Visiting a Traditional Tea House (찻집) and Funny Phone Cases (04/02-04/03/19) NSLI-Y Korea AY

04/02/19 Tuesday

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This week I am sporting my school uniform tie! Hehe

School. School. School. School. During my morning English mentorship, the girls and I discussed our respective school cultures and rules and even though I heard most if not all of the things they talked about already, I still enjoyed hearing from them—especially when they talked about the aspects they liked. For example, 수빈 dances for her 1인2기 and so I got to watch one of her videos with a choreographed dance she did to Arianna Grande’s song 7 Rings! It was really really good! They were most excited to hear about prom and school dances from my perspective. (A lot of 하나고 students (and Koreans in general? seem to call Prom “Prom Party” which is interesting because I feel like most American movies just say prom so where they got the added party from beats me…)

During music class, Katie and I just goofed off while trying to work on our music assignment. (I say we but she was the one doing all the work on the song…) Either way, we were not doing what we were supposed to be doing fully. 

During 한국사, I just worked on my Korean homework and only paid enough attention in class to be able to fill out the note sheet along with the rest of the students. But I didn’t even try to learn any of the material that he went over during class. 

Honestly when it comes to my second English mentorship class of the day, I can’t even remember what we talked about. The only thing I remember was this one incident that will forever be recorded because of the photos in my camera roll. One of the girls in my group—서영—has a phone case of some famous rapper in Korea. But his face is plastered on the case in a certain way that if you put the case up to your face, it almost looks as if you are the person. She was demonstrating this to me while 기준 walks into the room and I was able to capture this photo of his face being absolutely confused. (I later sent this photo in our 동아리 group chat for the laughs) 

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But what did my group talk about? Beats me… 

For lunch… Katie and I once again yeeted out of 하나고 early and went to 연서시장 to get 분식 for lunch. Now that we are pros at ordering here, we have the whole system down and I bet we impress the Koreans that see us *flashes a sly smile.* Also, the same workers are always there so hopefully they will start to recognize us (if they haven’t already). I know we will start making this place a regular 단골집. Too bad we didn’t find this place before now… before the end if the program became so close…

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Never said the market looked the fanciest… but the food was always delicious!

Since I am like a week and a couple days behind on writing blog posts, I don’t remember what we did in Korean class at all.. Didn’t do anything out of the ordinary after class, just went home right afterward. 

For dinner, my host sisters and I went out to the 24 hour restaurant near the apartment and got some 콩나물국밥 (Bean sprout rice porridge) and 야채파전 (Korean vegetable and onion savory pancake). I updated them on all the drama that I knew was happening on the NSLI-Y program.

We also talked about random topics like bitcoin and stocks? My host sister and I discussed how hard it is to make money selling bitcoin and how her boyfriend is doing it. She also kept saying that it was a shame that her family did not invest in stocks or anything of that sort. I told them that at my high school, all the students hypothetically buy and sell stock in this stock market game as a way to sort of dip students’ toes into the territory that is investment (During our required Personal Finance Class). She thought that this class was very useful and wished Korean high schools could be more inclusive to ideas that are beyond plain old test preparation. We walked over and picked up some 죽 (porridge) for my host mom–who is currently sick– and then went home.

04/03/19 Wednesday

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Today was the last day that the Japanese exchange students would be at 하나고 so in the morning during homeroom, we watched a short little video that included clips of every single exchange student giving thanks to the student body for allowing them to make such good memories during the short two weeks as well as clips from the student helpers (the students that were decent enough at Japanese to help host the students like 서린). It was a really cute little sentimental video and it definitely made me think about my last day at 하나고. Right now I cannot even imagine it but my calendar and the world knows that I literally only have a little bit more than a month left here. 

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One of my classmates gave me this HUGE golden pig gummy (Because it is the Year of the Pig, there are so many cute pig-themed memorabilia. On the wrapper it roughly says “Dream a pig dream” because Koreans believe dreaming about pigs is lucky. In specific, golden pig dreams mean money!! 

The school day itself was mediocre. There ended up being no seats at the front of the class for 국어 again so I ended up just sitting in the back and nodding off (not trying very hard to pay attention to what the teacher was saying). During 세계사 I just did my writing homework and finished up my workbook pages so that I could spend the rest of the night focusing on my presentation for Thursday’s Korean class. And even though I have three good friends in my politics class, lately we just spend the periods having discussions and then a lecture, so I just kept to myself and did Korean homework. (Wednesdays are actually great because I can be so productive during my classes!)

Katie and I ate lunch with our friends today. Today’s lunch menu was foreign food which consisted of spaghetti, really sweet fries (I am talking potatoes covered in a sticky, sweet sauce), and some chicken wings. Usually Katie and I am disappointed by the meals that are not Korean but this one was okay. I did miss eating pasta and the chicken was really good. (I do still prefer normal fries, however.)

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Wednesdays after school usually comprise of Katie and me going to a cafe near our school (usually Twosome Place) and studying but this week I made plans with Jessica (NSLI-Y Korea Summer 2016 alumna and current Yonsei full-time student) to go to a cafe together back in 홍대 to just chill and catch up. She had plans with a language exchange partner later in the night (for dinner) so we just planned to hang for a couple hours at a tea shop that she recommended. 

To save time, I did not even change out of my school uniform! Jessica took me to this really cute tea shop that she first stumbled upon when she was going on a date and has come back often because the interior is really pretty and they offer a very large variety of tea served in really pretty cups and tea pots. I ended up ordering a cup of my favorite tea: 유자차 (Citron Tea) and we also shared a side menu item of green tea rice cakes which we dipped in this sweet honey like sauce. It was very delicious! The lady of the place was really nice to us and complimented our Korean which of course brought a smile to our faces.

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Jessica 언니 ㅎㅎㅎ

The two hours passed really quickly as we just chatted away. I updated her on the start of my new semester and the newfound stresses over test scores and my lack of Korean improvement (and related lack of motivation to study more to fix the issue…) I also talked to her about boy issues. She opened up to me about her recent breakup and how she was trying to date around to find someone new. She literally is living inside of a romantic drama as her love life is very complicated! But I wish her the best with the current boy she is chasing. It seems that he will treat her better than the last one. We finished up our tea talk and headed for our respective plans– mine being a nice dinner with my host family (and studying into the night).

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Andy ❤

That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed~ Do not forget to follow for more!

  • Emma 엠마

Best Supporter Meeting Ever! (July 28th, 2016)

This Thursday’s Supporter Meeting was one of the best ones yet. I think I can say this due to all the goofing off we did. We still got everything we had to do done like going over the meeting vocab and recording our answers to the questions, but we had even more fun doing it since we were joking around with our answers. For example, we were asked about our future plans and Jodi’s whole spiel was about how she is going to marry Jonghyun from SHINee. Her and I are in love with SM Entertainment’s boy group named SHINee. My favorite member is Key while hers is Jonghyun. It was hilarious seeing our supporter Sujin’s face while she was trying not to laugh while recording Jodi’s answers. I had to get up from the table and move away since I felt like I was gonna explode with laughter. Moments like these are why I really appreciate my supporter group. I love that we all take our Korean study seriously but we can still have fun with everything. The only ones I felt bad for was the other supporter groups in the cafe because we were pretty loud at times. And the owner of the cafe, he seemed to be amused with our conversation as well since I would look up at him making drinks and he was chuckling under his breath. That was pretty funny too.

For our meeting, like usual, we went to Cafe Areca which is hands down my favorite cafe in Seoul and I know if I get the chance to come back to Seoul in the future, I will definitely come back to this cafe and order my favorite drinks. This time, I ordered a green tea latte which came with this really cute stirring spoon. This cute picture came out of it as well.

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My adorable, good-looking green tea latte ft Jodi ❤

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Favorite Cafe: Cafe Areca

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When I first came in, the cafe was pretty empty. It was usually never filled. I liked it that way.

During the supporter meeting we also had to take our weekly challenge photo for our resident directors JT and Madeline. This week’s theme was Hot Summer and once again the only rule was that everyone had to be in the picture. We finished everything earlier than planned so then we sat around trying to figure out what we should so. Sujin had to be somewhere after the meeting so we needed to make sure it could be taken in the cafe. Jodi, Casey, and I really wanted to win this week’s challenge as we were second last week. Finally, Jodi took out her really cool sunglasses that were reflective so you could see yourself in her glasses. These sunglasses sparked an idea. We all decided to take a photo of two people and then the other two in our supporter group would be in the reflection of the glasses. We took turns taking different pictures and trying different poses until we finally settled on the perfect photo.

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Casey and I Before Our Weekly Challenge Photoshoot

 

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Casey and I Looking Forever Moody

 

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The Picture Jodi Edited And Ended Up Submitting

After the Supporter Meeting, Jodi and I went to a mall of sorts but I have no idea where we went. She just wanted me to come with her for an hour or two before she left to go meet up with a Korean friend who goes to her school but was in Seoul for the summer. We walked around this mall and went to the many floors. Most of the stores there were designer clothes, handbags, and makeup. Jodi and I kept making jokes about how awkward it was walking around with our obvious Hongdae get up.

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One of the Stores I am Talking About

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Jodi Found this Picture of Minho from SHINee and I Had to Take a Photo

Not only that, but at around 9:30 we had a curfew check. So I had never heard of curfew checks before this day and so it was a big surprise when I received the message from our RD JT. All the Nsliyians on my program are on a Kakao group chat with our two RDs and some IEarn staff. The Kakao chat is used by the RDs to message us important information, meeting times for activities and so on. Randomly at 9:30pm, I received a message from JT. At the time, I was studying for my Korean test the next day since it was Thursday night. (We always had tests on Fridays.) I had just eaten dinner and I was just about to get back into the studying zone until I received the message.

So in order for us to be in the clear for this curfew check, we had to take a photo of ourselves in the kitchen with a ladle. For our NSLI-Y program curfew was 9pm on weekdays and so we were expected to be at home at that time. I left my room and tried to explain to my host dad in very awful Korean that I needed to take a photo with them. They immediately said okay but then I had to explain the ladle part of the requirement. I looked up ladle in Korean and now I will never forget it. (And for anyone who is curious… Ladle is 국자 in Korean. Pronounced gook-ja.)

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I was able to get this cute picture out of the curfew check and I was able to take it and send it in the ten minutes JT was allowing us. If we didn’t send it, we would be given a consequence the following day of school (which turned out to just be a stern talking to by JT).

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The funniest part of this photo was my youngest host brother took it as an opportunity to play on the Tablet XD

The curfew check was hilarious as we got to see pictures from so many of the Nsliyians with their host family and their ladles (or rice paddles or normal spoons). It was also super funny when JT would message the people who were not following the exact instructions like Kyle who sent a photo of him in his bed and Joy who sent photos of her host siblings in a restaurant. I spent the next 20 minutes simply laughing at all the photos and messages from everybody. Curfew check definitely distracted me from studying for my tests but it was so worth it to me. I honestly really like this photo of my host family and I and it is the only one I have with my entire host family. (They were not too big on taking photos.)

And that was the curfew check and my Thursday Supporter Meeting! My supporter meeting was a lot of fun and I love learning Korean with my supporter group. They never fail to make me laugh uncontrollably (and the curfew check photos also did not fail to make me laugh at 9:30pm ! )

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  • 엠마 (Emma)