Friday, January 29, 2016

I am a rare guy...

When I was little I would have to face the public school system in Philadelphia. My mother knew that there would tough times ahead. In her heart she wanted to home school us. Well with a strange aliment which she found out later was LUPUS, limiting her she had no choice. We had to enter public school. We were loving to each other before entering the hell that is public school. After experiencing bullying, the peer pressure, and for me an environment where teachers could not insure your physical safety. It changed us my siblings and I. I can not speak on how it changed my brothers, and sisters. I can speak on how it changed me.

Today, many parents feel that kids need social lessons. They feel that the nonsense that I faced in school is a good social lesson. Here in Korea the situation is very different. So I will not fault Korean parents, they just do not know what it is like to raise kids who are going to low income public schools. My experience was a circus. Fighting most days, with cruel taunting everyday. I admit I was a fool. I did not communicate what was going on. I felt like I could handle it on my own. I am so glad I grew up when I did. If I did what I did today...I would have ended up dead.

I fought. I hated bullies. I hated kids who would pick on other kids, make them cry or shame them in different ways. Perhaps making them do some simple task as if they are a servant. It ignited an anger I never felt in my young life. I decided I would fight them if they decided to do the same to me.

My battle was a silent one at first. I would refuse to cry or show fear while the bully would pummel me. Looking back it is so amazing how the bully was so perplexed. He just could not understand how one kid would not cry, or do as he said.
Eventually this just would not cut it. I became a punching a bag. I am a person with a short temper. I did not know this then. So one day one bully was hitting me, my temper went red hot. I literally threw him to the ground and started pounding him. Something amazing happened after I did that. That kid left me alone!! I had peace of mind for the first time in years.

So I started punching back! I would take on bullies taller, heavier, and sometimes stronger than I. You see I was small but I had more power than one could tell from looking at me. The downside was that well...I was not trained in hand to hand combat. In addition I had very little endurance at first. I would swing several punches, that would surprise the bullies. However, soon I learned I needed to practice somehow. I would tire too soon. The result? I would fight kids that would bully other kids. It got to the point that weaker students would run to me for help.

I felt like a hero at times. Being a hero was actually a stupid idea. I was a child. I was not equipped to deal with trying to help other students. I was a student myself. Well, finally it got to the point that the bullies finally respected me and left me alone. However, the fear they had of me did not go away. You see the "respect" was not a normal respect you see people showing each other in a civilized world. It was something out of the animal kingdom. They knew that even if 2 of them would attack me, one of them would get hurt. Even when 10 students would attack me, I made sure to put a hurt on one of them. Usually the poor sucker who ended up in front of the pack got several nasty punches from me. Of course they would over power me, and I would endure an ass kicking. But I was used to taking pain.

The animal kingdom style respect was more dangerous than I could have realized. When animals fear another animal they form packs to hunt said feared animal. That is what those bullies did. Eventually they learned that I am actually human after all. One of them hit me with a rock. I saw more blood pouring out of me than I had ever seen in a lifetime. Here is the kicker though. I was not afraid of the bullies. While this happened I was planning to knife the one who attacked me the next day. I was about to throw my life away with out even consulting my parents.

Fortune smiled on me that day. When I got home covered in blood but fuming. My mother and father took the reins out of my hands. They confronted the teachers and the administrators. They saved my life. I had a knife in my jacket, and was waiting for an opportunity to attack the kid who hit me with the rock. If I had succeeded I would have ended up in prison, and my life would have been terrible. Instead while in the school my parents refused to let me "get something" from my locker. They stuck with me.

Fast forward today. I am married to a wonderful woman. I have two sweet boys. I am a real traveler. I live and work in foreign countries. Instead of fighting bullies, I help people better themselves. I am in a country where violence is frowned on. I have learned patience. I even prevented one massive solider from pummeling another solider. How did I do it? Did I fight him? No I simply said sorry, and managed to calm him down. We became very friendly afterwards.

I am a rare guy. My parents had issues yet I was never forgotten. Now that my mother has passed away I have gained another mother. She is so loving, so sweet, where my mother had to hard, strict, my new mother has shown me softness, tenderness. I am not taking away from what my biological mother did. She did the right thing, another reason why I am such a rare guy (well my brothers and I).

Oh and it is friday....yeah boy!!!

/tata

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

India....

India is such a dynamic place. It sucks when I hear Koreans talk about India. It is frustrating. This is mainly because in Korea package tours are really really popular. Along with the insulated resort style of traveling. All over Korea there are resorts. Thanks to my friend I have been able to see what they are all about.

Usually when we travel we would see them but avoided them, thinking they were tourist traps...which in a way they are.

