me a bowl of just the broth and I would have been content. Too delicious for words to be honest. The high-quality dinner also matched perfectly with the jokes and stories shared with the others. They are the ones that made it a night to remember.


I had to walk home from the subway to my host family’s home with no umbrella and the hood of a jacket can only do so much… I came home drenched. I explained to my host mom about my umbrella situation and she was like “Why didn’t you tell anyone? We could have brought you one at the station.” Honestly, the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I figured it was something I had to deal with alone. She told me to take a hot shower and so I did. When I finished up and was about to start on my homework, she brought out some fruit tea and a slice of my birthday cake. It was a very sweet gesture and I appreciated her caring for me~


That’s all for this blog post~ I hope you enjoyed! Till next time… goodbye

  • Emma 엠마


Birthday Treats, Candy Corn, and 떡볶이 Jelly {11/05-11/07/2018} NSLI-Y Korean AY

11/05/18 Monday

This is going to be a combined post because I am very behind on my daily blogging and in order to catch up, I have to limit the things I talk about {Though I’ve also forgotten some things, too} Well, anyway, let’s get started.

nov 16

Monday was 서린’s birthday, so Katie and I planned to give her a gift at lunch. We got it prepared over the weekend but put it together when we got to school on Monday morning. We found our locker once again {still need a lock…} and stashed the gift and wrapping in there till we were ready. I bought a penguin stuffed animal for 서린 while Katie contributed 4 nicely wrapped macaroons.

nov 1

Lunch was delicious! So much so that I already started eating before realizing I needed to snap a picture…

Lunch with the girls was fun as always. The others were going to surprise 서린 at dinner so it was just us that wished her a happy birthday with a gift. Though, 지연 came over to me and gave me a plastic bag filled with snacks as a late birthday gift. She even wrote me a cute little note on an instant fish cake soup container. It was really sweet~ She didn’t have to get me anything!


One of the things she bought was 떠볶이 jelly. I wonder if she enjoys them or if she wanted to have me try them because they are so “Korean” if you will. Katie and I tried them at the bus stop while heading to our Korean class. Let’s just say they are very interesting— and yes, actually spicy.

nov 2

When I got to class, I made everyone try one and even walked around the Better World Office offering them out. Watching the reactions of the people eating them was hilarious! They are honestly really bad. Who would eat them?!?

Class was probably okay… don’t remember at all {con of blogging almost 5 days late :/ } But after class, we had our biweekly meeting with 민정쌤 which is always a fun time. Because our classes aren’t in the same building as the other two classes, we often aren’t together as a big group of 16! So it’s nice to see everyone~ We got to meet a new resident director who is joining us and “specializing” {I know it’s not the right word…} in host families. Her name is 소영 I believe and her English name is Soya. She seems really sweet but timid at the same time. At the end of the meeting, I passed around the bag of 떡볶이 jelly to all the unassuming NSLIYians. I finally got to meet someone who enjoyed them: McKenzie

nov 5

After the meeting, I went with Katie to 공덕역 and we studied at a cafe for a bit before having a little picnic under a bridge with convenience store food. We talked a lot and got really personal with each other. I haven’t been able to be that open with someone in a long time. And I told her things that my family and even some close friends don’t know. I just felt that we have gotten so close and she really empathizes with me and understands me.

nov 6

nov 7

I got home after our lovely night of good Korean snacks and deep conversations to talk with my host sisters for a bit while I worked on homework. I went to bed pretty late but hanging out with Katie was worth it. ❤

11/06/18 Tuesday

Tuesday’s morning started off on a good note. I had my English Mentorship period with three second-year students. I gave them each a bag of candy corn so that they could try the most unique American Halloween candy there is. They all pretty much had mediocre reactions and 건우 even said that they were really not that good. They all didn’t seem to be impressed but then they still kept eating them. {Let me add that it was only like 9 in the morning so they even ate it that early while saying “they didn’t like it.” Honestly, some boys will eat anything!} During our period, we played this game called GeoGuesser I think? The website would show you a street view of a random place and you had to figure out where in the world it was by clicking a spot on the map. The closest you were to the location, the more points you win. I was with 호영 and the bet was that the losing team would buy the winning team Peppero since Peppero day was Sunday. Of course, 호영 and I won because of our exceptional geographic skills! Just kidding, we just got lucky. Our first turn, I just told him to pick Washington State cause of the tall trees and we happened to be right. The second time, I could tell the language was close to Spanish so I told him to pick Italy or Portugal {it turned out to be an island of Italy}. The third time we were very off. It was Greece but we picked Ukraine. Lastly, the location was Romania but we cheated because there was actually graffiti on a building that said Romania in Romanian. I’m just excited for Peppero on Tuesday ^^

After school, Katie and I skipped lunch at 하나고 and had waffles nearby Korean classes. Was it the healthiest thing?? Nope, not at all but we wanted waffles.

nov 10

During Korean class, we got our tests back and I didn’t do that bad?!? Like I’m pretty proud of myself! I think I got a high B on the reading portion and a mid-ranged A in writing. We didn’t discuss our OPI scores so that is something for another day it seems~ I didn’t think I did too bad on the test so I’m happy that my intuition wasn’t completely off.

