Monday, December 15, 2008

Lots of good news!

Where to begin?

First, my family is awesome! I'm getting early Christmas presents in the form of cold hard cash from my sweet warm family -- thanks guys! Just hope that wire goes through...

Second, my computer is kicking ass -- Windows Vista is rockin my world at the moment. I know, you probably don't believe me, but I'm serious. Bet on it. =)

Third, the teaching is going really well. I'm starting to get to know some of the students' names, even! Yes, this is a big deal. Considering that I only have class with them twice a week, and they all have names like Yoon Kyeong and Seok Min and Cham Yeup, I think I'm doing pretty well, actually. And I've also apparently stumbled on games that they were doing with the last foreign teacher and really like, so we've had some excellent classes lately. We're doing "Hot Potato" with different catergories: 1st and 2nd do the alphabet or colors; 3rd and 4th doing animals, foods, classroom objects etc; 5th and 6th throwing tennis balls around and coming up with forms of transportation -- some of them better than me. I did all the standards, and my kids are coming up with helicopter! Raft! Donkey! I was like, hell yeah... go for it! I've also been doing more relay races and today I played a dice game with my 3rd graders. Well, it's a big soft die, and they had to spell a word correctly from a flashcard to get a chance to throw the die into a basket. If they made it, they got the number of points on the die -- worked out really well. Tomorrow, I'm doing bingo with my 4th graders! Can't wait!

Fourth, I had a really nice weekend! Friday night I went out with 3 other teachers from the global center. Owed all of them a dinner, it turns out. Bo Il, Mi Jin, and Mi Sun and I all went out for Tak Kalbi -- spicy chicken and rice cakes all sauteed together with veggies... so freakin good! Then we went to the noraebang for a little karaoke time. I was tryin to sing, but my throat was only semi-cooperating... from what I could hear of myself, it sounded like that dog on Snatch that swallowed its squeaky toy... but Mi Jin is an amazing singer -- this girl's got pipes, man... I was blown away! Then, we went and shot pool -- took a bit of searching, but we found the one pool table in the whole Janghowon metro area (sarcasm much?) that has pockets! Everyone here plays cushion billiards, either 3- or 4-ball. Basically, you have two red balls and two cue balls -- one white and one yellow. You have to hit both red balls with your cue ball on the same shot without hitting the other person's cue ball. We didn't play that, but it looked cool. I'll have to check it out sometime, I thought. Saturday, Hyeok Tae and I went to play 4-ball! And I rocked the shit! I beat him three games in a row (you get a point for doing it correctly, lose a point for "scratching" -- missing both red balls or hitting the other person's cue ball; play to 10) and we practiced some English. Then I went to Icheon to hang out with Jill and her new roommate, Latifah. Yes, that's her name. She's American, maybe mid-40's, black, great cook! We had spaghetti and home-made applesauce(!), but I'm told her chicken salad is the bomb. I'll let you know. We also watched a bunch of back episodes of Dexter, cause Jill hadn't seen season 2. And she helped me plan my English winter camp activities, which was great because I A) had to do it and B) didn't know how to do it and C) wasn't really interested in learning how to do it and D) wasn't going to do it. So that was a huge help! Sunday was quiet, relaxing, comforting. Just chillin at the house, doing some laundry, planning lessons, takin care of bidness. You know how it is...

Fifth, I got to talk to my grandpa today -- it's his birthday today! Yep, he turned the big diamond -- 75 years young! So we chatted for a bit, I thanked him for the Christmas gift; heard about the b-day dinner at Walt's (I'd rip both pinky toes off and shove them up my nose for some Walt's pizza right now, btw); talked golf for a little bit. It was really nice!

Sixth, I don't have to work on Wednesday or Thursday this week! Wednesday -- I'm going to Icheon for cultural orientation, which I think involves a ceramics class, something about Korean traditional clothes, and some kind of food. So yeah! Nothin better than pottery, giant hats, and rice! Preferably all at once. Although now that I think about it, Chicago does something like this too -- I think it's called Gay Pride Parade. Anywho, I'm not working, is the point. Thursday, I have to go to Yong-In for teacher training. I think, I mean, I've already kinda done the trial by fire thing, but what the hell? It can only help, right?

Seventh, as I mentioned, I got my planning done for winter camp. Picture this, if you will. And mind that you picture me doing these things, if it do ya fine. We're making paper mache globes; we're making no-bake oatmeal cookies; we have a camp song: "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing!" We have jump-roping rhymes and hand-clapping games, like 10yo girls. I mean, yes, in fact that is my target audience, thank you for asking... so it works. But still, this is me we're talking about. Should make for a fun time, non?

Eighth, I'm watching Real Madrid v. Barcelona right now. Nuff said.

I was shooting for an even 10, but I'm running out of good news items... so, without further ado, it's my honor and privilege to introduce to you, in deed and in name, they're just such a shame, two things that recently made me say "what the hell?!?!"

Ninth, the auto industry bailout guys. I mean, really, you thought this argument would work? "We don't have enough money to operate. In fact, we don't have any money at all. Please give us some before we all board our separate private jets to fly us back to our palatial homes and hordes of servants." Well, I mean, the logic isn't as bad as you'd think -- it worked for AIG, right guys? Retention payments, anyone? I know I'd sure like to get 3 TIMES my annual salary just so I don't quit. Hell, these executives must be the bee's knees, right? Right? *crickets chirping... tumbleweed rolling across the dusty road of the conversation* Oh, right, the executives that lost TENS of BILLIONS of DOLLARS are the ones getting paid to NOT leave. Cause God forbid they take their "expertise" and "ability" to the competition, huh? Jesus. So, in their defense, I guess the automotive CEO's thought the proper attitude for getting a bailout was a heady mixture of abject stupidity and Ri-god-damn-diculous arrogance. It worked once, eh? Why not give it a shot?

Tenth, the governor of my fair state was arrested for auctioning off Obama's vacant senate seat. Yep. Cash up front. "This thing is golden," he said, giggling like a drunk sophomore on prom night. "There's no way I'm giving this up for nothing." One of the Chicago papers ran a story offering different names for the scandal. My personal favorite was "G-Bay." Succinct. Accurate. Funny. Got a better one? I'd love to hear it.

And now, a song. *in a reedy falsetto, a la the kids on Family Guy* "So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye. The sun, has gone to bed and so must I..."

Or something. You know. Um, check ya later, Slater.


emily said...

I bet you'd love a veggie burrito. i had lou malnati's last night. :P

Otherwise i'm glad things are picking up. i think jump rope sounds like a great idea! that would be really good for teaching rhyming, and maybe word or sentence stress.

blago didn't even get a wtf from me. What does it say about the state's politics when my reaction is, oh. well, i'm glad they caught him. I think that growing up here has a direct influence on my faith in politics which thus describes my lack of Obama-mania.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sweet warm. It makes me feel warm & fuzzy. Like Bodog.