What’s going on

November 30, 2010

Final exams are next week. My students are bit more than a little stressed. I’m a bit stressed as well because I have to make sure all the test material has been covered for my second year students.  Plus they have two ways of getting participation points. One is to volunteer to give a presentation in class. The other way is to talk to me for a few minutes in the teacher’s office.  Well.  They deadline for participation points is Friday.  And the students aren’t allowed in the teacher’s office because some of the teachers are still writing questions for the test. It is cold in the hallway, yet students are lining up just to talk to me. … I’ve decided that next semester I will move the deadline, at least the talking to me in the office part.

Actually I enjoy talking to my students. I let them choose the topic (actually they have to choose the topic) and yes, I do get to hear how handsome a particular musician or actor is, but I also get to hear about the books they are reading, their mother’s cooking, their thoughts on the news, and their thoughts on life. It always brightens my day.

Of course right now N.Korea is in the news, but to be honest, my friends back home seem more worried than most of the Koreans I know.  I did ask, but most of the people I talked to, a non scientific sample of co-teachers and friends,  believe it is just Kim Jong-un trying to prove he is strong enough to be the leader of the N.Korean military. To quote one of my students, “they are distressing, so they make us distressing” – ok the grammar isn’t perfect, but I think she has the idea right.  I’m not particularly worried. I promise to keep my eye on the news, but I think it will not be a big deal a week from now. (if I’m wrong you can say nah nah nah, told you so)

In other things that are going on, I got my ticket to Deagu for next Saturday, and the toy for my orphan. I thought I had a boy, but apparently I have a girl. So I’ve bought two toys. I’m going to turn both in, just in case someone doesn’t come through. Normally I’m a pretty bah humbug kind of gal when it comes to Christmas. I’m definitely grumpy and misanthropic. However, I did get invited to help make Christmas cool for some orphans, and why not?

I’ve also finished two, count them two, knitting projects. I could probably go a lot faster if a) I knew what the hell I was doing, and b) I didn’t make at least one  mistake that ensured an unraveling and re-cast on.  But hey it keeps me occupied and since I’ve finished the workbook, I now have to have something to do.

I’m sure I’ll find a new project soon enough



Happy Thanksgiving again

November 25, 2010

It’s that time of year again, where most Americans eat too much, and watch games on TV and spend time with family and friends.

Korea doesn’t really celebrate Thanksgiving (they have, however, embraced Christmas) but many in the ex-pat community do, even if they are not from the U.S.  This Thanksgiving I’d like to take some time to give thanks for all the things I have, because when I think about it, I’m really quite lucky.  I have so much to be grateful for.

I’m thankful for my family, although they live far from me, they are always close to my heart.

I’m thankful for my friends, and the wonderful people who surround me, the people I’ve stayed in touch with.

I’m thankful for the people who although have only passed through my life, have left me a better person for having known them. Even if it was briefly.

I’m thankful I have a job that I love, and that pays enough for me to live well.

I’m thankful for all my co-teachers.  I learn so much from them, and they have done so many small things that make me feel welcomed. I feel like I belong and their everyday kindnesses are something I cherish

I’m thankful for my students. They smile at me in the hall and make the classes fun. I love the way they think, and the things they do in class. They keep me from being cynical.

I’m thankful I have a clean and warm place to live (ok, it isn’t that clean right now, but that is my fault)

I’m thankful I have somewhere to go for and share a feast with this weekend.

I’m thankful I live in city that has so much to do, and so many opportunities to learn something new.

I’m thankful I have had a good life, with adventure and joy.

Sometimes, life really is good.



November 22, 2010

I turned my usb in to my head teacher, everything is out of my hands now. To be honest I’m both happy and sad. I’m happy that it is finally done, but to be honest, I think it could be improved. A lot. That might just be my perfectionism talking.  I actually volunteered for this project. It is all my own fault. I love my students, and they are very smart.  When taking a grammar test, they score pretty high. They are able to choose the right answer, but when it comes time to write a sentence… well let’s just say it isn’t their strength.  So I volunteered to write some worksheets. The worksheets turned into a workbook.  You know how that goes.  And it is now finished.

My poor plants are sadly neglected and are drooping. My apartment is a disaster zone. I have watered the plants, and I will do a through pruning. Later. I will not be cleaning the house tonight. I will sit and hope something good is on TV because I really don’t have any energy for much more.  I might get out my sadly neglected knitting. Might.  I plan to veg out as much as possible.

Tomorrow I have to turn in the questions for the final exam.  It never ends.  I will also be contacting grad schools.  It really never ends.

Until I actually do something interesting here are some pictures of things seen out and about.

On workbooks

November 12, 2010

IN case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been writing much. Actually I’m writing a lot, I just haven’t written here.

Next Friday, my speaking and writing workbooks are due to turn into the printer.

161 pages total.  There will be grammar.

I will be back when it is finished.


tids and bits

November 2, 2010

In no particular order.

It is definitely fall. The air is crisp and the wind now has quite a bite. The sky is clear and the leaves are changing making the mountain look like a patchwork quilt.  I love it. However I am debating whether or not to turn on the heat. On the one hand, warm floors.. mmmm. on the other, it really does get very hot very quickly.

I’ve been wanting to do a bit of knitting at work, but I’m going to be way too busy. I am finishing up the directions for all the worksheets in my workbook. (I just found out the school might even pay me! I really didn’t do it for that, but if it is true, bonus) I will also be working on the second year’s writing workbook. They won’t actually have the book in their hand, but I would like to organize the worksheets and next year have a real writing portion of my class.  – I also need to get an essay written about co-teaching in Korea and I’ve gone a bit insane and signed up for http://www.nanowrimo.org/ Yes I will try to write 50,000 words of a novel in one month. Whew. I’m tired just thinking about it.

In other news, the first years are having their speaking test next week. It means I don’t have to prepare for classes, but it also means that the testing season is upon us. That means the students are somewhat less than attentive in class. Today they had a major math test after school. I didn’t know it was a biggie, so when my students would sneak working on their math in class, I got a bit angry. I think it bothered me so much because usually this was a great class, that usually works pretty hard in class. So I told them I was a bit disappointed. After class, one of the teachers said “oh, they have a huge math test today” Well. I felt pretty bad. So the next class I made a deal with the students, if they worked hard and really worked, not just filled out the worksheet as fast as possible, I would let them have the last ten minutes. They still couldn’t concentrate on English. Sigh.

I haven’t decided what to do for winter camp yet. I still have two months, but I like having a theme. I’ve done “The Wizard of Oz” and “It’s Murder! in the summertime”  The theme has to be interesting, plus I have to be able to make activities and worksheets that the students can use and enjoy. I want my camp to be fun. At least that is what I try to do.

And as I said before, I’m learning how to knit. I don’t understand how I can make a mistake on every single project. It really is simple.  Sigh. Perhaps my novel for novel-writing month could be about a gremlin that gets onto knitting needles and messes up things.