Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Midterm Week Ends

I spent the last week sitting in classrooms watching my students take multiple choice tests. It's a frustrating week for me. I struggled with multiple choice tests. I read slowly and I have no ability to focus on something like that for more than 20 minutes. Though I was always able to perform well on standardized tests, I know I often knew the right answer because I could eliminate the wrong answers. I much prefer essays and short answers: I can almost always write what I know clearly enough to communicate I know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, tests like these are not about evaluating a student's knowledge, they're more about finding a place for the student in his class of students. In Korea, they're used to rank students, regardless of their knowledge.

I'm happy for my kids that they'll get to spend several days with their families for Chuseok. And in 3 hours, I'll be away from school until Tuesday.

I have to prepare a couple of lessons tomorrow.
I'm meeting Praise's relatives on Saturday.
The weather is slowly turning cool and dry.
I won't miss the humidity.

The hiking is wonderful this time of year.
The leaves begin to change and fall and
late flowers are in bloom.

Maybe I'll head up Gwanaksan are Suraksan this weekend, or both.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One Year Down, Two to Go

A year has passed. A little too quickly for my pleasure. Nevertheless, I'm very happy with Seoul.

I'm writing this post in a PC bang. The Internet connection in my apartment is great some days, slow others. I head to the PC bang whenever I want to use youtube and facebook, or stream video and radio.

I'm a fan of MonkeyTown. In 대학동(Daehakdong,) it's one of the only PC bangs that's non-smoking and where the computers and PC stations are kept clean. I keep an account with them: for $35, I'm able to utilize a personal login and work for 47 hours. My last payment has lasted the entire summer and I have 11 hours left as of this post. Pretty good deal.

I live in what was recently known as 신림9동 (Sillim 9 dong.) Sillimdong was an 11 district neighborhood within 관악구 (Gwanakgu,) the most populated area of Seoul. My neighborhood is now known as Daehakdong. Daehak means academy or college as it points to where students assemble and dong is a place where we live like a neighborhood. It's a good name. The neighborhood is home to students of Seoul National University as well as 고시 (goshi) students who are studying for law tests, like the bar in the US.

From what I can gather, all the old Seoul neighborhoods where the poor lived and are undergoing slow gentrification are being re-named. Not that anything progressive is being done to combat poverty in old Sillim; the buildings, on the other hand, are being renovated and folks are taking advantage of the cheaper real estate.

I've promised myself to post more. I want to get back to posting once a day. I have little scrapbooks filled with notes and miscellany. I really should be getting my more of my thoughts down.

I'm going to begin looking for office space to write. Most likely, I'll rent a little room like the law students do while in Seoul for several months studying for their exams. I'm working on my novel again. Finally. I'm no hermit while I write. If anything, I'm more social, more energetic. I certainly sleep less, dream more, and I consume more text.

I'll try to get some photos of my neighborhood up.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I'm back to work in Seoul and will have the blogging thing happening again. Am trying to get a revision of the blog design up by tonight--tomorrow morning for some of you.