Saturday, October 28, 2017

Korea According to 6th Graders

This week, I asked some of my students for "Facts" about South Korea. I wanted to know what they would say when asked to share about their country and who they were. Despite the fact that everyone wrote down their own idea before giving it to me, it was interesting that I had only two people write about the same fact, and then even then they each told me different details. Check out the list below:

  • One cool thing/fact is Psy is Korean. 
  • One thing that I like is feeling the nature in Jeju island.
  • Jeju is declared a world heritage site.
  • Jeju has beautiful flowers named "rape flowers." They are very beautiful when they are bright yellow.
  • We have a job named "Hae-nyeo." They are women who work underwater.
  • Korea's traditional clothes are "Hanbok." They are all sorts of different colors and patterns! On the bottom you wear a wide dress if you are female. On the top, you wear the Jeogori.
  • On holidays we usually wear "Hanbok" (한복) and bow to old peoples (families/cousins).
  • Hangeul (한글) is a scientific letter (system) invented by king Sejeong. He studied how humans speak so that it is easy to say. There are 10 vowels and 14 consonants.
  • South Korea has a lot of mountains.
  • Korea has lots of roads with shopping stores.
  • There are 250 different types of kimchi.
  • When a Korean's name is in red ink, this means that the person is about to die or already dead.
  • One cool thing/fact is that Dok-do is a Korean Island, but Japan complains that it's their Island.
What would you say about your own country? 
(What would I say about Canada? =P)

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Day 1: Was supposed to be fully shaded and I gave up. Ha.
(Inktober 2016 post)

Halfway through the month, and I have to be honest. I'm struggling. A bit.

To recap in case your new to the term, Inktober was an initiative started by artist Jake Parker. Find out more here! The goal is easy: for every day in the month of October, draw a picture. In ink. Hence Ink-tober. I like the idea of drawing in ink from the get-go because I'm generally the type of person who is hesitant with my pencil. I will trace and erase over and over again until I am happy with my lines. Meaning, I do not always produce a lot of drawings or each drawing takes a lot of time.

Day 3: When you miss-read
poison as "poisson"
Inktober doesn't allow me to be hesitant in some ways. Once the lines are drawn, there are no take-backs and I have to push through and challenge myself to work with what I have. It's a total different mindset to sketching that forces me to produce more, and I have to problem solve on the go. A brain workout that focuses on perspective.

There are definitely times where instead of adding more detail (or shading), I stop a drawing earlier than I would like because I'm worried I'll completely mess up (Day 1 was a prime example of this). I recognize that as I'm just doing this for fun anyway, I shouldn't worry about "messing up" and should embrace trying new skills and techniques, but it's still a mindset that I struggle with overcoming.

Day 4: a Kodama in the sea
Day 10: Snoopy's Dog house is probably a TARDIS
As per last year, I am using the official prompt list as my guide. I like that the list gives me a bit of direction on subject. I like the challenge of finding an interesting way to meet the given word; however, I have found it harder some days this year to pick something to draw. I'll wrack my brain all day and then I've felt rushed in the evening to put something to paper, sometimes googling multiple words and ideas for inspiration. Some drawings are a bit of a stretch, I know, but if you can figure out how I thought up the connection, brownie points, I suppose. ㅎㅎ
Day 12: My favourite so far, although I probably could have added more shading...
I have also found it a bit harder this year with my job hours and finding the time needed to create something that I'm proud of. It was easier last year to finish the drawings before work, but this year, unless I'm willing to get up extra early, I wait until I get home. At that point, picking up the pen for a 20-30 minute picture is not really a high priority. Le sigh.

Still, I relish the challenge and I am not tapping out yet. Here's to experimenting, practicing new skills, and 16 more drawings to go...

Day 14: recruiting Reepicheep for my next quest. A fierce Ally to have.
Day 15: also in need of the mysterious Mulan for my questing band.
Love and Hugs

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Une vie bilingue? / A bilingual life?

Je veux m'excuser aux francophones car d'habitude c'est ma mère et ma grand-mère qui corrige un peu mon orthographe. Je sais bien que j'aurais des erreurs de grammaires. (Oncle Geoff et Tante Thérèse, si les erreurs sont atroces, ne me disent pas). 
J'utilise toujours les règles anglaises pour les virgules.
On continue.

À travers l'école élémentaire, secondaire et puis à l'université, je disais toujours que je parlais français, mais que je n'étais pas bilingue. Il y avait toujours les questionnaires qui me demandaient « mon niveau de français » et je ne savais pas où me placer. Je ne doutais pas que je puisse le parler, mais j'étais toujours étudiante et je voyais bien qu'en parlant et en écrivant je faisais pleins d'erreurs. Ma question toujours était « C'est quoi vraiment le bilinguisme? »

During elementary, secondary and then post-secondary school, I always said I could speak French but that I wasn't bilingual. I never knew how to place myself on questionnaires that asked my proficiency level. I didn't doubt that I could speak French, but I was still a student and I knew that I made so many mistakes in speaking and writing. My question was always, "What is bilingualism, really?"

Puis une journée je n'allais plus à l'école. Je ne prenais plus les cours de français, je ne devais plus lire les livres commander ni écrire les dissertations au sujet de la poésie ou quoiqu'il soit. J'avais fini… eh bien cette période de l'école avait fini. Et maintenant, où est-ce que je me trouve sur les niveaux de langage?

Then one day, I didn't go to school anymore. I didn't take any more French classes, I didn't have to read books from a reading list, nor write essays about poetry or other topics. I was finished... or at least that period of school was finished. And now, where would my language level be?

Au moment, j'habite en Corée du Sud et je trouve que cette question me gêne toujours. J'hésite à dire « oui je suis bilingue » parce que c'est trop simple et il y a encore beaucoup que je veuille apprendre et pratiquer. Mais maintenant je suis en traine à enseigner les jeunes élèves en anglais. Chez eux, ils parlent une autre langue et je me demande quand dirons-nous qu'ils réussissent un niveau bilingue entre leur langue maternelle et l'anglais? Quand les élèves quitteront notre école avec un diplôme « bilingue » est-ce que c'est ça l'épreuve?

At the moment, I live in South Korea and I find that that question still bugs me. I hesitate to say that "yes I am bilingual" because that seems too simple and there is still so much that I want to learn and practice. But now, I am teaching English. At home, my students speak another language and I ask myself when would they be considered "bilingual" between their mother tongue and English? When they graduate from our school with a "bilingual" diploma would that be the proof?

Image of a French Picture book Anthology
Peut-on lire seulement les livres d'images?
Can we just read picture books?
Durant mes cours d'anglais les étudiants choisissent tous un livre. Quand il faut le lire, je vois bien que plusieurs élèves le détestent. Lire en deuxième langue est difficile. Je comprends bien ce qu'ils pensent. À l'école élémentaire, je choisissais toujours le livre avec les lettres les plus grandes et la largeur la moins épaisse. Comme je détestais lire en français! Et puis… je sais que c'était en lisant que j'ai appris plusieurs mots et j'ai mieux compris comment structurer mes phrases. Alors, comment fais-je pour aider mes élèves à cultiver cette habilité si utile? Comment puis-je s'assurer qu'ils sont sur le chemin envers le mystérieux bilinguisme?

During my English courses, my students are required to pick out a book to read. I can see that many of them hate it when it's time to read in class. Reading in a second language is hard. I understand exactly what they are thinking. In elementary school, I always picked the book with the biggest letters and with the thinest spine. Oh I hated reading in French. And yet, I knew that it was through reading that I learned so many words and that I was able to better structure my sentences. And now I wonder, what can I do to help my students cultivate this useful skill? How can I ensure that they are on the road to the ever mysterious "bilingualism"?

Je suppose que c’est un peu le karma…

I guess this is a bit of karma...

Bisous/Love and Hugs

Monday, October 02, 2017

A Rainy Day in Seogwipo

Usually, on rainy days I hole up in my room with a book or movie. Maybe I go to a café and chill, but generally rainy days are low key (with tea!).

Posing by the Cheonjiyeon Waterfall
Yesterday was slightly different.

My friend and I had originally made plans to go hiking. The forecast earlier in the week spoke of rain late on Sunday continuing overnight through Monday. As Sunday approached, we were resigned to the fact that the storm came early. Instead of calling it quits, though, we shrugged on rain jackets and ponchos, and decided that today was a good day to visit one of the many waterfalls along Jeju's southern coast.

After the few hours of morning rain, the flow did not disappoint. The wildlife was not bothered in the least by the steady drops and it was fun watching the ducks as they "attempted" to take on the giant koi fish. Silly ducks, really.

Despite our increasingly wet shoes and the humidity gluing our clothes and backpacks to our bodies, our optimism was not dampened. ㅎㅎ. (Although we did follow this up with a taxi ride to a café!).

 Today, my shoes are propped up by the a/c and I hope they will dry before my next hiking attempt, but I have no regrets about our wet detour. Vacation is vacation, even in bad weather, and there is fun to be had.

Love and Hugs

Things I've learned about France (or at least Normandy)

Well there we go, my second European country. In some ways, very similar to England (a lot of meat and potatoes, fancy churches, pay toilets...