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I’m getting increasingly anxious. We’re heading to Gyeongju tomorrow to meet Eun Jeong’s mother for the first time. It’ll be a short overnight trip. I hear they’re nervous too. They’ve only seen foreigners on TV. We’ve been stressing on what a good gift would be. I wanted to get a todok root gift set, but it’s finicky and could spoil in transport. We have decided to get something when we arrive in Gyeongju. I’m also making some salted caramels for my next Korea Herald article. I could also gift wrap those if they turn out alright.

For Seollal, Chris gave us Transformers–Bumblebee and Barricade. I was like a kid at Christmas. I tell you, they are a lot harder to transform these days. The joints are mostly balls and sockets, which makes them very posable but difficult to slide into place when turning them into cars. Put one part into place and another pops out of place. Eun Jeong played with them last night and had fun transforming Bumblebee.

I’ve also gotten a synthesizer on eBay–a Yamaha S80. It’s a discontinued model, but I need it mainly for its weighted keys. It’ll primarily be used for composing music on the computer. I’m going to pick it up when/if I visit the States, along with my old electric guitar. I also got a Wii while on eBay with some games.

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Excited.

Winter school is over–right when I was getting used to it. I liked playing multiplayer games during the break in between Winter classes and normal classes.

In the meantime, I’ve started to become an old man.

How?

On Tuesday and Thursday mornings I’ve ventured out into the cold to have breakfast at McDonald’s with our circle of friends. I actually enjoy it–even though I may start bringing my own slightly healthier breakfasts in the future.

We’ve discovered that another Dr. Fish place has opened in Beomgye. They’re getting popular.

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Lots of stuff going on. We still lead busy lives and full weekends. The past two weekends we have been doing restaurant research for food articles. This past weekend was more successful. Eun Jeong did the research. Only one of the restaurants didn’t exist this time, and the others were worthy enough to write about.

A huge rash of kids have quit my classes. This is normal for the period between January and February, when the Korean school year winds down. Two of my classes are totally gone, so I spend the time doing paperwork for the school. The big change, I think, is that the “monkeys” in Monkey Class have all quit. All at once. I like the kids, but they were a handful for two years straight. It’s starkly changed the dynamic of that class. They’re not smarter or less. In fact, I’m left with the slowest and the brightest students in the class with no middle ground. It’s a lot calmer to teach.

Writing–or rather, researching for writing–takes up most of my time these days. A bunch of us have also signed up to take morning Korean language courses. That was my New Year’s resolution, ya know.

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