Making my way through Asia (and grad school) one adventurous step at a time.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Thunderbolts and Lightening...

Last night I had an evening class to teach. The day had been hot and sunny, but by the time 6 o'clock rolled around I had changed into a longsleeved shirt to wear to class. About 15 minutes into the class, the sky turned green, a bolt of lightening flashed and was followed almost immediately by a tremendous clap of thunder. The wind started howling, and withing moments large chunks of hail started pelting the windows. My students rushed to the windows, threw them open and started catching the hail and tossing the chunks of ice back and forth across the room. It was complete chaos, and lasted for about 60 seconds - then the hail stopped, and my students returned to their seats. Then, about 5 minutes later, I saw a flash of round lightening. Yes - round. It was like a big ring of lightening that flashed, and was gone. After that the thunderstorm moved away, but I still had to walk home in the drenching rain. I couldn't have been wetter if I had of climbed into a bathtub fully dressed.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Sorrow and Friendship...

This has been a sad week, but as is always the case, a liberal dose of blessings were mixed in for comfort.

Early Monday morning (in Korea) my Gramma passed away (in Canada). I've been hesitant to post any Blogs since then because words always seem to fail me when the subject matter is important or emotional. Gramma was 96 years old and spent the majority of those years praying constantly for her family. She lived a full life, and brought abundant amounts of joy to a whole whack of people. I love Gramma dearly, and will always be thankful for the love and support that she bestowed liberally on her massive family. I'm going to miss her alot.

I know that many people around the world were praying for our family. Thank-you. I can't speak for others in my family who were far away from Gramma when she died, but I know that although I felt the distance, I never felt alone.

On Monday, my friend Kyung-Min called to say he wouldn't be able to come visit me on Tuesday as planned. However, shortly after he heard about Gramma, he changed his mind, and travelled for several hours after finishing a 16 hour shift so he could "be a consolation" to me. He was a consolation and a blessing to me.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and words of support and encouragement.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

More Politics, and some explicit language...

Now that my e-mail is up and running again, and I've plunked myself down to make a new entry, I've realized that not much has happened in the past week and a half.

Due to pronunciation difficulties, I had more then one student remind me that they wouldn't be here on Thursday because it was "Erection Day". Yes indeed, it's a national holiday. I let the prununciation slide. I had enough trouble trying to distinguish between "Mother-in-Law" and "Mother-in-the-raw" during our unit on families. Anyway, from what I can gather, the election went well, and shows stong support for the Impeached President. Also, the number of women represented in the legislature doubled from the last election. One news item that followed the election was something I've never seen in the west....they had a graph illustrating the age groups of the newly elected legislators. Only in a country where age distinctions are still so rigid would this be necessary.

This coming week is Midterms. It's so nice to be on this side of the desk at this time of year! I'm giving speaking exams in class all week, then have to proctor written exams on Saturday. Some teachers grumble about having to proctor exams on a weekend, but I'd much rather be giving it than writing it!

Oh - And I have my vacation schedule now. I'll be in Canada from Mid-July to Late-August. I'll be hitting Victoria, Vancouver, Regina, Moncton and Ottawa. (Not necessarily in that order). If you live in or near any of those places and want to buy me dinner (I'll settle for a coffee) let me know.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Spring is in the air...

It's Spring. Farmers are preparing their fields for planting. The entire campus smells like a port-a-potty for cows and sheep. Ugh.

Friday, April 02, 2004

If only everything were so easy...

This week has been FABULOUS!! I've already mentioned the weather, now I should mention my work week. In a nutshell, 1/2 my classes had quizzes ~ they write for about 30-35 minutes, hand in their papers, and are done for the day. The other 1/2 of my classes had MT's, which means they're not there at all. From what I can gather, and MT consists of 1st year students milling about between piles of small suitcases, rows of big busses, and stacks of beer cases. Eventually, the students get on the bus, the suitcases go under the bus, and the beer follows behind on a truck. Everything disappears for 2~3 days.

So today for example, I showed up for my 9am class. Only 5 students were there. I chatted with them for a bit, then sent them home. My next class, I gave them a quiz, then sent them home. My last class was entirely empty, so I sent myself home. As I was leaving the building, I saw my students and their luggage spilling out of a returned bus. The beer was gone. They called me over for a few minutes and I discovered that they had spent the last 3 days at Pohang beach. A few of the more bleary-eyed guys also revealed where the beer had disappeared to. And there you have it. It looks as though, whether I like it or not, the work "hangover" is going to be in next weeks vocabulary. I've done almost no teaching whatsoever this week, and Monday is a holiday. (However, I've now got 300 quizzes to mark....)