After class, I went home right away. I had dinner with my host family and I stayed at the dinner table longer than normal speaking with my host mom. She gave me some traditional Korean dessert which was rice cake with a sugary filling. It was like a mix of 송편 (Filled rice cake eaten during 추석–Chuseok) and 호떡 (Pancake type pastry with a sweet filling often eaten as street food). I spent the rest of the night working on Korean homework, making a Quizlet {but not working on it} and answering emails.

nov 13

11/07/18 Wednesday

Wednesday was a blur for me… I don’t really remember what I did in school? I studied Korean in 한국사 {my teacher saw me and didn’t say anything so I will continue doing that… he did come up to me though and told me to memorize my example phrases and replace the nouns and words to sound really good.} and I tried very hard not to fall asleep during Economics… it proved to be very difficult. I fell FULLY asleep during the break time. Statistics was a lot of formulas and notations that I did not know so my notes were pretty bad… but during the second half, our teacher talked about college and admissions the entire time so I slept on and off during that.

fall 2

Before lunch, Katie and I were starving so we went to the 매점 and bought some snacks. We sat outside on some benches in front of fall foliage and enjoyed the views {while they lasted… almost all the leaves fell off by the end of the week}. We tried to be artsy and take photos but … I definitely was not photogenic that day. Katie and I ate lunch with our usual group of friends. I passed out a little goody bag filled with candy corn to all of them—excited to see their reaction. Honestly, I can’t stand them but I wanted to see if maybe Koreans would like them. Pretty much all the girls except 지연 didn’t like them. They all tried to pawn them off to Katie. When I asked to take a photo of all the girls, 도윤 started passing out pieces of her candy corn to the other girls so they could hold it in the picture… but we knew the real reason she was doing that! To get rid of her stash!

nov 17

서린 said that it tasted like cookie dough which is what 세림 said too and I highly disagree. I would love them if that was the case!!

After school Wednesday was my first club meeting! I’m in a club called BISERA {I think} and it’s a business and economics club. I really didn’t know what to expect… I was told the meeting time earlier in the day and so I went there after my statistics class. Luckily, I already knew some people in the club. 동철 from 영미문학, 지현 from homeroom, 다연 from 통합사회, and a couple familiar faces that I knew were in some of my classes but I never learned their names or have ever talked to them. We were apparently going to work on presentations during the meeting but because it was the first time I joined them, 주호 {the leader of the club and the one who helped me “pick” my club} said we could just talk and get to each other which is what we did. We talked in a mix of both English and Korean though at times conversing was frustrating because if I didn’t respond right away, they would assume I didn’t understand and start translating in English. Though it is quite annoying, I can see where they are coming from—they just want to make sure I’m comfortable. I’ll just have to improve so they don’t feel like they have to resort to English!!

Some people get it though~ 지현 would only ever speak to me in Korean which was nice {even though her English is amazing!} Our conversations consisted of them trying to get to know me and more about America. I tried speaking in only Korean which made my answers lack in detail… I also don’t really like Kpop or dramas which is what they expect. But we did have fun discussing things nonetheless. I asked 동철 why I see some students standing outside the teachers’ office staring at the wall. It reminded me of speech team members practicing their speeches to the wall, but I knew they were not doing that. He goes on to explain to me that it’s a form of punishment {mostly for eating in the dorms or sleeping in class} from this one teacher. Except, instead of saying punishment, he called it public execution which is definitely not the right word for it but its usage showed me how strongly he feels towards it.

I’m pretty sure everyone in the club is either a first year or a second year which makes me wonder if third years do clubs? Or do they just study because of the 수능 (college entrance exam)? I still have things to learn about this school.

