Wednesday, May 19, 2010


It's been very humid since Monday night.  First, it just poured gallons and gallons of rain into the rice fields, so it was tolerable.  But, yesterday morning the rain stopped and we were left with heavy clouds sitting on us.  I am not well suited for humidity.  I grew up in Phoenix, where it is dry and very hot.  I remember they sold tourist trinkets with the slogan, "But, it's a dry heat."  When I was ten, my family moved to the PNW (where basically all of my extended family is) where it rains often, but you forgive it for the greenery.  At least I do.  I don't think I'll ever want to live permanently any place else.

We're not sleeping well because of the damp warm air.  Our apartment doesn't seem to get a breeze at night, either.  So, I start my day tired and then the humidity seems to slowly pull any residual energy out of my muscles.  I could hardly breath during my run this morning.  Our gym is a little like a green house.

Jecheoners can keep their mountain climate.  Get me back to the coast!  I'm sorry to complain.  I'm sure I will adjust.  After all, we did eventually adjust to the freezing inland winter. 

I'm going to try something new.  Since I'm often blogging in chunks throughout the day, I will employ the three asterisk marker after each chunk.  That way, you have a better chance of understanding my train of thought.

*                   *                   *

Julia told me that she wanted a foreign teacher that she is in the process of interviewing to teach my last class tonight.  But, that didn't happen.  Apparently, he taught one of the other teacher's classes instead.  So, I had my first "Leaders" class (the highest level).  The two girls, Sophie and Diana (Julia and the Goam principle's daughters, respectively) are very fluent.  Aside from some bad habits and grammar related issues, those girls can easily hold intelligent conversations in English.  The boys on the other hand, Evan and Daniel, can hardly string sentences together.  Evan can hardly read.  Needless to say, the girls ran circles around them in class and it made any sort of progression on the topic ("careers") impossible.  Next week we will start on speeches and then I'm hoping to move them through a several week long lesson on debating.

My second to last class was much more fun for me than it was for my students.  This is only because the lesson was very difficult.  The students were practicing giving directions.  The patterns they had learned ("go straight and turn left/right at the corner") had only given them enough to make vague, unhelpful directions.  So, I was pushing them past their comfort zone and into difficult waters.  But, I tried to make it fun and pertinent (though not necessarily at the same time).  We started with giving directions to landmarks in Jecheon (the movie theater, E-Mart, Yoon's, etc.).  I concluded the class by giving them maps and having them work in teams to give each other directions from a chosen "point A" to "point B."  To amuse myself I gave them maps of Disneyland, Pike Place Market and The San Fransisco Wharf.  I truly enjoyed listening to students describe how to get from Critter Country to Space Mountain.

It's steamed mandu for dinner tonight.  They're pretty much Korea's dimsum or dumplings.  I'm excited because Ian gave me a bite of the filling and it's garlicky and fantastic.  They can be steamed, fried or boiled and made into soup.

Some of those went into the freezer for later.

Good night!


  1. Ian, I want the recipe for the mandu. They look and sound awesome.

    Did you guys remember to open the window in the room I slept in? It will create cross ventilation. Also buy a fan and put it in the laundry area by the open door so it will draw outside air in. It might not be real cool, but the breeze will feel nice.

    Why is Julia hiring another foreign teacher?
    Sounds like you are getting a grip on your new classes and students, and actually enjoying some of the classes.

  2. I will post the "recipe" for the mandu. Yeah, that window is open, but it doesn't do much at night. We really only get a breeze until early afternoon.

    I don't know if she's hiring him or what for. But, a lot of the teachers are leaving (next week is Angela's last and she's going back to Vancouver), so it probably has something to do with that.