Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I didn't let them use the knife but they used the child proof saw that came in the kit and then got to dig out the guts.What's your favorite part of carving pumpkins?
My own class was posed with phonics flip cards and insect posters. The kids were really good about it and did their best to ensure their perma-smiles while the photographer snapped away. They also did an all school picture with all the kindergarten classes and teachers. It was hilarious. Mrs. Lee stood up on a stool doing some sort of impersonation that was a cross of the Joker's laugh, Santa's chuckle and a witch's cackle. The kids were in fits and were to the point of laughing on cue. Here is the result.They're cute though, aren't they?
Monday, October 29, 2007
What fire safety precautions do you think are necessary?
Saturday, October 27, 2007
We've been talking about going to an amusement park for awhile and it finally happened. It was the perfect day too. The fall colors were beautiful and people were dressed up in costume to get a jump start on the Halloween festivities.
While still in the city, Seoul Grand Park feels completely removed. There are close mountains on all sides that cuts the park off from the rest of the city. The area holds a zoo, an amusement park, a contemporary art museum and a host of other smaller attractions.
Our first order of business was to take the chair lift over the lake to Seoul Land. The whole area is really neat in set up and lay out.
The park is a little Disneyesque with a gigantic ball curiously similar to the main icon of Epcot. Of course it was appropriately designed for Halloween.
The lines were long so we didn't get to do that many rides but we did have a bumper car battle, we climbed to the top of an ice mountain, we zipped around the entire park on a three minute roller coaster and rode the viking hammer. YT and I also had our caricature done. I don't think the artist had had a lot of practice with American faces because he acted a little perplexed when he was drawing me.
You be the judge. I don't see the resembelence.
Friday, October 26, 2007
What is your latest remodeling project?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Imagine a trumped up version of parent/teacher conferences in which the students have to rehearse and memorize an hour long presentation to demonstrate their English proficiency. Amazingly they all sat still for the entire thing.
All the kids' moms came in to watch and afterwards they had a Q&A with me which mostly consisted of me telling them how wonderful each of their students are while trying not to overshadow anyone.
It went well for the most part. The kids have come along way since I started working with them and it is nice to see the progression. I can't help but wonder what they'll be like in 20 years...when they are my age now.
I've been thinking about dropping a line to all my old elementary teachers to let them know what I've been up to. Some of them know. When I visit my parents, I see Mrs. B. at church and she still says things like 'There's my famous first grader.' Somehow, despite growing up, all of the hundreds of students she has taught are still her 'famous first graders'. I kinda like it.
Do your elementary teachers know what you grew up to be? I'm sure they'd love to hear from you.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Are there any others I should be watching? What is your favorite series of the fall?
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The race course started at the Gimpo stadium. We saw a few of our students there. At the end they gave away door prizes and then did a soccer ball/basketball throw. It pays to be the tallest one because JT and I each caught one. I gave mine to one of my students who was at the run.I don't think it was a true 5K course. It didn't feel near as long and I dropped my time by about five minutes. My speed has improved but not by five minutes.Afterwards they called the three of us foreigners up on stage and presented each of us with a box of soap. Either they were saying 'thanks for participating' or 'you guys really stink'. I'm not sure which.
What do you do for your health?
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
From: 황한나 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2007 5:53:52 AM
Subject: Advice about moving
When you are moving you will pack thise thing.
- Pack your close.(your beautiful close)
- Pack your shose.
- Buy a food.
- When your shose are dirty buy the new shose.
Teacher but don't move plese~
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I don't know the full story. It is a little disappointing because he had come so far in a relatively short amount of time that the hard work was really starting to pay off. But...I get two extra breaks a week because I don't have to tutor him and my class has been sooo much quieter. Practice for our open house has been smooth and I actually found myself laughing with the kids instead of trying to keep him in line.
A pretty positive change, all things considered.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
I can't really explain why I don't want to stay. Maybe it is a lot of little reasons. It really has been a good experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking for some international experience.
I was as kind as I could be and told him to redouble his efforts on finding my replacement. I guess it is official now. November 18th I will board a plane and put an end to this year-long odyssey.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
I am really excited of the potential that of more than 7,000 participating blogs and 5 million readers can do to bring awareness to our environment. As humans I believe we have taken responsibility for our environment, but I'm disappointed with the actions (or lack thereof) we've taken toward that end of protecting and preserving our environment.
