Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bitching about bitches

I'm up too early again. I don't work till 3:30 PM and I'm up before 6 a lot. Today it's 6 something, so I got a little extra sleep. But, because the earliest I can eat supper is about 10 PM, I went to bed only a few hours after eating last night and woke up at 3 with brutal reflux. So slept part of the night sitting up in bed. All that being said, I DO like the schedule here. It's nice never being woken up by the alarm in the early morning.

THAT being said, I was awakened by something worse this morning. The dog lady's newest dog. I think it's new. These noises are new. I've never heard noises like these from a dog before. Not one of hers, not ANY dog! They started yesterday morning. I wasn't woken up by the noises but the entire time I was preparing for work I heard this horrible caterwauling. Hours and hours non stop! Sometimes it sounds like a car screeching to a stop; sometimes it sounds like someone stretching the top of a balloon and slowly and noisily letting the air out; sometimes it sounds like someone rubbing a balloon on a chalkboard... you get the idea. It's beyond annoying. It's intrusive. For the entire neighbourhood. And when I got home at 9:30ish, the dog was still at it. Until I went to bed at around 1. And I had DREAMS last night which included this screeching! My brother, Mark was training his screeching dog and I lived downstairs from him. I closed my door to block out the noise and Mark and my sister, Jen, thought I was doing it to help with the training. So they were laughing at me and saying, "You don't have to close your door, Dave." Yes, this pocket rodent's shrieking made its way into my DREAMS!!!

But here in Korea, where noise bylaws are not a thing any more than people who give a shit about loud noises they are responsible for, nothing can be done. It brings me back to my first year in Korea when I found out about how noisy it is here. MY neighbour, a prostitute, who was a (fake) screamer, so not the best of neighbours to have for a single dude, bought herself an accessory. A little, white poodle puppy. When she was out, slamming soju shots and singing songs with Salarymen, I was trying to sleep. My first year I taught before school and after school. My first classes were often at 6 AM. I had days when I met my hustling housemate when I was going to work and she was just coming home. On those days at least I was spared HER phony screaming cuz I'd be teaching while she earned her rent money. I don't know which was worse! I actually yelled once or twice, "Come on! NObody can be drunk enough to think that's not fake!" And she DID occasionally stifle her thespian wailings. But the dog - that was a different story. Howling and wailing and whimpering and whining the whole time she was gone! Everybody in the building, it was three story apartment building with two units on each floor, talking to the dog through the door, slipping food under the door and doing everything we could to get it to shut up. One day the guy on the top floor, who was a foreign ESL teacher like me, drew a picture of a poodle hanging by its neck from a noose and taped it to my noisy neighbour's door. But that didn't help. I don't know what became of the dog. It probably lost its value as an accessory by losing its puppy status and becoming a much less adorable dog. And, was dumped in a field somewhere. To be rescued by a dog lady such as the one I NOW have as a next door neighbour.

I have a theory that that's where she gets all her dogs. I've seen her walking 7 at a time and she has at least 2 Filipino helpers who I've seen walking the dogs and heard yelling at them to shut up in Tagalog. Bless their cotton socks! She probably has a dozen. Or more. Dogs, not Filipino helpers. I've seen massive bags of dog food in her garbage only a few days apart.

The dog's noises are not as big a deal now. It's 8 o'clock and some city employee is working a jackhammer a block away so I wasn't going to sleep any longer anyway. It's still at it though. Howling and screeching and just when you think it's going to stop, it's back again.

Sorta like THIS bitch.

If you still haven't seen the video and are one of the people who still don't see this public servant serving herself and not the public she is supposed to, trying to get her 15 minutes at the expense of all Canadians, particularly the terminally ill and 65-year-old men, as the bullying, manipulative bitch she is, then, HEY, how's it goin', eh? A fellow brainwashed Canuck! Hang on a sec while I finish my hilarious attack on the unassailable sanctity of the Canadian vagina. Or in this case, tit. Here it is, the Brosseau Bosom Bump.

As one comment stated, "How is this anything?" I'll tell you how: It's because of the pussification of Canada, that's how. That term is absolutely perfect! It's not just the women of Canada tediously waterboarding Canadian citizens over the years demanding this right and that, it's the wearing down of Canadian men to submissive nubs who now just instinctively GIVE them what they want. And this vid is just one example of what you get when women are in control. I'm not going to cheapen my argument with any comments here about how the beaver is our national animal. Hmmmm... well, I guess I am.

Justin Trudeau, NOOOObody is a bigger advocate for women's rights! He appointed 15 women and 15 men to his cabinet no matter who the best candidates might have been. To further prove my point, there is not a single Canadian, male or female, who would assume from the previous statement, that I meant there should have been more women appointed. That's just not how Canadians have been trained to roll. Trudeau not only refers to himself as a feminist, but actually urges all men in Canada to follow suit. And as I've said to feminists who agreed, that doesn't mean we should support equality, otherwise the term would be "equalist" or something like that. Feminists are all about females. If they can tilt the scales in their favour, they do. And they have in Canada.

Back to the vid. Is there ANYbody out there who didn't see this?

"Oh my arm! It's broken!" I saw, "Oh my tit! It's broken!" Then the apologies and the speeches, wasting time that was supposed to be used in voting for or against an assisted suicide bill. A bill mostly for people who are feeling pain so bad they would sooner die. But this woman, who, let's face it, was lucky to escape this perilous situation with her life!!!!, took priority. OINC! Over here we have a saying, "OINK. Only in Korea." This is an OINC only in Canada moment.

Let me also mention again the first year university class, Bullying 101, crowding, nudging, blocking, and "whoops-sorry-didn't-see-you-there" ing of 65-year-old Gord Brown. Ignored. And don't kid yourself, the incident is strategically being referred to as "manhandling" as often as possible. Slowly eroding any possible dissenting opinions. Drip...drip...drip. Like Chinese water torture. Canada, China, what's the diff? Well I don't live there in Chinada any more. I am over here in Asia where the Chinese aren't so effective.

Anyway, I commented on a Canadian friend's post about this woman. He is married with two daughters so, well played, my friend. You have no choice but to take her side. Or at least appear to while they still allow you to have one beer and watch one hour of hockey on the weekend if your chores are all done. Well played.

But I commented on the post because in it Baby Brosseau explains why she left the House of Commons, leaving all the people she represents, without representation in the House, because she was just too overwhelmed by the bump. OVERWHELMED! Then in the same post she mentions that she is a TOUGH lady! Well I just couldn't let that go! This aggression will not stand, man!

Not even a tough woman, but an average woman should be able to withstand worse. This bump was no more than one would receive, say, at a good rock concert, on any Asian transit, Christmas shopping, moving toward a newly opening check-out counter at Wal-Mart, even a good motorboating for crying out loud! Those things are MADE to be bitten, sucked and hammered around by babies. There is no reason to be overwhelmed here. She SEES Gord Brown and I think actually communicates with him, but that doesn't stop her from blocking him. If you are engaging in bullying, don't bitch if you take a few bumps.

Oh, sorry. What am I thinking? That's a MALE bully. Females are allowed to bully. In fact, they are allowed to do whatever they want, point it out, taunt you and expect nothing. Bill Burr says it better than I can.

Check this out:

Look at that photo! Is that not just plain taunting? This is the Huffington Post, by the way. Saying, "Hey, we ONLY hire women! Nyah, nyah!" Now, I gotta be careful how I say this next thing... Any man hits, rapes, kills a woman and it is commonly assumed that it's because she's a woman. This happens all the time and is rarely if ever questioned. But I dare you, I DOUBLE DOG DARE you to say that any of these ladies were hired because they're women! If you do, pack a lunch.

The most hilarious thing about this, and the absolute cherry on top of my argument today, was, I saw this picture on an internet meme. It proudly proclaimed that "This is a Huffpost editor's meeting. Notice anything?" See? Taunting. Absolute taunting. But the best part was a comment posted by a black woman that said, "Ya'll don't hire black people?" But, of course, so as not to totally offend a pack of women with her rightness, she added an lol.

And all these Heart of Darkness speeches made about the HORROR of the tit bump; all the latest yelping about why she has to justify how hard she was bumped; all the people saying anything against her being accused of misogyny; all the internet memes painting her now as a victim of violence against women; these are all AFTER several profuse apologies, by the way. You can't just apologize to a woman, they've learned not so settle for that. She is going to milk this until she gets her picture on the new Canadian 5 dollar coin! And all the men of Canada who secretly believe this woman is just a manipulative bitch can do about it is go to a strip bar and put her 5 dollar coin between the beautiful tits of a stripper. "Yeah! Take THAT, Baby Brosseau!"

Yeah strippers. There are some more victims of us terrible men! Suffering through their 15,000 dollar workweeks being undermined and objectified. Men are such assholes!