After my club finished up, I met up with Katie quickly to say goodbye. She was staying after school a bit longer to help some classmates with an English project. I went home right away because my resident director host family check-in was scheduled for 6.

nov 18

I was feeling moody and tired today apparently…

At 6 pm, both 민정쌤 and the new host family director 소야쌤 showed up at our door and it was so awkward! I don’t really know why… maybe because I didn’t think these “two worlds” would meet. My host mom made 김밥 while we all talked at the kitchen table. My host brother had a friend over, so the screams of little children filled our awkward silences. The whole conversation was in Korean and she asked my host mom if she had problems with me, if I was respecting the rules, coming home before curfew, etc. They then talked about how I’m studying and my improvement in Korean. They were both complimenting me for how hard I study which was nice to hear~~ {Though I just sat there and smiled awkwardly as they said those things} 민정쌤 brought up my unit test {I forgot to tell my host mom about the results} and my host mom seemed happy to hear that I did pretty well. After my mom forced the two to eat some 김밥, they left and I ate dinner with my host family.

The rest of Wednesday night was spent interviewing Katie for my presentation about an NSLI-Y Student as well as us applying to take over the NSLI-Y Instagram together. Eventually, I had to go to sleep but hadn’t finished my homework just yet. I hoped to have time tomorrow during school to finish it.

That’s all for this blog post~ It is quite long because I combined three days… and there aren’t many photos. Sorry about that! I need to be conscious and try to take more but it’s the routine really…

  • Emma 엠마


Celebrating my Birthday in Korea with NSLI-Y Friends & My Host Family {11/03-04/18} NSLI-Y Korean AY

11/03/18 Saturday

Saturday morning was very relaxing. I stayed in my pajamas till late and just worked on Korean homework, a project I’m doing with iEarn {I’m going to be doing a webinar with them and Josh about Citizen Ambassadorship} and watched TV with my host sisters. My host family left in the early afternoon for a famous lake park nearby, so I had the house to myself for the couple hours before I left for my dinner plans. I would have gone with them but I knew I wouldn’t be back in time, and I still needed to get ready for the day and do a load of laundry {that was desperately needed} so I couldn’t go with them.

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Breakfast: 미역국 (seaweed soup), 밥 (rice), 고기 (meat), and other  반찬 (side dishes).

I met up with Katie at Holly’s cafe around 5 pm so that we could both get some more work done—but together. I got a green tea latte as per usual. I answered my emails and began finding photos for the promotion of our webinar via social media.

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My love at Hollys ❤

At 6 pm, I ran off to meet Alix and Shannon so that we could go shopping around the station. We went to a book store where I finally bought this Korean essay book that I’ve had my eye on for a while. {It was a birthday gift to me!} And I also picked up treat bags and a birthday bag for 서린 because her birthday would be that coming Monday. While I was getting that, Alix and Shannon bought miscellaneous items including two birthday hats for me and Addie to wear during dinner. {Addie’s birthday was the 28th so we were also celebrating her 19th.}

For dinner, a big group of 12 NSLI-Y students went to Wicked 찜닭 recommended by Kaitlyn. It was very delicious~ I sat at a table with Liam, Jacquelyn, and Kaitlyn and we ordered a 4 person serving {which we feared would be too much after seeing the portion} but thanks to Liam especially, we were able to finish everything. This was only my second time having 찜닭 and I do have to admit that it is probably one of my favorite Korean dishes!

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찜닭: Meat & veggies marinated in a sweet and savory sauce!

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After dinner, we all kind of split up and went our own separate ways. Some went home, others went to grab dessert, etc. I went with Kaitlyn, Liam, Jack, Josh, and Jacquelyn to walk around 홍대 and chat while watching some of the buskers. Since Liam recently hurt his foot/ankle pretty badly, he hobbles while he walks now. So jack being the gentleman that he is, carried Liam on his back {like a little kid} down one of the main shopping streets of 홍대 which was a hilarious sight to see I’ll tell you that much! At one point, we passed this little boy riding on his father’s shoulders and Liam lifts his hand up to give him a high five and the boy rejects him while the dad just laughs. I struggled to keep myself from falling over from all the laughter.

At 9 pm, we all met up with Addie and Katie to get some 빙수. Everyone kept saying they didn’t want any so I ordered one with Kaitlyn to share while Liam ordered his own. However… when Liam’s came out, everyone started eating it. What about the whole “I’m not hungry thing?” Just joking! The rest of the night was spent chatting with my fellow NSLI-Yians and enjoying the 홍대 atmosphere at night. It was really nice~

bday 9

I got home quite late—around curfew—and everyone was just about to get ready for bed so I joined them and went to bed early. I didn’t attempt to do any homework. The next day was my actual birthday; however, and I knew that I would have to do work then, unfortunately.

