Sunday, July 26, 2009

Never Can Say Goodbye


Good evening folks!! I'm in higher spirits than usual for a Sunday night, as I only have 2 days of class this week and some vacation time to look forward to. I'm kind've irked that the kids still have after-school class almost every day during Summer vacation. They need a break, my co-teachers need a break and I most certainly need a break. I don't think this time is particularly productive for anyone. Didn't you get the memo?! I've extended my contract! SUBISU round 3 is coming soon!

Yours truly after a long day at work.

O f course the bulk of my vacation time is not part of the schedule, but rather the result of going back to the good old US of A and then being more or less quarantined from work for a week out of concern about Swine Flu.

'sall good though. Rather satisfied it turned out this way. My school may beg to differ, but this is a good time to recharge and a good opportunity.

Actually, I have making my classroom look great, among other things. We're making all kinds of materials and decor for class---as most of the pre-made stuff I see to buy is too boring, ugly, not my style, or not exactly what I need. I want my room to be a wonderland of English goodness!! I hope whoever comes after me will appreciate the advantages they are benefitting from by the sweat of my brow!!!!

It's kind of sad that most of the fellow TaLKers that I've known are going home or have gone home already. We were the first generation, MAN!! We WERE THERE, MAN! We've got war-stories! Some people seem to be having trouble adjusting to civilian life, and I know *exactly* where they're coming from, having been through "Korea 1.0" back in '04. You can get through this! Don't be too proud to ask for help and support!! Don't be ashamed to cry like a little girl if you need too! FIGHTING!!!

Grant is delicious and nutritious!!

So, as everyone knows, the King of Pop is no longer with us, and his death has apparently affected me more than I thought; a bizarre dream I had a few weeks back seems to confirm that point. No kimchi and watermelon before bed!!

My kids love this video!

B ut his story is rather sad...another celebrity headed seemingly by inevitable destiny to self-destruction. And of course, "artists" often live and die tragically, young, and unhappy. Sometimes I think I may go that same route one day---haha, if I would ever be considered an artist!

S peaking on the appealing subject of death, former South Korean president Roh Moo Hyun's apparent sucicide (the one that was my parting gift leaving Japan) is also extremely sad and somewhat disturbing, and raises some interesting issues.

Apparently, the cause of the suicide were allegations of bribes, tax evasion, and insider trading--seemingly all supposedly attributed more to Roh's wife than himself. Roh denied knowledge of any bribes. Anyway, current president Lee Myung Bak was one of the figures most involved in
the criminal investigation against Roh.

After Roh's death (he apparently jumped from a mountain), there was a great outpouring of grief and sentiment by Koreans for their ex-president, and more than a little vitriol and hatred outpoured on the current president, whom some believe is responsible for Roh's death.

T o put this in somewhat political perspective, Roh Moo-Hyun is remembered for being a more liberal leader, championing more of the concerns of the poor and having a very reconcilliatory attitude towards North Korea. Ironically he also was supposedly very anti-corruption.

Lee Mung-Bak is more a conservative leader, and certainly South Korea's relationship with the North has cooled since he's been in office. Interestingly, TaLK is LMB's program, its goal being to improve English education for kids in rual areas who's parents can't afford to send their kids to all these fancy hakwons (private institutes).

During the funeral, some shouted "murderer!" and "apologize for what you've done!" when LMB came to pay his respects.

By the way, the funeral was ENORMOUS.

The theologian in me twinges at the idea of holding an expensive, hero's funeral for someone who has committed suicide, though of course, a funeral is for the mourners, not the mournee.

And also as an outsider viewing how the Korean internet culture chews its public figures up and spits them out rather disturbs me. The high incidence of Korean celebrities and public figures commiting suicide really needs to be addressed and brought under control.

Sometimes I think that Korea is too insular. It is somewhat isolated geographically, by language, by history, and by a population that has had to absorb too much radical change in too short a time. Actually, it reminds me a lot of high school...

Anyway, it's all sad. That, AND high school. Sometimes I ask myself "Why am I here?"

And don't give me the smartass answer about "when a man and a woman love each other very much..."!!

My kids need help, and I need help, like, in every way. I am... I have always had a difficult time just trying to get into a rhythm of life to live in a functional way.

T here are many dreams and ideas I have for the future. I don't know, most of the time I feel too tired and discouraged, feeling and believing that I will never even begin to make them come to pass; you know what I'm saying? You feelin' me?

S uccessful people don't think about crap like that, they just *do* things, or at least try many things. I have always been intensely jealous of individuals who seem to be able to live outside their heads and experience life in a more natural and spontaneous manner. Are those people real, or is it all a front? I am a pretty good actress. Are you saying if I decided to put up a "front" of the person I want to be, rather than what I am, I would succeed in fooling everyone, even perhaps myself?!!! Dammit, I'll do it!!!