Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Down Time

Today was pretty average, which (for me) is a GREAT Wednesday.  I have a ton of repeat classes today, so when they even go moderately well, I'm happy.  Chun wha was late to work today.  She didn't get in until after I did.  She seems very busy.  I hope everything is going well for her.  We haven't finalized anything for tutoring yet.  We can't do it in the morning and that makes it a bit difficult.

My last class today was pretty interesting.  It's an Essential 2, so this week they were instructed to come to class with two questions about American culture for me to answer.  I've gotten some pretty good discussions out of some of these classes.  Well, only two students came to class tonight.  And neither of them did their homework.  Apparently, they have a very stressful exam tomorrow.  Korean students have a lot of academic performance anxiety.  So, I had the boys (Kyle and Mason are their English names) come up with questions on the spot.  They did alright, asking about food in America and basic things like that.  When they ran out of ideas (or vocabulary) I turned the tables and asked them questions.  I asked them about their movie tastes (both of them are really into horror and enjoy the Saw series) and preferred music (they both cited "ballads" as their favorite type, which I don't quite understand).  We talked about travel and favorite holidays.  They like Chuseok and Christmas and Kyle has been to New York and Disney World.  I think he enjoyed Disney World more.  It was awesome to sit and talk with these kids.  I think they're intimidated by the full class.  Once they loosened up, their English talents really showed through.  Mason even told me that class was fun when we were finished.  I'll take anything I can get (in the realm of positive feedback) from fourteen year old student.

Ian has a Beginner 2 class that's marked as a Beginner 1 class on his schedule.  He forgets that it's a mistake every week.  Today, he didn't realize it until he saw his kids walking in with their Beginner 2 books.  He already had homework prepared for the Beginner 1 class, so he just hand wrote another page of homework and stapled it to the original worksheet.  Ian's awesome at teaching.

We're making new lesson plans tomorrow.  I'm going to try to incorporate some Yo Gabba Gabba and the like in to the lessons for my little kids.  I hope I can make it work.  I'll let you know what I use if I use anything.

A few of you were curious about the pu-chin-geh recipe.  We use a prepackaged mix, but I looked online and found out that it's super easy.  Just flour, eggs, water and salt (and other seasonings if you want).  Make the batter, then add in your veggies, tofu, meat or seafood.  Artificial crab and shrimp is popular here.  Obviously, we just make tons of different veggie ones.  I suggest nabba cabbage.  Ian really likes the green onion ones.  If you're feeling adventurous, try cucumber.  I really like it.  Then, pour your mixture into your pan.  The batter is about as thick as crepe batter, so the "pancake" will be the same size as your pan.  They take a little while to cook, so keep your heat low and your patience high.  Be mindful of using thick veggies like carrots and radish.  The pu-chin-geh's are excellent with soy sauce, though it'd be fun to experiment with chili or peanut sauces.

I don't have much else to blog about, so I thought I would share what Ian and I like to do in our down time around the apartment (when I'm not blogging).

Pandora is the soundtrack of our lives.  We have to use an IP blocker to use it, which slows down our bandwidth, but it's so worth it.  I just created a station based on the bands: Vitamin String Quartet (I walked down the aisle to their version of Coldplay's "Yellow"), Brad, Coldplay and Satchel.  It is awesome.  Ian has stations like "The Shins Radio" and "Harvey Danger Radio."  It's one of my favorite things on the internet.

2. Internet (and usually illegal) TV

We'd use the legal resources to watch shows online if we could, honest. But, all the network websites are U.S. only and the IP blocker makes our bandwidth to low to use the sites when we activate it.  So, we've been reduced to downloading television and movies.  Don't judge us too harshly.  We've promised each other that it'll stop when we're back stateside.  The TV shows we try to keep up on are Heroes, The Office, FlashForward, and Big Bang Theory.  Watching the same TV as the fam helps me feel like we're still on the same planet.

If you don't have this toolbar, you should look into it.  But, be warned, it can eat away at your life.  Imagine having a "randomizer" that chooses websites from a pool based on your interests and opinions.  That's StumbleUpon.  Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

Bruce and I used to watch "Whose Line" when I was in high school.  "Scenes from a Hat" is definitely my favorite.  This can be a bit of a time suck, as well.  You begin saying to yourself, "Ah, just one more four minute scene." and suddenly it's an hour and a half later.  But, laughter is a good cure for homesickness.  I especially like them after those Tuesday meetings.

Well, we're going to settle in and watch Heroes.  Good night!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you got a chance to bond with some of the older students. Tell Ian to write a blog post. I love what you write, Casey, but would love to also get another taste of Ian's writing.