girls best boys in Incheon elementary school

18 12 2012

One day of teaching elementary school kids, and I’ve got phlegm.
Thank you, you little germ factories.

I’m substitute teaching 6-8-year-olds in Incheon this week.
This was my first experience teaching teensy weensies, and nobody died. Exhale.

They each have an English name, and we’ve even got a George, a Brooklyn and a Percy. “Simon Says” was a crowd pleaser, and we played Pictionary and obstacle course games that tied in their vocabulary. I can say that if Koreans are the most competitive people on the planet, that train has left the tracks by the time they reach first grade.


Surprisingly, I found the girls way meaner than the boys.

Of four classes of 1st or 2nd graders, my all-boy class was the best behaved. Boys in mixed gender classes however, were over the top. John started class by theatrically writing “STUPID JENNY” on the white board. Boys in my other classes ran across the room to slap their girl classmates playfully on their arms.

But where the boys were guileless, the girls were crafty witches. I see why we have movies like Heathers and Mean Girls.

During introductions, my 6-year-olds said, “Hi, my name is so-and-so. I like blah-blah. I don’t like yadda yadda.” Jane started a trend by ending her self-intro with, “I don’t like Derrick.” One-by-one, every ensuing girl in the coven class ended her introduction with, “I don’t like Derrick.”

We played hot potato with my 7-year-olds, where you pass a ball around and answer, “My favorite _____ is ______.” When we got to colors (e.g., “My favorite color is pink.”), the girls conspired to pass the ball between themselves over and over again, so the boys had no chance to answer. Not a word passed their lips in either game, yet the girls united against the boys. Those poor boys had no response.


Lea aka Heather

My favorite conversation of the day was with my 8-year-olds.

I used to think sharing personal information could lead students to be biased, given their cultural references here. Now, if a student wants to know my age or tax status, I tell them. I think these could be teachable moments but of course, I could be wrong.

Lea:     What centimeter are you?
Me:      183.
Lea:     How old are you?
Me:      39 in Korean age, 38 in American age.
Class: (silent wheels turning)
Lea:    Are you married?
Me:     No.
Lea:    Have you ever been married?
Me:     Yes. A looong time ago.
Lea:    (consults cell phone dictionary). You’re dee-vor-stuh?
Me:     Yep.
Lea:    Aren’t you sad?!
Me:     (smiling) No. Do I look sad?
Betty:  No. You look tired.

how long do you keep greeting cards?

17 05 2011

i tackled that box tonight. you know that box. the one with old photos and holiday cards you always meant to get around to organizing. the box that sits in the corner of the (insert area) closet, bedroom, attic, you name it.

i found my cards to my husband, his cards to me, cards from Nanny, an 11-year-old Bath & Body Works gift certificate and $50 from Mrs. P!

it’s never too late to send a thank you note.


5 01 2011

we sold our house and signed our separation agreement today. i drove by 2112 for a last look. someone else’s car is in the driveway now.

my husband’s hand was shaking when he signed the agreement. with three copies notarized, there are now two to-dos before i file.

he didn’t look me in the eye at the bank, but said as we left, “this isn’t how i wanted it to turn out.” what can you say to that? that pushes all my buttons. i want to reach out to comfort him. so instead, i hugged him and left. there’s nothing i can say to change the situation. anyway, i need to learn to recognize my own feelings before recognizing someone else’s.

Road ID

5 01 2011

who do single people put as their emergency contacts?
i’m ordering a Road ID and putting brother Ed as my primary but beyond that..flummoxed. i think i’ll put dependable TT.


favorite feline

5 12 2010

Just wrapped libel and privacy policy assignments. I’m going to get a P in this class for sure. Alas. I have learned a ton this semester. Brain powers, activate! I want to run away to some tropical, underdeveloped country, eat street food and take college classes for the rest of my life. Who’s with me?

Had a quality evening with Steve last night, walking through the snow to drink boucaniers and brugse zot. I hope post-Christmas house closing doesn’t kibosh post-Christmas travel plans. We have to do a lot to close the house on the 28th.

Post Walking Dead, I visited Tula today to divvy furniture and determine the fate of chickens and cats. Sad. Dexter didn’t skip a beat. Idk if he was happy to see me or he’s happy to get a head rub from anybody. Now I’m one of those pathetic old ladies talking about her cats. Meh.

I’m going to miss Dexter or DeeDee. I’m having trouble picking.
I will miss greeting fluffy chickens every morning, feeding them raisins and having them run down the yard to see me.
I will miss that beautiful, cozy house where I planned to have a family.

Call the wambulance, as Tanja would say. Whah, whah, whah.

“Do you want to keep this table?”
“What do you want to do with that desk?”.
After 12 years together, these are the conversations we have. Unreal.

Ginger says doubt is part of the grieving process. I have felt some:
“Did I do everything I could have done?”
“Am I making the wrong decision?”
There’s that fear of making the wrong decision again.

Crap. Well, here are some things I am grateful for:

  • Eddie, my wonder-ful brother
  • Steve who treats me so well
  • Mom calling to say she hurt for me and apologizing
  • Dad caring but not asking
  • having a warm place to live
  • having a great job
  • Ginger who reminds me it’ll work itself out
  • tonight’s cabbage and chorizo

Going to get the bike from Fullsteam.

eddie inspiration

3 12 2010

write every day.

i’m going to get my SA notarized.

the suburbs

7 09 2010

been listening to the burbs non-stop for the past week. today all of a sudden, s’too sad. feels hollow. not ideal for packing. where is that ramones disc..?