When I first walked into my room, I was surprised to see a birthday banner hanging on the closet doors and lots of balloons. I almost started crying {do not worry… I didn’t actually cry until I said goodnight to my host family and closed my door}. My host mom was surprised when I came in to thank them but I had to! The gesture was so sweet and I couldn’t believe they continued to think about me and how they could make my day so special ~~ I could not believe it~ I am so grateful for my host family!!

11/04/18 Sunday

Sunday marked my actual 19th birthday~ I woke up at 9 am to video call my mom. She sent me two packages {one actually from her in America} while the other one she ordered from China, and she wouldn’t let me open them until I talked to her on my birthday. My mom sent me a lot of little things that I asked her to like Chicago t-shirts for my host family, Pilot pens, candy corn, etc and then she included some snacks and a sweater for my birthday. The second package had this really pretty Spirited Away Music Box that plays actual music from the movie. It was very thoughtful of her~ I video called her for about an hour and a half. We just talked and updated each other. While we were chatting, I made little candy corn goody bags for my host family and friends at 하나고.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty casual. My host mom and dad bought me this beautiful box of chocolate {none have survived till now. They were all so delicious!} which was really nice of them~ Later in the evening, I went to go watch a movie with my host mom and host sisters. I think the movie’s title was something like clocks in the wall? The Korean movie title had the word wizard in it. The main character was Jack Black which was all it needed for me to watch it. It was kinda good? I wouldn’t see it again but it was really funny at times.

After the movie, we walked around the mall for a bit and visited some stores. Dinner was at home and it was nice getting to talk with everyone again {since I ate out the last two nights}. We watched some TV together and then I wrote some blog posts. Since I took a big test on Thursday, we had no homework due Monday~~ What the perfect birthday gift.

That’s all for this blog post. Hope you enjoyed ^^

  • Emma 엠마

반모임: A Movie & Dinner with my Homeroom {11/02/18} NSLI-Y Korean AY

11/02/18 Friday

Friday was a very exhausting but eventful day. I had so much fun and was happy to be surrounded by so many people~ In the morning, I had Philosophy. Seeing that I can’t understand ANYTHING that happens in class, it’s really hard for me not to fall asleep— and the other students have their own reasons… because barely anyone’s head is ever off of their desks. Our teacher noticed all of the sleeping students and the tired faces on the individuals being strong and let us have an extra 20 minutes to sleep before the break time which was nice. I literally fell asleep, no joke. When I woke up, I had lines on my face! That is when you know you took a good power nap!

homeroom 2

Economics was a very fun class today! The first period was simply spent with the teacher lecturing about inflation, monetary theory, etc; however, our teacher took us outside of school during the second period! We got to leave 하나고 and take a long scenic walk to a 편의점 a bit of a way away. While walking there, I got to talk to 세림 and two other girls from the class {forgot their names >~<}. At the store, everyone was stocking up on ramen and any of the hot snacks sold there because it wasn’t readily available at the school. {Ramen is not allowed in school. Since it’s not sold at the 매점, the students have no way of getting it without sneaking it in.} My teacher wanted to treat 세림 and me to snacks, so she had us pick out something to eat. {She ending up choosing by giving us her recommendations.} We had Powerades, this corn chip {a turtle is the mascot}, and three chocolate filled circular cookie things? Honestly, these snacks are hard to describe…

While we ate, I got to really speak Korean to my Economics teacher and she was so shook. She literally did not think I understood anything at all. 세림 told her and the other girls that if they talk slow, that I can understand most things. I am so grateful for her! I also showed them pics of my dog! Gotta show him off when I can.

Our teacher gave me the remaining snack to bring back and share with Katie {and that I did. We ate it while waiting for the bus back to 연신내역 that afternoon.}

At the start of lunch, I met up with all of our friends and Katie as usual. However, when 혜지 got there, she shouts Happy Birthday! I thanked her but told her that today was not my birthday. Then, I thought back to the morning. After my homeroom class, she came up to me and showed me a message she wrote for me on her phone. I only got a couple lines in before {she realized her mistake and} pulled away. Though I knew something was going on, I had no idea that everyone was going to surprise me with gifts and sing to me during lunch time! I didn’t even have time to eat lunch to be honest. They sang happy birthday to me and the others in the lunchroom also sang along and at the end of the song, a lot of people clapped for me. I was so embarrassed but also extremely thankful to have found such a good group of friends~~~

