This is Halloween

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Or so my students thought when I brought in the trick or treat pumpkin.

It’s the easiest thing to dispense and collect card activities/games in so I often use it.

Of course this makes kids excited to see it and say “Teacher Halloween?” No matter how many times I tell them Halloween is in October. Silly kids.

Today was the final day of my two day hell classes-they were about average…most of them really loud. I have a particular set of two that sit in the most back corner.

In our school, the girls sit next to boys-this is to reduce talking.

Well in this particular class there is more boys so two of the most disruptive boys sit together.

There were many times today I wanted to stop and ask them to pay attention, similar to the boy who was throwing his pencil case up in the air and catching, or the girl who looked like she was asleep. Of  course I didn’t as part of my new “not being strict” routine…which of course led to a talkitive class.

I really don’t mind if students want to talk a little here or there, as long as they be quiet when it’s time. But my co teacher seems to think it’s okay that they don’t pay attention/talk when I’m trying to explain something with her translations.

We wind up with kids not knowing the directions, asking the same questions, unable to answer and not doing work.

 

Ironically enough, my 5-1 class last year was also the lowest level class out of all the classes. It took them a good month or so before they finally overcame their troubles and really started to work WITH me.

I hope this 5-1 class can do the same. But with a co teacher who seems to think it’s okay for the kids to mock what I’m trying to say….I don’t know.

 

So that will move us into today’s topic: Lesson Plans.

In previous posts I think I’ve done mostly games and the reason for that is I have a book provided for me.  The kids have to learn what’s in the book-as strange and odd as it can be. And it really can be.

“My favorite subject is math. I like to play math games.” I can understand the objective of wanting the kids to use “to play” but it is a weird saying and NES will look at you like your crazy.

Usually if the kids can form some fort of answer that makes sense I let them use it. But they are tested on the words they learned, so they have to learn the other phrase as well as much as I hate them.

So a game that “made up” ( I really didn’t, but I will pretend that I did) is called the “Listen and Hit Game”.

The objective is to get students to think creatively and focus on listening.

The students will put their heads down.

The teacher reads out 4 hints pertaining to whatever the target language is. (EX: this week my students (and I) are leaning subject names and “I like to”-for this activity it was the first lesson on it so I just focused on subject names)

If they students knows the answer they raise their hand, teacher high 5’s them, and they say the answer.

If they are right (in my case) they get one point for their coupon book but you could change it to candy or whatever else.

If they are wrong they get hit with the toy hammer and the guessing continues.

EX: Subject names

Hint 1-pencil

Hint 2-book

Hint 3-white

Hint 4-glass

Answer: science

The teacher can either choose to read out the hints together or hint by hint.

I find that hint by hint is more fun because the students will get more wrong, leading to more hits and more giggles.

Tips:

-the more obscure the hints are, without being too hard the more fun- I used “coat” for science because of lab coats

-if two things could sound the same, try to use the same hints : I used “book” for English even though the students only learned “book” for Korean. It tricks them while also making them think outside of just what they learned.

-while making the hints be aware of the level of your students. I assumed my students levels were much lower because they prove that time and time again but I wound up having to make the hints harder which then produced more hits.

-its good to show a picture of what your describing after-I first used this last year in my “career” class and one was ballerina-the hints i gave were pink, shoes, stage, light

-make sure you or whomever is choosing the students, chooses different students. there will always be the one student who knows the answers and will have their hand up first. but it’s good to choose different students especially the ones that might not participate or speak much in class.

-If you have students whose English is too good (I had a few students last year, one in particular who was so fluent that it actually sounded strange to me when he spoke Korean) have them help read the hints-that way it eliminates the issue of having them becoming upset or bored about not being chosen for the answer, but gives them something to do as well.

Now last week I didn’t post and I promised 2 lesson plans I think so here is the second one.

It’s actually a warm up idea.

I used warm ups off and on last year but really decided to implement them into my lesson this year.

It gives the kids an opportunity to start thinking in English as well as gets them usually to practice writing. If they kids finish the warm up successfully they get a small reward which is a “funny video” about 1-2 minutes long, nothing more than that. If i can I will make the video slightly relevant to the lesson but it doesn’t always work out like that.

So this particular warm up is something that I actually did back in the 5-8 grade. My middle school science teacher would have us do this as a warm up. Of course I’ve had to alter it majorly but the idea is still the same.

I put a word on the board with a decent amount of letters-it’s best if it’s a word hey learned in the lesson.

For example, I used “favorite”.

The kids have to make a new word using those letters. For my classes last year I could ask them for 3 no problem but this year I’m starting off with 1…which was actually a big problem today because half the students couldn’t even make one word out of it.

I allow “big letters” (T.V.) and double letters (foot-used “o” twice).  Usually a few minutes will do-most students will double check with you to see if they are right.

Then I will ask them to share 1 word a piece and write them on the board so they can see what they did and be proud of it.

For more advanced levels, I would suggest 3-5 words at least, try eliminating double letters, and then having a relay.

The relay I used last year which was a big hit.

Have the students say 1 word as fast as they can-for a class of 30 mid level speaks I gave 2:00 and we eventually worked out way down to 1:15.

Don’t allow them to repeat the same word 2/3 times in a row …but if it’s scattered around occasionally it’s okay.

Have the timer where they can see it. If there is a student you know struggles with English or speaking, it’s a good idea to stand by them and help them when there time comes-I’ve had students get mad at others because of it.

If they complete it successfully they get a small reward.

More than not, I give them 2 chances-the first chance usually works all the kinks out of talking or choosing a word and the second time lets the do it more comfortably.

I do ask that they are loud and clear.

For extremely high levels and a smaller class, I would suggest that the students come up with as many words as they can and the top 2 get a reward. This was how it was done when I was a kid.

A friend of mine uses an alternative way because she has middle schoolers. She has what she calls a word wall. Its an idea she got from waygook . The idea is that you put 7 letters on the board and the students have to make up as many words as they can with them. You can make it into a class competition where the class with the most words at the end of the semester wins a party or something. Another one was the class with the best average  of each warm up would win.

 

So that’s it for today.

With the weather looking nice, I’ve not used my medium winter coat in a few days. The cherry blossoms in Korea will start within the next week or two so I will plan to head up to Yeouido and see them! As for tomorrow…it’s movies/tv show review day.

 

 

 

 

Because I’m (about 90%) happy

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1 difficult class down, 1 to go.

Maybe it’s the weather.

Maybe I’m not sick anymore.

Maybe my co teacher is slowly getting uses to the book.

Maybe the kids are finally getting more comfortable with me.

I don’t care. So far this week has been so enjoyable that I’m wanting to get up and go to work everyday.

I’m excited for the kids to learn,

This year has been one of the most trying times for me. New kids, lower levels, a co teacher who I kind of need to baby…it’s been a lot of work.

And last week showed me just how bad it can get if I let it.

This week for the most part things are better. The lessons are becoming a little more enjoyable for the kids.

Today was a test to make sure Monday and Tuesday weren’t flukes.

And while it wasn’t as good as it should have been (more on that later) it was a far cry better from what it has been.

So my 5-3 class is rowdy, loud and they don’t like to have to pay attention. Sadly this was true today-kids were talking, fighting, paying with their pencils etc.

And my co teacher couldn’t really stop it. Luckily a few students really took it upon themselves to try to keep students quiet.

Even though I said I was going to leave everything up to my co teacher, I had to on a few occasions stop the class and ask them to be quiet because it was so out of control. I like to nip situations in the butt while she lets it go on until it becomes out of control.

Another issue and what I’m really worried about is the fact the kids couldn’t even answer questions from this chapter or last chapter. I think it still attributes to the fact she doesn’t make them talk or repeat after her to get used to talking. She’s getting a little better but it’s not good that kids can’t respond when she asks “how are you?” (even a “fine” or “okay” i accept at this point because at least they are answering).

Now on to the good side. The kids seemed mostly interested in today’s lesson. I have built in a few games and activities to keep their attention. Even my special student Han Gyul was extremely talkitive today, and repeated after me in English. I still am shocked that he likes English. I would guess that maybe he feels he’s closer on the other students levels because it’s something they’ve really only been learning for 2 years and some kids really struggle with it because teachers just pass them on.

But I don’ think he has that capability. But it doesn’t matter because he seems to enjoy the attention I give him.

As usual Do Eun, his seat partner is so attentive and kind to him. She is already noe of my favorite students-I do my best not to favor her. Also another semi trouble maker (his English is much higher so he becomes bored in class and then disruptive to other students) really engages with Han Gyul. I love seeing that the other tudents really make efforts.

I’ve never really seem any kind of systematic bullying yet because I think the homeroom teachers at this school are extremely attentive about stuff like that.

I know that’s not to be the case everywhere as W messaged me telling of her own 4th graders writing notes about lower level students and cussing. The class had always had a bullying problem even last year. I’m glad to say I’ve yet to see that.

I’ve had cases but they were individual situations. And the kids here know I don’t tolerate laughing and am very patient with lower level students.

So let’s just hope tomorrow’s class will behave or at least try to. Then home free for Friday’s class!

I also saw some of my older students from last year. While a lot of the boys are shooting up and becoming giants, sadly my little Dion is still the tiny small cute self that he was all of last year. I miss him so much.

But now onto Wednesday ….MUSIC WEDNESDAY!

So I’m actually having this broken down into two sections. I wanted to review the BTOB and Block B comebacks ….but then VIXX dropped this ….art teaser and I cannot NOT talk about that. So first we will look over BTOB/Block B.

It’s spring time and for kpop that means two things: cherry blossom and couple songs. March saw the return of couple songs with Eric Nam/Wendy, Yoona/10cm, Jimin/Minseok. They were all really good! And sweet.

Between BTOB and Block B there are enough Cherry blossoms to rival Japan. It wasn’t enough they were released on the same day, same time, with cherry blossoms in the mid tempo feel. But that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

BTOB:

I guess they did a 3 part ballad series ….that no one knew about? Or at least that’s what I’ve been hearing. I liked “It’s Okay” , but I wasn’t really into “Way back home” (I felt the song got lost in the MV). So when I heard this was also a slwoer song I wasn’t too happy.

But unlike the previous two, it’s less of a straight up ballad. It sounds happier, feels lighter and fits the season right now. As a whole, the album to me is much more enjoyable and seems to go well together. It’s only a mini but I love it so much more than the past two that have come out.

The MV…is okay? If your a Minhyuk fan you have to be happy…or maybe not. But I felt that the others got really shifted. I’m hoping they put out a live version where we can see the members singing as well. The aesthetics are nice, especially Peniel’s but I feel the others stories really got lost in editing. We really only get a comprehensive understanding of Minhyuk….so why is Hyunsik submerging himself in a bathtub…it felt a little mismatched…we only see the rest of BTOB at the beginning and the end of the MV.

But the song more than makes up for it. I’m really happy.

BLOCK B:

Over a year! It’s been so long since their last comeback.

Their last comeback was “Her”. It was very different than their previous sound. They had mentioned that they didn’t want to become trapped in a certain sound which is understandable.

But then they put out this kind of mid tempo slow jam that seems to be a really popular thing right now. So for me…it didn’t feel like anything special.

There are parts that I really like-Zico’s rap, P.O.’s (drunken bar angst?) part, and Taeil at the end. But overall it kind of fell short of what I was wanting. I kind of wish PO’s part was in more of the song…

Between BTOB, GOT7, Red Velvet,all the spring couple songs…I really didn’t want another kind of mid tempo song.

Something else that bothered me a little here, though it wasn’t as much of an issue as GOT7’s was, but the chorus kind of feels lost. And though there is like a slight build up …ultimately is just kind of ends.

I like it for a pre release, or if I knew there was a second title track (considering how long they’ve been on a break they should put out a second one) but like “Got to go to work” for Beast…I just don’t think it feels like a title track.

I know a lot of people who don’t really like Block B like the song, like W, but i’m starting to feel these songs are all having the same kind of feel. (another would be like Dean X Gaeko’s half moon).

 

I’m ready for something else….and that’s why we are switching to VIXX.

 

 

THANK GOD for VIXX! A few years ago I had my “one year VIXXiversary”.

How different things would be if I never went to that concert.

Vixx did the kind of smooth feel with Chained Up. And while I loved it, I am ready for VIXX to be something different. And thank god VIXX is VIXX.

While everyone is obsessing over the art work and meaning I’m focused on the sound. It sounds huge…like movie soundtrack huge.

I don’t know if this is will be the intro, but in a slight way it reminds me of Error’s intro (and BAD for inifinite) where it is a slight variation of the song-I hope to God that it is. It sounds awesome-the strings with the synth sound middle break down…I’ve been waiting for this.

Now that the art concept has many theories..and I really don’t care what they are-it’s VIXX …enough said.

While I am a lone fan who loves their lighter concepts, I appreciate the dark VIXX feels. It definetely has that VIXX feel that Chained up didn’t quite have.

I know a lot of people started to like VIXX because of Chained UP while a lot of starlights didn’t care for the song….I’m torn on it. I both liked it because it was awesome and different but I understand the feeling  of wanting the old VIXX sound.

It makes sense for groups to grow and change the sound, but sometimes you want that old sound back-which for VIXX most people associate them with darker concepts.

I also heard that this is going to be a year long comeback. While that sounds horrible (MADE bigbang anyone?) I’m thinking it might be like Hyde and Jekyll comeback where it was repackaged-they were different themes but they were compliments to each other. So that would be okay-and  I love the dark to fun contrast.

Whatever VIXX puts out I’ll be happy. And then I’ll have a small time to recover before EXO’s summer comeback….

Overall I felt satisfied and pleased with BTOB (though I want something else than ballads…let’s get some Thriller or You’re so Fly BTOB), disappointed with Block B’s comeback (the smooth feel is starting to make songs sound the same and annoys me that the structure makes the song feel compromised) and can’t wait for VIXX.

Luckily I really only have a few groups I’m focusing on now. VIXX comes first with EXO being second now (Block b’s long hiatus and dissappointing comeback, Beast inactivity and whatever the F Cube is doing, BTOB year long Ballad comebacks, Bigband’s dissappointing and annoying MADE series) and Mamamoo.

Some rookie groups like Astro feel fresh, and while I don’t like them I think 17 has a lot of potential ( I should look up some of their stuff considering I’m now part of the fan club).

Groups like GOT7 and BTS are becoming really popular but personally I just don’t like their music.

Older groups like 2pm, Beast, 2ne1, wonder girls-their inactivity is really becoming an issue for keeping popularity. I know 2pm and Beast have been dealing with their Japan side, but both haven’t really had much promotion during their 1 comeback a piece last year. YG…..don’t get me started. CL’s been making her solo debut for like a year…while 2ne1 sits idle. Other groups are coming -TWICE, G FRIEND etc…not to mention the train wreck that was Ikon and subsequently Winner…overall I’ve been so disappointed in YG that it makes me forget how big of a Big Bang fan I was…

So the next few months all the way until October will be interesting. The comeback season is about to start up and with groups coming out with 2/3 comebacks a year now at the least..it’s going to be a full summer.

So that’s it for music wednesday…it kind of turned into something more than I intended it but I needed to get my YG frustration and smooth mid tempo spring song boredom out.

  • A lot of comebacks coming out in end of March all the way through insane April.
  • BTOB, Block B, Boys Republic, N Sonic, Day 6-all are out now…two debuted on the same day….the other three debuted on the same day…insanity…START

 

XOXO

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….that is what my 5-2 class said the entire class…even as they were walking out the door.

 

Sometimes your students surprise you with just how much they pay attention.

It’s not a secret to my students that I like EXO .

So yesterday and today when the students guessed correctly which subject is my favorite (hint it’s not English) they then proceeded to of course ask “teacher,singer favorite who?”

Then unlike yesterday which was said in a light joking tone, today chaos erupted. Specifically my boy students.

Throughout the entire class the kids kept saying “EXO” or singing their song “XOX” which of course made me laugh.

Then to end the class, I always try to say goodbye to each one as they walk out the door. Today I heard “teacher i like exo too!”  “teacher-exo!” “teacher, exo loves you”. Needless to say, I think they now know my weak spot.

Ironically enough it’s the male students, while last year it was mostly female students who wanted to talk EXO (though I did have two boy students who named themselves  Chanyeol and Baekhyun which was interesting)

But between their teasing and a fun lesson, 5-2 behaved today.

So far this week my classes have been almost perfect. Which makes me fear tomorrow. My worst class. A new lesson. And a co teacher who thinks the most effective way to tell children not to do something is in a quiet voice say in ENGLISH ‘don’t talk.’ Because any 5th grader who is a talker is going to stop at that…yeah right.

We’ll see how tomorow goes and if 5-3 can behave themselves.

As for today’s topic on modern issues: cell phones

Currently I’m in the market for a new cell phone. I’ve been living happily with my SS galaxay s4 even after  I midly cracked the screen…until I really cracked it the other day.

With the current fight between the new galaxay s7 edge and iphone 6 …I have a hard decision on my hands.

I’ve been researching the both of them, and most articles are pitting them against each other with the s7 edge “edging” out the iphone6 (hahaha I’m witty).

