Category: taekwondo

Christmas break part 1

Well, after a long hiatus, Sinbad has returned!  Hopefully I’ll be able to be a bit more regular in my writings this semester! 🙂  But I can now officially say that I survived my first semester of graduate education!  It was a really tough semester, so I’m really pleased to be able to say that I survived :D.

The one good thing about being a graduate student, is that there are no finals in grad school!  So, I was able to leave about a week and a half earlier than everyone else, which was wonderful, to say the least. The latter half of my Christmas break was frenetically crazy, so having an extra week at the beginning of the month to just relax at home was just delicious.  I got to be home for both Josh and Matt’s birthday (and see their graduation from white to yellow belt in karate!), decorated the tree with my siblings, went to a tacky sweater party as a family, drove around looking at Christmas lights, and overall just had a grand time together.  I’m so blessed to have a family that loves me so much :).  It was even better this year, because last year my Christmas was so squeezed, since I only had 2 weeks of leave to be home from Korea.  I think having such a crazy holiday last year made me appreciate the extra relaxing time even more this time around.

Mom made a homemade ice cream cake for Josh and Matt’s birthday

The brand-new yellow belts! 🙂

My shirt is snoopy, and I’m holding a Charlie Brown ornament.  I thought it was cute… 😉

My family really got into the tacky sweater party

Mom and I dressed a bit more conservatively 🙂

Right before Christmas, however, the mayhem began!  Together with my family, I drove several thousand miles – right around 3000 – within the span of 2 1/2 weeks.  The whirlwind tour began in North Carolina, with a visit to my dad’s parents.  They took us to WonderWorks, the same hands-on science museum that I went to in Orlando late last year (check out this link to read about that).  And it was just as fun the second time around!  Maybe even more, actually, since this time I went with my beloved family :).

The whole family (plus Jan!) in front of WonderWorks

Indoor ropes course!

Even mom went up!  I was so proud!! 🙂

After North Carolina, we went even farther north, spending Christmas in New Jersey with my mom’s parents.  We did a bit of visiting, a bit of helping them move and get unpacked, a bit of hanging out; and then it was time to move on again!  After 3 days spent with each set of grandparents, we headed back down to Georgia.  It was quite a whirlwind tour, and exhausting to say the least; but really wonderful at the same time.  I get to see my grandparents so infrequently; getting to see all of them within the same week was just unheard-of happiness! 🙂  More about the latter half of my Christmas break in the next update!

A little bit of everything

Wow.  I have so many things to talk about.  I’m not quite sure where to start….

Ok well, let’s begin at the beginning, I suppose.  I’ve had quite a bit of changes and experiences over the past few days.  Early last week, I organized a ballroom dance for the ETAs and Koreans who happen to be here at campus.  About 15 people came – which was pretty good, considering how busy everyone was.  They were all beginners, so it was basically just a big lesson, but it was still fun.  Any dancing is better than nothing.  I’m so looking forward to finding regular dancing places once I get to Gyeongju :).

Friday morning I had to give a 3-minute speech in Korean.  It wasn’t very good, but a speech it still was.  It’s astonishing to me how much Korean (relatively speaking) I’ve learned in just 6 weeks.  To think that only a little over a month ago, I didn’t know a single word of Korean; and now I can have a basic conversation!  It’s pretty exciting :).  Speaking of Korean, today was my last day of Korean class.  It was very sad.  Yesterday we had our final, so today we just got the tests back and played games and pranked the other classes and watched K-pop (Korean Pop).  I got a 93% on the test; considering the amount of material that it covered and how much I struggled understanding it at the beginning, I was quite pleased with that :).  Class today was my first real experience with K-pop, and I must say that I’m hooked.  The songs are so catchy, the music videos are awesome, and the whole genre is slightly ridiculous.  It’s awesome, I love it :).   You can watch a popular K-pop song by Super Junior by following this link.  Also, check out the pictures and videos below of my teachers from class today….this is why I love them!!!  I’m going to miss them so much… 🙁

Teacher #1

The whole class

Teacher #2

Their mugs shots 😀

Last week I also went to a traditional Korean tea ceremony.  We sat on the floor, and got to make the tea, and pour it into the little cups, and had strange little rice cakes things of which I have no idea what the name is.  It was lots of fun :).

Practicing Taekwondo at the Tea Ceremony.  I love it 🙂

I also passed my yellow belt test in Taekwondo!  There was a form test, and then we had to do a few kicks that we had learn, and break a board.  That was exciting :D.  We sparred with each other in class today.  I guess the teacher got bored, though, because then he decided that he wanted to spar with me – a 5th degree black belt against a brand-new yellow belt.  Let’s just say I’m hurting pretty badly now….I’ve got cuts and bruises all over my hands, my foot is bruised, and I can’t lift my right arm.  But it was worth it :D.

Me breaking a board – several of them at once, actually

The whole class

I shouldn’t be smiling that much after the beating he gave me….

Well, we’re going to Seoul this weekend and we’re leaving at 5 in the morning, so I suppose I should go get some rest.  I’ll update you on my adventures in Seoul soon!  Love you!!