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I received so many snacks {Though it’s been a week; many of them have been eaten already} and cute thoughtful cards. 서린 gave me a music cd filled with children songs sung by her and her little sister. This is hilarious to me and I will always treasure it~ 도윤 went all out and got me Ferrero Rocher Truffles! They were too bougie for me to eat in America nonetheless find them in Korea! (Turns out, they are actually really common here and not too expensive!) Katie was also super sweet and got me this adorable pig stuffed animal. {She listens when I talk; my favorite animal is a pig!}

homeroom 16

After lunch, Sociology was a mess. Didn’t understand anything !!! Though, my seat partner 선민 tried to explain things to me {it was a futile effort}. But the mentoring program afterward was a lot of fun! I got to talk to three girls (주연, 지은, and 규원) about the music industry {comparisons between our two countries} and we also talked about the difference in getting into college. I also taught them some slang words {Lit & Rip} which will be an ongoing segment during our meetings!

The last class of the day was English Literature and we just had a “discussion” on our book. {I put discussion in quotation marks because Korean teaching styles are pretty different and so although Andrew tries to make things like they would be in an American school system, the kids just don’t grasp onto the concept fully} I didn’t have my book… I did not really participate.

At the end of the day, Katie and I played a risky game with the time. I really wanted to go home and change before my homeroom’s meeting {because I knew we would be leaving the school} and I forgot to bring a change of clothes. So Katie and I went to my host family’s home so quickly. We literally ran to my house and I changed in around 5 minutes. We calculated all the times correctly and the bus schedule was in our favor so we made it back to 하나고 with perfect timing: Katie needed to be there by 6 while I had till 6:15 pm.

When we got to school, Katie deserted me when her homeroom teacher showed up and took her to the place her class was having their meeting. I went outside to wait alone at my class’s meeting place. I got there so early; therefore, I had to wait in the dark all alone. Another class was meeting up at the stairs and they were just staring at me. Two buses pulled up to drop off students {I guess they went somewhere after school} and it was so awkward having them all stare at me as they walked out. 호영 from my mentorship program saw me and was like “엠마있다” {It’s Emma}. I said hello to him and returned to my awkward stance of pacing around the front of the school all lonely like. Eventually, some girls from my homeroom came outside and told me to wait inside with them and one of the girls I’m closer with in my homeroom showed up to save me—as she started talking to me.

While waiting for 민정쌤 to show up to school and while taking the bus to 연신내역 {my normal commute and what I did three times already that day!} I got to talk to some classmates— specifically 지현. I am so grateful to her~ She really helps me not feel so lonely.

For dinner, we went to an all you can eat meat restaurant. I sat at a grill with 민정쌤 and 지현. We talked a lot and I was happy to be included! We also ate so much food and it was so delicious! Also, right before we left, the whole class sang a quick happy birthday to me. It was unexpected but very appreciated. After dinner {which we didn’t have to pay for. Thank you 민정쌤 or some mysterious part of 하나고’s administration for paying for the meal!!–haha just kidding. I had to pay for it a week later.}, we went to see a movie: 완벽한타인. This movie is a Korean Comedy following a group of friends/couples that play a game during a housewarming party. It’s very funny and the twists that happened were so good! I missed a lot of things, yes, but I understood the main and most important parts so I was able to follow along with the plot and the message. It was such a good movie! I’m serious! I really want to watch it again at the end of the program to see how much more I can understand.

homeroom 15

At the end of the movie, everyone kept coming up to me asking if I understood it. Once I told them I did, they all tried to reassure me that this wasn’t Korean culture— that it wasn’t universal. I couldn’t help but laugh at what they thought I would get from the movie. I mean, it is a valid worry. Many people use media {or can only use media} as their only source of information for some cultures.

Though I really enjoyed both the dinner and movie, my favorite parts of the night were the conversations I had which may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things but it’s the truth. Also, after dinner, we were pretty late to the showing of the movie that we rented so we ran all the way from the meat restaurant to the movie theater. I was running {something I don’t do} through the streets with my classmates and honestly, it felt like I was in a teen movie. All around me people stopped and stared but we were all set on seeing that movie so we ran. Out of breath, but not stopping to take breaks, we dodged people and cars until we finally had to climb several flights of stairs to get to the right theater. It was such a blast. I will always remember it~

I separated from my homeroom class at the subway station. I went home via train back to 고양시 while they took the bus back to 하나고. I got home a lot later than I usually do. My entire host family was already asleep and the lights were all off. I headed to bed right away because I was also very tired. The next morning was our second ever cultural excursion which meant an early wake-up time!

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Thank you for reading~~ ^^

  • Emma 엠마


Birthday Dinner, Peach Cake, and Spilling Icecream? {11/01/18} NSLI-Y AY

11/01/18 Thursday

The school day was as exhausting and draining as usual. In World History, I had a good time talking to 지은 and she even gave a Snoopy sticker {that is now on my phone case}. Her friend 원준 also came up to talk to me for the first time ever! He asked me about Netflix. He wanted to know if I had any good recommendations for him but honestly, I haven’t been on it in so long and my favorite show (which I was watching before I came to Korea…and have yet to finish it) is not on Korean Netflix {RIP The Fosters}. I told him I’d get back to him. Later, he came up to me again and asked me about 13 Reasons Why. I tried having a conversation about it with him but I saw it so long ago {and during such a short period of time} I forgot a lot! But it was nice connecting with him on something. After our break time, I told him to watch Riverdale~ I hope he likes the recommendation!

Art class was better then I expected but still not the best… I had to present, in front of the whole class, it was quite embarrassing. My group had practiced without me and they introduced me as an American artist and I had to answer on the spot questions and explain my painting in KOREAN!!!!! It was very frightening and overwhelming but I did it and hopefully didn’t sound too much like a fool? I got some applause so maybe they had some pity for me.

Thursday was our big unit test. Our test was split into three parts: reading, speaking, and writing. The reading test was made up of multiple choice questions based on passages in our book {that we already should have read in class}. The writing test included these fill in the blank grammar questions and two writing prompts. One was a full-fledged essay while the other one was in the style of an email to a friend. The speaking test was in the style of an OPI; however, my teacher made me speak in formal conjugation which I’m gonna be honest; I’m no good at. I never officially learned it {skipped the very basic beginner level during my Korean summer program so I’m lacking in many things…}, so I kept switching back and forth between using it and not. I was able to understand every question she asked me {except I did ask her to repeat herself once during my role play} which made me proud but my answers were another story… I tried explaining to her what I did on speech team in high school because I wanted to tell her about my last birthday. How does one explain impromptu speaking and the differences between limited prep events and normal events? Don’t ask me. Haven’t gotten there yet. I also had to talk about actors and describe the movie plot of World War Z! What a mess. My roleplay was that I got hurt while riding my bike along the Han River and that I was on a call with an emergency number operator. It wasn’t that bad? I told my teacher that I fell off my bike and hurt my knee; there was no blood, but my knee was “growing bigger.” {Explain to me why I even try making sense in Korean? I need to learn the word for to swell…}

At the end of my OPI, my teacher told me that between Josh, Jacquelyn, and I, she said that I speak the most like a foreigner. This being something I already knew, but it still kind of stung hearing it from her. I know I’m the worst in the class… I think it’s pretty evident. Do I need a constant reminder? Probably. Not?

After class, I was supposed to go out for dinner with my host family {for my birthday} but I promised I’d do something with Kaitlyn, so I first went to get waffles with her, Alix, and Shannon. We went to a place where you have to order on machines which proved to be difficult for the others girls {for me too the first time}, so I had to show them a quick tutorial if you will. While we were ordering, one of the employees knocks down the display of fake ice cream scoops in real cones that were next to the self-checkout machines. All of the cones fell to the floor and started breaking everywhere. They also kind of fell slowly? Like it wasn’t all of the 20 cones falling at the same time. Instead, a couple cones fell onto the floor at a time—increasing my laughter with each cone on the floor (Do not worry, I hid my laughter in order to not embarrass the employee.) I got strawberry, Nutella, and whipped cream waffle which was pretty delicious.

bday dinner 5

I got home to my host family a little after 7 pm, and we left for our dinner reservations a bit after 7:30. We were eating at a restaurant that is famous for their grilled meat. The restaurant is named after a traditional Korean dance done during 추석 where women hold hands and dance around in a circle: 강강술래 {Ganggangsullae}.

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Dinner was delicious! We had grilled meat and an assortment of side dishes that included different types of 김치, onions, and 잡채. Eating together was really nice and we got to talk about our days to each other. After dinner, we went outside the restaurant to see outdoor seating in front of live music. In the back, there were swings and other structures for kids to play on. We hung out there and goofed around for a bit until it got too cold.

When we got home, I was surprised to see the Happy Birthday banners up in the living room and lots of balloons everywhere. We broke out the cake and sang happy birthday to me. We had this really delicious peach cream vanilla cake~ My host siblings also all gave me presents which was so sweet!!! I felt so appreciative in that moment~ My host sisters themed their gifts after Winnie the Pooh since they knew liked him after watching the Christopher Robin movie together. To be honest, I never really really liked Winnie the Pooh back in the states. I just really enjoyed the message in the movie and I latched on to it because it was so familiar to me~ I really loved the gifts, though. From my eldest host sister I received a Winnie the Pooh pencil case and mechanical pencil while my younger sister gave me a Winnie the Pooh multi-colored light up pen and a mirror. My host brother gave me light stick bracelets. I was so happy opening them~ I will always treasure them!

