Sunday, November 30, 2008

Australian 12 Days Of Christmas

So my current Facebook status is 3 French Hens, continuing with my 12 days of Castmas theme. A friend posted the Australian version of the song since there's not much in our song that they have on their continent:

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me…
Twelve parrots prattling,
eleven numbats nagging,
ten lizards leaping,
nine wombats working,
eight possums playing,
seven koalas climbing,
six platypuses,
five kangaroos,
four kookaburras,
three jabirus,
two pink galahs,
and an emu up a gum tree.

The Twelve Days Of Castmas

So a few days ago, I was amusing myself and thought up that since I had 12 days left of having a cast, it was kind of like the 12 Days of Christmas--a.k.a. the world's longest song. I told Tracy about my idea, and well... her genius is too good not to pass on.

On the 6th day of Castmas my dumb cast made me need:
6 new blog posts,
5 calls to mom,
4 new x-rays,
3 toenails clipped,
2 grilled cheese sandwiches,
and a bottle full of advil.

I'm still giggling.

Friday, November 28, 2008

No standing?

Since yesterday a question has bothered me. "Why does he keep saying no standing?" I mean, it's not like I could stand exclusively on that leg anyway, with the ridiculous pose they have my foot in. Even when I do stand, it looks like I have a lil' Capn' in me. (Actually, it's not that bad; I can technically take small steps. And the pose is actually fourth position in ballet.)

"Well he has to know I take stairs," I reasoned, what with having told him and all. Most of the day I spend either sitting in my wheelchair or in a regular chair; the only time I use my crutches is for moving around maybe thirty total minutes a day? No standing, no standing...

Probably a full twenty-four hours later, it dawned on me. I'm a teacher. Teachers stand. Oh, I can go back to work, just no standing. So it's no road to Damascus, but I thought it was cool.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

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A quick story about my Thanksgiving. I woke up, went to work, ate oatmeal, ate more oatmeal, and grumped about eating oatmeal for Thanksgiving. And then someone brought me a slice of bread that tasted a lot like Samma's almond braid, and I couldn't help but smile. I had Thanksgiving brought to me, even 8,000 miles away.

Please note, this is not encouragement to send fruitcake.

So after work, I went to physical therapy. I was kind of concerned because I've heard people whine about it back home; it's painful, it's hard, blah blah blah. So I go in, pay my $2.50, and was instructed to lay back on a table while they put a hot compress on my knee. Twenty minutes later, the guy checked on me and hooked me up to an electrode machine for another ten minutes. Five minutes under a heating lamp and I was done. I don't know if I got what I paid for, but I was glad not to be in the agony I thought.

Dr. Ticklish (thus named because I giggled the whole ten minutes of the electrodes) gave me a quick lesson on what to do for my knee. Basically I contract the muscle for a count of five five times an hour every hour for the next eight weeks and my muscles magically heal themselves. This is one of those times where I am NOT too lazy to do the workout. If he says it'll work, I'll do it.

So he didn't know the word for "contract." So he looked at me all bug-eyed and grabbed my hand, putting it on his forearm so he could show me. If only the electrodes had still been on so I'd had a reason for giggling again.

Right now I am sitting awkwardly in my apartment while someone else cleans my dishes, laundry, and bathroom after 16 days of total neglect. Cleaning day is a lot more fun when it doesn't feel like your participation should be required. She wasn't big on my idea of throwing out the remaining brown bananas. But I don't like brown bananas. Fortunately, I've been too lazy to find clean clothes, so I only have five dirty shirts, so not feeling too badly on the clothes front. The dishes, though. Hehehe. This is where God pats my mom on the head and says, "Don't worry. She actually WANTS six kids just like her." (Six because "John and Kate Plus Eight" has already been done.)

So the kid I named sort of after Aaden from John and Kate is retarded. He has been in my class for 2 months, now, and still doesn't learn words in a 40-minute period. I point to my eye and ask, "What is it?" in English and Korean, and the blank gaze I get is so FRUSTRATING! So of course it's more rewarding to ask the other three, who are basically yelling the answer anyway, but he is my challenge. He is the one who can't count to ten, pronounce table ("chable?"), nor remember the difference between orange and apple. Okay maybe there was no point there, other than mindless whining, so let me end saying, I am thankful for the other three.

When life's got you down, it really is important to keep perspective. It turns out "keeping perspective" includes "looking at the 99.9999999% of the world that is WORSE off than you." And so, in honor of Thanksgiving, here is a little perspective.
1) I have a shorter cast. Could be stuck in the semi-truckesque green monster.
2) I still have my leg.
3) I will not actually die of a broken leg.
4) I am in another country. That isn't on the continent of Africa.
5) I am learning another language. (love!) (not the language of love, I just.. love languages)
6) I have a cleaning lady. (insert: neener neener neener) (appropriate mom retort: I have a cleaning husband, neener neener neener.)
*A quick glance up and my first thought at the sight of her cleaning the door jam, "oh, I never would have cleaned that."
7) My spell check now includes neener.
8) I do have the internet.
9) My friends here may not love me, but Sara Fladmo's only an hour away. And she still does.
10) People consistently return to my blog, making me a bit of that author I've always wanted to be.
11) I have more money in the bank than I ever thought I would (despite proclamations of being a millionaire by 30).
12) My cast has yet to itch. Everything I can remember since I was a teeny little girl (reading the Kid Babysitter series) about casts is that they itch. Well, mine doesn't. So take that, world.
13) At the end of the day, after all the freaking out I do, I still sleep the peaceful sleep of someone who knows everything WILL work out.

And now I leave this list, having completed item number thirteen, tempting fate. Happy Thanksgiving, mom, dad, Molly, Tracy & family, Gammy, Samma, BopBop, Wiggy, Angus, Rira, Pam, Rick, Ashley, Gharret (haha I still don't know, 4 years of college later), James, Amber, Tamara, Miss Chris, Sue, Dan, Mel, Ashleigh (thanks for the turkey!), Sara, and thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A truly disgusting discovery.

I reiterate, for those faint of heart or pre-breakfast, this is a truly disgusting discovery.

I am molting.

That gross grayness I talked about a few posts ago? That's a month of dead skin cells.


I won't go into further details, but I thought that since NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS VERY DISGUSTING EVENT, I would post it for eternity so that someone else knows.


There are all sorts of wonderful new things to go with the shorter cast. I can sit without needing 2 chairs, now. One for me, one for my leg. I can sit with the foot on the floor and it is just such a marvel.

Today I got into the van and I sat behind Troy because I could. I was like, hey, look at me, I don't have to take up the whole bench!

The cast is obviously lighter because it's 3/4 the size.

I just lay down on my side and can finally, after four weeks, curl up on my side in the proper fetal position. Ahhhh.

What a great day.

Today started off as any other day for the last four weeks. Get up, glare at the bathroom (because it is the source of the shower), hobble, cover up, soap up, rinse off, sigh, get up, hobble and drip dry until I'm just about to be late for Troy picking me up, throw on clothes that were once clean but really, I don't care how I look/smell anymore, find my one shoe and turn the lock in my door just in time to hear the *THUDTHUDTHUD* of his bass arriving down those five delightful stairs.

The trip nor the arrival were eventful; I breezed through the morning classes and half-dozed through lunch, returning for an afternoon of, well, bullshitting because I worked through the materials too quickly on accident. Oops.

I get downstairs around 2 o'clock and Troy's already there to wheel me to ECC. But it's so unlike him. On Monday, I didn't actually leave kindergarten until 2:47 (ironically, the time I broke my leg 4 weeks ago) because they were concerned the building was too cold for me. (Okay, maybe I have things a little easier than I've been telling myself.) He gestures off in the direction of Haiti and says, "Hospitur," which is of course Konglish for "hospital." Well, by my watch we still had another 48 hours, but okay, let's go to the hospitur.

There's a new X-ray guy, and he's handsome, but not handsome enough to break something.

Waiting waiting waiting... They gesture for me to go into the back room. At this my already elevated heartbeat speeds as I realize I'm getting a new cast! Woo hoo! I hobble on back, a small part of me hoping no cast at all, but as they pour the steaming bowl of hot water to wet the plaster, I see that dream is a bit far out. The ambulance driver pulls out the saw, and judging by their reactions, my face went white and my eyes got huge. As he started to drill holes into the cast, the doctor actually touched the moving saw with his bare hand. Dr. Stoic is a much cooler guy in my book, now. Once there was a cut up each side of everyone's careful artwork (there was much smirking/gasping/disbelief at Ashley's Korean proclamation of loving me), they pulled it off.