Basically, you travel to any region in Korea, and in this small country there are so many beautiful places to visit. It is jam packed with variety. Skiing, river rafting, fishing, hiking camping, exploring caves, scenic farms, numerous festivals, pristine beaches, amusement parks, valleys, and nestled among them are the resorts.

So it doesn't surprise me when Koreans visit China, and from the pictures you can see that the food is "buffet" style and not really authentic regional Chinese food. Resorts are great in that they are a one stop for all. They have small markets, restaurants, pool halls, bowling alleys, arcades, spas, some of them have water parks. The main issue? They are ubiquitous. If you have been one you basically have been to them all. Here lies the problem for me.

When Koreans visit India business savvy people set up similar resorts (hotels), in which you can experience India but you use a tour package, and you get a very narrow view of India. If you are going to travel to India, please respect the fact that curry is one of the multitudes of food that is offered. India truly is a subcontinent. While Korea has many different regions, that offer different experiences to the traveler, India has that multiplied 100 times over.

When I was in India I remembered seeing Korean tourist huddled together with the tour guide. They were all wearing masks, and looking quite green in the gills. Yes it was a dirty area, with cow, and dog shit everywhere, along with open sewers. But, if you really want to experience a place....well that is part of it.

So they are huddled together looking like cattle, listening to the tour guide (a Korean), give an introduction on the area..yadda yadda yadda. I understand why it is popular, but it allows misinformation to abound. I wonder if they realize that Indians speak better English, and that India will be a giant economically in the future. I really wonder...because in Korea too many people look down on Asians from southeast Asia.

India is a place with so much to offer, but it isn't understood so well in South Korea. Partly India is to blame. I remember the first time I went to Lucknow, people told me to throw my trash on the ground. The ground was totally cover in garbage. I was horrified, and I think they saw that. They laughed and said "this is India don't worry". I know that they were being sarcastic, well I hope so. Looking back...they did not blink an eye at littering. BUT that is JUST that area!! Other regions are cleaner than Japan!!! Other places the literacy rate is amazing!!! Actually to tell the truth I find that Indians are VERY VERY knowledgeable about the world. In Korea......it is like some places in America where people can no see past their front yard!!

I love South Korea, and India, I just wish South Koreans could see India the way I do...incredible India!!!

/tata

Thursday, January 21, 2016

PC talk!

The last time I posted about our plans for our pc's it was about possibly upgrading our video cards.

The last upgrade was RAM, and more hardrives. Well I got my hands on 2 more 300 gig drives. I will install another on yogis system, and the other on mine. This will place my total HDD space at 4.2 terabytes. It sounds like a lot but with so many tv programs, and games are getting larger and larger....it isn't anything special. It makes life easier for us.

We have some gtx 285 cards, they are dated but since we have 3 of them it means they can be used in SLI mode. Basically 2 cards working together to run a game. I want to experiment with them on another pc that I have...we will see.

Currently my LG LED monitor is acting up. It looks like some capacitors need replacing. Korea isn't the place to do this. Next time I end up in India I will bring it with me because in India...they fix everything! Your motherboard is acting up? Take it to a pc shop. For about 2 to 5 bucks they can fix it for you. In America the labor costs make buying a second hand or even a new one a better option.

So upgrades needed? At the moment a slightly larger LED monitor (which we will ship ahead of us if we ever have to relocate), and...that is basically it. Next month I might upgrade our GPUs. Nothing fancy perhaps gtx 760's? It is basically a upgraded gtx 560...about 30% faster...


oh well....one of my students has the gtx titan which is a monster of a gpu!! Of course it is just for work....so no fun there.


/tata

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Man is so greedy....

Our banking system is going to fail....totally. Today in the news paper the main headline:
"Global anxiety rises as China growth falls". Only man would look at growth as a parameter that can fall. Due to this outlook people panic. We keep looking for more growth and economies that continue to grow. Isn't that a pipe dream? How is it reasonable to expect that economies will just grow and grow. Eventually we are going to reach a point where there is a maturation of certain markets.

Here in Korea the smart phone market is no different. They make big bucks trying to attract people to give up perfectly working older models, for newer devices that are really only about 10% better than the previous model. Many smart phones slow down over time due to people placing numerous apps that eat up resources. I am very proud of Yogita. She is still using her iphone 4. She makes calls over wifi, or the hotspot from my phone, saving the cost of a second phone. She even uses a few apps that she enjoys on it.

We have a banking system based on credit. In others words it is based on how much the system THINKS you can pay back, or how much debt the system thinks you can handle.

This is going to fail, already in Korea there are reports of rising household debt. Credit card use is at an all time high.

I saw the same thing happening in India, people who normally are very good with money getting sucked into the buy stuff you don't need nonsense. America is suffering from this in a very bad way.

There is one plus side for a guy like me....I will buy your old stuff. Cause guess what? 2 used gtx 500, or even 700 series graphics in SLI mode means that while you have that brand spanking new card, my performance is right up there with yours.

