As my schedule currently goes, I finish all my classes by around 1:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I used the afternoon to set up next month’s lesson plans for three elementary classes. Mindy is leaving this week. I have nicknamed her “Sunshine,” because she’s anything but. She piled a lot of her stuff into Brant’s apartment, and Brant was giving it away. I only took a purple satin floor pillow and some useful kitchen items (including dried Italian pasta). I’m being picky about what goes into my apartment because I want it to look cohesive and nice for once. I took my stuff home to the ghetto, and took an afternoon nap. When there’s no TV, computer or any entertainment that makes noise, it’s funny how easily you fall asleep. I awoke an hour later to the sound of the apple guy selling his wares on his loudspeaker outside.
I walked over to Brant’s. At the crosswalk at the busy intersection near my place, it was rush hour. Horns were honking, cars were whizzing by. I heard another car horn that I couldn’t place, so I looked around me. There was a car on the sidewalk, beeping its horn at me to get out of its way so it could get into traffic. Even the sidewalks aren’t safe. At Brant’s, he had me try Korea’s idea of stout beer. It was more like Michelob than Guinness. But hey, it had more flavor than Cass. We went to meet Dehyoung at the BBQ franchise he works for. We looked in the window and didn’t see him. We went up to Habana. “Dehyoung Choe issoyo?”
No, they hadn’t seen him.
So we went into the restaurant and ate anyway. Another good, good restaurant for westerners, this BBQ chicken place. The side dishes were something like a coleslaw with French dressing and a corn salad. The chicken came out, and it tasted similar but not exactly like Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur. It had the seasoned salt and two dipping sauces, a spicy hot BBQ sauce and a Chinese honey mustard. It was a good thing that the proprietor was helpful. We almost ordered a bowl of chicken feet. I hear they’re good, but I’m waiting to get a camera before I delve into that delicacy. I took Dehyoung’s business card out and showed it to him, asking if he knew him. He said he did. So, we were at the right restaurant. Dehyoung didn’t show up, though. No matter. It was a great meal.
Glen was to show up to help with the computer around 8:30, so Brant and I trekked back to my apartment. On the way there, I finally got the courage to order one of those fried pastries from the lady under the tent that I’m always smelling. She takes this doughy batter and wraps it around an almond paste. She then puts the ball on a large iron skillet filled with oil. After a little while, she smashes it down so it looks like a honey bun. She then flips it, and it’s ready. I broke a Korean taboo and ate while walking in the street. I found my new addiction, though. These pastries taste like beignets with sweet almond paste in the middle. I was hoping to lose weight while I’m here, but I am going to be foiled by BBQ chicken and fried pastries.
We got to my apartment at 8:20, but Glen had already come and gone. He left a boot disk taped on my doorknob. The monitor still doesn’t work. Oh well. Brant and I had a beer and talked about work and Korea for an hour, and I turned in.
Another day where I’m trying to look sharp, dressed in a suit. I got good comments from Sue supervisor, Trisha Teacher, and Mrs. Lee (the owner’s wife). When Brant got in, he talked to Sue about the issues we discussed last night. River, the new American female teacher, is landing Thursday, and they were going to get Mr. Chae to meet her by himself. Brant and I were unanimous that sending a creepy Korean guy who speaks no English to pick up a jet lagged Miguk (American) is not a good idea. Sue saw the light, and either one or both of us are going to join Mr. Chae in this venture Thursday afternoon.
Our other teacher, Ed, we don’t have to worry about. He’s a Korean-American (Kyopo) who lives twenty minutes away in Sanbon with his wife. He showed up today to get a pre-orientation. He’s a nice guy who seems level and mature. Pretty buffed out too, so that should help in controlling the children. Already, it’s looking like the new batch of foreign teachers is going to better than the set that are leaving. Let’s hope.
Ross Teacher, the British lad who is leaving, is planning his last hurrah in Asia. We’re discussing his trip to Bangkok now. Ah, a place I gotta see! Brant Teacher can’t believe he’s never heard of “One Night in Bangkok.”
I may be the first foreign teacher to get any discipline with Venus class. It just got to a point that I got militaristic on their butts. These kids never stay in their seats, and they’re always pushing and hitting each other. The first game we played, I drew a farm scene and a zoo scene on the board. I then dealt out magnetic farm and zoo animals. When I called out an animal, the kid with the animal would put it on the board in its appropriate environment. It worked okay. I still had a lot of time left in that period, so I improvised by getting them to take out a sheet of paper and draw a zoo or a farm. Now I know why all my elementary teachers had us doing so much drawing and coloring. They had run out of things to do.
The next period, I took them to the gym to play Red Light, Green Light. The Quiet Game has worked well on them when they’re walking down the hall. I wrote two rules on the board in the gym: No Hitting and No Pushing. Anytime I saw someone breaking a rule, I’d get them to read aloud the rule. It worked somewhat. Then one kid really pushed another one hard so that the other one was crying. I said, “Game over. Everyone back to the classroom.”
While there, I wrote a new rule. “Stay in your seats.” Made them read it. One-by-one, I let them go for a drink of water. Whenever one got out of his seat, I’d write his name on the board with a star. Three stars, and you’re going to the Thinking Chair. The children had never behaved better. I served them their anchovies and beans. Some of them are picky eaters. Some of them won’t eat the beans.
In Bacchus class, we made origami tulips out of construction paper. I love origami.