Thursday, May 31, 2007

This week is a joke

I'm glad that there's not that much I can do this week at school, since it was only 3 days to begin with (Monday was Memorial Day and Friday is Graduation for the seniors, but everyone else gets a day off), then the big field trip for the juniors (Physics Six Flags trip) was Tuesday, and the Junior awards assembly is today during periods 7 & 8, so yesterday was the only "real" day of classes for a lot of my students...which means that they were bouncing off the walls.

Anyways, it's all done now, except graduation tomorrow. I'm so proud of all my graduating students! Many of them were my first students ever and with their leaving marking my own departure, I feel that even with all the "joke weeks" like this one and BS, that we have really gone through something profound together--that teaching and learning can only ever really be understood by those who experience it directly. I believe these students have changed me at least as much as I have them...

I just bought my ticket to Korea (for those of you looking around for jobs, know that my employer offered to pay, but since I wanted to make the arrangements for transporting my cat, I arranged a reimbursment deal--this flexibility on the part of my boss I interpret as a good sign). I'm flying out of Dulles with Korean Air on 8/27 directly to Incheon, Korea, where I catch a connecting flight to Daegu later that evening (although by then it will be 8/28 in Korea). All of this is really happening in just a few short months. Wow... I will let that sink in a bit now.

I can't believe tomorrow is June already! Crickey--where is 2007 going to so darn quickly???

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How much of a dork am I?

Enough of a dork that I got crazy excited about playing Dungeons & Dragons with Evan, Peter, and Micah last night! After working at the hotline on Memorial Day and (almost) catching up with paper work there, did I go home and get rested up or grade papers like a good little teacher? Oh no. I had more important things to do. Things like SAVING THE SUN SPHERE!!!

I created a 7th-level sorceress (nicknamed Red for her hair) who spent most of the campaign kicking the crap out of evil villains with Magic Missiles (because all of my other spells ended up sucking... well, except Haste and Spider Climb, each of which really saved our butts on more than one occasion) and making fun of the melodramatic fighter/rogue (played by Micah) and the naive, farm-boy good cleric (played by Peter). Evan is a silly DM (and he was the first DM I played with back in high school, so it was all reminisce-y... yes. That is a word). I had a familiar. It was a little viper named "Fluffy." I think I stole that from someone in college, but I cannot recall. Sounds like something Janet would say.

I'm keeping this cold at bay with sudafed, but only just barely.

As of TODAY, it's less than 3 weeks until the end of school and less than three months until I'm on a plane to Korea. Woo hoo!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Learning Korean through Cinema...

Ok, so I've been supplementing my Korean study with watching Korean film. It's a bit like trying to learn English by watching Stanley Kubrick or Quentin Tarantino films... unnerving.

So far, I've watched a really awesome horror film, A Tale of Two Sisters, and the three thrillers by Chan Wook Park, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy (interestingly, the movie that the VT shooter had a poster of in his dorm room), and Lady Vengeance. I liked the final movie best, as it featured an evil Korean hagwon teacher as the main villain and showed some of the blending of English with Korean culture.

Now, I'm not sure how representative these films are of general box office hits in ROK (and then how remote daily Korean culture is from their film industry), but there is definitely a different understanding of ghosts and death that I have seen come up in other Asian art that fascinates me. There is a blending of the worlds of the dead with those of the living that seems almost natural. I cannot figure it out completely, but it makes me wonder if I'll run into dead spirits wandering around in the countryside. Hm...

I guess that's one more thing for Mom to worry about. I gave her Jane's book Prisoner of Wonderland so she could get a sense of the worst that might befall (although I guess I'm a bit safer from the worst of hagwon evil by taking over a MUCH better position). Poor scared Mommy. I will be fine!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dreaming of Semiotics

Ok, so I need to record that last night in my dreams, I somehow decided that money is another kind of sign-system (like language, math, dance, etc.) that represents the intangibles of raw materials, but so much more than that. I'm sure some philosopher-economist type will one day write about this and about 6 people will read it who will then spin it for a general public in a pop-culture kind of way that promises readers to "unlock" the "secret meaning" of money and promises wealth beyond your wildest dreams.

