Day 592 - CLEA Midterm, Daeborum

I took the GANADA/CLEA class midterm today. It wasn't too bad, but then again I haven't seen the score yet, so I shouldn't say any more about it.

Today also was Daeborum. What's that, you've never heard of Daeborum? Me either. Apparently, it is the 15th of January by the lunar calendar. Which happens to be today. Koreans, in the olden days, would celebrate by (1) biting nuts with hard shells, (2) eating cold rice, and (3) putting fire in cans and swinging it in circles. They believed that, by doing this, they would (1) prevent boils and have strong teeth, (2) not get hot in the summer time, and (3) drive away field rats.

The more you know.


Day 585 - Critical Language Enhancement Award for Korean and Thailand Recap

I "won" a critical language enhancement award, so I'm in the middle of the Korean countryside for three weeks to study intensively. By "intensively", there's class for 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. That's about 4 grammar points a day, and maybe 30~50 vocab words.

The first week is going pretty well. All the days start blurring together into a jumbled soup of Korean and disappointing cafeteria food. Even if I had the free time to do something other than study, there's nothing in this little town for entertainment unless you count going to the gym. The daily routine has become taking breaks from studying by working out.

The teachers are all really good though. F*bright has employed instructors from Ganada, a Korean hagwon for foreigners based in Seoul. The books aren't organized very well and the design/layout is kind of sucky, but the content is amazing. I really feel like I'm improving and the TOPIK doesn't feel quite as impossible anymore. I'm even thinking I have a chance at level 4! ...but chickens and counting and all that.

Speaking of the TOPIK, registration for the April 17 test closes on Monday, so y'all out there studying Korean should get on that. The next test is in July, so for F*brighters, it might be past our visa end date.

Thailand was amazing. Phuket was by far my favorite. The beaches and atmosphere were better than Hua Hin and the range of things to do was more interesting than Bangkok, in my opinion. I got my open water diver's license and I can't wait to start filling up my logbook!! I dove a handful of reefs with lots of reef fish, hard coral formations, and even saw 4 reef sharks, a hawk's bill turtle, and a moray eel -- definitely awesome for a first time diver and totally beats learning only in a pool!
Yayyyy turtle!