Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Few Follow-ups

1) As promised, an update on the week's lesson following the "hell class" of Tuesday, fifth period. I am happy to announce that they really liked it. They bought into it and jockeyed for position to be the next to go back in.

Alas, the seventh period class did not have their best day. They were rambunctious, and are the first class (of 10 so far) to do a poor job of getting the information down completely (I spot-check their worksheets, of course).

OTOH, Mr Wright's two classes of first graders were impeccable. Mr Wright, a grammarian who once spent a month in upstate New York, is becoming a really good co-teacher.

2) Seoul is having its first cold snap of the season. It was 43 F this morning when I left home, and it warmed up to not quite 60 F. The weather gadget says it's 50 F right now. Today was also a strong yellow wind day.

One likes to have a couple of months after turning off the aircon before turning on the ondol (floor heating)--and then, of course, vice versa in the spring. Older Koreans tell me the Seoul winters are quite mild compared to the days of their youth. They accept global warming as fact. Of course, some of them also accept "fan death" as fact...

3) A South Korean historian receives coverage in the Dong-A Ilbo for his thesis that patriotic ancestor An Jung-geun was [gasp!] tried illegally by the Japanese government after assassinating Japanese colonial governor of Korea Hirobumi Ito in what was then Russian-controlled territory in China. The year was 1909. The Russians should have had control, and should have consulted with the Korean government.

I bet he's right. But I don't know that this exactly newsworthy, since there doesn't seem to be anything, um, new in the article. Whenever I read stories like this, I vaguely hear Mrs Lovett's voice in my head, trying to get Sweeney Todd to let go of "... the wrongs what was done to you, Heaven knows how many years ago..."

Just the other day, I was talking with youthful co-teacher Mr Hur about, well, I don't remember what, but we ended up on the American Revolutionary War. He studied American and British Literature in college, not much history, but he confessed he's always been surprised by the close friendship of the US and Britain after such a significant war.

I shrugged and said, "Well, I guess the British don't hold a grudge like the Koreans do!"

"Yah!" he said, nodding sagely, "very different cultures."

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