I can't figure out one thing: Is this Brosseau screaming bloody murder more like the neighbour lady's dog, who was probably messed up in the head by being a young Korean girl's belonging, or is it more like the exaggerated squealing of the whore I lived a paper thin wall away from?

At any rate, it's now 11 and the dog has stopped whining. Long before Miss Brosseau. All I can hope is that ONE woman in Canada sees things the way I do and walks up to Brosseau and blasts her in the face. Maybe she'll admit that sheeeeeeeeeeeees bein' kind of a dick.

I doubt it. Anyhoo, the dog is still whining. Just as I got into bed to try to take a nap it started again. Then the neighbourhood evangelists knocked on my door. I'm not kidding. So the whining continues.

Rest assured my dear readers, I will NEVER stop MY whining. I'll outwhine this chick, you can be sure. I'm relentless too. Ekk gek gek gek gek. lol Like Bill Burr's robot I'll keep banging away at this blog until the internet is shut down by Big Brother. On that you can depend.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

My FTW Week

Woah! Just buy me a shirt that says, "How 'bout NOT?"

I had a bit of an FTW week this week. Korea took the brunt of it, but that's because it was caused by Korea.

A while ago, I'd say about two months ago, I decided to stop the insanity with my middle school classes. There are two who are doing a debate class and in each of those classes the majority of students do nothing. For any assignments or writing, they copy from the two or three students who do it and retain nothing. For debates they read what the two or three students have written and retain nothing. The rest of the time it's a good class in which to practice their Korean with each other. I started in January and it took me a couple of months to get the names of the students under control, get used to the school, the schedule, the new city and all the rest. I had received no real instruction or advice on teaching these classes other than, "Here's the debate book. Use it for the debate class. Here's the book the Korean teachers are using for the other classes. Just teach them conversation and pronunciation."

That was it. No interference, no micromanaging, complete classroom autonomy. Just the way I like it. I consider classroom dynamics to be one of my strengths as a teacher. I can read a class and I can tell when my classes are functioning properly, and when they are in need of tweaking, adjustment, or wholesale change. Even without speaking the same language as my students. These classes were, in my experienced opinion, in need of complete restructuring. I took it upon myself to implement a text that was a more reasonable level and style for the classes that were textless. I did one or two lessons in one or two classes using Interchange Intro, a very basic English conversation book. The classes were FAR more successful than any I had done to that point. So I informed the boss that the classes needed to get the book. This was the beginning of the FTW week I had this week.

The boss and I did not see eye to eye on my decision. I think it might have been largely due to the fact that most of these students had been put into a class with a textbook chosen by the boss, then after a week, the classes were mixed and the text was trashed. The parents were none too thrilled with this as you can imagine. They had to buy a textbook that their kids used once before their classes were switched around. I believe this was one reason why my suggestion of a new text met with her disapproval. Because the parents would have complained that they had just bought a book. "Now we have to buy another one?" they would say. I feel for the boss and know how the parents can be demanding at hagwons. In fact they can be very disruptive to the education process and HAVE been for me. I'll get to that in a minute. But on THIS point, I was overruled and told not to "give up" on the students. The owner of the hagwon where I work thought she knew better than me what my classes were in need of. She HAS known these kids longer than I, she DOES speak their language, and she IS Korean, (this makes a difference to Koreans), and she DOES teach these same students, so it's an understandable mistake, I'll give her that. But I am the one who is there when I teach these kids. I know what's happening in my classes better than she does. Period. But I need the job and am in no position to argue. So I put on my smiley smiley nice nice face and obeyed.

It wasn't more than a week or two later that some students had told his/her parent that I did not give homework and word had gotten back to the boss. I had not, to this point, (3 months into the contract), been told that the boss demands homework every day for every class. It had been mentioned that she likes structure, routine and homework, so, against my educational philosophy, I HAD been giving homework, just not every day for every class. And if the class had a particularly good day and finished the lesson material, I had been assigning the homework during class. If they managed to complete that as well, I had the pleasure of offering positive reinforcement for good behaviour and saying, "No homework today." It wouldn't have been long before the students realized that if they worked hard, homework would not be assigned. They don't need to know that homework WAS assigned and they had completed it. Another point the boss and I disagree on. She thinks the structure of every topic in every class and every educational tactic needs to be explained to the students. Anyway, even though my homework tactics promote harder working students, more learning and less crowd control in the classrooms, the boss took that weapon away because, "They need homework every class, every day. Why? Because it's a rule."

I'm not stupid. I realize this is not a school, but a business where I work. Not a single parent of a single student at this place is going to say, "No, thanks. I'd rather have just the 50 minutes of class time than 50 minutes plus 10-15 minutes of homework." They see it as bonus learning for their kids. FREE shit! Have I mentioned how Koreans react at baseball games when a 4-dollar baseball goes into the stands and is available for FREE? So I have no doubt that the rule is in place at the behest of the parents, regardless of the growing realization in the world of education that homework DOESN'T work.

I think I could have adjusted to this too if it were all that was required. But it wasn't. Since the boss had my attention, she took the opportunity to micromanage me down to the number of pages I should do every class and the division of classroom time for different classroom activities. Less fun, less arts and crafts, more boredom. She said the kids need routine. I said routine is boring. She got offended and said it's not. I told her that the word routine can actually be used as an adjective that MEANS boring. This most likely didn't help. She hired me to teach different things than she teaches and being a foreigner, she had to expect different teaching style from me. Now she was basically saying, "Okay, never mind that, I want you to teach something different than I teach, and I want you to teach it exactly the way I teach." I put on my smiley smiley nice nice face and obeyed.

This is what I have been doing and things have gotten progressively worse with both the elementary kids as well as the middle school kids. It's so bad that I have organized dissent in some classes. Students meeting and agreeing to do precisely the opposite of what I tell them. I seriously doubt that it would have gotten to this point had I been left to my own devices. I've had rebellious students before and have had students trying to convince other students not to listen to me or do my work, but this was only a couple of times and the other students never joined the mutiny.

It's gotten so that I can't make it through a day without yelling at students in at LEAST one class. Usually more. The bosses tell me that I am free to kick students out of class. That hasn't helped. Just two days ago I had a few students who were throwing a pencil case at each other. The lesson I was doing required students to be walking around in the classroom so I didn't stop it until the pencil case had been thrown a couple of times. The student who had the pencil case, a boy who has been maturing into a middle school dissenter right before my eyes and doing less and less every class, wound up to chuck the pencil case at another boy. I stopped him and sternly said, "Don't even think of throwing that!" He threw it. I told him to get out. They NEVER get out when I tell them to get out! They just sit there silently. That just makes me fucking insanely angry! "Get the hell out of here before I throw out the door without opening it!" Still the defiance. So I go over, pick him up by his shirt and almost have to carry him out of the class. This is shocking to the other students. They see me as a toy.

You know how if you give kids a helicopter spin or throw them up in the air or put them on your shoulders they will ask you to do it again until your arms fall off. You have to disappoint them and tell them you have to stop. You hope they recognize your limit and stop saying, "Again. Again. Again," when you look ready to keel over, but they usually don't. That's the situation I'm in. I have been hoping that the regular yellings I have been administering in the past couple of months would establish limits and the kids would try to stay within these limits. Instead they are saying, "Again, again, again," and won't stop until I have to yell at them. Every day.

After a few minutes I went out into the hall to get the boy and bring him back into the classroom. He was crying. Probably because the other boys had thrown the pencil case too and they had received no punishment. The fact that he had been told not to throw the pencil case and he had looked right at me, understood the command, and thrown it anyway, a pencil case, with scissors, compass, box cutter, sharp pencils, a brick, a syringe full of Ebola, he had thrown it while looking right at me, well that was secondary. This was a travesty! Justice had been miscarried and I was to blame! So now he hates me. This is how the manufacturing of dissent is happening.

I am not a disciplinarian. When I discipline students, it just makes things worse.

The same day in one of my problem classes, one of the debate classes, two of the students who had been a problem before were doing the same things. I had asked the boss to talk to them or their parents before, but it had done no good, (if she had done anything at all). They talk in Korean through the class, don't do anything until they are ordered to do it and then they require me to explain it again to them because they hadn't been listening. I let that go for most of the class. Then they start playing this game on paper with a grid and white and black circles. I think it's similar to the game "Go." They have done this several times and been warned several times. So I tell them to never play that game again in my class or I will kick them out. The one, nicknamed, ahem, David, says in Korean to his colleague, "Okay, let's go." So I say okay, see ya later. Well NOW he can't go because I WANT him to go and the plan is to do the opposite of what I want. So after ordering them to go and getting the all too familiar defiance, (WHY don't they go???), I go get the boss from her classroom. She comes in and finds it's the same two I had told her about before. The paper with the game on it is gone but I explain it to her. She says in English, because she is trying to convince me that she uses English with the students when she teaches, (which she doesn't), and that they can understand her, (which they can't), and I couldn't believe this, she says, "This is a popular game in Korea. It is good for their minds. It makes their brains strong." I don't know what my face was like, probably
but she looked at me then immediately continued, "But you are missing a valuable opportunity to learn English." We both knew they had no idea what she was talking about in English so she said she would talk to them after class.

