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

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Subject: snow, xmas, new term
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 06:12:54
dear mom and dad,

we had our first snow on thursday last week. attached is a picture of me not enjoying it. many of my coworkers were excited, so of course i think they are all insane.

one of my newer coworkers Ian is from san diego and this is his first winter in korea. he enjoyed the snow as well, saying it was the first time he'd seen snowfall, like to see snow actually falling from the sky. yeah whatever, i was just cold. i got a proper winter coat this year, but still im never ready for it.

we started a new term this week, and with it a new set of classes and new students, new everything. im teaching "higher levels" along w/my regular classes this time around. i have students in the "higher" classes that i taught 6+ months ago in the regular class! it's a trip, they're all taller and more grown, like im in a time machine. i do love seeing the familiar faces.

well, i have nothing else to tell you, im just writing b/c i know if it's more than 6 days without an email, you'll lay a guilt trip on me. but it's ok, i know it's b/c mom will drive you insane w/questions otherwise ;)

tell dave and ketso hi when they come by on laundry day, and give my greetings to hector.


Thursday, November 20, 2008


Subject: boondks/alanZooPoo/learning korean
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2008 02:45:32 +0000
dear mom and dad,

i met up with some brothas and sistas last week to watch the boondocks. there were about 10 of us, it was really chill, we ate pizza and watched the cartoons and did some light social/political conversation. half the attendees were new to korea, been here less than 3 months or so, and were happy to meet up w/other black expats. i know for me, life in korea has been much nicer after making more like-minded friends. we took a couple of pictures, but i dont have them yet. i'll send them when i do.

my friend alan is still working at the zoo but is hating it these days b/c the weather is getting so cold and he is, as he complains to me, "freezing his balls off." tho i dont have balls, i do empathize, for he and i are both san diegans. these days instead of just observing the monkeys, he now has to also collect their poo; another reason he's not so crazy about the work right now.

i met a korean friend SangHyun, he's a waiter at a bar alan and i frequent. sanghyun is teaching me hangul (the korean alphabet). its really intimidating, i am really used to being the teacher and not the student, but im glad im finally making some effort. its really embarrassing when i get an email from a san diego friend asking me about my knowledge of the local language and i tell them i cant speak beyond hello and thank you. Always people mistake it for modesty... if they only knew. it so friggin EASY to never learn korean here. i think the real motive behind me finally learning is to get over the humiliation of having to tell people that i dont speak any korean despite living here for over a year and a half.

this is the last week of classes for this, my SEVENTH term! i had a great set of classes this time. well, i say that every time, but i did :) i started a page to track the notes/gifts/presents i get from students, you can look at it here.

our next soul/seoul food gathering is next week, for thanksgiving. im excited! i got cookies galore for everyone, thanks to you all :) ~loveyoumissandallthat. daughter.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Subject: obamacongrats/jaja/pyeongchon dinner
Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 11:13:44
dear mom and dad,

ive been watching the news online, listening to all obama related news. eveyrone else i know has cnn, but it cost extra, and i was being cheap, so i didnt bother to get it when i got cable. every couple of days since the election, a random korean local will say to me, "american?" the simple one word question to ask where im from. i smile and asnwer yes, then they say "Obama! Congratulations!"

rocky horror picture show is playing here in seoul. i got excited, i really love rocky horror! but i came to find that, just like evil dead, it will be all in korean, including the songs. so... maybe i wont go. not as much fun if you cant do the audience participation, unless i get to learning some korean phrases soon... which of course i wont. i still cant even count nor do i know the korean alphabet. but at least once a day, i think about trying to learn. :)

last week i went to dinner w/some sistas that live in my neighborhood. it's really nice to have them so close by. usually i travel by subway to seoul to meet friends, it's about a 45min ride. This random brotha found me online asking me quesions about korea, and months later he's here and lives across the street from me. Through him, i met this sista who lives at the other end of the block. and one day i was walking and chased down another sista to say hi (i saw her from the back, but i can spot the hair texture anywhere).

my new favorite food is jajamyung, it's noodles w/black sauce and onions. i was told it's chinese food, but i think it's actually a chinese/korean fusion food, b/c if you go to china and ask for jajamyung, they'll have no idea what youre talking about.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Subject: RE: Thank You
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2008 23:47:04 +000
dear mom and dad,

with obama's win, i have never wanted to be home so badly, i really wish i was in america to celebrate.

this afternoon, my homegirl called and told me the news, and i just really didnt believe her. i then called/txt messaged every brotha & sista i knew, talking about, "It's O-Beezy up in this piece!!!!" i wanted to run around in the streets and scream and sing and cry! but there wasnt much celebrating going on in my town of pyeongchon... i heard that a pub in the foreinger part of town had some festiviites, but i missed it. ah well. most people i talked to cried. i havent yet, im still in shock.

some of my students told me they HATE obama, something about taxes for korea or something... and i tihnk some were just trying to get a rise out of me. meh, kids is kids. we had a small discussion about it in my middle school class, they asked me why people liked obama. i told them about people wanting a change from republican to democrat, some admiring his intelligence (the kids were in awe when i told them obama graduated from harvard), also mentioned about america is supposed to be the place where anyone can go and make their dreams come true, and having a black president can be a symbol of that... then later me and the kids had a contest to see who could hold their breath the longest. i won the first time, and came in 3rd the second time. but i think they cheated!

my seoul family of brothas and sistas here organized a poetry/art/music thing a couple weeks ago. we got together at one of the sista's houses, dimmed the lights, and pretended we were at an open mic a la Sanctuary in love jones. ive only seen love jones one time, i thought it was a crappy movie. for this, friends have threatened to take away my black card. BUT i do enjoy the atmosphere of an open mic like in the movie, so i had a wonderful time. people sang songs, read their own or other's poetry, it was so wonderful, being surrounded by cool people and just feeling unity and love, i forgot i was in korea for a couple of hours. everyone in attendance were english teacher, and a couple of military i think, half the people i knew, the other half i met for the first time that night. it's always great to meet new people. i look forward to our next gathering post election; i think every one of us are obama supporters.

work is going good, this term is over in 2 weeks already! i have really fallen in love with some of the kids this time. ive got one middle school girl named jenny, her english is low level and her voice is sweet, so she sounds like a little girl when she talks. when the class misbehaves, i usually something like they're being "naughty" and that they need to show "proper classroom behavior." i said this to jenny once, and 3 min later she asks me with big eyes and in her sweet little voice, "teacher, really i'm naughty?" i told her no, and then i felt so bad! when the kids are good, answering questions and such, i say, "wow, good job! what geniuses you all are!" to which jenny eagerly responds, "Teacher? Really im genius?" i told her, "yes, youre A genius," reminding her to include the article for proper grammar. now everytime she gets a question right, she says to herself, "Im genius girl." i say, "jenny, youre A genius." Then she says, "im A genius girl." its adorable!