That car you sold at a loss, I can pick it up and save money and enjoy it all the more!

So while less money might be made in China this year....money is still being made!

Oh yeah we got the rest of the day off yesterday...we took rest, and watched izombie.
It is basically a police drama, with a chick who is a zombie......meh, Yogi loves it so I will watch it with her....but...really? It's meh in my book.

/tata

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Heavy Snow....

Well...we finally got our big snow storm for this season. I really hope that it is just this storm. I think over a foot of snow fell over night and it is still coming down.
I personally think we should shut down most of the classes today, we will see if that happens. I think student attendance will be very low.

Ok enough about the snow....last week we had a great time at Charlie's grandmother's house. It is a nice little compound made up of three buildings. Two buildings are basically small homes with a couple of bedrooms, a bathroom, along with a small kitchen.

I had a chance to set up of my tarp, so that was very valuable practice for later this year.
We drank some really strong Taiwanese liquor it was about 116 proof! Jang, ended up having to sleep it off for a few hours but he was up and having a good time later!

George and Jeyo had a lot fun as well. Mr Jeong brought his family along and his two sons played with our boys. It was a very nice set up, with a very beautiful backdrop of low snow covered mountains. I look forward to more activities later this year! I wonder if camping is a big think in India. If it isn't I am sure it will become very popular, it is so much fun!!

Ugh let me check....yeah it is still snowing....I hope I can get a day off...it sucks sitting in an empty school because most people have the good sense to stay home. My Equus is buried under about a foot of snow. So I will start up her engine and clean her off. I want the batter to maintain a charge, and the oils to get a nice warp up.

Ah it seems city buses have shut down....perhaps this will be a stay spent playing eve at home???

ok gotta go


/tata

Friday, January 15, 2016

Yogita is an awesome teacher!

This post will focus on my little wife. She is one talented woman. In addition to being beautiful, sexy, alluring, super attractive....uh...you get the point. She has got the looks, and the brains!

When Jeyo returned from India there were some serious issues we noticed. Despite going to a "top tier" kindergarten he could not read a lick! Oh he was a cute little parrot. He could memorize passages, it was adorable. It was a sham though, everyone praised his school, only Yogita and I had the foresight to see beyond the "cute".

So in late 2013 as soon as we arrived Yogita went to work. Jeyo was reading well beyond his age group by Feb. 2014. Now he loves to read news papers (George learned how to read from Mom, my Indian mom!).

So she taught a child who learned how to mimic and memorize, to read. Phonics isn't about just making sounds, it is about recognizing how those sounds go together to make a syllable or a sound unit of a word. She did it in record time.

Last week I made post about her "Mission impossible". Well she did it again. The student is really making amazing headway. He can now write a full essay with only a hand full mistakes. Yup that is right a full essay with all of its parts. He has learned the basic structure of writing. It took her perhaps a week and a half!!! His public school teachers can not do what he is doing right now!!!

So hats off to my little lady! She is the hottest, smartest, most clever woman I know! (well there are other clever woman in our family but she is the hottest and smartest, cause...they can not do what she can!! They are wonderful too!)

^^


/tata

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Rough year ahead....

It seems that this year bankers are crying foul, and in Scotland they are urging people to sell, basically get out of the market. Oil might hit 16 bucks a barrel! Something ain't right!

Well perhaps something is. The way things have been going simply can not continue. Evil agents of ISIS running around killing people. People inspired by these cowards committing heinous crimes in their name. It is nuts.

Seriously if oil hits 16 dollars a barrel, I can not see it bouncing back to 100 dollars plus and consumers accepting it. We are in for a very strange rough year. Last year was hellish, people getting getting killed because their governments decided that ISIS is evil. SO....shoot down an airliner. What the heck?!? They are even using human shields.

These days love for one's neighbor is dead. A man was stabbed on a busy street in New York...people just walked over him...for 20 minutes. The man desperate for help was begging people to help me. THEY IGNORED HIM. The poor man bled out right there.
I hate it when people focus ONLY on kids and women dying. What men are not human? Men can not be just as innocent. It is the total loss of life that is terrible.

Fathers, mothers, children gunned down, or in come cases forced to become suicide bombers. UGH crazy year ahead! I think banking institutions will fail this year. Or they will lose so much credibility that more people will hoard cash. China needs to devalue its currency by 20%, I think they will not do that. In turn there will be a market melt down this year. Actually it is inevitable, credit based systems encourages buying with out really looking ahead. If countries actually bought what they could afford, America would have many more carriers retrofitted and upgraded. Not this nonsense we have today when billions and billions are spent on stupid designs.

So yeah I am ranting....but this year.....yeah we will see the banking institution royally fail.


