fast-talking-hank-o

Storyaday2013: Same, Same

When I am in my Korean class and my Korean teacher is talking super fast :

I’m like:

Then:

My students feel the same when when I speak English to them.

I feel the EXACT same as them.

So I ask my teacher in Korean: Slow down.

But she thinks I am asking something related to the lesson and keeps talking super fast :

So I’m like:

what year it is

When you wake up from a 8 hour Nap

I legit thought it was 2:30pm and I slept through the whole school day. I jumped out of bed in a panic before taking a look outside and realizing it is still pitch black.

I think this is partially due to the fact my watch has the AM/PM flipped and I’ve been too lazy to change it for the past 3 months.

The Birth of Panera (looks painful)

What prompted the creation of this image??

A few days ago my friend happened to be talking about “The birth of Panera” an odd phrase which reminded me of the clay sculpture I had seen weeks earlier on Jeju-do island.

 

 

I thought it would be so funny to see a woman birthing bread rather than a baby.  What I find SO strange about this scuplture is the look on the woman’s face.  She looks so dazed as if she isn’t sure if she should be happy or sad.

Oh the Incan culture.

 

Everyday I’m trolloling

Haha. I keep looking at this and laughing.

The inspiration behind this?

I was talking to my sister Laura about “Game of Thrones.” I have only watched 2 episodes so far of Season 3. My sister was ahead of me in watching it and threaten to reveal spoilers!

I told her: “Keep it secret, Keep it safe!”

Her response: You sound like Dumbledore.

Me: You mean Gandalf? LOTR?

Laura: Same difference.

Thus the Troll quote was born! 😉

ps. YAY FOR DS106 ART!! It’s been too long.

party times

I might die!

For the first time in over 10 months I am actually going to see (in the flesh!) a member of my family!!!

My Canadian Cousin Philippe will arrive in less than a few hours in Seoul and I couldn’t be more excited.

Family time AND getting to play tour guide/ show of my mad Korean skillz??

I’ve been wanting my family and friends to come visit me for FOREVER so I am super thrilled it is actually going to happen.

shocked

Dear Cellphone gods

Step 1: Shock and Denial

Dear Cellphone Gods,

There’s no way my phone can be screwed up. I need it for tonight ASAP. I was just about to read the most important text message I will have EVER received in my entire life when you started acting funny.

This.

is.

not.

possible.

You have to fix this.

Horrifiedly yours,

Sarah

 

 

Step 2: Pain and Guilt

Dear Cellphone Gods,

I am sorry I kept 2,000 photos and videos on my phone along with countless apps and over 100 notes to myself about miscellaneous things that, in the scheme of things, don’t matter at all.

I really didn’t need to put 40 Florence and the Machine Songs on my cellphone earlier tonight (even though that band in amazing and I am in love with all their songs).

It hurts me to think my phone might never turn on again. It pains me to think that  all my pictures and vides could be gone and lost forever.

Regretfully yours,

Sarah

 

Step #3 Bargaining

Dear Cellphone Gods,

You can’t really be this cruel to me.

If you recesitate my phone from the land of the dead, I promise to be kinder to my phone.

I will be less clumsy.  I will be the best cellphone owner you have ever seen. I promise.

I will make sacrifices every day in your honor. Restore my phone to me.

Faithfully yours,

Sarah

 

Step #4: Anger 

Dear Cellphone Gods,

What is your problem!?!? Seriously!!

WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING  ME BY MAKING ME LIVE MY LIFE WITHOUT MY PHONE?

I LIVE IN A LAND WHERE HARDLY ANYONE SPEAKS FLUENT ENGLISH. GOOGLE TRANSLATE IS MY BEST FRIEND. HOW DARE YOU TAKE GOOGLE TRANSLATE AWAY FROM ME!!

And Kakaotalk!

I NEED IT TO SURVIVE. I HAVE TO SEND PEOPLE PHOTOS OF WHAT I AM DOING AT EACH AND EVERY MOMENT ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADORABLE EMOTICON.

PEOPLE ARE DYING FROM BOREDOM WITHOUT MY CONSTANT TEXT UPDATES!!

I HATE YOU. I WILL ALWAYS HATE YOU.

