AKA: William George
Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/
shot44 on Flickr.
For the first four months of my time in Japan, I would pass through this parking lot on my way to the PC Cafe to get my weekly internetting done. I got internet at home at the same time I got a bicycle. I would still pass though this parking lot, just on my way to getting lost somewhere. Shot with an Instax Mini. Scan of a print.

shot44 on Flickr.

For the first four months of my time in Japan, I would pass through this parking lot on my way to the PC Cafe to get my weekly internetting done. I got internet at home at the same time I got a bicycle. I would still pass though this parking lot, just on my way to getting lost somewhere.

Shot with an Instax Mini. Scan of a print.

I’m also listening to Weezer a lot again. Korea reminds me of Weezer.

I’m also listening to Weezer a lot again. Korea reminds me of Weezer.

In the time between leaving and returning to Korea, I was living in this little place called “Nihon”. The kewl kids called “Nippon” but I don’t because it sounds a lot like “nipple” and I look far too much like a sitcom landlord to risk those sorts of wacky hijinks.

If you’re a lifer in Korea, you’re already preparing your rebuttals to anything I may say along to lines of, “It’s a lot better…

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かわいいクルー on Flickr.Here’s some cuteness for you.
Two of my young Japanese students on my final day there. I think they were close to turning four years old in this image. I had taught the boy since he was eight months old.
Olympus Pen E-P3.

かわいいクルー on Flickr.

Here’s some cuteness for you.

Two of my young Japanese students on my final day there. I think they were close to turning four years old in this image. I had taught the boy since he was eight months old.

Olympus Pen E-P3.

Korea… Some things have changed about the place since I was last here. Many things…

ghost

Korea… Some things have changed about the place since I was last here. Many things haven’t. The most obvious are the visa requirements. They came in to effect after a child rapist was caught. He was teaching in South Korea at the time. He never attacked any of his students as far as we know. He committed his evil in South East Asia.

He would still be eligible for a visa under the rules designed…

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I was a member of the Rock Tiggers but the drummer got hooked on hunny, and well, the band just fell apart after that…

I was a member of the Rock Tiggers but the drummer got hooked on hunny, and well, the band just fell apart after that…

The Rock Tigers were one of those few moments in Korean popular music that didn’t make you want to shove freshly sharpened pencils through both of your eardrums. I wonder what happened to them?

Oh, wait. I can answer my own question through the power of the imaginationof Google: Wikipedia sez that they’re still doing shows. Their…

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Game Theory

suyu market

I have to take a moment and give recognition to the superior teaching skills of the guy who’s classes I took over in April. My second position in my new job. His kids are so fluent at English that my head spins;

“How are you?”

“Game?”

“What color is it?”

“Game!”

“Alright, close your book.”

“Game, game, game, game, game!”

I’m so happy to be back in Korea so I could witness the results of such…

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'Nudder Day, 'Nudder Dollar

‘Nudder Day, ‘Nudder Dollar

the room

Tomorrow will begin with a small cup of coffee. A small cup is all I can handle these days thanks to the unwelcome movement of my intestines out of their proper spot a year ago. Assuming dinner moves on its way to the ocean in a timely manner, a bit of breakfast as I surf the web. With an hour or two before I need to leave for work, I go through what teaching materials I have on hand in order to…

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As Seen From Haneul Park on Flickr.
A tiny sliver of Seoul from 2008. The photo was taken from Haneul Park (하늘공원) in western Seoul. Mamiya C220f. I’m pretty sure I’ll be moving the blogging stuff another site and leaving the images on Tumbr to speak for themselves. Not sure when. Gotta see what’s available these days as far as templates go from Blogger and Wordpress. Them all being horrible may convince me to not use them. It took me forever to find a Tumblr theme I was happy with and even then I needed to alter the HTML…

As Seen From Haneul Park on Flickr.

A tiny sliver of Seoul from 2008. The photo was taken from Haneul Park (하늘공원) in western Seoul. Mamiya C220f.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be moving the blogging stuff another site and leaving the images on Tumbr to speak for themselves. Not sure when. Gotta see what’s available these days as far as templates go from Blogger and Wordpress. Them all being horrible may convince me to not use them.

It took me forever to find a Tumblr theme I was happy with and even then I needed to alter the HTML…

underbridge on Flickr.
A summer night picnic along Okimizugawa in Miyakonojo. Pentax MX. I’ve been wondering if I’ll be able to find this sort of mellow evening outing here in Gunsan. It’s just spring now so I can see why people wouldn’t wander too far from the warmth of the bars. But my memory of my previous time through Korea suggests that I won’t be coming across anything like this.

underbridge on Flickr.

A summer night picnic along Okimizugawa in Miyakonojo. Pentax MX.

