Thursday, April 28, 2005

impossible budae-jjigae and other Smoonooz

One strange, Twilight Zone-ish quirk about the Smoo neighborhood: it seems that a lone man in search of a ribsticking bowl of budae-jjigae must abstain until he finds a friend. Budae-jjigae, if my unscientific research tonight is correct, is served only as ee-een-boon, or "for two," in this area. I've never heard of that before. And the price for a single is, at some places, a ridiculous W6000, which means you and your friend have to pay a minimum of W12,000. What gives?

I was the rude foreigner at one restaurant I visited. When the smiling lady told me that their budae-jjigae was "for two only," I groused, "That's what the other restaurant said," and immediately went back for my shoes, very likely confirming to the patrons just how uncouth we foreign fuckers are.

Some good news in my day:

1. I survived what was essentially a hagwon-style schedule today, teaching for six-and-a-half hours. This was by choice: because of my Osaka trip, I had to cancel Wednesday classes. I unilaterally rescheduled them all for Thursday afternoon, having obtained grudging approval, on Monday, from a handful of students to do this. My purpose was to get the agony over with, and now it's done.

2. Drama class had three students: one from the previous lesson (the painfully shy one; the other girl had gone missing), and two newbies. All of them caught on quickly as we did some "trust" exercises: one partner guided their "blind" partner through an obstacle course of chairs by holding on to them; this morphed into guiding a partner through the course by giving verbal commands; this culminated in doing the obstacle course by having the "blind" partner follow the sound of the other's voice through the course. It was amazing to watch, and the painfully shy student, SJ, actually seemed to be enjoying herself. We ended the class with some rudimentary Reader's Theater-style script readings, to give the students an idea about pronunciation, enunciation, intonation, body language, and other aspects of line delivery. I have high hopes that this class will be chock-full of new registrants when we start the next semester. And hey, if some of the students in this class re-sign, tant mieux.

3. The makeup classes went better than I thought they'd go, even though very few students showed up for them. As noted before, students have gone missing because of various calendar-related obligations, among them midterm exams and something called "leadership training," which might involve the mastery of probing techniques normally associated with alien abductions.

4. M was right: the teacher who I thought would give me trouble has turned out to be quite a nice lady. I stand corrected and hereby repent of my hasty judgement.

5. I'm gonna get some real sleep tonight. Joy.


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