Tag Archives: smart monkeys

>How freaking cute is this?

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I still get emails once in a while from the kiddos, and it makes me insanely happy. I need to be reminded that they remember me. Anyhoo, here is a recent one from Jessica, who I taught when she was 9-10 years old…

Dear Jodi teacher

I’m afraid that i didn’t email you very often.I’m realty sorry. i was too tired doing homework and dealing with my betrayal friends. One of my best friends betrayed me in very awful way so I’m outraged. I;m not that popular among my class.It’s a kind of worrisome.

Are you watching Olmypic? It’s fabulous. Korea is extremely excellent at swimming, pencing, Archery, and so on.Korea is leading third! I wish Korea could beat that nasty China.I think judgement was quite unjustice for Handball men.Bye then! I’ll mail you son!(could you tell me how to be popular?And watch Olmypic! Have fun! Bye!

Love,

Jessica

First, how freaking smart is she? That genius vocabulary (she’d be 12 now) is alllll thanks to me. The spelling mistakes and such: not me. Anyway, I also think it is freaking cute that she asked me for advice on how to be popular. CUTE! This is what I told her…

I am very sorry to hear that one of your best friends has betrayed you. That is terrible news. I feel very sad for you. Any betrayal is very painful, but it is more painful if a friend does it.

Jessica, I wish I could tell you how to be popular. I could say what grown-ups always say, “Be yourself”. And although that is a very good thing to do, I can’t promise you that it will make you popular. I can tell you a true story though. I was NOT popular when I was a little girl either! I worried more about being a good girl and doing all my homework, so I did not have very many friends. But you know what, Jessica? Now I have many, many, many friends! You are very special and a very good friend. One day you will also have many friends. I know it is hard, but you might have to wait for a time when there are people around you that are good enough and special enough to be your friends. Then you will be popular. Try to be brave and wait for them.

I don’t know if it is the right advice to give her, but it was the most honest thing I could think to say. She really is such a sweet, smart little girl, I hope it works her.

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>Again – smartest wee monkeys in the world

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I emailed Jessica to tell her that I heard the sad news about the Namdaemun fire. Here’s her reply:

Dear Jodi teacher

HI,it was very awful,awful happining.The police think that someone burned it because there were ladder and 2 lighter.Some poeple also saw a man climbed the ladder.the firefighters had hard time puring water so that the fire would die because they didn’t exactly know what part was butning!!!How ashame!! The koreans are in a bad mood. their mind are full of sadness,furious and deploring.My family is one of them.My grandfather estimate it would be North korean,.Japanese or Chinese.Doesn’t it make quite sense?Also he is guessing that it might be the person who has a bad feeling about new government and try to insult them by making social confusing and furious.I do not hope it don’t invilve any politicaleffect because that is nothing to do with new government and the soon will Namdamun be fine take a shape as it did .Bye! Take Care!

Full of Love, Jessica

>One more sleep

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Even though going to Thailand has been in the works for weeks now, it hasn’t felt real. It is starting to feel real now that I am packing bags and only have one more sleep until I get on the damned plane. And I’m a wee bit nervous. How did I go from never going anywhere to going everywhere?? This is craziness…

Not much has been going on this week except my absolute sickness and working. I even took a day off work, I was that freaking sick. I’m still not better, but I’m still getting on the damned plane. I don’t know how bad I would have to be before I would miss this trip… flesh-eating disease. Maybe.

Last week, a package came from my moms (thanks moms!) with many treats in it… I’m so happy about the cinnamon gum I’m giddy. But the best was a present addressed to “Jodi Teacher and her Monkeys… from Santa”. The kids went, well… apeshit. It was hilarious. They kept saying “Jodi Teacher, you writing? You writing, right?” And I kept assuring them that no, no… it wasn’t me. That “Jodi Teacher’s Mommy” said Santa left the present at her house by mistake and she had just sent it along for him. They bought it.

::SIDE NOTE::

Christmas is fun with a group of people who still believe in all of it. The monkeys have been crazy this week – and every once in a while they break out in “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, which is sung mostly phonetically.

