Uncertainty can be happiness

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

Archive for the ‘language’ Category

The Little things in life.

Posted by quirksalight on August 2, 2010

I’ve been at Embassy Seoul for little over a month now, and it’s been a rollercoaster. From running around, planning visits, to meeting contacts, managing (actually, more being managed BY) the LES, and mentoring interns, it’s been a trip. For the most part very good, some low points of frustration and wanting to hit my head against a wall as I scrabble up the “learning curve”. Though, at times, it definitely feels like a cliff. But I’m getting it. And the little things makes me smile.

Getting up at 3am, running around on adrenaline and realizing at the end of the day, EVERYTHING was OK.
Laughing with a new contact as an introductory interview becomes more of a conversation between new-found friends.
Realizing that I CAN conduct at least a part of a meeting in Korean – well, it was about food, eating, Iftar and Ramadan – but STILL… no translator needed for that, and it was official, with some technical words and stuff! 🙂
Amazon delivers in a week – no extra shipping charges. I ❤ APO.
Yongsan has an amazing library; with better hours than back home!!!

And realizing that my creative skills weren't rusty – I make damn good mango-banana bread, and assembled my own pillow-top bed.


Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, Books, Embassy Seoul, geek, Humor, Korea, Korean, language, meeting, Seoul, work | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Glimmer, my ass. It’s the long haul.

Posted by quirksalight on October 14, 2009

So, back about a month ago, I had a lovely of hope that I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for my clearances, and yeah… that’s been squashed like a bug. It’s one month later and I’m still in adjudication. Classes are set for the year, and the next training class is the first week of January. Those invites go out early-mid November. Time’s ticking…

But, I’m keeping busy. The editing, of course, and the random assortment of hobbies. Trying to kayaking a couple more times before the boathouses close at the end of the month, and there’s always the RenFaire, which also ends this month. And I’ve started Russian classes yesterday (Oct 13) at the Russian Cultural Center in DC. Twice a week, two hours each session, for six weeks. Nominal cost, $80 for registration and book fees. Not bad.

Posted in annoyance, application, Comedy, commentary, language, Russian | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

FS Update: Apparently, I know how to speak Korean

Posted by quirksalight on August 11, 2009

Just found out that I passed the phone test for Korean, but they wouldn’t disclose the score. Passing is a 2/5 using the ILR scoring system. Now my score is a 5.7 (5.3 + 0.4 language bonus) which would put me a little higher on the register when I actually get on it. (think positive! 😛 )

So… back to waiting for security….

Posted in application, Korean, language | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

FS Update: Korean language test

Posted by quirksalight on August 5, 2009

Tuesday (Aug 4th) was also the Korean language test. Just speaking, over the phone. Passing with a 2/5 proficiency would give me an extra 0.4 on my ranking, which would allow me to get off the roster for training faster. (once I get ON the roster after all the clearances and the suitability review are finished)
The scale that the Foreign Service uses is here.

My language test was about 30 minutes long and run by two examiners; one speaking in English and the other in Korean. The English speaking examiner was the one giving the instructions and listening in to my conversation with the Korean speaking examiner. There were three separate sections. The first was free conversation. The second was a directed conversation about a given topic. And the third was an interview style, where I had to ask the Korean speaking examiner questions about a given topic, and then report back the results in English to the English speaking examiner. That’s it. Apparently I can call in to find out my results in about a week.

Posted in application, Korean, language | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Minus 9 in 10 minutes

Posted by quirksalight on October 12, 2008

This semester, I instituted a third rule to the “No throwing” and “No hitting” rules in my class. The third one is “No bad words”.

Now, you must be wondering why I put this rule in place when I’m not supposed to be understanding Korean in school. However, it’s apparently rather trendy for the middle school students to swear in English. The most popular being “sh&t”, followed by “f@#k”, and “b#&ch”. Yeah, yeah… I know, I do swear myself, but I know that the students swear b/c they watch movies where the characters say various profane words in a multitude of situations, and think it’s OK. But… it’s not really… and I don’t want to encourage it.

So a violation of one of the rules would lead to that group being docked one point for each infraction. One of my 7th grade students from the “New Zealand” team (I have the team names as English speaking countries), gotten a question wrong, and blurted out, “Oh, sh&t!”

To which I replied, “Excuse me? What did you just say?”
Upon his look of horror, I said, “Right. I thought so. Minus 1 point.” And walked over to the scoreboard and took off a point.
He was so annoyed that his outburst lost a point, he exclaimed, “Oh, sh&t!” once again. So I shrugged, walked over to the scoreboard, and took off another point.

At this point, the entire class, including my co-teacher was laughing at the boy’s exclamations. Especially because, once again, he swore when the second point was removed. This happened several more times, with his teammates getting angrier, the class laughing harder, and I, continuing to take off points as he apparently could not stop repeating the phrase, “Oh, sh&t!” again and again. Finally, after 8 points had been removed, he literally clapped his hands over his mouth to stop himself from saying anything.

Oh, the ninth point? After he had managed to stop swearing, one of girls on his team had gotten so angry with him, she punched him. Minus 9.

Posted in amusing, ancedotes, Bizarre, Buheung MS, Bupyeong, english, EPIK, Humor, Incheon, kids, Korea, language, school, slang, Social commentary, teaching, teaching english | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Reading, Writing, but not Arithmetic

Posted by quirksalight on March 31, 2008

Starting next week, I am starting Korean language classes to improve my reading and writing skills. The classes are given by the Korea Foundation Cultural Center for free! Which is awesome, but there’s a tradeoff (for me), as I have to commute into Seoul for the lessons.
I went there tonight to take a placement test. Turns out my reading and writing is at a high beginner level and my speaking is in the mid-intermediate. So I’m taking the high beginner class…as it’s my reading and writing that need the most TLC at the moment.
Though the girl who graded my test was a bit baffled at my test, as I got all the hard questions correct, but missed a couple of the easy ones. Go figure….

Posted in Incheon, Korea, Korean, language, Seoul, travel | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »