Friday, November 22, 2019

Hindustan is calling...

It looks like we will be staying in Korea for one more year. Of course this could change. Right now we are looking at maybe another 14-15 months here. It is so strange that the last 4-5 years have been better than the first 14-15 years. It truly is frustrating when your visa limits you to just one field. If we had more options I would enjoy my life in Korea more. I know this how Yogita feels this way  as well.

India opens so many opportunities for our sons, as well as the United States. Here...we can not do much. Just trying to live your life you find that there are these things that normal people can do but you can not. Buying cars, or homes. Running a business. I remember back in the day you needed a Korean person's citizen number to help get cell phone service. That means that person is privy to all of the details of how you use your phone. I am so glad that has changed. Having a phone under MY name is so much better.

I feel that Korea is making it harder for certain foreigners to stay here. Especially English teachers. Not offering an option for a 1-3 year visa is one. There are plenty of schools here that fail because they can not hold on to talented teachers. Many teachers here feel the same stress of living year to year. I can not wait until I leave that behind.

Banking ugh. It has gotten better...MUCH better but it still needs improvement for expats.

/tata

Friday, November 15, 2019

HHD SSD and m.2 ssd

Wow a bunch of letters with a number thrown in. I'm going to talk about hard drives. Basically, if you are waiting 2-5 minutes or even longer for your pc to reboot and get you into windows, you are doing it wrong. If you buy a laptop that boots fast from a small 128gig ssd, while you store programs on your HDD 1 terabyte drive...you are doing it wrong. HDD or Hard disk drives at this time suck. Solid state drives have finally come down in price and are MUCH faster, more reliable and they last a lot longer. Also you really do not need massive storage drives anymore. Cloud computing can take a load off of your local storage. Of course you have to use it at your own risk. Many files have been hacked and shared around the internet.

If you have an office or work pc and you want use it longer. There are two things you should do. One make sure that it can run an SSD, max out its ram. If it is using older DDR2 ram throw it in the trash. DDR3 or DDR4. Basically DDR3 is very fast, while DDR4 is 10-20% faster. Today most pcs are sold with DDR4. However, the second hand market is flooded with DDR3 laptops and desktops.

So make sure you have minimum 8gigs of DDR3 ram, and 512 to 1 terabyte SSD drive. That alone will make your office pc last for a few more years. If you have an i5 or an i7 with 4 cores it might last even longer.

Some PC's have m.2 slots for the m.2 ssd drive. These transfer data MUCH faster than regular ssd drives. They are also much smaller and come in different sizes. Ask a trusted pc hard savvy friend to help identify what your machine uses. Desktops can use a PCI adapter to run one or even 2 m.2 ssd's.

Ok some pictures
Here you have the larger thicker HDD on the right Actually the SSD drive on the left is much smaller thinner and of course lighter. The HDD has spinning plates, with a mechanical arm that reads and writes data. Your speed is dependent on how fast the drive can spin. Also the more data you have on the drive can slow it down even more. The SSD has NO MOVING parts. It reads and writes at speeds that would make a HDD fail!


Here you can see that the m.2 drives are like a small memory ship. They are smaller, faster, and not heavy at all. They fit in the palm of your hand. The gaming pc I am using has 2 of the B type slots. So I will be buying 2 512 gig or terabyte drives. I can not wait to install them. 

Ok I have one more class. I had better run!

/tata


Friday, November 08, 2019

Friday....

My last post was from a month ago. So this one is more up to date. My sister in India became seriously ill. I will not go into detail here. She is recovering well though. Sometimes distance can be very scary. A family emergency can really make you look at how you are set up and what you might need to do, to get back to your family.

I feel like I have been very blessed in my life. When I first met my wife I thought I would face all kinds of discrimination. Racism was the really ugly one I was preparing myself to face. Instead I got only love. I gained a new father, and mother. Sisters, and now that they are married brothers as well.

My boys are growing well. Smart full of life learning, excited about what lays ahead for them. I recently told my older son that as long has he can follow the basic rules we have (there are not many and they are pretty obvious) he is welcome to stay with us as long as he wants. When I was growing up I was basically told at a certain point you should make your own way. I want my sons to know that what ever they decided to do we will do our best to support them. I am sure they know this. Actually my oldest son reads this blog so there is that.

My boys are healthy this is another blessing that is easy to take for granted. When we see others that suffer due to health issues that their kids were born with. OK my last class is here I gotta go!

/tata

Fall...finally!

The entire family is looking forward to fall / winter. In Iksan the weather is so mild compared to Gunsan. The boys have made friends in the neighborhood now and those people have dogs. In the summer while they could meet up with their friends on a walk it was a very hasty affair due to the heat and humidity.

But enough of that more serious things are likely down the road from us, My father in India is very ill. His hemoglobin count is only 7 when it should be in the range of 14 to 17. He just had eye surgery. When I have chatted with him he sounded really depressed.

We called later this time he was able to talk to the boys and that really cheered him up. So we are planning to make time to chat with him and he can spent time talking to the boys.

Mom and Dad always say that taking care of our kids felt just like they were taking care of their very kids. They really miss that. I used to spend a couple of hours before I slept watching the neighborhood. Dad told me he felt safer knowing that I was up there. I miss those times. Life is so busy that is easy to forget the good times we had.

I remember I should have listened to Dad's advice about my choice of a job. I chased money, and to be honest I wanted to get back what is normal for us. Meaning that living separated from family doing our own thing. I regret that now. Even though things have turned out really good for us, I feel if I had listened we would have spent many years in India.

Wow this rant started about the changing of the season.

/tata

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Chusok is around the corner!

It is that time of year in Korea. Chusok one of the two major holidays in Korea. I think it is translated "harvest festival". Nowadays it is compared to thanksgiving. The holiday can range from 3 days (unlucky) to over 5 days (lucky!). This year it will be 4 days because the main holiday falls on a Friday. The main holiday has the preceding and following days as a holiday. So if the holiday is on Tuesday then Monday Tuesday (main holiday) and Wednesday are holidays. This is nice because it becomes a 5 day holiday.

I used to love this holiday. I would gather up the family and go to another city. I enjoyed the traffic jams. The highways are full of life. People at the rest stops eating resting, and some just waiting out the traffic. You see people of all strata of life on the highway.

Now, I loath traffic jams. Some of the jams...well many of them are caused by accidents. So a road that might have slow moving traffic just sits while an accident is cleared up 3 kilometers away. Even with roads that are wider the congestion is worse. So many people have cars in South Korea. Cars are pretty cheap to when looking at the second hand market. You can buy some well equipped cars, mini vans, or SUVs at a very reasonable price.

Nowadays, I just stay home. We have figure out which places are still open when trying to order food. I like taking long walks during the holiday. So even though it is next week, I am looking forward to it. Many foreigners complain about short vacations. Holidays like this more than make up for it. I am a bit spoiled. For the past 4 years we have had 2 weeks off for vacation. When you add it to the numerous holidays in Korea it is very nice. I want to see if I can enjoy hotpot with Yogita.

/tata

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Unsustainable ESL evironment

Years ago when I started teaching English in Korea things were very odd. No one really knew what to do. Basically, go in to the class and some how "teach". There was no training 20 years ago. English academies where everywhere. Teachers from the so called native English speaking countries were a very common site.

Today some things have stayed the same while other things have changed dramatically. Way back in the day the way of teaching a class was so simple and straight forward. This caused many issues as teachers who did not really respect the job would end up boring students. This stayed like this for many years. Teachers could get a visa very easily and cheaply. So you have a industry where teachers rarely stayed longer than one or two years at one location. They could get work papers easily. The days of the visa run to Japan comes to mind.

Today when teaching we have to do many other things that...well take away from teaching. This is due to the growing influence of Korean mothers. They are not experts in linguistics yet they wield power. They typically control the money in a Korean household. So when groups of moms get together ideas pop up. Those ideas make their way into the classroom. Sometimes these new ideas come from educational channels on TV or popular trends in Seoul. These trends are often short lived. I remember the flash card trend. When people who are not well versed in a field wield power over said field...it is unsustainable.

