Thursday, December 3, 2009

Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose

Some ends and odds possibly of interest only to me... possibly not even to me... I have a short attention s... ah, heck, read it. It's free.

I've been really pleased with the effort and originality the kids in my creative writing class have shown. Of course, they have some problems with English grammar, but some of them are amazingly sharp and put a lot of work into their assignments, illustrating them with their drawings or a myriad of images from the 'net. Yuri, especially, who when she speaks is very hard to understand, writes all her poems in Korean and then translates them, always including sophisticated words such as "effervescent" and "redolent", and always correctly; so many times, kids find words in thesauri but don't quite get the right word. In their illustrations, the kids use glitter and cotton and White-Out (to simulate graffiti on a photo of a brick wall) and I'm blown away.

(By the way, where do you find synonyms for all the words in Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre? In a Brontesaurus! Thank you, thank you very much.)

Anyway, earlier in the week I used Simon and Garfunkel's I Am a Rock and James Taylor's Sweet Baby James (appropriately, on the first of December) to teach alliteration and extended metaphor. (Brilliant lyrics in both of them.) Today we had a fire drill; it's been cold, windy, hazy, and gray for quite awhile, and as we were all shivering in the wind in the little park across from the school, I said, "Remember the song? 'A winter's day... in a deep and dark December...'" Whereupon the girls in the class spent the rest of the drill huddled in a circle for warmth, singing "I am a rock... I am an iiiiiiiisland!" over and over. A forty-some-year-old song, and a bunch of fourteen-year-old Korean kids love it. Neat.


With the cold winds a-blowin', it's getting a bit raw to run outside, so along with several of my friends, I joined the little gym right on the short walk home from work. It's quite a comedown from the health club I belonged to in Daegu, with its gleaming hardwood floors, bright lights, and multitudinous jacuzzis, saunas, and steamrooms. This place is small, darkish, and utilitarian. But it's a lot cheaper, certainly a lot cheaper than hopping the KTX to Daegu every time I want to work out. Six of our dozen teachers belong. I will say it's less a social outing than I'd hoped; listening to my iPod on the treadmill while Lauren listens to her iPod on the elliptical machine ten feet behind me is oddly uninvolving. But I've put in two weight circuits and an hour and forty-five minutes' running in the first three days. It feels good to be so sore.


The air's been weird for days, a thick gray haze that I can't identify. It isn't dank like fog, and fog wouldn't last all day. It doesn't smell like smog, and nobody's coughing. Like Pauly Shore's career in the eighties, it's ugly, you can't figure it out, and it just won't go away.


I posted thirteen months ago about the Obamarama we had at my apartment for the election returns and about the cheap mugs I found for party favors, with a happy, grinning donkey on them. Tuesday, as Silent Sustained Reading period was about to begin in the school's library, I was holding my donkey cup full of coffee with my back to the doors when a kid ran in just the bell rang, and he bumped my elbow; my mug flew out of my hand and shattered on the hardwood floor. Considering American politics recently, there's some heavy-handed political symbolism in there someplace, I just know there is.


There's a Seoul Veggie Club page on Facebook, and I just joined the group. In less than 48 hours, they're having a dinner get-together at a vegan restaurant called Hwangwachae. I'm not sure which I'm looking forward to more, eating some good food for a change, or meeting some people I don't work with. And the folowing weekend, I'm going to take part in Santacon, in which a large number of idiots in Santa suits traipse around the streets hugging people, singing songs, and drinking seasonal libations... it's beer season, right? I haven't traipsed in a long, long time.

No comments: