Monday, March 31, 2008


I just read one of the most moving books I can recall. Subtitled "A Novel About the Balkans," by Slavenka Drakulic, it is the story of a fictional woman who is raped and tortured in a camp for Muslim women during the height of the Bosnian war in 1992. It is a rough read, possibly made more so by the fact that this is a war I remember, which seems to drive it home even more.

The thing that struck me most about the book was the few paragraphs, written in italics, which are the only points in the book that are not written in the third person. The readers' guide doesn't mention them, but I thought that they stood out intensely, though I'm not sure I know why or what that might symbolize.

I would like to state my vision
Life was so unfair
We live in our secure surroundings
And people die out there
Bosnia was so unkind
Sarajevo changed my mind
And we all call out in despair
All the love we need isn't there
And we all sing songs in our rooms
Sarajevo erects an undertune
Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Sarajevo
Bosnia was so unkind
Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Sarajevo
Bosnia was so unkind
Sure thigns would change if we really wanted them to
No fear for children anymore
There are babies in their hands, terror in their heads
For life, for life
When do the saints go marching in?
When do the saints go marching in?

Bosnia, The Cranberries

Reflections on a Month of Blogging

So, I blogged for a month. There were some nights I got that post in there before midnight by the skin of my teeth. I didn't really have many inspired lists - I only really liked the one about eating dukgalbi - but it was nice to have the commitment to do anything that wasn't showing up to work on a daily basis. I certainly had more than a few super boring posts.

Thing is, I've lived in the same foreign country now that I really do have a boring life. It is harder and harder to come up with amusing expat tales of nearly getting killed in Costco or ending up with the coat of an Air France pilot after a night at the bars these days. I make the odd resolution to try and be more interesting, but like all resolutions of the self improvement variety, it tends to fizzle out rather quickly. Thank god for all those New Years to keep recommitting I guess (if you haven't heard about my resolution making antics, I basically make them for Western New Years, Lunar New Year, Persian New Year, and on and on all year long.)

I had lots of intentions with these lists. One of all the half-written posts in my drafts folder, finally finished. Another about all the travelling I've done and not blogged about (somehow blogging about a trip seems to feel quite chore like, with all the laundry and unpacking and other details that pop up after trips). One about all the children's books I've been reading, another about everything else I've been reading. One about songs and music, since music is key to my getting through long subway rides or endless marking. Somehow, none of it happened.

The upshot is that I think I will try to blog for the entire month of April as well, daily. I'm not sure whether I am going to commit to the theme of Letters, though, since that is optional. If I am going to try it out, I'd like to try and be more creative about it, because the lists got tedious quickly.

Just a quick note to tell you that the daily blogging theme for April is going to be LETTERS.

If you'd like to be on the April blogroll of participants, go to, click on the Blogrolls tab, and follow the instructions. Happy posting! Post every day for a month. That's all you have to do.

Observations From the Playroom

1. The Sharks class are very, very into playing "mommy and daddy."

2. In spite of its title, the girls in the game want to either be the older sister or the baby. The boys also want to be the baby. I'm not sure what exactly that says, but I'm sure it says something.

3. While not in a leadership role in the classroom, Ann rules the roost in the playroom. All the children request family roles from her and will chase her around begging to have the role they want.

4. Once roles are distributed, the game is no longer interesting in the slightest.

5. Monster is also a big favorite, especially if teacher can be convinced to be the monster.

6. Again, everyone wants to chase Ann.

7. Put in a couple of bowls and buckets and children will consider it an amazing game to carry balls from one side of a room to another for 20 minutes and then reverse the whole thing.

8. They are remarkably good about staying in English the entire time, even if I am completely hands off and leave them to themselves.

9. Children are absolutely fascinating to watch when engaging in free play.

10. I am glad we get a full period for "gym."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm Tired

And that's all I've got to say.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Amusing Things

1. Today's list was supposed to be of songs I sang at norae bang - however, the number of drinks consumed during and after makes that impossible.

2. Newbie teacher. Oh, god.

3. I stayed local tonight to go to bed early and save money. It's 6.14am and while I've spent a little less, it's not a lot...

4. Does Mr. Kim think we never, ever speak to each other? What a moron!

5. Ahhhh, the joy of giving tests while your boss audibly fights with a staff member in the next room.

6. Galbi lady - HeeYoun.

7. Soju!!!

8. Quails Eggs.

9. Man asleep at McD's.

10. Drunk interneting.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

As I Said, I'm Nothing If Not Bold

I received a gift yesterday from a friend from South Carolina and I must say I love it. As did my coworker, who used to go to summer camp in the area and loved all the jogs to her memory.

1. "Tales from the South Carolina Upstate: Where the Cotton and Peaches Grow", by Nancy Rhyne.

2. Gillian Stick Candy. This takes me back, I must say. I loved these things as a kid.

3. Postcard of the Town Clock in Winnsboro, which is believed to be the largest continuously-running town clock in the United States, apparently!

4. Spoon rest, which I have been informed has the design of the South Carolinan flag.

5. The funniest magnet ever, for the Gamecocks. Fits in perfectly with my very Canadian pics of Thanksgiving dinner, canoeing, and a sunset. (Though come to think of it, that sunset is from the Isle of Skye, in Scotland. Anyway.)


One Bun To Rule Them All!

They are tasty.

What I Ate Tonight

I have been exhausted. All my own fault - I just keep staying up super late. Reading all of A History of Tractors in Ukranian and watching Lost and other random things, rather than sleeping. Anyway, I've been in such a haze of exhaustion, today felt far more like Tuesday than Thursday, but by the end of it, I was knackered. We had our first monthly tests with the new S1 classes - kids who need to be taught to bubble their tests. Fun, fun, fun. Remarkably, it went okay, but I had my smaller, favourite S1 class. So, by the time I got off work, all intention of doing some grocery shopping was well out the window. Since I couldn't really contemplate yet another night of eggos, I joined Jenn in the "crap food" place that opened up a couple of months ago downstairs. And this is what I got:

1. What I think were chicken nuggets. Really, could have been meat, but maybe not.
2. Some cheese sticks. Not sure they were actually cheese either.
3. What I thought were tatertot-style potatoes, which turned out to be the "chicken nuggets" nestled in a container on top of...
4. Some "Coke", which explains the straw, which had been confusing me.

As Jenn said, one of the funniest things is that they microwave the majority of items and make no effort whatsoever to hide it! The microwave is front and centre, for all the customers to see.

So, not tastely. Will unlikely ever be indulging again. But it certainly beat grocery shopping followed by cooking and dish washing for one night.

Canadian Women Making Political History

I recently took this quiz on American Women in Politics and not unsurprisingly, didn't do all that well, being Canadian and all. Also being at a loose end, I decided to make up one for Canadian women in politics. Click on the link below to take it.

Take My Quiz on

Can you Ace my quiz?
Let's Find Out!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Porn cartoons are weird just in concept.

The ones presently on my TV... Well, what to say?

1. A woman stripping just made some palm trees grow in "appreciation."
2. Robot who heats coffee using the energy produced by sex? Or something.
3. Women sleeping with Dracula through his coffin?
4. A female superhero whose boobs help the male superhero develop a third leg with which to fight his enemies.

It's possible that knowing Hangulmal would make this less odd, but I kind of think not.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


To get back the internet connection I had, I need:

1. Bank account book
2. Alien card
3. Passport
4. My key so the guy can just go on in by himself while I work.
5. Hence, a clean apartment.
6. Possibly a first born child as payment.
7. More likely about $50.

Damn my coworker! Bitch "accidentally" cancelled my internet while she was arranging to move out. Fuuuuuuuuck.

