Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Things Students Have Given Me Today

1. An orange
2. Two packets of plum tea powder
3. A bottle of lotus leaf iced tea
4. A single Crunky ball

Monday, April 25, 2011

Χριστός ανέστη!

So these two Jewish Fulbright fellows decide to throw an Easter brunch in Korea. It sounds like the beginning of a sub-par joke, but it's pretty much what happened today.

While Korean food is amazing, I (and lots of other Americans here) have always have trouble with Korean breakfast. Americans may have lots of food issues, but when if comes to breakfast, they know what's up. And in Korea, while I usually throw together a quick omelette or toast + jam, I secretly want pancakes. Lots and lots of pancakes.

So on this fine Easter Sunday, we invited the crew over for pancakes. Berry pancakes, chocolate pancakes, banana pancakes, ginger pancakes. Pancakes with jam. Pancakes with syrup. All the pancakes you could want, and then some. Rachael & Emilee brought juice, Sarah brought some gorgeous strawberries, JJ made banana bread -- the whole thing was wonderful and delicious.

The piece de resistance, however, was not at all pancake-related. JJ's parents kindly sent him some Easter candy (not a popular/available item in Korea, weirdly enough), and he organized what has got to be the world's funniest Easter hunt. Thanks to this Sunday's festivities, we can now answer the age-old question "how many Fulbright fellows does it take to find two handfuls of chocolates hidden in a studio apartment."

A Glee-ful ESL Lesson

Return of Glee! Man, episode 1x10 really works great for this lesson. The melodrama of that opening line -- "Quinn's pregnant and Puck's the father, but everybody thinks it's Finn" -- what a great hook. And Mr. Schuster & Rachel's duet on "Endless Love" is fantastic. You don't often get excellent and subtle physical comedy in teen-targeted TV.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Preparation is Key

i'm downloading free physics, chemistry, and earth science textbooks

so if I get sent back in time
i'll be ready.
- JJ, via gchat

Friday, April 15, 2011

Health-ified Cheesy Eggplant Parm and Ginger Peach Cake

  • Healthified Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan:

    1. Slice up 2 medium eggplants + 1 large zucchini. Dredge them in a couple egg whites and then seasoned breadcrumbs(or, um, cracker crumbs if you're me)
    2. Bake 'em for ~15 minutes/side at 375F
    3. Combine 1/3c milk + 2tbsp minced garlic + 3 tbsp flour in a saucepan. Bring up to medium heat, whisking constantly (...or cheating with an electric handmixer). Gradually add in another 3/4 cup milk and bring up the heat. Keep whisking, it'll thicken.
    4. Add 1 cup marinara sauce + 1-2 tbsp tomato paste + pinch of salt/pepper + a generous handful of spinach. Combine and mix until it's thick again. (Optional: add a wedge or two of Laughing Cow light cheese).
    5. Alternate layers of creamy tomato sauce, baked veggies, and part-skim mozzarella (I like the smoked kind) in a baking dish. End with mozzarella on top, and sprinkle a couple tablespoons of parmesan on top if you feel inclined.
    6. Bake @ 375F for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and delicious-looking.

    Serve with salad and whole wheat pasta. Yields 4 hungry teenage boy-size (or 6 normal) servings.

  • Ginger-Peach Upside-Down Cake:
  • 6 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp apricot or peach jam
  • 3 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 c brown sugar + 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, a few pods worth of cardamom
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup milk (or buttermilk -- I used 1 small yogurt drink and the rest skim milk)
  • Half a can of peaches in juice

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add eggs and vanilla
3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl
4. Alternate adding dry ingredients and milk.
5. Lay peach slices on the bottom of a greased baking dish. Cover with batter.
6. Bake for about 50 minutes at 350F/175C. Let cool for 15 minutes, then invert on a plate. Try not to eat it all at once.

Makes 8 generous servings...or you could give away a couple big slices and then finish the rest between two people like we did.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Magical Latin Spells by My Students

Today: Using Latin to make spells and stage Harry Potter-style wizards' duels.

1. Check in: "if you could invent a magic spell, what would it do?"
2. Latin magic in English-language media: clip from BtVS 4x17 "Don't speak Latin in front of the books" and wizard's duel scene from HP & the Chamber of Secrets movie.
3. Dialogs & duels: Ss make two "spells" using Latin & Greek roots and affixes, then write a short dialog and perform a dueling scene!
Par example:

Patrick vs. Richard:
R: Why are you always ignore me? I'll see I'm stronger than you, let's fight! Abspecto! You can't see anymore!
P: Oh no! My eyes. I can't see. Patersortir! I kidnapped your father. If you moved, I would kill him.
R: Caedere manus!
P: Oh my hands. But I have toes. Caesere Lingua! I win hahahaha.

This lesson was super awesome. And in two out of my three classes so far, it was a huge huge hit.
But for whatever reason, half of class 2-2 thought they would just take the day off. Every time I checked on them they acted annoyed, and they never did any work. Just checked out. There are few things more depressing than pouring energy into a black hole made entirely of too-cool-for-school 16-year-old boys. Trying to not let it get me down so I can bring some positive mojo to the last class of the day...