Thursday, January 27, 2005


I made a basic sentence building game this morning with the help of the laminating machine and "cutingi" (sort of how you say laminating film in Korean). I just printed and cut up a bunch of different subjects/verbs/adjectives/objects and let the kids build sentences. Hopefully they will get used to using the letter "a" and "s" more in their sentences this way. For example, sometimes the kids say "I like horse." "I like horses" sounds better... or "I want puppy". "I want a puppy" is correct. Maybe boring but important for them to know... they often forget.

This is hopefully my last post from a PC 방, I bought a new computer for about $400... used monitor included. 규상 said he would assemble it for me. A great price... he got it online. Much better than the prices in the Samsung Digital Plaza down the street, for example.

You can pay bills at the bank, in cash. It's pretty convenient... if you're in a city like me. You get paid in cash, not a paycheck. This is common for many jobs here. It is not convenient and I'd prefer a check.

If you know how to put the BlogRoll on the side instead of the bottom, drop me a comment or something. I haven't met either of the people I've linked but they're a good read. They both live/lived in 강릉. Apparently they drink a bit more than me but hey... don't hold me responsible for the contents of their sites. ;

Time is going so fast...

My power bill was about the equivalent of 10 dollars for the month of December.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Do you like the weather?

Good weekend... but I think the twins broke my sofa. Not cool. We're developing our own language... Iguesso means I understand. Butter means give me it. Akabi means that was close. I didn't think I'd be amused by this kind of stuff... most inside jokes aren't funny when you take them outside.

I have to do a phone check with just about every one of our students. They have varying levels of English... My 3rd highest level class doesn't know what a noun is. It can be pretty hard thinking up stuff to talk with them about. I have to think up simple questions for the kids to answer. Anyways, the conversations are pretty funny sometimes. One of my questions today was "Do you like the weather?" I get embarrassed for no reason some time... like earlier when they thought it was real funny. I thought their reaction to it was funny too. Anyways it'd be cool if I wasn't so easily affected (effected? English teacher says what...) by these things but what're you going to do?

Wow, it's a bit of a challenge teaching the boss's daughter in your lowest level class then teaching his son in your highest level class. But I'm the win so it's ok.

No hungry.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

These are a few...

Assuming the random potential hagwon teacher stumbles upon this site... to fill up class time I play a bunch of games. If you teach in a hagwon, you know you do it too. Many different games. The ones that work for me with various levels of success: Bingo, Hangman, Stop the Bus, Ball spelling game, Card spelling game, 20 Questions, Chair Showdown. Tough work playing games all day, let me tell you. Let me know if you want to know about Chair Showdown or Stop the Bus. I wish I had known about these games before I got started. They make filling up time alot easier.

One of my students told me all the Korean words for red today. He won't discourage me from studying Korean a bit after this though. But he did list like nine different words. I assume he was talking about like dark red, maroon, burgundy, etc. Then we talked about all the different expressions there are for English. My brilliant deduction is that they're both tough languages.

Book I am reading now: Colors of the Mountain by Da Chen. Memoir of a kid growing up in China in the second half of the 20th century. The author had a tough time of it because his father was a landlord (Commies say what). Worth a read, I'm going to have to get some English books from here when I've finished all my English reading material. Haven't found much in the way of English books in the city other than a couple Learn Korean textbooks. What The Book gets my full endorsement if you're living in a smaller Korean city and need something in a language that is familiar.

Music, 자우림. TV... funny Korean game shows that I can't understand (except for the physical comedy of course).

Was thinking of switching to Blogdrive. Or maybe I'd like this blogspot better if I could figure out how to change all the words in here to English from Korean... drop me a line if you can help. I'm sure it's not a tough problem.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

3 weeks.

The amount of time it took an envelope to get from Florida to my school in Korea. My mom sent it for $1.55. Don't know if this is average time or not... I was hoping for more like 10 days. I guess email is the clear winner here. is the software I'm using to get the Korean basics down. I've done the alphabet one first, then started vocab and will start up the grammar part soon. Have yet to install the dictionary, will let you know how it goes. Anyways, Declan gets my recommendation. I wish I had known about it before I came over, I would've done it all at home then started learning intermediate Korean from friends here right away. is the site for picking up some Korean through music. Click on the 게시판 tab. Then click Korean lessons/music on the left and 5 on the main window. The author of the site walks you through some Juarim / 장우림 songs. A different approach so I don't get bored with getting the basics down.

The NFL doesn't even register on the radar here (of course) so I didn't even know until yesterday the Patriots beat the Colts. Oh well, I hope I'll be able to watch the Super Bowl at least. Every year on the US broadcoast the announcers always talk about how many countries show this excellent event on their televisions so I assume it'll be on in Korea.