Monday, March 24, 2008


1. My internet isn't working at home.
2. I ate really good pizza tonight in Ilsan.
3. Roti boy makes good buns. One bun to rule them all.
4. I'm tired.
5. I overspent at What the Book again.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I'm Am No Longer Vanessa's Star Pupil

We came second at quiz night tonight, which is a gigantic improvement on the last time I played.

1. Dogs in Movies - we got a couple, but they were really random. We got huge props from the quiz master for knowing the movie the dog Kerouac was in.

2. World Leaders - we, particularly Alex, rocked this one out.

3. Sex - embarrassingly, I think we only got a single question and that was a giant guess.

4. Olympics - lots of educated guesses, several of which panned out.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Reasons I Won't Be Posting A List (In Convenient List Form)

1. I have to get ready to go out.
2. I am tired.
3. I feel ill.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Little Bear

1. Take 6 foreign teachers and 7 KTs.
2. Add about 20 preschoolers and 32 kindergarten kids.
3. Take them to a playroom.
4. With a slide.
5. A ball area to bury their teacher in.
6. A zipline.
7. A mini climbing wall.
8. Blocks, play kitchens, a couple of computer games, a chalk board.
9. Tubes and ladders.
10.A mini trampoline.
11.And a mesh climbing thingy (see pic.)

You end up with... FUN!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Curious Questions

1. Why is it that bruises on your boobs turn a different colour than bruises anywhere else? Mine are always an odd yellow colour, whereas I bruise in a lovely rainbow of purple/blue/black/brown in all other places.

2. What's the difference between a transformation and a transmutation?

3. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? And just how many peppers did Peter Piper pick?

4. Is the third season of Lost really that bad?

5. Why does Samarra think that putting ketchup on poutine is Canadian?

6. What does it mean when people use ~ as a punctuation mark in Korea? It usually comes before an exclamation mark~~!! You seem to be able to use as many of either as you want, in any combination.

7. Is this funny or offensive?

8. Will Samarra fly back to Korea to kick my ass for question 5?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Going Doooooown In a Blaze of Glory... Until the Parachute Engaged

Was talking about "Blaze of Glory"-style quitting and realised I'd never shared this story on the blog, as I wasn't all technological like that back in the day...

Mine was an aborted blaze of glory, but here goes...

I was in the annual meeting about our goals for the next year. My boss's boss's boss is doing the presentation and he's talking about how there are four kinds of employees - terrorists, politicians, losers and winners.

winners - work hard, positive attitude
loseres - slack, bad attitude
politicans - great attitude, slackers
terrorists - work hard, bad attitude

So, already, seeing as we are in the UK and in banking AND there are numerous Irish people working for us, this is a bad, bad call on the presentation. People are already looking annoyed by the term terrorist. Beyond which, we all peg ourselves in that group.

Then he starts giving details and using a well-known example of each group - can't recall them all, but for example, Branson is the winner.

So, he gets to the loser bit. He talks about how there was this Canadian kid called Terry Fox who went off to university and dropped out. Then he decided he was going to run across the entire country, but he didn't finish that either.

I am the only Canadian in the room and the only person with any idea who Terry Fox is and I Spectacularly. Long rant about how Terry Fox was a Canadian hero, that he dropped out of university because he had cancer and didn't finish the marathon because he died. I swore a lot. And at the bossman himself. Then I stormed out.

Turns out that the dude was about to lead into how you need all the facts before you peg people into a certain group. He apparently didn't expect any Canadians to be there. However, by this point I had complained loud and long and the whole building had heard about it. A woman whose son was very sick at the time with cancer was also irrate. I had handed in my notice and had to be talked out of quitting by having the man himself come and apologise.

And then I worked there for about another 6 months. Which kinda kills the blaze of glory bit.


His recent speech on race in America is well worth reading.

I must say, it's rather obnoxious to have signed up for one of those Facebook visual bookshelf widgets. It keeps sending me emails saying, "You've been reading Dreams From My Father for a week. Is this still true?" I must have gotten about three of them so far.