But most of the articles also claim that the iphone6 is halfway into it’s peak life span and soon will be replaced by the 7 most likely due out this sepetember.

Well …where do I begin?

Iphone:

I have everything else apple than a phone. Computer, music, ipod-I swear by them.

But I’ve never had the iphone. I think the main reason was when it initially debuted (yes I was alive) it was only through…sprint or at&t….it wasn’t with my carrier which was Verizon. So I never bothered looking at it and never looked back.

But now that I live in Korea I  need a phone that is GSM capable and allows for sim card capability. Before my s4 I was informed that iphone was the best choice, but I was a snob (and didn’t have the money!) so I went with my s4 which I’ve loved.

But I’ve heard so many good reports about the iphone6.

I think it would be easier to have all my product the same and if I were to get the 128 gb, eliminating the ipod I would carry (and buy in August when I go back to US for a break).

Design wise I like it much better-I’m probably one of the few but I love the rose gold color.

And of course the “prestige” that comes with having an iphone.

Because I adpat well to technology and have two other apple products, I don’t believe that changing over to iphone will be too much of a hassle.

However I do have a few concerns:

The lowest amount of storage is 16g the same as my ipod nano and current phone. And at that rate it’s expensive for such a small amount of space.

There is the fear that I will hate it after being programmed so long to android.

The galaxy s7 edge is so pretty and new ….I like new and shiny things (which is probably the reason why I have major KPOP bias issues).

Galaxys7 edge:

I do live in Korea…you know the country in which  Samsung was born.

It also happens to be the country that makes you bankrupt trying to buy a phone.

It would explain why so many Koreans walk around with severely crack

ed phones.

The s7 has so many great qualities -the best description I saw called it “a beast of a smartphone” and has been herald several times as the best smartphone.

It’s pretty, it’s new, it’s an amazing product.

Though I grew up with motorola (the chocolate was still one of my favorite phones) I switched over to LG and eventually Samsung and have been ever since.

I love the phone and have become very programmed on the ins and outs of it.

I don’t like change and while the iphone maybe simple, I could also very much hate it and wish for my galaxy series back.

I heard the s7 fixes a lot of issues the s6 had as well.

Unlike the apple that charges more for storage space, the s7 only has one size, 32g but the price doesn’t become outrageous.

Some things to worry about:

Because it’s brand new, it’s more expensive.

I still would have to carry the ipod around/not having all my electronics of the same programming and brand.

Not as much prestige as the apple iphone name brand…which shouldn’t matter.

Basic as f**k colors.

 

So that’s it for today.

Nothing earth shattering. Just a teacher having frustrations about which phone to buy-pathetic first world problems.

The world is full of problems and some people would be grateful for this cracked phone. Yet here I am looking for a fast and easy way to get a new one.

It really makes you think how messed up the world is sometimes.

An English teacher looking for a new phone vs. a person looking to leave their war torn home. The irony is real…I guess in a way it’s it’s own version of the hunger games.

Anyway, I need to go back to my apartment and try to finish cleaning for the fith day in a row while looking at finances.

Tomorrow is music wednesday.

 

Oh and uh….vixx released their conception art trailer….yeah…more on that tomorrow.

Monday Monday

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I’m probably the only person who works a M-F job that enjoys Mondays…and prefers it to any other work day (well…maybe Friday).

I have 1 of my favorite classes on Monday. They are energetic, overall eager to learn and smart.

Even when 1/3 of them were sick today they still pay attention, participate and follow directions better than my 5-3 class all healthy.

They give me energy for the rest of the week but sadly they also set a standard that other classes don’t always meet.

 

As for the topic of today: My Weekend.

This won’t be too interesting -though it is hard to top EXO weekend.

Rather this kind of will be a more informative piece.

So for a health condition that I won’t disclose (unlike some people I know I don’t like to advertise my health problems nor constantly talk about it) I need to take birth control and have been on it for about 10 years now. In short I have very low amounts of estrogen in my body so I use the pill to help cope with symptoms.

Before I came to Korea I was able to get a year supply of US Brand birth control. But once that ran out in February of this month, I began to look for other options.

I know some people choose to have their parents send them from US which can be expensive but also most of the time it requires you to visit the doctor first.

But in Korea you are able to get over the counter pills. They won’t be covered by insurance but for the most part they are about 9000 won. Not as cheap as I was used to but not too bad.

