Student, teacher, raconteur, and Man About Town, I write about education, technology and Korea

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Now I Know Who 박재범* Is.

I don't always agree with the left leaning Hankyoreh, but it's editorial cartoon this morning is easy to identify with:

On the left, 2PM singer Park Jae Beom, who has suffered at the hands of netizens recently calling for his suicide after finding a few misguided comments about Korea on his Myspace page from 5 years ago, laments the fact that in Korea "Saying the wrong thing will get you in more trouble than disobeying the law."

In the background President Lee Myung Bak and his new cabinet members "disguise camouflage themselves after accusations that cabinet members (and indeed the president himself) have been bullshitting about their residences, which is against the law.

(I'm not sure what that's all about - something about housing / accomodation allowances available to cabinet members? I stand to be corrected on that one)


*Park Jae Beom



Waking up at the time you usually leave the house does not always guarantee you will get to work on time.

I'm just saying.


KOTESOL Conference

Pre-registration is open for what is shaping up to be an interesting KOTESOL international Conference. See here for general details and pre-registration.



Various: Thurs - Sun

Thursday I had my observation class. It seems a little redundant since there are only 6 weeks left in my contract, but with the possibility of returning to a position with Gangnam in March something of a necessity.

The lesson wasn't all that bad. However, being an observation I tried to cram as much in as possible meaning I covered too much swtuff way too quickly, practically destroying my already numb sixth grade subjects. Really it could have been split into 3 classes.

In addition way too much Teacher Talk Time - a constant bug bear for me. The observer said something like 90:10 in my favour which is a bit harsh (I would have said 80:20) but really when you have 15 mute 12 year olds sitting there watching them look blankly at me is going to score less points.

It's not a pass or fail thing and positives included a good classroom presence and classroom management. Obviously this was all reported back to my principal. Unfortunately the feedback that I got back from that meeting was that I was a very devoted teacher but there were issues with my methodology.


I would (and did) argue that this is very different from what was said to me and can only boil it down to retranslation.


Still, No one told me to collect all my shit on Friday so I assume I still have a job.

Friday was national curriculum day and was fairly useless in terms of educational outcomes, but some fun games got to be played, and that's pretty cool for a Friday.

Friday was a bit of a late one as JenniferTeacher came up to Gangnam for dinner. Having finished work down in The Bundang at 8:30pm it wasn't until about 9:45pm that we sat down for dinner.

I slept most of Saturday.

And finally, contrasting all that hub bub Sunday has been quite busy, recording this week's SeoulPodcast with Joe, Jennifer and guest Stephen Revere, formerly of Aririang TV's Let's Speak Korean, and now proprietor of 10 Magazine.

This afternoon saw a loose grouping of some of the more outspoken and proactive (God know's why I was invited to attend) members of K-Blogland as we continue to thrash out how it is we might be able to help out those already in and those coming to the society we have chosen to call home.

Discussions were frank and interesting and we will continue to see where it all leads, hopefully I will have something to contribute.

And finally a trip to Kyobo earlier this evening in hunt of the illusive Samsng e-reader bore some fruit with it appearing that Samsung themselves are ot of stock and there are none to be had anywhere. Looks like another semester of schlepping around all my heavy printed out .pdf files.


Looking forward this week seems mostly uncluttered with few extra-curricular activities, which probably means I have forgotten something....


El Grabbo

It's been altogether all to long, but here's a Thursday Wednesday Grab Bag

In Sick Fuck news, Brian notes that a man accused of some 200 rapes in the Paju area has been caught by police after nine years.

Elsewhere on the Police Blotter an Indian gentleman, subjected to a racist Tirade at the hands of a not so old drunken ajossi has seen his complaint go to the Incheon magistrates court. Some deft maneuvering by the prosecutor has seen the case become one of "contempt" since there are no anti-racism statutes on Korea's books. Although this K-Herald report notes that steps are underway to introduce such legislation.

Kiss My Kimchi has gone a long way in inspiring my winter vacation (whenever it might actually occur) with photos from in and around Bangkok.

On the local scene Roboseyo gives us the low-down on the latest machinations at ATEK, and while he too is not a member, we share some of the same hopes for the organisation after a few birthing pains earlier in the year.

Friends of The SeoulPodcast Simon and Martina of the Eat Your Kimchi podcast have an interesting video this week on what newbies should be packing on their way to Korea for the first time. Just be glad deodorant is much more easier to find these days. (Although this morning in the subway you'd be forgiven for thinking no one had ever heard of it.)

And finally in the relm of interesting group / interaction / networking type activities Ask the Expat has put together a Facebook Group with the intent of organising fellow members of K-Blogland into some sort of force for good:

It's time to REALLY organize ourselves and rather than wasting time writing by-laws, giving people titles and dealing with self-imposed bureaucratic wranglings, we need to sit down and focus on how we -the long-term expats with the most at stake- can better our community.

Damn straight! I was reminded that, although a minority, I and fellow K-Bloglanders are outward facing and often the first thing the rest of the world come across when they Google Korea.

Thus we have some gravity behind us and in what we do. If we use that power for good who knows what might be achieved.

What especially appeals though is the lack of pretension and need for hand-wringing and navel gazing, the likes of which ATEK for example has been guilty of even in it's infancy.

Anyhoo there is apparently an inaugural get together of we blog types this coming Sunday in the courtyard / park behind Tomitillo in Jong-no. (I thought that was a notorious Cruising site for Gay men, but whatever) So stay tuned to see what comes of it.

And if you are a fellow traveller though K-Blogland get in on the Facebook group. (Heehee! Someone made me an administrator! I'll approve your request! Haha!)