Thursday, June 01, 2006

the first set of goodbyes

The cleanup for today's two jjong-p'a-t'i (end-of-term parties) took a while: here on the third floor of the Social Education Building at Smoo, we have public restrooms but nothing approaching a proper kitchen. To get hot water, you have to hold your cups and bowls under the hot/cold water dispenser. That's what I do.

I handed out evaluations to my 9AM class; I think they were generally pleased. I took a posed shot of them staring at their evaluation sheets and looking disappointed. I showed them the expression I wanted, but what they finally gave the camera was a sort of somber, drugged-out look. I suck as a director.

It was sad to see these two Tuesday/Thursday classes go. I had fun with both of them. The intro-level reading class, which met at 7:50 every morning, was a treat to teach, though I had trouble getting the students to speak only in English. Some tried hard; others let themselves go. Luckily, most of the ladies in the class have a good bit of personality, which makes the time go by faster. It's downright murderous when you've got a class of zombies. I'll be facing something like that with my MWF 7:50am class tomorrow morning: they're a very friendly group, but quiet as hell. In the morning, you want a class full of over-caffeinated students-- the kind who are bouncing off the walls, squawking loudly, flapping their arms madly, running around in autistic circles, smacking their heads repeatedly against the walls, and gleefully rolling in their own dung. Silence is death.

My TR 9am class whittled itself down to a core of four faithful students; they were hard workers, which I appreciated. I sometimes think I should have pushed them even harder. They all have a great sense of humor. Today, for whatever reason, one of the ladies was giggly, which wasn't normal. I asked her what was up, and she said she was shocked by the spread I'd brought: various teas, a bottle of Teisseire fruit syrup,* baguette slices, Nutella, bananas, oranges, butter, French jam, milk, and chocolate powder.

I scolded my students: "Whatever happened to old-style Korean thinking? When someone said, 'Let's throw a party,' that meant you'd be eating a lot! Nowadays, though, it's all 'wel-bing, wel-bing, wel-bing,' and no one thinks big anymore." I made a face.

[NB: "Wel-bing" is the Konglish Hangeul rendering of the English "well-being," and generally applies to foods and products conducive to a healthy, happy lifestyle. As you might imagine, substances like Nutella are not numbered among the "wel-bing" products. When the final trumpet sounds, and the heavens open, and the Dark Angels of Welbing descend to collect the faithful and annihilate the infidels, yours truly will be among the first to be cut down, the scythed tatters of my obese spirit fluttering down to whatever dietary hell awaits me.]

Today's parties went well. I've got quite a few photos to upload. Although I've uploaded the OS 9.2 to allow me access to my camera software, I'm having trouble getting the camera's USB connection to work. I don't know what the deal is, but I hope it's temporary. This seems to be a hardware problem; I hope it's not a software issue related to my using 9.2 instead of the old 8.6.

More on this later. I have to go shopping for more food today. I have four jjong-p'a-t'i lined up for tomorrow: three breakfasts (that's one more than hobbits usually eat) and one full-scale lunch. Pray for me.

No, wait-- don't pray. Prayer is dangerous:

DAPHNE, Ala. -- Worried about the safety of her family during a stormy Memorial Day trip to the beach, Clara Jean Brown stood in her kitchen and prayed for their safe return as a strong thunderstorm rumbled through Baldwin County, Alabama.

But while she prayed, lightning suddenly exploded, blowing through the linoleum and leaving a blackened area on the concrete. Brown wound up on the floor, dazed and disoriented by the blast but otherwise uninjured.

She said 'Amen' and the room was engulfed in a huge ball of fire. The 65-year-old Brown said she is blessed to be alive.

(Actually, it's not obvious from the above whether we're supposed to understand prayer as dangerous or as having saved her life. I suspect this was one of God's "little jokes." He plays those occasionally.)

*I encountered Teisseire syrup when I went to France for the first time in the summer of 1986. I was a high school student back then, between my junior and senior years. I sadly informed my host family that I didn't drink, and Teisseire syrup was their answer to the problem of what to drink at table. I've been hooked ever since. When I saw that Hannam Market now stocks the syrup (pretty pricey at W7000 per bottle), I grabbed two.


1 comment:

  1. BubbaHo:

    Yew never expanded on your "a bottle of Tesseire fruit syrup,* " birds.




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