Thursday, December 15, 2011

Goodbye to Great People & Hello Vivaldi Park

holiday card.001
( My Holiday Card )

End of the Fall Semester 2011
[ 12/08/2011-12/09/2011 @ Avalon in Suwon (수원) ]

It's been one of the roughest and longest weeks yet in Suwon. Last week, we had to say goodbye to all of our sixth graders. They all moved on to our middle school IVY program. Granted, they will still be showing up to the same location for classes, but sadly, I will never have the privilege of teaching them every again. I will miss a lot of these kids quite a bit. I have taught a number of them consistently for the past year and a half. I wish them the best and hope that they still keep in touch. This day was also emotional, because it was Erik & Calvin's last day at Avalon. Also, at the end of the day, I found out my favorite Korean coteacher had quit. Boo...

( Erik & Myself )

( My DA class )

( Jenny, Cathy & Jung-bin )

( Ted, Julia & Ellisa )

( Angel & Jasmin )

( Lisa )

( A timer photo of another DA class )

( My JI Class )

( Tom )

( Kenny & Richard )

( JI Class )

( Erik with my LA4 students )

( Erik with Ken )

( My 1st & 2nd graders )

( Another DA class )

( Erik with his GI class )

( JC with his GA class )

( Erik with his other GI class )

( My GI Class )

( Jonathan... One of the most interesting kids I know )

( Kelly & Lisa... I'll miss them a lot. )

( Maria & Dominic )

( Jack, Tim & Bradly )

( Jim, surprised )

( Chelice, JC & I with the AO class )

My first time snowboarding
[ 12/10/2011 @ Pyeongchang Vivaldi Park ( 평창 비발디 파그) ]

After work on Friday night, all of the coworkers went out for drinks at 주락 (Ju-rak) to say our goodbyes. Erik and Calvin had just finished their final day at Avalon. They have both departed for some R&R in the states for a bit. They will spend the holidays with their families (jealous...) and be returning to Korea in February. They will be sorely missed. Fortunately this wasn't my last night with Erik; we went snowboarding the following morning with Sori & her friend 선민 (Sun-min). 

This was by definitely one of the most painful experiences of my life. I had fun, but damn was it excruciating. We got onto the slopes around 1pm, after we paid a visit to the rental shop. The rented me just about everything imaginable: the boots, the board, the bindings, the pants, and the jacket. We started on the "expert" slope. According to Erik, Korean expert slopes are barely intermediate American slopes. I was doing alright and starting to gain some confidence, which of course, led to a great deal of falling. After three runs, they closed the slopes for grooming, so we took a break. Immediately after the break, we decide to try out a slope that was just opened... This was a mistake. It was very icy, and I managed to fall a minimum of thirty times. After this, I was pretty much shot. I pretty much destroyed myself and rested the remainder of the evening, while everyone else enjoyed themselves. 

After the boarding, we returned the gear and headed to the pension. This was also a mess of a situation. Long story, short, the pension was dirty and kind of shitty, so Sori ripped the old lady a new one, and she told us she would refund the money. We drank and had a type of sleepover situation on the floor. It was great. In the morning, a man showed up, yelled at us and told Sori that we were dirty foreigner scam artists and chased us away. When we returned to Seoul, I went home to nurse my entire sore body, and Erik hung around Seoul to make the best of his short time remaining with Sori. I said goodbye to Erik the following morning. The next day at work was very strange. Work won't be the same without him. The weekends won't be the same without him. I'll miss that guy.

( The pension )

( Erik & Sori )

( Erik's signature fire show )

( 소리 & 선민 )

( Erik, Myself & Jim )

( Myself, Sori & Erik )

( sleepover )

It all sounds good and well, but in the end, it was quite emotional. The kids are gone. Ashley is gone. Calvin is gone. Erik is gone. The new busy semester is underway, and to top it all off, I received some bad news from home...

My Grandpa Joe passed away on Tuesday. He was by far the most hardworking man I've ever known. I really respect and love him. I will miss you Grandpa.

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