Is it sad to dream about a school of philosophy, especially one you don't fully understand?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Feels Good...

It feels good to have decided about my job in Korea. I still have many preparations for my journey, but I suspect that there will be contingencies for which I am unable to plan, no matter how astute I may be, and so I will focus on enjoying my time left in the country.

I saw Peter yesterday. I love those people that you can just sit or walk around with and have a conversation about nothing in particular (well, ok, about raising an army of Baby Ninjas, the inescapability of capitalism, writing pedagogical theory--not the stuff of education courses, but people like Rosenblatt, and undergraduate misinterpretations of post-structural criticism in particular, but nothing all that essential or meaningful to "real people"). I may have halfway convinced Peter that should he be unable to get a job as a university professor in the US, Korea would welcome him with open arms... haha! Still no word on the English GRE scores... I'm just hoping for a 650+, but I'll settle for the 600 range.

I'm going to bring Princess over to my parents' house while we work on Sunday to get her a bit acclimated to moving around to new places, since I will be living gypsy-style this summer. I should bring my camera, although it would have been more impressive if we had taken the before-before pictures. We are really tearing through the organizing/cleaning process rather quickly. Besides, I should take pics of the house in its new, renovated beauty!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Eduschmacation

Jay Mathews is an arrogant prick.

Here's my problem with this dweeble brain: His rhetoric belies the same problems plaguing the current politicos' take on education, a la NCLB propaganda. Too much fluff. Talks a good game about leveling the playing field and counting hard-working schools in the lower socioeconomic strata for his "Top 1200," but then uses a measure that is EXCLUSIVELY bought--taking the AP test (which runs about $80/per head). So misguided, struggling districts looking to improve their reputation, like mine, shell out all but $15 of that cost to rank higher in his little schema on his little list, instead of putting that money towards high quality textbooks or cutting class size or raising teacher salary or SOMETHING else that has PROVEN to raise test scores and raise the quality of education for students. The little buggers don't even have to take the class to rank for his "challenge index" which was the thing he was TRYING to measure. What a moron!

And it worked. PG schools got higher on the "challenge index" than ever--many outrank Roosevelt, which has the best rep in the county for AP. Why? Because challenge index score = # of tests/graduating seniors. Other schools in this county have very low graduation rates for students (last I checked, ours is in the 90s, PG averages in the 60s, many schools less), which means a lower number in the divisor, and while other schools have lots of students testing, few get higher than a 2 (considered failing), while most of our kids get 3 or higher. I think last year something like 3 students in the whole county got a 3 or higher on one of the English APs who didn't attend Roosevelt... It's a BIG county.

We have advantages, like a science/tech program that attracts students from all over the county, and Old Greenbelt is a staunchly middle class area, but our "neighborhood" kids do well also, not just the elite.

Now College Board is launching this "audit" in an effort to validate the level of courses with the AP label precisely because thinking like Mathews inclines boards of ed and administrators to put a pretty title on classes to get higher rankings, better support from parents, and the appearance of a better education for all. Yet, test scores stagnate. College Board blames inadequately challenging curricula in courses labelled AP (of course the obnoxiousness of the AP audit is a whole other rant!).

I'm looking forward to a broader perspective on education after teaching in another country. This system is giving me a headache!

Shark Jesus?

Wow! If this isn't the hammerhead shark's version of the Christ child, then it suggests really bizarre things about the way vertebrate reproduction works...

Well, now it's crazy because the job in Daegu has also formed into a more definite offer and offers several advantages over the very hip province of Apkujeoung in Gangnam, Seoul--the first of which is that Ansim, Daegu is not "hip" and never will be! (I'm such a nerd, but I like my peace). I enjoy jazz clubs and happenin' dance clubs and bars in moderation and would much prefer a walk through nature. Daegu's still a city, but not quite so overwhelming as Seoul.

Other advantages:
-More "legal" contract providing health insurance and severance (this was causing a bit of anxiety over the other job, though I am not 100% clear on the law in Korea, either letter or enforcement)
-Possibly a larger apartment (not by much, but with space at such a premium, every little pyeong helps!)
-I *really* like the director--like she's the kind of person I'd want to be friends with even back in the states. I don't know for certain, obviously, but I believe we would at least get along professionally with relative ease
-SUPER BIG MAJOR ADVANTAGE: Kitty is more than welcome!
-Fewer teaching hours; same OT pay

Disadvantages:
-A lot of people have suggested that Seoul is the only place worth living in Korea. I am leery of this; is it like Manhattanites or Californians who turn up their noses to the rest of the country and act like you have a social disease if you'd prefer to live elsewhere (which I do)? I suppose this one can only be found out by going there...
-Less base pay (a lot less). There is a cost of living difference, but I doubt it is substantial enough to make up the whole difference (although, if you count the severance bonus, it's closer).
-Larger classes (though anything under 15 feels like heaven to me after three years in US public schools)
-Students start at a lower ability level--but I'm not sure how much that really matters to me in the end
-Less cosmopolitan area of the country means more shock at my height and "Rubenesque," as Dana used to kindly put it, figure (size 12 is apparently *very* obese in Korea, and though I am losing weight, I doubt "the girls" and the hips will get much smaller, since I was also size 12 at 15-20 lbs lighter than now...). I guess I'll just have to double up on my sense of humor about my weight and keep up the workout regime (I am down 7 lbs since I started ACTUALLY trying a couple weeks ago).

My intuition says that neither school would be bad, but there is a strong "yes" feeling about the school in Daegu that isn't there with the school in Seoul. Intuition is a very powerful thing...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hm...


So, I have the perfect job offer from Seoul (small, writing-focused school with an honest, kind boss, good pay, and decent accommodations), EXCEPT for the no-pets policy.

I guess I'll need to find a good home for Princess. It's really probably the best for her in the end, though I'll be sad to say goodbye. I talked to Paul about it and he probably can't take her (because his cat is declawed and Princess is not), but he says he'll look around to see if someone wants her. She's very sweet and well behaved, so hopefully someone will love her.

Monday, May 21, 2007

"Bubble Your Answer Sheets Completely..."

In this fine country where the idea of freedom has become as much of a marketing ploy as the increasingly complex, baffling cavemen in the Geico commercials (although arguably less effective if you look at Ford Motor Company's and General Motors's returns over the last few years), much of our overtaxed, overstimulated brains are devoted to memorizing the idiomatic, nuanced language of the bubble-in answer sheets. An American high school student these days may not know who Paul Laurence Dunbar was, but could quote you word for word the directions from these mind-numbing three or four hour monstrosities. Their brains, force fed a diet of highly particularized knowledge, are adept in wading through such ridiculous trivialities as:

No. 2 Pencil
Scantron Form
Bubble in (verb)
Essay question
BCR (Brief Constructed Response)
ECR (Extended Constructed Response)
Multiple Choice
Multiple Guess
Selected Response (SR)
Standardization
Which of the following does NOT answer my ridiculously formed question?
Do not go on to Session 3 when you are finished with Session 2. You may not go back to Session 1. You may sit quietly and diddle your thumbs or doodle your scratch paper until I (almighty Test Administrator, temporarily your Golden Calf God du jour) say you can play Simon Says.
You may write in the test book as much as you like. However, no credit will be reported for answers not appearing in the answer book. Bugger all if we'll count it.

And so on...

Now... I ask you, my readers, who are probably at least as well versed as I in the fine art of standardized testing plesantries... Will lack of knowledge of the aforementioned things (and others I'm sure you could add) prevent you from being a successful writer? Or a prize winning scientist?

