Sunday, February 08, 2009


Today I'm doing the first stage of moving into my new apartment! For this week, I'll be sleeping on a (very nice) air mattress and won't have any furniture to speak of, but will have lots of the things that are important to me. So basically, like most Korean apartments I visited :)

Next weekend I'll be heading home to borrow stuff from my parents, so including the massive Target run I'm planning for later this afternoon, should have a fully stocked apartment within the next week or so. I'm still looking for a deal on a bed - my goodness, but they are more expensive then I realized! - but hopefully will be able to get that taken care of this week.

I'll try to post pictures of the new place (there are some from when I looked at the apartment on my flickr page). It makes me happy - lots of light, high ceilings, hardwood floors, open and airy and nice. It was a little more then I wanted to pay, but with the utilities that are included and a deal on internet, it should all come out in the wash. Also, the whole building uses the "green energy" option through the power company, is in a really neat neighborhood, is less than a block from the neighborhood library, near to one of the Indy green space trails for running, and the neighborhood knitting group meets just down the street.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Three good things

+ It is sunny and (relatively) warm out.
+ I finished a draft of the lit review section of my thesis.
+ I checked out season 3 of Lost from the library, and (in addition to the awesomeness of tv shows on DVD for free) realized that pretty soon I'll be able to change my "hold delivery branch" to a library less then a block away from my apartment!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


After joking about sending a letter to the National Weather Service to remind them of the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, they proved themselves to be accurate. Well, they actually rather dramatically underestimated - this morning we had a little more than a foot of snow.

I know there are some people who are thinking, "And?" because that is minor, but this was in the top 5 heaviest snowstorms in this area ever.

So today was a snow day. Which, you know, SNOW DAY!! And then I remembered that I don't get paid for snow days anymore, which sort of blows. I made it out in the afternoon, but had a few minutes when I worried that I was going to get my car (a RAV-4, a small SUV!! Not a little car!!) stuck trying to get to the alley. Driving downtown wasn't too bad, you know, given that there was OVER A FOOT OF SNOW.

Tonight was supposed to be the first night of evening group runs for the mini-marathon training program, but because of the weather they called it off. I did my miles on the indoor track, though I'm pretty sure IUPUI has shoveled and treated the sidewalk along the canal, so either tomorrow or Friday I'll try to get outside.

I just got the call that we will have another snow day tomorrow, too. I picked up the third season of Lost (yeah, I'm behind) so at least there is that. Sawyer without his shirt? Yes please. Also, I'll be able to go to the gym early, work on my paper, and make it to knit night in my neighborhood.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

a list.

1. Tonight was the first night of official "training" for the mini, meaning the first time I track mileage and all that jazz.
2. It FINALLY dawned on me that I only started to have blistering issues when I started running on the indoor track, and that the constant curving to the left might be partly to blame.
3. I ran on the treadmill tonight, no blistering, but DANG, that long on a treadmill, while physically easier, is mentally so much more difficult! Make-me-want-to-stab-my-eyes-out boring.
4. Tomorrow I'll be going to the running store for winter running gear.
5. They are predicting Snow-magedon (again) for the next two days. This could make Wednesday's outdoor run interesting.
6. I found an apartment! And I'll be moving in two weeks! And it is lovely and in a neat neighborhood! While the rent is more then I wanted to pay, the utilities that are included should off-set (and possibly more than off-set) the increase.
7. I got a bit of writing done on my thesis this weekend, and it is nice to write and think in a way that reminds me that I really do still have higher-order thinking skills.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

1/2 marathon training!!

Tonight was the orientation meeting for the 1/2 marathon training program I'm doing through my gym!

+ The representative from The Runner's Forum is awesome and gave me a little stick of body glide to see if it would help with the blisters I'm getting on the bottom of my feet (I bought my shoes there a few months ago) FOR FREE after checking to make sure they fit right!! Another reason why local running stores rock.
- There was no pace group between 11 min/mile and 13 min/mile, so I went to the 11 at first. One woman I asked was AWESOME about it. The other was a bitch.
+ They started a 12 min/mile group for the handful of us who knew that 11 was too fast and the people there are really nice, and both have done this race before.
+ I'm pretty sure our group will grow, as there were people who were really not prepared (had never run outside/off of a treadmill, had never done a full 2 miles) in the faster group.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


1. I'm officially signed up for the Indianapolis Mini-marathon (a half marathon during 500 weekend) training program through my gym. The first meeting is next week, training runs start the week after.
2. I started my class last week, and feel pretty good about things overall. I'll be focusing my research on neurodevelopment (a fancy way of saying brain-based learning, or learning style) and responses to intervention, with a focus on how to determine learning style in very young (and sometimes not very verbal) children. While my instinct is to focus on Gardner, it seems that Levine developed the more popular theory right now.
3. It's COLD, yo. Canada, please take back your air.
5. I'm looking at apartments. The one I saw today would have been reasonable IF utilities were paid OR it was $50-100 less. And if it didn't smell funny. Like bad pipes funny. BOO.
6. We had a two-hour delay because of the cold. It would have been nice to have been notified before I got to school, but whatever. We had about half of our class today, and it was AMAZING!! If we had that many kids everyday, we would get SO MUCH DONE!! Goodness!!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

When an arts major studies statistics

"It is MEAN to call me AVERAGE"

"The MEDIAN is in the MIDDLE of the street"

"It is COMMON to follow the latest MODE"

Dorktastick? yes. Effective? YES.

(and I'd like to offer a little shout out to the diagnostician at Gallup Jr. High who explained most of this to me in easy to understand chunks a few years ago. Or at least explained enough for me to interpret test results and make this stuff easier to parse since I won't need too much of it, anyway. Thanks, Mike, wherever you are.)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Oh, and...

Because this blog is exported to my Facebook account and there has been a surprising number of people from high school and college who have added me recently, some more background. About four years ago, I made a pretty significant change and over the course of about a year, I lost about 100 lbs. While I'm no longer at my lowest weight (Damn North America and your delicious, delicious cookies. Oh, and Southeast Asia and your horrible, horrible beer) I've maintained most of that loss over the past two years, and I have GOALS and will be putting forth more of a concerted effort to work towards them. And for those who want to ask but haven't, no, there was no surgery - all diet and exercise.

World's Worst Blogger

It has been pointed out to me that I well may be one of the world's worst bloggers. It has been approximately eleventybillion years since the last time I posted here, and for a while I was thinking about writing a "So long and thanks for all the fish" kind of post.

But recently I've been thinking about a way to shift, to make this a space that is a bit more applicable to what my life outside of Korea is transitioning into. So while for the past two years this has been mostly a "Korea blog," I think this will start to shift more into a "academic/fitness/vegetarian/teacher/knitting" blog. Or maybe just "whatever" kind of blog. I have to admit that what it comes down to in large part is that I'm really too lazy to set up something totally new, and too indecisive (and not all that interesting) to set up a blog for any one specific issue.

So, in handy bullet-point format:
1. I am a Title 1 tutor at a charter school in Indiana. I started working with several grades, and was recently moved to full-day Kindergarten interventions. As a former 7th/8th/9th grade teacher, this has been more than a bit of a transition.
2. I will be compacting two semesters of research/writing this spring, and if I can pull this off, will have a local college recommend me for elementary and special education licenses in Indiana.
3. I'm in the process of brainstorming of ideas for the thesis, but it will likely have something to do with behavior management. Working from one's strengths and all that.
4. I am (still) a pesca-tarian (mostly-vegetarian-who-eats-fish), and have become much less flexible (for a while, I would make exceptions in certain situations)
5. I will be running the Indy Mini Marathon (a half marathon during 500 weekend) this May. I start training for real in about three weeks. Eep.

Because so many of the people I care about are scattered all over this planet and I love to read what you all are doing, I'm going to try to put forth more effort in this little space.

Wishes of peace, love, and happiness for the new year!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Love more, hate less

Yesterday was a long, emotional day. And reading the transcript of Barack Obama's speech this morning started me crying again. I'm am so proud of my country for making this choice, and I am so proud of Indiana for helping in this direction.

Yesterday I worked for the Democratic Voter Protection Team. When I arrived at 5:30 in the morning, there were already people lined up. There were people who were voting for the first time in their lives and people who had to be physically helped to the voting booths by volunteers and family members. In this mostly poor, mostly African-American neighborhood, there was an excitement and a feeling of purpose, and most of the people who came in were patient with the process and kind - I wish I could say the same for all of the poll workers. Still, from the little old ladies dressed to the nines to the young couple who wanted me to take a picture as they cast their first ballots together, it was great to see people so excited.

I was so happy and excited to see the results come in, but we still have so far to go as a country, and while this is an awesome first step, it will be a long journey to get to real, lasting change.

I was most disappointed to read that California passed proposition 8. This hateful piece of legislation took away the rights of all of the gay and lesbian couples who had married in California, and I think it is so incredibly sad. To paraphrase from a friend, it is astounding to me that people seem to think that one line from Leviticus holds more sway than everything Christ said or did.

To borrow the Facebook religious views statement of a friend, I wish this world could love more and hate less.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality.

Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

Yes we can heal this nation.

Yes we can repair this world.

Yes we can.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics … they will only grow louder and more dissonant … We’ve been asked to pause for a reality check. We’ve been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea –

Yes. We. Can.

- President-elect Barack Obama

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Good stuff

1. I have a new job, and while it isn't so fantastical that I won't be looking for something that makes more use of my background, it is a step-up from where I am right now.

2. I just got the best haircut I've had in more than two years.

3. All but a one of my boxes made the trip from Mokpo. While I can't find lots of small but important-to-me things, opening up the boxes that DID make it brought me so much joy!
3a. If sending packages surface from Asia to North America, pack very, very carefully in REALLY REALLY sturdy boxes, take pictures, and use airmail for anything important.

4. I drove from Indy to my hometown this afternoon and Autumn is SO BEAUTIFUL here! The trees are exploding in the most vivid colors, and they contrast with the browns of the fields and the SKY, and well, it was striking.

5. I am hopeful about the election. Cautiously so, because it would be so, so heartbreaking to me if Obama lost, but hopeful nonetheless.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I voted.

Please make sure that you do, too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Message to Sarah Palin

This video is making the rounds on several feminist blogs, and I think it is important.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I just signed up for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon! May 2, I'll be running a 1/2 marathon!! EEP!! It is part of the Indianapolis 500 Festival, and the end of the race is a lap around the 500 track.

I passed on the "training series" of races (5, 10, and 15 K races) leading up to the race, but might go back and register for those at another time. I'm going to sign up for a training program through my gym (motivation for cold weather running, people to hold me accountable, forced socialization - I'm becoming a bit hermit-like of late) and I'm psyched!

I've be thinking about doing this race for a while, and last weekend I saw my cousin finish the Chicago Marathon, and I was SO SO proud! Walking along the course (we caught up with Beth at a few different places along the route) and seeing the runners so excited, the crowd so supportive, how HARD these people had worked! And were working!! It was inspiration and really exciting. I don't think I'm cut out for 26.2, but I'm readying myself for the challenge of a half! Fighting!

There are a couple of folks talking about doing the race, too, and that would be awesome! Registration usually fills up by the end of November, so think about it - lots of fun! I believe firmly in the "run your own race" approach to running with friends, (if we happen to be about the same pace, great, but I don't want to hold anyone back from doing their best) but it is so great to have friends to line up with and to cheer over the finish line! Or, you know, cheer ME over the finish line, since I'm usually the last one :)

Anyway, committed.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


What do you think would happen if the whole world could vote?

This article from the San Francisco Gate/Chronicle gives some answers. I don't think anyone is surprised that most of the world would vote in favor of Obama, but even I was surprised at the landslide they postulate.

Also, McCain's "That One" comment has had rather an impact.

Darren Davis, a professor at Notre Dame who specializes in the role of race in politics, sent a comment to the Huffington Post about McCain's "that one" remark. "It speaks volumes about how McCain feels personally about Obama. Whomever said the town hall format helps McCain is dead wrong," Davis wrote.

He isn't stupid enough to have intentionally made a racist remark. No one would be. But if it isn't a refection of internal bias, it is an indication of incredibly poor choice, something he has had a history of so far in this race (hi, Sarah Palin? Are you kidding me? OMGWTFBBQ?!).

Friday, October 03, 2008

elections and supreme court decisions.

Just a reminder that for folks in the US, voter registration deadlines are coming up. Indiana is October 6th.

I was accepted as a voting rights monitor for Indiana (they wanted to review my resume and everything!) so I'm pretty psyched.

Also, there was a meme going around talking about Supreme Court cases. In an interview with Katie Couric not only could Sarah Palin not name a single newspaper or magazine that she reads, the only Supreme Court case she could name was Roe v. Wade.

So, my favorite Supreme Court case: Loving v. Virgina. I'll be honest and say that the reason I like this case is because the name of the plaintiff is so apt - this is the case that made interracial marriage legal. Get it? LOVING? 'Cause, you know, they were in love. Yeah, I'm sorta lame.

Anyway, in a nutshell, Mildred and Richard Loving married in Washington, D.C. because VA law stated that interracial marriage was illegal. Police tried to catch them in an, er, intimate moment (also a crime in VA at the time) and they instead were charged because of their illegal marriage. They were found guilty, and a few years later the ACLU began challenging the ruling, which would eventually be heard by the Supreme Court (it wouldn't be until 2003 that the sodomy laws they tried to arrest them for were overturned).

In 2007 on the 40th anniversary of their case, Mildred Loving said the following:
I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people's religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people's civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about.

I have gay friends who have relationships that are deeper, more committed, and more stable than any relationship I have ever had with a guy in my whole entire life, and yet they can't have their relationship legally recognized. Which is so sad and unfair.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


A friend posted this on her blog, and I thought it was very well put.

How racism works

What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review? What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class? What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said “I do” to? What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?

What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization? What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard? What if Obama were a member of the “Keating 5”? What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

— Kelvin LaFond, Fort Worth

What do you think?

Monday, September 15, 2008


- Michigan will use foreclosure lists to limit voting. This is really horrible.
- Samesame but different in Ohio.
- Women against Sarah Palin for Vice President is a blog that has letters from women about why they do not support Sarah Palin for vice president.
- Political fact checking - non-partisan fact checking on the current US election.


It has been a month since I've posted anything to this blog (as my mother very clearly pointed out) and so a quick bullet-point list of what is going on:

- Teaching on an alternative license in Indiana was not as easy as I thought it would be
- I considered and then decided against teaching in other states.
- I had good feedback from these other states that made me feel less defeated.
- I start substitute teaching in IPS at some point this week
- I should find out if there will be any additional SPED openings this week, too.
- The objective at this point is to find out exactly what I need to do in order to become fully licensed in Indiana in the most efficient way possible. This may involve being a full-time student this spring/summer if I am not able to get a full-time teaching position this fall, and patching together a few part-time things until then.
- I still get a bit overwhelmed by conversations going on around me, as I can't seem to block out the English very well, or I block out EVERYTHING. Neither of this are acceptable options, but it is getting better.
- I found a gym here that I really, really like. It is NIFS and is near downtown (on the IUPUI campus) and it is awesome. I can run outside along the canal and near the zoo before going to the gym. Sweet.
- I went to a Korean restaurant for the first time since I've been back last night. We ordered a bottle of soju and found out at the end of the meal that it cost $15. Granted, it was pretty good soju, but STILL!!
- I've been watching a lot of political news lately, and I often end up yelling at the TV. I know no one will be shocked that I lean towards the liberal. I am signed up as an Obama volunteer, and might be working as a voting rights monitor on election day.
- North America, I love your baked goods.
- Libraries ROCK.
- I saw Joshua Bell play with the Indianapolis Symphony, and it was AMAZING!
- I meet up with Korea-friends in here last night, and it was so wonderful. It was such an interesting web of interconnected relationships - Indiana/IU/New Orleans/Korea shared frames of reference and it was really cool.

So overall, while I'm extremely frustrated with the job situation, everything else is going reasonably well. Unfortunately, the job situation is my primary concern. I need to make a better effort at being social and meeting more people, but I have to admit that I still get overwhelmed easily and I can't exactly explain why. I have ended up leaving stores or the library with either nothing or a strange assortment of items simply because I get overwhelmed by the number of options. I'm so incredibly lucky that I'm able to stay at my parents' cottage in Indianapolis - I have a lot of independence and personal space, but also get to see them about once a week or so. I miss my friends deeply, and have had many, many times where I wish I could call people to get together for dalkgalbi at OUR dalkgalbi place, or go to the KOTR meet and greet, or make plans for a 5 or 10k. So many people and places I miss so deeply I don't even have the words.