Chained Up

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Seriously. I’ve been chained up at work, trying to usher in my new (very nice) but very confused and lost co teacher. I’ve been chained up at the gym because I’ve been working extra hard trying to make up for those past two months of nothingness. And of course. I’ve been chained up by VIXX’s comeback: song, album, music video…. yep you guessed it, entitled “Chained Up”.

Having to actually work:

So I’m considered pretty lucky I would say. Even though most teachers I know have to work the full weekly hours, I get away with working 16-2 of those include me just babysitting in daycare.

But with the new co-teacher here things have fallen on me to plan and take charge more.  Our system is really strange.  I teach one 80 minute English class once a week to each 5h grade class. But my Korean co teacher will teach them one 40 minute class. But this could either come before or after my class. So the rotation on which lesson goes where becomes a nightmare.

For example, my 5-2 class had missed 2 weeks worth of classes with me and 1 week with the Korean co. so that put them way behind everyone else. But we can’t just skip ahead because then they would be lost and it would screw up the entire lesson.

So I had to take over one of her classes to get them back on track while my new co wants to do a make up class with them on her own for 80 minutes  with a lesson she’s seen me teach once or twice to a class she’s met only once.

It’s becoming schdueling and lesson planning hell. In no way am I blaming her at all. But to just throw someone new when we are almost finished the year makes no sense at all.

This is actually the third co teacher I’ve had.  I have my female co teacher who hasn’t changed. But then originally I had an older substitute female who had only taught third grade and wasn’t quite equipped to deal with rowdy fifth graders. Then I got my male co and that’s how it was for most of the year. Until now. My new female co has only taught middle and high school.

Now for the first time she is teaching 5th and 3rd graders. She said she’s not used to them talking so much, or acting out.  It’s a different kind of behavior problem-elementary vs older students. For example, my friend K has to deal with real physical fights, mouthing off, just overall middle school behavior issues.

Whereas I have to deal with crying, hurt feelings, bad words.  It’s the same kind of issues but the levels of how the kids are doing these bad things and how we have to respond are completely different.  The most physical my kids get are hitting each other without doing any real harm. I still tell them not to do it. Whereas my friend said she had to grab a kid by the back of the hood and pull him off another. I have to deal with kids crying because the class didn’t agree or like what they said or did. K has to deal with them refusing to listen to her and not responding to the kind of “threats” that would work with my kids.

So I think it’s a hard transition for my new co teacher and it’s not an easy one. it’s becoming a burden for me though because now I have to help out with not only my own class that I teach with her, but the ones she has on her own.

She tells me the kids tell her to plan more games and that class isn’t fun.

And a few of my classes are acting up.  I don’t know if they are testing me, her or the both of us.  Well it worked. They tested me and they reaped the outcome.

My favorite class 5-2 whom I hadn’t seen in 2 weeks became out of control. So we stopped the game. They copied lines for  a solid 12 minutes in absolute silence. Because their English is so good, I was able to get my point across to them.

I asked them if it was fun. Why not? Why did they have to copy lines (깜지) ? What will they not do next class.  And then because I didn’t want to deflate their confidence, I told them that next class would be a new slate.  We would start again.  I’ve never seen the class so quiet, or sad/scared/upset so I guess it worked.

Then for my previous horrible class turned great class 5-1, they were too rowdy during the game so we stopped. They sat down. I did my best (their English is so low but getting much better) to talk to them the same way as 5-2.

Why did we stop the game? Next week do you want to do 깜지? They also were shockingly silent.

I hated being mean teacher and I don’t want to carry any negativtiy over into the following class. Because these kids moods change day to day, and sometimes they are bad, sometimes they are good…you have to take it class by class. Most of my classes are consistent with having an off day or a really great day here or there, but this week has not been a good week for 5th grade.

I’ve also been starting to prep for winter camp. I realized that winter camp is only a little less than 2 months out. I really wanted to do an Avatar the last airbender theme but I just don’t have the time with this new co teacher, to really think about how to make it interesting enough. So I’ve gone with the classic standby harry potter english camp.  Luckily while it’s two weeks of camp, it’s only 5 days, unlike 7 days of planning. So in a way it’s almost better I think.

I’ve made up rough plans like Potions day will be about the to drink verb, to be thirsty, cup sizes, ordering, and then even how to make some drinks. I’m going to try to see if we can get the ingredients to make butterbeer. and then have a butterbeer taste testing afterwards.

I think the hardest will be getting the school to sign off on the budget. Even though I had 700,000 last summer I was really only allowed to use like 100,000 of it which included snacks and drinks for the final party day.

So we will see what I’m allowed to use this time.

As for making up gym time. Well I had a really good routine going that got thrown into chaos during my parents visit.  It feels like ever since my parents came to visit in August it’s been a game of catch up. Catch up at the gym. Catch up with cleaning. Catch up with money.

Money…will always be an issue. Cleaning…well it’s just me  and I’m not a really neat person anyway. But gym time. This past summer was difficult. The gym didn’t put on the Air Con until like mid July. But because Korea doesn’t have central air, it wasn’t enough to make the gym feel cool.  It became unbearable that I had to stop going.

Now that it’s cooler, I’ve been trying to go at least 4 times a week. It’s hard sometimes because the extra work I’ve been putting in at work is causing me to become tired and wanting to nap as soon as I get home.

Wednesday it was shoulder and chest day.  I was getting off the the bench after shoulder press when somehow I tweaked my IT band. No clue. It didn’t hurt but it was tight.  I figured it would go away and that would be the end of it. But it stayed tight the entire next day but since there was no pain I figured I could give leg day a go anyway. Bad idea. I got through my first set of inverted leg press and just about died. But I wanted to finish it which I did.  And that did me in. I wound up  not being able to do anything that required bending and putting weight on it so no squats at all. Only inner thigh and hamstrings which were both seated.  I couldn’t even really walk on the treadmill.  I praticed bending it last night and trying to stand up on it.  But any pressure is so painful.

My friend who is now a liscenced physical trainer said that it might  2 weeks before I can go back to running and weight training for legs. So…does that mean in the mean time I can only work on my upper body? If so…My arms, shoulders are going to be huge!

I have a love hate relationship with running and cardio. I never feel like I’ve had a good workout if I didn’t run.  But it really hate it. But I love it.  Running is like…well there is no other thing like running for me. Simultaneously hating something with a burning passion and loving it at the same time. (And I don’t mean, I love it so much I hate it for ruining my life.  I just flat out hate it)

But despite all of that crap (this all happened this week) VIXX had their comeback.

I didn’t want to review the MV or song or album but I feel that I have no choice.

I didn’t listen to the album or the song when it dropped on Tuesday at midnight because I really wanted to wait for the MV and I’m glad I did. I heard some people weren’t really feeling the song until the MV came out.

I think the MV enhances the song a lot.  But now I’m at the point where I’ve watched the MV enough that I can now groove to the song without it.

That being said, while it’s not my favorite VIXX song, I think it makes for a really dynamic comeback.

I know a lot of people don’t like the song, but a lot of non VIXX fans really do.

The song itself. It had to grow on me. But it grew faster than I thought. The MV helped a lot. The line distribution is much more reasonable this time.  I guess they felt bad for Hongbin in Love Equation (you know how he got like 1 and 1/2 lines?) and gave him three separate parts. Hyuk’s part while still not huge still seemed a little more than usual. Ravi’s raps were kind of here and there culminating in the final extended rap. I kind of felt they could have given some of that to Hyuk though. Or maybe had Hyuk sing the parts that Binnie sang in the beginning and switched Binnie over to some of Ravi’s raps since you know…he originally was labeled as a sub rapper.

N’s part seemed smaller than usual as did Ken’s. The only thing I can think of is the fact these two have been the busiest out of all the VIXX members. N had: radio show, drama, weekly idol guest host, VIXX festivals, laws of the jungle…he had so much that on the V APP as my friend W said, we got used to seeing VIXX more as 5 – it was to the point where I got used to hearing Leo say “Real V” instead of N.

I’m glad that some of his stuff has ended but I hope that isn’t a signal that it means his empty scheduele needs to be filled with more stuff. He has been looking tired and is even acting less like…Mom “N”.  I hope despite the insanity that comebacks can be, he might actually get some rest and become the N that I adore/fear.

Next is my man Ken. Oh Ken. When there was the article that was released about him coughing up blood…

Ken has been looking really thin ever since he started his musical Chess. If you look at pictures of him now compared to Love Equation, he looks kind of sickly.  Still looks perfect but I’m seriously worried about his health. He’s had back to back musicals with Chess and Cinderella.  And now Cinderella is being extended.  I know he won’t be performing for a few weeks – I guess to do VIXX promotions.

But his voice…their showcase he didn’t sound like himself.  He didn’t sound bad but his voice sounds tired, and strained.  I feel on the album as well he isn’t singing as much, or as strong as he usually does.

It’s not the voice that I completely fell head over heels for.  And I don’t know if it’s because his voice can’t handle it because of the musicals and his health, or something else.

I hope he gets some rest and takes care of his health. I would rather wait another year for a VIXX comeback than hear about Ken coughing up blood.

As for Leo, well there’s not much to say other than he’s blonde.  Typical Leo. Handsome, Even if Leo with black hair is like the God of all religions.

And Ravi. At least his hair is normal! No Error mess. No On and ON coloring..he looks normal and good.  And I saw he has like 70% credits for writing this time.  It’s cool to see him take charge more.

The MV.  Well …unlike typical VIXX there wasn’t too much of a storyline.  Which is actually not a bad thing.  It wasn’t even noticeable until I saw someone point it out. You’re too focused on the song, the dance, the no shirt under blazers type of thing.

While visually impressive, it’s less…out of of control like some of VIXX stuff.  It’s less …huge.  Error felt like a blockbuster hit. voodoo doll was a horror movie. Hyde was like halloween meets an episode of buffy the vampire slayer. Even Love Equation which wasn’t dark or epic, had a storyline you could follow.

But it fit the song.  If the dance had been too fast paced it  wouldn’t have made sense.  It’s a classy meets sexy concept-classy sexy love slaves????

Either way, it worked for VIXX and probably only VIXX. I somehow can’t see EXO doing this concept nor would I want to.  (I mean DO as a love slave is one thing but having to watch Chanyeol and Chen try to do the body rolls would kill me from second hand embarssement)

And the album.  I really like the songs. MAZE is really cool sounding and Spider as well. I’ve really only had a few listen through which happened at the gym and working at school so I haven’t really had time to sit down a listen listen.

I don’t think I dislike any song which is typical of VIXX albums for me-hence probably why they are my favorite group amongst other reasons.  I really like how they made a Korean version of Can’t Say-However I’ve gotten so used to the Japanese one that the Korean one sounds weird and I’m not sure I like it as much.  I’m sure if it was the other way around, I would feel the same.  It’s more about what came first LOL (Ok not true because I really like EXO’s Love me Right Japanese version…but not the Chinese one).

I don’t understand why Error and Eternity are on the album though. I know that Voodoo Doll had other title tracks on it as well, but Chained Up 1. isn’t as long of a track list  as Voodoo Doll first full length album 2. i don’t think it had 2 songs on it and if they did they weren’t as old as say Eterenity to Chained up is  3. they don’t really fit the album that well.

It’s not that Eternity and Error are immature songs AT ALL but they feel out of place and somehow younger than the rest of the album.  I don’t have a problem with one or two older title tracks but not at the expense of the album and new songs.  It almost feels like this full length album is a mini album once you take away Eternity and Error.

Eternity I think fits a little more than Error (just because I’m one of those freaks who isn’t a huge fan of Error) but still…it’s out of place.

I hope VIXX doesn’t wait as long for their next comeback. I know they’ve been super busy with personal projects, sub unit-and as much as I love them individually and have my bias (which is actually kind of in a state of flux now ) I always prefer VIXX together.

The comeback time between Love Equation in Feb (or was it March?) and now is a long time. Yes they have been playing festivals (I’ve gone to see most of them) but I really wanted new stuff from them. Don’t get me wrong-Beautiful Liar the song and the album tied me over well. But I kind of felt like i was slowly losing a little bit of Love for VIXX because I exhausted all their music.  So that’s kind of how EXO wormed it’s way in-even though they had had stuff out forever I didn’t really know about it so it was kind of like discovering new music.

But now VIXX is back and promotions are now underway!!! EXO is killing it in Japan so I won’t have to worry about that, though Lightsaber came out-not too sure. DO sounds like chocolate honey heaven as usual but the MV is just kind of Kai, Sehun and Baekhyun walking around.  I’ve not had much time to pay attention to them because well…VIXX has once again proven why they are my favorite KPOP group.

So that was one long post that went from teaching to exercise to KPOP.

Next post I will tell you about my first “night party” at Lotte World. Its Friday night from 10 pm – Sat morning at 530 am. So I guess it’s like the same hours as prom except that I’m  10 years older and 10 years older…meaning energy levels will be…very very different.

I know JJCC and The Legend will be there but other than that? It will be fun I think because I haven’t had an event in a while and won’t be having one unless BTOB or VIXX decides to have a concert soon!

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VIXX, Red (non solo) Cup, my one hundred and eleventy birthday

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I know I mentioned that I would be doing a countdown of TV shows, but with my new co teacher knowing next to nothing about how our classes work (it’s a strange system and it’s not her fault at all) I have been pulling over time working on activities and games. So I spent most of yesterday writing up new lesson plans. Thankfully I finished it.

I will try to do the TV Shows next week. This week well…you knew it was coming. I don’t HYDE (points if you get it) my VIXX obsession.

IT’S HERE! The day I’ve been waiting for since I left VIXX’s Utopia concert back in March.

VIXX’s comeback is here! So much about this comeback.

  1. It’s my first in country comeback. Which means I get to experience all the in country promotions!
  2. First VIXX poster!
  3. Full comeback-LOVED VIXX LR but …. VIXX is better together.
  4. Full Length album. Yes it has Error and Eternity but Voodoo Doll did the same thing adding older songs.
  5. It’s Leo’s birthday.

Even though the album dropped online last night, I wanted to wait to watch the MV with it…which drops in 55 minutes. Sadly I don’t have my favorite class to distract me today and I have to sit in anguish waiting for 1200 KST to hit.

Between my friends, and my Starlight student, I’ve been so hyped up for this comeback!

The teaser pictures, the choreography, accepting Leo’s blonde hair.

After breaking the Ravi curse of 4 albums (every photocard, every stand up, every promotion was Ravi) with getting Ken’s stand up in the concert DVD, here’s to hoping the good luck with biases continue.  If not..I have two friends who would be more than willing to trade for Ravi. The only benefit to getting Ravi.

The album usually isn’t in stores until two days after, despite it dropping today, so I will be picking it up on Thursday probably.

I probably won’t review the MV or the song …just because I think watching reactions are funnier so I suggest you go online and watch reactions because…well they get me through the day sometimes. JREKML specifically is an all time favorite of mine.

Now moving on to…the big political/messy/WTF debate in America.

Starbucks is ditching their Christmas themed cups this year in favor of red ombre cups.

Big Whoop. It’s still red, it’s still festive.

But it seems that people are upset that it isn’t Christmassy enough.

Every one on facebook is putting in their two cents. Well last time I tried that , I got blasted. Apparently my gay liberel friend who was so set on “live and let live” got offended when I tried to quote his own motto back to him. I cried. Got sad. Then realized this isn’t the person who I was.  1 year ago, if that had happened “Goodbye!” You are cut out of my life. You can grovel for my apology and maybe you’ll get it. So I  had to regrow my backbone essentially. But that’s for another time. I digress.

Back to the non solo Red Cup. People are upset that Starbucks decided to go for seasonal cups this year. Starbucks’statement -they basically wanted everyone to feel included. They will still sell advent calanders and Christmas blend.

When I was little, if I didn’t like what my mom made for dinner, the rule was “if you don’t like what I’m serving, go make your own dinner.” That wound up being a lot of Ramen nights for me as a picky eater. But the idea is still the same. If you are so offended by the lack of a snowman or presents on a DISPOSABLE coffee cup you have 1 of 2 choices in my mind: 1 buy a REUSEABLE christmas coffee mug, get a small discount, save the planet, and have your Christmas starbucks coffee or 2 be like me and “go make your own.” then you can put it in whatever container you like, call it whatever blend you want.

Simple right? I’m pretty sure my Korean 5th graders could a solution out. Yet fully grown adults feel the need to rename themselves “merry christmas” which is actually offensive for those who are true Christians (like myself)

Red is still a Christmas color. Hanukkah and other seasonal holidays don’t use red. It’s still festive. So stop complaining.

Now I do think they could have kept the winter theme. That is in fact I would say more inclusive. Everyone has winter. Well everyone but Hawaii.

Snowmen and snowflakes are universal in my opinion. More so than the color red.

