I “graduated” and my mom came to visit me!
Mon [5/22]: So this was the day of my final interview test for my class at Sogang. Last time, our speaking teacher gave us the test, but this time, a teacher from level 2 interviewed us. However, I had already met this teacher because she taught the extra pronunciation class. This test was also without a partner which I liked better. I felt I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, but it wasn’t too bad.
Tues: This was the day of graduation. All the morning classes were there (not just level one), and it took place in a smallish auditorium on campus. I actually don’t know what most of graduation was like because I was a part of the talent show, so I was back-stage the whole time. It seemed like a lot of formalities and pomp and circumstance for just moving up a level in my opinion. It’s like that scene from The Incredibles where Mr. Incredible is frustrated at the fact that there’s a ceremony for his son to go from fourth grade to fifth grade and describes it as “celebrating mediocrity.”
The performance went well. This was the performance of the dance class that I’d been taking these past couple months. I really enjoyed it. Many of my classmates were very surprised that it was me up there. I’m not sure why, but I think it was probably the fact I was wearing make-up—and heavy stage make-up at that.
Later that evening, most of my class got together to have Korean barbecue as a last hoorah before heading our separate ways. A good number of us are going on to level two, but some aren’t, so it was good to be able to say good-bye.
Fri: My mom came to Korea on this day! Because her flight got in in the evening, we didn’t actually do anything this day really.
Sat: This day we met up with Sydney and Luke, my normal Saturday crowd, and went to the brand new Lotte [low-tay] Tower. It just opened a couple months ago and is the fifth tallest building in the world.
After that, we went to a baseball game. The home team was the Doosan Bears (Doosan is a construction company) and the away team was the KT Wiz (the same team we saw play in Suwon). It was really interesting because they sat all the foreigners together. The KT Wiz has quite a few foreign fans because it’s the Suwon team and is close to one of the bigger American military bases.
Sun: The next day, my mom and I went with Lisa (one of the missionaries here I met last year who is also tutoring me in Korean), Sydney, and Luke to Lisa’s church. After that, we went to the Fairytale Village and the Incheon China town. Sydney and I went to all of those places when I was here last year with Lisa, but it was Luke and my mom’s first time.
Mon: This day we went to Seonyudo Park. This was my third time to this park, and there were a lot more flowers so it was even prettier.
We also went to see Sogang’s campus. After that we went shopping in Idae (the area around Ewha University). Then we went and saw Hongdae (the area around Hongik University) quickly.
Tues: This day we went to Changdeokgung. I’ve been to this palace with Luke and Sydney, but we didn’t have time to go into the secret garden area. The garden was beautiful.
Wed: We went to Seoul Theological University. This was where I spent a good deal of my time last year as it is where the English camp was held. We ordered pizza with Lisa and Susan (the missionary and professor at STU I’m staying at).
After that Lisa gave us a tour. It was really cool because I only knew the parts of the campus that were important to the camp, so there was much of the campus I’d never seen before.
After that, we went to Coffee Bay. (Yes, Coffee Bae was there too.) After that we went to this really awesome Christian bookstore. Lisa knew some of the people who were a part of a church outreach that had an office on the second floor so we went to talk to them. There’s a possibility that I might be able to join a campus outreach Bible study at STU this organization runs where I could practice and learn Korean.
After that, we went to a traditional market near Bucheon Station.
Thurs: This day we went to the Lotte Folk Museum. This is a museum that talks about the history of Korea. There was almost no one there so we had a fun time exploring the museum by ourselves. After that we went to the aquarium in the CoEx Mall.
Fri: Finally the pollution dropped down to low enough that it would give us optimal viewing at Namsan Tower. I’ve walked up to the tower, taken a bus up to the tower, and now I have finally completed the third optional transportation which is taking a cable car up to the tower. It was really fun, and we must have gone at a good time because there was no line!
After that we went to Insadong. Insadong is a big shopping street for foreigners to buy souvenirs. We bought lots of awesome stuff. I was approached four times by students who were on a field trip assigned to interview foreigners as English practice.
Sat: On this day, we met up with Luke and went to Gwanghwamun Square. We saw the King Sejong statue and went into the museum underneath. We didn’t go into Gyeongbokgung, but we went into the gate area (Gwanghwamun). Then we went into the Palace Museum that is nearby. That’s something I’ve never done. My favorite part were the old maps of the palaces and an awesome water clock.
Sun: This day, we went to the church I normally go to on Sundays near Gangnam Station. We met up with my college roommate, Bethany who also attends this church. This is an English-speaking church and is technically an English-outreach ministry of a bigger Korean church. After church we went to eat bulgogi at a restaurant nearby. After that we went to noraebang.
Mon: This was the day I took Mom to airport. I’m so grateful that she was able to come and visit me.
Please pray for my mom’s safe flight home!
I’m going to be moving in with one of the other OMS missionaries here named Monica. Her apartment is in the same complex as the one I’m staying in now so I’m not going far. Please pray that the move goes smoothly.
I’m also starting the second session on Thursday. Please pray that I get back into the groove quickly.