Thursday, March 31, 2011

Strange Weather

We should be feeling nice and cool, wearing jackets, driving around with the windows down. Instead it is quite cold, with people bundling up in the morning. In the afternoon it warms up a bit, but at night? Turn on the heater!

Last year the cherry blossom festival was delayed due to cold weather lingering later than usual. We had snow in April! I can only imagine what we have in store for this year.

Last year saw flooding in Seoul, and a number of typhoons. Today is the last day of March, but I think spring is still a ways off. Good by March.

/tata

p.s Time passes much faster in Korea....MUCH faster!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Educating little people....

George is getting home schooled. Period nuff said, no more discussion. Why? Well I remember my experience in public school, and well....I will not put our boy through that. In Korea people are still insular minded, and to be frank, I do not have time to deal with racism, ignorance, and alienation that a foreign kid might have to go through. I say might because not everything is written in stone, my stay in Korea has been quite good, with 10 good experiences to every annoying situations. Actually come to think about it.....I rarely have the nightmare experiences other teachers often complain about. (Most of them are of course white)

So to get back on topic, George will, and is being home schooled. It is a joy really, and I am able to spend time with him, explaining things. He has a insatiable curiosity about the world around him. Thanks to his Nana his reading is off the charts!

In Korea parents are very keen on having their little people out compete other little people. This means that billions of dollars are spent on private education every year.

Now with our George, parents look at him as a possible means to an end. George speaks English, and can likely teach a kid he is playing with English. This actually works both ways because George can pick up Korean as well.

Parents in the past have asked me to basically pimp out my son to make "friends" with their kids. Now the term "friend" should be loosely applied. They want my kid along with theirs to "play together joyfully in English". Of course they will pay me some money on the side. LOL

Heck NO!!! My son will make friends in a normal way. Well for Korea normal would be joining a hagwon, lets say taek-kwon-do, and meeting kids there. On teacher had the audacity to suggest that our son join her class in our hogwan. Uh those kids can barely read, and well to be honest George can read at the same level as most Korean English teachers minus the comprehension. He can pronounce a big word.....the meaning escapes him.

Well I will not pimp the bounty from my loins to greedy parents.

/tata

What in the world?

Well lets see, 2011 has been quite a busy year just 3 months in. We saw events in Egypt come to a head, which followed Tunisia. Next Libya, with violence in Yemen as well. It looks like governments in less stable countries are failing, oh wait a minute, Belgium comes to mind.

Now we have Japan. Japan, Japan Japan, what in the in world? Reactors built on coastal areas where tsunamis are a real threat = terrible planning, and a real issue if there ever is a tsunami. Oh wait there was and guess what? It knocked out the cooling system and caused the cores to melt down. Now I just heard from Yogita that apparently all over Korea, there are trace amounts of radiation present. In addition to this, plutonium is leaking from one or more of the reactors. This stuff has a loong half life, it breaks down very very slowly. If a person inhales.....you WILL catch cancer due to DNA damaging effects.

There seems to be more and more bad news outweighing the good.

/tata

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekend classes!

Yeah thats right we are running a 3 month weekend program. We start at 8am and finish at 12 noon. Busy busy busy.

A few days ago there was an earthquake off the coast of Japan (I think). It was a 9.0 quake, which triggered a tsunami which heavily damaged series of nuclear reactors.

So this week was a little tense because well Japan is right next door to us. We can't help but feel bad for the people who are suffering because of the lose of their homes, basic services, lack of food, and water.

For me it is a wake up call, a natural disaster can topple even the most advanced, and technological societies. Some of the pictures I have seen online make me think of war torn areas of world.

Ok I have about 20 mins until I will complete the 2nd week of our program.

/tata

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Unique Language Of Driving!

We are back from our 1 week trip to India. It was Amazing!!!!! It was nice to meet family and friends and spend time with people who genuienly care about us....while we were their we took a road trip....we got to see some truly unique places and meet some very nice people. We had a ball.

Driving in India is very different than driving in Korea. It looks very chaotic at first however, after close observation you can see that there is a pattern in the mayhem....a reason to the madness...

Honking your horn while driving in many places is a sign of aggression and often considered rude but in India its a way of communication....you can hear horns going off everywhere but thats because as people are passing each other..or if someone wants to overtake another vehicle its a way of communicating between the drivers like: "hey! i see you...oh well, i see you too!!!!!"

Even in Korea we have driving etiquette and language. For example at a red light drivers turn off their headlights and only use their courtesy lights..this is considered polite...also if a driver blink their hazards twice it can mean Thanks or Sorry depending on the situation....

It's amazing what you can learn if you pay attention to the tiny little details.....Have a great weekend!!!!!