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Sunday, 30 January 2011

Student Happenings

I walked into a class and was greeted with, "Teacher, I'm so hot!" (the heater was on as it has been freezing outside for the last month) and "I want the aircon!"

I looked at the boys in question, jackets zipped up to their necks, and said, "Take off your jackets."

It kills me. Did I do that when I was a kid? I hope not . . .


While the students were writing in their notebooks, I started lightly singing a song that we had listed to in class.

One girl, mischievous, put her hands to her head and said, "Oh! My ears!"

Quite funny and good English also.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Chaos in Egypt

For those of you who follow international news, it should be clear that the social unrest in Egypt is following on the footsteps of the revolution in Tunisia. The Egyptian government is surely not going to concede as easily, so the entire situation is potentially explosive.

It is nice to see that the current American administration is not following the usual predeliction for alienating foreign peoples (as it is in Pakistan). I would have thought that the U.S. would be trying to support the failing Mubarak regime, but that appears to not be the case.

There is more chaos to come from the arab world . . .

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Korean Classic

One of my favorite foods is 참칰 킴 밥 (chamchi kimbap) or "tuna rice roll". Two bucks a roll. Yummy!

The Not Weather

For a country where the weather forecast is consistently 0-10 % precipitation, I'd say it's awefully white out . . .

Hamburger Breakfast

It's a wonderful thing to get up on a Saturday morning, ride the subway into Seoul for an hour, and eat a hamburger breakfast with a friend at the "American Cafe". I went to the bookstore before eating, and we went to the international food store after, so it was a couple of hours well spent:)

Friday, 21 January 2011

Teachers' Food

I made deviled eggs today, as I hadn't made them in a long time and some of the Korean teachers I work with had never tasted them. They were well received:)

Sunday, 16 January 2011


Delicious, healthy soup cooling down next to the window . . .


I think I have written before about small coincidences that seem to occur in my life, but let me recount a few of them here and then add a new one.

Sometime last fall, I was alone in an unused classroom, writing comments in student diaries. They always go faster if I work alone. Out of the blue, a student of mine appeared in the doorway; it was not time for her class so I was surprised to see her, and even more surprised because at the moment she appeared I was reading her diary.

I bought some new stickers last month because they were beautiful butterflies. I give stickers to my younger students when they complete their homework, and I always put the on the back of the students' hands (as a hygenic measure). When one student chose one of the new stickers, and when I put it on the back of her hand, I was surprised to see that she had a drawing/tatoo of a butterfly. My homework sticker fit into the middle of her drawing.

A new one. Preface: I have been at this school for 1 1/2 years and no student had ever asked me for a toothpick. But that's what a student did last week. He came running up to me at the teachers' room, and said, "Teacher, may I please have a ________?" He said the word in Korean, but I knew what he meant, and I said, "Do you mean this?" and I held up the toothpick that I was holding in my hand. He was more startled than I was. "Yes!" he said.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Subway Riding

I went into Seoul today for a change of experience, though I didn't buy anything more than a couple of books. I did ride 4 subway trains, and two of them were packed, to the point where--standing up--you didn't need to hold onto anything as there was no way to fall.

It does still surprise me that I am the only person who takes off his (or her) winter coat prior to boarding a crowded subway car. It seems logical, and is indeed--at least to me:)-- a fact, that subway cars are considerably warmer than the boarding platforms. And I want to be comfortable. But that's just me.

Friday, 7 January 2011

New Computer

The old one died (after a faithful 5 years of service).

New Years's Eve

A few pics from our staff gathering at my bosses' apt.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Post New Year

Here's an interesting fact about South Korea: on January 1st, 2011, every person became one year older. That's right; birthdays are celebrated here, but a person's age does not change on his/her birthday. Age changes on January 1st, the solar new year.

In a recent class, a student who was doing a presentation said, "Hello! I'm ____, and I'm 13 years old . . . no, I'm 14 years old, and I'm . . ."

That's a common mistake this time of year.

Imagine this: in Korea, when you are born you are 1 year old. So, if you are born on December 31st, you are 1 year old. But then, the next day, January 1st, you are two years old--amazing!