Today we said “goodbye” to two teachers at Yale who I’m fairly certain I had never met before until today, although I am sure they were wonderful people.
These were two Korean teachers who’d worked at Yale for two years. I should have added in my novella about classes that every class has a Korean “co-teacher” who instructs the class in their language. We alternate days, which also means I have each class on alternating days (Mon-Wed-Fri one week, then Tue-Thurs) the next.
Part of their job, for me at least, has been to help provide a Korean perspective, both with the students’ learning and also with the expectations for me as a teacher. Both the English-speaking and Korean teachers are supposed to leave notes for each other in a binder, but the notes appear to be sporadic, which meant I spent a lot of time last week chasing down my co-teachers asking them about each class.
In person, all of my co-teachers have been very friendly and helpful with the classes. There’s about 10-15 overall. Also, between the three directors so far I’ve been reasonably well taken care of, so that I’m not deported.
This might come off the wrong way, but part of me hopes there’s some turnover at the school, because the lunches they throw to say goodbye are AMAZING (and FREE for the teachers!). Like the first day when I was taken out to lunch by the director, we went to a place where everyone sits barefoot (or shoeless, I kept my socks on) and shares a large assortment of plates like kimchi and raddishes and seaweed stuff. We did all get a giant hot bowl of chicken stew to ourselves, which was fun.
Also the restaurant had the best kimchi that I’ve eaten so far on the island, which is ALMOST saying something because I’ve been eating kimchi at least once every night.
So hopefully the two teachers leaving go on to more adventures. There are also a number of teachers leaving to go back to the US/UK/Canada/wherever they came from this week. I met a few who seemed like good people over the weekend. The only problem was that it was awkward because our parting words were along the lines of “it was nice to have met you tonight, have a nice life.”
Today I showed a class Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (they were doing a lesson on Washington DC) and they seemed bored as hell for the most part. Either they didn’t understand what was going on in the film, or, more likely, they just have good taste in movies and understood that I was showing them trash.
Another exciting US-food appearance: a bakery near the school sells Pepperidge Farm cookies. I bought a package and then decided that I need to eat healthier so I gave almost all the cookies away to my co-workers today.
I’ve been spending almost every night lately at a coffee shop/internet cafe that was recommended to me by the school. It’s called “Maybe Cafe” and it’s open until 1 am every night. They have a nice selection of snacks and drinks, and their homemade yogurt is pretty good too.
There are some excellent reasons why I’ve been going there almost until closing time. For one, it has internet, and since it stays open late, I’ve been able to talk to some people in the US while I’m there. Secondly, it’s a popular and well-known hangout for expats and foreigners, which for right now, is excellent because I am still in the meet-new-people stage here. Finally, it’s owned by a former teacher at Yale, a woman who is fluent in both English and Korean (she lived in Toronto for a while), and it doesn’t hurt that she is also (FILL IN THE BLANK). She’s older than me, but then again, almost everyone here, including my students, thinks I’m 35, so my “Korean age” is flexible enough to accomodate this. She makes a good lemon sawa.
On a final note, I’ve been reading the Southern Vampire Mysteries on my kindle, the series of books that the show “True Blood” is based on. I’ve read the first two but I think I’m going to stop there because I really didn’t like the second one that much (the first was okay).
They’re fun and I can see the appeal. I wanted to read them to see how they compared with the television show, which is extremely silly but also extremely addictive. It’s a terrible thing to say, but I think I like the show a little better.
I have two related problems with the books. The first is that they veer quickly from “quirky romance” to “hard core pornography.” I don’t find explicit content bad in and of itself (although it can be awkward). In fact, in the first book I even TOLERATED the pages upon pages of sexy sex because it kinky and kind of plot related. But after a while, it becomes something sex should never be, which is BOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRINGGGGGGGG.
After a lot of the same sexy stuff over and over and over and over, it was monotonous. I wound up skipping a good portion of the second book because there were so many interludes between (SPOILER ALERT???) main character Sookie and her vampire bill, which stop the plot in its tracks and twist the genre from thriller/fantasy to shitty romance novel.
Also, Sookie is (SPOILER ALERT AGAIN!) a slut in the novels. And she’s annoying. AND the books are in first person. By the second book, I was tired of Sookie’s perspective. She (and i think a lot of readers) likes to think that she straddles the line between “exploring” and “slutty” but I think she crosses that line somewhere along book two, for the simple reason that she lets herself by absolutely dominated sexually by a variety of much more powerful men. I mean, okay, Sookie has “powers”, but in terms of strength of character and willpower, she’s a sexual pawn for what seems like 1/2 the population of her Louisiana town, Bon Temps. Judging from the tv series, this only gets worse as time goes on. For the record, I think she should stay with Mr. Bill.
Charlaine Harris (the author) is also not very prosaic in her descriptions of bedtime. But this is a characteristic of a lot of writing. My new new pet peeve are awkward metaphors which try to approximate the experience of an orgasm. I understand you can’t just write “and then she had an orgasm”, but attempts at poetry can make things worse.
So here are some free orgasm metaphors, some Aaron Dorman “originals”:
“‘Oh!’ she cried as the eggshells melted underneath her eyelids.”
“‘Oh!’ he said as the peanuts within his very soul were turned to butter.”
“‘Again!’ she screamed as the whole world transformed into pastel blue.”
“‘More!’ he said as he felt like his groin were a cocoon which was about to reveal a handsome butterfly.”
“Then the two of them sat there feeling like the bed had just caught fire with flames of marshmallows.”