Did Shakespeare ever have to mark his ethnicity down in tiny little circles or Einstein be sure that his essay response was contained inside the space provided?

What on Earth are we teaching these children? (Well, of course, I know what we are teaching them... How to obey directions finitely, unquestioningly. To remain firmly inside the carefully measured box we have made for them until such time as they will take their final repose inside a carefully measured box that is buried underground. How to keep their place in the social hierarchy so as not to disrupt the balance of the universe...)

Is there value in learning the rules of a game and being able to play it effectively when the stakes are high? Certainly. That's what landing a job will be like for them; what selling a novel or story will be like for me; what opening a business will be for others. However, we could learn that just as effectively from poker or sports or theater as we can from bloody stupid TESTING.

So I ask you, one final question. Worth 100 points. No cheating.
When you have finished bubbling your answer sheet completely, what will you do next?

No, it's not multiple choice...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Job Interviews, Missing Friends, and Plays...

Oh my!

It has been a dreadfully busy past few days.

Thursday I went to see my seventh grade English teacher, Mrs. Lundahl (who looks more fabulous than I remember her looking, and this is about a million, or 14, years later). Her current seventh graders (sevies, if I recall proper middle school terminology) were putting on a Global Issues Symposium and Mrs. Lundahl invited me to be a judge for their presentations. It was quite an experience--between remembering my own time in her classroom and at Eastern Middle and enjoying the success of these bright young people from my stance as a HS teacher I was rather joyously reflective. I remembered why I patterned most of my off-the-cuff pedagogy from Mr. Greenwood and her--because they were some of the best teachers I have ever known in my whole life, especially with us oddball freaky smarty pants kids. I grudgingly admit that Mr. Creel falls in that category, but I still do not forgive him for "Ekelperson."

Which reminds me... Dad found a birth certificate for his paternal grandfather in his mom's old stuff down in Florida. Did you know that we have been spelling our last name wrong all this time? I have been living a lie! I am sorry friends... dreadfully so.

I guess all that does is weaken my resistance to seeking publication under my pen name (which has finally solidified comfortably, though I will not reveal it in this blog), since I have such a lack of attachment to my last name. I think if I had half as cool a last name as I did a first name, I'd be more attached. The only reason I like it more is that now, when you google me, all of the stuff that pops up is ACTUALLY about ME (which is not true for everyone).

Ok, enough sidebar.

Back to Thursday... After I finished up at my little middle school flashback adventure, I met Anne for a last hoorah and late dinner at Franklin's in Hyattsville. Is it wrong that I take perverse pleasure in the fact that whenever Anne and I are out together we regularly get comments from waitstaff like we did there along the lines, "I have no idea what you are talking about, but you two are absolutely hilarious"? Especially since this wasn't our waitress, so she wasn't working us over for the tips quite so obviously. I don't know... it makes me feel more interesting. But seriously, Anne and I should have our own weird little television show. It would entertain me highly. Some other people would watch it--like Sam. And Sarah. And Gillian.

That might be our entire viewing audience...

I'll miss my Anne-nan, who is probably just now arrived in Singapore to begin her far east adventure. I await the day that we will reunite in Aug 2008 for our South Pacific adventures! Watch out, Indonesia! Take care, Australia! Beware, New Zealand!

On Friday, I had my phone interview first thing in the morning (like 6:15 am first thing). It went very well. I will have to think about where I want to teach more seriously since I now have a couple semi-offers that would be good.

After school, Meesh and I visited my favorite bartender in the whole wide world, Carlos, who brings me salsa, chardonnay, and kisses! I'm gonna miss Chevy's and being the "Salsa Queen." Then I went to the hotline and hung out with Mike (who is AWESOME). We were both so tired and had to keep doing stuff to force ourselves awake, like telling jokes and talking about movies.

