Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Teaching through pop music

Sorry, I've had this post written for months but had to wait to get the video before posting.

July is always a strange time of the year in the Korean classroom. Usually the end of semester exams take place at the beginning of the month which leaves us with about 3 weeks of no textbook.

Usually this is the time to watch movies with the students or play games but this time around myself and my co-teacher decided to do things differently. Last year I had a small after school class and I would teach them English pop songs so I decided to do this with my 5th and 6th graders during July. It took up 2 class periods which is a week of lessons for me. We chose the song "Baby" by Justin Bieber as many of my students had heard the song before and it's not too difficult to learn. For our first class I printed the lyrics out but left some blanks on the page. We listened to the song and then I asked them some questions (before giving them the handout) One question was "how many times does Justin say the word baby?" It was quite fun to see the concentration on their faces (the answer is 56 times by the way)

Then they had to fill in the missing song words. We gave them the first letter to each word and then one or two other letters to help them with the spelling. All of the students seemed very engaged, even the low level students who were able to figure out most of the words. When we finished we reviewed the words and spelled them out, then there was only enough time to sing the song one more time.

The next class was quite fun for everyone. My co-teacher had a great idea to make a music video with our students so I printed out the song lyrics sentence by sentence. Each student was given one sentence and they had to write that sentence with a nice picture. If they didn't understand what the sentence meant I would try to act it out for them so that they would understand.


I always love doing creative things in the classroom (even though I'm the most uncreative person in the world!) as it allows the low level students to relax and enjoy themselves. My students were so in to the drawing that it took them the entire 40 minute period to finish. Once finished my co-teacher took photos of them with their lyrics. My co-teacher then turned it in to a music video for each class. I feel so lucky to have such an amazing co-teacher. She cares about the students so much and uses her free time to teach the low level students. I've learned so much from her and she makes me want to be a better teacher everyday

It was a really fun way to spend my last week before camp and vacation. I got to hang out with the kids and chat with them while they were drawing and once they found out that I was getting married during the vacation they were so excited and there was a constant "congratulations" coming from all around the classroom.

Our summer camp is going to have a "colour" theme this time around so we are going to do lots of creative things. I'm pretty excited to show my students the joys of food colouring! 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Ireland 2014

The beautiful Rock of Cashel
This was always going to be a special trip home, not only were myself and Jason getting married but my best friend Lou was also going to be tying the knot and I was honoured to be asked to be her bridesmaid!

Our flight to Ireland would be going Busan-Seoul-Amsterdam-Cork. When we arrived to Seoul we found out that they had no seats next to each other, we enquired about paying extra for economy comfort where there were seats together but it was a little over our price range. The woman then asked Jason what his purpose for visiting Korea was when I decided to go for it and tell her that we were going to get married. She was so nice that she upgraded us to comfort for free! It was a great flight and we managed to sleep for the entire time. Then as we were boarding our Aer Lingus flight the air hostess commented on my ring so we informed her that we were getting married. Later on in the flight she gave us some bucks fizz (mimosa) and snacks for free. A wonderful way to begin our holiday in Ireland.

The perfect way to start our time in Ireland!

For our first week we didn't do much, just caught up with family and friends and finished planning our wedding. After our wedding our friend from Korea, Ian, came to Cork for a couple of days. We brought him to the beautiful Gouganbarra (one of the few places in Cork that Jason hadn't been yet).

The church in Gouganbarra, the smallest church in Ireland.
It was such a beautiful day!

Jason and my niece Megan on a little hike that we did.

Ireland really is so beautiful!

Myself and Ian.

 I then had a great time at my bestest friends hen party.

Myself and my friends Roisin and Kate at the hen party.
The bride herself!
We also got to meet Ians mom and we all visited the Rock Of Cashel together with my mom. After we left Ian, myself, my mom and Jason made a detour on our way home to visit my uncle and then we went to the beautiful Lismore castle.

A grave at the Rock of Cashel.

My uncles next door neighbours.

Lismore castle.
The next day myself and Jason had a delicious lunch at the farmers market near me and then we took a trip to the Donkey Sanctuary in Co Cork. It was so much fun walking around the fields and getting to interact with the donkeys. We had really wanted to visit here especially after seeing the wonderful Donkey Sanctuary in Leh.
While there we found out that one had been born on our wedding day! We decided to adopt this sweet guy!

The farmers market with some delicious food!

Myself and Jason at the Donkey sanctuary...1 week married!!

Our adopted donkey!
Another day myself, my mom and Jason drove down to Kinsale and spent the day exploring Charles Fort in beautiful weather. We then had the most delicious fish dinner I've had in all of my life at Fishy Fishy restaurant as a wedding present thanks to my friend Kate. (My friends know us so well...Lou got us a voucher for afternoon tea which we loved also!)

The cafe at Charles Fort.