Lets go back to teachers. There are more qualified teachers in Korea than ever before. The total number of e-2 visa English teachers has decreased though. Rules have tightened, teachers and employers have to use 1 year visas. This means that once a year your life will pause, while you sort your papers out to stay one more year. The changes to teaching visas is a very good thing in many ways. People with criminal records would run to Asia and work. Thus escaping the stigma of a criminal charge on their record. Back in the day no background checks were run. I remember when that change was implemented. It caused a panic!

Visa fees have increased, durations have not changed despite many people staying longer at stable, very well run schools. People who really want to live in South Korea are having a hard time these days. To gain permanent residency status is based a point system, not how many years you have lived in the country paying taxes, not causing problems. This is not sustainable. I have seen so many long term teachers 5-15 years in Korea throw in the towel.

Academy owners are under a crazy amount of stress. People steal ideas (this actually happened to us in Gunsan) and curriculum from competitors. I have seen this happen in Gunsan SO many times. Owners have to deal with unreasonable demands from parents. I will not go into detail here lets just say it makes Korean teachers, and owners lives miserable. This leads to burn out. Which means...it is not something that can survive long term. Mothers in Korea seem to think that piling homework on their children is the answer.

I could rant on for hours but I do not see ESL surviving in the form that it is today for maybe another 10 years. Heck perhaps 5 years from now there will some major change. People have a breaking point. I read the diary of one student. That student stated that they only enjoyed ONE day of the week. ONE DAY. When I was a child I enjoyed EVERYDAY, well except Monday's. Even today I live for everyday. I feel that a change is coming.

/tata

Friday, August 23, 2019

There comes a time in ones life..

I have met so many different types of people over the years. I have worked with many people over a decade (the same coworkers). I have now worked at a number of Hagwons in Korea. I have noticed something. There comes a time in ones life to take a look at what you are doing, and take it easy.

I will not use names only Yogi and I. When Yogi was first working she was so strict, that is caused her a lot of stress while not working. I told her time and time again this is not healthy. After some time she agreed with me and started to not take things so seriously. It resulted in reduced stress she was able to become even more innovative, and creative. She became a better listener. In turn a better learner. It was the same with me. I used to be so focused on my work not realizing that I was actually doing a disservice. For me that time in my life came 7 years ago. In 2012 my mother died. It brought many things into perspective.

Different Hoqwan owners have come to this point as well. When they would sit down with me and discuss their feelings about "work" or "business" I could see what was the trigger for them to take it a bit easier. People can not help but realize life is not all that long. When you are in the grind time FLIES. Years melt away like a stick of butter on glowing coals. Those years are actually your life speeding by with little or no substance. You take a break but it is so fleeting that those memories are buried by more mundane stress that piled on due to work.

One boss I worked with had a set up that required so much time and effort to get a certain task done, that I could see the stress on that persons face.  Eventually strict guidelines start getting loosened. Either by "forgetting" that certain things need to get done. Or procrastinating with certain mundane needlessly tedious, and time wasting tasks. English teachers in Korea who have been around long enough and treat their occupation like a real job will understand what these "tasks" and "procedures" are. It makes me shake my head when I see it. I however, just go with the flow.

However, it all comes to the same place at the end. People get to a certain point when there comes a time in their life that caused them to make changes and take it easy. Taking it a bit easier does not mean to become complacent, or lazy. It means to expend your energy where it matters most. The result when issues arise you become: a better listener, observer, multitasker, and leader. This is mainly for people in management and leadership roles. Teachers are including as well.

/tata

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Upgraded to the Note 10+...

This upgrade was needed. But not for the obvious reasons like needing a better camera, larger screen.
Basically, I love the note 8 9 and 10 series. I like how the note 9 has wider vapor cooling pipe, on the note 10+ it is a bit better. The Note 8 has one real weak point the small battery. So forget all the gizmos that come with the phone the bezels and what not. The main reason I needed this upgrade is cooling and a larger battery.