What I saw was the most disgusting thing in the entire world.

My leg wasn't pleasantly pale like I was expecting, much like skin is after leaving a band aid on for too long. No, it was the gray of something sitting... in the morgue too long. Well, gray except for the bruises. Apparently a cast doesn't mean your leg is impervious to all beatings, and I really do need to be careful. :) I was completely shocked by how I was unable to hold my leg up for the new cast to be applied. First, I couldn't hold it up even if I had wanted to, and second, it could not stop shaking. I willed it to stop, but it actually kind of looked like it was shaking its head, "I don't wanna!" The new cast went on well, and they repositioned my foot so it's more in a "Kate's standing" position as opposed to "Kate should try to do ballet on tip toes" position.

The doctor was very pleased with the progress. He was so distracted by new bone growth that I had to remind him that I shouldn't be standing on that leg. :) Two weeks from today, the cast comes off all together, and I get to learn how to walk all over again. Because my knee has been immobilized for a month, I start physical therapy tomorrow. It was supposed to be today, but... I am sleepy.

Two notes I want to make, more for my future self since this is my blog about my life in Korea. First, while mom and I were talking last night, I realized that this woe-is-me, why-can't-things-be-perfect, I-need-to-control-and-fix-and-do-everything-myself attitude comes from Gertrude, and that Gertrude's negative points are a lot of what makes Sheldon Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. After seeing that, I'm definitely ready to bring Debbie back out.

Second, I tried really hard to keep perspective on my kids' positions in life today. On the one hand, it's really easy to say, "I'm in Asia and all teachers are hard on the kids." On the other hand, are they really learning from me by me screaming and wearing myself out and not having fun and just getting frustrated and writing bad sentences? First, in each class, I reminded myself of how old they are. Not how old they say they are, but how old they are by Western calendars. Most of the kids I teach after kinder are 9 or 10 years old. Then I considered where I was, what I was learning, and what I did to goof off when the teacher was talking when I was their age. That actually helped quite a bit, so while we didn't necessarily play games (okay, in one class they played Duck, Duck, Goose after a test), we talked, we spoke English, there was even some laughing. They're not little adults. They haven't even hit puberty yet. Why make life hard before it actually is?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Slinky Cat

When there's nothing interesting in life, there's always the internet!

Monday, November 24, 2008


Today it rained. It was pretty much something I had hoped would not happen while I have a cast that's, you know, not supposed to get wet. But it did, and I wore pants, and it was all okay! I didn't even slip on the marble and break open my head. Yay me!

Every morning before school, I wake up and either a) wonder why my alarm hasn't gone off (usually because of a forgetting to set it and I have 20 minutes to get ready), or b) roll over, hit snooze, and stare at the ceiling until it wears off and hollers at me 5 minutes later. I spend those five minutes usually psyching myself up for the day, hoping that I make it through without any awful incidents. The first hurdle is always that first step into the van.

I know it's going to hurt. It's hurt all the other 15 times, why wouldn't it hurt today? Because the bone is healing! Today I took that big step and actually paused mid-step. "This doesn't hurt? I'm not cringing? Awesome!" And then Troy looked at me like, "wth," and I got on with my day.

It was a long and tiring day filled with reports and children, but at the end of it I had another step getting back into the van, and another acknowledgment that my leg is getting better. So, the cast may or may not come off on Friday, and all of those other worries may still exist. But by George, my leg is getting better.

As a little side note, I have a really cute kid in one of my classes whom I named George. The Korean teacher spells his name Gorge. I giggle every time.

Kids named after family members:
Molly (5 years old, terrified of me, dropped out--assume she spoke to real Molly--my sister)
Patty (6 years old, significantly less terrified of me, for grandmother Patricia)
Julie (6 years old, sits next to Patty, smart as heck, for my mommy)
George (8 years old, smarter than I am, for my great uncle George)

I want to name someone after my grandmother Lorraine Joy, but Joy is a guy's name, and Lorraine is hard to spell. Hmm...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I love Tracy.

My favorite college roommate, Tracy, and I spent three hours covering our four years of college together the other night. Mostly it involved a lot of food, alcohol, and toilet paper, but we forgot something very important.