::END SIDE NOTE::

The present ended up being “magic trees” that we could put together. Fun! The kids had a great time, and I took a bunch of pictures. They are at Flickr, if you want to see happy monkeys. I also took pictures of my PK (afternoon) kids. They can be cute sometimes too. I have to give them all tests tomorrow afternoon and I feel like a Scrooge. Merry fucking Christmas, bastards – write your damned test on the last day before holidays (insert evil laughter here).

So… I won’t be online until after December 31st. I WILL be on the beach with a beverage in one hand and a novel in the other. Aaron promised we can go look at monkeys (real monkeys, not Korean children). I should have lots of pictures (of MONKEYS) when I get back.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas everyone. I hope your holiday is happy, safe, and is spent with people you want to spend time with (I mean, as best you can without me there with you). And because virtual kisses just aren’t the same, consider this my IOU for a big, sloppy, drunken New Years Eve kiss, which you can redeem the next time you see me (no matter when or where that happens to be). Cheers!

Original Comments:

Jeanine wrote (on 27/12/05):
Merry Christmas Jodi!!! Miss ya and hope you have an awesome wicked trip!
Thanks for the card too. A little bit of news for you….Christa and Randy are expecting a baby in Aug 2006 and Brynn and Matt got engaged on her birthday! Lots of changed coming up. Nothing really new in my life. Bought a car last weekend, so I will be working extra hard now! Haha. Talk soon, be safe and drink lots, J

>Open Class, Korean wedding, Everland, immigration and the hospital… again

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So much has happened since the last blog, I feel like such a dillhole for not typing sooner. But I have been feeling a little off my game this last week. Not sad… not tired… not sick (or homesick)… just not on my game. I’m going to take it easier this weekend and see if I can get on the ball. I have housework and all kinds of crap to get caught up on. It doesn’t help that Mike sent me the new Sims expansion pack and Civ 4 (thank you thank you thank you). Every time I SHOULD be doing something productive, I sit in front of the PC and either send my Sims out for a wild night on the town or I conquer Rome (take THAT, Caesar!).

Open Class

My open class went well. Or at least, I think it did. Because of course I have had no feedback from the school. THANKS GUYS! A-holes. Rino’s mom gave me feedback in his report book though: “Rino and his friends did a good job at open house. Rino’s attitude is much better now… thanks to you.” That’s right bitches, thanks to me. Overall, my kids were good. Except Grace, who was off the hook. But I’m still pretty happy with it overall.

Korean Wedding

On Saturday nine out of the eleven foreign teachers went to Jenny’s wedding. I would like to tell you more about the ceremony, but seven out of nine (including yours truly) were late. OOPSIE! Stupid traffic/buses/subway/trying to run in high heels. If you want to know more about it, try M.C. Frances-Teacher’s blog. She’s a better person than the rest of us, and she was there on time. We caught some chick singing, some crazy cake-cutting (it looked like they were using either dry ice or a smoke machine as a special effect) and then a zillion pictures. After that there was food, and then they went into another room for the traditional Korean ceremony (which is a different outfit and a lot of fucking bowing). The entire thing didn’t even take three hours. So of course, the North Americans were a little lost, having expected the wedding to run much later. We made up for it by pub-crawling in Seoul. It was great fun. A highlight was having Frances teach Aaron, Woody and I how to make cranes out of napkins. There was a good twenty or so on the table by the time we were done. Hey – when you hang out with retarded five-year old monkeys all week, you become easily amused. (And before you can even THINK of a sarcastic sassback to that one, mother… “MORE easily amused” in my case. I know.)

Everland

Because we didn’t do enough on the weekend (just drinking Friday night and the Korean wedding and pub-crawling on Saturday – aurgh!), Frances, Laura, Andrea and I went to Everland. Yup, again. And yup, it was fun fun fun again! Hooray! I love rides! And we did buy some silly hats. I have pictures at my Flickr site, as does Frances. It was a bit chilly, but a quick attempt at “Dance Dance Revolution” warmed us up (and I’m sure the Koreans that were laughing at us were warmed up too). There was an amazing fireworks display, and it is all made up for Christmas. We plan on going back (with some longjohns on) sometime in December to check it out again.

Immigration

Sigh. Immigration seems to be cracking down again. So Tuesday after work we all had to go to Suwon to hand in a “Confirmation of Degree”. No biggie, but a reminder that I’m not in my home country any more. I will have to go back to Suwon one day soon – they have this ginormous fortress wall that I would like to check out. It was nice that the school drove us to the immigration office. Aaron, Orla, Frances, Laura and I took the opportunity to have multi-entry visas added to our passports. That will be handy when travelling to Thailand, Japan, and China (or, so is the plan) over the next year. Poor Brooke had to sit and wait for us all to finish, but she was a really good sport about it. (I don’t think Brooke reads my blog – but in case she does – dude, I hope they fix your mold problem soon.)

Hospital

I’m retarded and shouldn’t be allowed to use sharp objects. On Tuesday I was cutting erasers in half (so they will last longer. I’m not sure if the kids eat them or what, but they go missing quickly) when I got distracted and cut a HUGE chunk out of my left index finger. No. HUGE. It was gross. GROSS GROSS GROSS. Right at the pad of the finger, where my fingerprint would be. At first, it didn’t even hurt. I thought “Holy crap, that’s quite a hole there” and then it started to bleed. A lot. So I went off in search of a band-aid with my finger in my mouth. I asked Richard-Teacher, who said he had one. He grabbed it, and had to help me put it on because by this point my finger is bleeding badly enough that I can’t get the bandaid on one-handed. (Side note: it was a Betty Boop bandaid that Rich stole from one of the kids. Good job!) Within moments I realize that I’m starting to bleed through the bandaid. So I get another one and put it on top of that one. Start bleeding through. So I get the Korean front desk teacher to help me put on some gauze and stuff. And then… well, then I had lunch. Thought that was that. Didn’t hurt too bad – just throbbing a little. But around 1:15 (we start lunch at 12:30 and the finger mutilation happened at 12:00), I start thinking that I should switch back to a regular bandaid to teach in. Take of the gauze. Realize that I am still fucking bleeding. They bring some white powder and dump it on there to help with the clotting. No go. Now there is blood and white powder all over the place. So the school director says “Maybe more serious?”. Yes, more serious. So they say they are going to take me to a “hospital”. Apparently, any doctor’s office is a “hospital” ’cause I ended up in a plastic surgeon’s office. Okay, look. I DON’T KNOW WHY. That’s just where they took me. It said “plastic surgeon” on the door. In English. And I asked why we were at a plastic surgeon… and Kelly-Teacher doesn’t know enough English to tell me why. They thought I would get stitches… but he just cleaned it out and bandaged it better. Whew! I didn’t want freaking stitches. Now comes the cute part.

I was late getting back from lunch – supposed to be back at 1:30 and it is now 2:00. Ellie was looking after my class while I was gone, and must have told them that I went to the hospital. When I came in the room, all the kids came up to hug me at the same time, and Amy and Grace cried because I was hurt. Cute little monkeys! I might try to slip one of them in my suitcase. All of them were very good for the rest of the afternoon, and I found out today that Rino’s mommy called the school to see how I was doing. Nice!

That brings you guys up to today with me. I try to remember to blog, but sometimes it feels too much like work and so I don’t bother. Sorry about that. If you read this… leave a comment for me so I know that it is being read. I do miss you guys.

Original Comments:

careybatgirl wrote (on 24/11/05):
If I call immigration and tell them you are a murderer, will they send you home???? I miss Jodi

Pattie Girl wrote (on 24/11/05):
I read it all the time, and I sent the link to Mom Perszon and Brynn. Hope your finger’s better!

dirtyaurghpants wrote (on 24/11/05):
carey – if you want immigration to send me home, just call and tell them i didn’t pass english 304 and my degree isn’t legit. that will get me kicked out faster than telling them i am a murderer… (i miss you too!)

and-errhea wrote (on 29/11/05):
What’s English 304 again? Don’t tell me it’s Merv’s class, or I will laugh so hard that I will pee in my pants a little bit.

jeanine wrote (on 03/12/05):
hey dude! just trying to catch up on your life adventures in Korea. Sounds like you are having a good time(other than this finger incident). I did get your message thanks! I was so excited!!!! And upset I missed the call! Will send you a xmas card with more jeaniney goodness. Miss ya lots! J

>Laid back weekend

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Relatively speaking, I did nothing this weekend. I stayed at home on Friday night to teach my body a valuable lesson about not being sick. My body learned nothing. STUPID BODY! So I tried going out drinking Saturday night. That also did not cure my sore throat, but I am feeling a great deal less stressed after trimming away some brain cells with alcohol.