Yes, it's bloody true! I'm reading about 4-5 books at once right now and I don't have all that much free time. Get off my back already! I'm working on it.

From Now On, I Dedicate All My Norae Bang Songs to Ken Lee

I had a friend who thought the lyrics to "Bad Moon Rising" by CCR went:
Don't go around tonight,
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bathroom on the right.
And I myself thought, way back when I first watched Cocktail, that Bobby McFerrin was singing this on "Don't Worry, Be Happy":
Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry, be happy
The land lord say your rent is late
He may have to lift the gate
Don't worry, be happy

Granted, I wouldn't have known what litigating was back then, what with being young and not American.

There's Nothing More Italian Than...

1. Lime green cream of brocoli soup. The soup, while tasting fine, sort of resembled some sort of nuclear waste. It glowed.

2. Sweet garlic bread. I don't understand why Korean people think garlic bread should be sweet.

3. Salad with a side of strawberry dressing. Also a very nuclear-waste pink.

4. Sweet chili-cream sauce. With lots and lots of fish eggs. Fine, but not what I was expecting.

5. "What do you want for dessert?" our waiter asked. We got the set menu, so while we were not anticipating dessert, it was a possibility. "What kinds are there?" I responded. "Coke or cider," he replied. So, drinks then. Gotcha.

As Korean-Italian restaurants go, it was fine. Not incredible, but tasty. It is owned by the same people who used to run Ti Amo, a gelato place. Their ice cream was better than their pasta, but it is certainly busier now that they serve food instead.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Laughing My Ass Off

Korean Audio Word of the Day

Play Recording: (since you can't, here's what it sounds like) aw-pee-suh

I Love America Ferrera

It's key to watch till the end, in order to see the Hillary dance.

Spring Cold

1. Can't breathe properly through the nose.
2. Sore throat.
3. Sore ears.
4. Tired.
5. Sore calves - perhaps attributable to something else ;)

I do not won right now.*

The Korean won is tanking right now. Sucks to be me and needing to transfer money home. I don't get why this is happening, except that it's something to do with people buying dollars.


Horrible, horrible play on words, I know.

On other bad financial notes, this is funny.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Screw You, Teacher Woman

At the Poly Conference on the weekend, I admit to not paying a whole lot of attention to the opening speaker. These people are inevitably teachers back home and while I find them interesting if I happen to be in a receptive frame of mind (which has happened, remarkably, in spite of 11 hour days and giving up my Saturday), they seldom say anything of relevance to how I am able to teach in the context of a Korean hagwon.

I did, however, listen well enough to pick up on her insulting us in her speech. She stated that members of her family had taught overseas and so she knew we didn't prep, but she wanted to state that we really must do so to be effective educators.

She is undoubtably right. But wanna know what I did for about 40 minutes of my two hour prep period today? I put some Belle & Sebastian on my iPod and I put my head down on my desk and attempted to nap. I did this because I'm sick - just a cold, but after a morning of kindergarten classes, I was feeling very crappy and my throat and ears were killing me. I just didn't have it in me to do anything beyond my basic, needed prep. I have a ton of marking (I always have a ton of marking) to do, but I didn't have the energy to do it. And so I didn't.

Because the thing that Teacher-Back-Home ignores is that we all teach in a hagwon. I have 10 classes a day. I teach for almost 11 hours, with 40 minutes for lunch and 2 hours to prep. In that time, I also have to do my marking, because frankly, they don't pay me enough to take work home in addition to the kind of hours I'm putting in. I'm getting paid well enough for those hours, sure. But not enough to dedicate any more time to it. In fact, even if they did offer to pay me more to work longer, I couldn't do it. It's already as large of a chunk of my life as I am willing to dedicate to a job.

