So far, this Internet TV (HanaTV) has been good for us. Eun Jeong is too cute. She usually spends her evenings watching the same old Korean soaps. Thursday night, while she was in the shower, I thought I’d check out what food programs they had available. They had seasons one and two of “Hell’s Kitchen.” I’ve only seen season three, so I checked out the first episode of season one.

Eun Jeong finished her shower and sat down to dry her hair and put on her lotions. She was looking at the TV.

“He’s so rude!”

“Here’s the remote. You can watch your shows.”

“No, I want to watch this.”

So, we finished watching “Hell’s Kitchen.” I gave her the remote so she could watch her Korean shows. She promptly loaded up the first episode of “Heroes.”

The past two evenings we have spent together watching our tiny TV rather than in separate rooms watching different shows. We have found that it’s possible for us to like the same shows.

At work, I’ve been more careless and stupid.

There’s a unit in Up and Away 2 that I have had the hardest time communicating in previous classes. We go from one unit, which is describing the five senses (“I hear a lion. I smell popcorn.”). The next unit uses the senses to describe things (“It tastes like oranges. It looks like an apple.”)

That has been the hardest to communicate.

I had an idea right before the beginning of class. I got some paper cups and made various water solutions.

After a preliminary explanation of the terms and seeing the kids’ blanker-than-usual faces, I asked for two volunteers. Two boys came to the front. I told them to close their eyes. I had my new coat in my arms and put their hands on the faux fur lining.

“What does it feel like?”


“Full sentence please. It…”

“It feels like dog.”

“How many dogs?”

“It feels like a dog.”

I then let them open their eyes. I gave them a paper cup and asked them to smell it.

“What does it smell like?”

They shrugged their shoulders. They couldn’t smell anything.

“Taste it. What does it taste like?”

“It tastes like saltang mul.”

“Yes. In English, it’s sugar water.”

“It tastes like sugar water.”

I gave them the other paper cup with solution.

“Smell this, please. What does it smell like?”

“It smells like juice.”

“What kind of juice?”

“Orange juice. It smells like orange.”

I took the cup back and demonstrated, telling them, “Taste it. Don’t drink it.”

They didn’t listen to or understand the “Don’t drink it” part. They took big sips of water I had mixed with orange-scented dish soap. They immediately ran out of the classroom to the water cooler. I spent much of the rest of class getting them to drink loads of water to dilute the soap. They looked sick.

After a while, they started to settle down and go back to normal. But we did receive a call from one of their mothers wanting an explanation as to why the teacher was feeding her little boy soap.

Oh God, here comes the law suit. Why am I so stupid?

Our manager, Joy, was able to explain everything to her on the phone. The mother said she understood but didn’t want me to use dangerous substances in class anymore.

On Friday, I got a lot of stuff done in the morning. I found a box to put my kids’ presents in and got it shipped off. I haven’t heard from my kids in three years, and no emails have been replied to, and no phone calls have been returned. Yet I send my presents dutifully into the void each year. One day they’ll get back in touch with me.

Eun Jeong and I bought a big load of cookies at E-Mart. She was going to use them to appease her students after their exams. I had promised some of my students a little Christmas party before Christmas break.

They little parties went well. The kids loved their cookies and chocolate. They weren’t bouncing off the walls and were actually well behaved.

At the beginning of my four o’clock class, Sue, our secretary, told me one of the students was going to be absent that day and on Monday.


I was tempted to go to Chris and tell him that Sue thought we were coming to work on Monday. Yet I had other business to tend to first.

Classes went smoothly. I had Christmas music in the background the entire time–Charlie Brown, Disney, the Carpenters.

My last class at seven o’clock rolled around. I headed from my computer to the classroom, alongside Chris. I said, “Last class finally.”


“The long slog from Chuseok to Christmas break is almost over.”

“Just one more week.”

“One more week?”

“You seriously didn’t think we had next week off, did you?”

“Um, yeah.”

“Well, we have Christmas Day off, but we’re working next week. The break is after that.”


He then proceeded to laugh and tell the other Chris that I thought we had next week off. The playfully mocked me. I initially was feeling crestfallen. It reminded when I was running for P.T. in my early high school days. I was about to die from running. We were almost finished. We had come back to the starting point. When we got there, the coach said, “Okay, one more lap.”


I quit P.T. that week and decided self-inflicted physical torture in the name of fitness was not my bag.

It took a good while to wrap my mind around the idea that I had to work next week. I went through the five stages of grief and finally reached acceptance at 7:30.

We’re going to have a Christmas party at the school on Sunday with turkey and everything. I am responsible for the egg nog. Chris said he hadn’t had egg nog in seven years and was excited about it. He got so excited that he wanted to help make a batch. So I gave him the recipe on my site and a pair of nutmegs from my supply. After school, he went to the store to get the ingredients, calling me to make sure about details, asking how to separate eggs and what tempering was.

I wonder if I have started him on the path of becoming a cook. One can only hope.

I had to get a few more items at E-Mart. It was a bit crowded, as it will be the rest of the weekend–being right before Christmas. I saw one of the reasons why I love Korea.

E-Mart, and many Korean shops, give out a lot of free samples. You could have an entire meal there in samples. The good thing is they’re not uptight about certain products like they are back in America.

What do you mean?

They were giving out free sample shots of Kahlua Friday night.

I lugged my stuff home, which included a gallon and a half of milk, a bottle of wine and a bottle of Kahlua. I was ready to sit back and watch some HanaTV after checking my emails.

No Internet!

In fact, it was the worst sign. It said there was no cable plugged in, even though the cables were plugged in. I opened the case to make sure the Ethernet card was in place. If it says no cable is plugged in when everything’s plugged in it means that something seriously is wrong with the Internet that I can’t fix.

I called Eun Jeong, who was still stuck at work.

“There’s no Internet.”

“Yes, I unplugged it. Just plug it back in. I told you about it.”

That was a first. Eun Jeong was giving me technical support.

The HanaTV guy had set us up so that some box in our wall–inside our wall (these are very new high tech apartments)–had to be plugged into an electrical outlet to get TV and Internet.

I plugged it into the wall, and everything was fine.

Hopefully the stupidity will cease for a while this weekend.

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