Sound of Vitality

Blowin up Haengsin-dong. Holla!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I had a couple semi-funny incidents yesterday at school. One was in a class with 9 students, which is my biggest class size. Now that might not seem like a lot to you, especially you real teachers at public school, but when you're in a very small room and those 9 kids are like 11 years old it can get loud. Really loud.

We have these textbooks where they have vocab words and I will look up the word in the English-Korean dictionary and they write the Korean for the word to help learn it. So I'm looking up the word 'sheet' as in 'sheet of paper' for one kid while like 6 others are yelling at me 'Teacher! Teacher!' for me to check their work on another part of the day's assignment. One end of the room is shouting 'Teacher Teacher! Check! Check!' while this other kid is yelling 'Teacher what is sheet?' which sounds like 'what is shit?' while I'm bouncing around the room, dictionary in hand, trying to do all things at once. Finally I find sheet and show it to the kid and he starts laughing. 'What is it in Korean?' I asked. 'Sheet-uh.' It's a borrowed in English word. We all had a laugh.

In another class one of my favorite students, a 10-year old English name Clara, asked me if I know A-Girl or something. I asked 'Is that a singer.'

'Yes' she said.

'Is she good?' I asked.

'Yes, very good!' Clara said.

'Is she cute?' I asked.

'Cute and sexy,' Clara answered. Clara is 10. I had no response.

Here are some photos from a walk I took today. You can usually see a mountain from here but it was way misty this morning:

The typhoon a couple weeks ago took down hundreds of trees on this hill, and revealed that it's essentially a huge cemetery. Here is sort of a neat grave that was revealed:

This is the weirdest building around me. It's like a bunch of clowns built a shoddy mosque amidst a bunch of mushroom growing greenhouses:

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Edward student: 'Girl is Aprican! Aprican!'

Friday, September 3, 2010

It's official - I'm staying at current job another year

Me: John, do you have your homework?
John: No.
Me: Why?
John: No.
Me: Why?
John: No.
Me: Why?
John: No
Me: Why?
John: (In song) No why know my ABCs next time won't you sing with me!

Above: photographic non sequitur

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I told my hagwon that I wasn't going to re-sign and the director got teary eyed. It wasn't fun. Then she sat me down the next day and said they'd give me two months furlough and I could come back. I will talk to her at some point this week and ask for a raise on top of the furlough, and if they can do that then I'll likely be staying at my same job. That also means I'll be back home this winter!

One of my students, Ben, came into class really late last Thursday. 'How are you today?' I asked him as he walked in. 'Terrible, teacher,' he responded. I asked him why. 'Bird ddong (poop) on ME!' he told me, indicating a large wet spot on his pants where he'd obviously been scrubbing poop out of his jeans. 'And my tooth!' and he opened his mouth and showed me a molar hanging by a thread, covered in blood. That's a legit bad day!

From another one of my classes, here is a lovely phone charm a middle school student of mine has:

Here are some of my students sharing tripe - yum tripe: