Sunday, March 29, 2009

KOTESOL conference done and etc.

Yesterday was the annual Seoul chapter conference and election. We had planned for 1-200 and had 4-500 show up. Apparently, free entry and lunch are a bigger draw than we realized... We also had a great line up of presentations, so that could have been part of the appeal. :-)

We also had our elections. No surprises there. As usual, everyone ran unopposed. It seems working for free in your off-time is not as popular as it once was. So, I'm 1st VP for another year. Yay, me. :-) I'll also be filling in as Secretary until we find a new one, since the previous one became 2nd VP and will also be filling in as newsletter editor until we get a new one of those... etc etc etc. The main thing is that we are finally rid of the outgoing president who didn't seem to understand that he was not just a figurehead. The one good thing about his presence was that he caused the rest of us to pull together to do our best in spite of him.

Earlier in the week, The Seoul Podcast turned one! We didn't have a guest or show notes. We decided to just talk about our personal highs and lows of the podcast's first year. Joe was worried that we wouldn't have enough to say. As if. I'm only quiet with people I don't know. Everyone else gets their ears talked off. Joe and Stafford also have the gift of the gab. So, we ended up recording for three hours. No news. No Things That Make You Go Whaa... No Time Wasters. Just free-talking, as it's called here on the peninsula.

I'm assuming Joe cut out quite a bit, because he was planning to add in an extended clip segment. If that sounds good to you, you can listen to it here. :-) I haven't listened to it myself, of course. I could say yet, but I rarely listen to the show-- I'd rather remember myself as being witty and don't want to face evidence to the contrary... I also don't particularly like the sound of my own voice. I can get a little screechy when I'm excited. I think Joe finally talked me through the adjustments I needed to make to keep my mike from cutting out at particularly screechy moments. It only took a year... :-) Maybe I should take computers out of my axis of evil...

Other than that, life's been pretty quiet on the homestead. I got the marriage license from PBMX about ten days ago, but I haven't been organized enough to get out of the house early enough to get to the bank before work. Getting foreign funds requires the patience of Job and forms signed in blood, and anomolies, such as wanting funds in AU dollars, can cause the teller to exhibit signs of nervous breakdown. I used to have a teller that knew me and knew that I sometimes got US checks and sometimes got AU checks, but she is gone. (She once confided that we were the same age, so she might have been retired.) So, now I have to deal with the cute young girls that are only used to electronic transfers. As long as they are cute...

Anyway, it will get done. I found out about a Korean school that's at the same subway stop as the bank, so I'll probably do it tomorrow when I go take a level test. If I get up in time...

I've decided that I've been far too lazy this semester. In order to prevent a teacher being laid off, I voluntarily cut my hours 20%. I still make more than them and I'm not paying off student loans at the current (horrifying) exchange rate, so I don't mind. Actually, I'm kind of bitter that when one teacher leaves in May, she won't be replaced and my full hours will be scheduled.

But I digress. My plan was to spend those extra hours getting things done, like work out, read books that aren't for school, knit, you get the idea. I haven't. I've been completely unproductive for the eight weeks since the semester began.

So, I'm going to check out the Korean school and I'm going to take a math class through LSU, if I can find a local test proctor. I've decided to take math out of my axis of evil this year.
My apathy hasn't limited itself to home, either. I've been so unmotivated at work the past week or so. I just feel ready for a change and am tired of seeing the same faces. Some of my students I've had for years now. There are a few I would happily put in my pocket and bring home, but not all of them...

Most of the students have been driving me crazy lately. I think their parents are pumping them full of Red Bull before class. At any rate, there has been far too much singing, dancing, splits, high kicks, and loud-talking for me to be a happy woman. On the other hand, one student spanked himself in class the other day, I mean with the finesse of a stripper-- he slowly swung his butt to the side and then smacked himself. Over and over. I almost had a stroke trying to hold in the laughter, especially since he was doing it as an act of contrition when he realized how pissed I was at him for all the annoying crap he had been doing just before that.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy White Day!

Today is White Day, part of an ingenious bit of marketing which has turned Valentine's Day in Korea into a three month extravaganza of chocolates and plush toys. On Valentine's Day, girls give gifts to boys. On White Day, boys give gifts to girls. On Black Day, April 14, singletons eat Jjajangmyeon, the Korean "Chinese" dish of thick noodles in a black bean paste sauce. It's not as gross as it sounds, but not something I ever go out looking to eat, either.

In honor of White Day, I took these photos today in Seoul. All three shops are in the Jongak Station underground shopping arcade at the end of Insa-dong. In case you want to surprise your honey with some sexy drawers. If I had a boyfriend, I could only hope he would get me the set with the pantaloons. Nothing says sexy like a man in pastel underwear and a woman in pantaloons. Notice all the options for the last set, it's like a six-piece set. One could mix and match to keep things new and interesting... :-)

I would like to go on permanent record as saying if I ever fall for a man that wants us to wear couple panties, shoot me. Ditto if he thinks pantaloons are hot.

In case you're wondering, all male underwear manikins are wearing cups, or maybe they're just happy to see us.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Teacher, what do you call the stuff Daddy's drink when they are angry?

One of my sweetest, cutest students asked me this today. I would have thought it was funny, but she has imitated "what daddies look like when they come home late" on more than one occasion.