A very good week

December 10, 2009

I wanted to say that nothing special happened, it was just a good week, but that isn’t really true.  A cascade of special happened. One of my students came in third on a special speaking contest, competing with students from all over Seoul. This is quite an accomplishment, because she doesn’t have any of the advantages most of the other competitors had; she didn’t study abroad, she doesn’t have money for a special English school or tutor, and neither of her parents speak English.  Yet she prevailed. I think that speaks very well of her. I feel so proud of all her hard work (and the work was all on her, I only gave a few pointers and encouraging words)

I also got my TEFL certificate in the mail, so I am now officially certified. woot.

And two old friends I hadn’t heard from in a while were on chat, and I got to speak with them. I love that.  I cherish people when they are here, let them go, and hope that the threads of love and affection are strong enough to be a lifeline to their hearts.  They always have a line to mine.

School was easy, and today the English department went out to lunch together. We went to an all you can eat buffet, so I’m feeling that smug satisfaction of having eaten too much with fun people.

Sometimes life is hard, and wearisome, and a struggle just to get the motivation to wake up, and sometimes I despair.

But not this week.


Its snowing

December 8, 2009

Actually it isn’t really snowing.  It wants to snow, it tries to snow. Desperately. But the tiny little flakes can’t seem to hold it together to get to the ground, let alone accumulate there.  Perhaps later tonight.

My students are all taking their final tests, so I am in the office alone. I drink coffee and prepare for the winter camp. To be honest I’m quite excited about it. I have 20 hours to prep for, (two weeks) and I should have a reading, writing, speaking and listening component. I’ve decided to do the whole camp based on the Navajo code talkers.  I found a book for kids, and there is the movie “Windtalkers” and of course tons of stuff to read for kids on Native Americans and World War II.  I am starting to enjoy myself just looking for all the materials.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones in life. I live somewhere I enjoy, my enjoy most of my job, and I have a good life.  What more does anyone really want ?  (ok, maybe there are some things, but here in the real world, I think I’m doing pretty good)-

For Raymond: Shrimp

I ate these at the shrimp festival.  How cool is that, having  a whole festival devoted to one of my favorite crustaceans.  Anyway they cook it by putting a layer of salt on a tin pan, similar to the ones you get when you buy pie crust from the store, and then putting the shrimp on top of the salt.  Then they cover the shrimp in tinfoil, and put the pan on hot coals.  Yum.

How do you explain…

December 6, 2009

I finally finished my TEFL and to celebrate some of the English teachers at my school and I went to a chicken hof. This is a fried chicken and beer place that is near where I live.  We drank some beers, and somehow the conversation took a turn into Urban Dictionary territory.  Now, I’m not an expert on slang, that would be for the young’uns, but I do know a few things. One of the teachers is older, and she likes very young men. She says they are more beautiful. Fair enough.  So I said, you are a “cougar.”  Then I had to explain what that meant (an older woman who likes very young men) — that was ok.  Then we talked about flings, friends with benefits, and the conversation went down hill from there.

I had a great time.

Personally I like men who have lived a little, had dreams come true and dreams crumble, and to be honest, beautiful is not something I’m looking for anymore. Kind is.

So after that I went home to my comfy but ugly jammies. (they have these really soft big jammies that are soooo warm.), and my music and a good book.  I know, Friday night I should be out dancing, but …. I’ll leave that to the young’uns, ….this week.

Saturday I met up with a good friend for shopping in Myeongdong. Oversize sweaters are all the rage, so I was able to find some cool stuff in my size. Woot.  I also was able to indulge my scarf addiction, and watch a very skinny Korean man do a ‘sexy’ dance.  All in all a good weekend so far, but it isn’t over yet.  I’m off to Kyobo to brave the maddening crowds and get some books and have lunch with a good friend I haven’t seen in a while.  I’ve got so much catching up to do now that TEFL is finished.

Cake or death?

December 2, 2009

I gave my students what I thought was an easy choice. Do you want to study? or. Do you want to play a game?  I thought it would be an easy choice– game. Duh.  Well, not these students.  They wanted to study.  I kind of understand, as these are pretty good students and next week is the final exams.  Unfortunately I should not do this again, as the principal would rather we did not give free study time during class.

So now, I ask.. Do you want to play a game?  We are playing Vocabulary Bowl, and it is really surprising which classes do well and which classes don’t.  Some of my better classes didn’t do as well as some of my medium classes.  But that is ok, the point was to help them study vocabulary for the test.

I’m quite looking forward to finals, I plan on using my time semi-wisely. I have winter camp and I decided that is when I’ll make up the lesson plans. I’ve decided to do one based on the movie “Windtalkers”   We are going to study Native American cultures, codes, and WWII.  I think it will be pretty interesting. At least I hope so.

I finally finished my TEFL course, so now I’ll have some free time to do fun things.  I feel as if I’ve held myself up for so long that I don’t really know what to do with myself now.  I’m kind of out of the loop with a lot of the people I used to hang out with, so now I have to re-build the relationships.  I think I should be able to do so.

I did go to see a movie tonight.  One of my co-workers, Ms. Che and I went to see Rain in Ninja Assassin.  We both agreed that it was very violent, and Rain’s body was well worth wading through the blood.  I quite liked the movie.  It had a lot of action, in a silly comic book way, and I think the plot, although standard kung fu revenge, was interesting enough.  I liked the special effects and the ninjas were pretty scary.   A good escapist movie, if not really a “good” movie.

All in all a very good week so far.