Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for February, 2008

Orientation, part I

Posted by quirksalight on February 25, 2008

The first couple days of Orientation wasn’t so much on what we will be teaching and how, but acclimation to Korea and culture here.
After arrival on Thursday, it was almost midnight before I arrived at Yousung hotel in Daejon, Korea. We will be here until the 29th with 4 lectures everyday in preparation to start teaching on March 3rd. (eek!) So exhausted… it was almost 26 hours since I had checked my bags at Dulles International airport.

On Sunday, we had a field trip to a traditional Korean village. It’s a mock set up, but the place has traditional architecture from all around the country, artisans demonstrating how to spin silk, brasswork, calligraphy and the engraving of seals.

Monday, was the first day where we were hitting the meat of the orientation process. Teaching. What to do in the classroom, classroom management, interactive learning, etc. Long, but very informative. The last lesson on interactive learning was fantastic. I’m a bit nervous for what’s to come, especially since in one week I’ll be teaching my first English class, but I think it’s a good sign that my mind is cranking away with ideas. 🙂
Here’s a link to my pictures from the first couple of days. Outing with fellow teachers and the trip to traditional Korean village.

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Posted in adventure, EPIK, Korea, teaching, teaching english, travel, traveling | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

I’m here!

Posted by quirksalight on February 21, 2008

In Korea!
And I’m totally exhausted… 20 hours of flying, 2 hours layover, two hours at the airport before and after starting…. about 26 hours of travel time.
Flight to Korea
Here’s the view from my flight out of Dulles International.

One of the more annoying things was the lack of leg room on the Domestic leg of my flight. Here’s how little space I had. And I am a very short person, 5’2″, with a 30″ inseam.
img_0027.jpg

Currently I’m in Daejeon, which is a city 2 hours south of Seoul. We’re having our orientation for EPIK at the Yousong hotel.

Posted in EPIK, Korea, teaching, travel | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Packing…

Posted by quirksalight on February 17, 2008

shoes.jpg
This isn’t even all of my shoes…

yarn1.jpg yarn2.jpg

No… I’m not taking all the shoes and yarn…alas….

Posted in amusing, EPIK, Humor, Korea, moving | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Goodbye, dearie…[sniff]

Posted by quirksalight on February 15, 2008

So yesterday, I sold my car. She was my first car, and I had my little dear for six and a half years. We’ve faced idiots on the road across the entire northeast, four license plates, bikes, long-ass grocery runs, and beaches. But it would be a waste for her to just sit in a driveway for a year, unused and alone. 😦
She’s gone to a set of new parents, who’ll take good care of her. One of them helped keep her in shape for years, so it’s all good.
And yes, it was on Valentine’s Day.

Posted in ancedotes, car, musings, traveling | Leave a Comment »

Voting, voting, voting

Posted by quirksalight on February 12, 2008

vote.jpg
(yes, I got this sticker after I cast my ballot) 🙂

Today was the Virginia primaries. We have open primaries, so it goes like this:
[Assuming you’re registered to vote]

You show up to your local polling place, show them a valid ID (usually a drivers license) or sign an affidavit of your identity, declare which party’s primary you would like to vote in, and then vote. Virginia has an electronic ballot, which was a new experience, as in NY and PA I had used paper or a mechanical lever based voting machine. Go, go technology! So easy to use! So easy to manipulate and taint!! 😈

Posted in 2008 Election, Politics, US, VA, Virginia, vote, voting | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shutterbug!

Posted by quirksalight on February 12, 2008

Whee! I’m getting ready to depart, and one of the things that I had planned to pick up was a new digital camera.
I had a list of requirements, including wide-angle, 8MP or higher, decent optical zoom, 3″ LCD screen, ease of use, high review rating from cnet, etc.
SO I decided and got the Canon Powershot SD 870 IS.
Canon Powershot SD870 IS See the review here.

The toss up was between the Powershot and the Olympus Stylus 790. The former has better picture quality, but the latter is impact-resistant, waterproof, and good for sub-zero temps. Since I will be using the camera several times a week to chronicle my time in Korea, I went for image quality over the high durability. The pictures are rather amazing.

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countdown….

Posted by quirksalight on February 11, 2008

8 days left…

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Final US follow up

Posted by quirksalight on February 7, 2008

And the story continues…
On Monday, I met with the Orthopedic Surgeon I’ve been seeing in VA to go over the MRI results from last Wednesday, and the scans from NY (which just arrived in the mail). This is the last time I’ll be seeing the OS before heading to Korea, barring any unusual circumstances, so I wanted to get a full accounting, etc.
One thing that’s pretty cool is that you get a cd with the MRI scans burned in to it. So of course I was perusing my knee prior to my appointment. And… well… it looks like the defect decreased in the inferior-superior direction and grew in the medial-lateral direction.
However, the MRI images are in 2-D. So if the scan isn’t in the middle of the chondral defect, then there can be interpretation issues. For example:

Here are two possible scans in figure 1. The circle is representing the focal defect, and the lines the plane of scan.
top view
Figure 1: Lines A & B represents the plane that the MRI took a cross sectional scan of the focal defect (which is the circle)

Scan A is directly in the center, it’ll give an accurate read. Scan B is off center, giving a false reading of the defect, indicating it is smaller than it actually is.
side view
Figure 2 A,B: Cross sectional view of how the chondral defect changes depending on scan location

Figure 2 illustrates this, as the image of the defect in the plane of scan would look like 2a for scan A and 2b for scan B.
Basically, since the damn thing is still there and b/c my knee still hurts, the Baker’s cyst is there, I still have a problem. The OS recommends surgery, to realign the patella. And I can understand the reasoning, but I really don’t want to do a pretty invasive procedure if I can avoid it. Right now, the knee pain is not a severe detriment to my quality of life, it just forces me to be more careful of my physical activities than I had in the past. Yes, pain and swelling is there. But hopefully it’ll continue to be manageable via NSAIDs, ice, PT, and exercise.

Posted in Arthroscopy, Baker's cyst, cartilage, cartilage damage, Chondral defect, full thickness defect, health, knee, knee surgery, Korea, MRI, osteoarthritis, osteopenia, osteotomy, surgery, x-ray | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

MLK weekend and the Catskills

Posted by quirksalight on February 2, 2008

After living in NY for a couple of years, I never had the chance to explore the Catskills or Adirondacks until AFTER I moved out of the state. 😛
Pictures here

This past Martin Luther King (MLK) weekend, a bunch of friends from college and I went up to Kinkykill (that’s the name of the house and lands) for the weekend. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in close to a year, so it was a great to see everyone, especially since I found out that I’m leaving the US for a year.
9 people, 4 cars, 3 dogs, and a whole mess of food. It was supposed to snow all weekend, so perfect for winter sports of all kinds. Skiing, snowboarding, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding were on on the “to do” list. Unfortunately, the forecasted snow never arrived, so the nordic skiing and snowshoeing got canceled, as there wasn’t enough snow on the ground. But there was plenty enough for the cars to get stuck halfway up the long driveway to the house. Out of the 4 cars, only the SUV made it to the house. And good thing; it would have sucked to haul the luggage, gear, and food up from the field where the cars were left at near midnight on Friday night.
Heated by two wood burning stoves, it was a cozy place partway up a mountain.

Saturday, we mainly stayed around the house. Most of us were up until 3am, so it was a late morning, and brunch was a great frittata, made by Jess. It was a beautiful day, as seen here:
View from the house
We took advantage of it by sledding down the hill, down the driveway, falling into ditches and through bushes.
Checking out Woodstock, dinner at the house, games and s’mores rounded out the night.
Sunday, two of us had to leave early after brunch. 😦 Five of us went tubing and proceeded to make the most of our two hour ticket in a rather biting wind. Great fun, but OMG, I was very glad to thaw out after. Dinner at the gypsy wolf cantina, and then chasing down a radio station to hear what happened in the Giants v. Cowboys playoff game, as the restaurant kicked us out with less than two minutes left in the game!!!
Monday – wrapping up, closing up the house, and more than a spot of car trouble. Stuck cars, blown engines, dead batteries… ay-ya-ya…

Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, friends, fun, holidays, Nature, New York, outdoors, Penn, vacation | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »