Monday, December 27, 2010

3am and I'm wide awake.

But there are some things that are pretty OK about this situation, because I'm at home.
First of all, and my Korea brain very much appreciates this because it's pretty sure it's 1pm and lunchtime, the fridge is stocked and loaded. Snack? How about leftover mahi-mahi and lobster bisque? Pita chips or toasted bagel on the side? Or fresh mushroom ravioli? That's a whole lot better than the options usually available in my kitchen in korea (PB&J or kimchi with tofu -- again).

Also? Hulu. No proxy needed.

Don't get me wrong, I love Korea. I'm glad I stayed for another year, and I'm looking forward to the next semester. But boy, there are some creature comforts at my parents' house that just can't be beat.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Update: 12/4 pics

I wrote about these monstrosities when they occurred the day after my birthday, with dough leftover from my homemade pizza birthday party.

But now I've got pics, cribbed from ye olde food blog. Behold!


The Pizzaghetti:



The Chili Cheezghetti (pizza topped with leftover vegetarian chili, cheddar, & mozzarella).



The chili was homemade a couple days before, and I'd tracked down some sharp cheddar (no easy feat in Korea!) so it came out like giant, really yummy nachos.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

HP7

I read the book in one sitting, from about 12:30am when I got the book back to my apartment (Marian and I were near the front of the line to buy it at midnight at a bookstore in Dupont Circle). We both read through the night, snacking occasionally on pumpkin pasties, licorice wands, cauldron cakes, and chocolate frogs (the last of which we bought, the first three we made, with the movies playing in the backgorund). I went into the bedroom when Dobby died so Marian wouldn't hear me sobbing and know something awful was coming.

It was intensely nerdy. And thoroughly awesome.

I haven't read the seventh book since it came out -- I've read all the other ones multiple times, because I'd re-read them every time a new one came out. But I've found that if I read it just before the movie comes out, I'm extra-unsatisfied with the film (of course, that might be because I did that with the first 5 movies, which all kind of sucked save #3).

At any rate, I saw movie #7 last weekend, and it was pretty great. I was hoping they could match #6, and I think they surpassed it. I've been really looking forward to re-reading the books since then, but my copy's at home. And while stores around here sell all the books, they're in Korean.

But then, I remembered something great - there's a mini English library right in my classroom! And lo and behold. They have 3 copies of all 7 HP books. Since the kids are clearly not reading them (and if they don't read them when there's a new movie out, they NEVER will), I will be here at my desk, re-reading #7. I think I'll ask Roy if it's OK if I take a copy home with me for the day, too.

He Thinks He's An Elf

Lesson of the Day: Elf (with English subtitles).
Lunch Today: sticky rice, spicy pepper chicken soup, whole (and I mean whole) small fried fish, white/non-spicy kimchi, seaweed (washed, boiled, and salted) mandarin oranges donated by a student's mom

Ginger Spice Christmakkah Cookies

I put these bad boys in my holiday cookie assortment boxes, which got sent out to a select few people who have generally made my life in Korea easier or better.

Assortments included some combination of cookies I baked in the last week, namely Shortbread Hearts, Bananoffee Thumbprints, Colored Sugar Rounds, Cinnamon Pinwheels, Lemon Pound Cake, Chocolate Biscotti, Almond Biscotti, mini Crushed Almond Thins, Lime-Glazed Shortbread Squares, and Ginger Spice Christmakkah Stars.

Here's the recipe for the last one:

Equipment:
  • Star of David cookie cutter (available, apparently, at major Korean grocery stores)
  • Oven
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper/silicone baking sheet
  • Rolling pin (optional)

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 egg (scramble in a cup and pour in half?)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) room-temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
Instructions:

1. Beat butter with electric hand mixer for about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.
2. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour. You might want to switch to a rubber spatula or big wooden spoon.
3. Flatten dough out on parchment paper, cover with another piece of parchment paper. Chill in the fridge for 40 mins-1 hour
4. Take about half the dough out of the fridge, and roll out to 1/4" - 1/8" thick. Cut shapes. Lay on parchment-lined tray, chill in fridge for about 15 minutes.
5. Bake at 180C/350F for 8 minutes.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Birthday Package

When I opened the window this morning, which I refused to do until about 8am when it finally got light outside, I saw that it was snowing. And not just snowing, but really snowing, and sticking, too. I think this is the first snow of the year I've seen in Daejeon -- it's flurried quite a bit in the mountains where my school is, but I hadn't seen anything until today in the city outside my apartment.

Lucky for me, I have the day off. I got to spend the very, very cold day snuggled inside with dark chocolate and Mighty Leaf tea from the birthday package my parents sent (thanks again, mom and dad!), watching back episodes of "Rubicon" and working on the website for the Daejeon Children's Home.

There will be more information to come about the website, and about the project we're working on, but the basic idea is that there should be a place for current, past, and future English-speaking volunteers to stay in touch with the children, and also a secure way to donate to the home.

The site isn't completely up and running yet, but you can peek at it as I try to get it ready with blog posts, video, pictures, stories, projects, and more. Find it by directing your browser to KoreaKids.webs.com, or by clicking here. Stay tuned for more info....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Goodbye, Third Grade Students


The last time I saw my now very grown-up and college-bound 3rd grade Wednesday English Lunch posse, we took some pretty excellent photos.
Here's me and Olivia aka Hye-In, that she took as a "self shot" with her cell phone just before they left school for the last time.



Olivia made a notebook that she decorated for me, and every week she gave me new Korean vocab words to study. I am so proud of my third graders for all getting into great colleges, and I am gonna miss that gang like crazy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Brought Tofu Dunkin' Donuts to Work Today (...oh korea)

Dear 8-months-pregnant office assistant:

You're, like, super nice, but when there are doughnuts in the office, and you only eat half of yours, it makes me feel fat.

Thanks,

Dara

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Daily Jolt, I Hardly Knew Ye

Sigh. I was poking around various Smithies blogs today, and started thinking about how much I miss the Smith DailyJolt. I'd just assumed that if I ever found myself in, say, Korea, with lots of time on my hands between classes, I could pop on over to the Jolt and check in on the ickle Smithies.


Image from ProfessorQuotes tumblr, which is at least trying to pick up the mantle of the best part of the DJ, save the forums. DoubleSigh.

Monday, December 13, 2010

You Fool!

Name something a mother tells her child again and again:

1. You're doing good
2. Be quiet
3. Beside your neighbor is doing well, what are you doing?
4. Don't sex.
5. You fool!
6. Study.
7. Stop playing computer games
8. Study!

Cee Lo 싫어

Thanks, class 2-1, for alerting me to the fact that Cee Lo (of "Fuck You" fame) sounds like 싫어, the Korean verb "hate".

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Elevenses

Thursday Elevenses - earl grey, lemon pound cake, flannel pajamas.

I cannot begin to tell you how often I think "what on earth will I do when I have a real job?"

I imagine it'll be quite a bit like this:





I'm fairly confident that it will not involve me lying around for hours on Thursdays with tea, a book, and homemade cake before heading over to run around with the cutest kids in town at the Salvation Army orphanage.

Ah, well. Enjoy it while it lasts!


Seoul Sisters

Smith College Club of Seoul Christmas party tonight, at a restaurant in Gangnam called "Mamacita."
Superman, who by day pretends to be my coteacher Roy, drove me to the Gongju bus terminal so I could head up to Seoul straight from work, instead of spending an hour and a half getting from school to the Daejeon train station. I've never gone from Gongju to Seoul, but it wasn't a bad bus ride. Big comfy seats, relative quiet -- if I hadn't forgotten my iPod back at the apartment this morning, I probably would have fallen asleep.
Then a subway from the bus terminal to the Gangnam-gu Office stop, where I swung by the big department store there to pick up a gift for the "Secret Santa" gift exchange at the Smith dinner.

Most department stores in Korea have a basement level with a food court, sometimes a small upscale grocery store, liquor store, and a few small vendors selling various foodstuffs.

But this.

This was incredible. The Gangnam Shinsegae department store basement was pure food heaven. This place is amazing. Glass cases displaying assorted French chocolates next to a counter selling hot broiled winter squash filled with pillows of risotto, Chinese steamed pork buns next to beautifully decorated cupcakes, Korean food, burgers, sushi, fresh fruit, Italian food, cream puffs, -- you name it, they had it.

I knew if I stopped to look around, I'd get lost, so I promised myself I'd come back some other time and made my way up to the cosmetics floor to pick up a little gift set.

Then a quick taxi ride later, I found myself at Mamacita! Run by Smith alumna Diana, Mamacita has a yummy Mexican restaurant on the bottom floor and a tequila bar on the top floor. We had a great time, and a great meal, and I got a chance to see some of the now-familiar faces of the Smith College Club of Seoul. These women are incredible. Architects, research scientists, musicians, writers -- I could spend hours with them and never get bored. The club seems active and pretty tightly knit, but also very welcoming. I felt all warm and fuzzy, especially since this was the first Christmas event of the year. December makes it extra-tough to be away from home, but I really did feel very much at home surrounded by Smithies past and present. Even if they are all impossibly slender, well coiffed, well manicured, and well dressed. It takes some pretty extreme graciousness to make up for that.

I stayed around after dinner to head upstairs to the tequila bar part, but I knew the last train for Daejeon would leave at 11:30, so I skipped out on the tequila in favor of a bit of celebratory champagne, said my thank-yous and goodbyes, and made it to Seoul Station with 15 minutes to spare. I got home around 1, slipped into bed, and went to sleep thinking about how incredibly, incredibly lucky I was that Smith College and I found each other.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gaining a Pound Cake

Dear Martha Stewart.
Sincerely,
Dara

PS: I added a tablespoon of lime juice. A+.
PPS: I baked mini-cakes in cans, which will be going into Christmas treat boxes for various Korea people. High. Five.

Cakes and Ale

In and out of my oven today (no school! yay!):
1. Almond biscotti (new recipe - this one uses buttah)
2. Chocolate Chocolate chip biscotti
3. Lemon vanilla pound cake in a loaf pan
4. Lemon vanilla pound cake in a can
Plus, onion, mushroom, spinach, and smoked mozzarella omelet for breakfast, 두부 김치 for lunch, and basil eggplant chicken for dinner. What is basil eggplant chicken? I have no idea. But I have those things in the fridge, so -- why not, right?

Other cookies to be made this weekend - mini chocolate chip, chocolate-dipped almond shortbread.
Anyone know where I can find cornstarch in Daejeon?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pizzaghetti, Chili Cheeseghetti

23 is going pretty well, so far. For dinner tonight, I unleashed my inner 5-year-old on the kitchen, and JJ and I made pizzaghetti (leftover homemade pizza dough topped with spaghetti, sauce, and cheese)



and chili cheezghetti (pizza topped with leftover chili, cheddar, mozzarella).




And applesauce.

Clearly, my inner 5-year-old doesn't give a fig if I get hugely obese. She's just here for a good time.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Appsimmon? Persinnamapple? Appersinnamon?

What do you get when you combine fresh apples, persimmons, and cinnamon?

Whatever you call it, it's delicious. I hope there's enough left for when I want to put it on latkes tomorrow! I wanted to make them today, but I forgot to get a potato grater at the store, and I didn't really want to go all the way back to get it. But tomorrow's another day, and I'll give it a whirl then!

Ingredients:
-4 apples (sweet, not tart)
-3 persimmons (hard and ripe)
- 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 generous tsp pumpkin pie spice (or more cinnamon + a dash of ginger)
-1/4 cup orange juice (or water + 2 tsbp lime or lemon juice)

Directions:
1. Peel, core, and chop the apples and persimmons.
2. Put everything together in a deep pot. Bring it to a boil, then cover and reduce heat
3. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes, more if you'd like.
4. Drain off excess water and reserve it. Smash a few fruit pieces in the pot to make sure it's thoroughly cooked.
5. With a hand mixer or immersion blender, blend until smooth.

6. Optional: I started early and had extra time to cook, so I just added the sweet fruit-y water back into the sauce and let it boil down. 'Cause why not?

Serve with 고구마 latkes. At least, that's the plan...

The United States of Miami

Survey Question: Name an American state.

Results so far:

Washington (13), Texas (11), California (6), Hawaii (4), Ohio (4), Illinoi (sic) (3), Florida (3), Miami (2), Connecticut (1), Mississippi (1), Alabama (1)

OK, Illinois sans 's' and Miami-is-a-state aside -- who knew Ohio was so famous?
Is this a side effect of "Glee"?

Survey Question: Name a famous artist (past or present)

Class 1-3's first 5 answers:
1. Leonardo DaVinci
2. Beyonce
3. 스위트 박스 ("Sweet Box")
4. Picasso
5. Michael Jackson

Guess I should have been more specific.

Name the university with the smartest students:
Harvard (22), SNU (11), MIT (5), KAIST (3), Caltech (3), SuncheonHyang (순천향), (3) 나사렛 "Nazarene University" (3)

Ouch, Yale, Oxford, and the Sorbonne. Looks like you've got some work to do on global outreach...

Name the foreign city you would least like to live in:
1. Pyongyang/ NK (10)
2. Sahara Desert/Africa (4)
3. London, England (4)
4. NYC, USA (4)
5. Sydney, Australia (3)

Number 6 was a three-way tie for L.A., Geneva, and Somalia. WTF?

Guinea of Ecuador

Me: Name a country in Africa.
Student: Guinea of Ecuador.
Me: Sorry, what?
Student: Guinea of Ecuador.
Me: (pause, try to remember map of africa. Fail to remember "guinea of ecuador". Go to computer. Slyly google image a map while students are busy) Ahem, Equatorial Guinea?
Student: Yes, Guinea of Ecuador.

I had no clue my students had any knowledge of any country that didn't play in the world cup.
Also, does this mean I fail high school social studies?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hanukkah!

It's Hanukkah! And another big thanks to the extremely friendly Seoul Chabad rabbi. I sent him an email a few weeks ago asking if he knew where I could find a menorah, and he responded by mailing me not only the menorah I asked about but also candles, chocolate gelt, and a piece of Israeli Bazooka gum (Okay, full disclosure; I'm not sure it's Bazooka, because the label is in Hebrew, but I sort of remember what a B and an A look like in Hebrew from that one Hebrew lesson I took at the Oxford Chabad? I swear I tried to learn, but they ended up canceling the class when I was the only person who showed up). Suuuper nice. So now I've got the menorah and box of 44 candles (with a picture of a VERY happy-looking father and son with matching yarmulkes lighting candles) sitting on my window sill.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chili Today, Hot Tamale

Home Plus has sharp cheddar again! Peppers, onions, a few cans of beans, tomatoes, spices, and lime juice later, and we've got vegetarian chili.

I also bought a new pyrex baking dish-- I'd been baking stuff in the roasting pan, but it's really way too big for two people, so I picked up a more reasonably-sized one. I made dessert in it tonight, and it makes an appearance in the chili picture.

With that goes Mexican rice (err...rice with turkey stock, crushed tomatoes, cumin, lime, and taco seasoning in it?), and -- because why not? -- pineapple upside-down cake.

mmmmm chili. Simmered for a couple hours on the stove, then baked with cheese.

Followed by...


Pineapple upside-down cake ftw!

(All photos JJ)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dinner Tonight

Tom Ka Gai. Homeboy's a little under the weather, and as far as I'm concerned there's nothing better than chicken soup in the winter. Doctor Mom told me that adding coconut and cayenne makes it the ultimate throat saver, so I thought I'd try Thai.

As usual, I accidentally made enough to feed a small army, but that's why God invented tupperware. I'd post pics, but I didn't take any -- it tasted a lot better than it looked :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chocolate chip cookies.

I made too many, lucky for the pregnant office assistant who sits next to me...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Birthday Package

Dear Parents,
My birthday package has arrived! It came in plenty of time, and arrived safely at my apartment. Now my only problem will be trying to convince myself not to open it until my birthday, because I know it will be an extra-special treat then! Thank you so much for sending it. It's really nice to have a little bit of home, as I am so looking forward to coming home in a little less than a month.
Love,
Dara
Way to be an hour late, Dean.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Still at school, since Dean came to ask me for help editing his personal statement and asked me to teach him how to speak in complete sentences.

Now, the personal statement thing I can dig. It's 3 short paragraphs, and it was easy as the chocolate cinnamon custard pie I made a few days ago. He's not a bad writer. But teaching a kid who's studied English for a decade how to suddenly start speaking in confident complete sentences? Tall order.

Now, I have the rest of the week off. I don't have to go to school at all, Tuesday-Friday. But his KAIST interview is Friday. So I'm going to come into school to work with him on Wednesday, from 12-2. He promised to have his self-introduction memorized by then (I told him it's OK if it isn't perfect), so we'll work on that and on speaking in complete sentences.

At first, I felt like I was making a sacrifice. I have a whole week off, and I could take off and go anywhere. I had vague plans to go back up to Seoul to meet with some of the Smith alumnae I just met. But this isn't a sacrifice, or something outside what I signed up for-- it's a prime example of what my job is and should be. My school and students really ask very little of me, and if I can help this kid pass his interview into a top school, then I'm cool with that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mexican Night at Casa Del Dara

Tonight's Menu:

-Salad

-Mexican Chicken (a highly authentic Mexican dish, involving a chicken from the Korean grocery store, rubbed down with the Old El Paso taco seasoning I bought back in Connecticut)

-Fresh home-made Tortillas

-Mexican Rice

Happy 500 Days, Korea!

Korean couples celebrate their anniversaries a little differently, counting milestones of 100 and 200 days rather than months.

My lovely fellow ETA, Sarabeth, just pointed out that all of us who came to Korea together on July 5, 2009 have now been in Korea for 500 days!

Now, obviously I've come home a couple of times, and traveled to Indonesia, the Philippines, and some sort of mysterious place I heard the locals call "Wisconsin." So I haven't been here for 500 days. But just as you celebrate your other anniversaries without docking for days spent apart, I'll count today as my 500 day anniversary with Korea. Happy anniversary, Korea! Here's to the best open relationship ever.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dear Parents,
Thanks for the early birthday present!
Love
the baby

Presidential Elections

Congratulations to Alexander, who won the election for Class President of class 1-1!

Laws passed by 1-1 are:
1. Extend maternity leave for 1 year
2. Reduce time in army from 2 years to 1 year.

We ran out of time, so we will hear bills proposed by the Communist party next week!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dinner Last Night

I've volunteered to coordinate the food part of Thanksgiving for the renewing/extending ETAs. It'll probably be quite a few people, certainly more people than I've ever cooked for before. On Thursday I came up with a potential menu, and last night, I did a rehearsal for three (of five total) Thanksgiving side dishes.

1. Candied Pecan, Naju Pear, and Cranberry salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
2. Baked 4-cheese Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
2. Swiss Chard sauteed with Bacon and Apples

(Serving suggestion: beer and Peppero)

It took me about 1.5 hours altogether.
Ingredients = ~ 50,000 all together, including stuff we didn't finish (extra apples, dried cranberries, TONS of leftover m&c, and a few other things)
Amount = I ended up making enough mac & cheese for at least 12 reasonable people, swiss chard for 3 probably, and salad for 4. Of course, we're highly unreasonable people around Western food, so we killed the chard and salad and got through almost all of one of the three mac & cheese trays I baked.

Pictures to follow.

Oh, and if anyone in Daejeon wants mac & cheese, come on over -- I physically cannot eat this myself.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

GRE Studying

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?

-"Toads," Philip Larkin

Friday, October 29, 2010

Two weeks before I'm registered to take the GRE Subject test in English Literature, I finally took a timed practice test.

And y'know what? I did pretty okay. I haven't really been studying so much as I've been watching "Supernatural" while making approximately 2 flashcards per hour, so I gotta say, it feels pretty good.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So it turns out that there's a big entrance exam for POSTECH today and tomorrow, and lots of other Big Important Tests in the coming week. So I decided to let my kids choose whether they want to self-study or watch a movie in the second half of class. So far, one class chose movie and one class chose self-study.

I've just finished making the rounds ("do you have any English questions?") in the self-study class. I left the room for a minute to go get the worksheets I graded (or more accurately, "corrected") from last week. Upon my return, I find that the numbers are as follows:

11 students are asleep
(3 are at least making an effort to hide it -- holding a book upright, or shielding their closed eyes behind a hand. The rest are just plain passed out at their desks. One seriously even has a pillow).
4 students are legit studying
1 student is reading a book that is clearly unrelated to her work.
1 student is assembling and disassembling a mechanical pencil over and over

And, okay, so here's the thing. They're clearly exhausted. I don't have a real lesson for them. And honestly, whether or not they learn about American Halloween traditions is probably not going to have much effect on their lives.

So...is it cool if I just let them stay passed out until the lunch bell rings in 15 minutes?

Halloween Lessons, 2nd grade

Dear Second Grade,

Back when you were very sweet first graders, we watched "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" for Halloween. Most of you really liked it, told me you'd like to watch more, and participated fully in discussions, written responses, and games that went with it.
Now that you're sullen second-semester second graders, now that you seem to hate every English lesson from grammar to music videos because you're just flat-out done with high school, I'm giving up for the Halloween lesson. We're watching "Addams Family Values" with English subtitles.

You would have loved this a year ago. But you'll probably hate it. You'll say it's too old, too boring, too something.

Guess what? Too bad. It's not me, it's you. And I, for one, would like to see "Addams Family Values." Because today is Wednesday, and there is nothing that can make me as happy as a fat baby with a mustache.

Sincerely,
The Management

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Lessons


We interrupt your regularly scheduled lessons to bring you a lesson that involves "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".



Oh, no need to applaud. You're welcome.

-The Management

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eggplant Parmesperiment

Can you make eggplant parmesan with neither packaged breadcrumbs, nor a food processor to crush crusty Italian bread, nor the patience or immensely strong hands and patience of an Italian grandmother? Can you do it in Korea?


Success!


1. Slice, salt, and let weep the eggplant ("Let Weep the Eggplant"...sounds like it'd be a great Southern gothic short story).
2. Crush into fine crumbs a container of Korean Ritz cracker knockoffs and a couple pieces of the fresh garlic bread your boyfriend just made. (If you lack a mortar and pestle or other classy way to do this, feel free to use the "smoosh ziplocked crackers with heavy jam jar" method. It's a fave).
3. Rinse off eggplant slices. Dip each slice into beaten egg, then into breadcrumbs. Coat well and fry until golden.
4. Bake at 170C with a small dollop of sauce and a bit of mozzarella on each slice. Take it out when the cheese is nice and melty. Serve with pasta and salad.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pie


Yield: 2 small pies

Supplies
:

Crust:
-1 box coconut butter cookies, crushed
- ~2/3 chocolate digets (or all that remain after boyfriend has snack), crushed
- 1/2 stick butter, melted

Filling:
- 1 호박 (pumpkin/indeterminate squash), yielding ~2-3 cups flesh
- 1/2c sugar + honey (I held the bottle and squeezed hard for about 5 seconds) or 3/4 cup sugar
- 10oz milk + 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream (I didn't have regular milk on hand, but I did have chocolate milk leftover from making custard. Whatever, it was fine)
-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp each pie spices (whatever combo you have of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, fresh or powdered ginger, 2 tsp vanilla)
-4 eggs
- 1 tsp salt

photo credits to JJ, obvi

Directions:
0. Make a graham cracker crust. Don't pre-bake it.
1. Quarter the 호박/pumpkin. Put the pieces in a big bowl with a couple inches of water and nuke it for 5 minutes
2. Switch the position of the pieces around in the bowl. Nuke for another 5 minutes.
3. Soft yet? If so, scoop out the insides (careful: hot!) and roughly mash 'em with a fork. Then add in the sugar and set the hand mixer on that sonofagun.
4. In a big bowl, combine the rest of the filling ingredients. When the pumpkin has cooled enough that it won't scramble the eggs, add that in too. Hand mixer again, until it's smooth.
5. Pour the filling into the crust. Bake at 375F/175C for, like 50ish minutes.
6. Let cool, and serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or lightly broiled meringue.

Ugh. Wednesday

Lesson: song + interview prep
Song/Video of the Day: Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are"
Lunch: Omurice (with beef crumbles in the rice. no thanks)

Ugh. Wednesday.


I was really looking forward to lunch with the third graders today, for two reasons:
1. I had a shitty couple of lessons in the morning. A table mutinied in the second class of the day, and basically issued a collective statement that they shouldn't have to do anything in my class because they don't have English interviews for their university applications. When I kept the rudest of the lot for 2 minutes after class to chat about why she was floating around the room distracting other students instead of working, she just yelled I WANT TO GO TO LUNCH at me. I asked her to write me a short letter apologizing for her rudeness during class and assuring me that it wouldn't happen. Her response to this was to yell I HAVE NO TIME, sigh dramatically, and wince as she marker-and-scrap papered a note saying "Teacher, Sorry. I will study next class. -Emily." But not before telling me that she would have preferred to "do self-study" during class time, because she has an important class. My questions about why she didn't tell me about this and ask for some self-study time went unanswered.

Now, I realize that they're stressed. But I wasn't asking much of them -- for the first hour, we watched and discussed a music video. In the second hour, they made a timeline of their accomplishments during high school and mapped out how those things connected to their university and dream job.

2. I baked pumpkin pie last night for them. Like, from scratch. And okay, graham cracker crust, but -- I started with a pumpkin! So now what am I supposed to do with this freakin' pie?


HOWEVER. I was informed that my former coteacher has taken them out to lunch today. Bully for them, superlame for me. None of the English teachers were there, so I just sat at lunch at the teacher's table (btw beefy rice? lunchfail) as the group of aforementioned mutinous second grader's friends glared daggers at me, The Mean and Horrible Teacher. What happens to these creatures? How do they go from being sweet and enthusiastic and fun first graders to being such a pain in my ass?

Ugh. Wednesday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chocolate Meringue Tartlets

Individually baked chocolate meringue tartlets.

My apologies for the lame pictures. I'm good at baking, but I suck at taking pictures -- so the super-appetizing "I WANT THAT" pictures will have to wait until my favorite food photographer comes over around dinnertime.

Recipe, review, nutrition info, and more photos after the jump...

Chocolate Cream Pie & Flashcards

On the docket for today:

1. Running across the street for bread
2. Breakfast - egg white omelette and toast slathered in jam
3. Making GRE lit flashcards about a whole bunch of female authors (and maybe reading another chapter of Gilbert & Gubar)
4. Making chocolate cream pie.

I bought the closest thing Korea has to graham crackers, so I don't have to worry about crafting a flaky crust without shortening/lard.
But here's my question: chocolate cream pie topped with meringue is significantly healthier for you than topped with whipped cream. But how long will that meringue layer stay yummy and not devolve back into egg white mess?

Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome to Yalevard

In today's lesson, my kids role-played that they were in one of 5 companies working to help high school students get admitted to the top 2 (fictional) universities in Korea: Yalevard, in Seoul, and the Daejeon Institute of Science and Technology (D.I.S.T.). I gave them a paragraph-long thing to read, purporting to be an excerpt of the university's website, and a short resume for Student A and Student B. They had to advise the student on strategies for choosing which university to apply to (and why) and for how to get into their top choice.

My favorite answer so far today was
Question #1: "What other information do you want from these universities?"

Answer: I want to know sexual rate about these university.

Now, it turned out that he was interested in the ratio of men: women at DIST, as technical universities' student bodies often suffer from an extreme imbalance in favor of men. But still. High five.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Comparisons & Compliments Day 4: Kid Tested, Deputy Assistant Secretary Approved

Here is a sampling of some students' work, created and presented last Friday during my (very) observed class.



















Naju Pears:

Naju pears' size is like the full moon--
They are very big.
Naju pears taste like lemonade
Naju pears are as hard as Charlie's head.






















Obama

Obama's power is like a volcano--
They are strong and wide.
Obama smiles like a diamond
Obama is as important as the air.


















Starcraft II

Starcraft II is like an Orchestra.
They are super massive, harmonic
It's units fights like fire
The battle scene of it is as real as a reality.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Things I Did Today (in no particular order)

1. Bought a big Tupperware box, tape, and paper so I could mail cookies to the KAEC staff
2. Mailed those bad boys
3. Brought extra cookies to the super-nice real estate agent downstairs who helped me get this apartment
4. Updated English class blog, CSHSEnglishBlog.blogspot.com
5. Typed up LP for Friday observed class, as well as LPs for the rest of the unit.
6. Bought bread at Paris Baguette and had toast and eggs
7. Bought grapes, a string cheese, and a Pepsi Nex (along with popcorn and a bunch of leftover cookie fractions, it is the lunch of champions)
8. Looked at a very few flashcards
9. Did lots and lots (and lots) of laundry


...I feel super underaccomplished and inefficient. It's 7:40, and those 9 things should definitely not have taken an entire day!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall 2010 Midterms

My kids have midterms this week. My poor second graders have to worry about their university applications at the same time as they worry about their grades -- if they don't make it into college this year, their midterm and finals scores will matter, so they're in a bit of a stressful logical puzzle.
On the other hand, since I don't teach when they have midterms, things are looking up for me.



My plan is to study, try to see some Daejeonites, get my foreigner ID taken care of (now that we can FINALLY get one! It's been really tough without it, you need one for everything from opening a bank account to buying concert tickets online), and relax. With the second graders being ...the second graders, this is gonna be a long semester. It's really, really nice to have so much time off right in the middle!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Compliments & Comparisons, Day 3

Compliments and Similes

Here are some examples of the "compliments" that came out of the simile compliments lesson. I wish I'd collected everyone's, but I only thought of doing it after the first class went. They're pretty awesome.
From class 2-1:


"His brain shines like a star."

"Your body is as thin as paper."

"Your eyes are as black as seaweed."

"Your lips are red like a red-bellied frog."

"Olivia smiles like Mona Lisa."

"Jessica's head is as small as a bird."

"Olivia is as smart as a bear."

"Who's existence is as amazing as Luke?"

"Hosung's motion is as cuty as little pet."

"Sewoon's emotions are as deep as the black hole."

"His wisdom is as wise as sage."

"He's humanity is as good as saint."

"Laura smiles like a halloween character (pumpkin)."

"Your lips are as thick as Jolie's."


And Class 2-2:

"Charlie's brain is as smart as a computer"

"Charlie's brain flows like a river."

"Dean looks like a lion."

"Ethan's eye is as big as a frog's."

"Dong Won is as tall as a tree."

Wednesday.

It's Wednesday.
It's 8:24am, I haven't started my first class, and I'm already exhausted.

BUT when I go home today, I will return home to a be-couched apartment! That's right, my big jolly green couch arrived yesterday, thanks to JJ's kindly volunteering to meet the delivery guy 'cause I get out of school superlate. So now I have accomplished ALMOST all of the Apartment Things that I set out to do -- clean it, put American food in it, buy it an oven, a couch, and a big fat TV. It feels like a real apartment now! Which is good, since I'll be living in it until the end of next July.

OK, time to green tea my way into being a tolerable human being in front of my students. Believe you me, though, this is one of those days where I'm counting down the hours till I can go home and pass out.

Monday, September 27, 2010

"No Air" by Jordin Sparks featuring Chris Brown (Cross-Posted from teaching blog)



Today, first grade students watched the video for "No Air," a duet between Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown.

"No Air" uses metaphors and similes to talk about how difficult it is to be apart from someone you love.
Definitions:

A metaphor is a way of describing something by comparing it with something else that has some of the same qualities.

  • Example: He is so tall! He's a giant.

A simile is a phrase that compares two things, using the words "like" or "as."

  • Example: The test room was as silent as a graveyard.
You can watch the video for "No Air" again on Youtube here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lesson Plans for This Week

Monday:
Time: 50 minutes
Prep: low (print worksheets and load youtube video)
Tech: high (computer hooked up to TV/projector)
Song: "No Air" by Jordin Sparks, featuring Chris Brown
Video link: here
Handouts: lyric worksheet, attached, with a reverse side on metaphors and similes (don't stress, it's super-simple)

1. Greetings and check-in. Question of the day: what did you do during Chuseok vacation?
2. Introduce the song. This didn't take long, as apparently Chris Brown is famous, and my kids know who Jordin Sparks is because we did "One Step at a Time."
3. Play the video once. Ask them for general thoughts on it (happy or sad, genre of song, etc).
4. Pass out the worksheet and play it again. And a third time. And a fourth time. It's a tough song! Check in with them after each one -- my classes on average had about 30% filled in the first time, maybe 60% the second time, and 80% the last. Yep, Chris Brown needs elocution lessons like whoa. :roll:
5. Correct answers with the class. If there are any answers that zero students got (apparently #5 is the stickiest of them), then replay that clip of the song until someone gets it. Tell them to bring their worksheet to the next class.


Tuesday:
Time: 50 minutes
Prep: low (print compliments worksheet)
Tech: high (re-play "No Air" vid)
Handouts: "compliments with similes," attached
Objectives: Ss will understand the difference between "literal" and "metaphorical," will learn the phrase patterns "[subject] is as [adj] as (n.d.) [noun]" and "[subject] [verb] like (n.d.) [noun]." Ss will also learn some cultural differences between Korea and America in giving and receiving compliments.

1. Review the song from yesterday. Play the video again and have them sing along with the chorus.
2. Remind them that this song compares the feeling of a break-up with the feeling of having "no air." This song has many comparisons. It has two types of comparisons: metaphors and similes.
3. Have them turn over their "No Air" worksheet to the back. On it is an explanation of metaphors and similes and 10 examples that they have to categorize as a metaphor or simile. It's simple stuff, the vast majority of students seemed to get 8+ right.
4. Correct the metaphor/simile worksheet
5. Pass out the "Compliments with similes" worksheet. Instruct them to use the sheet to make compliments (in my class they complimented the 3 other students at their table and 1 celebrity). Give them 10 minutes to do this. Walk around and help. Tell students who finish early to turn their page over and look at the "How To Take a Compliment" do's and don'ts.
6. Briefly go through the do's and don'ts
7. Have students read compliments to each other and practice accepting them graciously.

Variation: You might be able to do the Tuesday lesson as a stand-alone. If so, I'd suggest filling the time left by the review of the song by having them to "good" and "bad" examples of how to take a compliment. Comedy will no doubt ensue.
Bonus: I skimmed through this before I talked to them about cultural differences with compliments. It's pretty general, but also interesting.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pictures of the first meal and the first dessert with the new oven. JJ roasted a chicken and vegetables (DELICIOUS) and I made garlic bread and chocolate chip peanut butter cookies.

Yesterday I made chocolate cream puffs. It's the first time I ever tried to make a legit custard (for the filling), and it came out great. I now have tupperware filled with chocolate pudding in the fridge. MMmmmm.

Today I'm making banana bread. One big one in a loaf pan and one small round in the rice cooker. Necessity is the mother of invention, and thanks to the months living here before I got the oven, I discovered that I actually really like rice cooker banana bread :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Chuseok!

Happy Chuseok 2010!


Thanks to Chuseok falling on a Wednesday this year, Koreans get to enjoy almost a full week off. I plan to spend mine studying, baking, and taking full advantage of everything that my apartment has to offer. Yep, that's the downside -- everything is closed. From the smallest restaurant to the pharmacy outside the hospital, Korea shuts down for Chuseok.

On Friday, I'm headed up to Seoul to see Susan and Ben, ex-ETAs who are doing supercool stuff in the big city. Can't wait :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Monday: "Just the Way You Are" and Compliments (Cross-Posted from school blog)

Today, first grade students talked about compliments.
We listened to Bruno Mars' song "Just the Way You Are." In this song, Bruno gives his girlfriend compliments. He thinks she is beautiful, smart, and has a sexy laugh. But she is not confident, and she rejects his compliments. He is disappointed because she does not accept his compliments.

Korean people and American people use compliments differently.

In Korean culture, it is very common to reject a compliment, like this:
Girl 1: You look pretty with your hair up like that.
Girl 2: No, I don't. I look like an old woman.

But in American culture, it is less common. Americans use compliments

Instead, Americans often return a compliment, like this:
Girl 1: You look pretty with your hair up like that.
Girl 2: Thanks. Your hair looks great, too.

Americans also often respond by adding information to help continue the conversation, like this:
Girl 1: You look pretty with your hair up like that.
Girl 2: Thanks. I got it cut at a new place near my apartment. They're great - would you like to come with me next time?
Americans often use compliments to begin conversation or build friendship.

To learn more about comparing Korean and American compliment styles, look at the article outside the English classroom. It reviews scientific studies on Korean and American compliments.

To watch Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" video again, click here.

Monday? More like FUN-day!

Okay, okay, the title may be a smidge misleading. It isn't that this Monday is inherently exceptionally awesome -- in fact, it's cloudy, unbelievably humid, and all around pretty gross outside -- but instead, this is the only day that I'm working this week! Huzzah and three cheers for Chuseok, "Korean Thanksgiving"!

Everyone seems to be in a good mood today. It's not a half day or anything, but everyone's got the rest of the week off, and teachers in Korea get very, very few days off. So pretty much everyone is happy and life at CSHS is good!

Some examples:

-My principal left a box of "traditional Korean mountain wine" on my chair this morning. Pretty neat.
-I brought in 3 rounds of banana bread -- one for the principal, one for the teacher's office, and one for Mr. Moon, the saint of a computer teacher who drives me to school every day. One of the teachers asked me for the recipe! a DUDE teacher. Awesome.
-My package from home finally came today! After problems with customs and FedEx and whatnot, it's taken about 3 weeks to get here. Now I have some little gifties from the parents, a much-needed pair of black flats, and several even-more-needed study books for the GRE Lit test.
-My oven is coming at 5pm today :)
-After lots and lots of miscommunication, my cheap-o futon-y couch has been re-ordered, and will hopefully arrive within 3 weeks. yay!

Today's Lesson:
"Just the Way You Are" by Bruno Mars, and a few discussion questions on gracious ways to accept compliments.

Lunch: japchae (clear sweet potato-based noodles), pajeon (scallion pancake), rice (obvi), spring onion & cucumber kimchi, ddeok (sweet rice cake, in this case with yummy spiced sesame filling)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 14 Lesson

Lesson of the Day: Speed quiz.
Video of the Day: N/A
Lunch: Dixie cup of 5-flavor tea, a hunk of whole pan fried fish, rice with beans in it, radish kimchi (pass), bibimguksu (like...sweet veggie & kimchi angel hair? sort of...)


Lesson:
1. Students continue writing reviews. I feel bad about this, because we were all so over doing that work, but they didn't finish writing in the last class I didn't want to have them start something and end up not having them finish, me never look at their stuff, and for them to feel like their work from last class was worthless.

2. Remind them to edit their reviews, with special attention, as always, to
i. articles
ii. subject-verb agreement
iii. tense (past, present, future)

3. Pass back their corrected pop quizzes, review things that many people got wrong (ex: they had to define "rebel" and I got answers like "someone who can't work well" "someone who is a bad person" "a person who fight against bad things." And always a few kids who confused a rebel (n) with to rebel (v). Probably 60%+ got it right (I defined it as "a person who acts against authority or does not obey rules"), so I feel bad they have to sit through the review, but I try not to dwell.

4. Tell them they're great, and play speed quiz.



Speed Quiz is an oldie but a goodie -- I somehow managed to hold out for all of last semester without using it for the first graders. I wish I had the creativity to save it for midterms or finals season, but I just don't. I needed to fill 35 minutes, and it works great for that. I used a new version that JJ made this time, which took out the outdated Korean pop culture/political figures that kids don't know (pop culture time runs at approximately 2x the speed I'm accustomed to in America, so high school freshmen have no clue about stars that were popular in, say, 2006)

Unintentional Poetry

Rebellion
A found poem gathered from 1-3's pop quizzes

It seems that he is a rebel
He always seems unsatisfied.
She is rebel but she is kindness
Flash forward stop the accident!
To prepare future that is not good.
I'm not a rebel, because I just require a right farely.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lesson Plans before Chuseok Break: 4
Lesson Plans before Conference/midterms break: 7
Weeks until GRE English Lit Test: 8

Today's Lesson

Lesson:

1. Greetings and chitchat

2. Pop Quiz on the idioms/vocab from last week ("to wait tables" "rebel" the noun, "to brace oneself," "flashback" & "flash forward")

3. Reading excerpts of reviews of Taylor Swift's "Mine," and writing their own reviews that include an opinion about whether they agree/disagree with a review and why.

Package Arrived

Today I finally got my hands on one of the two packages my parents sent. This one has two study books for me: The Great Code: The Bible and Literature by Northrop Frye, and Gilbert & Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic, that wonderful, seminal (ovarian?) book often touted as the first major work of modern feminist literary criticism. I've read essays and excerpts, but never got around to the whole thing. And now I can!

Now, if only I can get my second package released from Customs....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Music Monday: Taylor Swift "Mine" (Cross-Posted from my School Blog)

This week, students listened to Taylor Swift's new song, "Mine."
In it, Taylor Swift imagines what her life will be like in the future. She imagines that she is happily married with children and looking at the past. She imagines that when life is difficult, they will sit together and remember the happy history of their love together.

Here is a picture from the video, of Taylor Swift's imagined husband and son:



After listening to the song and discussing the video, we talked about some new vocabulary and idioms from the song.
To wait tables (v): to serve food/drinks, to act as a waiter
Rebel (n): a person who acts against authority or does not obey rules
To brace yourself (v): to prepare yourself for something difficult or bad
Flashback (n): A fast, clear memory
Then, students wrote and performed dialogues using at least 2 of the 3 new vocabulary words from the song. They were very funny!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Busan

Busan today and yesterday.
Got an early start on Saturday, and KTXed in by 11. Then we met Keeran and David and went to a bookstore -- really more of a bookstore/bodega hybrid -- and I happily picked up a beat-up 4th edition two-volume Norton Anthology of English Literature. Gotta have that bad boy for the GRE business.

Then on to the beach! It was really nice to get some time at the beach, though it was mega-crowded and the water was pretty gross in a lot of places, trash swirling around the shore. But still -- beach!

We went back to the beach at night after dinner, for some twilight drinkin' and snackin' on the water. Semi-classy, you know how we roll.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kimchi Fried Rice


Lunch today:

Stuff In There:

1+ cups leftover kimchi
~ 3.5 cups of 2-day-old rice (the rice cooker magically keeps it tasty)
Maybe a cup of 2 kinds of mushrooms
Half a can of tuna
Half a zucchini, diced small
An onion, diced small
Salt
Pepper
Gochujang (Korean pepper sauce)
Fried Egg


Conclusions: DELICIOUS

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesdays. Ho hum.

Wednesday. Ugh.

On the way out the door this morning, I squinched my pinkie between two parts of the keypad lock. I swear the first thing I thought was "yep. It's Wednesday all right."
Well, actually the first thing I thought was "AAAUUGHHH!!!" but that was the first thing I thought after that.

I got to school, and sho' nuff - my dependence on ETAB is starting to leak through
First class of the day is still allergic to fun, despite the fact that a few of my favorite students from last year are in that class. They just can't seem to stay awake, or get into the spirit of the thing. It's a room of second semester senior party poopers. I'm pretty sure one of the kids in the back was just doodling penises with mustaches for the entire 50 minutes.

But things are looking up -- my second class was creative and fun. Lunch with the third graders was a good time, as always (though I forgot about buying/making them a treat until just before lunch. Fortunately, I had an emergency chocolate stash at my desk, so I gave them 3 bars to split between the 6 of them). And the toughest part of the Wednesday marathon really only lasts till lunch, after which I get an hour-long break to regroup before my last 2-hour class of the day, so ...breathe. It'll all be over soon -- soon it'll be Thursday!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is not a Korean dish. You'd think it would be, 'cause, rice! But no. My guess is that they just eat so much rice, with every meal, that even though there's sometimes rice leftover, they just eat it for the next meal anyway. And after a rice-rich meal, you really don't crave rice pudding.

But I was feeling a little less Korean than that. So when I got home last night and remembered that I had about a cup of rice sitting in my fancy shmancy rice cooker, leftover from kimchijiggae, I knew exactly what I wanted to do about it.

Chocolate Rice Pudding

-1 cup cooked rice
-1.5 cups chocolate milk (plus extra)
- 2-3 tbsp sugar
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3 cup raisins

Instructions:
1. Boil chocolate milk and rice together in a medium saucepan.
2. After it boils, reduce to a simmer. Add all other ingredients, and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
3. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dinner's in 15 minutes...


Breaking News: My First Foray into Korean Cooking! Kimchi Jiggae tonight.

I saw a farmer's market near Seodaejeonneggeori, on the way back to my apartment. We stopped for kimchi jeon (like...latkes? sort of, anyway) and makkeoli (opaque, sweet rice wine) for a late lunch.

The man at the stand gave us some extra vegetable and pork pancakes. So lunch, including more booze than we could drink at 4pm, was a grand total of 4,000 won.

Then I saw women selling kimchi, fresh veggies, spices, fresh tofu, and tons of other goodies, and got inspired.

So tonight - kimchi jiggae, with only one concession to my irrepressible desire to mess with recipes: Chipotle rather than Korean chili powder. Also, Koreans usually have onions and green onions/scallions in the mix, but I didn't have any on hand. I threw in celery seed to compensate. I have no idea if that is reasonable, but the resulting stew smells SUPER delicious.

I think the general rule for kimchi jiggae is that you guesstimate stuff, since it's a dish where you use up leftover kimchi that's en route to being too sour (hence the brown rice vinegar if you're using fresh kimchi, as it should have a bit of a sauerkraut thing going on). So I didn't measure much, but here's the rough idea --

Recipe

* 3 cloves garlic, smashed
* ~1 tbsp minced/grated ginger
* 2 tsp chili or chipotle pepper powder
* 1 can tuna packed in oil (there's a brand here that says right on it, in English, "for Kimchi Jiggae"!)
* 1 tbsp sesame oil
* 2 cups kimchi, cut roughly into 2-3" pieces
* 2-3 tbsp of kimchi juice
* 1 tbsp sugar
* ~ 1/2 tsp Black pepper
* Salt to taste
* 3 cups water, plus extra
* 1 small bunch enoki mushrooms (aka 팽이버섯 -- I call 'em "noodle mushrooms")
* Optional: 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar (if you're using fresh kimchi)
* Optional: 1 tbsp celery seed (totally not authentic, but it tasted great)

Directions:
1. Pour tuna oil into pan on medium heat. Add sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chipotle, and pepper. Stir and cook for a minute or two.
2. Turn up to high/high medium. Add kimchi, kimchi juice, and 1/2 cup water. Cook without a top for between 5-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (NB: making rice? now's a good time to wash & soak)
3. Add tuna, water and sugar. It should cover the kimchi and a bit more. Cook for however long is convenient, 15 -45 minutes. If water boils off and doesn't cover the kimchi, add more.
5. About 5 minutes before you want to eat it, add the salt, mushrooms, and rice vinegar.
4. Serve with rice.


Bonus points to me for breaking in my new rice cooker, officially handed down to me by the lovely and talented Laura (ETA 2008-10).

Pictures and review soon...

Update:

Bigger version here.
It was awesome.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Second Graders - Back to the Grind

First day with second graders.

One marathon class down, two marathon classes to go.

Oh, and the computer doesn't work. So there goes my idea for the second half of class. BIG thanks to Sarabeth -- I'm poaching her lesson on talent bingo and adding it into a lesson on superlatives and the guinness book of world records.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Before He Cheats

Same same, but different.

Lesson of the Day
: Country music and "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood
Video of the Day: "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood

Lesson:
1. Greetings
2. Dictation (a 4-sentence biography of Carrie Underwood + 2 sentences about country music)
3. Music video
a) watch once
b) pass out lyrics and watch again
c) Each table translates one section (verse, chorus, or bridge) into simple English as a comprehension check
d) answer 4 questions about the song & video, watch again
4. Self-edit written answers, with special attention to articles (a, an, the) and subject-verb agreement
5. If there's time, students share answers.


What My Students Would Do Before He Cheats

Here are some sample answers from class today.

1. What is this song about?
Carrie's boyfriend was playing tramp so Carrie was angry

2. If you were in Carrie's situation, what would you do?

A: If I were Carrie, I go boyfriend and hit his face.
A: I'll hit him before he dead.

4. Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood are examples of successful country music singers. Would you like to hear more country music? What do you like/dislike about country music?

A: I like to hear more country music. Country music makes me feel American emotion.
A: I dislike country music Because That is not Korean music.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Impossible

Back in the saddle! This morning's commute went off without a hitch, with the computer teacher Mr. Moon waiting for me next to the World Cup Stadium stop in the morning. I timed everything and it's really not too bad -- I have to leave the apartment by 7:20 to take the 7:27 train to meet him on time.

Lesson of the Day
: "Impossible" by Shontelle
Video of the Day: "Impossible" by Shontelle

Lesson:
1. Greetings
2. Dictation (an edited paragraph-long biography of Shontelle, thank you Wikipedia)
3. Music video
a) watch once
b) pass out fill-in-the-blank lyric worksheet and watch again
c) answer 4 questions about the mood, visuals, storyline, etc, of the song, watch again
4. Self-edit written answers, with special attention to articles (a, an, the) and subject-verb agreement
5. If there's time, students share answers