After we sang happy birthday and dug into the cake, I went back to my room to finish up the studying I had left to do. I took a shower and went to bed early that night. It was a well-spent day indeed.

That’s all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed~ Thank you for reading!

  • Emma 엠마

Halloween in South Korea {October 31st, 2018} NSLI-Y Korea AY

10/31/18 Wednesday

Halloween isn’t that big of a holiday (in comparison to others); however, I knew I was going to miss it all the same. My mom always decorates the house all spooky {I am not kidding! She goes all out} and I love being surrounded by that kind of atmosphere. I knew it wasn’t going to be the same in Korea this year. Halloween is not a thing here— just a gimmick that can make more profit as people sell themed decorations, products, etc. The day after Halloween was also our big unit test so there wasn’t even time to just relax and eat overpriced American candy.

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Bad quality photo but Photo Zone Sign!

At school, I was shocked to see black and orange balloons spelling out Happy Halloween in front of the cafeteria and a long photo background hanging on the wall. Teachers were giving out balloons, tattoos, and candy while students dressed up in props and took photos at the photo zone. I was so happy to see all of that because honestly, it was more than my school ever prepared. I was happy to be able to experience some part of Halloween— and with my 하나고 friends too!

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School lunch today!~

After we ate, I got to take some photos with Katie, 도윤, 윤세, and 지연. We all got our own silly Halloween themed Kakao tattoos on the back of our hands and some balloons. The teachers took lots of pictures of us and I’m scared knowing that those pictures will definitely end up somewhere…

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School ended earlier than usual because it was also 한나고’s 개교기념일 (Anniversary of the creation of the school! 새림 taught me this word~). They were having an event at the end of the day in the Art Center {which I have yet to visit} but Katie and I figured that we didn’t really need to be there so we went over to the Twosome Place Cafe across the street to study for a bit and enjoy Halloween together.

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I ate dinner with my host family and I told them that I really wanted to watch a Halloween movie with them. I couldn’t find HalloweenTown {a MUST see} on Netflix but I was able to find it online streaming {How did I find it using Korea’s internet? I don’t know!} My host mom worried about me not having enough time to study but I assured her that I wanted to do this!

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HalloweenTown on my Laptop!

So my youngest host sister made these fake movie tickets and we planned to watch it in my room at 8 pm on my laptop. We stuffed our faces with candy and enjoyed the movie. I think my siblings really liked it. They hadn’t seen it before. I was happy to have seen it this year and that I had the chance to share it with them. It made me feel a little less sad about not being able to have a Halloween movie marathon with my mom or spend the night watching something scary with my friends.

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The rest of the night was spent with me studying hardcore for my test. I went over every single grammar point in my book and made at least two new sentences using the point to make sure that I remembered how to use it {not that I just understood the meaning behind the point}. I also went over 4 Quizlets and studied the words in my textbook that I was still iffy on. I definitely wanted to do more {like practice OPI type questions and read the textbook passages again} but it got really late and I very much did need the sleep. I also had to write a presentation for art class… so that took some time out of my night too…

But that was my Halloween~ It wasn’t spookily good but it was just chilling enough~ {Pun lovers here?} I would normally add another day to this post since it’s on the shorter side but I figured Halloween Day should have its own post right? I hope everyone had a great Halloween or just a good October 31st~

  • Emma 엠마

Just Another Couple Days at School {10/29-10/30} NSLI-Y Korean AY

10/29/18 Monday

One bad thing about being behind on writing blog posts {I am currently 5 days behind… due to all the studying I’ve been doing for our unit test} is that I forget what I did on those days. I don’t take too many pictures every day—especially at school–to jog my memory… so there are little things that happen that I can’t remember too well because I didn’t write them down when they were fresh in my head. These small things may be a conversation or something nice someone did for me, which may seem trivial to some people, but those little things are important to me too. I realize I write a lot in each blog post—much more than anyone would think to write. It does take a lot of time out of my day but I know I will appreciate these posts and even now when I go back to edit them before I post, I smile when I remember things that I had forgotten temporarily. Okay, that’s my little rant on why small moments matter. Onto the blog post!

