im just one person. for more soko info, please check the fb group BSSK, focused on expats of color

Friday, July 25, 2008


Subject: almost week 10
Date: Fri, 25 Jul 2008 14:42:48 +0000

dear mom and dad,

yesterday i got a package from you. thank you SO MUCH!!! i got the magazines, the oatmeal, the comics, magazines, and the plastic bags. i havent given the glycerin to my friend yet, but she screamed a thousand thank yous when i called her about it. thanks so much for taking care of me.

thanks for the encouragement in the
last email. youre right, i shouldnt worry so much about what my colleagues are doing, nor compare it to what im doing. i was thinking hard about why I'M not in grad school, about what my future is, etc. Although i am still thinking about these things, i'll do more thinking about what will satisfy me and make me happy, rather than getting green over what everyone else is doing. i had a little case of trying to keep up with the jones's, so thanks for checking me :)

i was thinking, tho, how it is coming up to a year and half of my being here, and how much better ive gotten at my job, so i got the nerve up to ask for a raise. i didnt get one when i re-signed, but now i think i deserve it: my student surveys show im a popular teacher, the homework completion rate for my students is higher than average, i sub classes when called, i've never missed day of work, i got a top score for the last two term evaluations, i thought it was time. so last week I told my manager that i wanted to ask corporate office for raise and he told me he supported it. he talked to HIS boss, who also supported it. i went in to corporate office Wednesday, and got 10% effective that day! im pretty happy about it. so happy, that i didnt even trip over the fact that when i got there for the meeting at noon, i wasnt tended to until 1:30. this is common "korean time" something about the notion that "a gentleman is never in a hurry" or something. actually, this was the longest ive ever been kept waiting, but hey, i got my 10%!!!

work is going well, the kids havent asked for pizza other than the one little girl that one day. one teacher told me he meets his kids after class and buys them snacks as rewards. yeah that's nice, and a waffle is only 500 won (50 cents) but still... im not comfortable buying them presents. waffles, btw, are a popular snack on the street where i work. the street is "hogwan ga," hogwans are the academies the kids go to after they finish public school. the street is lined w/these hogwans, along with little shops that sell school supplies, and vendors who sell food. you can buy a hot waffle fresh from the iron, folded in half w/butter or creme and syrup spread inside. some places have chocolate or strawberry creme and all of them are delicious. all for only 500 won, which is around 50 cents.

speaking of food, some of the sistas came over last weekend, we watched movies and ate sweet potato pizza. i swear to you, best pizza ever. mom would hate it, i bet, b/c i know she hates pineapple on pizza. i love it, tho.

loveyoumissyou, ~daughter.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Subject: RE: Box On The Way
Date: Sun, 20 Jul 2008 04:15:44 +0000
dear mom and dad,

thanks so much for all your effort on the glycerol. did you find it at the drug store? it's week 9 here in the new term at school,
each term is 13 weeks. my job will have a lot of people leaving at the end, many people will be finishing their one year contract. that's crazy to me, i was here when someone got here, and still here when they're leaving! three of my colleagues got into law school and are leaving to get ready for it. one couple is getting married soon, another is just leaving, he planned on doing one year and the year is up so he's moving on. it has all got me to thinking about what my future plans are, what do i want to do, what are my goals. i dont know, we'll see what happens, i need to do some future planning.

the rain has been pouring lately, like it looks like a typhoon of incredible amounts of rain and wind outside my window. im the only one being a baby about going outside tho, everyone else in korea is just going around business as usual. my friend jokes, "What, are you going to melt? just carry your umbrella." people dont understand, im from southern california! im from san diego! i dont deal with no rain!!

and parents, the summer heat is like WOW. the block is hot, for real, and the kids are going crazy. i think my students are wonderful (well, i always do!) but other teachers have been telling me stories about their kids crying in the middle of class for no reason, of A+ students getting into fist fights, one teacher is pretty sure a boy is *** while he's in class. it's really and truly crazy. well, not all the kids are crazy, another teacher was so happy about her students getting all A's on that weeks test, she bought them pizza, then one of my students heard about the damn pizza and had the nerve to ask me, smiling wide as she can, "Teacher, I want pizza." Oh, the summer heat must be getting to her too, b/c she must be crazy to think im going do accommodate that.

<-- google image search for "family pride." i got an email today from somebody named Michael. b/c of my blog, i get a lot of emails from people asking me about working/living in south korea. michael is from south east san diego! he went to gompers and then to lincoln! i didnt catch how old he is, and he has been living in new york for several years. but isnt that cool? someone from the neighborhood, branching out, thinking about going abroad?! i dont know the brotha at all, but i feel really proud and happy for him :)

well, i hope all is well. im sure it is, since youre in that lovely san diego year round 70 degree sunny beautiful weather. loveyoumissyou. ~daughter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Subject: RE: Being Ungrateful
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 15:10:55 +0000
dear mom and dad,

i actually DID specify that i like brown sugar, but i can understand your confusion. i'd like to ask specifically for brown sugar oatmeal, lots of it b/c i like to eat it every morning, and i do still want you to send the sunday comics, i like reading them. uhm... i did have a request for glycerine? i forget why... i think my friend mixes it with her makeup or something. so if you can, please send a bottle of glycerine. but no big deal if you cant, it's not urgent/vital at all. but the oatmeal is. brown sugar oatmeal.

