Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What's Going On

... here in the SeoulPatch, you may be asking. Of course, the only reason you might be asking is that you haven't bothered to subscribe to the Atom RSS feed linked at the bottom of the page or become my "Follower" in your Blogger profile.

So get on the stick here, Dear Reader!

1) Yesterday was the second day of the SETI co-teaching workshop which was about the same as the first day--meaning some useful stuff, some boring stuff, some contacts made. The usual for these kinds of things. EXCEPT:

2) The lady who spoke to us about assessing student speaking skills was perhaps the most boring, pointless, muddled presenter in the history of educational seminar presenters (I've been to a lot of these in 23 years, so I have seen the zenith and the nadir). Even Dick Cheney would call it torture.

2A) I have also presented at a few such events, but of course, my material was always FRESH and FASCINATING.

3) There was a very good presentation leading us through a SMOE publication with useful information for Native Speaking Teachers. However, in typical Korean fashion, virtually no one at the seminar had received a copy of this book, and the presenters were not authorized to give out copies (they loaned us copies just for the workshop). So probably the best resource of the seminar was literally unavailable. Korea has elevated mindless bureaucracy to a fine art.

3A) Obligatory Confession: I stole the copy they loaned me. I knew I could not withstand the moral pressure to return it when they asked us to do so at the end, so I left about two minutes early.

4) Even though I have not been to the gym in [mumble], I still ate at ChickenMania tonight. It turned out to be a unique meal, as the older guy who seems to run the place actually sat and talked to me--to the extent his English allowed. We were already compatico in that he is also a Doosan Bears fan. His name is Pak Jong-mun 박종문 and he graduated from Young-il, the school I teach at, in 1981. He remembers both Principal Jun and the art teacher Lee Cheong-gye.

I told him tomorrow begins the Young-il Festival and he flipped up his cell phone to look for an announcement. Nada, which displeased him, as he said he usually receives such information.

He went to Las Vegas (everyone here who has been to America will tell you so repeatedly) about 20 years ago as an early Domino's Pizza franchisee, but he told me all he knew how to order was Bud and Coke, so he was hungry alot. I guess he couldn't find the buffet.

5) So: tomorrow is the beginning of the Young-il Festival, which includes a Sports Day tomorrow, and a club activity presentation day on Saturday. There is nothing on Friday--that is School Founder's Day, a holiday for all concerned.

6) Technically, I don't work on Saturday, but I will attend at least a few hours of the festivities on Saturday, just to demonstrate an interest in the students, and to get a few good photos to show you on the blog.

7) Having figured out and solved the technical problems in my classroom, I told Lee Gum-cheon 이굼천, our Deptartment Head, that I was basically satisfied with the English Only Zone. So at lunch today, he floated the idea of a "classroom-warming party" which I and the others present were all in favor of.

8) So: SMOE (Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education) can't give its foreign teachers a useful teaching handbook that it already has copies of, but it can spring for a frivolous eating and drinking binge on the taxpayers' dime, er, baek won. Welcome to Korea!


Rod said...

I thought SMOE stood for Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

Tuttle said...

It does. What did I put? Ah, I'll fix it soon. Ta!

SuperDrew said...

Also, they teased us with the 2 million won instead of paying for airfare, which totally fell through. Since I don't plan on going back to the US, looks like I am just screwed out of a bunch of cash. Figures...