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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

New American Reality

(I'm back--in Korea and here on my blog):

Well, that election didn't go as planned.

However, time to wake up America to the person you voted for as president.

He is not a nice person: he lies, he has allegedly cheated his workers, he has accepted Russian propaganda at face value, his wife cheated on immigration, he loves filing lawsuits and may continue to do so as President . . . but supposedly all of this was known before the election.

One deeply troubling thing is that perhaps many Americans knew of these faults-- these multiple ___isms--and yet voted for the person anyway, despite knowing that many leaders and people around the world do not want to have anything to do with this elected official.

That's why some stocks and currencies are dropping deeply as I write this.

Tomorrow will be a deeply changed day for people around the world, and maybe not for the better.






Monday, 29 August 2016

About Health

Read this news article about diet:

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Leaving Korea

In about 1 week I will be leaving Korea.

I don't really want to, as I enjoy living here--and where I live is so very convenient--yet it is time for a change.

So I will depart for America: the land of Trump-claiming-the-elections-are-rigged.


What a loser.

Yesterday, Friday, I said "Goodbye!" to my MWF students.  We had snack parties and played hangman and Quiddler  (if you are a teacher you should be using the Quiddler card game--it is like Scrabble but with cards).

Friday, 26 August 2016

Stand by Me

Here's a music video that everyone should watch:

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Trump's Business History (It Isn't Pretty)

A Time Magazine news article:

12-year-old Singing Sensation

If you haven't seen these videos, watch them:

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

This is a Nice, Feel Good Video

About helping out a hearing-impaired man:

Monday, 22 August 2016

South Korea and Kimchi

An NPR news article:

A New Presidential Candidate

Evan McMullin:


Saturday, 20 August 2016

Writing Homework

Every class period, about 3 minutes before the end, I write the homework for the next class on the whiteboard.

I look at my report sheet and write what I prepared before class.

Students copy what I write on the whiteboard onto their homework sheets.

It usually looks something like this:

LG WB 72
NB LG SB 74 C. W1X

(LG = Let's Go (the name of the textbook), WB = workbook, NB = notebook, LR3X = listen and read 3 times)

All students are very familiar with this homework routine, especially as it signals an end to the class period or a prelude to breaktime (10 minutes between classes).

Often they call out the homework to each other, as my body is partially blocking the whiteboard while I am writing.

A month or so ago, in one 4th grade class, two great female students asked if they could write the homework.

"What do you mean," I asked them.

"We want to write the homework" they said.

My first thought was, "No, that is not ok".

However, I realized that there was nothing wrong with their request.

In fact, they were being confident in asking, using good English, and empowering themselves.

"Yes," I replied, "One of you can do it today and the other next class."

So, for the first time ever I stood back while one of the girls did my job.

She picked up my class report sheet and wrote the class homework on the whiteboard.

In the larger context it was a little thing, yet it meant a lot to her, and it taught me a lesson.

Students are sometimes good at teaching teachers a lesson:)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Trump Statues

Read this Time Magazine news article:

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Child Marriage in India

An interesting, personalized article about child-marriage in India:

Monday, 15 August 2016

Trump's Campaign Chairman, Paul Manafort, has ties to Russia

Read the New York Times article:

Weekend Trip

I visited the east coast the last two days to see a Korean friend.

A lot of other people also visited there (Gangwondo province, Gangneung city), as this is the end of summer vacation time and a 3-day weekend.  Additionally, it is hot, and there are some nice beaches in the area.

We had a big raw fish meal at the beach (we were three people, but there was easily enough food for five):

At this village in the country outside of Gangneung, there are no stores, schools, or any commercial establishments. Only small farming houses.  No children.  Yet you can see the stars at night, and for the first time I saw a marten ( a weasel-like animal) when it crossed the road in front of our car . . .

Anmok beach is the place where locals go (plus a lot of tourists) . . . tons of coffee shops, raw fish restaurants, some grilled shellfish places (my favorite), and more, all in a short stretch (maybe 1 km) along the beach.

Alternatively, you can go to Gyeongpo and hang out with the university-aged tourists from Seoul.

Not for me; I like Anmok.