Also, Teacher-Back-Home gets more than 2 weeks vacation. She gets more than 5 days unpaid sick leave, that everybody but a newbie knows she's only allowed to take if her boss feels like letting her take it. She gets a back-home pension, and better health care, and professional development days that frankly have to be less ridiculous than the conference I just attended, and all kinds of other benefits. After all, this is a country where a teacher just died in a house fire, yet when my friend asked her boss to buy her a fire detector, her boss refused.

What I do is not teaching back home. I don't get why these speakers aren't selected more carefully. Get someone with some ESL background. Maybe even, gasp!, someone with some experience teaching here.

And if you don't? At least tell the speakers not to insult the audience, for maude's sake, as they are in the process of resentfully giving up a Saturday.

Alternatively, starting serving soju along with the lunch.

Too Many Decisions: Steps to Eating Ice Cream at a Coldstone Creamery

It's a rather crappy photo, but I felt too conspicuous taking it to do anything more than take a quick shot, rather than trying to frame it well.

1. Take a menu as soon as you walk in the door.
2. Sit and stare at it for a really, really long time.
3. Make a choice and then change your mind. Repeat at least three times.
4. Waffle cone? Waffle bowl? Chocolate dipped?
5. Spend time figuring out what the sizes mean.
6. Get stuck behind a large group ordering cartons.
7. Order.
8. They scoop the ice cream base.
9. They get all those weird add ins.
10. Now they stop to sing, because some guy has tipped them.
11. Back to ice cream making - they are folding in the ingredients.
12. Ice cream is now made circular.
13. Ball of ice cream is tossed into my waffle cup, which while flashy, breaks it.
14. Pay.
15. Sit down to finally eat.

I went yesterday with Vanessa - I was expecting something completely different. I thought it would be like Haagen-Dazs, rich, creamy ice cream at slightly extortionate prices. I didn't anticipate the mixing and the singing and all the other bells and whistles. And at the end of it all, I wasn't actually that impressed with the ice cream itself.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bars I Drank In Last Night To Celebrate The Irish

1. Soho
2. Polly's Kettle (ok, technically I didn't have a drink there, but I did go in.)
3. Gogos
4. Walked into FF as well, though I only used their bathroom.
5. TinPan I

I remembered to wear green last night, unlike last year. Though my only green t-shirt is one that has a maple leaf on it (purchased in the Roots store I found in Taipei). It was a lip slut night - in fact, I wasn't even the worst offender. By far. And I just spent all of today in Wolfhound eating rather a lot, with a quick stop into RMT before my subway trip back home.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Did you know that the Pope changed St. Patrick's Day this year because it conflicted with Easter or something? I just found out today, so it turns out that drinking my face off last night was actually done on the correct night, not just the most convient one. Margs told me today.

What else does the Pope have the power to change? Can he make me an inch taller?


1. To KPS: If you are going to make me work for free on a Saturday, don't waste my time. See that something intelligent gets said.
2. To the girl behind Sean and I: The good kids sit at the front for a reason. Go sit up front if you don't want to listen to people taking the piss and snickering.
3. To the moron who scheduled me to attend basically the same seminar twice: Thanks for the nap time.
4. To the presenter I fell asleep on: I apologise if you noticed. You've only been teaching for 7 months and I was rather bored, but that isn't your fault.
5. To the person in charge of the gifts: Umbrellas? Seriously?

At least the food was good...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wonderful Things

My lists this month have been a bit on the negative side - it's a new semester, I feel overworked, everything is chaotic, and I have one of my two working Saturdays this weekend. But there are lots of lovely things about March:

1. Spring is here.
2. It's warm enough to eat lunch in the park.
3. Alicia, the new teacher, is nice.
4. My house smells like peppermint, thanks to a new oil burner.
5. I've been getting lots of sleep.
6. We've had lots of coffee brewing at work.
7. My new students are quite cute.
8. My room actually gets light in the morning before I wake up!
9. No more winter coat or tons of layers of sweaters.
10. May is coming (there are two long weekends in May.)

Need some internet timewasters?

1. Classify Regions of the World That People Are From

2. The Onion - Chinese Worker Can't Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans

3. Global Rich List

4. Eating Manners Around the World Quiz

5. Food Around the Planet

6. Vocab Game

7. Music and Animation Clip

8. Japanese Binocular Soccer

9. Cute Animal Pics


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Funny Things That Have Happened Lately

1. Went to the bar, ended up wrapped in bubble wrap.

2. Kept hearing "Please recharge battery" every time I stepped on the elevator. Turns out, I needed to charge my phone (new one speaks English - quite the upgrade!), but for some reason I only ever heard it on the elevator. Which is odd, as I was in the house in silence that day and didn't hear a thing. I must say, there is nothing reassuring about the thought of an elevator with low batteries on its way down from the twelfth floor...

3. Peter sniffed my hair (okay, that happens all the time) and then told me I was his best friend (awwwww!).

4. Was almost hit by the exact same motorcycle three times in about 5 minutes.

There must be more, just can't think of anything...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blogger Has A Content Warning

Who knew? Certainly not me! This is the first time I've ever come upon it.

Content Warning
Some readers may find the content of this blog objectionable. In general, Google does not review nor do we endorse the content of this or any blog. For more information about our content policies, please visit the Blogger Terms of Service

I understand and I wish to continue / I do not wish to continue

And I bumped into it headed here from a Blogger ID in a comment on a friend's blog. It doesn't seem very deserving of objection to me, but maybe I'm missing something?

Stephen Harper Still Has Lego Hair

Oddly, in following American politics, I've heard my first mention of Canadian news in the past six months!

P.S. Oh, yes, America, this is just step one in the Canadian plot to take over the world... Bwahahahahahahaha.

I Do, However, Enjoy Being Barefoot

1. Kitchen - neglected. "The last thing I did in the kitchen was break a cup" was true for about the last two months.

2. Kitchen - accident waiting to happen. I have had an accident in the kitchen at least once in each of my Korean contracts that has resulted in me throwing out a pot/pan. Recently, milk explosion when boiling it for hot chocolate. No amount of scrubbing is going to clean that pot!

3. Cleaning - sporadic. Match three pairs of socks, wash three dishes, put a couple of books away, organize my earrings, hang up some shirts, back to the socks, put in some batteries to charge, back to the dishes, stop to clean the toaster...

4. Meals - unbalanced. I ate a plate of broccoli and cauliflower with nothing else tonight, just cause I felt like it.

5. Meals - uncooked. Unless pouring salsa into a bowl to dip my chips in counts, I don't do much in the way of cooking.

6. Pregnancy - nil.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Things I Am Too Tired To Do Tonight

1. Clean my fridge.
2. Do my laundry.
3. Write a decent list.


Sunday, March 09, 2008

This Is Awesome

Is there any possible reaction to this video aside from WTF??? What is going on?

This is one of those rather few songs I recall listening to on my father's record player, along with "Blueberry Pie" by Bette Middler on the Sesame Street record, lots of Elvis, and "Heart of Gold" by Boney M. When the "Nightflight to Venus" record broke, I was soooo relieved that I could still play "Heart of Gold" you just wouldn't believe.

Thanks to Death Is Not A Medical Emergency for leading me to the awesomeness that is that video. Go read her blog if you are having Grey's Anatomy withdrawal - it's very funny and interesting and well written.

Boob Armour

So, I went paintballing for the first time. It was nothing like I expected. First off, I thought I'd end up covered in paint. The kind of paint that might not wipe off. I was covered in a lot of mud by the end of it, but very little paint. I hadn't realised that the paintballs would be so small and so, well, bullet-like. Then, I rather expected it to hurt. And it did, especially as I got shot in the boobs three times without the bullets exploding. However, that first game is the only one I got shot in - I kept having to come out because I was out of paintballs. I hit two people for sure, which was also unexpected. I sucked at lazar tag and I had figured this would be like lazar tag, but painful and dirty.

How to Make Dukgalbi*

Step One: All the ingredients are placed out. Our restaurant has do-it-yourself side dishes, you need to fetch some water and put out the utensils. I like to drink Coke with dukgalbi, with all Korean food in fact, because there is something about Korean spicy food that makes me crave chocolate or Coke afterwards.

Step Two: Everything gets mixed together and the chicken cooks.

Step Three: At this point, there are decisions to be made. You can eat it solo. You can add rice. You can add ramyeon noodles. We opted for the noodles.

Step Four: Put on the bib provided** and enjoy! The perfect post-paintballing meal.

* Really, the server does all the actual work - even most of the stirring.
** Thanks to my model, Sean.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ways To Feel Tired

1. Mentally exhausted
2. Physically ready to crash
3. Couple of cups of red wine tired
4. Out all day in fresh air tired

The last one is most definitely the best feeling. My hands kinda smell like dirt. My eyes have a weird dry feeling from the wind. I can't stop yawning.

I went to Kosu Cave today, which also involved seeing (and walking over, terrified) the Sokmum which is some sort of old stone wall/gate, Todamsambong - three rocks and a pavillion, and a ferry trip.

It was all very pretty but I think my camera may have completely bitten the bullet, which sucks as the pics were good up until then. We'll see if I can recover them and then I guess I know what March's big expense will be. I can't live without a digital camera - as my old student, Jully, said: I am not an analog woman.

The caves were cool, though after the Bat Cave experience in the Philippines, I am not sure anything else will ever really impress me. After all, how impressive is it to walk along a walkway, just occassionally bending over to protect my head, to clambering down rocks in the dark and getting completely covered in bat shit?

Mostly it was just lovely to be out and about in the sun. I am a sun-lovin' girl. Back when I first moved to Korea, I used to say I wasn't into beach holidays - after all, having grown up with family cottage with its own beach, how special is somewhere with sand? I have quickly come to revise that position - beaches are simply the best fucking places in the world.

Let's get back to this stone wall/gate/whatever it was. So, we walked across it. As anyone who has been up high with me knows, I am not so fond of heights. Bloody petrified might be the most accurate description, in fact. However, I am stubborn and hate being left out, so up I went. Please note, that we had to hop over guard rails to walk across this thing - no one but crazy foreigners appears to do it, what with it not being allowed and stuff. Gotta love Korea - where else would a tour group encourage you to break rules and do dangerous stuff and not worry about being sued?

Paintballing tomorrow. According to a guy I met today, it will cover me in loonie size bruises. Awesome. It'll be hot ;)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Things I've Read Today

1. A bunch of websites.
2. In particular, details of many Adventure Korea trips.
3. A couple of chapters of "Dreams From My Father" by Obama.
4. The first four chapters of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn."*
5. "Akiak" and "Arthur's Reading Race" for elementary reading classes.
6. Sitting in My Box for kindie library time** - the kids and I all loved it.
7. Other boring textbooks - speaking, writing.
8. Instructions for texture lesson in kindie art class - to boil it down for ya - put stuff under paper, use crayon. Why make it more difficult than that? Again, they had love for this activity.

* When I went into the library with one of my classes, I had to tell them what levels of books I wanted them to choose to take home. One kid very seriously told me I had to pick a book too and that I had a week to read it. I think I should have chosen a shorter book...

** Which should have been Wednesday, but that was the day I became a Poly School star, with my lovely performance in "Reading Class." Oscar worthy, I tell ya.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

10 countries I would love to visit

1. Not a country, but topping the list is the Trans-Siberian Railway.
2. China - particularly Beijing and the Great Wall
3. Antarctica - okay, it's a continent, not a country, but I want to see it.
4. Kenya
5. Egypt
6. something ending in -stan.
7. Columbia to chill with Daniel.
8. Russia
9. Australia (possibly for education)
10. Laos

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


1. If you try and warm up a leftover fajita in a toaster oven, you end up with quesadillas.

2. Eggos.

3. Chocolates-covered strawberries.

Things That Have Made Me Want To Scream Today

1. KPS showing up and filming my class to show during the workshop, without any notice, and hence without me wearing any makeup. Naturally, I have a gigantic zit that will soon be in the Guiness World Book of Records for overtaking Mt. Everest.