I went to Hanan Market with Amelia-Teacher on Saturday. And the greatest thing happened. You can get pickles every where in Korea. Every where. But (and this is a big “but” if you are me), they are all those sweet pickles. No dill pickle goodness, and it makes me sad. Because I can tolerate sweet pickles, but I’m obsessed with dills, man. MMMM!!! And get this – they had dill fucking pickles at Hanan Market. HOORAY! There were two jars and I bought them both. They were only about $7 each (big jars too). I would have paid $20. I’m not kidding. I also found (and purchased) Pine Sol. I washed my floors, opened the window, lay down on the bed with my eyes closed and pretended to be at my moms’ house. It was glorious. Thanks, Amelia. I owe ya one. I’d give you a pickle, but I’m going to be hoarding those bastards.

Dance, Monkey. Dance.

After a disastrous and decision-doubting Tuesday and Wednesday, the week got progressively better. On Thursday, the Grand Poo-Bah and Second-Minion-in-Command came to observe my class and what we were doing for open house. After Tuesday, I was NOT looking forward to it, after everything I had done was brought in to question. But… oh glorious… the monkeys danced. They danced better that day than I could have ever hoped! I should have given them 100 stickers each, the little bastards were in such fine form. From saying things to make the observers laugh, to responding to my slightest command, they were fabulous. Key highlights include:

1. Grace READING the title of the book I was reading to them. To give you an idea of how cool this is – when these kids came to the school in February 2005, they didn’t know any English. And they are 5 years old. And my wee Graceland READ the freaking title. READ it. I love her.

2. At precisely 10:25, Amy says “Jodi-Teacher, it is water time”. Good job Amy! Way to prove that I taught you guys something about telling time.

3. When asked “What does a soldier do?”, Rino replied “Canada… come… Korea… take… Soldier… gun… stop Canada”. Yes, Rino. Yes. The Grand Poo-Bah and Second-Minion-in-Command were laughing so hard I thought they were going to fall out of their chairs.

4. At one point the monkeys were acting up, and I didn’t even have to say anything to settle them down. I raised one hand, and started a silent countdown from five. Before I got to zero, every one of those damned bastards were sitting nicely.

YES YES YES! And there were more great moments, and I felt so much better. Better about my kids, and about my decision to come here and teach. I wasn’t quite as depressed by Thursday afternoon.

Sugar High, Sugar Low

Friday was a weird-ass day. It was Pepero Day in Korea. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepero_Day for more information on the shit. But all you basically need to know is that my kids were hopped up on sugar and as unstable as Charles Manson all day on Friday. Idiots. Also, I have a truckload of these effing Peperos. Because Friday was the day you give Peperos to your friends. And the monkeys want to be sure that they are my friend.

To highlight how whacked these kids were, I’ll tell you a wee story from my 5:30 class… my most advanced and oldest kids. On Friday, we were doing one of the exercises together. We had to pick something to teach “a friend” how to do, list the materials needed, and then write out the directions. We decided to do “make pizza”, and to make things easier, when the monkeys started listing toppings, I said we would just say “toppings”. They didn’t stop with toppings. A-holes. PAY ATTENTION! LAY OFF THE SUGAR! So I told them to knock it off. Right away, Jenny (who is a very well-behaved and mild-mannered monkey normally) yells out “Frogs!”, to which I say “Jenny, I asked for less silly-ness please”, and she says “No, no, teacher! Frog toppings!” and before I can say “I told you no more FUCKING TOPPINGS!” she gives me jazz hands and yells “It’s a new taste sensation!”

I was doubled over laughing. Her impression of me was priceless. Because she did it EXACTLY how I would have done it. And now I feel sorry for my teachers. Sorry I was such a wise-ass. I’m sorry. And I’m sorry to Korea for doing this to your children. But not real sorry.

