Archive for March, 2014

It’s the cat’s meow

This Snapseed app on my iPhone is the cat’s meow

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posted by Michael in Walking Terry on 3/30/2014 | No Comments

Mirror mirror, on the street

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posted by Michael in Walking Terry on 3/30/2014 | No Comments

Another true story

I’m at work and I just threw my underwear out the window!

Don’t ask.

posted by Michael in Whatever on 3/23/2014 | No Comments

A true story

Turtle was poking its head out. Turtle’s head popped off, somehow wound up on the floor. A few seconds later, it was stuck to the sole of my fake leather moccasin. Moccasin was saved by a toothpick, three wet wipes, and a Pine Sol shower.

Funny, I always figured if anyone was going to shit on my floor it would be Terry…

posted by Michael in Whatever on 3/17/2014 | No Comments

Plan Z: Old news, semi-new news, and how I feel about teaching kindergarten

OLD NEWS
So… 
Plan Z. The first step in Plan Z was to get my TESOL certificate. Done. The second step was to enroll in grad school to get a master’s in TESOL. Well, I applied back in October, and the dicks at Sookmyung rejected me! Something about me being too dumb or looking too dumb or talking like a dumb person, I dunno. So Plan Z shifted to reapplying for the MA program in March, which would have meant starting classes in the fall, and during that time I’d be teaching at a school somewhere.

Well, I revised Plan Z again when The Princeton Review Korea (TPR) offered me a job teaching “Business English”. The work hours conflicted with my plan to start attending classes in the fall, but I figured a one-year contract with The Princeton Review would be good experience and look nice on the resumé. So they hired me, I signed their contract, and started attending training. Super! Until two days into training when they called and said “we’re a bunch of jackasses and can’t accurately gauge our own staffing needs, so you’re fired.” Ok they didn’t really say that, but that’s what I heard.

SEMI-NEW NEWS
A few days later, on the Friday before the first week of the Korean spring school semester, I suddenly had a Skype interview with a franchise branch of a very big hagwon that shall remain unnamed on LIK for as long as I’m working for them, and I started work on the following Monday. I’ve been there for a full two weeks now and… surprise! …they haven’t fired me yet. Apparently they actually needed a teacher when they hired me. This job also conflicts with grad school but, after being un-hired by the dicks at TPR, I was so fed up with job hunting that I just said F it I’ll take the job. I still want the master’s degree but if it has to wait then it has to wait.

HOW I FEEL ABOUT TEACHING KINDERGARTEN
So I teach kindergarten children in the morning. KINDERGARTEN. These are kids who have snack time and cry because they miss their mommies. Do I hate it? Shockingly, no. I’ve always assumed that children that young would really drive me up the fucking wall, but they’re just too young to deliberately piss me off and the class material is too easy for any teacher to really screw up, plus they’re so goddam cute it’s hard to really lose my shit with them. I raise my voice quite a bit out of basic necessity (as opposed to unbridled rage) but it’s a relatively low-stress experience.

My afternoon classes are “older” students who range from elementary school to middle school students. These are the students who really test my fucking patience. Most of them know when to shut their faces, but a select few seem to think they’re so interesting and hilarious that shutting up would be akin to cheating their classmates out of something truly special. In other words, they’re just like I was at that age. Assholes!

Anyway, that’s where Plan Z is. Grad school is delayed a year and I spend my days publicly shaming children who openly pick their noses in class. Sometimes I even teach them English! And just for the record, I think that TESOL certificate really helped me in the job hunt. The idiots at TPR may not know what they’re doing, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have thought I was worth hiring without my very legit TESOL certification (because the rest of my resumé is shit). And the job I currently have, same thing… they contacted me, I didn’t contact them. Granted, their desperation was evident in the fact that they Skyped me like three days before I started working, but my resumé has been out there for a while and nobody ever approached me with job offers before I did TESOL, so I guess that was $2,300 well spent. Assuming I don’t get un-hired again, that is.

One of my morning students, clearly enthralled with the day’s lesson

posted by Michael in Whatever on 3/15/2014 | No Comments

Needles in my foot

Every once in a great while, my right foot decides to sprain itself. It just starts to hurt like a motherfucker for no reason and even swells up like I actually did something to it. It happened a couple years ago and I iced it and just limped around for a few days until it magically healed itself, but when it happened again a month ago I decided to try and fix it with acupuncture. It worked! The pain was more or less gone by the next day, and the day after that it came back a little, but then it went away for good. And it was pretty cheap, about $25 without insurance. If I’d had insurance it would have been more like $8.

The process was slightly uncomfortable but the discomfort was mostly from a heat lamp, not the needles. I went to some “eastern medicine” place down the street (한의원) where they did three things:

1. They wrapped my legs in these things that acted like giant blood pressure cuffs. A section on each of my legs would get the squeeze, then another section, then another. It was kind of like a massage with a heat lamp hanging over my legs. I liked it.

2. They wrapped my foot in some heavy canvas thing and cooked the shit out of it under a heat lamp. It got really hot, so much so that I thought about calling someone over to turn it down. But I didn’t. I just let my foot roast.

3. The doctor came in and stuck needles in my foot and ankle. She would place a needle on my skin and then flick it, and then the needle just stayed there. I felt a couple of pinches but nothing really painful.

The next time my ankle decides to fuck with me, I’m gonna limp straight to the acupuncture place.

posted by Michael in Whatever on 3/8/2014 | No Comments