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don't eat walnuts while driving...hazelnuts are fine though

sunny

it's been a while, eh? i've been pretty busy with work and exploring and watching tv...there have been some pretty good movies and tv shows on...

anyway, i've been learning more and more korean and even got 22 out of 100 on my test =) not too bad for being a month behind everyone! sorry to say i actually did better than some of the people who have been in the class for the last month...yikes...

we went to suwon a couple weekends ago to check out the nightlife and i saw a palace there that i'll have to check out soon...it's flippin huge! it's called the hwaseong fortress and the perimeter wall is 5.5 km...i think we'll be going to that within the next month or so. last weekend we went to seoul to shop...at the express bus terminal! i know what you're thinking...shopping at a bus terminal? yeah. so many stores, all with different stuff that's cheap and some of it well-made...i got about five shirts...we also went to abc mart and i got some sick new vans...i can't wait to break them in!!! other than that, haven't really been out too much...it's been raining a lot and that is kind of a turn off from even leaving the apartment. apparently it's almost monsoon season...i'm gonna get some sick rain boots too...hopefully bright pink ones!!

school is going well...the kids are having a little trouble focusing because in a few weeks they have finals at their regular schools...i had my first review and it was great! i also spoke with the director of our campus who told me that the kids like me and they think i'm strict =) good! there's one class in particular though that drives me nuts! they talk and talk and talk...i tried to kick one of them out of the class last week, but the lil bugger just wouldn't leave! i talked to heeju about it bc if he weren't in that class, the rest of them would be just fine...so she talked to his mom and let her know if he can't clean up his act, he's outta the school. sweet! it's great because here in korea the teachers have control of the students, the students don't have control of the teachers. i try not to give detentions or extra homework because i know how much other stuff they have to do, but i'm definitely not afraid to give them a detention for acting up. i told them all the first week that i better not catch them cheating on their vocab tests...well, sure enough a few of them had to do it! i don't know why they think they're so slick...putting up their hoods or tilting their heads slightly definitely catches my eye...when i catch them, instead of just ripping up their paper, i make them erase a few answers so there's a SLIGHT possibility they might not have detention, but if they miss enough that i didn't make them erase, they have detention. they try and tell me, oh no teacher! i wasn't cheating! ha! bull! and that's the beauty of it...if a parent calls in and says why did my kid get detention or outraged because a teacher made them erase the answers, the korean teachers tell them they were cheating and that's the end of the story! there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

speaking of obnoxious things...i wrote a sample essay and gave it to my students. when we went over it in class i told them to pay attention to form and style...they noticed that i didn't write, 'i believe such and such for these three reasons' and then proceed to begin my three body paragraphs with 'first, second, third.' i told them doing that is elementary and completely useless. besides the punctuation, i just get tired of reading it over and over again! one of my classes yesterday tried to tell me that it was pretty much the only way to write it and that doing it any other way was sloppy because they couldn't pick out the key points easily. i told them to look at my paper, notice there were five paragraphs, and if two were for the opening and conclusion, that left three of them for body paragraphs...and they could assume that there was a key point in each paragraph. they still told me it was sloppy and i went to a bad college. i almost got offended, but remembered they were middle schoolers and what the hell do they know?! so i asked them if they thought lawyers had to be smart and speak proper english...they all agreed that lawyers do have to be quite knowledgeable...so i told them when i go back to the states i'm probably going to law school and told them i took a class called 'constitutional law and politics' and not using 'first, second and third' was something i picked up in a grammar book highly regarded by the law community. it still didn't convince them completely, but i got closer...i'm having michael come in next week and back up my point, because they say i'm the only foreign teacher that has ever told them not to use those words...and i'm also bringing my strunk and white to prove my point =) brats! it wasn't the whole class that thought this of course...it was about five of them...nonetheless, they're brats. they were also quite confused about how college works...they really thought that classes are numbered 101...they wondered why i didn't take law 101...i about died...

in my cnn classes, i had the kids take a political quiz online to find out which party they are closest to...out of 35 kids, there was one conservative haha! i put them into political parties and over the next couple weeks we are going to learn the art of debating and they are going to have slogans and whatnot, and actually have a debate in front of other classes as if they were running for president...and the other class will vote for 'the president.' i'm pretty excited about this, and they seemed stoked too...cross your fingers...

i've been trying to teach them how to write a decent argument...they have written essays about whether or not people rely too much on technology and some of their answers talk about robots and machines taking over the world...uhhhh...these kids watch too much science-fiction television. so i told them to stay away from generalizations, controvertial topics, and some other stuff, but most of all to THINK about what is being said. we'll see if that sinks in...

i guess i could go on for hours about my students, but i suppose i'll try and wrap this entry up... i went to the doctor to get the medical info for my ARC (alien registration card) and good news: i dont' have AIDS, hep b, mary j in my system, or TB....my triglyerides went down 17 points from the last time i had a physical, i can hear 1000 Hz at 10dB and 4000 Hz at 5 dB, my blood pressure was 120/80 which is high for me because before i left it was 112/60, i'm not color blind, and my vision is about 20/50...with glasses...i couldn't read the stupid chart!! she pointed to a letter and then had to point to a different one because i had no idea what it said...i guessed on a quite a few...oops...

tgi friday's has awesome mac and cheese bites...like mozzarella sticks, except with mac and cheese in the middle!! kim made fun of me yesterday because i said something about wanting suckers....she's like, 'what are suckers?! oohhhh, you're from iowa!!' apparently one of the girls she went to boarding school with was from iowa, and what the rest of the world calls 'lollipops,' iowans call 'suckers.' all the foreigners make fun of me because when someone new asks me where i'm from, i get all excited with a dopey smile on my face and practically burst with enthusiasm when i say 'iowa.' i guess i'm just special =)

alright, that's all for now...

k

Posted by flaminko 15:46 Archived in South Korea

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Kelsiface, it seems you're doing splendidly in Korea--which I said you would, btw!! I think tho that thousands of miles are taking their toll on US, which may be all for the best from your vantage point. Just know this--IF you EVER want to discuss anything, just email me
God bless, may you never change, and may you be as happy as you want to be! I hope your walls are all down by now

Love always

Tom

by futlaw07

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