I met the teenagers after school to teach them how to sing Toto properly. I think I was misinformed on the details. They didn’t look anything like former juvenile delinquents. They were a nerdy guy and a cute giggly girl. They were accompanied by one guy who would translate and some other guy who was there for decoration, I guess. It was really interesting teaching the proper way to sing “Just like Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.” After the session, I asked them how they came by the song. They said a producer picked it for them.

A producer?

Are they thinking of becoming recording stars?

Again, when I think things are starting to get dull and monotonous, I find new stuff to write about. Today was International Food Day at the school. Each of us teachers was designated a room and a type of food to cook for the students. I was representing Italy with pizza. I arrived in the morning and checked out what supplies they gave me. They gave me what looked like two large electric skillets with lids (my ovens), packages of bread, and packages of shredded mozarella.

No sauce.

Rather than cause a panic, I just hopped over to the market and got a jar of pasta sauce.

The food demonstrations got better and cleaner after each class. I started using aluminum foil for everything to cut down on clean up time. And I started each class by saying, “The number one rule of cooking is to keep the area clean.” (I can hear Ben laughing at me saying that.)

I think I was the only one with a food industry background that day, and I had been given the most difficult food to cook. And it was also the crowd favorite. Other items cooked that day were Mexican nachos with processed cheese slices, British mayonnaise and ham sandwiches, Japanese tuna seaweed wraps, American milkshakes, and Korean pajeon pancakes. The kids were pretty well behaved too. I guess it also helped that I was wielding a large sharp knife most of the time.

One of my long wishes seems to have come true, for now. I found out thirty minutes after it was supposed to start that my hellish late night Friday conversation class was “temporarily closed.” Eric’s words, not mine. I had lost another kid, and the remaining two may be combined with River’s new conversation class.

I found this out after talking to a prospective high school student. She was applying to Brighton and wanted to meet a foreign teacher. Since I was waiting around for my non-existent class to start, I talked to her. She had lived in Toronto for two years but was painfully shy. I asked her questions about her time in Toronto and why she wanted to take more classes. She said she was preparing for the TOEIC exam (big deal English exam here for college), and she had trouble talking to this American college professor.

“Well, I hope you’re not too shy to talk to me.”


“No, you’re handsome.”

Well, that made my Friday. And I’ll admit, I was looking better than usual today. Hee!

So it looks like River and I will be tag team teaching for this girl twice a week. I wouldn’t mind taking on one extra forty-minute class with a good student once a week in exchange to lose that hellish 90-minute class where the kids didn’t want to be there.

I’m killing time right now while Brant finishes his classes. He’s holding a pizza party for them. We’re planning on trying a new kalbi restaurant down the street from our regular haunt. He’s had his eye on it because it has a dramatic glass case full of lettuce and frosty dry ice clouds cascading down the leaves. They also have so many stoves outside heating up coals for the kalbi tables that you have to get off the sidewalk to get around them.

Three weeks ago, I noticed that this trash lot next to my place was lain down with cement. In less than a week, a building was quickly taking form. By the second week, they were already on the second floor. Don’t know what it will be, but River, Canada Joe and I were fascinated by the speed of this construction project.

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