Tuesday, January 31, 2012

miss independent || Project 366

{Project 366. 30/366 - miss independent}
Today was market day at work. Each student brought in things they didn't want, and then they were given ' 3 dollars' to go to different stores (different classrooms) to buy things their friends brought in. Here is Jenny cleaning some toy trains that she bought for her younger sister. She was so cute.  

Here is Jenny again. I gave the students some time to practice reading and memorizing their speech. They each had a partner, but since I have 7 students she was left out. I said she could pick a group to join, but she said she wanted to be alone. Everyone was reading out loud so it was pretty chaotic. Jenny got up and then put her earmuffs on and then went about reading her paper out loud. I admire her independence. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

why art matters || faith

Last night I decided to share my blog with my close friends and family. I get a bit nervous knowing that people I'm close to are reading my blog. If you know my history of blogging, I used to be an avid one. Just for personal reason. Then I got super conscious of everything or anything that I'd share on the internet. So having this official blog is the first step of getting over my fear of what others think and finding validation from others and to keep going.

Then I woke up to this. It was confirmation and encouragement to keep going. Always.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV

ART BRINGS VIBRANCE and beauty to our lives. Creativity is both a fully human and fully divine experience. It is an acknowledgement that something eternal and full of truth lies behind the temporal world in which we live. It focuses our eyes on the pain around us, the injustice in front of us, the joy abounding within us and the pull we feel towards meaning and significance. 

In today's society though, real art is slowly becoming less and less present. Our generation experiences art as a constant stream of marketing. Creativity is now harnessed to push product. When we only experience art in advertisements, web-sites, brands and logos, we lose the invaluable ways that it helps us understand who we are and what life is all about.

Humanity is losing a vital connection to God and to our souls when the arts begin to become unworthy in society. Creating a church environment where the arts are more appreciated and funded is part of honoring the God-given gift of creativity that lives inside us all. There are tons of ways for churches and artists to work together towards spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. (From Relevant Magazine's Devotions)

January for Hannah || my video

Around November or December 2010 I started to watch a lot of Wong Fu Productions videos just for fun. I was so impressed by what they were doing. I was so inspired to see 3 seemingly average guys living out their dreams. Through their video blogs you could see that they were always so humble about how far they had come. I had this urge to make a video, but I was too afraid of failing, too afraid of criticism, too afraid of being overlooked. But here we are. I'm over it. It's 2012 and I finally did it. No story. No script. Nothing but my Nikon D5100, a 50mm prime lens, a good song and great people in my life. I'm so thankful for my friends here that have inspired me as they have also been filming and making their own monthly videos.

For me to share this video with you is a big deal. I never make videos for fun. I'm usually asked to make a video for some conference or event. I've never taken a film course. I don't have any official training it. I barely know how to use my DSLR to it's fullest potential, let alone even know what kind of functions I have on it. I'm amazed that I actually spent time to film, edit, upload AND share this video. It's nothing special. It's just the random things that I did this past month. Since I just bought this camera in December I've been slowly using it more and more. I carry my camera wherever I go so that I can keep up with Project 366. I find myself filming random clips and snapping photos more than I ever did before.

(Watch it in HD)

working hard || Project 366

{29/366 - working hard}
I actually forgot to take pictures today. I spent more time recording my students interacting with each other for my own sake. I have about 22 days left with them. Not even since weekends don't count. Each day I become a bit more sad to think they'll be moving on. Here they are drawing pictures of what they like to do with their grandparents. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

jo jo || Project 366

{28/366 - jo jo}
Jo was one of the first people I met when I came to Korea. She is a very lively girl and I am really lucky to have her in my life. We've been in the same small group for the past year and through that we've bonded in a really unique way. She was gone to Thailand for a week so I was lucky to meet with her for lunch before church.

I liked the way her food looked. Chicken with hummus. 

Ingrid Michaelson - Human Again

I'm not a professional when it comes to album reviews. I hate critiquing things. I either like it or I don't. This album I like a lot. 

Something about this album puts me at ease. With each song I feel like I can relate to her as if we've been friends for years. There's something really comforting with this album and the way each song flows to the next. I like how simple it is. What I like about her music is there's no pretentious feel to it at all. So far I'm really enjoying Fire and Ghost. 

This is my album on repeat for the upcoming days. Go buy it or check out the songs on her myspace.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

lovely ladies

{Project 366. 27/366 - lovely ladies}
We just hung out at a mall, practiced filming and got scolded by some security guard for taking pictures outside of a mall. I'm really thankful for friends like these. We can laugh, talk, eat and just all kinds of random things for hours.

Friday, January 27, 2012

He is Mysterious || Project 366

{Project 366. 26/366 - Mysterious Boy}
His eyes are very Korean/Asian. This boy is an interesting one. He'll come right up to your face and just stare at you. I don't understand him. I just feel sorry for him because of his haircut. I don't think the bowl cut was ever in. I think every Asian kid had to suffer through this. I know I did. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Infamous Jay || Project 366

{Project 366. 25/366 - Infamous Jay}
This is the infamous Jay at our school. He's this tough, chubby 5 year old whose mom dresses him in Armani sweater vests and Christian Dior pea coats. He's so cute. There'll definitely be more of him to come. I was actually filming him and he didn't realize so he kept posing so I decided to snap a picture of him. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My favorite one || Project 366

{Project 366. 24/366 - aw Rina}
We were playing the telephone game in class. Rina was the last student so here she is covering her ears waiting for the message to come to her. She was sitting right beside me so it was a bit difficult to get a picture. The sun was shining right on her when I took this. I love this girl. 

hiking Korean mountains || Project 366

{23/366 - Ansan}
This was taken from the mountain called 안산 (Ansan). It has the best view of the city. I used to live right around the corner from it and would walk up early in the mornings. It's about a 30 minute hike up and when you get to the top, you can see the whole city. This picture shows 관악산 (Gwanak Mountain) and the 한강 (Han River). 

I have no idea what mountain this is but it's north west side of Seoul. I don't know if its 북한산 (Bukhansan). I played around with the effects setting on my camera. Still really beautiful.

I spent this whole Lunar weekend with Mary. I really like this picture because you can still see the city in the background. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

year of the dragon || Project 366

{22/366 - Rice Cake Soup}

This is 떡국 which is known as rice cake soup in English. I went to my uncle's house to celebrate the Lunar New Year. This is traditionally eaten on New Year's day or on Lunar New Year's Day. Growing up it was one of my favorite Korean soups to eat. They say you get one year older if you eat it. 

 After I left my aunt and uncle's house I got on the bus to meet a friend. These two cute boys came on the bus and sat right behind me. The one on the right kept kicking my seat. That gave me an excuse to turn around, smile at him and ask their grandfather if I could take a picture. The grandfather was happy that I asked. He kept saying, "You know they're twins". You could tell he was a proud grandfather. Why wouldn't you be if you these two cuties as grandsons?

Typical Korean BBQ with garlic, mushrooms and kimchi grilling. So good after an evening of travelling on a bus. Korean BBQ tastes the best in Korea.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

bowling moves || Project 366

{Project 366. 21/366 - bowling moves}
We went bowling today. I'm getting worse and worse every time. For those who know a lot about bowling, does forearm strength have a lot to do with bowling well? My friend David here was hilarious bowling. He'd bust out random dance moves after bowling. It was an entertaining sight for the rest of us. I think the group of people you go with really make or break a night of bowling. Tonight was successful. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

hailing a bus || Project 366

{20/366 - hailing a bus}
Waiting for a bus in Gangnam in Seoul. One of the most busiest places to be in Seoul on a Saturday. This bus stop is so hectic that you have to step out in order for the bus to stop for you. To survive in Seoul, you need to learn how to hail a bus.

Aren't these socks lovely? Only in Korea....

Friday, January 20, 2012

Look at Me || Project 366

{19/366 - Look at Me}
I told them all to stand together to take a picture. Instead, Jenny stood in front of the rest of her friends. She was just fooling around when I snapped this picture. So cute

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BK's Birthday || Project 366

{17/366 - BK's Birthday}

And they say that Asians look alike! This was a pretty funny sight. Maybe it was more highlighted since we're in Korea. (This was taken by Matt Ko)

BK re-lighting his own birthday cake so that the workers could sing to him. 

Semy is very animated and cute.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nice Jeans || Project 366

{16/366 - nice jeans}
Being as short as I am (151cm) it's hard to come across a really good pair of jeans. I found that whenever I bought jeans that only cost me $30 - $40 they'd rip really fast. So in 2009 I went against everything I believed in and purchased a pair of Mavi jeans that cost me more than jeans should cost. But they lasted until now. I took a picture of them and am sharing this picture because I can't wear them until I figure out a way to fix them. I discovered a hole in them. I refuse to throw them away so that means I'll need to come up with a solution. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Only in Korea || Project 366

{14/366 - Only in Korea}

My friend David and I were about to get some coffee when we heard this old man yelling in Korean "Somebody stop me! Help!" We turned and saw this man on a motorcycle with heavy boxes rolling backwards toward us. He asked a man next to us to help him get up the hill, so David kindly helped as well. It was pretty entertaining to watch. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Windmills || Project 366

{13/366 - windmills}

We went to this really random park outside of Seoul in Incheon. It was fun just to see a place outside of Seoul. They had these really cute windmills in the middle of nowhere. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Children are Cute || Project 366

{12/366 - victoria}

This is Victoria. She's really cute but really peculiar. She doesn't respond when you say hi or hug her. She always looks like she's thinking deeply about something. I'm sure she is. 

{in love}
Here is Esther and Valentino holding hands. They're dating. They're also 7 and barely talk to each other. I just found it really cute that they were holding hands on the bus ride to our field trip. On the way back to school all the children were talking about them and marriage. Hilarious hearing what their opinions are on marriage. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Opposites Attract || Project 366

{11/366 - Opposites Attract}

{Selca Time}
Mary and I are complete opposites in so many ways. We're a perfect example of how opposites attract. I've known her for a really long time, but it wasn't until we met in Korea summer 2010 that we really bonded. Through our own personal struggles with similar issues, we knew we'd be good friends. I'm so thankful for her heart and love for life. I'm always inspired to dream big when I'm around her. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good food and Good Friends || Project 366

{10/366 - Homemade Meal}

{Good talks}

Living in Seoul it's rare to find a good home cooked meal that isn't from your grandma or aunt. This was an awesome night with a mix of friends cooking, laughing and talking about BB guns and what to do with a rapist. I'm really thankful for these special nights. They're rarity here. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Precious Aimee || Project 366

{9/366 - Precious Aimee}

It was Aimee's birthday. She's actually the oldest student at our school since she was born on January 1st. Whenever we had birthday parties last year, she would always ask when her birthday would be. It finally came. She's also one of the smartest students at the school and I'm pretty sure she's gonna do great things for Korea and the world. She reminds me of me when I was younger :)

Bright Rina || Project 366

{8/366 - bright Rina}
Rina walked in this morning with a bright red jacket and that multi-colored scarf. It made my Monday a lovely one. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Seoul at Night || Project 366

{7/366 - Seoul at Night}
I was at a friend's house for a documentary night. This is the view out of their apartment. Seoul at night. The quality isn't very good since I used my Canon IXUS9515 point and shoot camera. I still can't believe I'm living in a city of over 10 million people. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

delightful friend || Project 366

{6/366 - beautiful Gina}
My beautiful friend Gina. I am so blessed to have a friend like her in my life. I love how graceful she looks here. She is truly a delight in my life.

Friday, January 6, 2012

messy buns and wooly scarves || Project 366

{5/366 - messy bun & scarf}
I really like messy buns and wooly scarves. Put them together and I will take a picture of it. I find this look to be really comfortable. JL did a great job tonight with it. 

Late Night Fridays || my life

Korean girls in Sinchon
I usually don't stay out too late on Fridays. I try to be home by 11. Tonight was our second Seoul Photo Club meeting. This club is fun because it's a random but amazing group of people that meet at least once a month to take pictures around Seoul. We're not professional, but we make an effort to know our cameras and what to do in certain environments. Each time we meet we have different assignments. Tonight we went out to Sinchon to practice shooting at night. Our assignment was to approach at least one person and ask them if we could take their picture. The night was an exciting one. We went up to a balcony of the U-Plex mall. Some of us climbed over the fence and stood on the edge to look over the city. We wandered around the bar street, hit up some batting cages, danced to K-pop, took ghost pictures in a tunnel and I fell in a hole. The night ended up with MR, EH and me travelling to the northern area of the city because of bus communication failures and I came home at around after midnight. Good night nevertheless.

My first week of January is over. It was a slow but beautiful week. I spent some time cleaning my room. I bought a scheduler to help with my weekly schedules and budgeting. I also bought a 3-year diary to help me get in the habit of writing, even if it's a few sentences. 2012 has gotten off to a good start. Even if there a few bumps here and there, I feel like I can do anything I want to. I'm feeling very motivated and inspired lately. I want to be proactive in everything that I decide to do. 2012 will be a successful year. A year of breaking bad habits and developing good ones. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"What teacher?" || Project 366

{4/366 - Slowpoke Rina}
Sometimes she'll come in and just sit on the floor with all her winter gear. She'll slowly take them off without saying a word. Then she'll look at me and say, "What teacher?" 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bright Colors || Project 366

{3/366 - Colors}
A teacher had left tissue paper and pom-poms all over the floor. It looked really pretty.

Monday, January 2, 2012

First Day of School || Project 366

It was the first day of school for my kids and the first day of work for me. It was painful to wake up early again and get back into my work grind.
{2/366 - Strong Jenny}
This is my smallest and youngest student. She's also my strongest. She'll always say "why?" and if she gets scolded she's always so cheery and will say "OK!" and do what she's told to do. 

{Project 366. 2/366 - Pinky}
Pinky. Yep, that's her name. Here she is reading a book to me. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Beginning of 2012 || Project 366

I've decided to partake in the 366 Project (which was inspired by Gregarious Peach). My focus will be on the things I enjoy on a daily basis wherever I am.
I have this terrible habit of starting projects or having many different goals, but nothing ever gets accomplished. Project 366 is something I want to commit to. I'm learning that if you want to be successful in something, you have to commit. If you don't care for something to improve, grow or become better you'll give up on it.

I've always loved photography. I've always loved sharing my photography, so Project 366 is perfect.
So here's to my attempt at starting and completing one of my many new year's resolutions!

{1/366 - Scarf}
A wool scarf is absolutely necessary in the ice cold weather in Seoul.

{Project 366. 1/366 - Falafel in Seoul}
This falafel is amazing. This is at Petra's Palace in Itaewon near Noksapyeong Station (Line 6). One of my favorite places to eat at in Itaewon.