Monday, April 12, 2010

Clearasil should never give one a false sense of security

Although I wash, exfoiliate, Clearasil, and moisturize my face twice a day (someone's gotta take care of this money maker!) I still get zits. I once thought my zitty times were over, but alas. And these are not the small, easy to cover type zits--I'm talking about the huge, can't look away even if one tried type zits. Not very attractive, but I am usually able to ignore them. After all, I know I'm more than a blemish.

Until last week.

The story: I was hit with two huge zits at once. One was on my forehead and the other one was on my cheek. They were red, swollen, and disgusting. They actually hurt. These things were intense.

I forgot about these two beauties until I got to school. Over the course of one day, I had no less than twenty students staring at the blemishes, four students gasping at the sheer magnitude of the zits, and three brave students ask me, "Ms. Jackie! What happened to your face?" Thanks, kids. I'm so glad I'm teaching you enough English for you to manage to ask me embarrasing questions. For the younger students, I told them I "hurt" my face. I didn't want to go into a vocabulary lesson regarding clogged pores, and I figured a tinge of shame might serve them right. (What's that, Jasmine? You want to know what happened to my face? Well its a horrible story and now I'm injured. Are you glad you asked? Huh? Are you???) For the older kids, I told them they were pimples. I even translated "pimple" into Korean so they could know exactly what I was talking about. After all, I'm supposed to be teaching them so I might as well turn my face into a lesson plan.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga must have read my thesis.

Tonight, that is the only explanation that I can reach after watching her video for the second time. (

I must admit, I'm intrigued. How did this pop goddess manage to work a women's prison in with an infectious dance beat? Perhaps this song is what I was missing from my thesis of last year.

If you haven't seen this video, then you have to go look it up. Why? Because it will make your brain spin. Lady Gaga is either crazy, a genius, or both. I'm not always on board with the latest pop crazes (I never gave in to the NSync craze of yesteryear and I haven't heard anything on the radio for over six months), but this one caught me. Lady Gaga is already quite a character and now that she's teamed up with Beyonce, I think they might be planning on taking over the world. I'm not so sure I would mind that. Dance breaks for everbody!

One of the parts of the video that really stuck out to me was the fact that Lady Gaga utilized the classic "my hand is my phone" schtick and made into a hip new dance fad. I only use the thumb-pinkie hand phone when I'm making fun of Jersey Shore, but now that it's cool, I'll be motioning for people to "call me" all the time.

Really I only write this because I can't get over it. Really. I mean, the message is so relatable. There's nothing I hate more than when I'm trying to work out my emotions on a dance floor and my phone keeps vibrating. I'm like, geez, what is this, Grand central station? Stop telephoning me. I'm trying to dance. Who hasn't been there? Thank you, Lady Gaga, for finally putting words to this experience.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I have experienced culture shock many times since I've been here in Korea, but last weekend was one of the most mind-numbing of all. Chong-Suk, Chin-Hwa's mom, came to visit. On one weekend, she, her sister, her brother, and I drove five hours to Busan, which is a city on the coast of Korea. We would be meeting family. Chin-Hwa couldn't come because he was away at training. I was flying solo.

I was immersed into Korea in every sense of the word. Chong-Suk and I met thirty of her family members and the only ones who let on that they spoke English were Chong-Suk and a few kids who were too busy staring at me to squeak out a few syllables. We ate at a traditional Korean restaurant where I flaunted my chopsticks skills (see picture--Duck in squash=delicious!) and then drove around the city. The next morning, we visited a few sites in Busan, icluding a Buddhist temple that was more than 1000 years old.

Although I enjoyed much of my time in Busan, I spent the weekend in near silence. This was a strange sensation, but one to which I've become quite accustomed. I'm a chatter by nature, but this was a time when that was impossible. I found myself rlying upon body language and smiles. I also relied upon my iTouch and its many games.

I remember when Chin-Hwa met my family for the first time. I was so nervous for him and thought he might struggle. After my times here, however, he owes me a few good hours of attempts at conversation with family members!

Here is a picture of the family dinner: