Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why I Don't Teach Privates

For those of you not on the peninsula, teaching privates is a lucrative sideline which most foreigners do at least occasionally. Basically, you meet with a student and frequently just have an hour-long conversation with them in exchange for $40-50. Sounds good, right? Yet, I haven't done them in years, partly because my free time is worth more than that to me. Mainly, though, I don't like teaching one-on-one. I'm not a big chatter, and neither are students that need to pay someone to speak English to them. You know when talk shows have guests that don't talk? That's what it's like. For an hour.

Unfortunately, for me, my school has a student about to interview for a boarding school overseas. About two months ago, the parents realized he couldn't speak English and now that it's his last four weeks, he's coming to see me ten hours a week. One-on-one. I'm not a miracle worker-- two months of twice weekly lessons has not made him fluent. Now, I've got to get him ready for an interview. Sigh.

Here is a breakdown of our daily two hour session:
About 20-30 minutes of actual work.
Three trips to the bathroom, not during his break.
At least thirty minutes of robot/ machine gun sounds.
My "firmly" reminding him to sit down, about every other minute, sometimes more frequently than that.
Him saying, "I'm not doing that," as each new task is introduced, while simultaneously pretending to fall asleep.

Despite the fact that he has been pulled out of school, he has not had time to do any of his homework yet. So, a fair amount of the precious few productive minutes are spent on work he should have done at home.

The best part? This is at school, so I'm making OT, which is considerably less than private rates.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Other Than Not Being Able to Hear, My Ears are FIne

Went back to the ear doctor for some tests today-- air pressure, beeps, and speech. My problem is speech, since I can't use the phone on my left side. However, since I'm a foreigner, she used easy vocabulary, which I could easily get since it was one carefully enunciated word at a time. That I can do. Normal conversation, not so much. It's not terrible, but it's gotten noticeable. If it hasn't gotten better in a few weeks, I'll head over to the International Clinic and pay their outrageous foreigner fees.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

English Lesson Eavesdropping

So, I was at Starbucks today eavesdropping on a group of what I assume where nurses teaching themselves patient English. They were having a discussion on the finer points of this statement:
"The patient is nauseous, she might be pregnant." versus "The patient is nauseous, he might be pregnant."

Monday, April 20, 2009

Jenniferteacher Left the Batcave, and Why Aren't Grown Men as Interested in My Boobs as Seven-Year-Old Boys?

At the KOTESOL conference last month, I saw Stephanie, but was too busy with KOTESOL-y duties that I didn't have time to chat. So, I suggested we get together for some girlie fun. And, in a surprising turn of events, I actually got together with her. :-) Not that I take the Hermit Kingdom as an order rather than a description, or anything...

Some of her former co-workers at Hoseo in Cheonan-Asan were having a bonfire/ slumber party. We went and drank many tequila smoothies and made smores. I can now say that HobNobs are very thick, but otherwise perfect for smores. And they have Nob in the title. Not that I am juvenile enough to make jokes about eating a 'Nob, of course. Well, maybe just once or twice...

Jinksy tastefully removed his hand from Stephanie's boob for the camera.

Unsurprisingly, I did not stay for the slumber party portion of festivities. A little togetherness goes a long way with me. So, Steph and I hitched a ride WAY back to town (Hoseo has a beautiful campus, in the middle of nowhere) and stayed at a yogwan. We really slept in-- I still can't believe we didn't get a "courtesy" get-the-hell-out wake up call. We hung out and talked for a few hours before she went to a wedding (in jeans and a T-shirt-- Korean weddings rule!) and I trudged back home.

There was a fan at the bonfire! Actually, Jackie was the host. She will probably be on the podcast in the future, assuming she still wants to once the soju wears off...

Jackie, SeoulPodcast fan and bonfire host extraordinaire, and two people that don't listen to the podcast. :-)
Houston eating something that apparently required chopsticks and tongs.Smores!A little post-prandial refresher. I used to get teased mercilessly for the mid-party nap, so I'm glad to see it's become more acceptable. :-)

I think I may need to start actually listening to the podcast. I listened to a couple of episodes recently, but I wasn't on one of them and the other one I wanted to hear what the guest had to say. But I digress. One of the first things Jackie said to me was that she would know my laugh anywhere. Which is how Joe recognized Karl and I the first time he joined us on Seoul Survivor.

So, now I'm wondering what kind of hyena-woman I sound like on the show. I will freely admit that I go through life being inordinately amused by minor things, but most of the time I can hide behind the "crazy foreigner" flag. One of the many benefits of life in a foreign land...

I got an elliptical trainer last week, but D batteries are proving more elusive that one would think. The search continues... Now, when my pianist neighbor practices for a recital in the wee hours, I'll have some way to occupy my time other than plot her death/ loss of fingers.

Once again, a handful of my very young male students are fixated on my boobs. A week or two ago, one in particular decided that the best way to interact with me is to stick his face between my boobs and then turn his face left and right. To do this, he has to ignore me pulling his arms or pushing his shoulders away, as I try to head him off at the pass, so to speak. But he is determined, definitely not a quitter. Today, he got up three times during a test, ran up and shoved his face at my chest, like he just had to be fast enough and I wouldn't catch on. While I admire his tenacity in the face of constant obstruction, I wish it would sink in that it's inappropriate. If only I could find a grown man as interested in my boobies...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Black Day!

Yes, here we are on the lamest of the Valentine's Day triple-shot. For those of you not on the peninsula, White Day is 14 March, the day for guys to give girls gifts. Today is the day for singletons to eat noodles in a black bean sauce and lament their sorry lot in life.

I chose not to partake for several reasons. First, I'm not really into Valentine's Day, even when I'm in a relationship, so a second-rate knock off doesn't really interest me. Second, jjajangmyun is not overly delicious. Third, I don't require a special day to complain about being single, I do that everyday. :-)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Here a Ricetard, There a Ricetard, Everywhere a Ricetard

Mission accomplished!

I've actually done some knitting this week. At Stitch n Bitch yesterday, I made this:

I'm attempting grafting for the first time. I've failed twice so far, and if the third isn't the charm, I'll just do a lame three-needle bind off. It the Tychus pattern from Knitty, which I made in LSU purple and gold for my sister last year. It's a quick knit-- all short rows. I usually don't knit anything twice, but the recipient chose the pattern.

I'm making this one for Aaron, perhaps my oldest podcast fan. Perhaps my only podcast fan... I think he's gotten tired of hearing me moan and complain about my date-free existence. At any rate, he's decided to both help me be less of a social retard and take math out of my axis of evil. The least I could do was make him a hat. And apparently, the most. :-)