Now the brand my my friends recommended to me and a seemingly popular brand here is called “mercilon”. It comes in a pink box.

What should have tipped me off was the size of the pill itself (very small) but I didn’t think too much of it. But soon negative side effects like bloating, cramping etc. started to show up and by the time my cycle should have appeared it never did.

So I did my research on the pill. Turns out, this over the counter brand is like a 3rd generation generic brand of the usual one I used. The dosage was so low it wasn’t really doing what I needed it to. I don’t know if that is the way it is because Korean women in general are much smaller and don’t need such a high dosage or what, but it was clearly something I would have to change.

I got very nervous but I had to go to the hospital-I live in Pyeongtaek, within walking distance to the Good Morning hospital which is where a lot of soldiers go to get their tests done. It even has a English speaking staff that will go around with you. I had a very nice lady name Olivia help me out.

The exams: From what I hear, it’s not as common to find female doctors here, and that was true. Both my chest ultra sound (to check for breast cancer) and the female doctor were males. Though I fought through flaming red cheeks, it was less horrible than I imagined (thankfully because I didn’t need a pap smear-I might have died). But if you are someone like me who couldn’t deal, you might want to do your research on finding female gynocologists.

Pricing: While my insurance did cover the visit itself, it didn’t cover the ultra sound or any part of the medication. So the ultra sound cost 120, and the medication was 237. Yes, birth control was 237. I was expecting to get a perscription and have it filled once a month for a year, but it turns out they gave me 12 boxes instead! So at 20 a box, it’s not TOO bad, but lumped together it was a nightmare.

Overall: Because my body seems to be sensitive to things, I knew that it was possibly dangerous to just double up on dosages for the Korean Brand. So I had to cave and see a doctor which in the long run is probably the best anyway. If you are someone like me who needs the stronger US brand, be prepared for paying a higher fee as well as needing to visit a hospital for a perscription. But if you can handle the korean brands fine, it will be easy and cheap. They will give you 1 box at a time though, so you will have to remember to visit the pharmacy once a month-any pharmacy really. But if you are like me and live near your school, you might want to think of going to the next town over or something just in case-I’ve heard negative reactions to birth control before.

Sorry this wasn’t a fun post, but with Block B coming up, and choir rehersal starting again (missed it so much!) hopefully I will have something more interesting next Monday.

As for this weekend, the best parts were seeing my friend Hye Jung 헤정. Ever since she moved to Seoul for school i never see her and I hate it so much! It was awesome to see her last night. The second part was going to starbucks to get the Cherry Blossom Frappe. It was really sweet and tasted…I don’t know how to explain. But it was so pretty. And all the cups are the cherry blossom pink color. So hopefully I will be able to see some real cherry blossoms this weekend.

I am 16 going on 17 (‘s fanclub)

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So I know that there probably was an easy solution that my tired and disgruntled brain didn’t think of but in short I registered for the kpop group 17’s fanclub by accident.

I was testing out methods of payment on Interpark. If you are using a domestic card you have to download a program that only works in Windows. But if you are using a foreign card you can use a mac. But prior to last night I couldn’t quite remember. So I picked something that was cheap if 1. it went through and took a little while to refund 2. i couldn’t cancel/there was a cancellation fee that I would have to incur.

So I got my answer but didn’t see that I signed up the last day to cancel for SEVENTEEN’s fan club.

So now I’m stuck with it for 1 year. I’m not quite sure what I will do with it because I’m not their fan….but I’ll figure something out. At least it was only 20,000.

 

As for my complete meltdown yesterday…today was much better for 3 reasons.

1 We had one of our good classes so they rarely ever need to have me be “strict” (you know, moving seats and asking students to be quiet )

2 I only had one class with her

3 It was a lesson we’ve done 5 other times ….thankfully she knew what was going on in this class.

 

As for the negatives:

1 Because I’m making a concious effort to leave the “discpline” up to her I didn’t say anything more than “please don’t do that” to a kid rocking on the back of his chair legs. Of course …she said nothing to him when he continued to do it…and then he promptly crashed into the cabinets behind him….thankfully he wasn’t hurt.

