Miracles in December (the fact that I finally can post is the miracle)

Standard

 

I know that I had mentioned that I wanted to do a 12 days of kpop Christmas but due to a high volume of drama and stress and then a high workload I just found no time to post.

But now that I have a little free time and with Christmas only 5 days away now, I figured I would post a Top 10 type of thing to get us into the Christmas mood (which is sorely lacking in Korea due to the fact that it’s a “couples holiday here”…strange.) These also aren’t in any particular order…just the way that I think to remember them.

But if you are like me sometimes become tired of the usual Christmas songs you’ve heard for 27+years ….then it’s really nice to listen to some of the songs I’ve listed below (as well as others I haven’t included) to get you into that Christmas spirit!

1-Jelly Christmas 2012

 

2- TTS- Dear Santa

 

3-BTOB – Winter’s Tale

4 IU You&I (It was hard to choose between this and Good Day but this just to me reminds me more of Christmas)

5 Starship 2013-Snow Candy

6 Infinite-Lately

7 Jessica -Wonderland (I’ve never been a huge fan of her voice but oddly enough I really find this song catchy and her voice fits the song well-plus this MV is so beautiful)

8 EXO – Sing For You

9-EXO Miracles in December (yeah…of course you know I would EXO two spots šŸ™‚ I didn’t include their most recent one because I haven’t really had a chance to sit down and listen to it)

10 SHINee Winter Wonderland (their latest Japanese single)

Bonus Video šŸ™‚

Advertisements

Happy Halloween!

Standard

Today it is Halloween in Korea!

And thus it is also our last day of the 13 days of Halloween song challenge.

I will be posting our final 3 Halloween songs below.

Updates will go back to what they were originally-once a week-usually Thursdays.

Though I am planning a 12 days of Christmas project closer to the date.

So here are our final 3!

Witch by the poor underrated “Boyfriend”

stalker by UKISS-even though this is borderline pervy in an illegal kind of way, it fits creepy pretty well

and of course what would halloween be without the kings of dark concepts most disturbing MV of all time… this is not for the faint of heart (though there is a clean version if you can’t stand it)

so there we have it! hope you enjoyed the countdown to halloween!!

The strange case of VIXX

Standard

Last night I went to bad, finally losing the battle of not getting sick. My plan today was to post 3 videos as to not forget this weekends post.

But seeing as I will be using one of my sick days to leave work early (I am proud to say I’ve never missed work…simply asked to leave after my classes are done) I am only going to post one today.

It’s VIXX once again because who does dark/creepy/concept better?

It’s HYDE which came out first. It’s dark, it’s creepy. Then they had a repackage a few months later called Jekyll which was their super happy, fun single (and my personal favorite song).

I thought it was so well done: not only did they use literature to convey their concepts (Hyde talks about not being a bad person but just someone they “can’t control” while Jekyll talks about falling in love and thinking about “losing control”) but they pulled it polar opposite back to back concepts SO well.

So enjoy!

 

It’s just a Fantasy (I wish was real!)

Standard

Ok so true to my word, today is the second day of the 13 Days of Halloween Song Countdown.

We kicked things off with the iconic “Thriller” but today we are venturing back to the KPOP world.

Usually KPOP fans think of creepy/dark concepts and think VIXX. So today is one of few VIXX songs in the countdown.

This was the most recent comeback in August which actually felt a little out of season which is why I think it took me a little longer to get into it. The sound and MV both feel like they should be set in the Fall, not summer.

However after listening a few times it really grew on me. The orchestral arrangement is really impressive, not to mention the Moonlight Sonata in the opening chords.

This is actually the second part in their 2016 3 part series-the album is called Hades.

I chose this one as the first one for VIXX because even though it’s not as dark as some of their others, it is devious in it’s own way-not to mention the creepy fairy tale-like aspect.

Hope you enjoy it!

(They also released a full dance and drama version that is worth checking out as well)

Lucky One

Standard

I’m the worst blogger ever. Yes I can make the excuse that Dream Concert blew my mind and I haven’t been able to put that into words. Yes I can say that I slammed my hand in the door and it is still painful/swollen/bruised 3 days later.

But mostly I’ve been lazy.

There has been a lot that has gone down since I last blogged.

So I’ll start with the important new things and end with Dream concert so you don’t have to listen to me ramble about KPOP .

First, our school introduced a new policy yesterday. We can only take out garbage and trash on certain days at a specific time. Why? I learned that one of my students from last year, a current sixth grader who has special needs (AKA she has never said one word to me and I learned from YoungJoon last year that she was a little slow) was sexually molested. She told her friends about it and they in turn told the teacher.

With regards to the major trial case that it currently dominating US news, I think the way my school and the students handled it is very important.

In Korea, females are still regarded as less than males, more so than the US where I grew up. Sometimes things like rape or sexual harassment are even less of a topic than they are in the USA. You just suck it up and continue because you want to keep your job and don’t want to be seen as a crybaby. This is not good policy.

The Gangnam murder was a big deal here (mostly because crime isn’t really reported with the same casualness that it is in the US). The murder said he hated women which was why he killed her. It sparked a talk about the major gender inequality in Korea. It gave women a platform to speak out.Ā  And while it may not change too much, it makes more people aware of how male dominated this society is. One of the main issues became: was it a hate crime against women or was he mentally disturbed? From what has been found, he had prior hatred towards women-saying he couldn’t stand being mistreated by them which makes it sound like a hate crime. In other evidence, he had patterns of having mental illness for quite a few years beforehand. For me, I think if you do commit hate crimes there is a part of you that is mentally ill. Not in the sense of how people who suffer from bi polar, borderline , or other mental illness are defined. But if you hate a specific group so much that you have a need to go out and commit acts of murder and violence towards them…then yes I do think you are mentally disturbed. But at the same time it is not something that can be fixed with medicine or therapy….so it becomes blurry – is the killer someone who is suffering from mental illness or is he just a woman hating jack ass?

Going back to my student, wound up telling her friends who in turn told the teacher. Now I can understand why the student didn’t tell the teacher. She’s a young student, who has some mental issues, as well as maybe fearing that it wouldn’t matter. I’m so proud of her friend who were strong enough and cared enough for her to inform an adult. And I’m proud of the school for reporting it to the police, rather than trying to keep it quiet, fearing it would damage the school and cause people to think the school couldn’t keep students safe.Ā  The school is also taking measures of safety as well. When I took out the paper recycling today there was a large truck with the paper right outside the front door as well as about 5 teachers kind of guarding the space.

Now I don’t know what happened to the student, or if the parents will get her the help she will likely need. But as far as Korean society goes, the school did it’s best to take proper legal and safety measures for the future.

It’s a shame I can’t say the same for the poor woman who now has to watch her rapist walk free in 3-6 months time.

This rape case is so much more than what it seems on the surface. It touches on the idea of color, victim blaming and judges.

Color: where to begin. While I do believe that America is a white dominated society I’m not someone who necessarily findsĀ  color in every single thing and feel the need to debate it to death. However, in this case….it’s hard not to. I saw a video that compared rapist Brock Turner to other rapists of color. RBT (rapist brock turner) was given a name, information about his school, his sport of choice along with a nice photo. Set that next to a series of black men who committed roughly the same act : no name (just rapist/man) nothing about his personal life just the acts of crimeĀ  that he committed.

The prime example is the Brian Banks case. Almost identical case. No priors. Star athletes. Except that when he was found guilty (which ironically he was not actually guilty and later released) he was sentenced to years of prison time. And he served about 5 of them. RBT is only sentenced to 6 months, 3 if he has good behavior. The judge says that it could hurt his future. You mean like how Brian Banks kind of lost his future for 5 years after he was WRONGFULLY convicted? You mean how the victim now has to live with the fact she was raped for 20 minutes? The judge clearly was one of those pity students at Standford.

Which brings me to the next point. The judge should have not been judging in the first place. He should have recused himself. He is a Stanford alum, former athlete who has a past similar to RBT-well up until the point that he raped an unconscious girl behind a dumpster. Yes, it is a good thing to give a sentence that is fair to all-and in some cases that means a lighter sentence. But not in this case. RBT is like a child-he doesn’t seen to understand what he did wrong-he has no remorse-no self awareness. In this case…giving a lighter sentence is doing the reverse effect, it’s not helping him realize anything other than “I can’t commit crimes, and get off with a light sentence-maybe because I’m white and had a biased judge” No, he is just realizing that with the dumbest piece of writing in history (including Twilight) AKA a letter from his highly biased, misogynistic father, and some victim blaming, he can avoid any responsibility.

Which brings me to my final point and this goes back to the initial sexual molestation crime that happened at my school. Rape is rape. Whether it’s because someone is wearing a short skit, or has had too much to drink. Yes, drinking makes us do really dumb shit. I’ve seen it. I’ve done…some of it. But when under the influence, never have I thought about committing a crime. Drinking is not an excuse for crime. So to use that against a victim is disgusting. That RBT father states “sexual promiscuity” in his letter….it’s a college. Of course it’s college. But it’s not a reason for rape. There is no reason for rape. Ever. When men say “oh she was asking for it” or “oh did you see how she was dancing” or “look at what she’s wearing”….

If there is no non forced consent….it’s rape. No matter if I walk around naked-in no way am I asking to be raped.

And this idea of treating women badly starts at a young age. People say young girls overreact which they do (I had one student who cried because she drank the soy sauce in our taste test) but in the matter of boys being inappropriate, it’s not such a simple matter. It’s not that boys need to be taught how to respect women. It’s that they need to be taught how to respect everyone. If they learn that then things like rape and hate crime would be less. But we simply brush these things off as “kids being kids”-but that’s not always the case. Just look at bullying. It’s still a major problem today and now with social media (as I was a victim of it myself in high school) it is even a bigger problem.

Now….moving on to something less depressing…..DREAM CONCERT!

Where to begin. Well I had standing with my friends so they wound up getting there super early and stayed overnight. I got there at around 8 in the morning. Thank god it was cloudy most of the day!

We got out tickets and wound up doing fan events for most of our wait time-fan events are Korea KPOP concerts best kept secret. If you don’t know what a fan event is let me tell you. Usually fan sites (like twitter) will post what they are giving away and where and what time though there are random pop up events too. Usually you have to follow them on twitter or something. But if you are there in time you get free stuff. Sometimes you have to be part of the fan club or have the lightstick or a concert ticket but not always. Things they give away are fans with idols faces and names on them, stickers, candy….I even got EXO-K Nature Republic note pad stuff this past time. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and running around and starts quite a few hours before the actual concert -super early if it’s EXO ( I learned this the hard way).

So after all the fan events, and eating a little bit, we got in line and went into the stadium. Last year I was number 190-this year 7…so we basically got to choose where we wanted to stand. We chose the right hand side corner at the very front. It was amazing. We were so close! We were right next to the extrended stage so a lot of the idols that walked by saw us and waved, and when I threw hearts at them they would throw them back. It was insane. Though the line up wasn’t as good my location was so much better so no complaints. At the end the idols were throwing stars with the entire bands signatures and a message on it. Ken from VIXX threw his star at me but…the star was too light and wound up falling in the space between the stage and the barrier. The girl next to me hopped the fence to get it. So mad I didn’t think to do that. And then of course EXO didn’t come to our side of the stage….jus the other side…oh well. I will see them again next Saturday…no to mention…the comeback….I will save that for another day because…yeah.

So that’s it for today. I’m almost doneĀ  with this semeter’s lessons. Almost every class will enter next week starting the final chapter for this semester.

Show me the money (for this job of wrangling 5th graders)

Standard

I know..I’ve neglected this blog for almost 4 weeks now but in all honesty I have some damn good excuses.