I am strange that way. When I upgraded to the LG G Pro 2 from the iphone4 (I know...lol) I kept the phone for almost 3 years. I lost the backup battery, and the one battery I had..well I killed it FAST.
I enjoyed the larger display the nicer camera, and the fast quad-core CPU coupled with a nice GPU. Not the greatest tech at that time but it was enough. My friend Josh went through perhaps 5 different high-end phones during the time I had the LG phablet.

So this upgrade means that I plan to keep this device for...quite some time. What I am most excited about is passing the Note 8 to Yogita and she can mothball her galaxy-wide 3. That phone runs on 2 gigs of ram. YUCK. It has only 32 gigs of internal storage...what?! So at the moment, I am transferring all of her apps and settings to the Note 8. In six months I will look into getting the battery replaced in the Note 8. For now, I will have yogi carry a 10000 mah battery pack with her.

/tata

Friday, August 16, 2019

Another Sandwich day...

Yesterday was Korea's independence day. We had a nice day. Yogi and I played some games in the cooler hours then napped. The boys read books and also napped. In the evening it was about the same.

The odd thing is the next day. Going into on work after a middle of the week holiday. Your body thinks it is Monday. A teacher told me that in Korean there is an expression for such days. I simply told her that I call days like this "Monday-Friday". It is not so bad when it is Thursday. Wednesday holidays UGH such odd weeks when that happens.

It seems like the hottest month is over and things will cool down. I can not wait for winter. I get more exercise in cooler months. In the summer I sweat like crazy. Oh...it is time to go two classes and this Monday-Friday will be done! LOL

/tata

Friday, August 09, 2019

Hot humid summers

Since we have returned to South Korea at the end of 2013 summer have been getting worse. A long time student of mine told me that the summer of 2013 was really bad. I spent that summer in Hyderabad working. It was not bad at all, due to the area that we lived in was at a higher elevation. Heat we experienced was a dry heat.

In Korea there are really 3 weeks in the summer where it is really unbearable. Then the temperatures either go cooler or warm up (depending on the time of year). I would say Korea is cold more than it is hot. The hot season can be VERY rough though. I used to wonder why many Korean do not use the AC like Americans do. Now I understand. The cost of running the AC is very pricey here, in addition to there being only 3 weeks of heat that is really intense. Also many Koreans do not sweat like people back in the States do. So running the AC can become very uncomfortable.

That being said in the winter people keep their homes very warm, for me uncomfortably warm. Korea is mostly cool to bone chillingly cold. So when visiting Korean homes it can get very toasty.

Right now we are at the peak of the this heat season or rather coming off of the peak. I look forward to fall and winter, I can get back to long walks with Yogita.

/tata

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Wow long time no post..

So much has happened since last posting on this blog. I guess the one most important thing that has happened is that we have finally switched over to the OCI status (we turned in our papers and we are waiting on the OCI cards to arrive). Basically, an OCI is like a green card in India. It might seem to many people that India is not such a great place to live and work. However, you if look at numbers and statistics more and more nonresident Indians are coming back to India. No you will not make the same money BUT your life style will be MUCH better than outside of India. If you do it right and return to India with a plan and very good savings you are in for a pleasant experience.

OCI stands for over Overseas Citizenship of India. It is for a lifetime and acts as a visa, and a strong form of ID. It allows a person to work, buy property, take out loans, start a business and other things. I have lived in Korea for so long yet here there is no such system in place. I need to accrue points on a scale system. The more points you have you can be eligible for a permanent resident visa. The thing is you are at the mercy of the immigration office who will take your case. If they do not like you...too bad you will either be rejected or it will take a longer time.

While I was living in India I felt...like I was apart of the country. While in Korea you get this feeling (outside of my own social network), that I am a long term visitor. Korea will regret this stance as it's population ages, and the workforce shrinks even more than it has today.

So our vacation was making sure that we got the OCI done for George and I. Jeyo's will be taken care of during the winter vacation. Joy of joys!

Ok it is Friday tomorrow. It is strange I look forward to every evening during the workweek, and of course I look forward to the weekend. I am not one of those "live for the weekend" types. Anyways I digress...

/tata

Friday, May 24, 2019

The dangers of drugs.

I remember when I was young going to school and actually learning about drugs. Of course, the law enforcement officers told us these things are dangerous. However, the same officers basically educated us on how to use drugs safely. The result illicit drug use skyrocketed. 

We have a friend Jay, who used to play eve online with us years ago. He did not have a job as he was on disability and received money from the government. 

As we worked together in the game he opened up more and more about his personal life. Drugs were a major part of his daily routine. Things changed we had to go to India for a year, and when we returned to Korea we kind of lost touch. When we do finally talk to each other we find out that he has cancer. He blames it on his lifestyle, which I assume was the heavy drinking and use of drugs. I recently found out that his brother has life-threatening liver issues. 

You see when these guys were young they abused alcohol and drugs. It weakened their bodies. They did not notice it because some organs have a remarkable ability to regenerate (liver). Others can take serious damage and keep on working by working around the damaged areas  (brain)

The human body has a breaking point these guys and people like them suddenly drop dead in their late 40's, and early 50's. I have read of so many artists, actors, singers dropping dead. I hope our friend can make a recovery or perhaps his cancer can go into remission. My coworker is helping me to make changes in my life. I know I need to be more and more active. I have been losing weight for 1.5 years at a steady pace. I do not drive anymore as my workplace is only 5 minutes from where \I live. I wish things in Gunsan could have been similar. Actually, I am so happy to leave that dysfunctional school behind. Driving actually put on pounds.  

Friday, May 10, 2019

It has been a while..

Things are going great! The weather is still nice (spring is really short in this part of Korea). The entire family saw End Game (Avengers 4). It was a nice movie. I loved all of the dialogue, it was action every second. There was a lot of character building. It will be interesting to see what new movies come from Marvel.

I have been enjoying late night picnics with Yogita. It is a tradition we started in Gunsan. Basically, we find a nice park and bring some finger food with a bottle of whiskey, or some other spirit. We talk snack and drink for HOURS. It really helps our marriage. We argue (quietly) laugh, make plans, discuss our boys. It is the ultimate together time for us. What is really nice is that we usually turn our phones off. We focus on each other. Today too many couples after spending years together just become roommates. After a time they end up drifting away from each other.

Tonight we will go to a Tuna fish place near our apartment...ought to be nice!!

/tata

Friday, April 26, 2019

A nice little break for a couple of weeks

Our weekends have been very odd. Yogita is usually busy working while I am at home taking care of a few chores along with the boys. Our Boys get a lot of free time on the weekends so they are pretty set. Yogita, on the other hand, is doing what I have done years ago, Work on the weekends.

While I tend to get out of the house more due to this, we do not spend as much time together. So we are very happy because now she has this weekend and the next weekend free.

This weekend we will attend a friends wedding. Then we will go for Indian / Nepalese food. It will rain tomorrow so I do not know what we will do after lunch.  One thing we will do is...take advantage of this free time!

/tata

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Time for a nice stroll

I have only one class left today, and Yogi will be finishing early so we will do some mid week shopping and stroll around the neighborhood. We have a number of nice shops near our house.
One is a no brand store. Which means the goods are much cheaper. When you have 2 boys this is a great thing to have near your house. It is also within easy walking distance.

This new area we are living in is basically on the edge of town. Yet it is so lively on the weekends. Our previous neighborhood Oh Yang Dong was also nice. The thing we did not like about it was that it shut down early on weekends. Weekdays even after midnight some places would still be open. Weekends...practically dead.

One thing that I enjoy...I do not NEED a car. In Gunsan...we really needed a car. We lived in areas that were far from work. Work was all over the city. Now, I am getting a real rest. One of the students said that I never look tired in class. One reason is my work is in one location. Well my classes are in one block...no split shifts.

Perhaps Yogi will visit my class today. Ok I have to go.

/tata

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Taking it easy on a Tuesday..

There are so many perks to my job. Many are so easy to see. Others are dependent on where you are working. Where I am at, there is structure, very effective curriculum, and mild mannered students.

Of course I have a job to do, and challenges come with that. However, due to the structure of this school is easy to meet challenges I face. There is extra time I can take to prep, correct students work, or read up so some grammar point I will be teaching the next day. It makes for a very busy week from Monday to Wednesday. With later in the week the work load feels lighter. I am still making some mistakes, and I am learning more about what I need to focus on with each class.

Somethings are just inherently Korean. For example I am told to focus on one more, and it is ok to skip another text book. While the next week that idea is in the reverse. This is normal and I take it in stride. \

When I worked at apple we really should have had time set aside for teachers to work together on the paperwork. Since we did't teachers would have to either stay really late, or take work home.

Well it is time to check my students work.....

/tata

Friday, March 22, 2019

A crazy crazy week!

Sometimes it really does rain and then it pours. This week was nuts. It started out ok. We had a normal Monday. We finished work cooked up a nice dinner. It was nice. Tuesday was also very nice. I headed home and basically had another nice evening. Wednesday is when the poop hit the fan...HARD. VERY HARD. Tuesday I had to get a medical check up because well there is a stupid regulation that requires teachers to get medical check ups very often. The good news is that I lost a bit more weight.

Wednesday Yogita was getting ready to register our new address with the local office. This is when we found that her period of sojourn had expired..by 20+ days!!! Uh Oh. So we panic for a bit. Basically, the helpline lady for foreigners treated her like a criminal. Even calling her an illegal immigrant. First time that has ever happened. Well she had to cancel all plans for the day and head down to the office with Jeyo in tow. The end result...we got fined but it was later reduced a bit. UGH. This drama has carried on throughout this entire week. Even the boys were worried.

So here we are...having to get up at 7 am to make a 9 am appointment. My boss was kind enough to rearrange his schedule, my co-worker did the same. This allowed us to save time and we are right as rain for another 11 months. YAY.

ugh

/tata

Thursday, March 14, 2019

2 Weeks at my new school!

Wow time really does fly. I have been teaching at this school for 2 weeks. Getting to know the students, and staff is going well. I love the structure that is at this school. It makes teaching fun for me. I am still learning the paperwork and other procedures. My classes fly by and before I know it i'm walking home. Walking home is a nice 5 minute walk. I have never had it this good. Never! We moved to another area of Iksan. I will say that I will miss the old neighborhood, and nice view we had in the other apartment. The new place has a very cozy feel to it. The boys now have a small pc room with desks. I need to buy Jeyo a new monitor.

The boys were very helpful in the move. I would assign them tasks which they would complete. It worked out very well. We basically threw everything into large plastic bags. I will use the same bags to throw away useless things. So when we move from this apartment or maybe even relocating it will be as easy as sending some things ahead like pc's (very expensive but worth it), clothes, and other small things as well. Then when we actually have to leave all we have to do is throw away any bedding we were using.

The movers were very surprised when they how little we have. I was dismayed. We do not need so many things. Pc's are what we really need. If my friend Josh reads this he laugh out loud! But it is true. We need our tech. seasonal clothes, and Yogita needs her jewelry. So this year I will overhaul every desktop so that it is a nice looking case that is sturdy. In the interior of the case should be roomy. When moving or relocating simply put those pc towers into a well padded box.

I will drink beers with my new boss.It is cool to have a Canadian as a boss. The best Korean boss I have had was Ms Choi. However, my new boss is pretty cool, and I feel like I am learning while teaching.

I feel sorry for people who when they are heading to work they feel dread when they arrive. I feel so positive ready for any challenge. Ok time for a bit of you tube before the beers.

/tata

Monday, February 25, 2019

KCIS is gone from Gunsan, and now it is game over in Iksan

I remember years ago in Gunsan the general idea about KCIS is that is a Christain school, very strict, odd teachers and staff, and that kids get beaten when they make mistakes.

Well, it looks like the public has spoken. KCIS will close its doors (the Hogwan is already closed) and the kindergarten will shut down next on Thursday this week. Iksan is a small town. People talk and gossip. Rumors spread like wildfire. Some of those rumors have truth. My friend has a study room and she is a very social person. When I told her that I will work for KCIS she just stared at me for a while. She then told me she heard odd things about the school. At that point, I just wanted to stay in Iksan until a better position became available. Thankfully one did and my tenure with KCIS is over.

