Monday, May 26, 2008

daegu arboretum with woopi and the gang

we started out in the herbal medicine garden, hence the tea pot.
houttuynia cordata

woopi's husband and youngest son, cookie

the cactus garden

this picture is worth more than a thousand words.
i am in love with these red maples.

tommy and i seriously the way, he just got a new perm and looked SO cute i could not stop sqeezing him! when woopi and family dropped me off at the subway station late that afternoon, tommy burst into loud, sloppy tears. i was so surprised by his intense reaction! through his heaving sobs he kept repeating, "next time stay longer." talk about a little heartbreaker!
tommy acting out his zombie alien persona

we ate "shambu-shambu" for lunch. it was my first time with all the seafood and meat. i dare you to click on this picture to see a close up of what i consumed. it was a big stretch. not as far as the raw egg way back when on the happy chicken farm....but it was right up that alley. i had to think a lot of happy thoughts about a place very, very far from here.
cookie sacked out on the floor during lunch!

Friday, May 23, 2008

it's that time of year

YU festival time! each department in the university sets up a tent and students basically eat, drink, and merry-make for three days straight. way too many drunken students roaming around! a few of us teachers decided, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and spent the evening carousing with the masses!"the power of sociology!!" the freshmen in each different department wear matching t-shirts that they have specially designed for this event. some of the t-shirts were pretty funny. with a take off on "the north face," one department wore bright orange t's that said, "the sexy face!"sandy and little ananda surrounded by some of sandy's students!kids getting soaked with water balloons!karl, craig, and one of karl's students doing the latest k-pop dance move!another mad cow exhibit - they are on every corner these days with the new agreement between korea and the u.s. around importing u.s. beef."the legend" movie poster starring nicholas cage....cage's face is replaced by the face of south korea's president, myung-bak lee. the moral of the story: everyone in korea dies of mad cow and president lee is the only one left standing....the legend.this is your brain on mad cowwe stopped at the chinese students' tent for a little dinner.kate and inhui showing off their boiled veggies!anandasarah and chris
chae-yun...rockin' k-pop diva! it was a BIG DEAL that she was performing at the festival! students went absolutely nuts! when she made her grand entrance, i was sure we were going to be trampled in the stampede of students rushing from all directions to get near the stage. i got a bit of the chaos on video: inhui and one of her students

no small thing

for this morning's english conversation class i took my students on a field trip. we went to the sky lounge cafe on the 20th floor of the library for waffles, ice cream and of course, an intense group discussion about sexism!

over the last couple of classes we have been exploring stereotypes and a variety of -isms. the depth of thought and enthusiasm that has been brought to these discussions leaves me ecstatic. this is definitely the new generation of korea. these young people are shaking things up. many question and some reject the traditional views on marriage, children (preference for a male child), gender roles, sexuality, and negative racial stereotypes. as soon as they figured out that my stance was very open-minded and all inclusive, they were bubbling over with eagerness to share their seemingly radical, revolutionary thoughts. a few students have come up to me after class and expressed great relief and happiness at being affirmed in their deviance from what has been a very strong set of norms. many agree that they still come up against so much pressure to follow tradition. these thoughts are most often kept secret from family.

i tell them that thinking outside of the box is no small thing...questioning the status quo....taking the road less travelled. it calls for a lion-heart. venturing outside of box after box is what has continuously led me on my journey... it is what brought me to the west coast of california where i broke open, discovering who i was underneath the layers of what i thought i had to be to fit in and have a place in the is what beckoned me here, where an inner spaciousness and ease has taken root inside. i have no regrets, only gratitude and a growing reverence for the mystery that continues to surprise with its richness and beauty.

i feel i can create a safe place for my students to share their taboo questions and thoughts; i can listen, support and affirm. doing this is quite possibly one of the greatest joys i've ever felt.
acting goofy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

congratulations, sis!

DUDIE!!! you did it!!!! i sooooooo wish i could have been there with you....more than words can say. all my love and joyous celebration....hats off to you.
thanks for the photo, gary and w!

Monday, May 19, 2008

stephen michael white

the last memory i have of mike is playing volleyball with him at the park several weeks ago. i still can't believe he is gone. he was 14 years old, turning 15 in june. his mother, stephannie, teaches at yeungnam university.
her son's death is so unbelievably tragic and unexpected.
many people came to the vigil on sunday afternoon to show their support and also to make a statement that there are many, many questions that need to be answered in regards to mike's death. the events of that evening in the sauna are very ambiguous.

for more information on this situation:

mike playing volleyball...

A local fundraiser invitation:

Help Bring Michael White Home!

Stephen Michael White tragically died in a sauna/bathhouse on May 10, 2008 in Gyeongsan, Korea (near Daegu).
His single mother, an English teacher at Yeungnam University, does not have the financial means to bring her son back to the U.S. We would like to collect donations to help her meet the extraordinary costs she faces. There will be a fundraiser on Friday, May 30, 2008. We would appreciate all the support we can get.

Where: Thunderbird Lounge in Daegu -
When: May 30, 2008 8 - 11pm
What: Live music and door prizes
Why: To help Stephannie White bring her son home
Who: Everyone is invited to give their support - 10,000W tickets
How: Please come downtown and show your support

For those of you who are unable to join us on May 30th but would like to offer your support to Stephannie in this devastating time of need, we have set up an account where you can send donations.

S.Micheal White Fund (acct name, but it's really spelled Michael)
Daegu Bank

Stephannie is grateful for any support you can offer! Please forward this information to anyone who may be able to offer support or join us downtown Daegu on May 30th.

Thanks for your support!!