Sunday, March 29, 2009
I was so surprised... It was my dad.
"Can we go on for a walk instead, nakong?" he said.
"Of course Pops, we can." I replied.
We went on walking for sometime until I noticed the surroundings had changed. We were walking on a one-lane road, its sides lined up with beautiful trees... I looked out and we seemed to be in the middle of a very beautiful grassy meadow... The best countryside view I'd ever seen so far...
I started the conversation....
"Pops, we've all been waiting for you. What took you so long to come back?" I said
"Because I had been walking. It took me sometime to come here. I am now at a place I can only describe as more beautiful than this. It's really beautiful. I'm in a better place now." he said.
We kept on talking and walking until we arrived into a beautiful house. I went inside to prepare refreshments while he talked to my uncle ouside. There was a baby in the house. All I can remember was---it was my baby.... I went outside to call them but to my disappointment, my uncle said my Dad has left already.... with no parting words...
I couldn't remember the rest of the conversation. But one thing's for sure, he's definitely in A Better Place now... more beautiful than we could imagine...
and this dream occurred almost 5 years ago.....
Happy 5th Birthday There, Pops....
Monday, March 23, 2009
Since I only spend 3-4 minutes per student, without wanting to waste much time, I immediately dialed the next student's home number... Hearing the other end ring, I didn't check again if I actually dialed the correct number. A little kid answered the phone ....
Me: Yeoboseyo.... Davinci, is that you?
Kid: Eh? Nuguseyo?
Me: "(Academy Name)" Yeong-o Sonsaengnim-imnida (This is _____ English Teacher) Jehan Teacher. Oppa.... oppa-Davinci, issoyo? (with my poor Korean, "Is your older brother there?")..
Kid: Ah.. oppa.... (and shouts for his brother....) Yeong-o sonsaengnim *&^%$#@!*&^.....
Older brother: Yeoboseyo?
Me: Yeoboseyo? Is this Davinci?
Older brother: Eh? *&^%$ Molayo...
Kid: (grabbed the phone back from his brother)... Yeong-o Sonsaengnim, chugoleyo? (English Teacher, You wanna die?)
Oh, at least I understood that and wondered why he said that. I checked my student's checksheet.. It was then I realized that I dialed a wrong number...
Me: Oh, arasemnida... wrong number... bye bye...
Kid: Bay bay Yeong-o Sonsaengnim....
Thursday, March 19, 2009
School Head: She is Jehan Teacher. What will you say?
Students: Hello Jehan Teacher! Nice to meet you.
Me: Oh, nice to meet you too. (Shook hands with them one by one)
School Head: What will you say next?
Students: Where are you from?
Me: I'm from Philippines.
Students: .... (some just nodded and some just smiled sweetly...)
The following day, one of the new students came to me...
Student: Hello Teacher! Nice to meet you. May I know your name?
Me: Uh-oh, forgot it already? I'm Jehan Teacher. How about yours? I also forgot your name.
Student: No name yesterday teacher (giggles)....
First school day of March, a January-February student approached me:
Student: Teacher, Are you our mini book (a story book) Teacher?
Me: Uh-oh, sorry, I don't think so.
Student: Oh my god (in Korean "Ah sincha"), no games!!!
I make card or guessing games that would actually make them remember words from the book. I call it a "game" so they'll enjoy without noticing they're actually remembering words from the story we just read.
First Friday of March: WP (word practice) and PW (practice writing) day. We have this for levels 1-3 every Friday...
Student: Hi Teacher!
Me: Hi Nick!
Student: Are you our WP Teacher? (I checked my schedule and asked for his WP class)
Me: Oh, sorry Nick. It's not me.
Student: Oh my god, no hints....
Another (Korean) Teacher: Why Nick, what's the problem?
(She could be the WP Teacher since there are only 3 WP teachers on Fridays)
Student: (Runs away fast).....
Instead of letting them write sentences on their own, and give them correction papers later to rewrite corrected sentences, I do give hints to the students on how they could write their sentences correctly. Example, they can come to me and ask me how they could write their sentences correctly and explain to them why it should be written that way. If they still wrote their sentences incorrectly, that's the time I give them correction papers where to rewrite their corrected sentences and explain to them why the sentence should be written that way.
First Friday of March: Activity Paper Day for students learning Phonics. A January-February student approached me.
Student: Teacher, are you our Activity Teacher?
Student: Teacher, you will not be our teacher anymore?
Me: Maybe just this month.. maybe next month I'll be your teacher again.
Student: Okay. Next month, see you again Teacher.
But we do see each other everyday. The class even goes to my classroom everyday to just talk to me about everything they want to talk about before their lesson starts...
Second week of March, a Level 3 student talked to me:
Student: Teacher, when is your birthday?
Me: July 12th. How about you?
Student: Asah! I know you will ask it too. It's on March 16th.
Me: Oh, next Monday.
Student: Yes teacher. Please, give me a gift.
Me: Okay! What gift do you like?
Student: Teacher, I'm easy to please. Please give me Boys Over Flowers' stickers. (BOF--Korea's Meteor Garden adaptation)
Me: Oh, okay.
Monday noon, I rushed to the discount shop near our place and checked for a BOF sticker. Lo and behold they have. But when I paid for the stickers at the counter, I noticed the clerk, with an amused smile, sizing me up from head to toe--- I wanted to defend myself that ""Hey, hey! It's not for me!!!!!!""" grr....
March 13th, a day before the White Day (when gents give ladies candies). I received lots of Chocolates last Feb. 13th for the Valentine's Day. For the second week of March, students would come to me to give me sweets too... so I just decided to buy 2 big bags of cream candies (with 4 flavors so I can just give each student 4 candies)
Me: Happy White Day (to a fellow teacher, giving her 4 candies)
Another Teacher: Oh, thank you. So you prepared for today.
Me: No, I just remebered it on my way here so I just bought this so I can give the kids something too..
Another Teacher: Please don't give it to them yet. I didn't prepare something. They might say you are a better teacher than me....
Me: "Duh".... (in my mind) Oh, I didn't mean this to be that way. I just want to give the kids something too. If you want you can give yours later....
Monday came..... I still had candies to give out... the other teacher? She still did not prepare... better Teacher huh!
Monday, March 9, 2009
and his entry was:
"""All politicians are prone to make slips of the tongue in the heat of the moment - and President George W Bush has made more than most....
I feel so much better now. ^_^""
Some people really blog lurk and just... you know, try to correct your composition or other's comments and not comment on the issue being discussed... I myself have seen mistakes too while reading others' articles but those are just the things you let slip since writers are always like "in the heat of the moment"... That's why the writers we so admire also have their (several) editors.
Just try checking the link and read some of President Bush's slips of the tongue... It really amuses me a lot because Alex has a collection of American President's speeches, including that of President Bush. I kept on looking for some "slips" but I guess they're already edited...
Remember the rant I received from a friend's blog by a blog lurker because I used the term fetch over pick up? Well, I took comfort from this site but I also didn't look for an escape hole. I just wanted to take the matter lightly by saying at least I wasn't asked and told "Are you a President too? Obviously not" cause he/she said "Are you a teacher too? Obviously not"...
I've seen worse... but they did and are doing wonders...
Saturday, March 7, 2009
"Are you satisfied with your marriage? I mean, to a Korean?" the question from a Korean teacher getting married soon to her (Korean) boyfriend of three years.
I was not at all surprised with her question. I just smiled and said yes.
"Don't you have any regrets?" she further asked.. "No, none. No regrets," I said.
She's getting jitters... Because she's getting married (in May) to a first son. At some point, she admitted not getting thrilled when she was asked by her bf to marry him. She wants him to do it again at a more romantic mode she said, hehe... She said Korean men are quite strict. There's the issue between in-laws, issues here and there...
"How about the things you used to do? Do you still do them?" she said.
I told her that being married now, you really have to consider the feelings of your partner. For example, I said, I love shopping or window shopping (and I think most women do). He can't understand it (and I think most men do) but I sometimes ask him to give me time to go out for a walk... He gladly obliges because he thinks I'd be going to the parks nearby to exercise... But in truth, I would often scour the shops and boutiques nearby for something that might interest me...
At the same time, I also encourage him to go out and see his friends...and he likes it.
As for the in-laws issues, I told her that it's a universal issue... Wherever you go, there will always be an in-laws issue.
About wife-beating and other stuffs, there are also wife beating cases in other countries. I told her it's up to her if she'd allow it. In some Korean TV dramas or movies I saw, some characters would always allow her husband to beat or abuse her. It's better that way than getting a divorce that would mean deeper social prejudice...
I told her that education is the key. I mean my husband did his part in getting familiar with my culture and had conversations with other Korean men married to Filipinas.
I also said that marriage is a lifetime adjustment. It's most difficult during the first-third year but we should not give up... (among the advices we received)
And I told her that I also told Alex that he's married now, so whatever problems we encounter (of course as a couple), we must keep them between us (as much as possible) and talk about it. At first, our relationship had been an open book to his family for the following reasons: 1) he's the first son and they're all curious about his marriage; 2) they're concerned about me since they know Alex very well; 3) I'm a foreigner and they're concerned about me....
I'm no expert at marriage life, I told her, since we are just a new couple too. But I do listen and try to learn from older and younger women alike who trudged or started to trudge the path longer or earlier than I did...
Hearing this from a Korean woman, I'm somehow comforted at the thought that she wanted to gain strength and insights from me... a Pinay... a torogI... kkkk...
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The student's parents were on their way to NZ from Korea on Wednesday when the boy appeared in Auckland District Court. He was charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
The reason for stabbing?
Some students said racial sensitivity might have triggered the stabbing. Some kids in the class said the teacher must have said a joke about South Korea.
With the issues between South Korea and Japan, and you're teaching Japanese to a Korean and making an (insensitive) joke about South Korea in front of your Korean student? Oh what more sweet revenge from a (sensitive) student could you get?
Working with Korean children, I learned how they value themselves, their culture, their country, their values, etc...etc... and how they hate the big J...
They're still young anyway... As they grow older and more matured, I know they'll get to understand things all the more.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
""I’m not sure how much this counts as a new discovery in Korea, but it’s very well-established fact in other countries. For many parents, I suppose, it could be a shock, but it’s actually pretty obvious after a moment’s thought.
There are calls new policies after a study in the Honam area found that most child molesters are known by the victim.
On the 18th the Honam Children’s Center (호남해바라기아동센터), a part of the Children’s Sexuall Assault Counselling Organization (아동성폭력전담기관) operated by Chonnam National University Hospital (전남대학교 병), announced the results of its research, finding that of the 186 cases of child sexual abuse the Center handled last year, 58%, or 129, of them were committed by persons known to the children, a much higher figure than the 18%, or 41, committed by strangers.
Of those who were known, classmates, neighbors, and friends each accounted for 21%, or 27 cases, followed by older or younger students (20%, 26 cases) and teachers (5%, 6 cases).
36%, or 48, of the molesters were at least 19, while 34%, or 46, were 14 or younger.
The forms of the crimes were most commonly molestation (69%, 128 cases) or rape (17%, 31 cases), and the most common ages of the victims were 7 to 13 (60%, 111 children) and under 7 (20%, 37 children).
A member of the Center said, “the research shows that sexual assault is much more often committed by acquaintances than by strangers. Parents need to act on the knowledge that children are exposed to greater danger of sexual assault from people they know.”""
As I mentioned before, I studied in a high school run by Korean and Filipina nuns. I heard stories of girls "even" from rich families who preferred going inside the stay-in school to run away from molesters very much familiar to them. The Sisters of Mary School (girls' high was then located at Sta. Mesa, Manila but was transferred in 2006 to Cavite near the boy's high compound) is a charitable institution and offers full scholarship to deserving students and takes students under its wings who come to the school for protection from such situations.