What I can say is yes a lot of the rumors are true. I never felt a part of the staff, I didn't want to. I got that feeling when speaking to very religious people in Korea they give you this strange fake smile. Others can be very very kind and genuine in fact most are. However, there are a few that give me a weird feeling. So goodbye KCIS I hope to never cross paths with you again.

p.s Please stop beating kids it is not cool anymore.

/tata

Friday, February 22, 2019

Time to move..again.

Well as things are we will be moving again. This time to the new downtown area of Iksan. This week we will be sooo busy. First we will junk our Equus. I am debating to either ger a newer one (we love the model), an SUV (I have it narrowed down to just one model). But that will not happen for another 3.5 months.

At the moment we will be preparing to move. I will draw up a detailed plan for the last stage of prep.
I can not wait to get settled into my new job. I feel like for the past 8 months I have not been teaching. I have been following orders. I could not really innovate as much as I wanted. The only impact I think I really had was showing them (the younger students) that the phonics sounds they were learning from Mrs. Kim were...wrong. In addition the older students I taught them the basics of writing a standard essay. No easy feat. Parents have given us feedback through their children and when I met them in person. Many were worried that a male teacher would be teaching their children.

However due to the positive feedback from the students the parents were relieved. I saw how old school teaching looks like at KCIS. I am glad to say I will never sign another contract with a school like that. Just too old fashioned. I will not go into detail here.

So we will move on March 10th. About 3 months later buy a car. I am happy about this. Yogita is doing very well.The boys are studying well, and oskar...is alive.

Tomorrow we will junk our car. When I bought it, it was for weekend drives, getting around the city, and of course for camping. HOWEVER....it ended up doing a lot more than that. I drove it around 50,000 kms. Likely more like 60 or 70,000 kms. So it needed a lot of mechanical work done on it. Josh teased me a lot about her. We will see who the replace is. The market has so many of these cars due to new models coming out. So I will have a  lot of choice.

/tata

P.S Being able to communicate with my boss is something I took for granted. Apple spoiled me.

Friday, February 15, 2019

So What The HECK Is Wrong With This World?

the answer to my question is everything.....love is dying out...we look at each other as DOLLAR figures....we don't show each other common courtesy...love or compassion....we live in a world full of brutality, hatred, and hopelessness....let's not forget that we are all passing through in this system...we are all fellow travelers in this journey...let's hold the door open for other people...let's smile and say 'hello'...let's show love and understanding...let that little light of yours SHINE...let it shine BRIGHT :)

Friday, January 25, 2019

Musings of an EXHAUSTED brain ^^

Yesterday, was a long work day. After work...walking back home i was starting to feel more and more excited as i got closer to our place......as i was coming up the elevator i realized i was smiling thinking about Oskar rushing over and jumping up on me as soon as i open the door....the boys...with their goofy smiles..arms wide open...saying, 'Welcome back home mommy. How was your day?' Jemal sitting on his computer...looking back and saying, 'hey babe, how was your day?' ....i realized that's what matters...everything else is background noise...it's easy to get sucked into it....but in the end it's a waste of time........live for things that matter....count your blessings.....no matter how small...embrace 'em...live your life...stop existing.....start LIVING....

peace out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The final deal

So I will work full time until next Wednesday. After that I will teach only 2 classes while waiting until my next contract to start. I will take a break but I will need to take care of visa paperwork ASAP. Money forms supporting documents. I hate it but it is necessary.

Then I’ll start looking into our next car, once I’m settled in my new job.

I am glad to be leaving. I could not actually teach. In addition class time was wasted with various procedures.

Where I am going I will grow as a teacher. I might even go for a masters. Yogita is super busy these days. Even so I hope she will post on this blog.

/tata

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Typical Hogwan nonsense...

In Seoul, the average age is around 40 years old. Why did I mention that fact? Well here where I work the owner is in her late 50's. This means that she does things according to the old way in Korea. For example years ago teaching English was basically turning a child into a parrot. They could "speak" but reading, writing, and listening skills were abysmal.