Hatefully Yours,

Sarah  

 

Step 5 & 6: Depression, Reflection, & Loneliness, 

Dear Cellphone Gods,

I might never see the light of day again. People probably think I have died. And part of me did. My soul died when my phone and my pictures were taken from me. Who am I without my phone?

Lonely. I’m Ms. lonely. I have nobody for my own…. Lonely. I’m Ms. lonely. I have nobody— I’m too depressed to finish this. I let this song tell you my feelings.

Sadly Yours,

Sarah

Step 7: Acceptance and Hope

Dear Cellphone Gods,

Whatever. What’s done is done. I can only be bitter and angry for so long before I have more important things to worry my pretty little head about.

Let’s let bygones be bygones and let’s move on with our lives.

Maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I probably didn’t need all those photos anyway. It can be a new start. I can learn from my mistakes and make sure I upload my photos to a safer place more frequently and regularly.

Hey, maybe I can get a better phone.

Peacefully yours,

Sarah

 

–> as of now I haven’t quite gotten to step 7. Maybe when my phone is fixed or I get a new one I will feel at peace with the world.

whattt confused

Day 126: Is it the UMW Effect or Living in a Non English Speaking Country?

Maybe it’s the fact that I studied at UMW or maybe it’s the fact I am currently residing in a non-English speaking country, but lately I find myself eagerly wanting to read academic writing.

Case in point: a month ago at a party one of my friends, Erin, was talking about her favorite book series “The Queen’s Thief” by Megan Whalen Turner. She told us that she wrote her 15 page senior thesis paper on it.

I immediately demanded that I read it. It sounded interesting.

Erin looked at me as if I was crazy.

Erin: Why would you want to read my 15 page paper I wrote forever ago?

Sarah: Why wouldn’t I want to read it?

Everyone else: Really? You want to read an academic paper???

Sarah: Yes! It sounds wonderful!

Cue more strange looks all around.

I really don’t know when exactly I morphed into a person eager to read book analyses. Maybe it is due to the fact  I graduated college two years ago. Shocking!

Or maybe it’s because I actually feel inspired lately to write my own an academic paper simply because it sounds like fun. Double shock!!

Anyways, Erin told me: If you are going to read my paper, you have to read the books first. Otherwise it will ruin the books.

Challenge accepted.

I dropped $20 on the trilogy and started reading them on my Kindle. Kindles are quite possibly the best invention ever, despite my love affair with real paperback books.

Personally,  I am not the biggest fan on the “Queen’s Thief” series because I think Turner has issues with pacing. Sometimes I would be reading and I would feel really bored, other times the action was great and I couldn’t put the books down.

I feel like this was an issue in all three books and the only thing that kept me reading was the fact that I wanted to read Erin’s analysis.

When I finally finished the book series and finally got to read Erin’s paper (despite the fact she kept insisting that I really wouldn’t want to read it) I have to say I felt an enormous sense of satisfaction.

One downside of living in Korea is that I don’t always get to discuss books and literature and various other things with people as in depth as I would with my friends back home. I feel like most of the time here I don’t have time to read and even if I do, most of the Koreans I interact with would be overwhelmed/incapable of speech if I suddenly tried to do a literature/ cultural analysis with them.

I think my intellectual/academic interests are sometimes swept under the rug here, so the opportunity to engage the analytic part of my brain is enticing to me.

Being a huge fiction nerd I never thought I would say that that I thoroughly enjoyed reading academic writing. But enjoyed it I did. I think my time at UMW has rubbed off on me.

 

 

confused korean

Day 92 Part 2: I attempt the impossible

Part 1: Korean Names Overview

PART 2: Attempting the impossible

This year I am attempting the impossible. I am teaching over 600 students and I want to remember all of their names!

Why? Because students respond much better in class when you know their name versus saying “Hey you! Red Sweater! Read the sentence!” The students already have the problem of speaking English as a second language, so if they are zoning out the best way to grab their attention is to say “MINJU!!” Generally they snap to very quickly after that.

The Inherent problems in this task:

1)     My classes are HUGE and I don’t see them that often

2)    Korean Names are really similar!

3)    Korean students don’t always write their name properly in English

4)    Korean Names are hard to pronounce

5)    Korean students look very similar

Problem #1:

I have many students in my classes. My smallest class is about 14 kids, but an average class size for me is 32 students. The 3rd  grade students (9th grade in America) I see once a week. The 2nd grade students (8th grade in America) I see once every three weeks.

Problem #2:

There is a huge similarity among Korean names. Check out Part One: Overview of Korean Names for more details.

Furthermore  in Korea it is important to introduce your  full name when you meet someone.

In America, it’s easy.

“Hey! What’s your name?”

“Sarah.”

“Sarah! Nice to meet you! I’m Riley.”

In Korea:

“What’s your name?”

 “My name is Jeong Seung Hyun!” the student spits out faster than a rattlesnake biting it’s prey. 

First of all, too fast! Secondly, your family name is unimportant!

Family name! This is too much!!

I just want to know their first name. However, this confuses them because they always say their last name first.

So then I end up asking them “What’s your given name” which further confuses them!

Given name? What does given name mean?

Problem #3:

Even though at this point my students have been studying English for 5 or 6 years, some students don’t know how to write their name in English and/or when they do they write it wrong.

This was a challenge for me when I first moved to Korea since I couldn’t read, write or speak Korean.  Blog post pending about the trials of trying to learn names last year.

So if I look at a Korean name written in English and try to pronounce it, I might end up saying the name wrong because it is written wrong!

Wrong all around

Problem #4:

Even if a student wrote their name completely right, some Korean names are REALLY hard for me to pronounce.  They are foreign and strange sounding.

Like this name:

I find the vowel    hard to pronounce in Korean words, which makes it difficult when I have to say the student’s name.

And this this name:

Gyuuuuu is just weird to say. So no matter how hard I might try to a say Korean student’s name I will probably mess it up.

Why so difficult!!

There are many more examples I can think of, but I think you got the point.

Problem  #5:

Korean students look very similar. They tend to have same  eye color, same hair color, same haircut,  and many students wear thick, black framed glasses.

Hair cut styles:

For Girls: Long (straight or permed) & Bangs! Almost every Korean girl student has bangs and they  are CONSTANTLY brushing them.

For Boys: Short (sometimes permed!)

Not to mention all my students wear the same uniform!

This is exactly what I am talking about. THE SAME!

I felt like the students tended to blur together more my first semester teaching because just how similar they all looked compared to American students. American students differ vastly in both facial features and also in their style of clothing.

The loud kids in my classes are really easy for me to distinguish from the others and same goes for the kids who physical appearance sets them apart from the others. The students with a different hair style (colored! a light brown!), or  a student who wears white glasses instead of black, or who throws on a preppy sweater over their collared shirt tend to be more memorable.

But for the more quiet students, unfortunately, it was and still is lot easier for them to blend in the background since my classes are just so BIG.

–>  So what normally happens as a result of all of this: 

I will ask a student their name. They will tell me “Kim Sang Jun.” I will attempt to remember their name, but won’t see the student for 1 or 3 weeks. In the meantime I have a ton of other students whose names I want to learn.

When I finally see that student in class again, the following three scenarios ensue:

1)     I will end up forgetting Kim Sang Jun’s name entirely. Oops.

2)     I will confuse him with someone else because I think he looks like “Jae Won” He’s not Jae Won. Damn.

 

3)    I call on him and say “Seong Jun!”

“Teacher! WRONG! Sang Jun! Sang Jun”

Double damn.

Solutions:

Last year I had each student make a name tag. My vision was that they would always bring it with them to class and slowly over time I would learn all their names with the help of the visual stimulation.

WRONG! The kids would forget to bring it to class or would lose them.

You forgot? You lost it?.... Cool

As a result, feeling so overwhelmed my first couple months teaching here, I didn’t end up learning my student’s names unless they specifically sought me outside of class to talk to me a lot.  I know, I know. That’s terrible.

My only excuse is it was hard to adjust to Korea land.

This year’s plan:

At the beginning of my first class with my students I had each student write their name in English AND Korean (in case they wrote their name in English wrong) and then I took their picture with their name. Seeing the students name WITH their face has made it a lot easier for me to remember their names.

Also, seating charts! I made a specific seating chart for each of my classes which I constantly refer to. Some students names I know off the bat because I talked with them a lot last year and this year.

I got this

BUT other students I hardly see, so it’s good to have a reference chart. It is my goal that within next month I will have learned most of their names!  Wish me luck with this endeavor!