/tata

Monday, January 11, 2016

Iksan resupply...and my best friend

Well the trip to iksan was nice, parking was tough, we got what we needed, and I think we will go back in 3 weeks or so. Indian food is nice, and healthy. It was interesting to see the many foreigners. What many do not realize is that most of the aliens living in Korea are not from North America...they hail from Asia.

My friend wanted to hang out, but I had to turn him down. He is getting back in habits that I thought he had quit. Seems like old habits die hard. I will not go into details, I just hope that he comes to his senses.

So we had a nice laid back weekend we are almost finished watching The wire. One of my students (perhaps former student?) sent me a torrent so I will check it out! It includes one season of a new mini series.

So it is Monday but they won't suck so much for the short term!!
I have a break from one class which gives us more free time. I will enjoy this to the fullest because if there is one thing I have learned....times like this....do no last!


/tata

Friday, January 08, 2016

Time to resupply!

This weekend we are going to head to Iskan (about 30 kms away) and buy some much needed Indian ingredients for our meals. Daal. chick peas, masalas, and a few other things. I want to ask them about the cell phones they have. I might be able to get a prepaid unlocked smart phone for Yogita. Basically an upgrade over the iphone 4 that she has been using. Something with a slightly larger screen, that she can use to supplement her ipad2 until I can upgrade that as well. I think the perfect tablet for us will be something similar to the ipad2 (screen size, and weight), superior cpu/gpu, and the love all things tech related a real camera!!! I think the ipad air 1 meets our criteria as the price has dropped since 2 generations of ipads have been released since then. The Ipad air2, and the ipad pro. The Ipad air is about 400,000 won new. Yogita also needs an upgrade for her cell phone (iphone can be a back up).

So when I get to the store I will ask a few questions see what options might be useful for us. Of course they tend to over charge like crazy!!

Ok time to run...TGIF!!

/tata

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Yogita's mission impossible!

I thought this would be a bigger rant, but I have new information....this will be a minor rant about Korean super moms.

We have special classes, basically they are prep courses where we help students who are going to study abroad. We help them in different ways, like improving vocabulary, to teaching them about living in a foreign country and what to expect. We also do interview prep courses as well. (I just got a new class this week, where I will help a student with an interview for a MBA program).

Well the young lad Yogita is working with will be going to Singapore. He will enter high school there. His major challenge is that his level of English is so low, he would fail his courses outright. He needs practice in all areas of English. I am not saying he is weak in every area but he needs about 6 months of prep work. Well I found out his father has a very nice plan that means he only needs about 2-3 months.

The main issue here is the boy's mother. She basically wants him to study all day with out a break in the library. Let me break it down ... he will get up at 8:30am head to our school. Start class at 9 am. Finish around 11 am, head home and eat lunch. Then, head to the library and study until the evening. No rest periods allowed. Just study in the library. Study material that he barely understands as of yet. Likely he will be studying grammar, a type of study that is USELESS out of Korea. Let me explain a bit more. In South Korea grammar well English grammar is studied like the bible. People memorize every aspect of grammar with out actually making practical use of it. For example actually having a writing composition class. Instead they study obscure grammar rules that even native speakers are not fully aware of.

This case where kids are forced to study to extreme exhaustion produces terrible results. Korea lags behind the OECD nations in terms of English proficiency despite logging crazy hours studying English. UGH

So the kid just arrived looking half dead....fatigue isn't condusive to learning!
These super moms think that because they know their children's nature that they fully understand educating them. Students in South Korea sleep during class

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Happy new year!....

Yeah so it is 2016, and the common phrase we all use when we see people again is "happy new year".

I just hate holidays at times due to the superficial nature of the "good cheer".
I could understand if we had an expression like "Best hope for 2016", or something like that.

Now our holiday was quite nice. We rested at home, caught up on loads of reading and rest. I have decided to wait until February to take that road trip. We are now official bloggers, so that trip will actually help us generate content.

Well here are some goals for this year:

Make sure that I read the bible everyday.
Stay awake and watch world events Jehovah's day is coming (reminds of a song "stay awake stand firm and grow mighty"
Continue educating our boys
spend even more time as a family, and give time for Yogita and I
Participate in the 5km marathon in April. (Maybe do it again in the summer).
Related to the topic above...get in shape.
As for work related goals: get TESOL, and EFL certifications.
Continue to build the English club we started last fall.
technical stuff: upgrade ipad2s--> ipad air or maybe Air2.
upgrade yogitas cpu (i5, or i7), upgrade both gpus (our current gtx 560's will be back ups). Which card to upgrade to? I am still researching this...
Car: rebuild the tranny, replace radiator (it will include a tranny cooler as well).

That is about it really.  Oh yeah I want to be more regular on this blog this year. Last year wasn't too bad. I want to double the number of post this year.

OK time to get ready for class!

/tata