Sunday, 30 March 2014

Some Things I Did in March

It is the end of March. That means I'm shouldering ahead again with work. It is four weeks into the new semester, I'm settling into a rhythm, and getting a sense of my workload for this semester. This is not an easy semester. I'm teaching five content courses: Anglo-American Essay Readings, 19th Century English Poetry, Prose Reading and (Response Essay) Writing, Anglo-American Short Stories, and Film Theory: Cinematic Adaptations of Shakespearean Plays. Apart from my full time job, I'm also working on a PhD and already had to submit two reports. I'm taking three courses this semester. Originally it was four, but I decided to cancel the evening class which started at 7pm and continue until 9pm or later. Seeing as the university campus I study at is over two hours from my house, I just felt that I needed to be more realistic about my time and energy levels. Cancelling that class may result in me graduating a year later, but my general health and well-being is more important to me than getting to write "Dr" in front of my name.

So here is a selection of some other things I've been doing this past month:


It was my birthday earlier this month. Since I didn't do anything special for my birthday the previous year (and I can't remember if I did something the year before that either), I decided to invite some people over for a small dinner at my place. I invited about 30 people, but specifically invited them on short notice, knowing that many would not be able to make it. The reason for this strange logic is that I really do wanted them all to share my birthday celebration with me, but my apartment really cannot host that many people. I figured that a form of natural selection will result in few numbers attending. In the end we were around 12 people. A good size. We had three curries (palak paneer, vegetable, and green Thai) and for dessert I made a trifle. It was my first attempt at a trifle, but it came out very good.

While my guests sang to me for my birthday,
just before I dished the trifle.

Capoeira and Martial Arts

Every two weeks I organize a martial arts workshop. Once a month I and / or one of my friends teach one of the workshops, and for the other workshop of the month we try and find some outside instructors to teach something that is not part of our arsenal. Last week Sunday we enjoyed Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art based on Afro-Latin rhythms. It was great fun. Below are some photos of the instructor from Cordão De Ouro Seoul in action.

I'm still training regularly. I recently decided that I need to refocus on core muscle exercises again. Here are some pics of some of the core muscle exercises I do:

SASKOR First Orientation Meeting

I'm chairperson of the South African Students in Korea association and recently we had our first orientation meeting, hosted by the South African Embassy in Seoul. I gave an overview of what we have done since the association was founded towards the end of last year, and then continued to give a presentation about culture shock and reverse culture. Another presenter spoke about "Conducting Research Outside of South Africa" and two presenters facilitated a session on "Finding Jobs, Making Jobs". I think the session went off really well. We already have a Facebook page for South African students currently studying in Korea and will soon launch a website with relevant information for South Africans considering coming to Korea to study.

Bulssang Dance Performance

Last weekend I went to a dance performance by the Korea National Contemporary Dance Company, entitled "Bul-Ssang", which seemed to be a deconstructionist interpretation of Buddhist iconography. It was quite an interesting performance, but I was somewhat disappointed. Honestly, I expected a better performance from the KNCDC.

Steampunk Art Exhibit

I also went to a steampunk exhibit and wrote a bit more about that in my previous post.


Three movies I watched this month were Noah, the new Captain America, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Of the three I consider The Grand Budapest by far the best movie, and in fact I think it is one of the best, intelligent comedies I have seen in years. An absolutely delightful film, and I think I might just go see it on the big screen one more time before it disappears from the circuit.

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