After a short session at the climbing gym (and unfortunately pulling a neck muscle), I was stabbed by multiple snowflakes on my bike ride home. The uncomfortable yet strangly refreshing ride resulted in a snow-covered scarf resembling a Santa beard. I promised myself not to go outside for the rest of the night. Rather, I cooked for the upcoming holiday events and Skyped my boyfriend while roasting my buns on the ondol (floor heating). I fell asleep late at night on the warmth of my heated mattress.
This morning, I woke up to a blanket of snow. I wasn’t nearly as astonished as I was at last year’s first snowfall (it was the first time seeing the white powder since high school in New Jersey), but it was still a surprise. I could have sworn I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt just three weeks ago. To take in the scenery, I opted to take a slow walk rather than a wet bike ride to work. The trees still have some yellow leaves, proof that it is still supposed to be fall. The leaves covering the sidewalk are now buried in a thin blanket of snow. Mother nature has little patience nowadays; it’s too early for snow, but let’s not forget about how mathmatically beautiful nature can be.
Wearing white pants was not my brightest idea. Matching the weather seemed to be suitable, but I failed to take into account the dirty slush that would splatter all over my calves. To further contribute to my pants collage, I dropped kimchi on my lap at lunch. I was a walking art canvas at school today.
Today feels anything like Thanksgiving Thursday. I taught my students about the holiday while they drooled over pictures of the traditional foods. “CHICKEN!!” they hollered in response to the gobbly bird. I taught them words like “gratitude” and “food coma”. My students say they are thankful for family, computers, PC games, and money. I also got the occasional “Thank you for teacher”. I said I’m gracious to live in Korea and have such wonderful students. I meant most of it. To hear what I’m really thankful for, I made a gratitude list a few months ago. It’s nice to appreciate during this special day, but what stops us from doing it during an ordinary day? Nothing, I say!
Anyway, students took full advantage of their 10-minute break between each class today. Between bells every day, the school actually transforms into a legitmate zoo. Boys appear to practice sumo wrestling and even girls chase one another to smack each other’s heads. Of course, they pierce the teachers’ ears while engaging in this ritual with their shrieks. Instead of invading the hallways today, students ran outside to craft snowmen and whip each other with snowballs. Several munchkins came back into the building nursing snowballs as if they adopted some caterpillars.
Hanukkah actually started yesterday, November 27. Because my mother is Jewish, I technically am as well. We only seemed to participate in cultural activities: lighting the Menorah, eating latkes, attending Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and eating Matzo during Passover (not abstaining from regular bread though). I’ll still recognize all of the Americans and Jewish people scattered around this world.
So, a Happy (C)Hanukkah and Thanksgiving to you!