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18 October 2004
South Korean Flag

KLB - Mundane Monday

It was a typical day today. Woke up, watched CNN for a bit, checked my e-mail, checked my comments, logged onto Yahoo messenger, read offline messages from my mother, took a shower, stopped at the post office to send out 11 copies of my book (one is going to the Korea Times for a review) and took a bus and a train to work. By now you must be thinking, "Wow! This is the best blog ever! I'm going to start my own blog this very minute!"

The kids have a test tomorrow based on the first two chapters of English Time, so I spent the day (3 hours) reviewing with each class and checking their workbooks and notebooks. My first class might not do well, the test is a lot of spelling, but the second two classes should shine. It's amazing the difference between classes. My first class is full of little boys who really aren't that bright, even if they are really young. I spend most of the class just trying to keep their attention.

The second class is completely opposite, full of little angelic girls who come in quietly, study their books before class begins, stare at me with their eager little bright eyes, do everything that I say, then thank me for teaching them before leaving.

The third class is a mix of pretty smart kids, mostly boys, with a couple of students that would be back in class A if they weren't too old. The smart kids are a little too full of energy. They raise their hands before I ask a question, often shout out the answers trying to out-do each other, sing the songs (English Time has really good ones and the kids love them) at ear screeching pitches, and are just overly excited in general. I changed their seats around today and they were much better, but I have to keep on them. Actually, I enjoy teaching all the classes, but class B is definitely my favorite. Up until middle school, girls are so quiet and polite.

It's amazing how much of a better teacher you can be when you only teach three classes. All teaching jobs should be like this. I don't think I've ever had a job I've enjoyed this much, one in which I have put forth such a genuine effort. Instead of counting down the seconds before the day is over, I enjoy being there. Today I felt a sense of pride when my students could recall almost everything I've taught them. I feel like I'm actually doing something worthwhile. I don't even need word-search puzzles anymore. What's happened to me?

After work, I stopped off to meet John in Yeokgok for a bit. I don't get all the hateful comments on his blog, because I've known him for a while now and he's an outgoing, good natured guy. We hung out all weekend and had a pretty good time including a delicious Mexican feast in Itaewon on Saturday. It was the first time I had anything Mexican in ages, since eating at Taco Hell a few years ago back home. We ate giant beef burritos and a plate of chicken enchiladas (sure wish I had my camera with me at the time). I don't like Itaewon that much, but I was there to drop off some copies of my book at the What the Book? store (which has a fantastic collection of cheap used English books) and John was in the area, so we met up. The best part about Itaweon is the great selection of foreign restaurants.

John's still staying in the cave-gwon, which is convenient for me as he's just four stops away on the subway, but he's found a job which starts November 1st in Kangnam. We had a beer and some dry squid, then John headed off to see a friend of his. I ate barbecued chicken-on-a-stick outside Songnae station, which was delicious, by the way. That has to be my favorite food-stall treat. I just got home a little while ago. And that concludes another action-packed update.


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