congratulations, you’re 39

14 03 2013

i turned 39 yesterday. 40 by korean math.

steve and my dad sent me a nice message to start the day, and my brother remembered too. darrell sent a morning text and an email. ¬†and while it may be fashionable to dis facebook, i felt gratitude to read “happy birthday” from my friends, even from friends i’ve not been good at staying in touch with.

my co-teacher told our students it was my birthday, and they bought some small candies from the 7-11 in our basement, since none of us can leave the campus. when i walked into class, they sang happy birthday with lots of clapping and lots of “congratulations”, because the same word’s used here for happy birthday and congratulations.

what do you say when someone says “congratulations” for getting older? you didn’t have anything to do with it. it’s no accomplishment.

another class sprung for pizza, and we sat around 6 domino’s pies and pepsi talking about bowling and ping pong. our campus is dry, but my co-teachers and i ended the day drinking red wine in paper cups in my dorm room.

it was an unexpectedly wonderful day.


“new york” class


kyle, steven, jason, eric and ryan (why couldn’t samsung have let the students pick more interesting names? we have three jasons, three ryans, three stevens and two kyles at camp)


who knew domino’s was delicious?


logan, who took his name from the x-men’s wolverine, since he’s a hairy mofo.
also, teacher’s favorite


ryan, who wears toe socks and plays guitar and whose idea it was to spring for pizza

10 for 1

5 03 2012

on birthday cakes in Korea, short candles represent one year, and long ones represent 10. so when our classmate Guillaume turned 30 last semester, we got him a cake with 3 candles. well, we got him a cake with 4 candles, because, you know, you get that extra year in Korea. isn’t this custom preferable to the wax numbers we use when we run out of cake real estate? (hello 47!)


paris baguette's blueberry cake = the bomb-dot-com (ed)