Intrepid Girl Reporter

Wednesday, 5/28: and perhaps more importantly

1. Shin Jung Hyeon

2. Would You Rather lesson plan (note: this has been quite successful)

3. Would You Rather ppt

4. Would You Rather wksht

5. Scenes from a Restaurant lesson (also v. successful, but don’t bother giving your students food unless they are not ungrateful little hoodlums like mine)

6. Scenes from a Restaurant ppt

7. Scenes from a Restaurant video (feat. Grover as a waiter with a giant hamburger; hilarity ensues)

And since I’m mentioning the Restaurant lesson and the lessons in general, allow me to make a couple of points:

a) I used the menus from Ramsey’s, which is a fine establishment that you should make it a point to visit should you ever find yourself in Lexington, KY. I’ve only ever been to the one on High Street, but I can wholeheartedly recommend their Hot Brown and anything involving white gravy, as well as the pie, which is not on there but is worth making a trip for on its own. I prefer the mixed berry, but one of the Good Brown Daughters (with whom I usually go) says that there’s nothing but the brownie pie for her. Also, these menus are good for ESL classes, as they have a lot of food that students will imagine as stereotypically “American” while including some regional stuff. Also, fairly simple.

b) If you use these lessons and I don’t know you, please do leave me a comment telling me how you liked them. I’ve been bad about responding in the past, partly because I’m still foggy on a few of WordPress’s technicalities (for example, will you be notified if I respond?) but I really do like hearing from people who use these. I will start responding to comments. I promise.


But if you must know, I have some babies. Mainly by black ladies. But some by white. And a China-baby.

This is the bunny I made with Soccer. (Hers is pink.)

I think I’ve finally got this filesharing thing figured out.

Sufjan Stevens – Seven Swans

This is the album I listened to today, instead of going to Mass. I am tempted to say “instead of going to Mass, as I should have,” because really, it probably wouldn’t have been a bad thing, but aside from the fact that I was being legitimately productive and couldn’t really go, I’d rather listen to this and think about the highest than listen to what passes for worship music at most religious services. I’m not saying that “traditional” church music (or, in the case of most churches I’ve attended, the contemporary pop that’s become institutionalized) is necessarily bad. But I’ve never been a huge fan of so-called “Christian” music, and one of the things I really like about this album is how he makes the spiritual personal – i.e., he understands that the power of the stories lies within the stories themselves, and how we’re not so different from the people about whom these tales are told. It’s been said before, but half the time what he sings about could be a lover or a loved one as easily as it could God or Jesus, and I’m pretty sure that’s part of the point, that these things are found everywhere. Besides, the music itself – that banjo! – does so much more for me than most hymns ever have. The joy feels real.

A few housekeeping announcements re: blog: I’m going to continue to post some daily Thing I Like, esp. now that I (roughly) know how to share files, but I think I’m also going to start posting my notes on various classes – I’ve been doing it on paper, for me, but more and more people have been finding this blog lately based on ESL/TEFL searches, so that will provide a look into TEFL life. And for those of you (not many) who revel in the tiny human dramas of my classes, this will provide a better way to keep track. Look for a relaunch of KFB soon too.

Today: watched “Project Runway” with HM (downloaded), translated poorly.

ex. CHRISTIAN I don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing.

HILLARY 말허요, “기부니 나빠요!” (“He says, ‘I am very upset!’)

She loved it, as she should have. So far I’ve seen both episodes, and I have to say, I thought Sarah Jessica Parker came off very well in the last one – plenty of guests have been unkind, even out-snarking Michael Kors and Nina Garcia, but she was consistently tactful and diplomatic without being a moron (hello, Paula). And Ricky’s dress was gorgeous. Surprisingly, Elisa’s was too – despite the fact that, much as I do with Quagmire, I found myself staring at her in puzzlement for most of the show. I actually didn’t hate Marion’s dress, at least not until the belt came off, at which point it immediately disintegrated into a potato sack. But mostly I was sad because Marion got kicked off despite his striking resemblance to Tim Calhoun.

I also had dinner with Arkansas and The Singer (who also teaches in Seogwipo) tonight, and got a good dose of the heckling I have so missed. We went to El Paso down in Sicheong – it’s the equivalent of what I imagine eating Mexican food in Canada is like. I.e., it is not authentic, but it isn’t bad, except that they need to quit with the putting of ketchup in the salsa EWWWWWW.

Now I will try to fix the busted file links of before. Check back.

“A hotchken, known as ‘the poor man’s turducken,’ is a chicken stuffed with hot dogs.”
November 22, 2007, 2:29 am
Filed under: food, media, things I like, U S of A

”The first one I ever had I was doing a game in New Orleans,” Mr. Madden said. ”The P.R. guy for the Saints brought me one. And he brought it to the booth. It smelled and looked so good. I didn’t have any plates or silverware or anything, and I just started eating it with my hands.”

“Kansas City Pitmaster Peter ‘Pookie’ Thornhill was credited in 2006 with the invention of the turdbutt.

The first of what is likely to be many posts today. God bless us, every one.

minute after minute/hour after hour

“I am thankful for food because can fly.” 

– a student on Thanksgiving gratitude

“I would bring Spiderman because he can build a house.” (out of webs?)

“I would bring a scientist because he can find a super pig if we are hungry.”

– 2nd graders on passengers they would choose to accompany them on the Mayflower 

I’m sitting here in the gyomushil again sneaking pieces of melon taffy because I don’t have enough for everyone. And I don’t want to share. I am not a melon fan, but this candy is delicious enough that I originally bought it for The Roommate Box and, um, started eating it. (…Sorry.)

I’d like to say that I’m chowing candy thanks to the stress of seeing one student hold a knife against another’s neck in class today, but honestly, I don’t even know how surprised I can be anymore about anything. To be fair, it was clearly a joke, and was clearly just a pocketknife…See? Listen to me! I took it away, and I immediately received protests from the students, because apparently the pocketknife was doubling as a keychain for some kid’s house key. To which I can only say: WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T CARRY KNIVES AROUND HUH? I gave it to Short Jeong, who, unsurprisingly, didn’t seem all that fazed.

In other news, I now have two Internships to choose from. All things considered, my problems could be a lot worse.

home where my thoughts are skipping
October 26, 2007, 11:31 am
Filed under: food, host mom, host sister, U S of A

I don’t know if there are words in English to describe how badly I want candy corn right now. Korea isn’t much for candy eating – they do, but for dessert here I mostly eat yogurt and fruit, which is fine, except for the times when I am craving the sweet salty caramelly sugary chewy crunchiness of candy corn OMGZ. I had one piece – at the conference, one of the girls had some that her mom sent her – and I almost died.

Speaking of food, I’m going to revive the food blog now that I’ve got a steady computer setup. But every day I’ve gotten home at eleven, which is why tonight I am hanging out with HM and HS, except that I have to take a nap because we’re going to the movies and otherwise I’ll fall asleep. I am the biggest loser.

ETA: In an earlier post I mentioned that I didn’t like my student body president because I saw him making fun of the special ed kids. Actually, it turns out that he IS special ed. WHERE AM I?

a toast to the plans we’ve made to live like kings

Oma killed the last of the pesto today – she made almost exactly what I had made, fettuccine with chicken. Granted, it was for breakfast, but it was still very sweet. I was going to offer to cook dinner tonight, but maybe one American meal per day is enough.

I was supposed to go to the Jeju United game today with Soccer – note: I have realized that by calling my friends by their initials, there is bound to be some overlap, so I am giving them nicknames – because her dad works for the team, and it would have been fun; today is a good day to watch 축구. But it’s also a good day to go to some sort of flower festival with my family. I am a festival whore. I haven’t seen them much this weekend, so.

The past few days have been good. Friday I went with the first (seventh) graders at my school to a picnic, which turned out to be a Super Field Trip; we started at the set of this historical TV drama, which they had left up after they were done filming, I guess, and then we went to the 핸여 (Woman Diver) museum, and then to this volcanic beach. I’ve managed to befriend this bully girl – Teddy Bear Barrette – simply by remembering her name, so she kept running up to me and screaming “TEACHER! NAME?” and, when I told her what her name was, giving me a high five and grinning triumphantly at her minions. At the Woman Diver museum, the boys of 1J all bought these toys that looked sort of like inflatable swords with the heads of women divers at the end, and they chased each other around and beat on one another. Then I stole one from one of them and did the same thing. GOD I love 1J.

Friday afternoon Scooter (formerly D) and I went shopping, where we found a sleeveless denim vest that, much to my chagrin, he did not buy. Then Friday night I took HB and HS and Oma over to Soccer’s apartment, where most of the Crew had gathered with their respective host siblings, and we played Apples to Apples while my Oma and Soccer’s Oma had coffee. C (whom I’m going to start calling Africa from now on)’s host brother, who was in third grade, told me that I looked so old that my head should be in a museum. Saturday morning I met Soccer and Curfew (formerly known as E) for shopping (again), where I bought THE BEST COAT EVER.* It is a trench coat and it is silver.** Africa met us for a little bit, and then Soccer and Quagmire and I headed out to Seogwipo for the cast party of the play we all did for the English Festival, and we all sat around my friend Albuquerque’s apartment and drank and talked about the world. And now the weather is beautiful.

My former roommate also sent me this link, which expresses my position in the Land of the Morning Calm perfectly:

*In Korea, I have become more cognizant of many of my interests and enthusiasms. See Appendix B.

**This is the most Korean coat in the world. Yes, Miguk Oma, I realize that it breaks the “if it’s shiny, you can’t teach in it” rule, but guess what: I’m not in America anymore.


New Pseudonyms, with their old identities

N: Soccer

E: Curfew

D: Scooter

C: Africa

L: Albuquerque

Quagmire: Quagmire


Things for which I could safely call myself an “enthusiast”


Yogurt-based foods



Street food

PS: I saw this on AllMusic’s front page the other day and I remembered high school and the whole thing made me laugh.

here we go round

I have no winter job, I might not have a job next year either, I have a helmet haircut, I live with a fucking card sharp, and I’m through with men for at least a year. How are you?

Things are not quite that bad – I did, after all, get to attend HB’s Sports Day today, where I ate chicken on a stick and that candy we bought at Dollywood years ago, fool’s gold, except this candy was made on a skillet out of the back of a truck in the rain. I also got the chance to watch:  mass hula-hooping, mass choreographed techno dancing, and this event where these people wearing masks that looked like the Clintons had balloons in their pants and the kids had to compete to see who could pop them first. HB did samulnori, and he ran what they called the Marathon, which was actually just a race. Not 26.2 miles, no siree. HB and his best friend were in the same heat. HB kept on trucking. He’s pretty fast. HBBF is not, but his effort was valiant.

Today was also Apa’s birthday. After we got back from Sports Day, I made lunch for my family (fettucine with chicken and the pesto my American momma sent over; inexplicably, the pesto was much more popular than last dinner’s homemade roasted tomato sauce), and then Oma offered to take me for a haircut. Having been opsoyo last weekend, I was (am) in need of some family brownie points; besides, I’ve gotten to see the Jeju Crew a lot lately. Also, my host brother and sister have great hair, so I assumed it would be all right. She took me to her hair place, which turned out to be in E-Mart – and not the nice one in Sin Jeju, the ghetto one down by Tapdong. Good Deal. I really loved my haircut last time; this time, however, I look like a member of the Brady Bunch. And not in a good way. My bangs are a) too short and b) sticking up and c) I look like an idiot and I’m kind of mad about it. And, in retrospect, Oma’s hair is nowhere near as cool as that of HB and HS. But what could I say? “I don’t really trust you?” I don’t even have the vocabulary for that.

Sometimes, however, I don’t think that vocabulary is the problem. Oma asked me, yet again, exactly why I was single – and if I had a good answer for that, I imagine a lot of things would be very different. And on the way home, after omija cha and ice cream at a cafe in Chungangro, she asked me my American parents’ hometowns, which is an innocuous enough question (as well as an impressive one for her to ask in English). But hometowns are a more complex issue for us than they should be; I don’t really have one, my mother never really had one, and my father…the workbooks we were given in class didn’t have any sample sentences like “His family escaped because they were wealthy and well-connected” or “My grandfather was an idealist trying to reform a corrupt government from the inside out” or “I still struggle with the fact that all American history curricula suggest that my family’s role within the colonizing French government was essentially that of a collaborator.” I still can’t say, “I took a taxi.” Really, I don’t know how to say what I want to say in English, just like no one here seems to be able to explain why on Earth children are trained to dance King Tut-style to techno, regardless of how fluent they are.

Anyway. Meanwhile, I’m still looking for a winter internship – ideally, I’d love to work with an NGO or a newspaper or UNESCO, but what that requires is me getting in touch with those people, which, you know, I still need to do. I also got an email from TFA, and it looks like unless I can talk my school into letting me out reallllllllly early, I’m only going to be (barely) eligible for New York or California (or, God forbid, Las Vegas), which were not my first choices. And even then, I have to talk wherever I go into letting me either skip Initiation or make it up over…Christmas? Which is coming soon. ADULT WORLD STOP IT I just want to get a job with Sesame Workshop. Really. At this point, I’d even consider applying for grad school for next year, but I still need to take macro and micro to go to school for IR, and I’m still working on a bigger portfolio for J-school.

After we went out for a raw fish dinner with Apa (where I made the same mistake I always do – I ate what they told me to, assuming that no more food was coming out, when in fact there were three more, and better, courses still to come) HB and I played Uno, where he managed to shuffle his cards multiple times while still keeping his loaded hand on top. Twice. Then he made up the following song about me, to the tune of “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush”:

(IGR) is mischief, mischief, mischief

(IGR) is mischief, oh I’m sorry

And now we are watching Muhan Dojeon.