Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuttle News Wrap

1) I tucked my heavier coats into a suitcase under the stairs, based on the observation that today's temperature reached about 72 F. I bought a light spring-type coat a few weeks ago, but if it stays warm like this, I will hardly use it.

2) The lesson plans are going swimmingly, but for some reason they have been very tiring this week. Mind you, first period Tuesday, the cellphone conversation thing, the kids spent their conversation time goofing off, and the co-teacher sat at the back reading a book.

I made it clear to both that this was not acceptable, and I would see a different pattern of behavior next week, or they would see a very different me! I don't actually lose my temper anymore, but I can act like it pretty well. Stay tuned.

3) That was Tuesday. For lunch, delightful older Mr Lee asked me to accompany him to lunch off-campus and eat 갈비탕 galbi-tang, or (beef) short rib soup. I had not eaten this before, but it certainly goes on my list! The restaurant was named 마당집 mah dang jib, which means courtyard house. Several tables were in a pretty, old-fashioned courtyard, and there were also several private rooms inside. Mr Lee told me this is a popular spot for dinner among Young-il teachers who have to work the late shift supervising the study rooms. Sorry, no pictures, as it was kind of ad hoc.

4) The native teacher blogosphere is up in arms about an opinion piece in yesterday's Korea Times titled "Korea's English Pandemic" bemoaning both the state of Korean English education and the influx of low-quality pasty-faced native speakers.

Frankly, it is a quandary to me how this even got published. The author is Jessica Kim, who hates English education so much she uses an English name and goes to school at the University of Virginia. Sounds to me like a case of I got mine, you can't have yours. You hear the same thing in America, from the anti-immigration people. She claims:
Recently, a lot of people have been calling me and emailing me, to the point where I just had to shut down my phone. Some even identify themselves as a friend of a friend of a friend of mine. That's a long social chain.
These random "friends" who don't have a job or got fired recently have been trying to get in touch with me to ask me about teaching English in Korea.

Puh-leeze. She shut down her phone, there were so many calls? She continues:
Sadly, I do not have a solution and my intention was only to point out my observation of today's society. I do not know if anyone will ever have a solution. Is it even possible?

Gosh, thanks for that. But most egregiously, and without a shred of evidence, she ends with a comment that the influx of native teachers "leads to many indirect social problems that we have in Korea right now." Though she may mean it indirectly leads to the problems, either way, it is malarkey. Shame on you, Jessica (if that is your real name), for writing such hate-filled twaddle, and shame on you, Korea Times, for publishing it!


Mr. B said...

Wait... how could you have NEVER had 갈비탕 before? That's just tragic.

SuperDrew said...

If you ever use the word 'blogosphere' again, I will choke you out!

Jo-Anna said...

Just yet another shining moment for the Korea Times... I've yet to find a decent English newspaper in this country. They all seem to suffer from abysmal editing, fact checking, and just plain nationalism to the point where it makes one start to believe that Koreans are even more egotistical than us Americans... I'm trying the JoongAng Daily right now... I've already become completely fed up with the times and the herald.