It was before class, and all of us were taking the printer into overdrive, printing all the homeworks and tests we needed. Then all the computers, lights, and air conditioners went out. Jumped on. Went out. Chris went out to see if the whole building was out. He returned to say that the whole block had no power.
We found out through students’ mothers that the power was expected to be out for two hours. We adapted and prepared to teach class without light and with not as much materials as we wished. Chris couldn’t get any of the pressing computer work done, so he went home to work.
Ben got a call from Chris to look outside. We looked outside on the balcony and saw nothing. I then went on the outside stairwell and saw this.
It was a scary sight. We brought our students out to look. I set the camera to video and recorded a bit.
The power returned sooner than planned. Chris returned with pictures he had taken. He made a little map of where the fires were. They were systematic. They looked like arson.
The fires were under control by five. We checked on the news, and it was barely a blip on the radar. The next evening, though, it made a more serious dent.
It turns out it was started when something (a crane, I think) hit some old electrical wires and set them off. I found out that old electrical wires can act like wicks on dynamite. The fire systematically went through the old wires, burning down old buildings attached to them. The damage was widespread and even went into the next town of Gwacheon, over the mountain.
That was the excitement for the week.
Also, I had been trying to make my classes more exciting. I am animated in my lectures, but Chris has said we need to try to do a game or something in each class. This week, I had been getting the students in a circle and showing them one of my new books, Extreme Cuisine. It talks about all the strange foods people eat around the world with some occasionally gruesome photos. It regularly generated squeals from the students, who asked to look at more. Some used the book as the subject for their weekly diaries, which was what I intended.
Yesterday, I showed it to one of my younger classes. When I got to the first page of pictures, Sarah cried uncontrollably. It took fifteen minutes to calm her down. This was not good. She was the student whose mother complained all the time, the one who wanted to videotape one of my classes to see if I was a worthy teacher. I knew it would upset Chris to know that I was showing this gruesome book to the students.
I figured he should find out about this from me before Sarah’s mother called. I told him to expect a call from her because I caused Sarah to cry.
“I showed the students the weird food book I have. All the other classes loved it, but when I got to the first picture of donkey sausage, Sarah broke down crying.”
“Heh, donkey sausage.”
He said it was okay and even borrowed my book to use in one of his classes.
I’ve also been experimenting with my new Bread Baker’s Apprentice book. I tried my first bread, a ciabatta. I started it on Sunday and finished it on Tuesday morning. The bread normally takes all day or two days to make. The reason it took me three days was that I’d come home from work, do a little bit to it, look at the watch, and say, “I’m not staying up until three in the morning for the next proofing and fermentation.”
So I’d put the dough in the fridge or leave it out all night.
On Tuesday morning, my fermenting dough was large enough to take over my whole counter. I shaped it into three loaves according to the method in the book. Baked them “hearth style,” which involved the use of water in a spray bottle. They came out great. The procrastination I did in working it allowed the dough to ferment longer, creating more flavor. Can’t wait to try some other breads.
Eun Jeong and I have been talking about getting a dog. It’s not serious talk. She wants a dog, and she’s the one bringing it up, but she doesn’t have any experience with them. Dogs are serious commitments. I wish there was a way you could just rent a dog for a while and give it back. We’re going to do a little research about how much dog food costs in Korea and such to see if it will be much of a burden. I also suggested finding out where animal shelters are in the area. I prefer getting pets from animal shelters than the dumb-as-a-Hilton yappy purebreeds from the pet stores. We could go to the shelters, where Eun Jeong could get comfortable with the dogs and decide what type she likes, if she likes them at all.
Speaking of which, I was walking down to the bus stop yesterday when I saw this cute little gray dog running happily up the sidewalk. She was so excited. She ran up to one of the parking lots and disappeared to the left.
As I waited at the bus stop, a lady walked down the street out of breath. She wore an apron, a face mask, and big pink rubber gloves. She stopped in the middle of the street, looked left, looked right, and continued on.
I guess she lost her dog.