conflicted, originally uploaded by ekissam.

reminds me of that steven wright bit. . . 'here stay, here stay.'

take five

i’ve got dave brubeck playing in the background. . . and i couldn’t think of a better title for the upcoming ramblings.

it’s nearly 1am. . . saturday evening, and i’ve done very little today. well. . . i cleaned up my itunes and iphoto. . . uploaded to flickr. . . organized flickr a bit. . . blogged from flickr. it took hours, and there is still much more to do. . . but i didn’t actually go out and do anything.

i had a couch delivered. so the only soul i talked to today was the korean delivery man.

last weekend was a bit busier. i accompanied two co-workers into seoul. one of them was having computer problems and i wanted to see where and what it took to care for it. she ended up getting a new hard drive, but regrettably, she is still having problems.

in the early afternoon two of us split off and headed to insadong. i did a little shopping and showed the newer teacher around the insadong area. i also got a little lost, but now i have a much better idea of where to start for next time. :) i found a bunch of things i was looking for, and the street vendors still had figs. i didn’t have the biggest appetite, so i settled for just one fig the size of my fist.

after it got dark i suggested a trip to yongsan. i wanted to look through the dvd vendors- if they were still out. . . maybe check out the cinemas. . .and grab some dinner. the newer teacher was game, so i showed her around there as well.

as luck had it. . . the dvd vendors were still out! i made a few purchases. . .ahh. . . so much for keeping my dvd collection to a minimum.

we headed to i-park to check out the movie theatre. they were doing a lot of construction on the entire floor. a bunch of stores were closed and were reopening soon. sort of caught me off guard, and the cinema was set up differently as well. we didn’t see anything too interesting so we went to grab some dinner. we found a new thai place in i-park. . . and it was delicious. i took half mine home so i could keep room for a crepe on the way out. excellent noms.

in the courtyard area of i-park, there was a display set up all about little prince and antoine de saint exupery.

little prince is everywhere here. notebooks, pens, commercials, stickers, manga. i’ve seen several different re-toolings of the story and the artwork. there’s a town with a small resort area known as ‘petite france’, which has the artwork throughout. (i still haven’t gotten there yet.) did i miss some sort of massive anniversary involving little prince? is it seeing a resurgence state side as well?

kinda bizarre. . . but i like it.

anyway, the whole day really worked out in my favor. i got to everything before it closed, had some great food, good company. . . and even got a seat on the subway home.

in contrast, this weekend is for resting. i think next weekend will be busy. several possibilities on the horizon. halloween. . . swon’s birthday. . . a rugby match. . .

we have a halloween field trip on monday. i already have my costume. pics to follow.

not too much else terribly interesting. . . just didn’t want to let too much time to slip by without writing.

ps- plans for a trip home for christmas are in the works.


lil.prince.4, originally uploaded by ekissam.

little prince is everywhere here. i've bought a handful of cute things. :) i'll be making a set of similar things on my flickr.


kelly.bday.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

a large group of us showed for kelly teacher's birthday at a tgif. one of the main reasons for going there is pictured in the foreground. the cocktail goblets are about the size of your head.


kelly.bday.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i got a great video of kelly dancing to the tgif's birthday band.


brighton.food.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i'm putting together a set of pictures of food from south korea. it will take a while. but here is the anchovy snack tub for my class. it would appear that my anchovies have a small case of the crabs.


cam.bday.12, originally uploaded by ekissam.

a late entry on cam's birthday. the cake i made her. (carrot- it's her favorite.) several people helped conspired to pick up different items in itaewon to make it possible. i baked it in my toaster oven.


cam.bday.13, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the final touches. it's not easy to carry a cake several blocks without a cake box.


apt.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

some shots of my studio in ansan. not the cleanest it's ever been. . . but not bad.


apt.2, originally uploaded by ekissam.

whoo hoo!. . . got a couch. it's pretty cheap, but it's somewhere to sit.


apt.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

livingroom/ bedroom. . . it's small. . but cozy.


apt.4, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i wanna do something nice on the wall over the couch. . . kinda like what i did on the closet doors.


apt.5, originally uploaded by ekissam.

the entryway. . . kitchenette on the left. . . bathroom to the right. that's about it.


