Uncertainty can be happiness

"Security is a false god," or running around the world as an FSO

Archive for May, 2008

Sick again

Posted by quirksalight on May 31, 2008

between the recent past week of stress, crappy city air, and exposure to a new environment… not too surprising that i’m sick again.


Posted in health, Incheon, Korea | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by quirksalight on May 25, 2008

I have a class that I am constantly having trouble with, and it’s of course, on Monday mornings. Nearly every class, I end up getting pissed b/c they are completely acting up. And I feel bad for the half of the class who are actually wanting to learn and/or enjoying the activities that I give them. But the troublemakers are taking my time away from them b/c i’m having to shut them down.
Today, I got mad enough to say to them, “I did not come to Korea to spend my time yelling at you. I came to Korea to teach you English. But you are making that very difficult.”
Some of the students looked a bit embarrassed at this, and more after their peers explained to them what I said. But it’s rather evident that I’m seriously unhappy with them on a regular basis… i think they are one of worse groups that I have to teach. It doesn’t make it better that the class before this one is a group that I really enjoy teaching… making for a stark constrast. Grr….

Posted in Buheung MS, Bupyeong, Incheon, kids, Korea, teaching, teaching english | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Foreign Service exam

Posted by quirksalight on May 24, 2008

July 12-19, 2008.
Seoul is one of the test locations.
Time to get cracking….

Posted in Books, future, Korea, Nerdity | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by quirksalight on May 24, 2008

the glass covering my main overhead lamp is broken. #@$%#$ bugs!!!!

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My new wheels…

Posted by quirksalight on May 22, 2008

…In a bid to be more timely (quit laughing, all of y’all!!), I bought a little folding bike…

No name yet…. any suggestions?

Posted in amusing, bicycling, biking, Incheon, Korea, travel | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Teacher’s Day

Posted by quirksalight on May 22, 2008

Last Thursday was Teacher’s Day in Korea. Sometimes you get the day off, or not, it depends on the school. Alas, my school did not have any time off. But three of my students gave me these:

There was also a lovely chocolate bar, but it *ahem* disappeared before I took the picture.

Funny, the carnation in the tube (upright, in the right rear side of the photo), was from one of my first year boys (7th graders in US terms), who was so shy, he just gave it to me and ran off. 😛

Posted in amusing, Buheung MS, Bupyeong, holidays, Humor, Incheon, Korea, students | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Sometimes, you just have to force yourself to read it.

Posted by quirksalight on May 18, 2008

The Truth and Reconcillation Commission in South Korea is in charge of airing out a terrible chapter of South Korea’s history; the mass executions of over 100,000 of its own people in the aftermath of the Korean war. The dictatorships of that time apparently removed people who were “alledged” communist sympathizers, then executed them in numerous locations around the country.
This number is considered to be conservative one, with other estimates being as high as 300,000, due to the number of people on the leftist party rolls of the 1950’s, most who are assumed to be part of the executed masses. Indeed, the latter maybe be the correct number as mass graves holding thousands of bodies have been uncovered since the 90’s. Now, there is a systemic effort to figure out what led to this slaughter of thousands.
And yes, the US did know about it. So did other nations. Journalist who reported about it were shut down and their articles left unpublished. Declassified US documents showed that there were those who urged restraint, but as it seems, they were ignored. The bodies were attributed as the work of the North Koreans, not our allies, the South.

Information gotten from:
Thousands killed by US’s Korean ally

Fear, secrecy kept 1950 Korea mass killings hidden

Posted in history, Korea, military, news, Politics, quotes, US history | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Visit to the (former) family farm

Posted by quirksalight on May 12, 2008

I went this past weekend to visit my eldest uncle (maternal), aunt, my eldest (very pregnant) cousin and her husband. It turned out that they were living in a newer house on the lands that used to be the family farm, north of Seoul in Gyonggi province. Now, I was under the impression that the land had been sold off after my grandmother’s death as that was what I was told by an older male cousin of mine. (Grr….)
As it turns out, a good deal of the lands had been sold, and nothing was recognizable except for the old house. Everything else that I remembered, the pig pen, groves of persimmon and chestnut trees, and the huge german shepherd dog, were either gone or altered. The pig pen and the dog were long gone, and the groves were down to a handful of trees. The burial mounds were there, of ancestors I never knew about and of my grandparents. I need to go visit those, but that’s another time…
There were several houses close by, none of which were there before. Then again… it’s been over 20 years and Seoul has expanded massively.

And the house. It hasn’t been used for over half a decade and it showed. The house is in an obvious decline, with holes and cobwebs everywhere. It’s mainly used for storage for machinery and tools now. But I looked into the courtyard and saw the areas I remembered playing as a kid. That was very recognizable, with the dark wood floors, cement edging, and the sandy-colored dirt of the courtyard. I’m not sure if I’m happy that I saw the house, or would have rather it be gone then see it as it is now. On the upside, it’s there for me to go back to, you know?
The visit went well – my cousin showed me around, we all had a great lunch, and I saw the preparations for the soon to be arriving baby. The area is very pastoral for being so close to the city (it’s a 45-50 min bus ride from downtown Seoul) and my relatives have a very large garden, almost a mini-farm, with chickens, including a very annoying rooster that a wanted to strangle.
Now that I know how to get there, I’ll be back to visit, especially as the summer and fall rolls around, when I’ve got a bit more time. And next time, I’ll remember my camera.

Posted in ancedotes, cousins, family, history, Korea, memorial, memory, metaphors, Seoul, travel | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Baby got back???

Posted by quirksalight on May 12, 2008

They are using Sir Mix-a-lot’s “Baby got back” to sell soju in Korea. I’ve seen this commercial way too many times while in the subway.
What she says before the music kicks in is, “Hold it! You have to shake it first.”

Posted in Alcohol, amusing, Bizarre, Humor, Korea | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Amusement of this week from the kiddies…

Posted by quirksalight on May 7, 2008

Interesting incidents at my middle school this week:

Me: “Make a question that you can answer with, ‘I’m sure we will’. ”
Student 1: “Will we impeach President Lee Myung Bak?”

This is in reference to a guessing game that I played with my advanced students. I was asking the student who was guessing why he made a connection between two words.
Me: “Uh, why did you think of cow when you heard Lee Myung Bak?”
Student: “Oh, mad cow! Lee Myung Bak let mad cow in to Korea!”
Korea just let in US beef into its markets after a ban of 5 years due to BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or mad cow disease) fears.

My question: “So, what are you going to do when you get home from school?”
One of the girl students points to a boy and says, “He’s going to go home and watch yah-dong!” And promptly runs away as the said boy tries to smack her (this IS middles school) while the other kids howl in laughter. Apparently, yah-dong is a slang term for adult movies. Go figure.

Posted in amusing, ancedotes, Bizarre, Buheung MS, Bupyeong, Humor, Incheon, kids, Korea | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »