real men prop pink

28 03 2013

it takes a real man to wear pink. that’s what i think whenever i see a man wearing pink back in the states. uh huh. you go on with your bad self. pink is a universally flattering shade, and you know it.

here in korea, pink may be even more popular with men. check out all the pink products my students have. i love it!


sigourney weaver’s doppelganger and his thermosImage


eric and another pink dictionary


uber-shy KB and his pink notebook


yoga-loving kyle (sony still makes computers?)

telling jokes in English

28 03 2013

my guys, Durham class, started telling jokes at our farewell dinner last night.
i don’t remember how it started, but David said tall, lanky Louis looked like he was Swedish. from that, we joked round the table about what non-Korean country everybody came from.

Ryan’s from Japan, yuk yuk.
Kony’s from Mexico, haha.
Brandon’s from Polynesia.
By the time we got to big-boned Dean–Russian mafia–we were hysterical.

I don’t know why it was so d@mn funny.

I told my students being able to tell jokes in English shows how much they’ve learned.

Our lowest level class is called Los Angeles, and we have a husky-voiced, fast-talking, jet-black-haired 58-year-old in that class. After four weeks, James still has absolutely no w’s, but he’s the life of the class and the first to speak anyway. 

My co-teacher Julie has kept her age (31) a secret from the students, and they’re always trying to needle it out of her. 

Today, James pointed a crooked finger at Julie and said,

“You. 31. Maybe 32. Hmm, at most 35.”
Julie: “You. Get out.”
James: “Ahhhhh. Maybe true.”


congratulations, you’re having a cutie pie

25 03 2013

in 1:1 consultation with students today, i asked my student daniel if he and his wife would learn the sex of their baby.  

learned today at samsung engineering camp:

i learned that by law, in korea, doctors are not allowed to tell you the sex of your baby. 
(the male-female baby birth rate still arcs above the average in some more conservative cities with 114 boys born for every 100 girls.)

to get around the law, doctors tell parents, “your baby looks strong and healthy” (boy) or “your baby looks so cute and pretty” (duh).

two different students told me today they wanted to have two children–first a daughter and then a son. if a family has a daughter first, the daughter will take care of the son. however, if it happens the other way around, the son will not take care of the daughter. 


congratulations, you’re 39

14 03 2013

i turned 39 yesterday. 40 by korean math.

steve and my dad sent me a nice message to start the day, and my brother remembered too. darrell sent a morning text and an email.  and while it may be fashionable to dis facebook, i felt gratitude to read “happy birthday” from my friends, even from friends i’ve not been good at staying in touch with.

my co-teacher told our students it was my birthday, and they bought some small candies from the 7-11 in our basement, since none of us can leave the campus. when i walked into class, they sang happy birthday with lots of clapping and lots of “congratulations”, because the same word’s used here for happy birthday and congratulations.

what do you say when someone says “congratulations” for getting older? you didn’t have anything to do with it. it’s no accomplishment.

another class sprung for pizza, and we sat around 6 domino’s pies and pepsi talking about bowling and ping pong. our campus is dry, but my co-teachers and i ended the day drinking red wine in paper cups in my dorm room.

it was an unexpectedly wonderful day.


“new york” class


kyle, steven, jason, eric and ryan (why couldn’t samsung have let the students pick more interesting names? we have three jasons, three ryans, three stevens and two kyles at camp)


who knew domino’s was delicious?


logan, who took his name from the x-men’s wolverine, since he’s a hairy mofo.
also, teacher’s favorite


ryan, who wears toe socks and plays guitar and whose idea it was to spring for pizza