2 Even though they are a well behaved class they get a little loud and I would like to mention to them to “be quiet” or something in a gentle manner. but I left that up to her today…of course which did nothing. Once again she said nothing more than “pay attention” …I feel like the kids have to find her weak as a teacher. I can already sense that next week 5-3 class will be a zoo…and all the advice I’ve gotten is to let the class become a zoo and then let her handle it

3 Because I only meet with them once a week and she meets with them twice, I would think after having class with her they would be able to formulate sentences or a little on what they were supposed to be learning. But when she asked them “How’s it going?” the lessons they’ve been working on for the past two weeks…even the more advanced students weren’t able to answer her. It wasn’t until we went over it many times and I encouraged the students to speak that they all felt much more comfortable answering the questions out loud. I can only conclude that she doesn’t encourage them to speak, speak loudly. Which is only continuing the negligence their previous English teacher gave.

I will be really interested in seeing how she controls the class next week. I’m not going to speak over these kids and ruin my voice, and I’m not going to try to get them to pay attention. So if these kids aren’t learning what they need to because there is no one to keep them in line and try to focus at least 75% of the time , I hope that it won’t reflect badly upon me. I’ve done what I can, then told it was too strict, so from now on, she’s on her own.

 

As for Thursday’s lesson plan topic…I really wasn’t in the mood so if anyone is reading this, then you will have to wait until next week! Sorry! But I will do two to make it up.

Because of the hellish day that was yesterday that ended with my cracking my phone , I’ve decided on buying a new phone. I was planning on it anyway but now I know for sure. I’ve pretty  much decided on what I want…but I still have to take some time to once again…eat my words.

Like with many a things, I have been wrong before. The most glaring instance would be my hatred for EXO.

 

Currently my apartment is starting to look like an EXO shrine with D.O. as the featured saint.

I’ve always said I would never buy an iphone and always stay true to Samsung’s galaxy series….but I have pretty much decided on the iphone6s. With the fact it’s soon to be overshadowed by the Galaxy7 and eventually iphone7  the price is the best for the product at this point and I don’t have to worry about the damn unlocking crap CDMA vs…whatever the other format is.

I’m not quite sure when that will happen but probably soon.

 

As for Friday’s Topic: Movies, TV Shows etc.

 

Today’s TV Show is no other than….Being Human the BBC Version.

In short Being Human was a 5 season BBC3 show that centered around a Ghost, Vampire and Werewolf all living together in a house “trying to be human”.

Though it sounds really dumb at first glance, it turns out that the supernatural part can be metaphors for real life issues.

The Vampire-an addict. Through the character of Mitchell (and later on Hal) blood is treated like an addiction-drugs/alcohol. The promise to never do it again, the lies to the friends and then the eventual spiral downward. Mitchell we get to see go through all the steps while when we meet Hal, it’s someone who is so OCD and rigid in his lifestyle so that there will never be any temptation to go back.

The Werewolf-anger management? I think people have said or maybe bi polarism. George is a sweet tempered guy and kind of a nerd but when he changes he becomes this uncontrollable beast. It’s a side that he can’t control and only afterwards does he realize the harm he’s done. The other werewolf, Tom we see in later seasons doesn’t really have this problem possibly because 1 he grew up with it as oppose to George who was bitten at a later stage or 2 the show kind of phased out his issues with being a werewolf.

The Ghost-agoraphobia. Annie initially can’t leave the house she died in. And though she does figure out how to be visible to certain people and move objects, she struggles with it through most of the show. I guess what its most relateable about her is the fear that other people move on with their lives while we feel trapped and can’t.

The creator of the show said he loved how Buffy the Vampire (the series) used monsters in high school as metaphors for the reality of high school. And I think that is obvious in the stylistic choices made.

Now the show does start off a little “rough”. It’s more gritter and darker and less polished. But during season 3 the feeling changes a little (we’ve also moved from Bristol to Wales) and by season 4 it’s very apparent the show is different. While some miss the older style of “everything but the kitchen sink” as the creator put it, the polished feeling does feel quite nice as well.

The show also goes through a major line up  change in season 4 and 5. Two of the main characters leave by the beginning of season 4 and they are all gone by the end of it. They are however replaced well I think and in some instances even better.

Though it is gory, and there is nudity and swearing, if you can look past that it’s a pretty enjoyable show to watch. I realize how silly that sounds. Imagine …Buffy the vampire slayer …on ‘roids.  That is Being Human.

 

Hopefully you have a good weekend as I still try to finalize mine. I’m being persuaded by my friend W to come see BTOB’s Encore concert. After last weekend I don’t know if I have it in me.

They will debut their new comeback song which sounds awesome but getting my butt up to Seoul while still sick from last week while still having EXO brain …who knows. I guess you’ll have to wait until Monday to see if I made it or not.

 

School is a battlefield

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There are those weeks when nothing seems to go right no matter how many adjustments you make.

Warning: this is going to turn into a rant.

This is one of those weeks. I’ve done my best to be patient and tolerate and understanding but the fact that my classes with Co Teacher #2 haven’t improved is a sign that something needed to change.

Where do I even begin.  Seriously. There are so many things wrong with our classes.

Typically Korean teachers are in charge of discpline. But CT2 doesn’t want to hand it out. She simply tells the children “don’t talk”, “pay attention” and probably doesn’t understand why she has to repeat herself several times.

I’ll tell you. Telling students who typically are rude enough to talk during lessons are sure enough the same students who aren’t going to stop talking simply because a teacher told them not to.

So I’ve had to crack down. I had to deal with 5-9 hell last year and I sure as hell won’t be dealing with that again. So I’ve moved seats, talked to them several times about their poor behavior, not done games. I haven’t yelled at them, made them do punishments but CT2 still told CT1 that I’m too strict.

So to solve that problem, I’ll let her deal with it. She can wonder why all of a sudden her students are acting out even more, not paying attention or answering the questions. And I assure you, it will turn into a zoo and she will wonder “how did it get like this?” Simple. You didn’t enforce the rules that I set in the beginning of the year, wouldn’t let me enforce them either. Game. Set. Match.

Another issue is that despite me telling her exactly what I need her to do in class, she still doesn’t understand. So she’s requested (through CT1 of course) that I make up lesson plans for her in advance.

So I’m literally making movie scripts and blocking so she knows EXACTLY what to say and when. I mean come on! If you notice that in class I look at you expectantly then you should probably do what we talked about before.

This is the person who still in our second lesson and 4h week of class, doesn’t know what she is supposed to do despite me literally going over everything with her. I honestly don’t know how she became a teacher and was a homeroom teacher last year-maybe that’s why this years 5th graders are a mess-because she was their 4th grade homeroom teacher.

So now i’m stuck doing lesson plans for the next 3 lessons.

I’ve never been so frustrated with a co worker before. And I’ve had some damn frustrating co workers before.

I have taken a look at my teaching style and have done a lot to readjust lessons for the lower levels. I’ve added translations at the bottom of slides and have let certain things slide.

But what drives me crazy is that she knows they are low level, tells me this all the time, but after I speak, she will just stand there….not translating any of it.

And when I ask her to translate, she just asks in Korean “do you understand?” I can even do that…and that’s not the point. Of course they don’t understand. Half of them don’t even understand the word “pencil”…..and the fact that she knows this…I’m starting to really wonder how the hell she is going to do an open class.

So clearly today’s topic of lesson planning will sadly be pushed back a week because I’m too busy covering my own ass, aka doing all the extra leg work because I know she won’t.

If I wasn’t tied to a contract. I would be handing in my two weeks notice as of now.

 

 

“sick up your life”

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It’s music Wednesday! Today’s post is going to be short because I’m going to be leaving work early because I really need rest. Two full teaching days has taken it’s toll and I’m not going to be getting any better by sitting at my desk.

Between being away for the weekend for EXO and now being sick my apartment looks like a hurricane.

But now onto this post.

So I did my best and I will avoid posting about EXO (seriously…it’s difficult-i think it’s just made my obsession with EXO even worse!).

But sadly we aren’t leaving the pop band realm quite yet.

Today is all about the Spice Girls.

Yep.

They were the first album I ever bought and really the first band I really remember going crazy for. I liked the Backstreet Boys but when I was younger I lived for the Spice Girls. Which is funny now because I prefer male KPOP bands over girls (Mamamoo is an exception).

But for the better part of my younger years, I had merch, albums, dressed up as Sporty Spice for Halloween (my favorite!) and of course had the movie.

It’s crazy to think they actually only put out two albums before Geri left and the group never was the same. But I have so many memories of them. I never went to the concert tour in North America 😦

I don’t know why I love pop music so much either. Some people call it crap and I can understand that. And while I can be at times a music snob (classical upbringing will do that to you) I usually give everything a try, but throughout any phase or age range, I’ve always like pop bands: starting with the spice girls, to Westlife, one direction and now the overhwhelming world that is KPOP.