Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Northwest Folklife Festival

Last weekend the Northwest Folklife Festival took over the Seattle Center with music, merchants and food. It was an interesting event to attend and made me seriously wonder why I didn't buy a "hippy skirt".

It's set up in a way where you travel the grounds and along the paths are minstrels and musicians playing anything from folk music to beating on plastic tubs for drumming.

Meanwhile the Space Needle loomed nearby...

Maybe if the sun did shine on the day I went it would have been too hot to enjoy the festival. So the little showers now and then weren't too much of a bother.

On one green grassy patch some musicians were playing and you could pick up hula hoops and have your go at it. The festival reminded me of similar events I went to when living in Northern California. The waft of pot in the air, along with "hippy" types mingling about. I couldn't help but think how far I've come since those times, and then to come back to a place that is similar.

One area of the festival had flowing water on the ground, which was funny to see considering how much rain Seattle gets. Yet sort of reminded me of the various water fountains found around Korea that double as playgrounds.

I'll finish this post with a rainbow I saw in the distance a few days later... my first rainbow in Seattle...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Story Games Seattle: Meetup Fun

I think I made the best choice to live in Seattle, because there are really fun and whacky things to do in this town. I use to search for these new adventures and do my best to get out to them. Last week I attended the Story Games Seattle meet up at the Raygun Lounge in Capitol Hill.

This wasn't just another run of the mill cafe, but a whole space dedicated for people playing these sorts of card or role playing games. The tables are big enough and the space ample to accomodate several groups.

After everyone gathered around a table we were instructed on how to play. Story Games are like role-playing games but there is a set story or theme to go by. Plus turns out there are cards, dice and sometimes chips.

The way it worked was a few individuals pitched "games" to everyone and we could choose which one we wanted to join. I chose "The Quiet Year", because it sounded the most easy to start off on.

In this game everyone isn't a character but a person from within a "community". Or you are representing the community, I'm not really sure. Anyways, the theme of the story is that there was an apocalyptic event and you are living within a community surviving. It's vague when the event occurred and the make up of your community.

Each person takes a turn, and first gets a card with a specific task or question to deal with. Then you get to use your action of either 1. building something new on the map 2. start a discussion with the group or 3. make a discovery.

In sum it was a fun game and you get to draw on the map and create this world as you go.

My contributions:
- On the left, a quarry with crystals and a glowing barrel inside it.
- On the right middle area, a palanquin with a pretty lady on it.
- Also contributed the defensive fence and bloddy rock outside it that randomly appeared one day.

I think I wouldn't mind playing this game again or going to the meetup and playing something different. I hear in other games you can be more of a specific character.

Also I felt inspired by these types of games towards teaching ESL, as for sure you could make something a bit more watered down for students. But overall seems like an inspiring source for materials.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Alki Beach

Last weekend I went to Alki Beach, which is situated across from downtown Seattle. It was nice to see this area and it actually reminded me of visiting coastal areas in Korea.

Seattle Sunset looking out at Bainbridge Island:

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The University District Street Fair

Yesterday I got out and went to the University District Street Fair, a happening that happens once a year. I haven't spent much time in this area, but beginning to enjoy exploring the other boundaries of Seattle. This is the area north of the core area of Seattle, where the University of Washington lies.

Like any good college town this area is home to an eclectic array of restaurants, cafes and stores. The street fair was fun to walk around and a good variety of things to ogle at.

From fun silk-screened t-shirts to lovely smelling soaps, it felt good again to take part in this American culture.

Entertainers lined the street as well, along with food and bands playing.

The street fair was right next to the University of Washington campus, so I walked along there and relived what a big campus is like. It sort of felt like Berkeley with the spreading lawns and interesting large buildings.

As you can see the Suzzallo Library was quite fun to explore and also lovely to look at.

Where to next!?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


For the past two weeks we were having lovely sunny weather. These days things have cooled off a little, rain has come around and clouds with it too. But during those sunny days people seemed to bounce out of their house and join in on some pre-summer fun. I went to Greenlake again to surround myself with greenery and scenery.

I was surprised to see sunbathers, as that was really a rarity in Korea. Also some folks were swimming in the lake.

I took some time t make a few sketches...

Last weekend I found myself around Capitol Hill enjoying a Pea Patch community garden. Someone was in there doing sketching and it gave me a good idea for the future. Otherwise I enjoyed the garden's flowers and other plants.

As for school I have all my papers in written format and feel ready to tackle them, make them better and get them ready for the end of the quarter. I think this quarter was marked by a relationship I was with that didn't work out, and that I was distracted with that. I guess I just want to have it all; school, career and a relationship. Maybe I can't?

I guess you gotta take what life will give you, and not push for much more. hmm

Friday, May 10, 2013

Family Literacy - Something of Interest

As part of my Adult Learning course we have an assignment where you watch several videos then make some points about how it relates to what we're learning. One of the videos (above) is about a Family Literacy program for ESL learners in New York. I found this example program very enticing and something I would want to be a part of, not necessarily in that location.

Actually, there are several volunteer programs that allow you teach literacy and other subjects to ESL immigrants in my area. But unfortunately my availability has been thin with getting use to my first quarter and also substituting part time. But I'm sure these programs will take me in when I become available. 

I'm still scheduled for two Saturday's of training for a local volunteer group. I'm not looking forward to my time being cut into, but want to get involved with this program. 

Anyways, adult literacy for ESL students looks like a part of the field that would be interesting to me. Mostly because you can see the benefits on the student and as someone who lived abroad in a foreign language country I understand their daily tribulations. 

One article we read was about this Turkish woman who self-liberated from her oppressive society. One of the aspects of her liberation was that language was a form of oppression. I coined the term, "language liberation" after reading about how she became more literate and this helped her speak up for her rights. 

Ok back to the homework factory...