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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Arctic Video

Here is an impressive video of an Arctic trip, partly using some new drone camera technology:

or here:


Lunch at an Indian restaurant: Tandoori Chicken Salad, Vegetable Curry, and Garlic Nan:


Reading/Book Festival

This weekend is the city's "Reading Festival", with many individual tents/booths lined up in rows, a sound stage for concerts, etc.:

Sunday, 21 September 2014

And Even More . . .

These are not for kids:

(Btw: all of the short film links that I post here are perfectly free and available on the internet.)


Room 8:


Glenn Owen Dodds:

That should keep you happy for a while . . .

Saturday, 20 September 2014

More Short Films

As I am not feeling well (I might have a cold coming on) this is a good weekend to post/repost some short films:

Both kids and adults are invited to watch these:

Gopher Broke:



The Smoke Seller:

Dum Spiro:

Short Film

I have posted a link to this short film (Record/Play) before . . . if you haven't seen it you should, and if you have seen it before you should watch it again (not a family film):

Monday, 15 September 2014


Today I had a nice lunch with a friend at an informal Korean restaurant that serves good food at a cheap price ($7 per person):

The food in the middle of the table on the hot (sizzling) serving dish is fish; it was a little bony with not enough meat, but tasty nonetheless. I love the mix of mostly vegetable side dishes!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Students in Public

Sometimes when I am out walking or shopping I run into some of my students.

Sometimes I experience the frustrations that all teachers may face: students are embarrassed to see their teacher in public, students are with their parent(s) and don't want to connect the two relationships, students are shocked to see that their teacher is a real live person who has a life outside of the classroom, etc.

For example, last weekend when I was out with a friend I spotted a middle school student walking with her friend.  I knew exactly what was going to happen, but I made the effort anyway: "Hi Lisa!" The student gave a polite head bow but kept on walking with her friend without saying anything.

Yet, happily, sometimes there are students who make you feel like your classroom teaching has effects in the real world.

A few days after my disappointing experience with the one student, another girl, a 6th grader, saw me before I saw her.  I was with a co-worker, so there we were, two western males in a sea of Korean people, yet this student waved at me and when we approached her and her friend we chatted easily.

Yesterday I had two student interactions in public; in both cases they were 4th grade boys and they were excited/interested to see me in public and we talked a little.

Perhaps I need to do more in the classroom to prepare my students for these types of exchanges . . .

Short Animation

I like this one (6 minutes), though it is a little too violent/scary for very young kids:

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Weather

I really hate this hot and humid weather.  It's not just Korea--I have lived in hot and humid places in the U.S., Italy, and Japan.  I have liked most of the places but not the accompanying summer weather.

Part of the problem here is that it is almost impossible to get a cross-breeze, as there are apartments on 2 sides of a hallway.  There are no "through" widows.

I tried opening the door to my apartment (sacrificing privacy) and pointing my fan alternatively at the windows and at the door, but I didn't notice any temperature change.

Outside tonight it will be quite cool, yet inside my apartment it will remain hot.  Cool nights and hot days, at least for another week here.

I know that fall is coming, and that my apartment will eventually cool down, yet it is hard for me to envision spending another 4 months next summer in a hot apartment.

Yes, I can turn on the air con, and I often do for an hour at night and in the morning, but what a waste that is.

Sigh.  The earth is getting warmer . . . time for everyone to think about the future.

Seoul Tower, aka Namsan Tower

Monday I took a trip into Seoul with a friend to do a touristy visit to Seoul Tower/Namsan Tower. Basically it is a needle-lie tower with a ufo-like observation deck, perched on top of a hill in the middle of Seoul:

1,160 meters = 3,805 feet . . . all uphill, up steep stone stairs.  The smart people ride the cable car, though the line can be long.

I thought Chuseok day (Korean Thanksgiving) would be a good time to go, as many Koreans leave Seoul.  This is true, but unfortunately many other foreigners had the same idea that I did.  So it was a bit crowded, but not terribly so:

It was hot, a bit too hot for steep hiking, but it all worked out fairly well.

Unfortunately the sky over Seoul is seldom clear, so it is hard to get any good pictures from the observation deck:

This pic is from the hike back down to the parking lot:

I'd recommend the trip once to anyone, but try to go early on a cooler day (and consider riding the cable car up!).

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Bobby Caldwell (jazz) Videos

I recently got turned on to this guy's music:

Thanksgiving Gifts

This week (today and the next 2 days) is Chuseok (추석), the equivalent of the American Thanksgiving holiday.  During this time most Koreans visit their grandparents' home(s), and many people gift gifts to each other, often consisting of boxes of fruit or gifts sets purchased from stores. Here are a few pics from a grocery/department store:

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The "Archer" Fish

Check out this amazing nature video from National Geographic:


Check out this video advertisement from IKEA:

Vietnamese Noodles for Lunch

Good food at a fair price: