Friday, March 30, 2007

Photos Good-bye Martin (Can you take James with you?)

This is Martin, and Martin and James. The two Philippina teachers are Helen and Rose. Love them guys. These are Martin's pictures because he's leaving tomorrow and they happen to be on the computer just now. None of me yet.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Flaming Space Junk- Klingon Vote

When worlds collide

Yahoo science news is great. (I think, I haven't exactly crawled the web.)

Space junk falls around airliner

Flaming space junk from a Russian satellite narrowly missed hitting a Chilean airliner over the Pacific Ocean, reports said Wednesday.

The pilot of a LAN Chile Airbus A340 en route to New Zealand told air traffic controllers he had seen pieces of flaming space junk falling about eight kilometres (four miles) in front of the plane and behind it, TV3 said.

The aircraft was not struck by any of the debris and later landed safely in Auckland.

Airways New Zealand, which manages New Zealand's air traffic, said it had been warned by Russian authorities that an obsolete satellite was due to fall into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday.

But the debris had apparently fallen into the area 12 hours earlier than the time advised by the Russians. (There's an airline joke in here somewhere, surely!- ME)

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority, which is responsible for air safety, said it would launch an inquiry after it was advised of the details of the incident.


Flaming Globes of Light! Plan 9 From Outer Space (?)

Well, my goodness. Flaming space junk.

Here's one of the greatest stories ever told:

Politician seeks Klingon votes
HELSINKI, Finland (Reuters) -- A Finnish member of parliament is aiming for re-election by campaigning with a translation of his Web site into Klingon, used in the TV series "Star Trek."

"Some have thought it is blasphemy to mix politics and Klingon," said Jyrki Kasvi, an ardent Trekkie. "Others say it is good if politicians can laugh at themselves."

He said his politics posed some translation difficulties, since Klingon does not have words for matters such as tolerance, or for many colors, including green -- the party under whose banner he is running in the national elections on March 18.

Non-warriors can also access the site in English, Swedish and Finnish.
Well, the article says that we should be able to laugh at ourselves, but I'm offended that he's trying to get the Klingon vote. Then he might have to pander to their causes. Gak should be outlawed. They will not go forward on that, and even might repeal the ban on Romulan Ale which would be a huge mistake.-Not a fan!

Just my two cents.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Things The Students Say

Quintessential Konglish:

"We ate some live banannas."

"I was tired to death."

"They have an insane ambiance."
(talking about gay men who approach him in the gym)

"The mosquitos anguished me."

"You should be ground up."
(trying to say 'grow up!')

"What is a wrinkle in time?"
( come...pull up a chair...)

"After I see that movie, I eliminate."
(deleted off PC illustrating his review of movie)

"He's not handsome, just good-looking."

"I couldn't sleep, so I played with myself."
(entertained myself)

"I forgot my memory."
(I hate when that happens)

"I went to the store to buy some crack."
(but he bought crackers instead)

Future Plans: "I'd like to grow one child."

"In modern times, we have nuclear weapons families."
(no, that's 'nucular' weapons families)

"I ate something to eat."
(highly recommended)

"Whenever I meet a cockroach, I'm scared."
(don't worry, I hear they're really laid-back)

"His face is very variety."
(on Jim Carey)

"I want to meet a special experience."
(tell him I said hi)

Me: "Where is Martin?" Students: "He has a disease."

"We cheer up the team!"

"I slept tightly."
(Don't let the bed bugs bitely)

"Your face is marvelous."
(student to ex-teacher, he was trying to insult her)

"You are poverty period."
(I don't know what this means, I just say, 'thank you')

New Bedford Massachusetts Immigration Raid

I AM NOT A MASSACHUSETTS BLOGGER... I'm from California, and I now reside in the Philippines as an English teacher. I just posted this story in my blog with ONE line that said it challenged my belief that illegal aliens don't take jobs from citizens generally, and it got picked up in the "blogosphere". I am politically neutral for religious reasons, but if some on the right are curious as to why the left is "soft" on illegal immigration, it's because the people on the right who foam at the mouth about this issue are so many times purely and extremely racist. Yes, that does matter.

Really, the only issue that concerns me with illegals is agriculture. Farm work is a whole different basket of fruit. Farm workers should be given documentation. It's not possible to paint all immigration issues with the same brush, so be careful.

As for corporate corruption? Go get em! I have no problem with that.

Here's the original story: My original post:

Immigration Raid- Factory

What an interesting story. This company had government contracts and employed illegal alien workers. It appears as though those jobs could be filled legally. The article says that after the crackdown, that hundreds applied for the positions that opened up.

From what I gather here, this company is in line to be banned for government contracts now, but officials don't want them banned because they could employ so many citizens.

It's an interesting challenge to my belief that illegals don't take jobs from citizens generally speaking.

Kids on a bus in Manila being held hostage.

Why? Like that's going to do anything. The guy is in Manila in front of the municipal buildings with these kids from his daycare trapped in there. He said he wants better conditions for the poor. How is that going to work? 'Ok, Mr. Ducat, let the kids go, and we'll see what we can do.' ???

This person views himself as a hero, but I don't understand then what his bargaining chip was. I would listen to all his demands and then say, "Or what?"

I'm curious. What was he going to do with the kids? It doesn't make any sense.

My son said that it was breaking news on Anderson Cooper and he was chuckling at the way Anderson said "tagalog", I guess he said it really American style.

Well I guess the guy had a couple of dead grenades, I didn't know that he was threatening to blow something up. I wouldn't believe that. But the government has to handle that just so, and now the kids get free education up until college or something.

Ok, strange situation.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Goodbye Doesn't Mean...

This morning I was sitting in McDonalds before work, and the sun was shining outside. I could see everything. There was a song playing loudly over the speaker from the Goodbye Girl... Goodbye, doesn't mean forever...doesn't mean I'm never going to see you again...

What a dreamy song, what a romantic morning.

There's No Such Thing As A Stupid Question

My student Lino asked me, "Did you ever kiss a black man?"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Barbara Walters-Oprah-Anderson Cooper

On Star World there is a commercial for an upcoming Barbara Walters Special, the 10 most fascinating people of...I don't know...the last 10 years, or something. In the commercial there is a clip of her saying "bootie-licious" and I think it's very weird.

Oprah had Anderson Cooper on for his book, Dispatch from the Edge, or something along those lines. Wow what a cool guy. There's the perfect guy. And I think he might be gay. It's just something I heard somewhere. My son LOVES Anderson Cooper. He reports to me regularly, 'Anderson Cooper was here today, Anderson Cooper was doing such and such.' And just the tone of my kid's voice and his seriousness. He just turned 13 awhile back, and it's so cute. Oprah was about to come on and he was lobbying/bullying for a change to another channel. Then they announced who was going to be on the show, and he said. "oh." and sat back in his chair. Proud parent momment. My son's life: No dad to speak of, special needs brother that almost killed himself accidentally many times. He's overseas among the poor. He watched Anderson talk about his life and I don't know what he was thinking, but I think that AC has become even more special to my son. He had already felt a connection to Anderson before learning about his life.

Also, we're huge Jeff Corwin fans and I guess Jeff has been on Anderson Cooper's show quite a bit lately.

Then Oprah wrapped it up with talking about how the internet is not safe for young people. They showed how you could just contact people easily through myspace. I think parents are dumb. I said, "See I'm a smart parent, that's why your life is boring."

"My life's not boring." he said. And he said it quickly, too. Proud parent momment number two within the space of one hour.


I have an idea. It occured to me Saturday when my right pinky finger started twitching involuntarily for hours. I figure that I'm getting some disease and my time is limited. So I thought, there should be a Make Out Wish Foundation. If you're going to die, you can contact the foundation and tell them your make out wish. You get to make out with any individual you want. Maybe I'd choose Brad Pitt. Wouldn't that be weird if making out with Brad Pitt cured me? I think it might.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Working Relationships

My relationships at work are starting to bear some fruit. There's a different feeling here toward me since, 'the incident'...the drama.

I work with a young guy who is a controversial character. I'm glad people around here have more than one American example to go by. Well a couple of weeks ago his whole world just about came crashing down. Yes, it was by his own stupidity, but...

I went to the line for him and told the rest of the staff in a meeting that he did not say what some students are reporting that he said. It was a misunderstanding, and they should drop it. The teacher (Memo) was vindicated, the students in question later apologized. The staff and many students were ready to believe any bad thing about him. Why? I don't understand why people don't care about what's right. He's offended people, so they won't think about what's right, or what's true.

He is a self-centered opinionated racist. That doesn't mean that he's guilty of every charge leveled against him. The staff has seen my debates and exasperation with him. I managed to keep our discussions upbeat, but they knew I wasn't a fan.

When I stood up for him, it carried a lot of weight. I think that a couple of people here still hold grudges against him, but I am treated differently now. I was liked just fine before, but now there is this affection in the air. It's different, nice.Why? Maybe what I did showed heart, I don't know. I think I always show heart. I'm wrong about perceptions of me, alot. I tend to think people know that I'm sensitive and kind. Looking at it objectively, though, I shouldn't assume that if I haven't done anything to show that. I think that I constantly display my heart, and perhaps I don't. Whatever the case, there's a lotta love coming my way lately. I'ts beyond the joking around atmosphere I'm used to.

A couple of the girl students that I have never had in my class (who also knew the truth about the incident)approached me, "Did you say that about Memo? You believe Memo?" Yes, I answered. "Memo cried." they told me. He was touched that I was speaking for him.

The offender is much more mellow now, and leans on me like a big sister. I hear that the students like to complain that he's a bad teacher, but he's got them in there right now cracking up. It echoes down the halls. He's just learning that's all.

Funny, I was just finished writing that and hung my head a little and didn't hear him sneak up next to me. "You look depressed!" he said, concerned.

Actually, just today I am. It's a passing thing and something that I need to go through. I feel dejected from time to time that not attributing bad motives to people is actually a rare quality. That fact just blindsides me when something crops up. I'm surprised every time I'm faced with it. But will the day I learn that lesson once and for all be the day that my spirit deflates once and for all?

