Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The U.S.A. has 9-11, Koreans have 5-18, May 18th, 1980. When the students bring it up, they simply ask, "Do you know 5-18?"

Loads of my students come from Gwanju, South Korea and have told me plenty about it. So, when I heard the massacre story it touched me. Recently, we're sharing information about movies and the subject came up again. There's a movie called- in the English translation "Splendid Vacation". It's a fictional account of a few people's lives who were massacred on that day.

What happened? Well, basically it was a democracy movement. We know how well those go over, even in the USA.

I looked it up on the web, and there are some critical voices out there who say the movie overblows the incident, but then one person who said that strangely said that photographs of the incident are more gruesome than the movie. The particular blog that I read sounds really nit-picky if you ask me.
Here's photo from the movie and here's a link to an article in Seoul Times about it. The person who wrote the article was actually there.
Movie Review

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Director: Jeong YunchulCast:
Cho Seungwoo, Kim MisookGenre:
Feb. 23, 2005
This movie, Koreans sometimes call Malaton. I think that's Konglish for Marathon, although sometimes they adopt strange new words into their language. This might be a real word over there.
UPDATE: The students said that the autistic guy in the film says "malaton" and that's why the name...
This is a true story. "Cho-won's intelligence is still that of a five-year-old boy. He farts everywhere, bows to his younger brother, and dances to music wherever he is. However, his mom dedicates herself to training him to accomplish a 'Sub-3-Hour,' which is completing a marathon below three hours, a dream for amateur runners." -Movie review website.
My son is autistic, but I don't know if they recommended this film because of that. The particular students in class didn't seem to know that fact when I mentioned it. Anyway, it's not hard to imagine how badly I'd like to see this movie. It sounds great. All the students interviewed gave it a 4, or 5 out of 5 rating, and all who had seen it cried.

Spot the Difference.

Konglish Alert!
So my students yesterday were telling me that they saw a movie starring Colin Powell.
THEM: "Yes! Colin Powell!"
ME:"The General?"
THEM: Laughing.
They know who Colin Powell is and suddenly realized their mistake. A student went out to the lobby to look it up on the internet and came back, "Ahh, Colin Farrell!" It was pretty funny.I tried to get a picture of Colin Powell without his shirt on to make the comparison, but there were none available.
Hey, did you notice they both have beverages, though?

Creepy Cheney revisted

I know this is old, but last night my son said something like..."teenagers lurking in the bushes..." and I said, "like Dick Cheney" and we were both cracking up remembering this video. For some reason this is so funny to me, and I can't even make a joke about it or funny commentary, it just is what it is...and his facial expressions, so funny!

So here, enjoy. And I don't care if Radiohead hates their own song now, and cool people don't like it anymore...I love it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thanks, you...

So Ed made a graphic for my quote. Nicest thing ever. Thanks Ed.

And, Dearly "Beloved", guess what? I'm compiling information about Korean movies and coming quite soon will be several posts dedicated to Korean movies. I'm so excited.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Risky Business

"I think that it's very very risky behavior to not throw caution to the wind sometimes."- ME

KIMCHEE UPDATE: They now have kimchee again in the cafeteria. Whew! We're all breathing more easily now!

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's Funny

Because if people just click into my blog and see the following two posts, they would really glean almost no idea about me as a person whatsoever. The following two posts are a TAD out of character for me.

Just to reiterate, this is still a blog about teaching English to Koreans in the Philippines, and stuff...and I do have intelligent interests.

I Love Amanda Bynes!

Has anyone ever seen The Amanda Show? It was this Saturday Night Live type show for kids, Amanda Bynes was the star and she played lots of different characters. She's really a comic actress and lets it all go for comedy, like Lucille Ball and other women comic actresses that I admire.
Well she's growing up now and has a couple of movies out. Today one of my students brought in their notebook computer to show me She's The Man, which I've seen many advertisements for. I probably would have really turned my nose up at it had I not known it was Amanda Bynes. And I knew it would be a pretty formula teen flick with typical girl versus boy humor. You know what though...I really enjoyed this movie.

I can't believe how loud I was laughing, maybe it's because I was watching it with two guys, I don't know, but it's pretty cute. I love her character. I had already told my son I want him to marry a girl like Amanda, and he didn't even get mad. Now I'll have to tell him that She's The Man is good. We've been seeing lots of trailers for it.

The film is predictable and formula at the end (and silly), but I really liked the beginning and the middle. Amanda is the cutest thing. I want her to always be in the business of entertaining me. She's one of the good ones.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Help! I'm getting dumber!~

Here in the Philippines we have a station called ETC that has all the insipid shows on, and some that I like (Parental Control for one). Usually I've flipped through the channels, landed on the Tyra Banks show and lasted watching it for maybe ten seconds, and then I exclaim, "I can feel myself getting dumber!" and then I turn the channel, my son laughs. BUT then something happened...

I got sick and ended up watching things that I wouldn't normally. It turns out that Tyra Banks does plenty of interesting shows, or um...interesting enough anyway. I've completely reversed my opinion on her. 1. She reminds me of my sister. When I watch Tyra, I actually miss my sister. They have the same personalities and mannerisms.

2. Trya's cool. She does a lot of things for people and she likes interesting things and issues. She's concerned about unrealistic body images and tackles that on her show. I like her.

I think that America's Next Top Model is her baby and she could be doing a lot worse than that. Of course, project runway is better, but...I like the choice of Carrie D for cycle 7. Man I miss Project Runway. I guess Tim Gunn is a huge star now. He was mentioned on an episode of 30 Rock. Someone told Tracy Jordan, "We have a surprise for you." and he blurts out, "Is it the gay guy from Project Runway?" We were laughing at that one. I think Tyra should merge with that show.

Speaking of kid and I are endlessly making up fake merged reality shows for kicks...and then one day I saw an episode of Miami Ink where they went and did tatoos at Orage County Choppers. We laughed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What? No Kimchee!?

Well I eluded to some issues with the Admin here at this school in my earlier post, here's more. The students put up with a lot here, and the Administration ignores them basicly. In fact, they're not even here today which is fun for the teachers, but there's nobody for the students to go to if they need something.

Here's the latest development that blew me away. They now have NO KIMCHEE in the cafeteria downstairs. Koreans eat kimchee morning, noon, and night. In Korea every family has two refigerators, one for stuff and one strictly for kimchee. The food at the college here is terrible, and the fact they had kimchee was one of their few redeeming qualities. more. The guy that makes it is in Korea, but the guy that makes it KNEW he was going to Korea, and this stuff is made WAY in advance, in fact that's how you have to do it. The older the better. Also, drum's sold here in the supermarket and they have a good relationship with Korean resstaurant owners here, and could get some that way also.

It's just one more middle finger to the students.
Plus, I'm pretty sure some of them are going into withdrawls. Some Koreans only travel on package tours with companies that can provide kimchee while they are abroad. It's a big deal.

OK, everyone will survivie, but I just hate what these guys go through when they get here. Thankfully, they almost without exception love the teachers and the classroom part of it all. My class that was acting up the other day not only apologized and did a complete 180...but they also love me to pieces. Nyah.

Russian Chopsticks

One of my students has been to Russia, touring St. Petersburg and Moscow, which the Koreans call Moscaba. He said there are Korean restaurants there, so he ate Korean food in Russia. I said to myself, Ok, new dream. I still want to go to the Great Wall, but add Korean food in Russia to the list. Kimchee and vodka baby.

The Korean language is actually related more to the Russian language than to Chinese, except for the written characters. Koreans are closely related to Mongolians,and not as close to the Chinese as one might assume.

They also drink a clear beverage called soju, not as strong as vodka. It's interesting to listen to Koreans from Kwangju or Busan talk after slamming shots of soju. Their speech is strong and slavic sounding, I picture these guys in furry hats when I see them drunk on the clear stuff.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Surprise Apology! Wow!

Yesterday I had to do one of our big group highly structured classes and it was my first day in there. I found out at the last minute I'd be doing it, which is OK, I remember how to do that format no problem, but we had no power yesterday, so we had to open the windows and it's SO noisy in there. The traffic outside makes everyone talk in unnatural volumes and tones, so it's pretty uncomfortable. The format of that class is pretty intense, too. Yesterday was basically a warm-up class for me.

A lot of the students came in late, and then they I was thinking is this my imagination? Korean style rude is ignoring and passive aggressive non-compliance. So not only were they doing tons of things they weren't supposed to be doing, but then afterward they- no two of them- complained about me with the stupidest comments ever, that I won't get into or I'd have to explain the whole format. I was pretty sure that their dissatisfaction wasn't about me at all. Sure enough...

I had a surprise today when in my first class before our time was up, a student who has my other class brought up the issue quite naturally and wowed me by saying that their behavior yesterday was terrible and they apologize. I was like...OK it wasn't just me. He promised today would be better. I really like these people. Sometimes even when they're bad, they're good.

The bottom line is there are alot of issues with the admin at this school and sometimes the students lose it. I figured that was the deal.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I wish I looked this good...

This is one of my student's (Jack's) dog.
Someday I'll make the post about the Boshintang which will be long and gruelling. Yes, Koreans eat dogs, the dish is called Boshintang, but they do not eat their pets, and huge vast amounts of Koreans don't eat any dog at all. It's a long topic. I promise I'll get to it in the future, it's quite interesting.

Anyway, this dog looks better than I do right now, and that sweater is nicer than anything I might own at the moment. Jack tells me that the choker the dog is wearing is silver. Rats! I forgot the dog's name, I'll ask him later and edit this entry.

I came back to work for one day last week then our whole family, on that day, came down with a strange local sickness that I will not explain here. It's not pretty. Now I'm back to work with one consecutive day under my belt, and I feel like posting something fun on my way out.

I hope you all are doing great. I miss everyone.

Monday, September 3, 2007

This IS the Philippines!

I forgot to post this!

I saw on the news about the You Tube video of the Philippine prisons. What you need to understand is this IS the Philippines. This is such a true slice of how the people are here. Worldwide there seems to be an amazement that the prisoners would submit to this, we just laugh. They LOVE it.

Walking down the street here, there's always singing coming from somewhere. Shopping in the grocery stores the clerks sing loudly, and this is the place where a spontaneous musical could break out at any momment. The most popular TV show here is Wowwowee where people just sing and dance. Don't get me started on that show, I can't stand that theme song.

And here's Jumbo Hotdog! That's the name of the song.

Anyway, here, enjoy.