the weather here is HUMID, i like it b/c it makes my hair really voluminous, tho i dont like how shiny my face is. everyone walks around with a handkerchief and/or a fold up fan, we're all crazy sweaty. i dont remember being so hot last summer! however, i will take this over the winter/snow any darned day.

my friend zha (of the incredible collard greens) went on vacation for a while, i miss her and her cooking so much. i met up w/some other friends last weekend for a western style breakfast, one among them being my friend steve. Steve is a brotha who lives a few hours outside of seoul and he comes up maybe once a month for the weekend.

i dont remember where steve lives exactly, but it's more country. i really admire him; he is much more bold and adventurous than i am. b/c of a few rejections i got when going into some places when i first arrived here, i still to this day am shy about going someplace new by myself. steve says he doesnt have a choice. there are 5 foreigners in his part of town, and you have to learn some korean and get around by yourself no matter what if you expect to do anything. maybe in my next korea job, should i decide to stay... who knows... i'll look for a job outside of seoul, someplace more rural.

the breakfast was just blah by the way. there are no diners here, so you cant get a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, waffles, grits, etc, unless you go to itaewon or something. we were all set for some place called the waffle factory, but they had some issues with the lock on the door and wouldnt open until 2. i know, crazy,right? so we went somewhere else, which wasnt worth the effort for some toast, a couple eggs and like 4 bits of potato for home fries. disappointment was felt all around. maybe we'll get proper waffles next week. mis felizidades a senor gomez,~daughter.

Friday, July 11, 2008

it's time to listen to this song again.

oh blogworld. it's summertime in south korea. i miss home sometimes... :(

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Subject: RE: Broken PC
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2008 11:59:48 +0000
dear mom and dad,

yesterday i got a knock on the door with another package from you! so thank you for the oatmeal, splenda, slimfasts, slimfast bars, pirate stickers, optifast, tampons, my greenbox, jet magazine, the sunday comics, the community college class schedule, and the junk mail offer for the rascal scooter. btw, the junk mail you can toss, i wont be attending junior college nor get a rascal scooter anytime soon. also, im cool on tampons and splenda for a while, i'll ask if/when i need more.

while im being ungrateful, i guess i should let you know that i gave away the oatmeal you sent b/c i dont like banana flavor, i like brown sugar. the Sistas, however, loved the oatmeal, so "thank you" from them. (aint i something, to tell my parents to send me anything, and the i have the nerve to complain about it!)
i do, however, LOVE pirate stickers. i told you how i give stickers to the kids, just one at a time, but when a student gets an A+ on all three sections of the test, i give them a whole sheet of stickers, so some lucky student is going to go NUTS when i give these pirate stickers. im going to be the most popular teacher EVER, thanks mom and dad! :)

anyway, it's SO summer time here now, the weather is hot and humid and i love the way it makes my hair voluminous. im finished paying key money this month, HOORAY! ive been chatting a lot with my coworker mark (the one who gave us lessons on personal financial management) about how to be smart about what i will be putting aside. tho im glad i got to study so many different things in college, right now i wish to god i majored in FINANCE or minored in it, or took some classes in it. im the oldest teacher at my school, it felt weird being in the finance seminars and mark kept saying "do this now, since we're in our 20's! we have time on our side!" LOL! anyway, mark told me to read Investing for Dummies and Personal Finance for Dummies. so i will, we'll see what happens from there.

the boryeong mud festival is this weekend here in korea. ive heard that the mud is supposed to be good for you, "well being" as is the phrase here, and it's supposed to be lots of fun and it's tradition, etc. There will be a mud pool, mud slides, mud handprinting... Whatever, it aint nothing but a bunch of foreigners jumping around in some mud getting dirty. nothing traditional about it, it's strictly a tourist thing. Tho i am still sort of a tourist, i've decided im not going, b/c if somebody throws mud on me, we're going to have a problem.

my new favorite food here is bibimbop. it's vegetables, meat, and red sauce over steamed rice.
loveyoumissyou!!! ~daughter.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


what my parents send me when i dont write home quick enough:

Subject: Broken PC
Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2008 19:31:52 -0700

Number One
Is your PC broken again?

Subject: RE: Broken PC
Date: Tue, 8 Jul 2008 03:36:55 +0000

dear mom and dad,
every so often, i get a "guilty" "sinking" feeling that tells me i need to send an email right away. but always and without fail, by the time i get to the computer, you have already hit my email inbox with a whoppin for me. sorry... :*(

although my computer is running better than it has before, it still shuts down fairly often and sometimes the Internet doesnt work. i get frustrated, and then leave it alone for days. for a second, i thought maybe ed didnt know as much about computers as i thought he did, but i think it's this computer. maybe like repairing a car: you fix one thing, it looks ok, and then something else pops up that's wrong. ed has been super nice and has never charged me a thing, btw, but im going nuts a little, maybe i'll buy a new computer down the line.

last week i got the package with the essence, oprah, and jet (2) magazines, comics, and mail. thanks for that. i like to flip through the magazines on my days off... especially since i dont use that down time to use the computer :)