Beautiful Mornin

The Jeepney ride to work this morning was bright and sunny. It's a goregeous day, I wish I could go taking pictures. I'll be in class.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Prison Break and San Gyup Sar

So last night after work I did something stupid and went to the Korean restaurant and ordered San Gyup Sar. This is a put-it-together- dish. Dishes of lettuce leaves and bean paste and small veggies and then a bunch of slices of "meat", and it's like a make your own lettuce burrito type thing. The reason it's stupid, is because this pork that they serve is like bacon, and mostly fat.

I was craving the rest of it, the lettuce, bean paste, etc. but not the meat-fat. But I feel silly trying to order san gyup sar with no meat. I'm not even sure they would do that. The taste was great, but wow- unhealthy I'm sure. And I ate the whole thing.

Enough lamenting.

I went home and watched Prison Break first episode. I have to say wow. That guy is amazing. I knew he was good looking from the commercials, but seeing him act and interact, I have to say, he's quite attractive. Like quite.

I just finished a class where a student was announcing that South Korea should attack North Korea. Interesting debate. I have some fun students.


I'm recovering from my "collapse" last week, but really taking it easy. I feel slow and calm, at times in pain. I'm minimizing all my activities and only focusing on the important. I didn't feel like I was doing that much, really, but it turns out that every little bit of energy counts.

I enjoy keeping up on the news, but will be limiting how I do so. There are plenty of news links on the web, and the science news on Yahoo has been interesting lately. I'm working on curbing the desire to share news and discuss it with others, although I feel that's been stimulating. I love getting feedback from angles I had never thought of before from people smarter than me. But...with people come(s) stress. So enough of that for now. Narrow-mindedness and grudge holding just stresses me out.

There are lots of people in my life that are needing emails from me to update them and they've been neglected. I need to focus on that in my spare time, and not swimming with sharks.

Prison Break

Well tonight is the premire of Prison Break on Star World. I'm excited because I know it's a series with a story, and I haven't wanted to watch it unless I saw the first episode.

Countless students have gone on and on about how great this show is. They will stay up all night watching downloaded episode after episode. So, I thought I'd catch the fever myself. The main actor of Prison Break is pretty handsome, I see from the commercials.

I can't seem to live without catching Amazing Race All stars on Monday nights here. But this season is just not grabbing me like the last one. It's probably my mood lately, been feeling a bit numb.

It's American Idol season, so unfortunately, I'm wrapped up in that. I really enjoy the performances. Mostly, I spend time talking with my kids, though. That's my favorite hobby.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Finally Collapsed

I finally bit the dust from exhaustion and spent three days sleeping, waking a few hours in evening each day.

I talk for over 6 hours a day non-stop. Not prepared talks, but trying to illicit information from others and adjusting to their communication style. I've been doing this for quite awhile, and had four classes a day for quite awhile, but typically we are supposed to have 300 minutes a day teaching, not 400. I bit the dust finally. I think the only reason is that two of my classes were with only one or two people that almost didn't speak a word of English. Four classes a day is just enough to handle when there is a full group to share the load of speaking, but when you are one on one for 100 minutes with no help from the other party, and its' only conversation (no homeowrk to go over, no grammar lessson), it's tiring.

I can do it, but I crashed after a couple of months. I don't even know how long it's been, but I've had this rigorous schedule for quite some time.

On lunch now I'm reading the Korean Times online. There are interesting expat articles there. If I had a computer at home, I would have an amazing blog by now, but lunch times I am NOT creative. I'm in receptive mode. Output=0.

Last night, I don't think I slept at all. I was really angry, too because Brad Pitt and Angelina Joilie kept running through my mind without my consent. It was really annoying, like watching the same commercial over and over again. This week they are in Vietnam and they just picked up another child for adoption. I hope she's not addicted to this and collecting kids. Although, they've got the money, so I don't really have any complaints. WHY am I thinking about this?, it's like torture.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Korean Drama

Well, I've been working at the school for nine months and it's taken quite awhile for a drama to occur, but this week there was quite a big one. The students live together in dorms and drink constantly, I've been very impressed we haven't had any dramas or relationships even. Nine months of groups coming and going. It's astounding really.

Well, a couple of months ago we hired another native speaker from the US originally. He's been living in the Philippines off and on with his missionary parents since he was 6 years old so he knows Tagalog fluently. He's from Mississippi. He has a huge extended family there, cousins uncles aunts grandparents, and they're all musical.

He's only around 19 and very vocal with his opinions. He said right away, "I'm a redneck and proud of it."

These computer issues are bugging me so much, that I can't even rewrite this post. I need to wait until later, I'm too bugged this one is a to be continued.

Internet Cafes Terrible.

I'm having problems in internet cafes, and it's making me angry. The connections are shoddy, and I spent a long time writing a detailed post that didn't make it to my blog due to the poor connection. I lost it all.

The one I'm at currently, it took me nine minutes to get to this page, and I'm so mad I want to log out.

We had a major drama this week at work that I was explaining. It's complex and I had typed this big long post. ugh...just let me vent for a minute.