This raw fish restaurant is in the Anmok beach area.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Lunch Pictures

I went to a shabu-shabu and sushi buffet restaurant with a friend (the meat gets put into the pot with the vegetables):

Fake Food

Plastic representations of meals in a display case in the food court area of a department store:

So many choices!

Korea: The 'Republic of Coffee'

Here's an article about the popularity of coffee in Korea:

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


An educational NPR article about breadfruit:

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Harvard Anti-Trump

More bad news for Trump:

Saturday, 6 August 2016

A Short Documentary about U.S. Olympic Fencing

5 minutes:


Friday, 5 August 2016

About Sesame Seeds

Today in a 4th grade English class I noticed that one female student, who had suffered a medium burn (from a restaurant grill) on her knee, was getting another student to touch her knee.

I asked them what was going on.

They replied that the 'medicine' (ointment) on the girl's knee smelled like oil.

"What kind of oil?" I asked.

"참깨" [Sesame], they replied.

(Sesame oil is commonly used in Korea to flavor foods.)

I asked the two girls if they knew about sesame seeds, which are also commonly used.

They seemed not to know what I was talking about, so, since I had some sesame seeds at my desk (I use them every day for flavoring on salads, veggies, and tofu), I went and got the plastic container to show them.

I usually buy toasted sesame seeds, and the students wanted to try them, so I gave each student a small portion.

There must have been some problem in communication, since sesame seeds are something every Korean kid should know about.

What is important, however, is that we spent a good 10 minutes speaking English about a food product, a conversation that would never show up in their textbooks.  We used the computer dictionary a few times (they asked me if they could use it), and that was also good.

I love those students!

"Why Are You Crying Son?"

Watch this short video of a martial arts class for children:

Fake North Korean Defectors

Read this news article:

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Trump Update Summary

Read the NPR news article:

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Short Documentary about a Bookstore

I like this guy's smile and attitude about life:

(family friendly; 12 minutes)

"Welcome to the Last Bookstore":

Monday, 1 August 2016

'Perfect' K-pop Females

An interesting news article:

Beer Festival

Every summer Sapporo has a beer festival (in Odori Park).  I took a few pics of the grounds and the food menus:

Sapporo: Underground

In Sapporo, if you walk down this main street, next to Odori park

you will see this small white sign on the side of a building

and when you get closer you will notice

that it is an entrance to the subway system.

Yet it is much more than that.

Because Sapporo is a northern island it receives a lot of winter snowfall, and so the city planners built in a lot of underground space.

A lot!

Subways, shopping, etc.

Go down these stairs and

walk along this corridor

and you will find a busy underground world (but remember to walk on the opposite side):

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Hell Valley

Perhaps you can understand the name: Hell Valley

The valley has a lot of geothermal activity, and it smells like sulfur.  Some of the water that boils up reaches temperatures of 90 degrees C.

The pics are a bit off because it was quite rainy at the time.


A bowl of ramen at a small restaurant:

Replica Village

I went to a replica of a Japanese village and watched two shows; the weather was rainy but the experience was good . . .

The "Blue Pond" and the Lavender Farm

A picturesque mountainside pond has become famous, so, of course, our tour bus had to stop there.

You can see these by the dozens in Montana, USA, but only if you hike for a few hours.

Thus, I guess it was worth it, though I wasn't impressed by the tourist experience.

Then we went to the lavender farm, which was much more enjoyable and scenic, if a bit of a tourist trap . . .

This place is in the middle of Hokkaido, the northern Japanese island, and is a rich mixture of forests and farmland (wheat, corn, potatoes, etc. . . . introduced from the U.S.)

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Gender Battles in Korea

Read the news article:

Sapporo Beer Garden

Located in the city of Sapporo, Japan, the official beer garden for the Sapporo brewing company is old, large, and crowded after 6 pm.

Fortunately we got there a bit early, mainly to try some of the lamb barbecue that Sapporo is famous for.


If you have the chance, go there, but go early:

Shiroi Koibito Park

This place in Sapporo is like a combination of Disney + confectionary:

Cookies, candy, chocolate . . . toys and sports collections . . . and lots of creativity!