Sound of Vitality

Blowin up Haengsin-dong. Holla!

Monday, July 19, 2010

My brother is coming!

Joe is scheduled to arrive here in Korea on Thursday and I'm pretty excited. The consensus amongst people living in Korea is that it's impossible to explain to people who haven't been here what it's really like. I'm looking forward to Joe getting a little insight to where I've been living for nearly 8 months now, and likely living for at least another year. I've got a very loose itinerary mostly consisting of eating awesome food, creeping around Seoul checking out the sights, shopping, eating more, drinking boozes and then a little jaunt to a Korean island for some R&R.

Here's a picture of Joe I drew on the chalkboard in class as an example for an assignment. You had to draw you sibling, tell their age and favorite food. I put 'Maekju' as Joe's favorite food. That's Korean for beer:

And here's a little gem I espied on my nightly constitutional. I think it's an ad for a gym:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Photo Roundup

I've been a bad blogger again - but it's the summer and it's hot and that makes it hard to be productive. Classes have been good, hanging out on the weekend has been good, the weather's been good - pretty much good all around. Here's a great quote from one of my students recently - I was grading one of the 9 year old's homework at the front of the classroom and I usually ask the kids 'How are you today?' Generally the response you get is 'bad' or 'so-so', but she answers 'I don't know'. So I peppered her with questions: 'Are you sad?' 'No' Are you happy?' 'No' 'Are you angry?' 'No'. Finally I asked 'Are you crazy?' She answered, 'Teacher, maybe everyone little crazy.' Brilliant!

We have snacks every day after my fourth class. Sometimes it's something good like meat pies from Paris Baguette bakery or kimbap, which is like a Korean style California roll. Sometimes it really sucks, like these multi-colored rice cakes with like honey flavored water inside of them:

Or this green tea cake with like sugary butter as the filling inside:

See how many copyright violations you can spot on this cover of one of our textbooks:

You might have to click and zoom to really appreciate this next one. It's from another textbook with a little section at the back touting all the great features of our academy's learning programs. Note the picture on the right of a poor kid LISTENING TO ENGLISH LESSONS IN HER SLEEP!

One more anecdote before I wrap it up today. I had my first puker in class yesterday. This little girl Selena, who is usually so wound up with energy she is hopping around the classroom when I get in there. Well yesterday she was considerably more subdued, despite having a delicious looking chocolate popsicle to nosh on. She finished the popsicle and was definitely in distress. Another student informed me Selena's stomach hurt, then with her handphone dictionary showed me a translation that said 'stomach cancer'. 'She has!' Sally said, about Selena. Then she showed Selena this bad joke stomach cancer translation and Selena started crying. So far a bad first class on Monday. Well a little while after she was done crying all the sudden the kids were all saying 'Obite! Obite!' which is Korean for puke, and sure enough that's what went down.

The next few classes complained to me of 'bad smell' but by the end of the day no one really knew anyone had puked in the classroom. So I told my last class 'Today - my class - OBITE!' They wanted to know which desk it was. I told them I'd let them know at the end of the class. I made a game of it - had them all guess which desk was the obite desk (which was actually an empty desk in this classroom) then told them right at the end, grossing out the two poor kids sitting next to it. I just laughed and laughed.

Friday, July 2, 2010

More student art

Hello all. Wow - it's July already. Incredible how quickly time flies here in Korea. I have 5 more months left on my contract - soon it'll be time to try to find a new gig here, hopefully at a public school and hopefully in Bundang. If any of my readers have any good info for me please let me know. Also if you know of any university jobs ANYWHERE I'm interested (and I'm an English major - bonus).

One of my favorite parts of class is when the students draw. They come up with some pretty funny stuff. The girls tend to draw way better stuff - the boys' art is usually messy and violent or wholesale copied from the book. Boring!

Here is one girl's rendition of a couple dreams that a mouse is having - one nightmare where a lion is threatening to eat her while another little animal ddongchims him. A good dream (?) where the mouse stabs someone, and another good dream where the mouse hangs out happily with a monkey:

Here's another one of my student at breakfast. That's the student on the left, the mother in the middle, and her brother on the right. The best part is the speech box coming from offscreen requesting breakfast - that's dad:

That's it for now - congrats to my friends Joe and Mora on their wedding! Sorry I missed it guys - holla!