This is for you, Six.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Countless Angels

This morning I woke up after 11 hours of somewhat solid sleep feeling immensely better, partly just because I was convinced that I wasn't going to die in South Korea. I ate real food (cereal's about as real as it gets!), took my medicine punctually, and let everything do its work. I had to fight the strong urge to call my mother at two in the morning her time to inform her that my heart rate had dropped to what it had been two days previously.

While I could sit up, I feared an afternoon of hobbling around might cause a repeat of Wednesday's events, so I took the day off and started downloads of stuff for the weekend. I even showered before going to the doctor's, and put away two big bags of groceries that Chief Getter of the Shoe brought me. I think it's kind of funny that I asked for 3 boxes of crackers and got the tiniest, healthiest-looking things I've ever seen, and asked for 6 bananas and got 15. I'm seriously not complaining; I think it's kind of cute/funny.

So we're off to the doctor's again, and I'm kind of scared because of how hard it was yesterday, even though I do feel better. While I'm getting out of the van, I get a small crowd of people, and one Korean man asked, "How can I help you?" To be honest, I was so distracted by his good English that it made the task at hand a lot easier. I hoisted myself up while complimenting him and eased into the wheelchair. Troy scooted me up to see the doctor, a man this time, who checked everything out.

I got a little more information from him. While my heart rate is back within normal limits (hallelujah), I am still on medicine for my "left veet," which I can only guess means left ventricle. I still don't know the reason, but to be honest I don't care. So long as it's fixed. Well unless it's something I'm doing, then I'd like to know so I can stop. Considering what little I do with my leg in its current condition, I doubt it's me. :)

After the appointment, I got more ginseng drinks handed to me at the pharmacy. -.- I am not a fan, but you have to be polite. Troy wheeled me basically around a block and it was the most exhilarating thing I've done in almost a month. This week it's a goal to make it to a galbi restaurant to meet Ash's friend Cait (Cait and Kate gets sticky fast), but I think this weekend I might just take a small stroll. The fresh air really was wonderful.

Coming home, Troy and I did our usual good byes (he gets me out of the van and drives off to a fabulous night of doing something fun while I play a familiar game of, "now how did I get up the stairs last time?"). While I was starting up the stairs, I heard someone, so I moved over since it takes me forever. Out of habit I greeted, "Hello." The dark-haired stranger replied, "Oh, I didn't know there were any other Miguks (Americans) living here." What's weird is he said Miguk when he just so obviously was not an American, but who cares. He was dreamy~ He offered assistance, but again it was just so nice to hear English I didn't even care.

That basically brings us to our current time and place. I am sitting on my throne of a bed, pleased as punch that I have a certain amount of energy, and eagerly awaiting the result of my x-rays.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


So, remember that optimistic post about looking forward to Friday's X-ray and letting the icky first part of the week fall away? Last night I had an "incident." I was hobbling back from the bathroom, sat down on my bed (okay, flopped), and passed out. I woke up a few minutes later convulsing and sweating. The shaking and sweating went away, but my heart rate stayed at well over 100 beats per minute. I called Jin and set up to go to the hospital today.

I didn't make it to school, and I felt so badly because people were already covering classes because another teacher is gone for a family emergency. Considering the struggle I went through just to get down the few stairs of my apartment, though, I definitely made the right choice. Just sitting up exhausted me!

The hobble into the doctor's office was the longest, most painful trip of my life. More than once my eyes welled up, and I didn't think I was going to make it, but Troy was as patient as he's ever been (translation: he's male, so he hasn't ever exhibited GREAT patience, but today at least tried) and my guardian angel somehow boosted me along the way. Thankfully they took me to the doctor that spoke English. Unfortunately, when I said I was scared, she answered that she was, too. Dr. Stoic would have at least mumbled it in Korean.

So, a chest x-ray later (for the coughing, difficulty breathing), and an EKG, we discovered that laying down my heart rate was 128 and sitting up 138, and my blood pressure was a whopping 106/63. I found this ironic since at my initial medical screening they took my blood pressure three times because it was too high.

After all is said and done, I've rested, and I've come to terms with my own limits. Jin will make Troy go grocery shopping for me, my friends are being extra attentive, and I am fully willing to take any help offered.

