Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Feast

For Christmas Day I joined my boyfriend and his family for a traditional feast in the Ballard area. He has a large family and so I met many cousins and uncles.

It was a fun mix of Phillipino food and other fixins including a really great salad.

I enjoyed this gathering and couldn't help but think back on last year's Christmas. I went out to eat with my good friend in S. Korea and then went home. When thinking about this I realised that this year's Christmas was the one I wanted for so long, spent with a family and enjoying the season. For too long Christmas in Korea was really about couples and showing off commercialism at the local department stores. Sure the commercialism part happens here, but I actually didn't mind it this year.

Anyways hope everyone had a nice Christmas it's on to New Year's!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from Seattle!

I feel like I've moved in enough now that things feel cozy and settled. I surprised myself by getting practically every box unpacked and even was able to fit my suitcases in my new place.

There are still some things left to do and organise, but I can slow down now and enjoy this Christmas Eve back in America. Ian surprised me with a really sweet gift yesterday and we will attend his family gathering tomorrow.

Overall, I'm tired from the move and kind of sad I didn't have time to enjoy this season. However, I've got 2014 to look forward to!

Above you see Tom being bad, because my windows don't have screens. He was so close to just popping out the window. So I've been busy taping window screens to them which so far is working. Hope to find a suitable and sturdy replacement in time. For now I'll keep a close eye on him.

Overall, I think the move here has been a little hard for Tom because he made friends with the cats at my old place. But I think after I let him get cozy here he'll be okay.

That's the view of the yard area next to my building and the following is Ian and me eating brunch after the move.

While I was leaving Home Depot last night I caught the sunset near the big Starbucks building in the SODO region.

Merry Christmas everyone~

Friday, December 20, 2013

Snowy Seattle 2013

It's all melted now but I got up this morning, ate some cereal and put on my winter gear to go for a walk and enjoy my first snow in Seattle. Apparently, Seattle doesn't get much snow that often and when it comes the city is abuzz with tales of "Snowdoom". Having experienced "real" winter several times in Korea, I kind of laughed at what I was hearing about the pending doom. However, I do enjoy snow and it's even better when it just lasts for a while and doesn't become an icy nuisance.

I enjoyed my stroll around my neighbourhood before the rain came and melted everything away.

The following is a view looking East towards Lake Washington and Bellevue. 

Near a local elementary school, children were seen enjoying sledding down the hill.

I move tomorrow, so hoping things will clear up just a little bit so my things don't get all soggy.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Back to Studio Life

In Korea, I lived in studio spaces the whole time, and I really vowed to myself that when I returned to America I would get more space. Turns out I'm not financially ready yet to have my own 1 bedroom apartment (and near school). I've enjoyed living in a house here but in the end I just usually spend time in my room, which is actually smaller than a studio.

So as you know I wanted to branch out and have a space of my own. I found this studio not too far from where I live now and it has enough space and pretty much does the job.

I like that the kitchen is separated by a wall with an opening, so that it doesn't feel like you live in that space. The bathroom is incredibly tiny, but I'm not really the kind of gal who spends a lot of time in there anyways.

The kitchen is also not the biggest of spaces but I'll make that up with a table I can prepare food on and put the appliances on as well.

I won't really move in till this weekend, as I don't have much time or helping hands available after work these days. Till then I've been putting in the essential stuff like plates and cleaning supplies. I should make another trip to Ikea, but not sure if I'll have the energy tomorrow...feeling a little under the weather right now.

If anything I'm happy I'll have those windows to gaze out of while I do my studies and kick back here in Seattle.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

This and That

Well it's one of those posts where I say "sorry" for no posts. School finished up and I think I did pretty well this quarter. This will be my winter break time now till the second week of January, but I have exciting news. I got regular hours at the school I substitute for, so I can make a little extra cash this season and also practice teaching adults. That's probably why I've been too busy to enjoy some free time and post stuff.

I'm happy about my regular hours this winter because I'm teaching 3 private classes and they are all Saudi Arabian students. I've never really had such a chance to teach this culture and so I'm kind of excited. I'll try to write in more about what it's like.

Otherwise I still haven't moved in to my new place but I think that will change very soon. I'm kind of living with the bare minimum right now as a lot of my stuff is in boxes.

I can't believe Christmas is just around the corner and although I haven't posted much I really like seeing the decorations around town. Especially the lights people put up on their houses. I can't believe I missed seeing that and I hope to get out one evening and take photos. Otherwise it's not so cold here but still cloudy and rainy at times.

Well hope to post pics of my new digs soon!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Affective Filter Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition

For my other class (Second Language Acquisition) I decided to do my final report on the Affective Filter Hypothesis. I'll be giving my presentation today, so I'm feeling a little nervous. But maybe putting up this post will help keep me in line. 

The above is what I made in an iPad app called Flowboard. I've never used an app to make a presentation before, but I wanted to go outside the usual PowerPoint box and do something different this time. I can access the presentation online using the classroom's computer. 

The gist of the affective filter hypothesis is that language learners (and pretty much all people) have filters that inhibit their ability to acquire the language at a desirable rate or proficiency. In my presentation I'll go into the theoretical background, variables and what teaching methods might be useful when wanting to lower student's filters. 

Keep in mind this is just going to be a 10 minuter presentation highlighting the 16 page paper I wrote. 

But I think what was interesting from my research, and what I will highlight in my presentation, is that student's have particular language related anxieties. For example communication and listening. I particularly found that listening anxiety is interesting because it shows that if we give our students a variety of listening samples (real-life talk vs. scripted) that it could help lower their anxiety but also give them a well-rounded lesson. 

Overall, I think that it is pretty obvious students come to class feeling something either anxiety or some other emotion. I also recognise that it is really difficult to judge how student's feel. But by seeing that there are specific language related tasks that cause anxiety I can then go forward with my lesson planning knowing that perhaps there are ways to mitigate it. 

I've already started to observe more how emotions work out while I teach and what I can do as an instructor. So it's been interesting and already having an affect on my real life.

Here's hoping I don't rush through my presentation or flub something up!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December starts

Well I have less than 2 weeks left of this fall quarter and glad to be here at the tail end. My life has been kind of in a whirlwind lately since I decided I wanted to branch off and live on my own. So far I've been living in a house with 2 other folks, and it's been good (cheap) and convenient. But I think I got to used to living on my own when I was in Korea, and the itch to return that has been bugging me for sometime. Since I have a break coming up from school I figured this was a good time to break from where I am now, so that I don't have to move in the middle of a quarter.

So with a lot of hunting and searching I found a little studio not too far from where I am now. It's basically what you saw in Korea, except with windows! Through my five years living in Korea I lived in only one place that had a huge window with a wonderful view. The only hitch with that was that the job was tough and agonising. Anyways, the rest of my time in Korea I heavily lamented the fact that you had just one side of your wall for windows.

My new place will have a large window facing Southeast that on a clear day gets a view of Mt. Rainier. It also has 2 other windows throughout the space.

My house hunting was difficult, since I'm a student and on a budget so my choices were limited. It turns out Seattle is going through an upgrading phase where the housing is getting more and more expensive. It was truly hard to find something reasonable within my budget and near my school. There were a lot of choices in the surrounding areas, but that would of meant a commute and spending money on gas.

However, the place I'm moving to struck me as "home" when I walked in and although I'll be going back to studio living I think just being on my own will make it worth it. The kitchen area has a partitioned wall in front of it, so it won't feel like I live in a kitchen.

The way I saw it was that I spent most of my time in my current place in my room or the kitchen, and this room started to feel cramped with all my stuff in here. (I have too much stuff).

I need to make extra money anyways so with the subbing job I'll be able to get by. It's a gamble to keep paying cheaply for rent and live with other people or pay more and live with yourself.

So I can't move into this new place till they finish installing the new bathroom shower, which they hope to finish by this weekend or next week. Till then I guess I can pack. :)