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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Beef Dinner

The evening (night) after the salmon festival, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at a beef restaurant:

Salmon Festival

Last Saturday I met some friends in the city of Yang-Yang, over on the east coast, to go to a salmon festival. We bought a good-sized fish (cost = $20) and cooked it on a communal grill, then proceeded to devour it after paying a few dollars for a quick cleaning. Vendors were also offering mushrooms and ginseng. Here are some pics:

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Here's a short animated video from Pixar for most ages:

If the link doesn't work, then google "lifted" + "watch" and it will come up.  (The name of the video is "Lifted".)

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fall Leaves

They are starting to appear, and I plan in the next several weeks to take a few weekend trips to experience Mother Nature's shift into winter dormancy . . .

Friday Lunch

When I walk through Friday's small street market near where I live, sometimes I buy this lunch; it's made up of a bowl of acorn jelly (cut into strips), cucumber, kimchi, seaweed, and a packet of cold (icy) "sauce".  I don't know the name for it, but it is completely unique and quite tasty:

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Goodbye Lance

Whoever though Nike was going to stand by Lance Armstrong--as the company originally said it would do--was delusional . . .

Have a read:


Saturday, 13 October 2012


In my residential neighborhood there are signs that fall is here--leaves are starting to change color.

Also, my building area has a new playground for the kids who live there.

Student Pictures

There are 4 - 5 picture boards like this at our school that have individual pics of students with short bios. It's a good idea and, though it takes a bit of work to keep current, stimulates interest amongst both students and parents:

For Lack of an Elevator . . .

Make that two elevators.

Out of service.

And our school is on the 7th floor.

Sigh.  I guess it could be worse.

But last week, at certain mid-afternoon hours, when we discharged 40 or kids, it was a bit confusing, getting them down the stairs and onto the school vans (mini-buses).  Fortunately we have some moms that help out, and some teachers were pulled into service . . .

And You Thought Your Phone Bill Was Big

Have a read:

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Teaching "The Golden Compass"

I started reading "The Golden Compass" with an eye to teaching it to my advanced 6th grade student, and the beginning seems a bit complex.  Historical/geographical vocabulary such as "Muscovy", "Tartars", "Oxford", and "Lapland" gets mixed up with fantastical terms such as "Dust".

The prep for the initial reading is going to be long, but I hope it will pay off . . .

It's a great read, and if you haven't then you should:)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Kitchen Industry

I decided to make some food for lunch tomorrow . . . what I usually like to eat is salad, and to be satisfied with it I have to make it myself.

It's not that I'm picky, because you can buy a halfway decent salad at Paris Baguette (a large bakery chain) or E-Mart (a large supermarket chain).

But they focus on the basics, and would never ever put olives in a salad.  I love olives.  I have to have olives in my salads, and I am so thankful that I can buy them here in Korea.

My basic salad consists of lettuce (different kinds, hopefully, which I try to buy from sidewalk vendors; I'd rather give my money to them than to a store chain), tomatoes (I much prefer a large tomato cut into pieces than many small cherry tomatoes), cucumber slices (recently I've started leaving some of the skin on), hard boiled egg, and maybe "other" ingredients (the "other" might consist of avocado, anchovies, chicken breast . . .).

I also like to eat steamed veggies (broccoli, carrots, zucchini) which I do in the microwave and top off with some balsamic vinegar and mustard dressing.


Saturday, 6 October 2012

English Teacher vs. Teacher

When I came to South Korea, like so many other native English speakers (the last count I read was 20,000+), my intent was to teach English to children.

And that is, in effect, what I do 5 days a week.

But then there is the "other" category that I teach, and that gets kind of complicated at times.

I am in the classroom to teach English, yes, but if a 3rd grader has his finger stuck up his nose, what am I to do?

"Min-seok, do you need a tissue?" usually does the trick.

Or if "Sally" comes to show me a paper cut on her finger (clearly wanting some TLC), I send her to the front desk to get a bandage.

Students running in the hallway, kids spilling snacks on the floor, doors banging, lost textbooks . . . the list goes on and on.

I'm not married, but I do have 80+ children to supervise, scold, love, and, of course, to teach them English.

Yeah! New Book!

My advanced student and I agreed on a new book to read.

Brief history: we have read "When You Reach Me", "Holes", and Agatha Chrtistie's "And Then There Were None" mystery, which was a bit difficult, given that some of the vocabulary is outdated (the novel was written 70 years ago) and the story is heavy on descriptive adjectives.  Then we read--or I should say my student read, in one week--the sequel to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" which is entitled "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator".  Fun, but much too easy.

(As an aside, I had to ask my student to summarize the book for me--a good experience for her--since she finished the book before the copy our school ordered for me arrived.  Kind of strange and another "first" . . .)

The mom selected the last two books, but this time I suggested I choose the book, so we are going to read Philip Pullman's "The Golden Compass".

I have high hopes that my student will love the novel, which continues on . . .