You could pass the high school test (similar to the SAT in America) by attending cram schools. In these schools, they teach students shortcuts or patterns to help them ace the test. Actual English ability was lacking. Well, many of those people are in their late 30's and early 40's. They are very stressed about this. They know what they learned years ago was nonsense.

Smart private academies called "hogwans" in Korea changed their curriculum. They started to set up programs that allowed parents to actually see that their children are really learning English. The backward schools are suffering. Like where I am at right now. Parents know that the academies do not properly teach their children. For example where I am at right now students "use English". However, when they speak their sentences are not complete sentences. Often their sentences are lacking verbs or nouns. Sometimes the sentence is full of only prepositions. It is so strange to hear them talk. I realized that they speak English like the owner does! What is so embarrassing is that she doesn't know that their parents know this! They joke about it with my wife and I and have others teach their kids privately. UGH.

When I went to the hospital for a check-up one mother who has two children studying at the school also mentioned that she knows the problem with her children when they speak English. She thanked me because her kids when they are at home they relate everything we do in class. I am always correcting the students.

My point is English education and education, in general, has come a long way in South Korea. Back in the day, English was a joke. If you were white, good looking, or charismatic (I guess being able to make kids laugh helped too) getting a job was easy. Now parents are more discerning. It is becoming less important to be white or good looking. Reading job ads you can see this. English in the past was just for show. Nowadays parents are more concerned. Many hogwans are losing students because of this. It is not limited to just English. If you are going to teach in Korea bring your "A" game. Some places will know if a teacher is just "winging it" just to pay for backpacking trips, or to pay off student loans.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Welcome the GTX 1060 upgrade!

I was using 2 780 ti in SLI but with those cards having only 3gb of dedicated video memory. I knew that I would have to look for another solution.

In our neighborhood there is a small PC shop and well he had 2 GTX 1060's that I can now use to upgrade both Yogi's PC and mine. The GTX 1060 cannot run in SLI (basically 2 cards working together to run a game). I still have my 780ti's. I might put them in the boy's rigs it would be a major upgrade. The only issue is with the size of the cooler on the 780tis they are massive. Jeyo's pc should not have an issue. George's PC is a more compact build so the size of the cooler might be an issue.

What I am looking forward to is being able to use that extra 3 gigs of VRAM. I will be upgrading again in 6 months.  That ought be an epic one for us. Perhaps a GTX 1070ti or a 1080?

We will see. On another pc related note I have put another ssd in Yogis PC should allow her to run her games more smoothly.

/tata

Monday, January 07, 2019

I got let go and rehired in 2 days!!!

Sometimes blessings come in strange ways. Working at my current school has not been a bad experience. I think the one thing I dislike the most it the poor communication when it comes to curriculum. Other things are smooth as pie.

I waste about 15-20% of the class time on things that do not help the students to develop. In other classes, I teach 4 different books to youngsters who really only need and comprehend one. I told my boss this. I said, "I think they have too many books in one week". Her response was to seemingly agree with me, yet no change was made.

Anyway, how was I let go? At this school, I have not seen any new parents coming in for interviews or inquiring about this school. I learned months ago that this is because this school has a bad reputation among parents. Now I understand why that is.

My boss sits me down and in a very polite and apologetic way, she says we need to part ways. What she did not know was that I was excited and so happy to hear the news. I almost smiled. That was last Friday evening. I realized that I should not waste time and the best time to search for a job is when you already have one. So I reached out to two friends who are owners of private schools. Both gave me positive feedback but one needed more time. So I met with one of the owners the next day Saturday morning of last week and signed a contract!

My current boss was shocked that I found another job in the same city so quickly. Sort of how Mrs. Cho was surprised when we found a job after 3 days, with me signing a contract on the fourth day.

I am glad to be leaving the school I am at. They have dated curriculum building skills and they do not listen to experienced teachers (I have more teaching experience than both of the teachers here.)

So this has not been a bad experience. It has taught me what a bad curriculum can do to students.

/tata