Original Comments:

tonicandgin wrote (on 14/11/05):
three things stand out if you scour the internet for ‘new taste sensation’, and here in lies the magic of the google search:
1. http://www.anewtastesensation.com/ – a chocolate fountain, aka the ‘chocolate lady’
2. this is the first hit on the list, i kid you not – Marmite Popcorn!
3. and best of all… what one website calls ‘Canada’s New Taste Sensation’ –
http://content.collegehumor.com/items/2004/06/collegehumor.60777.451xAUTO.jpg

and-errhea wrote (15/11/05):
HOLY CRAPPER!! A New Taste Sensation is hiring? Do you guys think that I should quit my job and go work for the Chocolate Lady? It’s so tempting, and that chocolate fountain thing looks like recycled-saliva goodness!

>Blogician

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I would just like to add a note saying that I’m rather proud of myself for my lengthy blogging today. I’m usually not so well-behaved. And, although I would like you to think that I am simply being a good person, putting my loved ones ahead of my own needs (ie: my need to not sit in front of a computer and like, think, or some junk), it is simply not true. I just didn’t feel like: a. finishing evaluations on the wee monkeys or b. doing the effing dishes.

Sigh. I don’t even eat at home and I STILL have effing dishes. STUPID DISHES! I have an urge to toss ’em all out. Then I would never have to wash them again.

And the evaluations are retarded. Which is appropriate, because so are the monkeys half the time. I don’t even know what to tell you about them. They are dumb, dumb, dumb. I make up the shit. And would you like to know why I make up the shit? Why it doesn’t really matter what I say as long as I circle a 4 or 5? BECAUSE THE MONKEY’S PARENTS CAN’T READ FUCKING ENGLISH. AURGHPANTS!!!!

Bite me, evaluations. Bite me.

Sorry. This will be the end of my self-congratulatory note and complaining about work/chores. FOR TODAY.

>Paintballing and Halloween

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It has been a rather eventful few days. Good thing I remembered my effing camera for at least one of the days…

Paintball

On Sunday Orla forced 8 teachers to go paintballing, and it was bunches of fun. I have never been before, and didn’t really know what to expect. It was great. They let our entire group stick together on one team, which was nice. I now know not to shoot until I am close enough to hit the other person. I ran out of bullets a lot. Also, I paintball the way I play video games, meaning I stay in one spot and wait for someone to come close enough for me to hit them. I was shot just once, in the ass, and it stung. I figured paintball played out the same way for me that going to war would, except getting shot in the ass in paintball doesn’t qualify you for a pension.

Injuries: 2
Location of Injuries: Ass welt and hand full of prickly, burr-things. Yuck!

Halloween

Halloween was chaotic and fun. We have been decorating our classes for weeks, and on Friday night we stayed late and did up everything else. The halls and front desk were decorated by the Korean teachers. We also changed the “big gym” into a games room and the “play gym” (think, “indoor playground at McDonald’s”) into a Haunted House. I was on the Haunted House team.

The nicest part about Halloween is that we didn’t have to teach. HOORAY! I hardly even saw my kids because I had to be at the Haunted House. How scary was it? There are 11 classes. We had at LEAST ONE CRIER in EVERY class. Hooray! Mission accomplished! Although we fell short on our “get one kid to piss him/herself” manifesto. Oh well, we are still considering it a success. My little cowards wouldn’t even go INTO the room, let alone through the course we had set up. Wusses. It was great. After lunch we had singing, and my monsters did a good job. I was happy with them. They looked pretty cute in their costumes too.

After kindergarten was done, we had all of our afternoon classes go to the Big Gym for a Scary Story contest. I’m happy to say that in my 2:30 class my kid tied for 3rd place, and in my 5:30 class my kid took first. GOOD JOB! Hooray! Also, I tied for third place in the classroom decorating contest. It was all good.

I do have pics up at Flickr, if you are interested. I’m the big kid in the witch costume. Hopefully other teachers (ahem) will post their pictures so I can link to them for you guys. It really was a good (but tiring) time.

One last note: we get stared at a lot in Korea. There aren’t a ton of white people here. And tonight, as we walked in costume from the school to the pub for a pint and a bite, you could see people trying to NOT stare. It was funny. Then there were people that had to come over and comment, mostly because Joe-Teacher was dressed as freaking Batman with fake muscles and everything.