For my part I can share my observations of four countries I've visited in the past year.
This country might not have the pollution problems of the other four...yet. Being stuck in the comparative stone age, North Korea has preserved some aspects of their environment. But where they save the air from particulates and the water from excessive pollution, they strip the land bare of trees which caused the massive flooding of this past summer. The lack of capitalism might protect, but communism isn't the answer to environmental problems.
When 45+ million people try and squeeze into an area the size of Indiana you'd better have a good plan of how to handle waste and pollution. South Korea has an excellent recycling program. There are massive fines for mixing garbage. Garbage bags are very expensive which encourages use of the free recycling. Glass, plastic, paper and metal. However, despite their best efforts, they still fall short.
This pristine country is doesn't have the the obviously visual environmental problems of other developed countries in Asia. However, simple statistics can prove the downfalls of this country. Malaysia was home to 266 unique species of freshwater fish as surveyed by biologists. A recent biological survey as quote in Jared Diamonds The Third Chimpanzee, found 122 species of fish. That means that since first being discovered, 144 species (more than 50%) have become extinct. That is appalling and the sad part is that it happened without anyone even noticing.
Unfortunately this country has multiple downfalls. The first major problem is the air. Per capita their particulates output into the air is lower than most developed countries but there is an awful lot of people. Factories and cars put an incredible amount of pollution in the air. With the coming Olympics, Beijing has pledged to reduce the number of cars on the road by one million. But, yellow dust affects everyone from Korea to the Americas.
There was a glimmer of hope this year when locals claimed seeing a river dolphin researchers thought to be extinct. Pollution, fishing in the rivers, and the construction of dams killed off the majority of that species population if not the entire population.
Where do I start. I thought that blogging about the environment would be easy but as I try to compile my thoughts and observations about something I care very much about I realize how hard it is. I admire National Geographic magazine's ability to concisely relay the message of environmental protection. As a world leader, the U.S. should embrace environmental protection. Things like carbon sequestration, hybrid cars, wind and solar energy are all great baby steps but we need to have a collective effort that is greater than current actions. The plan needs to cross international boundaries and not be subject to lack of technology or lack of resources.
So, what can we do?
1. Recycle. Just do it. It is easy.
2. Buy recycled products.
3. Plant a tree. Carbon needs to be sequestered.
4. Support renewable resources....ethanol, hybrid cars, biodiesel, etc.
5. Educate yourself.
6. Educate others.
7. Do more.
How do you protect the environment?
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Though they don't have an English service, they do offer translation services in English, Spanish and a few other languages. This is a mega-church and everything is high tech from the HD video display screens, to the song and dance praise team, to the 75+ member choir. You can even find all of the sermons online.I give props to the church. The worshipers seemed devout and the service was uplifting and energetic. I was a little overwhelmed with the sheer scale of everything.
The founder and lead pastor of the church has some controversial points of view which incorporate a little of Korea's shamanistic heritage. I can't really blame him. It isn't the first time Christianity has incorporated pagan traditions to suit the needs of its constituents. Jesus wasn't really born on Dec. 25. The date is ceremonial and was started to replace the pagan Roman celebration of their god's birthdays.At any rate, the sermon was decent and it was neat to just witness a huge congregation worshipping. What's the biggest congregation you've ever seen?
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
I like dark chocolate.
I like smiling (it's my favorite).
I like standing on top of a mountain I've just hiked and feeling like I'm on top of the world.
I like cooking fancy dinners for family and friends.
I like the cold exhilaration of skiing on fresh snow.
I like going places I've haven't been before
and doing things I haven't done before.
I like comments on my blog.
I like supporting cancer research.
I like supporting youth education.
I like recycling.
I like that sense of accomplishment in reaching a goal.
I like getting my hair cut.
I like towels fresh from the dryer.
I like planning.
I like adventures.
I like talking about great new books I've read.
I like learning.
I like the tang in my cheeks after I eat a pack of Smarties.
I like sunrises and sunsets.
I like naps.
I realize how blessed I am that I can enjoy all the things I like.
What do you like?