While this was going on BOTH these brave civil disobeyers were holding their red-faced heads in their hands and practically crying, and the rest of the class was miraculously speaking English to each other.

So that's pretty much it. I have to go into class, blow a spaz, possibly get physical with somebody and THEN I can do my job. As we've seen this week in Canadian parliament and the "Elbow Gate" scandal, the level of physicality I have already shown is just not acceptable to a Canadian! I can't keep doing this or I'm going to haul off and smack somebody. And I would REALLY feel like a failure as a teacher THEN.

I left off one of my previous posts wondering if the good students would keep me here or the bad students would chase me away and I feel like Morgan Freeman in "Seven" right now: "The assholes have the upper hand! The assholes have the upper hand!"

Then I surf the net and hear Matt Damon talking about our topsy turvey world and how civil disobedience is not the problem, but civil obedience is. Because I have no money and need this job, I obeyed. And look at the shitstorm I'm in now! I love the line in Matt's speech about the declaration of interdependence. How nice would THAT be? The whole world working together to make things right. Ahhhh! That's just a pipedream. The world is too stupid and too obedient. Fucking world! I better get ready for work...............

Friday, May 20, 2016

Tofu Misses and Misogynists

It's 11:14 PM. I ate my lunch late at work today so haven't eaten supper yet. I HAVE, however, enjoyed a few frosty browns while surfing the internet and seeing what is up in the world. It's not the best combination. Because there never seems to be anything GOOD up in the world, and my reaction to the garden variety BAD we are pummelled with every single day, is only exacerbated by each successive frosty brown.

Take Canada... PLEASE! Badum BUM! What the giant, steaming pile of SHIT is going on in parliament? Trudeau sees one of his buddies, 65-year-old whip, Gord Brown being obviously blocked by congregating opposition politicians, some of whom had actually spoken to him and knew he was trying to get past them, and darts across the House of Commons floor to save him. I'd like to know what was said. Did Brown say, "Excuse me" before he was blocked? To tell you the truth, it doesn't matter, Trudeau did the right thing and if he bumped someone who was playing party politics and wasting Canadians' parliamentary time and tax money in the process, so much the better! Oh but can I say that? After all, one of the people he bumped... was a woman! About 50% of the air is sucked out of any room in which Canadians are being told this sad story. "A woman!" GASP! How could the leader of our country be so brazenly rude to a member of the ruling sex?

Canadian women reading this can now utter your requisite, and well rehearsed, "Well, I nevers," and then please shut up because you know you are firmly in control of our country. How else would this be anything but a brushed off complaint? Seriously! If Trudeau had elbowed Thomas Mulcair in the balls it might have received a chuckle in the House, but nobody would have heard of it. Certainly Mulcair could not have used a ruptured testicle to further HIS career! Gordon Brown, a 65 year old man, being blocked by younger parliamentarians and having his way cleared by the young, strong, Prime Minister would be a(n) heroic story if a tit hadn't accidentally on purpose gotten in the way. Here's how scared we are of women in Canada: Even though the PM's actions were totally justified; even though it was obviously just childish bullying by people and in a place from which responsible, mature leadership is expected; even though an old guy's weakness was being taken advantage of by peacocking politicians shooting for what passes as street cred in parliament, and they, no doubt, would have had a good laugh later about how they had roughed up the old man and delayed debate a little longer... it was Trudeau making the exact apology that should rightfully have been made by the asshole blockers.

Ask yourself why. And be honest. The bullying of a 65-year-old, and not to mention the gravity of the bill being debated at the time - one about assisted suicide, (which, for the same politically correct reasons I'm bemoaning, cannot be called that but must be referred to in the far less hurtful, "assistance in dying" form, (eye roll)), were instantly back-burnered in favour of what has become something of a level of importance in Canada that is practically unparalleled: violence against women. Now, as I have been trained to my whole life, I have to shift into Canadian and go on for a while about how I loathe violence against women. I do. Just yesterday in a class I caught a boy hitting a girl. It was in response to her hitting him and both were blows of a playful nature delivered with smiles, but I said, and I quote, "Hey, (student's name), don't hit anyone in this class and never, EVER, hit a girl!" Cuz not only am I Canadian, I'm a bit of an old school Canadian. It's reprehensible and immoral to abuse physical superiority, or to take advantage of any kind of perceived weakness. This is the bullet point I'm hoping my half dozen readers will take away from this post.

Having said that, that said, be that as it may, nothing said before the word "but," makes any difference, BUT... it can be carried too far. To have the PM officially apologize, more than once, is too far. To allow, (female of course), MP's to waste parliament time characterizing this elbow bump as "physical molestation," and making it sound like, (I'm not going to use her name because that was one of the purposes of her massive over-reaction), what's her face is lucky to be alive after the incident, is actually insulting to victims of legitimate violence against women everywhere.

As I posted on Facebook, and several people RE-posted, this was absolutely shameful wasting of valuable parliament time and every one of the contributing shitheads could do with a great deal more than a jarring elbow in the tits.

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, Korea... THIS was no elbow in the boob!

While it IS preliminary to be characterizing this incident as nothing but misogyny, it's pretty clear that it was a case of a man who hated women killing a woman. This is violence against women and this is taking advantage of physical superiority, and this is disgusting! THIS is something that needs to be brought up at a meeting of politicians, law makers and people in positions of leadership. And to be honest, if not a bit skeptical, it won't be. Not here in Korea. This is what men DO! It starts when they're boys. Koreans are absolutely BRUTAL when it comes to wielding ANY advantage with a sense of humility and grace. And I don't know if it's the culture, the social compact, peer pressure, history, or if they're just, (God forbid!), innately bad people! But look at every last complaint I've filed in my blogs over the years against Korea/Koreans and it will almost always boil down to this one thing. They get an advantage and they abuse it. And women are not above this either. If there were some way to quantify such things, I wouldn't be surprised to find that Korean WOMEN are worse abusers of power than men. Shift into Canadian apologist again, now I'm not trying to defend this murderer, but a beautiful woman in Korea has great power and in my experience it's almost a perfect, mathematical equation that beauty on the outside is directly DISproportionate to beauty on the inside. It's the plastic surgery capital of the world! Practically none of that is for men. Hell, I think women's DOGS in Korea get more work done than the men!

These Korean "Dwenjang Nyeo," are a curse to be sure, but I've said this a million times if I've said it once: Korean men deserve them! I said I wouldn't be surprised if the average Korean woman is worse, but I would. In the immortal words of my once roommate and fellow teacher, Phillip King, "Korean men are choads." Now, literally, a choad is a dude who has a penis wider than it is long. I have not studied the peni of the Korean closely enough to make this statement anything more than figuratively. Figuratively in the sense that a LOT of Korean men have all the symptoms of small penis syndrome. They are generally gutless and will not challenge you in any truly dangerous way, but they are constantly trying to find safe ways of asserting their manhood and gaining street cred with their homies. It's sad. Very sad. I have explained the Korean "Fuck you hello," numerous times. That's usually where it starts with foreigners. Saying hello to a foreigner and laughing with your buddies when the foreigner politely responds is pretty much, "Mother fuck Elvis and John Wayne cuz I'm Korean and I'm proud lemme hear ya say FIGHT THE POWER!"

If you're a nice teacher, like me, they will push brinkmanship to the very limit in class, but call in a Korean teacher who might call their mother and these "gangstas" burst into tears. It's not just with foreigners. They do it with each other too. It took me a long time to realize this but, when you see two Korean men peacocking, don't buy any popcorn cuz there ain't gonna be no fight. I have seen countless motorists, (driving is another big power grab for these sad douchebags), engaging in mano-a-mano roadraging here and waited patiently for something to happen only to find that both men were equally cowardly and were not going to do anything.

What, I often wonder, makes the Korean man so desperate to gain and ostentatiously display power? Could it be the fact that their history has been one of being the victim of bullying? The Chinese and the Japanese have throughout history used Koreans as their whipping boys. Now there are two ways a person can respond to bullying: 1. They can refuse to ever bully another, having suffered as the victim of bullying, or, 2. They can do the exact same thing to others in vicarious vengeance. If you start out in life getting ripped off in every deal you make, you can respond in one of two ways: 1. Take the moral high ground and drive honest bargains, or, 2. Financially ass rape everyone in vicarious vengeance. Korean men are for the most part ideal specimens of number two. Ahem.

To add another theory, people often forget this whole country was 99.9% peopled with uneducated farmers just a generation ago. They were not intellectual and they were not rich. But they all desired nothing more. I have heard Korean war stories from veteran soldiers about throwing coins on the floor of a bar and watching Korean women scratch, bite and claw each other over them. I watch baseball a lot here. A 3 or 4 dollar baseball has the same effect when it's hit into the crowd. Children are pushed out of the way and the weak are trampled to get that ball! After someone has claimed the ball, chuckles and smiles are exchanged and sometimes so are apologies because they realize it's a friggin' baseball! They can buy as many as they want! It's going to take a generation or maybe two before Koreans get used to their new-found riches. Until then, just about everything is treated like an all out fight to the death for survival, even though it's not. This is the "grace" and "humility" I mentioned that is so rarely exhibited by Koreans of means.

Back to this piece of number two who killed the innocent girl. While an innocent, Korean girl is a rare find, the guy killed a girl. It looks like it was mostly because he had been dissed by women in the past. Why would any woman be turned off by a Korean man? Hmmmm.... But I seriously doubt whether a more in depth discussion or investigation into this plague on Korea that I have so generally and un-professionally diagnosed here will be undertaken. It's absolutely astounding that tragedies like this stabbing don't happen more often. The streets, and bathrooms, of Korea are very safe. But wannabe gangsta thugs, who have espoused the violence of American black rappers, are everywhere in Korea. It sounds a bit contradictory, but I'd like to slap them all upside the head and tell them to pull up their pants and create their OWN individuality instead of copying others'. Those angry black dudes, I'm Canadian so I can get away with calling them NWA's, though I don't want to push it and type out the full words of that acronym, had ancestors who were the victims of some of the worst historical bullying ever, and they are number twos bullying the world back in vicarious violence. It's no wonder Korean boys sense a connection. But I feel in both cases, it's just a very weak excuse to be the violent punks they really are.

I think it's only been archaic mythology like "Jung," a special love Koreans all share with one another, that has kept Korea from erupting with violence like this. Confucian ideals like "Ren" and "Li," which scorn violence as weakness, are getting old. And with every successive generation further abandoning the old ways, I fear it is only a matter of time before this ticking time bomb explodes. The violence of Korean men against women, as well as anyone else with a perceived weakness, is a social issue that needs to be addressed in Korea. I think somewhere between the way things are now in Korea and the way things are in Canada, would be a good target to shoot for.



Just an update: It has been decided that the cause of the above murder was schizophrenia in the murderer. So there are now swirling rumours that Korea will have him off the streets for only a matter of months rather than the rest of his life. After a weekend of trying to get my joy back, and succeeding so very little, I hear this. I can't say I'm surprised. After all, this is the same penile system that came to THIS asinine decision.

To make matters just a little bit worse, THIS happened in Japan. Now I have to follow these parallel stories to see whether fame has any effect on the prison terms of these homicidal wackjobs. Can you guess what my expectations might be?

Now I'm back in people suck mode. Thank you, Korea and Japan!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Egg Kung Fu Young

Discrimination everywhere! Have you seen this?

It's funny, but it's not that inaccurate. Even today. How many people can tell me right now who Carl Douglas is? I bet if you ask a 10-year-old fan of Disney, he or she could tell you. He's the dude who is responsible for the song, "Kung Fu Fighting," which came out in 1974! That's 42 years ago! Carl Douglas is 74 years old! No more Kung Fu for him! Maybe some Egg Fu, but it have to be put into a blender first. Egg Fu Old!

In the song, a younger Carl sings, "Everybody was Kung Fu fighting." In the 70's, Bruce Lee was sweeping across North America and I remember watching his films in crowded theaters, faking with friends almost every day like we knew Kung Fu and could control our bodies like the great mythical masters. I remember a friend kicking another friend in the balls and with feigned Chinese guru wisdom instructing the young apprentice, "Don't feel pain!" True story.

There was this confusing television show too called, "Kung Fu" with a guy who was supposed to be Chinese, but wasn't. Why did they do that? I could tell David Carradine was whiter than rice!
Guess which one he is. In all of Hollywood, they couldn't find a Chinese actor? Come on! Orrrrr... a Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, heck even a Malay woulda worked! Am I right? The show Kung Fu was great! Cain and his wise master. I used to want to study Kung Fu at Shao Ling Temple because of that. But it almost confused me as much as Casey on Mr. Dressup. I will post a pic here for all you non-Canadians.

This is Mr. Dressup, Casey and Finnegan. Casey, the non-canine puppet, was supposed to be a boy. But look at him! Unisex name, unisex look, and the voice was obviously done by a woman. Mr. Dressup was my favourite show for a few years, but it constantly left me as sexually frustrated as a 4-year-old could be. To add to the trauma, I found out later in life that Mr. Dressup was actually an American! From Maine! As if my world wasn't already upside down enough! Okay, I admit to sexual discrimination. But I was pretty young. As for the discrimination against the country of America? Yeah, friggin' Americans anyhow!

But back to Kung Fu. It WAS huge in the 70's, but, as was pointed out by a fellow Facebooker recently, "Surely not EVERYBODY was Kung Fu fighting!" You know, I bet there was some Tae Kwon Do and some Karate in there but, hey, they're all Chinese anyway, right? So how did old, (and I mean that in both senses), Carl Douglas get away with it back then, and how is he STILL getting away with this blatant amalgamation of the Asian races? Maybe because he's black!

And his song appeared in the movie, "Kung Fu Panda." When you think of a panda, they are about the least racially offensive creatures there are. Black, white AND Asian. But does that give Carl Douglas a pass? Not in MY book, Mister! Know your martial arts! If there was any talking going on during that famous musical fight, and the speaker's mouths matched the words that came out of them, it probably wasn't Kung Fu at all. But old, (geezer), Carl was too busy writing music to pay attention to what was being said during the fight.

Here's a kind of discrimination you don't hear much about: vegetation discrimination. Why is it that hemp is still frowned upon? It's nothing but discrimination. One of its family members is marijuana. Which isn't that bad anyway, but since it's, (inexplicably), illegal, hemp is too. Hemp. A plant that could do more than any one thing to fix this mess our world is in! Illegal by association. We can make fuel, houses, clothes, cars, paper, biodegradable plastic, almost anything out of hemp and it can grow anywhere! Gotta be some rich bigwigs keeping hemp on the lowdown!

Interestingly, did you know that hops, a plant that gives flavour to beer, is also in the same plant family as hemp and marijuana? Ah HA! Busted! But you don't see anyone outlawing beer do you? Well not since the 30's. I guess people who drink fight harder to keep that right. People who smoke weed are too relaxed. They'd probably throw two punches, cough a lot, then take a Doritos break anyway. Here's a thinker: Would any of those cats have been Kung Fu fighting if they could have legally hit a bong any time they wanted? You KNOW they wouldn't have been fast as lightning! Think about that. Think about it.

Which brings us around to age discrimination. What? It does! Race discrimination, plant discrimination, then age discrimination. You don't see that pattern? I do! Well, maybe I'm just old. And, yes, I admit to discriminating against old, (fart), Carl Douglas earlier in this post. It's easy to do! The old seem so helpless and harmless! Safe to dis! And I know that if I coloured my white hair and told every prospective employer that I am 39, not 49, I'd have an easier time getting work around here. But that's life. The old can't do stuff. Right? Well...

BAM! BLAM! WHU-BAM!!!

How 'bout that? First baby at 70! And dude at 79 still packin' heat! Atta boy! I bet the "chemist" would laugh at him if he bought condoms. "Well who's laughing now? Huh? Who's laughing now while trying to open a diaper pin with arthritic hands? Huh? In yer face, chemist! Who's son will be asking his friends, "Vut are deez grandparents you speak of?" Huh? Not so smug now are ya? Who is now the poster boy for the stereotype of the Kama Sutra, Bollywood dancing, singing and uncontrollably reproducing Indian? Oh Vishnu! Who will be 98 when his son starts university? Who will be a 98-year-old looking for work to PAY for that university? Gods damn it!"

Where is Russell Peters? He could do a solid half hour of comedy on this story! With a much better Indian accent than I can type! He's awesome at Chinese accents too, having lived in Hongcouver. Oh geez, was that discrimination? Well, largely, if not, totally, because of the Chinese, in Vancouver, you can buy a run down trailer with cardboard windows and no indoor plumbing for the lucky, joy, good, best money price of one million dowlah! So, they've earned a little discrimination there I reckon.

I love the way the article tries to avoid discrimination. "...our region's housing market is divorced from local incomes." Yeah, after years and years of allowing, nay encouraging Chinese real estate flipping all over the city, Canadians have been priced right the crap out of it! And you think foreigners in Korea are upset about Korean bars that don't allow foreigners? These real estate deals, not just in Vancouver, but all over Canada, usually don't allow Canadians to invest. IN CANADA! It's because Canadian investors will bog down the investment because they have all these taxes and rules of investment burdening them, but the Canadian government officials agreed to make it ridiculously easy to make money for the Chinese! They buy in for less, pay no tax at all, and take the money right on back to China. Then dump their spoiled brats back in Canada where the air is clean and they don't get busted for their ill-gotten gains. Somebody oughta take that egg prime minister, (white outside and yellow inside), who allowed things to get so bad and Kung Fu fight all over his ass!

This leads me in my way of patterning my posts, to a hideous kind of discrimination that I think is probably the worst. It makes me physically puke a little in my mouth when I think of how the rich are discriminating against the poor and how the poor are just bending over and saying, bring it on! Like when we go to the bank machine and pay up to 5 bucks to get OUR money and it tells us to cover our PIN so that we don't get robbed. Average people used to be able to buy houses in Vancouver, and I can still remember when average folks could go to professional sports. Or even Olympic sports. Not any more. Average folks make less and houses and sports tickets cost more. Who the hell can afford 1500 bucks to watch the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics? I'm not going to go through the hell it will be to purchase that ticket, to see a month's wages burnt up in fireworks, fairies, glitter, smiles and bad music. The men's hockey final is almost at the 1000 buck mark for one ticket. The crowd for that game will be talking more about house flipping than puck flipping. More about aggressive takeovers than aggressive penalty killing. They won't be talking about the Washington Capitals, they'll be talking about Washington Capitalists. I hope a lot of people get hit in the head by slap shots while they're checking the overnights on their cellphones that's all I'm sayin! Well come on! I'll probably be in the city, just a 10-minute walk from what could be the greatest sporting event I could ever see and I will just not be paying a grand to watch it. I will regret it for the rest of my life too. Why? Because I don't make enough money to afford the cost of the ticket, therefore, do not deserve to go. BBfffrrrbbttt! Sorry. I was sick a little again.

Oh well, as we the victims of discrimination tend to do, I guess I'll settle. I'll settle for the curling. It'll be fun! I actually love it! And I think I might like the women's curling just a bit more than the men's. Sexual discrimination? You bet! There are some full on hotties throwing rocks out there. I can't say the screaming adds to the attraction but if you try with all your might, you can make, "Hurry, hurry HAAAARD HAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRDDDDD!!!!" work for you!



Friday, May 13, 2016

Work

Well we're back to the full 30-hour week again. Just barely survived this one. I sure didn't miss them! Once I get the curriculums all solidified for each text, it'll be clickety click, but right now I am doing everything for the first time and making brand new lessons for half my classes every day! So it's 30 hours of teaching plus a ton of lesson planning at home. It's a buttload of work. During the week I sleep and I work. And I usually set aside several hours on one of my weekend days as well for planning.

This is the reason I absolutely LOVE my little kiddies! The elementary school kids are knockin' it outta the park every day! There are a lot of them who have WAAAAY too much energy and I am constantly telling them to take the volume off the Spinal Tap 11, but in almost every case, those kids are doing their work and learning even more than the quiet ones! So I don't mind the noise much. There IS one girl who enjoys when the boys make her scream and as the brown note is to the bowels, her scream note is to my earballs! The sound pierces the eardrums and when it stops I hear something go CLUNK in my head. I can actually feel the pain with every CLUNK. Last night I slept wrong and had a very sore neck. Her screaming made it just a little bit worse and with every CLUNK it spread right on down the trapezius and became a neck AND shoulder pain. And today we played Bingo. And she won! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CLUNK!

Next I had one of many classes who used to like me but now that I've been ordered to add more structure and routine, and not play so many games with the kids, we spend a lot of the time in class talking about how this lesson is not interesting and how they would really like to play a game. Also, they are very tired and there are the sighs and moans and groans when we open up the book or when I present them with a lesson that doesn't appear to them to be a game. That or they expend a LOT of energy conversing in Korean. You tell them they will never play another game ever again if they don't knock it off but it's the exact same posturing I get with every Korean boss. They think I'm bluffing until it's too late.

Let me explain what I mean with the fourth class I taught today. Last class they were doing the exact same thing I just described. I had planned a good lesson and created a supplementary worksheet complete with pictures and hours and hours of conversation topics on it. It took me a long time and it was, if I do say so myself, quite creative. A few of them looked at a few of the many, many conversation topics on the sheet and with monotonous languidity, lobbed a couple at their partners, which were met with pedestrian replies followed by, "FINISHED!" I got a bit riled up. I told them for the umpteenth time, "Never EVER finish! There's enough conversation material there to wear Joan Rivers out! You can NOT possibly be finished! Get busy!" I told one specific student who had actually put his head down on his desk like he was going to sleep to choose a topic and start talking with his group. He said, "No." Have I successfully described how much work I do and how much work I had put into this lesson? This little 9-year-old asshole was testing his powers. The same way countless employers have in my days over here. I'd still be working at Chonnam University, my first university gig here if the person in charge there had any idea what an honest person was like in negotiations. They don't. Even at 9 years old!

At Chonnam I told them I was quitting and they stonewalled me until I actually had a plane ticket to Canada and was all packed. Then they started with the, "Oh, sorry, we were a little hasty. We're sorry we completely fucked you over. Let us make it up to you by offering you a much better contract." And by then they had forfeited every ounce of trust they ever had, so I DID leave. And they were shocked! I'm sure there were many people saying, "Holy shit! He was serious! I thought he was just negotiating."

This little 9-year-old, future businessman reckoned he was in negotiations with someone the likes of which he'd met before. He wasn't. I told him, I think twice, "You don't say NO to me! Get busy, NOW or go home!" To which he replied, "No." I walked slowly around the square of desks that separated us giving him plenty of time to recant his false bravado, but he didn't. When I got to him I pulled out his chair, with him in it, saying, "Buhbye! See you next class. Go home!" He just gave me a hunched over dead weight and required extra prodding so I picked him up by the shirt and pointed him toward the door. I know, I know, this is child abuse in Canada, but not here. I was in control of my emotions, don't worry. Though I would like to have given him a good smack in the head, I didn't.

I said, "Get your things and let's go. Come on! Go home! You don't say NO to me!" He then started mumbling, "David, ummm, uhhh, nooo, I am sorry..." I said, "No you're not! Come on, let's go. Get out!" I told him to sit on the chair outside the door. He hadn't brought all his stuff with him so he couldn't go home. But I got back into the class and every single other student was gobsmacked at my behaviour! I am not sure if it was another example of me causing someone to lose face or if they were just shocked that I was human and not some white bearded, Canadian, non-purple Barney! He was obviously trying to show how brave he was and he got stuffed. I felt a little bit of athletic BOOYAH as I returned to the classroom. Bear in mind, this is a student who had been giving me trouble for a long time. So I went a little overboard, adrenalin I suppose, and said, "Anyone else?" as I re-entered the classroom. So, still running a blood pressure that was possibly inadvisable for making such a speech, I gave the class the, "I am the boss," talking to. They understood one of every 10 words at best but they understood the gist from context. This was, as an aside, a VERY good English lesson for them all. Korean students far too often think they need to understand every word of English in every sentence before they understand what's being said. I guarantee they knew what I was saying even though it was barked at them with no consideration for their very low level of English. I know this because, suddenly everyone was doing the lesson with renewed vigour! Almost miraculous recoveries from former fatigue were unanimous!

Before too long I went out into the hall and fetched him back into the class making him first say that I am the boss. Today, the class was back to farting around. Not two days removed from this display, I have reverted to my harmless, mascot of a teacher former self. They weren't as bad as they were last class, but it's clear that they consider that show of discipline a one-off and still consider my class a respite from the gulags their Korean teachers turn their classrooms into. They all must figure I was just in a really bad mood that day.

The next class was one of two debate classes I had scheduled for the end of the day. Both middle school classes and both have been very difficult. It's much like my other middle school classes: they are learning stuff that is WAAAAY too advanced for them. Debate. These students don't have the English ability to debate why the chicken crossed the road. When the Korean teachers teach them they say they understand everything. Geez I wonder why. Oh they assure me they teach the classes in English but they lie.

The format for all these debate classes is the same. I give them a topic, spend about 5 hour-long lessons covering several great arguments for BOTH sides of the upcoming debate, always making sure to point out the points that are useful for the debate to the students and come debate day, they have 2 or 3 points per 6 debater team. I give them homework the class before the debate. I tell every student to come up with TWO arguments that will support their team. TWO out of the dozen we've covered that very class! And if I'm shooting for the moon, maybe one of their own? No that never happens. A few do the homework if any.

So today they rolled on into class, started putting on hand lotion; some were brushing hair, one girl was looking at herself in the mirror while another girl trimmed her bangs, others pulled out their books from more important classes and started doing that work, and every last one of them was blathering on in Korean. I asked if any had done the homework and was surprised to find that 3 had. Two had found 2 arguments for their team and one had found two arguments for the other team. She'd been wrongly informed of which team she was on. There was one student who was absent the class before so she hadn't done her homework, (and she's usually one of the few who does), so I took the four of them to one side of the room and played a game with them. The other students, 2/3 of the class, were writing on paper not two but TEN arguments for their side of the debate. The four students really enjoyed the game we played and the other students all finished the 10 points. I have no doubt that no lesson was learned by any of them, that 2/3 of the class hates me for reasons they have manufactured themselves and the next debate will be an even greater flop.

And these are not even my worst students! I have one class that makes these guys look like angels!

But before I end on this dismal note, I have some students that make my GGGGRRRRRRRRR turn into awwwwwwww. It's teacher's day on Sunday and a few of my students mentioned it in my class and drew some pictures on the whiteboard wishing me happy teacher's day. That was nice. But one, just one, little girl, in secret, gave me a folded paper sort of bouquet of flowers and wouldn't let me look at the back until she was gone. On the back it read, "Happy teacher day." I almost cried.

Then there's these girls.

This is Sandy and Angelina. Sandy is the Sandy who I said is probably my best student. The one with the beautiful penmanship and whose father bought me and David's beers on Children's Day. Her and Angelina are almost always partners and Angelina could very well be my second best. Today we were at the end of a chapter and we were making "caring collages." They were two of the very few who had brought pictures for the collage, (which I had assigned as homework the class before and like the middle school kids, most of this class had ignored it because homework doesn't fucking work). So they had worked the entire class on their collage and it was nowhere near finished. They asked if they could use some of my supplies to finish in the hallway after class was over. I couldn't believe it! They sat on the floor and coloured and cut and pasted and worked for another hour and then some to finish their assignment. And it was gorgeous! I asked them where they wanted it to be displayed in the classroom and it now is the only thing hanging on the main window. Working OVERtime! What a couple of sweethearts! I think if I had hugged them I could have squeezed the anger at my other students right out of me, but that might have crushed these two little angels to death. So I didn't.

I have some super good students who are mature beyond their years and are trying their best to convince the little princes and princesses to have a little respect, but theirs and mine is a thankless struggle. In a very short time I have developed a real fondness for some of my students here though, and that's what makes me strap on the smiley mask and flak jacket and take the beatings I know will come with every new day at work.

I AM looking for new work, but here's how life is: When and if I find something better, I'll be less relieved to be done with the outrageously heavy schedule and the disrespectful students, and I'll probably remember the good ones like Nora, (who gave me the folded flowers), Sandy and Angelina. That's just how the cookie crumbles I guess.

But I have some good leads and I'll be putting in some resumes this weekend. If I get a better position, (and some of these are half the work for more pay), I'll be happy, but I'll miss the good things about the job I have now. It's so weird how sometimes we remember negative things longer, like Korea hating the Japanese for their past ills a long time ago, yet so quickly forgetting how more recently, the U.S. preserved their very existence and now they hate them too. Yet, most of us, including Koreans, will remember good things and block out bad things from the past. I guess it just has to do with what we remind ourselves of more often. I dunno.

Like I said a couple of posts ago, this job has been a life-saver. But it's just not what I do. I don't think it'll be long before you see me posting about a new gig at a new university or military college or something like that. I'd like to finish this contract, but we'll see what happens. Will the good students be able to keep my sticktoitiveness primed through the hot, muggy, mosquito infested months of Korean summer, or will the bad kids who are deadheading it through my 50-minute classes break my spirits? Only time will tell...


Here's an addendum to this post. It's not even 6 AM and I've been up for an hour. Partially sleepless because of the debate class described above. We'll call them the mutineers. I actually didn't go far enough back in the history of this class. The debate that was cancelled last class was the second one in a row they've thrown. It's mostly, but not all, the boys. Last debate was girls vs. the boys and it was forfeited. I made the boys write 10 supporting arguments each as punishment for the absence of any effort or concern they showed on debate day. And really, if I'm honest, on every day. Then the 10 supporting arguments while the good students played a game last class. Yesterday was their latest class and if I thought before that there wasn't an organized mutiny on my hands, all doubt went out the window. They showed up about 5 minutes before class started, dumped their bags in the class and every one of them, even the good students, went to the store to buy food, gum, even ICE CREAM, knowing full well that eating is not allowed in class. The good students were on time along with one girl who is probably trying to convince the girls to do what the boys are doing. She never ever does any work and I think she coasts by because she's good looking and popular. When I ask her to do something I get attitude. I'll call her B.A. because I don't want to use her real name, which is Su Ah. Hee hee hee.

She comes to class with a minute before class begins, eating an ice cream bar and holding one that's not opened. I should have just grabbed them both and chucked them in the garbage, but then I'm the bad guy. This is what I mean by manufacturing hatred of me. I told her she had one minute to eat all that ice cream and that she was going to have brain freeze. Not that she'll be needing that brain for the next 50 minutes, but... She managed to eat and give other students bites of her ice cream and it was gone a few minutes into class time. It didn't matter because the boys still weren't there. THEY marched in 5-10 minutes late with pockets and mouths full of food. Revenge for the previous class, no doubt. I told them not to eat and not to use the desks as trash cans. I had found a certain student's desk, (big, popular and I would bet from a rich family), nicknamed Terry, full of My Chew wrappers because all last class he ate, shared with the other boys and didn't do his work. Actually 2 classes ago, he wasn't there for the debate fiasco. They managed that one without him. So it's not just one student, it's an organized affair.

Anyhoo, I told them that we were going to choose a new chapter with a new debate topic. Anybody have a preference? Anybody? Anybody? Buehler? Buehler? One of the good kids bailed me out and chose the chapter about being rich and famous. The debate is whether it's good or bad. So we start on the first page, which says, and I think it is worded misleadingly so as to avoid using the difficult hypothetical language and conditional form with "if" and "would." The question was, "Imagine you are rich and famous, 1. Where do you live? 2. Where do you go on vacation? 3. What do you eat? 4. What are your hobbies?" It took an eternity for most of the class to actually start. When they did, they had answers like, Gangneung/Seoul/Chicken/Sleep. Those were B.A.'s answers. So I explained to her what the question was and instantly got the, tsk - eye roll - groan combination like I was somehow overburdening her. Which is a favourite move of hers that I have cautioned her on before. I told her to lose the attitude, then explained what that meant, as if she didn't know. I did the same yesterday and while explaining got a new move: the "say yeah, nod and look bored every time I start speaking." She should have been hoofed outta class right then, but I don't want to give them ammunition. This is the childish game we're playing. They WANT me to blow my stack and kick them out because it will give them reason to hate me and do what they are already doing. The reasons they are already boycotting my class are mostly because I am nice and they are not mature enough to be nice back to me, and may never be. Nice = weakness. It's a lifelong perception for many. Take advantage of it without guilt. It is how lots of people get ahead in life and it's not really discouraged.

Also I think there is a little opposition because I'm not good looking, I'm not young and I'm not thin. Koreans are absolutely BRUTAL when it comes to their behaviour towards beautiful and not beautiful people! Middle school might be when that is at its worst although this IS the plastic surgery capital of the world. I've heard of Koreans getting work done on their DOGS! They can be incredibly shallow! Plus, there's a little dash of the old anti-foreigner sentiment that is gaining momentum in Korea. It's street cred for kids to be rude to a foreigner. It's how they prove their patriotism. Plus pure laziness. And this is one I talked about before. I used to feel for the kids being hugely overworked in schools and try not to tax them too hard. I played games and had a lot of free talking. But this is not possible with this generation of kids. First of all they don't do nearly as much schoolwork as they used to. Still a lot but not as much. And secondly, they're spoiled. Respect is on a rapid decline in Korea! So whereas kids used to try to converse in their limited English during free talking because they appreciated not having to work very hard in class, these days, kids don't even try. They just blab away in Korean. Kids also used to appreciate games and it improved their work ethic for a few classes afterwards. These kids? It just makes them demanding. "We know you have games. We will not do your work. Give us the games or else!"

So I spend about 40 minutes maintaining my cool amidst obvious attempts to piss me off. David, who I reported before and whose parents were contacted by the hagwon boss, blew a bubble at one point. Terry, with his hands in his crotch doing exactly what I had told him not to do, (opening a My Chew), when told to stop, quickly brought his hands up and put it into his mouth. In both cases the class thought these actions were hilarious and laughed too loud and too long to waste the maximum amount of time. There was a bug flying around in the class that produced highly exaggerated reactions from several of the girls. Screams and hair swiping and shivers, again, all laughed at. One girl spent an elongated period of time on the floor against the wall having been "scared" by a little fly. These are harmless flies that don't bite. Not even mosquitoes. All this with the incessant Korean conversation at too high a volume. I decided to explain to the class, most of whom STILL didn't understand that they were to imagine they were rich and famous, how to do the exercise. An exercise they had already wasted 30 minutes on. I called for quiet. Again and again. It was clear it was not forthcoming. I then said the next person who talks will write 100 lines. Another person talked, then another and another. I had 4 people on the hook for lines and was explaining now what writing 100 lines meant. Without, of course, making it understood. I wrote, "1. I will be quiet when David tells me to be quiet. 2. I will be quiet when " One student asked me, "Do I write 1 and 2 100 times or 200 times?"

Finally I saw Terry just randomly punching the boys beside him and getting punched back. Absolutely anything but doing what they're supposed to be doing! So I told Terry to go home. This is always met with refusal. I told him again and again. Then students started getting quiet. Terry says, "I'm sorry, teacher." I said, "No you're not, get the hell out of here!" I grabbed his book and almost threw it out the window, thought better of it and threw it out into the hall. He eventually left. THEN the class was quiet and obedient. But we had 5 minutes left and hadn't accomplished a fraction of what we should. So I gave them pretty much the whole lesson for homework, which most won't do, and gave them a talking-to, which most didn't understand. Basically, don't make me angry. I got a lot of yes, teacher, yes, okay but don't think they were genuine. I even cancelled the lines. But they will still have enough ammunition to justify the continuation of the mutiny in their minds.

After the class I explained most of this to the boss. She was more on my side than I expected. But I know she was having trouble with this group as well because she had come into my class during the beginning before the boys had made their appearance and told some of the girls to go clean up the bathroom. They had cut one girls' hair in the bathroom and made a mess of it. The same one who was having her hair cut on debate day. She, the boss, says we are going to have to do something about this class. She mentioned actually booting some kids out but I think it was the end of the day and SHE was as frustrated as I was. I told her who the main culprits were and I think she is going to have speaks with a few parents. We shall see what effect that has.

The nice thing was, I told her that I don't want to come to work every day and yell. She was right with me on that. I think she's been hearing me yelling a lot. If the daily yelling doesn't quit, I'm going to leave and I think she knows it. I've got a lot of patience, but not that much. I have NEVER worked with such bad students before. Not just bad at studying, some of them are just bad kids. There needs to be a culling because the bad kids are taking over and that will make the good kids leave. It's already started.

And so continues my uncanny knack for landing in the wrong workplace at the wrong time. I am the Cal Ripken of that!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekend Away

I had a 3 1/2 day weekend from May 5th, (Children's Day), to May 8th. I just had to work a couple of hours on the 6th. It's the last long weekend I'll get for a while so I had to take advantage.

On Children's Day I got a few things from the Best Mart and got a little bit of housecleaning and work done before the baseball game started at 2:00. It was the whackiest game ever! 17-1 for Kia including two players with three chances for the cycle, (neither got it though), every player walking and/or hitting multiple times, (18 hits, 12 walks), homers, triples, a little bit of defence and to top it all off, a bench clearing brawl. On Children's Day!!!

I did a bit of updating on my computer and my resume and application materials and then received a text from David, who wanted to have a beer. I obliged. More than one beer was enjoyed by both Davids. We had a couple outside the 7-11 and then went to a pub called West Minister and had some more. I know it's supposed to be Westminster, but I don't think it is. Had a great conversation. He's a good fella, that David. A credit to the name.

A group of people came into the pub and sat at the table beside us and I was surprised to see two of my students in the group. I wished them happy Children's Day of course and asked what they'd been up to. One of the students was one of my favourite students. Don't know her Korean name but her nickname is Sandy. She has about the neatest printing I've ever seen and she just loves to write! She's just a model student! If any student's parent should buy me beer, it's not her's. It's Frank's. His parents should buy me a new car! No I really should have bought her parents' beers. But before leaving, Sandy's Dad says to me, "It's on me." I wasn't sure if he paid or if he was using the wrong idiom. David and I thanked him anyway and sure enough, when we checked if he had paid, he had. THAT was a nice Children's Day bonus!

The next day I didn't feel so hot but had a long walk to the bus station to buy my ticket to Seoul, so I dragged my arse outta bed and went. At first there was a lot of coughing and bodily reluctance, but I soon got a fast walk going and sweat out some of that free beer. I got my ticket and walked home. When I was told the bad news that I wouldn't have the entire 4-day weekend, I had asked if I should show up at 6:30 and was told I should, but it turned out I only had to teach TWO classes, from 7:30-9:30. Oh well, enjoyed my coffee for over an hour, taught my classes, went home, packed a bag and hit the hay.

Saturday was eventful! I took an early bus to Seoul and got into Dong Seoul Station just before noon. It was about 3 hours from 8:50-11:50 but only because we hit some long weekend traffic that held us up for about half an hour. I then took a subway to Itaewon and visited Heather, Mike and the family for about an hour. Then back to the subway and over to Gongdeok Station to meet Amber and DB at 2:30. We all made it there before 2:30 and hopped onto a city bus. We travelled quite a ways until we finally saw a big, silver dome and got off the bus. The location of the dome is by NO means convenient!

But it was pretty impressive from the outside!
Here's Amber and DB hamming it up while waiting to cross the street towards the dome. We actually rode the bus with a few Tiger fans and the stadium was already lousy with them! I say, "lousy," because we are the supporters of the road team. The ENEMY! Infesting the safe confines of the Gocheok Dome. Heh heh. And happy to do so!
Can you tell Amber and DB are happy?

We couldn't get into the stadium until 4:00 I think so we grabbed a couple of beers from the stadium GS Mart. I also had to eat so I got a stadium meal: Two soy-boiled eggs, some string cheese and some meat on a stick. Warshed down with a cold Max beer it was just the ticket for a guy who had been on the bus, subway or hiking up the hills of Itaewon since breakfast at 7. That doesn't sound like appetite building stuff but taking the bus involves walking, the Seoul subway is a workout in itself and if you wanna feel a good burn, muscles and lungs, hike up to Itaewon Dong! Even DOWN it's good exercise.

Here's me posing in front of a sculpture I like.

The inside of the dome was not as impressive. They had a Pizza Hut, New York Burger, New York Fries, some of the usual baseball snack substances, but nothing special. Chamshil in Seoul has a Burger King and KFC I like and Moonhak Stadium in Incheon has a good Burger King too. All the stadia I've been to here in Korea have better beer service. A BIG strike against Gocheok! Can't bring beer from outside. Can't have cans. And it was a LONG walk to buy beer between innings! The stadium looks like they didn't buy enough land for what they wanted so they just chopped a full sized dome down to fit into a smaller space. We had seats really high up behind first base. There were a few blindspots and the air was a bit thin but the view was pretty good. Before the game Amber asked me what would happen if someone hit a ball so high that it hit the roof. I remembered a ball hitting the roof at the Minnesota Metrodome one time and a ground rule double was awarded so I just told her that. I was SURE it wasn't about to happen. Ha ha. Of COURSE it did! The ball was a sure fly out but hit the roof and dropped in fair territory. Na Ji Wan, the batter was safe at first and was awarded a single. I thought it should have been a double, but looked it up online and apparently that was a Dave Kingman ball that never did come down from the Minnesota roof. So I think the Korean umps got the call right.

The game was a good one. Close all the way with the Tigers getting the lead then losing it then getting it back a few times. Their best pitcher, Yang, was looking pretty good. Not his superstar self yet this season but I though he was finally going to get his first win. A couple of bad mistakes by the fielders and a really unlucky game-winning run scored on a wild pitch or passed ball that only squirted away from the catcher a little ways but this REALLY speedy guy on third, who had burned the Tigers all day, made it home. I think the left handed batter at the time might have impeded the catcher's pursuit of the ball or his toss to the covering pitcher, but in the end it might not have mattered. There were other more avoidable mistakes. But already that is one of at least half a dozen games the Tigers should have won but didn't. It looks like it's gonna be one of those seasons...

After the game we went to Itaewon and hooked up with Mike and Heather at the Three Alley Pub. I had a Kozel beer float! I know it sounds just wrong but it was sensational!!! Cinnamon around the edge of the glass, vanilla ice cream, I ate/drank it in about 2 minutes! Had a good chinwag, then Amber and DB went home and Heather, Mike and I went to Fat Albert's to finish the evening. GREAT day!

The next day I watched the very first hockey games I have seen of the NHL playoffs this year. I enjoyed them but wasn't all that invested in them. Washington stayed alive by beating the Pens. Then the Sharks attacked the Preds in the Tank. Some good goals in that one.

After that I went to the clothing place with the big sizes I like and bought some pants and a shirt. Now at least I'm set wardrobe-wise. As the hottest day of the year so far was drawing to a close, we made our way to the Jongro/Insadong area of Seoul to catch the lantern festival. I have to admit I was hoping for the ceremony in which they light a candle in a little lantern and let it fly away, but I have thought a few times while watching that, where do those lanterns go and is it flammable? I don't think there was any way they could have held that sort of a pyromaniac's dream in Seoul without it becoming Asia's answer to Fort McMurray. How 'bout that Fort Mac? NObody dies! Awesome stories, videos and Canadian community spirit shown! I've said it many times before but I hate that it requires a tragedy like this for me to be proud of Canada. It'd be so nice if we had this kind of love for our fellow Canadians whose homes didn't burn down too! And now I am starting to see opportunistic Big Oil pushers trying their best to almost take credit for the people of Fort McMurray putting internet memes out there saying that it was a natural oil spill before companies like Nexxen showed up and cleaned it up. Somebody needs to get a high five for THAT post. In the face. With a chair.

Instead I followed the family down some blocked off streets
that were lined with little tent booths where you could make traditional toys, buy some D.I.Y. lanterns, practice your meditation, meet a monk, or talk to reps from foreign Buddhist temples in Tibet, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and many others. I think after dark they all had a big Kung Fu last man standing, big money tournament. The Shao Ling entrant defended his crown. Just my guess.

This was the temple where the parade started.

And just as dusk was settling over Seoul, the parade began.
Here are some kids impatiently waiting for dark so they could start.

I liked the big lantern floats! Mike did too. He got some good footage and photos.

Reilly? Well, meh.


Heh heh. Maybe it's an acquired taste.

Here comes the dragon.

The dragon was pretty cool!

I liked these Lee Sun Shin turtle boat lanterns too. Don't know about the phallic towers though...

Here are Reilly and Roman, arguing as usual. Wait, what does that say? Love therapy? Maybe it's worth a try.

It worked! Iryna is so happy! I think that's a happy dance she's doing.

I just love hanging out with these guys!

But the day and the long weekend had to end. I got on an 8:50 bus outta Gangnam Terminal, (that's right, I went home Gangnam Style), and made it home to my house before midnight. There was a little bit of long weekend traffic getting out of Seoul. There was a LOT going INTO Seoul. But all in all I had far less to complain about than my usual trips. It was a great weekend away!


Monday, May 2, 2016

Computers Make Our Lives Easier

HOLY CRAP!!! I will likely spend two hours or so typing this blog post and then hit the "publish" button and receive some sort of warning in numeric code that basically means, "Sorry, Bill Gates wants to force you to use more of his increasingly incompatible crap. We won't tell you what, but here's a meaningless error number. By the way, that error was yours, not ours. AND... you can't blog until you figure all this out."

Let's see, how did this begin... Oh yes, I just got home from work. Yesterday at about 9:30. I had a little spag and decided I had better get down to the business of upgrading resumes, work histories, self-introductions and all that jazz. I don't know if yesterday was the straw that broke the camel's back but after totally shafting me on my contractual 10 days of vacation just a couple of weeks ago, I got screwed out of a 4-day weekend this week. You see, May 5th is Children's Day here in Korea. May 6th is a Friday. Since it's a sandwich day the government of Korea has officially made it a national holiday. I asked if I will get the 4 day weekend and got the usual, "Well if it's an emergency, we can cover your classes." Ask any teacher, taking a break from teaching? Yes! Emergency! But just a few minutes later, the REAL boss barges into my classroom and in her fake baby talk sweet voice says, "You will need to teach on Friday. Not elementary school kids but middle school kids. Because if you don't they will be confused." That night I taught the classes that will be "confused" without me on Friday and most of them said they most likely won't even show up on Friday.

So, I am being kept around to teach 3 classes that will have only a few students each, if that. And one happens to be the class with my nemesis, Frank. What do you want to bet HE shows up?

Anyway, rather than start new documents for my resume and self-intro, which is what I should have done, I went into the old files I had created on my Indonesian computer on Microsoft Word. I did this because some prospective employers were telling me that they couldn't read the Open Office files I was sending them. NOW I remember this! I updated my home address and visa type on my resume and I took a children's camp intro and converted it into a general self-introduction. Part of doing so was deleting three pictures I had included from past children's camps. It took a couple of hours but I was satisfied that I had explained my work history and current situation. I added a more recent picture and sent the resume and self-intro to Gangneung Wonju National University, which is nearby and would be a convenient new job.

Sometimes I like to check important emails right away, and this was important so I immediately went into the "sent mail" area of Gmail to see what GWNU had received. I was shocked! The changes I had made to the resume were not saved. The resume I sent says I am currently living in Icheon on a Canadian visitor's visa. And when I looked at the self-intro, it was worse! The pictures I had deleted had somehow, ghostly reappeared in the background of my new self-introduction. I re-opened the file on my computer - no ghost pics! What the frig?

So, I get to thinking. These documents were written on my old computer, which I think I bought with Windows 10 on it. The computer I have now has been sitting in Canada for two years without being upgraded. It's running Windows 8.1. I check and find it's also running Open Office 4.0 and there's a new 4.1 available. So I figure this is a good place to start. Oh yeah, AND, now when I try to start a brand new file in Open Office 4.0, absolutely nothing happens. So I look for Open Office 4.1 and it's easily enough found. I start the download and it works. I start the installation and it stalls. "Could not complete installation. Check if there are Open Office files running." Or something like that. I figure out the Windows 8.1 Task Manager and see that there are a dozen Open Office 4.0 files running and I can't close them or find them. I go into Windows 8.1 Control Panel and figure THAT out. Not easy, but I finally find the way to add/remove programs. Open Office doesn't appear on the list. I have it - but I don't have it. What the friggin' frig?

So I do a Google query and find out that many of my fellow netizens had trouble getting Open Office 4.1 on Windows 8.1. Not compatible, you see. So the obvious solution is to just bite the bullet and get Windows 10. So I do. By now it's almost 2 in the morning and I am actually BEHIND where I was at 9:30. I forgot how tedious Windows 10 installation is. It starts and I go to bed. I wake up in the middle of the night and hit install and go back to bed. By morning I have a new wallpaper, a new browser, a whole new icon for just about everything and a new layout. I make a cup of tea and heave a huge sigh, and grab the mouse, hoping that it will work. By a remarkable stroke of luck, it DOES! Although I am positive I will need to disable the touch screen again.

The first thing I need to do is change my wallpaper. Easy enough. Go into internet options. So I swipe to the side. I swipe to the side. Yeah it usually takes a few swipes, I swipe to the to the, I swi, I fucking swipe to the what the HELL, MAN??!! Not that I like it, but I had gotten used to the power options being in the bottom right corner. Where are they now? And WHY? Guess I'll have to go to Google and find out how to find the internet options on Windows 10. Ludicrous! It's something I use all the time. It's gotta be easier to find! Come on, Gates! So I click the Internet Explorer "e" on the bottom of my screen, which looks a bit different in Windows 10. Up comes the MSN webpage in a completely user HATEFUL format. There's no File Edit View Favorites Tools Help. So I can't click on Tools and get to internet options THAT way. And now I need it to change TWO things! Where the shit is it?

Eventually it dawns on me that this is not Internet Explorer. This is Microsoft Edge. The new and shyte web browser Microsoft is trying to push. So I find in the dot dot dot area a way to display the page in Internet Explorer. It works. I find internet options and change my wallpaper and my homepage. I click on the "e" again and it doesn't go to the chosen homepage and it doesn't come up in internet explorer. I get this friggin' Edge again. Back to Google. How to get internet explorer to start in internet explorer. I had to type internet explorer into the search area, after bypassing the 1500, "Hello, my name is Calgon or whatever, and here's what I can do for you!!!" messages. Then I pinned it to the bottom of the screen bar. I then UNpinned The Edge. Sorry Edge, U2 crappy.

SO, now I go back into Gmail and start apologizing for the messed up application package. While I'm typing I notice a message at the top of the screen. Error #007. I now can't reply to emails on Gmail for some reason. So I just start a new email. I apologize for the messed up application package and tell them I really am not computer illiterate. Then I press send and get Error #007.

Back to Google.

It seems I'm not the first to have THIS problem either. The suggestions for troubleshooting this problem seem to all include NOT using Internet Explorer. So Gmail works with internet explorer on Windows 8.1. I had no problem sending the fucked up email at all. But Gmail doesn't work on internet explorer on Windows 10. What the frigging frigging FRIG???!!!

Am I going to be forced into using Google Chrome now, which I have tried and hate?

Why can't these software and search engine companies just get along?

I just want to send out some resumes.

Waaaaaaaaaaaahaaahaahaaaaa! GRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Addendum: I got Windows 10 and Open Office 4.1 working and tried to update and save my resume again. And again. And again. It says the existing resume will be replaced by the new one but it isn't. Also my printer, which was super easy to plug and play with Windows 8, is not recognized by Windows 10. It reads it, but the installation went on and on and on... I had to give up.

So the resume I tried to send and the lesson I wrote for today, after about 8 hours of fucking around on my computer, absolutely no good. In fact the resume will likely hurt my chances.

Computers make our lives easier...