Starting with the Mozart Concert/BTS weekend-it took me a week to recover from that and I was barely able to keep up with lesson planning. All I wanted to do was sleep.

Then I got horrendously sick from some sort of nasty virus/infection thing. I was bed ridden for four days though I did at least try to come into work but was quickly told to go home and rest.Ā  I almost went to the hospital because my fever hadn’t been getting any better and I almost started to cry in front of my 5-1 class (which is like the worst class).

After that it’s been a lot of money calucating with a ton of events, concerts, visits coming up as a I try to fudge with my budget on what I can and cannot do. It’s hard.

Trying to find a flight that is less than 2000 is a changing game. And because the website is in Korean I can only do so much without needing me co worker to help me. sadly any price I see on the weekend I can’t get because …I’m at home.

Not to mention still dealing with my classes.

Today was a low spot. My first period class didn’t feel like paying attention. Most of them spent the time looking at their desk, looking at the floor. And even when I’m giving them the answer they won’t speak louder than a whisper.

My second period class however was worse. They wouldn’t stop talking, talked over my co teacher (she’s started to become a little more strict but by strict I mean she simply tells them things in a stern voice an that’s it -no consequences) so I had to take control of the class. They were wasting time -we spent 60 of 80 minutes doing basically nothing but a few drills. They either didn’t remember or didn’t feel like reviewing last chapter.

I told them in the beginning of the year that things build upon other things…so they need to ask for my help. What drives me nuts is the students clearly can’t do it, but don’t even bother to ask for help. I can give as much as they need.

I try to remember back to when I was a student-how did I act in the class that I hated the most? (Which was Math by the way). I would have to ask for help because otherwise I would sit there, not know the answer and if I was called on, unable to answer and thus embarassed. And my teachers gave me a lot less help -really expecting me to do the majority of it on my own.

But the students just won’t ask for help. They sit there looking confused or doing nothing until I have to volunteer to come over to help. Most of them have no interest in improving either. At least last year the students that I helped made vast improvements and were quite proud of their accomplishments. This year it seems the trend is to no care. And I guess if you are getting passed and not being grading ,really why should they care? The only thing I can do is keep them after class to finish work they did not do during class. It’s become relatively effective which is good but still the same studentsĀ  sit there knowing they are going to be stuck during break doing their work, instead of asking me for help. It’s Lesson 5-they know better by now. I can’t coddle them like my co teachers.

As for my blog…with all the insanity happening soon I am going to suspend the weekly schedule until I have some free time again to post reguarly.Ā  I will do my best to post as much as I can.

Like this weekend…I have Dream Concert! I will get to see VIXX and EXO! My two favorite groups. After that there is a Suwon concert that has Astro, Up10tion Mamamoo (who is also at Dream concert-so excited to see them!) and of course EXO again. That is followed by the VIXX fan meet …and then my friend is finally coming to visit! So my June is already looking pretty packed full so hopefully that will gie me something to write about.

Also I started really getting into this season’s Show me the money 5 – rewatched all of season 4 and even stared season 3 . Some of my students seem to like the show as well-which is on at 11 pm and contains several instances of swearing. #koreanparentingatitsfinest

 

I feel like a woman (who has a man’s voice)

Standard

I’m not exactly sure when I really started noticing it but I’ve now accepted the simple truth that if I know you well enough and become comfortable enough my voice will deepen.

So it wasn’t too much of a surprise that the first time I met my choir director he assumed I was an alto.

Today one of the non English speak teachers wanted my help with ordering a dress online on an English website and she brought the 6th grade English teacher and one of the closest colleagues I have .

She told me that the teacher said I look so young my but voice is mature/older sounding/deeper.

I kind of get a sick amusement out of it. I know that I have a baby face and my speaking voice doesn’t quiet match my face sometimes, and it definitely doesn’t match my singing voice.

Moving on, I know that I forgot to post yesterday because I was busy budgeting (my new favorite word NOT) so I can afford a plane ticket to visit home this summer.

