Tuesday, June 26, 2007
So, in the last year, I've had, I think, around 45 X-rays. YIKES!!! That includes the ones at the previous hospital and the X-rays at the dentists' offices that I've been to. I had one X-ray taken yesterday at the dentist, and then again today, as the machine malfunctioned and squished the picture up a bit so that you couldn't clearly see what was what (computer image xray). They had to readjust the machine and retake the X-ray.
It is getting quite expensive. The dentist is quite cheap here compared to back home. At least, some things are. To get a wisdom tooth pulled, it cost me less than $10, including the X-ray and medicine; about $25 when it was a bit more intensive and I had to have a couple of stitches. The problem I have now, is a bit more extensive. The dentist says it is probably due to the medication I've been taking, that my immune system is down and so I am more susceptible to things (which is what I had already thought of). Anyway, it is some sort of gingivitis or such. I needed a teeth cleaning anyway, so he is doing that at the same time. He is also doing a bit extra for me because he feels bad, he is charging me for the regular type of scaling, but using the laser scaling. It will cost me a total of $400, being done in 4 sessions - one quarter of my mouth at a time. Each takes about 30 minutes. He used the laser to clean my teeth and I think he was cauterizing my gums a bit, as I have been having a bit of problems with them bleeding. With my mouth numbed and my face covered, all I could do was smell the burning what ever. not nice. 3 more times I have to deal with that.
So anyway, this hasn't been the best day. 2 hours at the hospital and almost an hour at the dentist's office.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
After the parade, there was a concert with a few very famous Korean singers. KLON was one of them. I'll post a little video of that next time. There were also traditional Korean songs and dancing. During the concert, little bits of pink paper were blown into the air. SO MUCH that the ground was completely covered by the end.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
I think the animals out there were a bit confuzzled by the bubbles. :PMr. TigerMr. ZebraMr. Monkey
Monday, June 04, 2007
The site that has the frog song (Little Fox) requires a password, which I don't remember (it is saved in all of the computers at work), so I can't link you to the actual song. If you want an idea as to what the site is like... the links at the top are - bubbles left to right: videos, songs, games, stuff I don't use.
Another site I sometimes use is the Yahoo Korea kids English site. It has a bunch of songs, videos and games as well.
On this vein, you should all make every effort to see a German movie currently being screened at selected theatres. "The Lives of Others" It is a must see movie.
I don't know who the original author of the following is, but it should be a wake-up call for us all.
A man whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide our attitude toward fanaticism. "Very few people were true Nazis" he said, "but many enjoyed the return of German pride, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, they owned us, and we had lost control, and the end of the world had come. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories."
We are told again and again by "experts" and "talking heads" that Islam is the religion of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who wage any one of 50 shooting wars worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups throughout Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, or honor kill. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals.
The hard quantifiable fact is that the "peaceful majority" the "silent majority" is cowed and extraneous.
Catholic Rome and Spain were silent when Christian fanatics raped, plundered and murdered thier way across South America. The 'Silent Majority' looked away, convinced that the Church knew what they were doing.
In Australia the 'majority', both here and in England, were silent while fanatics were mixing poison into the flour and sugar handed out to tribal indigenous people, and when thier children were been taken away into slavery/servitude. It has been estimated that one million aboriginal people died during colonization.
Many in the west were silent when Irish Catholic and Protestant fanatics were killing the innocent in Northern Ireland.
Communist Russia comprised Russians who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were irrelevant.
China's huge population, it was peaceful as well, but Chinese Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.
The average Japanese individual prior to World War II was not a warmongering sadist. Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12 million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel and bayonet.
And, who can forget Rwanda, which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said that the majority of Rwandans were "peace loving"?
Today the 'majority' is silent while Israel bombs refugee villages and camps in Gaza, Southern Lebanon and the West Bank, killing mostly innocent women and children. All in the name of 'peace'.
History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt, yet for all our powers of reason we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: Peace-loving people have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving people will become the enemy if they don't speak up, because like my friend from Germany, they will awake one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. Peace-loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Aboriginees, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late. As for us who watch it all unfold; we must pay attention to the only group that counts; the fanatics who threaten our way of life.
Lastly, at the risk of offending, anyone who doubts that the issue is serious and just deletes this email without sending it on, can contribute to the passiveness that allows the problems to expand. So, extend yourself a bit and send this on and on and on!! Let us hope that thousands, world wide, please read - think about it - and send it on. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've imagined.
[the KTX in the news - even though it is all in Korean, it'll give you an idea of the speed of the train as well as some of the technical aspects of it (if you keep watching)]
[The opening of the I-Park Mall in the news.]
Friday, June 01, 2007
May 15th was Teacher's Day in Korea. Some schools closed. Most were open. The government has been trying to reduce the effects of Teachers' Day as many parents (and teachers) have used it as a way to bribe teachers (I have heard) into giving special treatment to their children - the bigger the gifts, the better the kids are treated. It is also a bit of a show. The kids, however, just love to give things to their teacher, and the parents want to show their appreciation. My first year in Korea (at a hagwon kindergarten), I got so many things that I couldn't take it all home in one trip. Since then, the number of gifts has decreased for several reasons. The main reason, I think, though, is the types of schools I have been at. The second school was an after school hagwon (academy) with mostly elementary kids. So, it wasn't their main school, I wasn't their main teacher. Then I was at a Korean kindy were I basically just made an appearance in every class each day. Again, not the main teacher. This year, I have my own class of 10 regular students (and 1 half day). I got at least something from 10 of them. Most of them were brand name, big department store buys (translate to expensive).
I got a very cute card from Lisa, that she wrote in herself.
From YongKyu I got a little make-up pouch.
David's gift for me was a very fancy ETRO hair elastic, a bunch of giant muffins and a cheese cake (muffins (I only took 4) and cheesecake to be shared with his other teachers).
From SukMin I got a set of Aveda body cleanser and moisturizer (both 250 mL size).
Sarah gave me an umbrella.
Annie gave me a set of ORIGINS bath oil and body cleanser. If you can't read the note, it says, "Dear Laura teacher, Thank you for being nice and helpful to me! I love you and thank you for helping me when i'm sad or not feeling well. Your the best teacher! Ever!! I hope you have a great teachers day!"
ChaeYeon got me DIOR Placticity Anti-cellulite corrective gel.
Steve gave me a fancy handkerchief.
HyunSang's gift for me was fancy little rice cakes. The little note says, "Dear Laura, Thank you for your good teaching and take care of my sun. I know your very great teacher. Someday my sun said Laura teacher is very interested in good relationship with Starters children. Today is teachers day. I will keep your love for my child in my heart. Thank you Laura. From parents of H.S."
I got an umbrella from SeungWoo. It has a soft bag and a hard case. I didn't take a picture of the actual umbrella, as I ended up using it the day I took the pictures, and so it was hanging up to dry. It has the same pattern as the case.