POTD #8: Jenn Visits!

Jenn is visiting, along with her sister Anna. Chillin at Haeundae Beach in Busan for the night. The 4 hour drive was worth it! 

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Doraji (도라지)

A Medicinal Root

Finally found out exactly what my Traditional Korean Medicine doctor gave me because really it was a bit strange taking something I had no idea what it was. I was given Doraji (도라지) tea, taken from the root (radix platycodi) from the Balloon Flower. It is also known as the Chinese Bellflower or Platycodon grandiflorus. It has anti – inflammatory properties, and let me tell you, by the second cup I felt better from the THREE week sore throat I had. 

And A Folksong too!

The Doraji song originated in North Korea. It is the second most popular folk song in Korea, after  Arirang

  • (1절) 도라지 도라지 도라지 심심산천의 도라지  한두 뿌리만 캐어도 대바구니로 반실만 되누나 (후렴) 에헤요 에헤요 에헤애야 어여라난다 지화자 좋다 저기 저 산 밑에 도라지가 한들한들
Doraji, doraji, doraji! I walk over the pass where doraji flowers bloom. It is a path that is familiar to me. Hey-ya, hey!
  • (2절) 도라지 도라지 도라지 은율(殷栗)  금산포(金山浦) 백도라지 한 뿌리 두 뿌리 받으니 산골에 도라지 풍년일세
Doraji, doraji, doraji! I look at these while flowers that remind me of my mother, in the evening with the twinkling stars. Hey-ya-hei!
  • (3절) 도라지 도라지 도라지 강원도 금강산 백도라지  도라지 캐는 아가씨들 손맵시도 멋들어졌네
Doraji, doraji, doraji! When I wear these white flowers on my hair, it remind me of my young days and my dreams. Hey-ya, hey!
Here is American born Diva Rose Jang singing Doraji in both Korean and English:
and a German Boy’s Choir singing it, it kinda gave me chills: 

Thanksgiving History Lesson

I made this history video and game for my students about Thanksgiving. I’m such a nerd, I went all out on it and truly enjoyed it, even at hour 6 when it was still not finished. Haha, it is moments like these that I realize how much students don’t understand how hard being a teacher is. Enjoy! 

Here is the powerpoint game to download that accompanies the video:

Thanksgiving Jeopardy Class 1

Thanksgiving FOOD

My First Visit to an Oriental Medicine Hospital

I went to the doctor at a local Korean Traditional Medicine (한의학) hospital, because of a persistent sore throat I’ve had for the past 3 weeks. In the midst of doing a musical show, the changing season, and the sudden constant yelling I had to do at school, I think my throat croaked on me. 

Needless to say, it was an interesting experience going to the doctor. He didn’t seemed too worried about my throat, but did seem more concerned about the pinched nerve I’ve occasionally had for maybe the past 2 or 3 years. 

He thought I might have Sciatica, irritation or disturbance to the biggest nerve in the body that causes pain or weakness to shoot down your leg. I will eventually go to a Western doctor to get this fully checked out, but since I was there already I decided to give it a go and get treatment.

First, I was asked to lay down on a table, while these electric suction cups were attached to my back. This lasted for about 10 minutes. 

Second, I was taken to another room and placed in these legs sleeves. They massaged my legs while the bed…used me like a drum. There’s no other way to describe it, it felt like small punches to my body. It actually felt good, and I was following the rhythm in my head. Again, it was about 10 minutes. 

Next, I headed upstairs where I lay in another heated bed and had this heating lamp aimed at my lower back. It was amazing, I was trying hard not to fall asleep. They then put the acupuncture needles in, which didn’t hurt at all. They attached these wires for electric stimulation. The reasoning  with minute pulses of electricity, the local nerves are over stimulated, not with pain, but with a painless electrical shock. This over-stimulation makes the nerves turn down their own sensitivity, and hence, all the other pain that travels through those nerves is also diminished.

Lastly, they put these jars on my back after the needles were taken off. They finished by placing a patch that smelled like Vick’s on my back. And that was it! Each station was like for 10 minutes. So relaxing, and they played soft piano music in the room.

The nurse made me read a warning related to the after affects of the acupuncture. It read: Do not eat pork, chicken (eggs). Beef is okay. You may experience weakness and fainting.

I‘m stupid,-_-,  for dinner I ate noodles, but a late night snack with the girls ended in some pork nibbling. Seriously, it was soo little the amount I ate. A few minutes later, waves of weakness followed and suddenly I felt light-headed. So be forwarned, though as a foreigner you are wondering why the heck they have those food restrictions, they are no joke. 

It wouldn’t be like the movies either. Knowing myself, I’d just end up looking like a fool.