Also, if you are getting so worked up over a simple thing as a paper cup not having your favorite Christmas thing on it, then maybe you need to re-evaluate your priorities. I bet these are the same people that stress the importance of giving thanks for what they have and then go shopping at midnight, not thinking of those who are having to work on Thanksgiving night.

When I was working in the customer service industry at PETCO and dealt with customers face to face, though I was raised Christian for 25 years, went to Catholic school for 13 years, it was not a big deal for me to say “Happy Holidays.” It wasn’t hurting me, it was wishing someone else a happy….whatever. It was for them. And when they gave me gifts, sometimes they were Christmas themed. No big deal. I’m not going to lose my shit because I got a piece of Rudolph candy.

People have good intentions, and sometimes people feel they need something else to be mad about.  I feel it’s less about what they are actually mad about and more about their personality. If you can’t be happy that everyone is included this year because Starbucks wants an all inclusive cup theme, then it’s probably your own issue. No one is attacking you. You just need a reason to hate something else. And that in and of itself is sad. It’s not a happy place to be and you will never be happy because of it.

To quote VIXX, say to yourself slowly “I need therapy.”

Now don’t think I’m some crazy liberal.  Don’t think I’m one sided. I did have medium opinions towards the whiny lady who didn’t want to sign marriage lisences for gay couples. Yes I understood it was her job and she had a right to say no based on her beliefs. Sadly it was her JOB and against the federal LAW, so naturally I believe she should have accepted the fact she was unable to perform her job and quit. Or accepted the consequences of denying someone their basic rights.

But I don’t believing shoving this down people’s throats or becoming belligerent towards them makes it okay. It’s all about education and patience. Sadly a friend couldn’t see it this way.  He became so obsessed with defending his own ability to speak his mind and do what he wanted, that he was unable to even realize he was doing what he was complaining about to me.

Now that my Starbucks rant is over, moving on to my birthday!

It was a chill day. Literally, it rained, it was chilly. But also I got to just relax. I’m not comfortable in the center of attention which is why I get embarssed really easily.

So birthday parties are not really my style.

This birthday I got to watch Home Alone, The Propsal, and eat cake. Oh and play with puppies!

Literally that was my weekend It was a perfect weekend. Puppy love, crab dip, hot milk cake…the best. Then I went downtown to buy the new FX album, and some things from nature republic.

Turns our Nature Republic is having some sort of EXO promotion so I got a free Kyungsoo stand up doll.  I was a happy camper.

All in all a nice quiet birthday. And though I don’t have too much in the way of concerts coming up, I am looking forward to my Thanksgiving meal at Emily’s house and Christmas! They are big Christmas people like me. It will be hard not to be with family this year, or go to Church on Christmas eve, or even feel the typical Christmas season I’m used to-holiday theme stuff everywhere.

But for now I’m making due with listening to my students practice Jingle Bells, and other Christmas carols.

Yes that’s right. My Korean school where most children tend to be Buddhist or Agnostic are playing Christmas Carols.

Remember when I said I was not a full on crazy liberal?

I can understand how some Children might feel sad or left out when having to play Christmas music or sing religious songs.

But there is so much Christmas music out there. Other than the Dradle song and 8 crazy nights, I know no other Jewish holiday songs.  If there are in fact other religious Holiday songs, than I think they should also be featured.

But music has a history of being deeply rooted in Christianity. Maybe once upon a time it was all about the religious purposes, but nowadays these concerts, these historical requiems, are not performed with the intention of spreading religion. They are performed because they are amazing and beautiful to listen to. How many people really understand the Latin being sung anyway?

I once knew a man at my church who was Jewish. Yes you heard right. He was a Jewish man who attended my Episcopal church. Why? Because it was the best damn music program around. He looked beyond religion, and belief and didn’t care that what he was singing or playing was talking about Jesus- a person who in his faith wasn’t the Messiah.  If he is able to something like that, then I think it’s easy for children to do the same. And if the child is that offended or the parents are that offended by it, then the child should have the right to sit out and not be punished or scrutinized

With all the problems America is facing right now, both large scale like gay marriage, or simple like a red paper cup, it makes me thankful for being in Korea.

I will end this post here. I have more to say on the issues people face in Korea but it doesn’t really fit this post well. So I will move it over to the next post.

Anyway there you have it. VIXX comeback, Starbucks rants and my birthday. Now , I will go and watch the new VIXX MV and get back to you later!!!