Even though the class is graduating on Thursday, I decided to give Venus class actual work to do. No more “Joe Teach-a plays games.” I started writing their names on the board for speaking Korean during class time, which I recently found out was a no-no in Korean ESL classes. Ellen came up to me and told me I had to write report cards for the two elementary classes we share. I barely even know those kids. Nonetheless, I used it as an opportunity to subtly and diplomatically say, “Your child is a spoiled brat and needs to learn self control.”

Not only do I not know all the kids in some of the classes, some of them have ended up with unfortunate English nicknames, thanks to the slacker Nick, who was a substitute teacher until I arrived. Yes, he named this little mute kid Skeletor. It’s hard enough to write a report card about a child who doesn’t speak. But I found myself writing, “Skeletor is a good kid.”

I also had to do my first set of phone tests for Venus class. My students were not as frustratingly awful as Brant’s, but I did get some laughs in the teacher’s room when they overheard some of my tests.

“Sally. What is the color of the sun?”

“Um… yellow.”

“In sentence form. The sun is…”

“The sun is yellow.”

“Good. Very good. How many eyes do you have?”




“How many eyes do you have?”


“Sally, sweetie?”


“How many eyes do you have?”


“You don’t have any eyes?”


I had two kids tell me that they had no eyes. NO WONDER THEY AREN’T LEARNING!!! They’re frikkin’ blind!

Four of us went out to finally have kalbi (BBQ short ribs). It was another of those traditional sit-on-the-floor restaurants. We had one Korean with us, and she said she hates to sit on the floor. It was helpful to have her around because we found out all the stuff we were missing out on. The table is set up similar to those other big spreads with side dishes, a bowl of garlic, and a bowl of hot soybean paste. We could tell that they upped the ante, since kalbi is considered the equivalent of a nice steak house in the States. The corn salad same out sizzling on a platter. We had shrimp and crabs as side dishes. Then a lady put a small cauldron filled with red hot coals into a hole on the center of the table. She put a grill on top of that and laid on strips of marinated beef and ribs. We wrapped them in the lettuce leaves and stuffed them in our mouths. That had to be the best meal I’ve had so far in Korea. It’s like Korean fajitas. If you’re near a Korean restaurant, try to get kalbi.

We then went up to Habana for a little beer and pool. The foreigners from one of the rival schools, SLP, were there. None of them were American. We found out that we’re ALL going on the DMZ trip this weekend. I’m trying to get more in touch with the foreigner population in Ansan, in case I’m getting overwhelmed with all things Korean. I just got an email from a guy who invited me to a regular get together two subway stops down the Friday after next.

Christina called me early this morning. She was on the bus to her first day at her new job teaching English in a Korean high school. The girl is a nervous wreck. 😛

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