Tag Archives: speech of the week

Did you have midterm exams at school? How did you feel?

There is going to be a handful of these “Speech of the Week” posts, I’m behind. Bad Teacher.

I am far too old to remember my high school midterms. At the hogwon (private academy in Korea) I teach at we have Big Assessment Tests (I call them BATs in my diary… as though I work at Hogwarts instead of a hogwon) every other month for our elementary students. It’s the closest thing I have in my life to a “midterm exam” these days.

BATs are stupid. They have the word “assessment” in them, but as far as I have seen, fuck all happens if a kid aces or fails the test. No one is held back, no one “levels up”. We just keep on trucking. Worse, the Korean stuff here just nerfs the scores so the parents don’t think they are wasting their money if their kid isn’t doing well.

It frustrates the fuck out of me. I wouldn’t mind the time it takes to make and grade the tests if there was any purpose to it at all. But there isn’t. I understand that we are running a business, but I think the way we do testing is costing our children, instead of just their parents.

What five activities do you like to do outside of school?

Again, I think I’m screwing up the actual wordings of the question. But it is close enough.

I spend a lot of time lurking around on Reddit while I have TV shows or movies that I have seen a million times on in the background.

Since I’ve started eating better, a lot of my time is now dedicated to cooking and washing dishes and other useless activities that I hate. But I hate being fat more, so I’m going to keep doing it.

Although I behave during the week, on the weekend I do seem to enjoy having a beer or three hundred. It’s nice to go out and talk to other grown-ups after the week is over.

Occasionally I write some blog stuff here or on Tumblr. Or read. Or try to learn a little Korean. I’m lumping all these things together because I (sadly) don’t do enough of any one of them to warrant giving them their own little paragraph.

I love going shopping for Korean skin care and cosmetics. It’s my newest obsession. If you were using this shiz, you’d know why. My skin feels amazing these days. It’s affordable and fantastic.

So. Nerding. Eating. Drinking. Nerding. Shopping. Those are my five things.

Where would you like to go on a field trip? Why?

Okay, so I may have the wording of the question slightly off. I don’t have the lesson plan in hand. But that’s close enough to count.

I would like to go back to the Kid’s Café . ANY Kid’s Café.

So. What’s a Kid’s Café? It’s a place of awesomeness if you are a kindergarten teacher. It’s a big room full of soft, safe shit for the kids to go monkeynuts on. And we just have to watch.

It’s the greatest field trip you can hope for: A full day of no lessons, happy children, and free coffee. So much win.

Who is your favourite singer or movie star? Tell me about him or her.

I don’t really have a favourite movie star. I like movies, kind of. At this point I don’t remember when I was last in a movie theatre, but I suspect it was to see the final Harry Potter movie. Not kidding. And I haven’t even watched a new movie at home in ages. For the past 18 months I’ve had the attention span of a squirrel. Sit and pay attention for an entire movie? Forget you, clown. Not going to happen.

This question isn’t much easier to answer musically. I love so many different bands. So, so many. And I find new ones to love all the time. To narrow it down to a favourite is nearly impossible.

When I was in university, a group of friends and I used to play the “Deserted Island” game. The question was always formatted “If you were on a deserted island, which __________ would you want with you?”

The blank could be anything. Which fruit. Which fast food burger. Which toothpaste. (That topic started controversy, let me tell you. Do NOT mess with someone’s favourite toothpaste. That’s a loyalty that runs deep.) Which CD.

And we had SO much trouble with the “which CD” (this was 1999) question and discussed it often. We started discussing whether or not we could bring a CD of  our current top 10 songs or not. So then the question evolved into “If you were on a deserted island, which 10 songs from the Pearl Jam catalogue would you put on your only CD?” Hours of (drunken) entertainment, I tells you. We talked about this stuff a lot.

But the question isn’t favourite band, it’s asking about your favourite singer… which is a different question. Not all my favourite bands even have singers.

There are a LOT of people I could name with lovely voices. I would have sex with Eddy Veddar‘s voice if I could. I love Thom Yorke‘s voice. And the ladies in Tegan and Sara. Or have you ever heard Kal Lavelle sing? (sooooo shivery) And, of course, the ladies in Nova’s Basement. And so, so, so many more. I love gorgeous, moving voices that give you goosebumps (scientifically known as “musically evoked frission” – now you know) when you hear them sing.

For me, the ultimate voice for that shivery action (especially live) would be Jonsi of Sigur Rós. Sigur Rós has been a favourite of mine for over a decade now, my most listened-to band. And I believe that this is due largely to how much I love Jonsi’s voice. He uses his voice as an instrument and it blends so perfectly with the haunting songs that Sigur Rós creates. Even though I don’t understand a word he sings (he sings mostly in Icelandic), it doesn’t matter. Beauty doesn’t require language.

What Makes You Angry?

I have no idea who thought this was a good speech of the week topic to give a group of 8 – 11 year olds. Almost all of them said the same thing: Their little brother or sister. I know those feels.

But enough about them. What makes me angry?

I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t get angry all that often. I do get frustrated a lot though, and I think that comes across as anger. I get genuinely pissed off if people hurt little guys (figuratively or literally), but most of the time? It’s me blowing off steam because I’m frustrated.

So what frustrates me most these days?

First, I have a complete fucktard of a coworker, and it is amazingly frustrating. His ineptitude rarely directly impacts my work (thankfully, otherwise this would go from an intense frustration to a full-on rage-hate), but I’m frustrated that this idiot has a decent paying job that could go to someone who deserves it. It frustrates me that he gets nearly the same pay (I have two years experience on him, and I’m paid a marginal amount more that a n00b teacher) and does half the amount of work. I hate that he can fuck up over and over again and because my director is so cheap, he won’t get fired (it is more expensive to hire a new teacher).

How bad is he? Bad enough that we started a Tumblr with all his stupid quotes. There’s more than a hundred posts already, and we don’t even have them all written up yet. If you are curious about it, let me know and I’ll send you a link. Otherwise, I’m not making it public because, well… you saw what happened to Regina when the Burn Book went public. I don’t want to get hit by a bus.


Second, I frustrate myself. I’ve been overweight pretty much my entire life. I know exactly what I need to do to rectify this. And I don’t do it. I just don’t do it! What’s up with that?  It’s not like I wanna be fat, you know? I just can’t ever stick to a plan of action (eating healthier, moving more, that kind of shit) that would bring me to normal. And that’s fucking frustrating.

How was your Chuseok holiday?

My Chuseok holiday was awe-to-the-some. Three glorious days off and a visit from the ever-lovely Craigface. It was great.

First things first: What the eff is Chuseok, right? If you are too lazy to check out the wiki page I linked there for ya, basically Chuseok is Korean Thanksgiving. Except we got three days off instead of one and no one got trampled in a sale.

My Chuseok celebration started at school on Friday, with all the kiddos coming dressed in their traditional Korean garb – the hanbok. I actually only took one photo, but it is an extra cute one.

chuseok hanbok kindergarten

Kelly, looking very grown-up for 5 years old.

We made songpyeon (which, I won’t lie, looked totes sick with how the kids manhandled it) and played traditional Korean folk games. Which the foreign staff was expected to judge/referee… even though the rules never were explained in English.

But the best part that day was the arrival of my friend Craig, who managed to make it all the way to my ‘hood all by himself. I walked him to my place in the morning and after school, had our first night out.

photo 2


I’ll spare y’all the details of our visit, but there was a lot of shopping, a lot of food, a bunch of booze and even the occasional foray toward the odd cultural this and that (like the temple in the picture above). It was super fun.

It meant a lot that Craig came to visit me all the way in Korea for just those few days. Thankfully he liked it enough that he plans on coming back to visit next year.

Speaking of feeling thankful on Thanksgiving (even if it is K-stylE), my fabulous landlord stopped by (at the asscrack of dawn, which I can’t thank him for, after the long nights Craig and I had) on Chuseok day to bring me food. Songpyeon (which is pretty gross even when the kids aren’t the ones making it) and some fruit.

photo 3

Best. Landlord. Ever.

Overall, I had a great Chuseok which I am so thankful for. I had a lot of laughs and a lot of fun. I wouldn’t have asked for anything more.

Speech of the Week

Each week our elementary students are given a speech topic to write 5 – 7 sentences about. They aren’t the most exciting prompts, but they are still writing prompts. And I was thinking to myself: Hey. I could use some prompting when it comes to writing in the ole bloggityblog.

So with that in mind, I’m going to start trying to write my own “Speech of the Week” to try and write more regularly again. And since I’m a grown-up, I think I’ll a) probably write more than seven sentences and b) ignore my own rules about starting sentences with the word “and”.

One of these days I’ll make writing a habit again.