just scratching the surface

i could make this post SO much longer. this isn’t the only incident of it’s kind, but i feel like posting some of the silliness i’ve seen in the past few days.

we’ve got some crazies in our midst. i work for a private hagwon. the parents pay a substantial tuition fee for their child to attend our school, and it makes for a sometimes awkward blend of education and business.

we often bend to the desires of the parents in ways that are undesirable and sometimes ridiculous.

i have a student in one of my kindy classes. she can be quite the brat. (on a side note- she has a fingernails on the chalkboard voice that i’m thinking of recording in order to use as my alarm.) on the bus she started a fight with an older boy. from what i understand, she hit him in the face, and his knee-jerk reaction resulted in him scratching her forehead.

not a gash. . . but a decent fingernail scratch. i didn’t actually see it dripping blood, but it was red and you could’ve blotted away blood. nothing big. or so you would think.

(which leads to a slight tangent- there have been three or four recent fingernail scratch incidents. i clipped the nails of one of my students who drew blood from another teacher while fooling around. a couple of teachers mentioned that we should send out a memo reminding the parents to check their kid’s nails. --the part that got under my skin is that these parents can be so meticulous about what is happening to their child in class, yet they glance over performing basic hygiene care on their kid. . . . priorities people.)

so, now this girl has a scratch on her forehead. it might not matter so much, but she’s kinda packing a ‘five-head’ so it might be more apparent than average. the school puts a bandage on it and notifies both sets of parents that there has been an altercation.

the boy has been in trouble before, and his mom is known to shrug it off. so, this could actually work well for us in the entertainment/ karmic way.

the boy’s mom blew off the first phone call, but after the girl’s family was notified her tone changed a bit. suddenly she was apologetic. to no avail. muhahahahahaha

we’ve dealt with this girl’s parents before. she showed up at school one morning with a couple large mosquito bites. i asked her about them and she told me and my teaching partner that she got them over the weekend. after she went home we got a call from her father demanding that we explain how we let her get mosquito bites at school, ‘why are the windows open? why aren’t there screens to keep the bugs out? why aren’t we properly protecting his daughter?’

we tried to tell him that she said she got them at home. we tried to tell him that the windows weren’t open because we were running the AC, but in the end the school could only apologized to appease him.

so, back to the day of the incident. . .

first her grandmother showed up. then her other grandmother. her aunt made an appearance. . . and her parents finally. they rushed out to buy her $50 skin rejuvenation cream. . . she was in and out of class meeting with family members and changing her bandage. after school they rushed her to a dermatologist to see if she would need PLASTIC SURGERY!

it is possible that her long term goals of being a forehead model are squashed.

the girl’s family gave the school a hard time, gave the bus teacher a hard time. . . and the boy’s family- well, it’s still not over. i believe they’ve written up a contract to ensure damages paid if she needs plastic surgery and they are trying to push for extra damages paid for their distress and shock.

the bandage she is wearing on her head is more attention getting than the actual scratch. so she’s upset that kids are making fun of her. neither my teaching partner or myself has heard anyone make fun of her. in fact, i’m pretty sure she’s really digging all the attention. but her parents think maybe she shouldn’t be in school because her feelings are getting hurt.

yeah, maybe she shouldn’t.

maybe she should live in a bubble and not interact with anyone directly. . . .ever.

it would be nice if this was an isolated incident. . . but it’s far from. FAR FROM.


on another note- i just lost one of my favorite students because her mom feels she is too stressed out to be in our kindergarten.

she’s six years old and she’s taking seven classes outside of our kindy which lasts from 9:30-2. i don’t know what all the outside classes were, but one of them was chinese offered at our after school program. . . and she was in the midst of signing up for korean writing class at our after school program. suddenly the mom thought that the kindy homework was too much to deal with.


i think scientists need to work on ‘common sense in a can’ . . . aerosol, beverage, whatever.


mom, dad, remember when i petitioned to change my bedtime from 7:30 or 8pm/ to 9 or 9:30pm when i was in 6th grade- i was 12?

i made a colored bar graph of all the bedtimes of my friends to show how uncommon my early bedtime was.

in contrast i have ten year old students in my elementary classes that regularly go to bed at 11pm or 12am. and apparently, that is common across the board.


my head hurts. . . and i think it’s more than my annoying sinuses. nighty night.