Photoshoot day! In preparation for publishing our research project in a little booklet, every CEP group planned to take “profile photos” on Thursday. My group and I created the theme of striped sweaters because just coordinating colors did not seem to work. Katie and 혜린언니 had navy dark blue striped sweaters while mine was beige which made me the one to sit and stand in the middle. I really wanted to take the photos with a pretty background and eventually was reminded of C27, the cheesecake cafe. I had been there twice before (once to buy my last host dad a slice of cake and the other to study) and knew that it had really good photo spots–plus delicious cheesecake. However, this cafe did not open until 11 am and at first, it seemed that 민정쌤 did not want us to switch cafes in the middle of our project meeting. We ended up going to Blanc Bakery again and buying a small blueberry cheese pastry. 민정쌤 came to have a consultation with us about our field trip proposal–and it went really well! She also allowed us to meet the photographer at the cheesecake cafe.
After speaking with her and hearing her suggestions, we left the bakery to head over to the cheesecake cafe. There, we focused on finishing writing our interview questions and creating a presentation for the midway project orientation for Monday. We enjoyed a berry cheesecake and then took many many photos to be our possible profile picture. We took some awkward (arms crossed) photos on the couch before moving on to take the pretty pictures on a staircase they had at the back. They turned out really well!!
Josh showed up to the cafe to join us for lunch so all four of us went on a search to find the ramen place that I went to with Liam, Josh, and Jacquelyn one rainy day back in October (or maybe it was November? I cannot remember to be honest.) We ended up finding it! What a surprise! But unfortunately… it was closed! On the door, there was a sign that said on a temporary vacation. That was pretty depressing. We kept walking and then finally just picked this random hole-in-the-wall place serving popular 분식점 foods like 떡볶이 but with a twist. I really wanted to be present for lunch and engage in conversation with everyone but I needed to memorize my presentation for class so during lunch I just quietly rehearsed my lines while everyone else chatted. On the bright side, the food was delicious! And, I was able to finish memorizing my presentation by the start of class.
Class was simultaneously so enjoyable and fun while also quite boring. I felt like I really did not learn anything as we did not learn any new grammar points and for some reason, I need that to feel productive. We took our first quiz since coming back from winter break and we all did so bad! I almost failed it!!! How can I do this bad??? I made really stupid mistakes on the grammar section and one particle error on the vocab section… I would be lying if I told you the quiz did not put me in the worst mood. If I was alone after seeing the number written across the top of the paper, I would have started crying. Our teacher then went over what we did wrong and expressed her disappointment with all that we did. I did not say one word–I felt terrible throughout the entire first section of the class.
During a break, Jacquelyn went to the 편의점 to get candy and she bought some for both me and Josh because she knew this test made us both upset. That was so thoughtful of her. Thank you, Jacquelyn! The next section of the class was spent basically talking about ice scream for the entire hour. I. Kid. You. Not. I learned that a lot of Koreans call Popsicles (하드 — the word hard but with a Korean English accent) and that frozen yogurt is really not a thing here.
After we made fun of 하드, our teacher asked us why Americans call Popsicles by that name and although we did not know the real story, we all told her it was made, at first, with soda and it looked like an icicle. (Later Kaitlyn told me the real story and we were right!) Also Jello???? It took us quite a while to explain what it was to our teacher and I am still not sure what Koreans call it. (Though I know I have eaten it in Korea–at 하나고 I believe.) It was a fun conversation, but I do wish we could have done at least one grammar point. For the rest of the two sections, we read a few reading passages from the textbook and Jacquelyn & I gave our presentations. (Josh got an extension so he will be giving a presentation–about Confucianism instead–on Monday.)
After Korean class, I was not in the mood to go home right away so I asked around to see if anyone wanted to stay out a bit with me– I mostly asked June because I knew that she usually tends to go home late and eat dinner out because she does not want her family to wait for her (because her commute is about an hour long). Kaitlyn and Mckenzie decided to join us. We were originally planning on just chilling at a cafe and so I recommended Dinga Cake House because I have been wanting to go there and… hello, cake! However, the place was rented out for a birthday party. We gave up and started walking back when Kaitlyn threw out into the world the fact that she wanted a Mcflurry. One thing led to another and we found ourselves at McDonald’s. My first time since coming to Korea! I am surprised it took this long, but then again I was not seeing that I never go there in America (except to buy their chocolate chip cookies before going to the movies or to sit in the car and eat them with my friends). Anyways, I had dinner with June at Mcdonalds while Kaitlyn ordered some food for a snack. I had an Oreo Mcflurry, curly fries (which apparently do not exist in America), and chicken tenders (which apparently do exist in America but I had no idea). It was fun just hanging out at the Mcdonalds and we complimented the Korean chain for being so cool with their self-order machines (less social interactions… fun!) as well as their many single person tables for those eating alone. Dinner was fun and it was just the break I needed to refuel.
That is all for this blog post!! Thanks for reading! Hopefully, my winter break blog posts are ending up being a bit more interesting than the ones from when I was in school. I am currently busy editing posts from back in October to post and I am worried that they are too boring. But I mean… that was real life! Subscribe for more posts like these~
- Emma 엠마