Bright spots of my day...
My babies missed me :)
Everyone did check up on me
I got to talk to my mom!
They washed my toes for me for the EKG! (They haven't been washed since my last EKG when I initially broke my leg)
8 days (hopefully) until the green machine comes off
Mel and I ate sweet and sour pork, Korean style!
I went to the bathroom, turned down the heat, and locked the door in 9 minutes, and I was tired after the trip, but no passing out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

Korea is in love with rock paper scissors (gawi bawi bo). As a matter of fact, for years I've played an online game from Korea, and I knew that the little symbols were rock, paper, scissors, I just didn't know that the commands for them were the direct Korean translation (thus how I knew how to spell it above). I find the irony delightful. In the most recent episode of my favorite show, then (that's right, Michael, Jim, Pam, and Dwight, you've been ousted) they explored the concept of RPS. If two people know each other well, Sheldon explains they will result in a tie 75-80% of the time. Here is his solution.

Unexpected Side Effects

So, I broke my leg three weeks ago. I knew there would be certain results associated with the situation: crutches, atrophy, and a case of cabin fever. I did not anticipate that after 3 weeks of quasi-healthy eating (so ramen isn't exactly nutritious, but it's not fried), three slices of pizza would do me asunder. Heather and I got Domino's for lunch, and after two pieces I was already feeling it. Feeling macho, for some reason, I got into the third and have felt sick for the last eight hours.

At some point in time on Sunday, I decided this week was going to suck. And true enough to my prediction, it has. Today I was just nasty, and I don't like being that way. No one wants to hug a cactus. So I'm changing my tune, and I have decided to just look forward to Friday when the doctor will tell me my leg is 80% better. I don't even really care if he cuts off the top of my cast, particularly if it will help it be 100% come November 28. I believe that is the Friday after Thanksgiving, and so it will still technically be Thanksgiving back home, and I can think of well... only one thing that would be better right now.

Tracy's dad is back in the hospital. Any prayers would be appreciated. Thanks.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ask and you shall receive

So today was a day that I spent being passive aggressive. "Kate, how was your weekend?" "Well, no internet, no TV, and a lot of staring at the ceiling." Made for interesting conversations, right?

Well, I told my boss basically that, and she asked, "Did you ask anyone to call the internet company?" "Well, no..." ashamed to admit the thought hadn't actually occurred to me. An eye roll and three hours later, I'm updating my blog from the safety of someone else's apartment with my leg propped up.

I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned, but I have monsters to kill.

Hobble hobble hobble!

This morning I discovered that gobble typoed is hobble. And since there is no such thing as turkey in Korea, there will be no "real" Thanksgiving for me... so no gobble gobble gobble, but thanks to recent events there is much hobble hobble hobble. I'm such an ironic genius.

On Friday, instead of updating my blog, I was being wheeled to the doctor's for my 6th set of x-rays in 2 weeks. Now, at the dentist's office when they take a set of x-rays, they used to drape your body in a lead vest to protect you from excessive radiation exposure. (They have canceled this practice since discovering that the lead vest actually trapped it in your body longer.) If radiation is so bad, then, why I have I had 42 x-rays since coming to Korea a little less than 4 months ago?

I wasn't supposed to go in for x-rays until today, but my leg absolutely hurts if I hold my leg certain ways in my cast. It feels as though the cast is pressing in against the bone breaks. I voiced my concerns and, well, that pretty much brings us up to the previous part of the story. The meeting with the doctor basically went like this.

Doctor looks at me. "No standing on leg. 만어라먼래뱌개민아럼." The nurse and I giggle here because *we* know he's changed into Korean, but he apparently doesn't as he continues to talk to me instead of Troy--the Korean standing next to me, who has really been a trooper the last 2 weeks. (He is Chief Fetcher of the Shoes and Chief Chauffeur.) (And my apologies if the above is real Korean, and I insinuated that I was going to blow anything up--I was just hitting random keys.)

So, with the same parrot-like command to stop standing on my leg (so long as there are stairs there will be standing) I head off to school where the message is delivered to Jin who then translates for me. My leg on Friday was 50% better (so today 60%? let's hope), and the x-rays really did look good. The bones are all realigned and just need to finish knitting together.

Something I can't figure out is the reiteration of not needing surgery. "No standing on leg" and "no operation needed." I wonder if he's trying for the same overwhelming joy I felt the first time I heard it. By now I wonder, is he just amazed or... Regardless, I am grateful not to need surgery. Although then I'd at least have a good scar. But then I'd just have to shave around/over it, and given my inabilities to shave without drawing blood, it is probably best that there is no surgical scar.