Saturday I slept in. Really late. Like so late I rolled out of bed and went straight to work. Except that over IM, Meesh and I started planning our zany DC tourist adventure. So much madness. So much fun.

Then I headed down south to check in with my La Plata folks because Glass Menagerie closes today. The production was beautiful--Lisa Kay and Jodie were simply amazing in their roles and Randy's vision brought out some nuances of the show that made me think about it in new ways (which is pretty hard to do since I've taught the play so many times). Dav's final monologue was great, as were Kyle's interactions with Jodie when he has to leave the house; these moments were the highlight of their performances. I know them both too well as friends and actors to be objective in my analysis, but I did think that this was Dav's most mature performance I've seen and Kyle's most finely varied and subtle performance to date. I'm glad they have Never Swim Alone for the playful stuff, but this play does demand a more serious mien and they definitely rose to the occasion (and since I know Dav is one of five people who read this thing, I'll say "Bravo!").

Then Rachel was having a shindig for her 21st, so I made my way over there. So much fun to see everybody (well, at least a bunch of people). I am going to miss theater productions in Korea. I know I'll be super busy with everything else I'm doing, but I adore putting on good plays. Maybe I'll try to start an improv group over there... hm... I wonder if any expats living there would be interested? I've taught it before, so I don't even need experienced performers, just people who want to have fun and try to put on some shows at bars and such.

I guess we'll see...

And now... Sunday morning I was supposed to go help the 'rents again with the basement, but I'm just too pooped to do much. I don't get much downtime anymore. I hope things will relax a bit as the school year ends. I need to finish a whole bunch of papers for grad school and things.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pets

To bring or not to bring, that is the question
Whether 'tis nobler in my time to suffer
The pangs and aches of missing my kitty
Or to venture forth with feline companionship
To purr, to laugh, perchance to suffer
A fate of being a terrible kitty mommy
Of the direst proportions...

Ok, so that's pretty lousy! I'm all up & down and back & forth on the cat to Korea issue. I think I'll just play it by ear for a bit. If I end up in Daegu or another city, I believe that it would be a fine idea to bring her along. Although I have an interview for a wonderful sounding job on Friday, it is in Gangnam, a wealthy fancy district in Seoul. I'm not certain I want to live in Seoul--it could be overwhelming.

After all, with a subway like this, who wouldn't be a bit terrified?

Yikes!

Monday, May 14, 2007

pudding is super yummy


Two days until the AP Lang test; I think I'm more anxious than my students. Not because I'm worried about how they will do--I know these kids will do very well--but rather because it is marking the end of an era. The end of my real usefulness to Roosevelt. With the 2007 yearbook in and the AP test done, I could stop showing up and no one would really care about it in the grand scheme (well, my students would care and the subs who had to cover my classes would care, but other than that...). I am really doing this... really quitting my very secure job to move around the world to a country that has a rich, fascinating history, but will think that I am obese...

Anne and I were at Wonderland Ballroom on Saturday and it hit her really hard that she's actually going to be out of the country for 3 months on her crazy Transiberian Rail adventure. Her reaction has me hitting my own "oh my god this is really going to happen" moment. You see, Anne is my travel inspiration; she is far more adventurous about this sort of thing than I am. And I will be gone by the time she returns. When we next see each other, we will have known each other half our lives (or darn close to it!). This is pretty crazy-awesome-cool.

We're gonna go goth it up on Thursday for old times' sake. I'm going to take pictures of the silliness. I will have to rest up for this--it will be a great stress release. We also have a wild reunion planned for next summer at the end of my contract and before she enters her new Ph.D.program. She'll come out to visit me in Korea for the last couple weeks of my contract and then we'll hop a plane to Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand to tour about for a few weeks before she returns to the states and I do whatever it is I'll be doing at that time. It will be our super spiffy South Pacific reunion! Woo-hoo! Ooh! We should end in San Diego to visit Eli. That would be awesome.