A coffee with a view.

The beautiful view from Charles Fort.
Before we knew it it was time for my best friends wedding. Jason was a bit worried that seeing her beautiful wedding I'd regret my decision to cancel ours but luckily for both of us we were still happy with our decision, it was right for us. But Louise and Garys day was so wonderful and I was so honoured to play a role in the wedding. Their reception had the most beautiful hand crafted decorations everywhere that Louise had handcrafted herself! It was a perfect day, I don't think anyone stopped smiling once throughout the day. Everyone had so much fun and we all danced well in to the night! She looked so amazing in her wedding dress that her nan made especially for her. I can't express how much I enjoyed their day!

She looked so beautiful in a dress that her grandmother made especially for her!
Photo by Derek Hines.

Myself, Lou and her two sisters, Elaine and Jess.
Photo by Derek Hines.

The wedding party.
Photo by Derek Hines.

The beautiful dining area.
Photo by Derek Hines.

Some of the wonderful DIY projects that Lou did for her big day.
Photo by Derek Hines.

The remainder of our time in Ireland was really just spent buying some final things and preparing to leave again.

I always have the best time in Ireland but it also breaks my heart to leave again, especially this time around as we have no idea when the next time we'll get to visit will be. But alas that is the life that I have chosen to lead.

Our final drinks at the airport.
Here are some more photos from our time in Ireland:

Ian trying to capture the perfect photo at Gouganebarra.
The "bros" reunited.

My handsome husband!

The beautiful forest of Gouganebarra.
The view from the restaurant where we got married.

Jason enjoying a drink in one of the many nice pubs that we visited.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Our wedding :)

Our wedding was for me such a beautiful relaxing day. It probably wasn't most peoples idea of a dream wedding but for us it was perfect.

Me and my wonderful husband!

We had initially planned our wedding in Ireland to be very small as we were planning to have a white dress wedding in the Philippines (The day after our Irish wedding we actually decided to cancel the Philippines one because the Irish one was so nice and we both already felt married)

We didn't really observe most traditions on our big day; I didn't wear white, we didn't exchange rings, we didn't stay away from each other the night before or the morning of and most importantly to us we didn't spend $10,000!

That morning I went to town with my sister Dee and we got our hair and make-up done together, It was a really nice way to spend the morning. I decided just to get curls in my hair and leave it down as I personally hate tight up-do's.

When we got home I changed in to my dress. I had actually bought the dress only 4 days beforehand in a vintage shop and the second that I wore it I loved it! It was so slimming but also gave me a booty too which was great! I have never been a vintage person so I was surprised that I found my dream dress in a vintage store rather than a high-street store.

Once we left our house the beautiful sunny morning changed in to a horrible rain shower (so typical that it happened just when we needed to be outside. I then walked up the small isle in the Cork registry office (equivalent of a courthouse wedding in America)

Trying to get away from the rain.

Myself and my mom ready to walk up the aisle.

We were laughing here because the door was so tiny that we both couldn't fit in.

Once I got to the top the registrar (the man who was to marry us) told me to hold Jasons hand, I was a bit confused and turned to see my wonderful husband in tears. He was so emotional throughout the ceremony and even had to take a deep breath in the middle of saying that he would take me as his wife (a little gasp was left out by a few of us, but he was just trying to steady himself)

The look that every bride dreams of...

Consoling my lovely husband.

Jason saying his vows.

 We had asked my two sisters to read a couple of poems and we also lit some candles. Before we knew it we were husband and wife!

My sister Dee saying her vows.

Lighting our unity candles.

After the ceremony my wonderful friend Niamh drove us to the beautiful 5 star hotel that my family had booked us into for a couple of nights while the rest of our family and friends went to the restaurant.

Once we arrived back to my house we realised that we were locked out.

The Fota hotel was so beautiful and when they found out that it was our wedding day they gave us some complimentary passes for the spa. After checking in we were leaving the hotel going to Niamhs car when it just lashed down rain on top of us...and none of us had an umbrella! My hair was a bit messy for the rest of the day but I really didn't care, I was having such a lovely day!

That evening we had dinner in Bunnyconnelans restuarant which is unbelievably beautiful sitting on a cliff and surrounded by the ocean. The staff there were so great and we spent our evening chatting and singing and just having fun.

My sister Teresa and her infectious smile.

Tucking into some canapes

My sister Joanne.

Dee and Neil.

Keeping it classy.

My sister Maire also keeping it classy.

I don't think I stopped smiling all day/night.

Jason enjoying himself.

It was such a memorable day for both of us. People were confused as to why we were so chill and having such a small wedding but after that day everyone came to us and told us how much they loved it.

The next day was spent literally just eating and relaxing...absolutely perfect!

Here are some more photos from our big day:

Signing the registry.

How handsome is he?!?!

My mom and Lou

Lou and Jason.