Since I have limited internet (AIM and Limewire only for whatever reason) and no television, I have lots of time for thinking. Yesterday I actually broke down and practiced Korean. (저는 선생님아에요. I am a teacher!) I also pondered what my reaction would have been had I had to have surgery. I think by the time I would have actually required the surgery, I would have been okay. Thanks to all of this marvelous spare time on my hands, I've had time to spend with God and have grown to a deeper understanding of His love for me and His ability to carry me through whatever I may be enduring. If you think about it, He is all-knowing. He knew on October 28, 2008, at 2:47 p.m., I would be in Daegu, South Korea, and break my leg. He saw fit to arrange an employer who would be understanding and helpful, coworkers who would be loving and caretakers, and a bizarre internet system where I can still talk to my mom and download a few things to keep me entertained. (e.g. The Big Bang Theory)

I'm really grateful to have near-constant access to my mom. She's helped me see God's love, made me laugh, and filled me in on Colorado life.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a week's worth of Lolcats to catch up on.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

I love lamp.

Yesterday I went home $20 lighter and 100% happier. As I opened the front door to my temporary apartment, I gasped, "I love my cleaning lady!" My bed was made (3rd time in Korea), wet laundry hanging, dishes clean, floor swept and mopped, Shaniquah's cage cleaned, and garbage removed.

Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How many kindergartners does it take...

Happy Pepero Day! I'm hopped up on Pocky! Woo hoo! (And caffeine.. forgot Coke had so much. Wheeeeeeee.)

So I'm sitting in class, watching my 5 7-year-old boys (who are actually 6) like a hawk to prevent loss of limb or eyeball on this fake holiday day (e.g. Valentine's Day-esque, get hopped up on candy but you don't get to miss school), and I see that someone is having troubles sharpening his pencil. This is not a rare occurrence because the pencil sharpeners here in Korea are actually quite intelligent. After instructing him to dump the shavings in the trash, I watch as he gets up and gingerly places the whole machine in the trash can and stares at it. The thought crossed my mind to help him, but I figured I'd wait and see what happened. The four other boys in the class swarmed him in true male fashion and yelled in Korean what to do, when English so obviously failed. (Fialed to all those geeks out there.)

I'm not really sure I can answer "How many kindergartners does it take to empty a pencil sharpener," though, because I'm sure that it depends on the number of kids in the classroom. In this instance it was five, but had there been nine thousand twelve, I am sure every single one of them would have been offering assistance.

Yesterday I went for my weekly x-rays (cost= $6, $1/x-ray), and I finally got to see them up close. I'm pretty glad I didn't see them at first, although I am glad to have all of the information now. It turns out I broke my leg in two places, and there was actually an inch-and-a-half of bone that wasn't attached to anything at all. (Mel's response, "That's probably why it hurt so much, aye.") By now the bottom part has pretty much realigned and knit well with the other part. The top has made improvements, too. It's pretty cool to see how much of a miracle not needing surgery really turned out to be. While I still hope it's only 13 more days, Realistic Kati (that voice given opportunity to speak once every three or four months) thinks 20 days is pretty reasonable. We'll see what my doctor says. To Jin, anyway, because he still avoids having to talk to me. (God forbid he use the English that his parents paid thousands of dollars for him to learn from people who went to Korea to teach and ended up breaking their legs... Irony~)

Monday, November 10, 2008


Christmas is canceled! Not really, but I'm supposed to go somewhere warm as opposed to cold, slippery Beijing.

-Hong Kong, China
-Taipei, Taiwan
-Naha, Japan
-Manila, Philippines

Anyone have an opinion?

A quiet weekend of going insane

For whatever reason, I only have local internet access at my temporary apartment, which means I can access the internet through programs such as AIM, Limewire, Skype, and so on. Inexplicably, I cannot access it through a browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox) or MSN. (I could use MSN for a day, and then something FUBARed.)

So... it leads to less posting, and a significant case of boredom. Yesterday I was so desperate I figured out how to do laundry, and then I was sort of amused by doing laundry. It involves balling up all my dirty clothes and sort of playing basketball with them. Then, 1 hour 21 minutes later, I throw them all into a plastic sack and balance precariously on my crutches while trying to hang the wet articles of clothing.