Peter is coming out for a week or so next Wednesday-ish. That should be good because I miss my cynical side. He's been too sick this semester to talk much, but now that it's all done, he's up for the adventuring. I may even go out to see him at State College on my way up to MV this summer. I could head up to Philly to see Joe for a day or two and out to see Peter and then maybe visit Rose in NYC or Jonathan in Ithaca or both. Make July a road trip of sorts. That could be great, actually. Except Dad wanted to fix up the boat for the 4th of July... well July 5-11 is plenty of time for a 4-stop trip about the mid-Atlantic. I like this plan. Especially because I won't have a car again for a bit.

I'll have to put in my resignation with the hotline based on my travel plans. I'm also gonna go out to Cedar Point with Sarah for her birthday present this year, which should be awesome. Mom and Dad say I should visit Aunt Mary and Uncle Clyde while I'm out near Cleveland. This sounds like a fine idea.

Wow... That's a lot of travel. Between that and my plan to be a tourist in DC with Jill and Meesh for a week or so in June, this looks to be a dreadfully, wonderfully exciting summer. I guess I feel the need to take in as much of America as I can before I up and leave it for the other side of the globe. I need to get the car fixed up soon and do my chores around the apartment and do my grading, but I've been slacking on those fronts. I think I just have too much going on right now!

I guess I'm also finally ready to reveal this blog to everyone... I'll send out an e-mail soon. Life is getting very interesting all of a sudden.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Where does all of my time go?

Lately, my time seems to be disappearing into some black void. I feel so unaccomplished.

Perhaps sitting in front of a computer is not helping matters. (Oh irony, your burning wrath is duly noted).

I should solve this. I will go work around the apartment in preparation for going to see mom tomorrow. Focus, focus, focus.

Michelle has graciously agreed to take Princess for the duration of my stay in Korea. I think this is probably the best decision, although I will miss my beautiful darling cat. At least Topaz will have a mate and Princess will probably appreciate having a friend to hang out with. Much more so, I'm sure, than being stuck in her crate for 24 hours . She is so precious. I will miss her next year.

My load is lightening, but so much needs to be done before August. I must focus.

Just a note, if anyone is thinking about teaching abroad: I am working with two recruiters and trying to play the online network community for job leads. Everyone involved knows that I am looking around for the right option, so I feel very confident that I can find a position best suited to my experience and abilities, as well as one that will give me a positive experience in Korea. From what I can tell, a lot of folks are ripped off when they go over because they don't do their research. Do your research! Internet makes this so disgustingly easy that it is just dumb not to try to find the best place out there that aligns with your wants.

I will keep you all posted with my decision and how it turns out.

Learning Hangul?

This site is AWESOME and nutty!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Anger

Anger is not an emotion I am comfortable expressing. There are many reasons why I check myself the instant I feel a hint of this complex and often frightening emotion. Over the last few years, I have attempted to integrate it back into my emotional repertoire in healthy and practical ways. Today, I got mad at some students. Very mad, but reasonably so.

There are a few students in one of my classes who will fail English for the year if they fail this quarter. Yet, these kids don't seem to care one way or the other about their grades in my class. One has a 30%; another has a 22%. These grades are so pitifully low that I cannot even pretend to justify giving them a passing grade (generally considered a 60% or higher). Today they got their progress reports. So I pulled them aside to talk to each one individually. Did they express concern over missing tests and homeworks? Not even a little bit.

So I told them that if they can't be bothered about fixing their grade in my class, that I won't bother them anymore. Just write me a letter about how you don't care about this class and are ok with failing, sign it, get your parents to sign it, and you can sit in the back of the room quietly and do whatever else you want for the rest of the year.

I know, I'm a bad teacher... I'm supposed to care... blah, blah, blah. The sad thing is that OF COURSE I care, but I can't care them into magically having assignments that they've chosen to blow off. Students have to meet me halfway here. Please.

When did it become so acceptable in this society to do nothing? And why can't I jump on this bandwagon? (just kidding... I just need to stop beating myself up over imperfections... at least I managed to pass 11th grade English the first time around). Sheesh.

/rant.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Damned if you do...

I pissed off a woman I consider a friend today. A lot.

And it's really hard to figure out how I could have prevented it because if I had, there just would have been something else. There is ALWAYS something else. Working on something like the yearbook, you're bound to encounter very negative reactions to your work; it is inevitable. Even if it is the best job you could do, you're still gonna screw up. I guess it's like any position with responsibility or really any position in life. You can't please everybody, so the song says...

The problem is that, while I have relaxed a lot of the expectations and pressure I put on myself to believe that somehow, I am supposed to be able to do better than I am, I still am upset by my own shortcomings. I try to comfort myself with the fact that I tried my best, which is really all I could have done, but that little nagging perfectionist keeps at me. I feel like a bit of a failure.

Yet, now here's the odd thing, this is the first time I have been more upset at the possibility of losing a friend than of my own failure. My failure is what it is--but I'm so much more accepting of it this time. I can't really explain this. I am not (despite this post focused on it) all that hung up on my personal shortcomings as imperfect yearbook advisor that I clearly am. I'm more worried that my friend, a teacher who was accidentally left out of the book (actually, even worse, her whole department was--yikes!), might have lost her respect for me. I guess I'm just a lot more sad about that than about the error, as egregious as it was.

Even more interesting, I'm noticing that with all these negative feelings, there is balance. I'm not beating myself up over the mistake or the angered friend. I'm disappointed and sorry that I made the mistake; I'm sad and worried that I upset my friend. However, neither situation has absorbed my life in any way. I have other things on my mind at the same time.

I think I'm developing what we might call "perspective."

I've always been mature (almost too mature at a young age), but this is something else beyond wisdom and good sense. And I'm not sure if it's good or bad. It certainly feels healthier and better, but a nagging part of me suspects it could also be labeled "selfish." I'm hoping it's in that good put-yourself-first way, not the bad ignore-others'-feelings way. Do selfish people know when they have crossed the line into arrogance and apathy? Is the line different depending on whether you are the slighted party or the offender?

There is so much about the world that I don't know, and just as much I could learn about myself if I cared to. How strange.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Better things to do with my time.

I have to stop watching so much TV. I think I will resolve to post here at least 3x/week. It's all about forming healthy habits, right? I've been reading some books that I have not yet reviewed. That could be a place to begin.

Some of my Martha's Vineyard folks have raved about David Sedaris so much, that I decided I must try something of his. I picked up Me Talk Pretty One Day several months ago, but only just finished it on my Florida trip. I must say that this was the perfect timing for me--it was about his experiences as an expat in France! The frustrations he experiences while learning the language and adjusting to the new culture were good to hear, since I am planning my own journey. His somewhat psychotic French teacher in the local immersion classes has me a little afraid of learning Korean, but not enough to put me off of trying. His style was fun and interesting. Since I've been a longtime fan of his sister, Amy (Strangers with Candy also introduced me to my geek idol, Stephen Colbert), I also enjoyed the peek into their relationship and childhood. I will definitely check out his other books--I remember first seeing Naked in our bathroom when Brian was reading it in college. Maybe he still has his copy? This book is a great read--check it out if you have an ear for ironic commentary and a soft-spot for self-denigrating humor.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

funny sleep

Sleep schedule? What sleep schedule? I understand not the words you speak.

I've been trying to research schools in Korea that have made me offers. I think right now I'd like to get a job at a decent (honest), medium-to-low stress hakwon for my first year and then find a job at a university for a couple years. I want to try to become semi-passable in a language that is not my own and to learn what "necessity" really means.

I'm learning the alphabet all over again and it's AWESOME. Check it out.

P.S. The book is in and it is beautiful. I'm glad, 'cause I think some people were starting to get all "lame duck" on my ass; now they'll always remember what an awesome teacher I was.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails