August Hodgepodge

I’ve been pretty lax with my blogging as of late! To be honest, the heat here in Korea is just so miserable that it’s hard to work up the energy or enthusiasm to do much exploring. I’ve just been plodding through the month, teaching my students, trying to do my P90X3 workouts when my back or hip doesn’t go wonky, and keeping up with my practice club. Also, I’ve been revamping and updating our retirement spreadsheets. At some future point, I do plan to write about my approach to retirement planning. It feels like a million years ago that I took and passed the CFP exam, even though it’s only been five months!

Without further ado, here are a few updates in my life:

Music

Starting a Facebook practice club is one of the best things I’ve ever done. For the first time in a  long time, I’m in a consistent, reliable practice routine. I’m currently almost done with my 4th trip through the Flesch scale book since starting the group back in April.

I’m enjoying my students a lot, and I’ve got a full slate of 14 for the fall. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my teaching preferences this year and it’s been an interesting process.

I’m having a blast playing violin in a group with a couple of guys from the 8th Army Band. We had our first gig at a festival earlier in August, on a steaming hot night of 90°+. The audience was wonderful, though, and hopefully our next gigs will be at more humane temperatures. We were third in the program, following an aerialist dressed as Spiderman and then a folk group. I love Korea!

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JSA Tour:

I was lucky enough to be able to tag along with the band on a tour of the JSA – Joint Security Area – which is the only section in the DMZ where South and North Korean troops stand face-to-face. It was kind of freaky being that close to North Korea, but it was a very interesting tour.

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That white building is located in North Korea
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Soldier standing guard in the room that is used for talks between the two countries
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Propaganda Village in North Korea. Nobody lives there, but they start playing happy music whenever tours come through the JSA area – how creepy is that?

Anthony Browne Exhibit:

My friend and I went to a terrific Anthony Browne exhibit at the Seoul Arts Center last night. I highly recommend it, and it’s a good one to bring kids to as well. Browne is a renowned children’s book illustrator, and the museum did a great job of setting up the exhibit of his work, including blowing up some of his drawings in huge frames and/or on the walls themselves.

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