I lost my winter hat so I got to buy a new one. Went downtown for just a little bit after work and got the only hat I even liked a little bit... Boston (the store assistant had heard of the Braves were but they didn't have any Braves hats). It was an official MLB store. Hard trying to find a place that sells hats that will fit my big ol' bucket head. Especially when the style here seems to be for younger guys to wear skull cap type things.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

My shoes.

Last week was so fast. Wow. Haven't made time to update... if I make it to a computer I spent the time emailing or practicing Korean. I just revised some English stuff my buddy 규 상 gave me. Difficult at times, but studying a bit of Korean has helped me see why learning English is so tough for most Koreans I've encountered. So different (duh). Maybe that is advantageous in the long run: you've got to really know the language and you're starting from scratch. Not like going from Spanish to French or something like that.

Executive decision... spending some of my next paycheck on internet for the apartment. Not worth choking down tobacco smoke each time I want to get on the computer. KT has English support so it shouldn't be too big of a problem. Then I can put pictures on here to my hearts content.

Had a solid week. Work went really fast and I spent a decent amount of time laughing with the kids. Funny stuff just naturally happens when you're trying to express yourself in a new language.

Fun weekend, one of my students and her grandparents treated me to some Korean style ham for lunch of Saturday. It was good stuff. The grandparents like to make sure I eat enough... not a problem because it seems there's always a massive amount of leftovers with most traditional Korean meals I have. And the seating arrangement is traditional too, "indian style". Haha... terrible name for it now that I think about it but oh well. I can't do that though or I'm in pain for days afterwards. I just stretch my feet out under the table and the Koreans I'm eating with get a good-natured laugh out of it. I'm glad I can't sit that way... I see many middle-aged Koreans with knee problems and older Koreans with back problems. Significant ones. I'm taking a wild guess sitting on the floor with your knees in that awkward position doesn't help things. Many restaurants in Seoul that I saw had Western style seating... but not 강릉.

Saturday night I hung out with some really friendly people my age from church (Gyu Sang included). They have varying levels of English. Some of them are studying English solely from tapes. It's a little bit funny when they try to recite things from the tape in conversations with me, and they realize it. Couple of them were desperate to arm wrestle me...

Sunday: Went to church, dinner afterwards downstairs in the church. Good company. Went downtown... bookstore, cd store. Juarim / 자우림 album. I found an internet site where you can learn some Korean through music. This cd used in the first few lessons. I'll edit with the link when I figure out more MS Windows Korean (it's a bit difficult because the site uses frames and stuff).

Thanks to the generosity of everyone I've met I only had to figure out breakfast on Saturday and Sunday for myself. The other meals were taken care of. Now to figure out ways to return the favors...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Tiger Foot.

I play some games in class that require teams. I let the kids choose names for the teams because normally there's a bit of an amusement factor with choosing a name in a new language. And more so for them just because they're kids. Team Tiger Foot defeated Team WWE Smackdown in an intense game of Stop the Boat on Friday.

More pictures! Food! I'm working 9 to 5 for this month; with my hour lunch break I've been eating out because food is so cheap. Both of these meals cost W5,000... a little under five bucks.

Beef is hidden in the seasoned watery soup. Rice is in the metal container on the right.

Sorry, I took a couple bites first. This was a filling meal. Rice with ham and eggs. The brown stuff is some sauce... not sure what. It has some more meat hidden in it. Spicy soup with onions and squid in it. Gimchi, of course, with both meals!

I got out into the city this morning and needed some air so I headed for the woods. Just ten minutes away which is nice. I like the city alright but it was so much more quiet out there...

The stadium, built for the World Cup. Not used much since. And the nice scenery of course.

Should've zoomed in a bit more.

At a dangerous curve in the road...

My edge of the city, with the East Sea slash Sea of Korea slash Sea of Japan in the distance. In line with the ocean on the right is the yellowish E-Mart sign, where I do most of my grocery shopping.

Country, city, mountains.

Tiger Foot.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005


I am getting into the rhythm of work now with the start of the new year. Trying to keep the kids entertained, learning an English through games isn't a bad way to do it.

I went to E-Mart (big department store) the other day with my boss's family. We were walking around shopping and my boss's son turns to me and says, "They are all looking at you." Haha, yeah for whatever reason that day I must've looked especially interesting because a bunch of people were indeed basically staring at me. It's alright though, I can tell it's good attention. A little odd though getting looked at so much just for how you look.

I went to Seoul over New Year's. It was alright, some nice shopping areas. In the end I prefer the city I'm in over Seoul. It was a bit too big and jam packed for me. One of my students asked me when I got back which city I liked better: Kangnung or Seoul. When I answered Kangnung the kids were pretty happy, they agreed. They said it was too full of people and dirty for them. Easy to justify where I live as better, especially to the kids that live here.