I am grateful to have a washing machine in my apartment.

Not quite desperate enough to study Korean, I practiced writing and said some of the words out loud. Mostly what saved me, though, is the fact that I can download movies, and my mom, Tracy, Kip and Dev have AIM to talk with. While Tracy was on vacation in Denver, we got to spend a lot of time talking, so when I was suddenly cut off in the hospital, I really started to miss her.

I am grateful for the extra time to talk to the people I love.

Speaking of talking to the people I love, my parents have discovered the key to calling me in Korea. So I got to talk to them a lot this weekend, and it was really nice. I wouldn't say I'm homesick, but I do miss my parents' antics. *Insert unintelligible English-accented jibberish.*

I am grateful to be stronger on crutches, for sure!

I am grateful that Obama won--because now my prayers for America have become more fervent.

I am grateful that my parents don't need to worry about the phone bill.

I am almost grateful that I broke my leg. I haven't had coffee (coppee?) since October 29, with only one exception. That's pretty big for me. I'm trying to avoid caffeine for faster healing, though.

This morning I actually got up early before work (early = 8:30, haha) and showered. There really isn't anything quite like a shower to get you ready for the day. It feels good not to have bedhead.

It's kind of a rambling post, and if I was Mr. Bonawitz I'd probably make me re-write it, but I'm not, and I'm not. :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Open class

Today we had our first open class in Kindergarten, which means the kids' parents can all come to see how things are going. It was the quietest 40 minutes of my stay in Korea. It was so awkward, but I guess there's a lot of sympathy for me what with the green cast and wheelchair and bronchitis.

I still have the bronchitis. :( Last night I coughed so much I actually threw up. I told Jin this, and prescriptions magically appeared on my desk before I got done with lunch duty.

It's really hard to be positive with this and the presidential election results. Fortunately, me and my income are protected overseas. When the dark thoughts creep in, I remind myself of that blog post about actually being happy. This, too, shall pass.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Deemed a Hazard To Myself and Others

My crutches have been taken away and I have been given a wheelchair, now. It's totally awesome. :)

I also have a phone, so I'm connected to the world again and can vigorously text my fingers off while staring at the ceiling.

Next update will hopefully be from my borrowed apartment! Woo hoo!

Monday, November 3, 2008

So I Broke My Leg In South Korea

The title pretty much says it all. On Wednesday afternoon, at 2:47, I left the doctor's office with a prescription for bronchitis. I stepped wrong on a ramp and rolled my ankle, scraping one side, then breaking the leg on the other--the fibula, to be more exact. I heard the crunch as I went down, and my first thought was, "But today's test day!" (I had been hurrying so that I would not be late. Haste makes waste!!)

As I sat on the sidewalk sort of stunned, I looked up at a Korean man staring at me and asked for help. Unfortunately, I know how to say "give me" and other useful phrases, but not help. Because God is a good God, a familiar face from the cell phone store rode by on her bike. She rode back to get the ambulance from the other end of the block, and then went to ECC to tell them what had happened. While I waited, a group gathered around me. Someone actually told me, "Uljima." Heh heh.

While I was being loaded into an ambulance to go to the emergency room, the head teacher made the announcement, "Kate's sick, we have to cover her classes." Heather, however, overheard Jin talking on the main phone and came in a few minutes later, "Kate broke her leg!!" That's right, if I'm going to call in sick, it's going to be with good reason. (At this job anyway.) Jin hurried to meet me at the emergency room where they all stood around waiting for someone to translate before treating me. We did the x-ray thing (the tech was evil), and sure enough I was in agony with good reason. Not good enough reason to administer say, pain medication, though. It will be a long time before I complain about cramps again. I have been through this whole experience 6 days, now, and have only had one shot for pain.

I had the option to transfer to a hospital closer to the school, which I took because if I wasn't going to have my mom and dad with me, I needed my friends. They really pulled through for me. Heather brought me soap, and I have never been so happy for soap before. She also brought me endless food and stories of Halloween. Mel, Ashley, Min, and Jin came by a lot which helped. Even Ross looked up the phone number of the hospital to call and see how I was doing. When he came by he brought a cactus. ... A cactus.

I'm kind of losing my focus. So. Today I'm back at school, and will have the cast for approximately another 24 days. Not that I'm counting.