My weekend was slightly interesting. Hung out with my friend and we went buy the Myeongdong Music Korea to buy albums to try to get into the VIXX fansign. Didn’t get in-some girls there had bought 100 albums! But it was still fun to enter. Bought my friend some things she wanted as well.

We also checked out the new SUM Market at SM which is kind of cool.

I finally made it to Seoul Forest!

It was a dusty day but it was sunny and the weather was pretty nice. We went to the insect garden area, and the deer corral. Koreans tend to be very afraid of animals larger than toy poodles. But not me!

I got to feed and pet the deer. They were so cute. Then we even saw the bunnies who were also very very cute.

I want a pet so badly but I know the life I’m currently leading doesn’t allow for that. Maybe when I get a little older and start spending the weekends at home.

The butterfly garden has yet to be opened (we think because the butterflies haven’t quite finished hatching yet) but we could look inside and see them.

The Seoul forest is really easy to get to. The station is ‘Seoul Forest’ on the yellow line (Bundang Line) and you got out of exit 3 and just walk straight until you see the big white letters that say it.

The map looks very large and you think how am I ever going to walk there but the map is not really drawn to scale..it’s much bigger than the actual place.

You can bring you dog or food and have a picnic. There were many people hanging out and sleeping on the little wooden flats or walking with their dog. It was a really nice space though not quite a “forest”.

I find a lot of my transportation station names and exits on english.visitkorea.or.kr

It’s really easy to navigate : it gives you times and possible fees as well as transportation information.

Now …. onto Tuesday: Modern Life

We’ve been covering some really heavy topics lately but that’s what the news has been full of. And I could address the patheticness (my new word) that is Britain having to issue a travel warning to the LGBT citizens about going to specific parts of the USA-aka North Carolina who is going to suffer a great deal with summer coming up, and the idiot state that still has the confederate flag on it’s actual flag.

But in lieu of that, I’ve decided to keep it light and address student bullying. Which in fact it is not a light subject at all.

I am lucky enough not to see any real harsh bullying. I have a few students here or there that may be “picked on” -the student does or says student and all the other students get annoyed by it-but overall they are pretty supportive.

Yesterday for example I have one student who is likes to ask a lot of questions, likes to be very vocal and is very excitable. He’s a good kid and even though he’s loud he’s not disruptive for the most part. He’s very enthusiatic. But some of this classmates become annoyed by him because he is a little bit different.

The fifth graders are really messy so my co teacher had them clean up a bit before they left. Well the one student decided to bring out the brooms and dustpan. Of course it took a little more time but he was doing what he was asked-the other children got frustrated because he was taking up their time to leave.

Well thankfully my co teacher put an end to that.Ā  She reminded them that they needed to respect the classroom and the class which includes other students. i was glad that she mentioned all of this to them.

On the flip side my 5-2 class has one student whose English is very poor (not my special student) and when I had her stand up and read something out loud today she managed to do it. I was so shocked. The whole class was shocked as well and were all really supportive of her.

Or my 5-4 class, Yejin is so shy but her seatmate Myung Ha constantly is talking to her, taking care of her it’s too cute.

I’ve never had any real issues with bullying. But I know that my friend who teacher 3-6 grade has major bullying issues. Higher level students bullying lower leverl students and such-writing curse words about them and everything. So I’m very happy that my kids tease but none of it is malicious.

I know that it might seem too early to look out for signs of bullying but nasty behavior starts at any time for any reason. As a victim of bullying (high school..the worst) I know how hurtful it can be. I do my best to lead by example. I don’t laugh at my students but I do laugh with them. I can occasionally tease gently (asking one my favorite students Min Jong which girl character is his girlfriend) but it’s never nasty.

I’m also trying to teach them to listen to what others have to say. Whether it be reading or sharing. Listening is such a lost art especially here in Korea. Not only should they be paying attention and not talking, but it teaches them listen to what their classmates are saying. Somehow I guess I’m hoping this will improve communication between them as well.

So that’s really it for today. It’s not much because I spent a lot of time with daycare c who wanted to play 3 rounds of bingo today.