I’ve been wondering if I’ll be able to find this sort of mellow evening outing here in Gunsan. It’s just spring now so I can see why people wouldn’t wander too far from the warmth of the bars. But my memory of my previous time through Korea suggests that I won’t be coming across anything like this.

Fire Starter on Flickr.
One of the best partner teachers a guy could have setting sparklers alight one summer night. Pentax MX. I’m about to write about Korea in a less than adoring way. Cover your eyes if you have posters of Sistar all over your walls and the thought of kimchi makes you go weak at the knees. I really don’t like having the foreign teacher flying solo here. The preferred method is to have the foreign teacher standing up in front of a bunch of kids blabbering away in a language they simply don’t understand. Then the next day the Korean teacher is supposed to go over all of it again, this time bringing much needed translation.  The theory is that this is immersion learning. It’s not. True immersion requires the new language surround the student. The parents must speak the language. The teachers must speak the language. The signs must be in the language. The TV and radio as well. Korean kids are not in an immersion learning environment. They get English from a native speaker forty five minutes a day. Everything else they learn comes with Korean helping the learning process along. Having the lesson solely in English is a hindrance outside of classes with advanced students. It slows understanding down. The student may not get the answers they need to questions such as, “What they fuck is this asshole telling me to do?” for a day or even more. This is a bad way to go about it and it should not be done. My job in Japan had a Japanese teacher in the classroom teaching with me at the same time. We helped each other. We stood back and let each other display their expertise, and helped each other in our weaknesses. If the students didn’t understand something like, “Close your book” …even with my slow speech and brilliant miming… they could ask the Japanese teacher what that meant. Then they never had to ask again because those words now had meaning and weren’t just a collection of meaningless sounds to be tossed into their mental trashcan. They also didn’t have to suffer from the embarrassment of me invading their personal space and shutting their books for them like they were simpletons just to get the idea across. Then we were able to get on to the learning and the boss wasn’t wasting money having me stand there for an hour just to have the Japanese teacher do it all over again the next day. Now, I’m not an ESL-teaching noob. I know that foreign teachers here are essentially expensive, imported dancing poodles. We’re advertising. But if I became the king of Korea, one of the many changes I’d make is to have the Korean teach and the foreign teacher up there in front of the kids together, every day. Working as the team they’re supposed to be. The lady in the above image was a pro at it.

Fire Starter on Flickr.

One of the best partner teachers a guy could have setting sparklers alight one summer night. Pentax MX.

I’m about to write about Korea in a less than adoring way. Cover your eyes if you have posters of Sistar all over your walls and the thought of kimchi makes you go weak at the knees.

I really don’t like having the foreign teacher flying solo here. The preferred method is to have the foreign teacher standing up in front of a bunch of kids blabbering away in a language they simply don’t understand. Then the next day the Korean teacher is supposed to go over all of it again, this time bringing much needed translation.

The theory is that this is immersion learning. It’s not. True immersion requires the new language surround the student. The parents must speak the language. The teachers must speak the language. The signs must be in the language. The TV and radio as well. Korean kids are not in an immersion learning environment. They get English from a native speaker forty five minutes a day. Everything else they learn comes with Korean helping the learning process along. Having the lesson solely in English is a hindrance outside of classes with advanced students. It slows understanding down. The student may not get the answers they need to questions such as, “What they fuck is this asshole telling me to do?” for a day or even more. This is a bad way to go about it and it should not be done.

My job in Japan had a Japanese teacher in the classroom teaching with me at the same time. We helped each other. We stood back and let each other display their expertise, and helped each other in our weaknesses. If the students didn’t understand something like, “Close your book” …even with my slow speech and brilliant miming… they could ask the Japanese teacher what that meant. Then they never had to ask again because those words now had meaning and weren’t just a collection of meaningless sounds to be tossed into their mental trashcan. They also didn’t have to suffer from the embarrassment of me invading their personal space and shutting their books for them like they were simpletons just to get the idea across. Then we were able to get on to the learning and the boss wasn’t wasting money having me stand there for an hour just to have the Japanese teacher do it all over again the next day.

Now, I’m not an ESL-teaching noob. I know that foreign teachers here are essentially expensive, imported dancing poodles. We’re advertising. But if I became the king of Korea, one of the many changes I’d make is to have the Korean teach and the foreign teacher up there in front of the kids together, every day. Working as the team they’re supposed to be.

The lady in the above image was a pro at it.

Your opinions are needed.

Guys, I like using Tumblr, I really do. But I’ve been realizing that the audience here prefers short posts and longer than a paragraph doesn’t gain nearly as much attention as a, “Here’s a photo. Asian people are in it.” write up.

So I was thinking of leaving it as just a photo display site like Flickr and migrating my wordy bloviating to Wordpress or something similar.

Your thoughts?