2. My boss telling me I should give more of a heads up regarding purchases for science experiments to the KTs - dude, they haven't a clue, you are never around to approve it, and, um, I got the fucking books a couple of days ago? Just fuckin' get me some celery, stat. Or stop being a prick and just reimburse me for buying it (why this isn't allowed is beyond me.)

3. My house is a mess. I have no energy to do anything about it.

4. Being hungry has not made food magically cook itself and jump onto my plate. Where is Mary Poppins when you need her?

5. Those bloody vocab quizzes that I have to write during my extra block? Fucking pain in the ass!

6. Small children who have spent a year in preschool, who should have been taught to sit at a desk, but who can't.

I can see that this week there may end up being something of a theme... Gah - I'm not as discontented as I sound, but the beginning of a new year is exhausting...

Aren't I Bright?

Famous Feminists Quiz


You got 10/10 correct.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Things That Could Lead to Spontaneous Giving of Notice

1. No books - some of them are actually there, we are scheduled to teach them, but we can't have them, apparently.

2. KTs letting the kids run riot and leaving us to clean up the mess.

3. The suggestion that I might be required to teach my boss' daughter and make up an entire ciriculum to do so...

Actually, only the last one did more than frustrate me, but I tell ya, in the words of my friend Sofiya it was a stamp-stamp-stamp-slam. Well, no actual slam. Annoyingly, the door to the staff room slides open and shut. So unsatisfying.

Monday, March 03, 2008

New Year

First day of the new year. My kindie kids are soooo tiny. And teaching them gym is going to wear me out.

I have most of the same classes - and a lot of young ones. Kindie all morning, grade 1/2. My only older class are grade 4s. Which sucks - I like teaching older students. Ach, well.

My poor grade 1s - they just went to Korean school for the first time (Peter: "Teacher, there were 40 kids in my class! That's too many!") this morning and then had their first set of afternoon classes with us - different teachers, they have to bring their own books every day, daily homework, no one to escort them down to the buses. Poor kids - they looked so overwhelmed!

I think I have free periods for a bit. I was supposed to be teaching some sort of intensive writing class (Translation - Teacher spends all of her prep time marking like a maniac), but the book wasn't finished on time and so they didn't offer it, so I think I have a free block!!! Woo! Prep time!

Food I Will Be Eating For The Next Several Months

Because I just bought immense quantities at Costco!

1. Two big bags of Special K Red Berries
2. Sixty Eggo Waffles
3. Thirty rolls of toilet paper
4. Two 3L bottles of grapefruit juice
5. Twenty tortillas
6. 4lbs of salsa
7. Two single servings of ravioli
8. Salad greens (bought basically because it comes with edible flowers in it)
9. A package of chocoate covered strawberries
10. One Costco hotdog, fully loaded, in spite of the fact that I would never eat it that way at home.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Movies I Watched Today Because I Am Too Lazy To Move

1. Mean Girls
2. Superbad
3. Juno

Perhaps you see a trend? I've seen Mean Girls before, but had a hankering to watch it agin. In fact, I saw it with Christina in Vancouver. It was funny, as was Superbad. Superbad didn't make me laugh out loud, but it was amusing. I wasn't actually in much of a laughing mood, so I guess it's odd I decided to watch only comedies.

Juno I really, really liked. It felt like watching The Gilmore Girls. I liked the character, I liked a lot of the way they handled the topic. It was funny and sweet. And I loved the soundtrack - am downloading it now, actually.