Monday is honestly quite a blur to me. I remember waking up and feeling really tired because of yesterday’s shenanigans in 인천. In English Literature, we discussed chapter 5 of Exit West in small groups. My group wasn’t completely talkative but we did get through a good number of questions. The book is getting quite interesting and I would love to be able to read it if I could receive my copy already!!

AP Statistics was as bad as I figured it would be; therefore, I wanted to run and escape the entire time. My teacher and my friend 세림 asked me if I had finished the homework from the last week and of course, I hadn’t. I had really tried but I didn’t know what formulas to use and finding them online was practically impossible; I gave up after multiple attempts. My teacher told 세림 to help me out and explain it to me. This meant that instead of her doing her own work, she was helping me figure out what I did wrong. I felt so bad and helpless as I was clueless. I felt like I was being a huge burden to my only friend in the room. It was a miserable period.

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What did I do to deserve 세림 as a friend?? She wrote out important vocab words in stats for me with their Korean equivalent! I love her!

As soon as it was over I found Katie and immediately wanted to cry. I know I can’t live up to the teacher’s expectations and the class was giving me more stress than it should. I mean I’m here to study Korean, not LeArN hOw To cOdE!! Katie also had a very difficult day in her math and art class so the moment I met up with her she asked if we could just leave—skip lunch at 하나고 and head straight to 홍대 for Korean class. And… that’s what we did!

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Katie and me being depressedddd in the subway…

We got to 홍대 about 15 minutes earlier than usual. We grabbed some food from the convenience store and ate at the youth center. It was nice because we got to be in a comfortable environment with our friends to relax and de-stress before an equally {?} stressful Korean class.

Can’t really remember what we did in Korean class. I know we learned the last two grammar points in the book which were easy for me! (Yay!) I think we also discussed what our test would be on and what we what wanted for the next textbook but nothing was really confirmed. After class, I walked around 홍대 with Katie for a bit. We wanted to buy waffles but there were no seats inside 와플 대학 and we were not about to eat gelato-filled waffles out in the cold. We kept walking around until we found this small cafe with this cheap Oreo Cheese Cake type thing. I didn’t get a picture of it because Katie and scarfed it down pretty quickly. We were not there to savor the flavor but to rant and enjoy stuffing our faces with a decent dessert.

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I came home and hung out with my host family for a bit after dinner before going back to my room to begin studying for our “final” exam on Thursday… And that was that.

10/30/18 Tuesday

I was feeling more optimistic about school this day {In part because it was a half day due to Korean classes and the other part due to my classes not requiring that much effort from me because my teachers know I can’t understand anything.}

In the morning, I walked around the outdoor field with Katie as we hadn’t had the chance to do so yet {We also couldn’t take gym this semester.} During my World History class, we all got to have an ice cream party! Our teacher accidentally flashed the student’s midterm grades up on the projector twice so he promised to buy everyone ice cream to make up for it. Though his actions didn’t harm me in any way, I still got to benefit from the free Hershey’s Chocolate Ice Cream! It was a delicious snack to add to the history lecture on Napoleon. (Wow, would it not have been ten times more fitting if we had Napoleon ice cream! haha)

Lunch at 하나고 was strangely gross and so Katie and I quickly tried to cover up how much we didn’t want to eat the food. {We felt bad for wasting so much food but mystery meat? No thank you…} We have come to the conclusion that the meat patty they serve sometimes is supposed to be their version of foreign food– a hamburger if you will.

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Weird patty, weird potato balls, and weird sweet pasta and soup to top it all off.


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During Korean class, we had a little snack party. Josh brought candy corn, so our teacher tried that for the first time. This whole time, I’ve been saying that it’s gross while Jacquelyn and Josh have been hyping it up to no end. When our teacher tried it, the noise she made, which was a mix between surprise and dislike, was hilarious. I got it on video so I’ll always remember !! We also went to the convenience store during break time and bought Honey Butter Chips and these corn funnel chips to enjoy while we discussed the test for the following class. Our test would be in three parts: reading {passages with multiple choice questions}, writing {two short answers and a couple fill-in the blank questions} and speaking {OPI Type Interview}.

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우리 사랑하는 한국어 선생님 ❤

After I got home from class, I struggled over coding homework from AP Statistics. I spent almost two hours trying to figure out only 4 problems!! It was stressful and frustrating as I could have spent that time studying Korean. The night was pretty mundane to be honest: just dinner, some chatting, and lots of homework.

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Frustrated and stressed selfie of myself taken at around midnight

That’s all for this blog post~ I hope you enjoyed this rather boring post? Not all days can be interesting… and that’s alright! See ya next time!

  • Emma 엠마