Wednesday, June 30, 2010

View my photos!

Korean Kids

A kid-friendly Korea! (First field trip with the munchkins!)

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

One more quiz

Your result for The Personality Defect Test...

Emo Kid

You are 29% Rational, 0% Extroverted, 43% Brutal, and 0% Arrogant.

You are the Emo Kid, best described as a quiet pussy! You tend to be an intuitive rather than a logical thinker, meaning you rely more on your feelings than your thoughts. Not only that, but you are introverted, gentle, and rather humble. You embody all the traits of the perfect emo kid. You are a push-over, an emotional thinker, gentle to the extent of absurdity, and so humble that it even makes Jesus puke. (And Jesus almost never pukes, being immortal and not requiring an act of puke to dispell toxins from his corporeal manifestation.) If you write poetry, you no doubt write angsty, syrupy lines about depression, sadness, and other such redundant states of emo-being that go something like this:

life is a spike / upon which i have impaled mysefl / fuck you dad

So, your personality is defective because you are too gentle, rather underconfident in yourself, decidely lacking in any rational thought, and also a bit too inhibited. Plus, your poetry really upsets your father.

I probably made you cry, didn't I? Fucking Emo Kid.

To put it less negatively:

1. You are more INTUITIVE than rational.

2. You are more INTROVERTED than extroverted.

3. You are more GENTLE than brutal.

4. You are more HUMBLE than arrogant.


Your exact opposite is the Smartass.

Other personalities you would probably get along with are the Hippie, the Televangelist, and the Starving Artist.



If you scored near fifty percent for a certain trait (42%-58%), you could very well go either way. For example, someone with 42% Extroversion is slightly leaning towards being an introvert, but is close enough to being an extrovert to be classified that way as well. Below is a list of the other personality types so that you can determine which other possible categories you may fill if you scored near fifty percent for certain traits.

The other personality types:

The Emo Kid: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Starving Artist: Intuitive, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Bitch-Slap: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Brute: Intuitive, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hippie: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Televangelist: Intuitive, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Schoolyard Bully: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Class Clown: Intuitive, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Robot: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Haughty Intellectual: Rational, Introverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Spiteful Loner: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Sociopath: Rational, Introverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

The Hand-Raiser: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Humble.

The Braggart: Rational, Extroverted, Gentle, Arrogant.

The Capitalist Pig: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Humble.

The Smartass: Rational, Extroverted, Brutal, Arrogant.

Be sure to take my Sublime Philosophical Crap Test if you are interested in taking a slightly more intellectual test that has just as many insane ramblings as this one does!

About Saint_Gasoline

I am a self-proclaimed pseudo-intellectual who loves dashes. I enjoy science, philosophy, and fart jokes and water balloons, not necessarily in that order. I spend 95% of my time online, and the other 5% of my time in the bathroom, longing to get back on the computer. If, God forbid, you somehow find me amusing instead of crass and annoying, be sure to check out my blog and my webcomic at

Take The Personality Defect Test at OkCupid

Another meme from Squiddo

First Name Meme

This is a really short but interesting meme about names. We all have them and we are all connected to them. Copy and paste into your blog and change the intro and comments after each question. Use the title of this meme in your subject line or create your own. Feel free to tag your friends or not. A link back to this lens would be appreciated.

Did you know that every name has an origin and meaning? I love names. Real names, pet names, pretend names, whatever. My husband is a teacher and he often find that kids with the same have similar behaviours (no I'm not going to tell you which kids act up the most).

Here's a meme on first names:

Your name? Jennifer

Your nick name? Jenn

Do you like your name? Most of the time. It's rather common for an American name of my generation, but it's alright.

If you could change your name what would it be? Lily or Daisy

Mother's name (can sub father)? Laura

Grandmother's name (can sub grandfather)? Jean

Children's names? (Delete if you don't have or make a note about future names) I don't have children, but I've always liked the names Rachel, Eve, Sarah, and Andrew

Do they have any nick names? Jenn, Rosie, and Bubbles

Pet's name (current or past) Gus, but it's a rabbit in Korea, and Gus doesn't suit it. I'm thinking of changing it to Peter. I've always wanted a rabbit named Peter. I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to Beatrix Potter stories.

Your pet's nick name? Doesn't really have one. Sorry folks.

Your best friend's name? Emily

Nick name for your friend? Em

Favourite name for a boy? Andrew, Andy, James (what can I say? I'm traditional.)

Favourite name for a girl? Rose

Name of your car? My car in the states? I suppose the SILVER BULLET fits nicely.

Favorite Place Name? I don't understand this question. It's dumb.

Rule of Sevens

I couldn't think of anything to blog about but really wanted to write a post tonight, so I'm stealing this idea from a meme site I visit.

Directions: Create a new blog post. Write an introduction then copy and paste the meme below into your blog and change the comments after the *'s to your own. Use the title of this meme in your subject line or create your own. Feel free to tag your friends or not. A link back to this lens would be appreciated.

Seven Things that Scare Me:

* Authority figures
* Newness
* Large groups of people
* Crowds
* Public speaking (how did I ever manage to get my teaching degree?)
* Anger in males
* Talking about my feelings

Seven Things I Like:

* Chocolate
* Jasmine Tea
* The Internet
* My Bunny
* Reading a good book on a rainy day next to the window
* Learning languages
* Long conversations with old friends

Seven Random Facts About Me:

* I am obsessed with TV on the Internet and Netflix. Too bad I'm in Korea and can't get the latter. I just finished Six Feet Under Season Two before I left for Korea and am dying to watch the next season. I will have to put my gratification on hold for now.
* I have never broken a bone in my life. Lot's of paper cuts though. I don't know what's worse.
* I'm currently living in Korea, and studying Korean while teaching English.
* I enjoy spending immense amounts of time ALONE. I'm in the right country/city for that. Typical ISFJ.
* I LOVE Broadway musicals. All of them. I have memorized many lyrics. I'm a dork.
* I love Korean food, or at least the food that I've had here. It's wonderful.
* I am looking forward to my trip to Thailand very soon.

Seven Things I want to Do Before I Die:

* Tour every one of the seven continents
* Become bilingual
* Write a novel
* Become a published author
* Learn to ballroom dance
* Birth or adopt a child of my own (very distant future, but I do want to be a mother)
* Learn Tae Kwon Do

Seven Things I Can Do Well:

* Crochet
* Write
* Speak English
* Cope with anxiety
* Adapt to new situations
* Organize my life
* Make lists and plans

Seven Things I Can't Do But Wish I Could:

* Breathe normally most of the time
* Keep from doubting myself most of the time
* Trust myself
* Find my way out of a paper bag without writing the instructions on the bottom
* Speak Korean
* Speak Spanish
* Cook

Seven Phrases I'm Known to Use:

* F&$k it all to hell
* Damn it!
* F&$*ng A (Office Space...I'm a product of my generation, what can I say?)
* Bingo!
* Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick
* Fudgesicles

I'll do a longer update later

But I just wanted to share a secret that hit home today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Game of Eight Questions

I am going to steal today's entry from a blog I read currently. I need to blog more often, and this is one way to do it currently without putting a whole lot of thought into it. Plus, I thought it would help to get to know me in a different way. I don't normally blog about such things. Here you go. Feel free to chime in too.

Game of 8 Questions

What's your staple meal (ie. what meal do you cook most often when you can't be bothered to be adventurous)?

I usually make some kind of pasta with some kind of fake meat/protein product and a salad. I love spaghetti or angel hair pasta with a tomato sauce and a Morningstar Farms garden/veggie burger.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

When I grow up. Hah! Never, will I ever, "grow up." But I've been a teacher, teacher's assistant, youth worker, camp counselor, or something similar for ten years now, and can't for see myself doing anything different. I have always wanted to be a published writer, so maybe that's my next goal.

What book are you reading at the moment (if any)?

Laura Bush's Autobiography currently, and Basic Korean for English Speakers

How do you relax?

I read, do Yoga, walk/run, draw/doodle, mess around online and on blogs and message boards, and people watch.

What colour are the interior walls of your home?

Ha! I live in a studio bedroom that my hogwon provided, so my walls are white with a few nicks and scratches here and there.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Nutella. From the jar. That shit is dangerously good dude.

What time is bed time and getting up time?

During the week now, it's 8 am. I don't have to be at work until 10 am. 8 am gives me time to blow dry and straighten my hair, and make myself up. Or I can sleep until 9 and not do any of those things. It's glorious. Which makes bedtime midnight or 1am most nights. Too much time spent on the Internet or watching movies/T.V shows. The weekend? Who knows? Saturday night it was 4am. Most weekend nights it's more like 2am. All of this communicating to do with people back home, I suppose. Or just generally enjoying some quality alone time. I usually can't sleep past 11am on the weekend mornings.

How long do you spend reading blogs (per day or per week)?

3-4 per week, probably a half hour per day

extra credit:
*what is your favorite movie? There's Love Actually, Garden State, cheesy girlie movies, Crash, Sense and Sensibility, Dear Frankie, the list is endless...

*tell me something embarrassing about yourself. I am exceedingly and shamefully clumsy. I knock things over, fall down, bump into people, you name it. It's embarrassing.

*What really gets on your nerves? Judgmental people.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's the little things

I've been finding myself getting annoyed at the little things lately. Just the everyday annoyances of living in a culture so different than my own. This is an entirely normal state of culture shock, or so I'm told. I'm in the one-month mark, so I suppose this is a normal place to be. I'm annoyed by the fact that I can't read the ingredients in anything I eat because it's all in Korean. (I used to think it's cool; now it's a hassle.) I'm annoyed by the fact that I get sneers and jeers on the subway because I am a white person. I am annoyed by the fact that I can't drink the water from the tap even though I am in a modern high-tech town. The list goes on. Tonight though, I come to you with the news that I am thrilled that I figured out how to work my new adapter/voltage plug so that I can charge my camera's battery. I haven't been able to do this in three weeks and it finally came (thanks, Mom!) It's the little things like that I take pleasure in. I shouldn't be so excited, but I really am. I'm excited that I can finally distinguish the six basic Korean vowels, even if I can't pronounce them. It's the little things people. Now I'm off to make a play list for what I hope will be my run tomorrow evening. I should be sleeping, it's after midnight, but I am awake because I slept later this morning. Good thing I don't have to be at work until 10! Woo!

"It's Under F, for Foreigner..."

says Hanna Teacher at our first Korean lesson Thursday night.

I don't know why I found this so funny, but it kind of sums up my life right now. File this one under F for Foreigner. And S for Stupid. No, just kidding about the last one.

I can't believe I've been in Korea for just over a month now. What happened to the time? It just flew away. Sure enough, there is a section in the Kilbo bookstore labeled F. That's where all the books printed in English are. No. Joke. I find this hilarious too. This is where I found my Korean for Starters book that I studied for over 2 hours today. Just basic consonants and vowels, nothing major, but wow this language is harder than I thought. My next lesson with the group is Tuesday. I'm beyond pumped.

I also had a foray out into the public on Thursday, and another one on Saturday. Thursday night after the Korean Lesson, I thought everyone was tired enough to go home and go to bed. I certainly was. But we ended up finding a cozy little joint in a new neighborhood to see the last twenty minutes of the Korea v. Argentina game (they lost) and be befriended by a local man who wouldn't stop buying beers. I was not in any mood to drink (having a cold and being exhausted) but that didn't stop anyone else. This man didn't speak any English, but that didn't stop him from mocking my decision not to drink. I'm pretty sure I was made fun of in a foreign language. Yup. Check that one off the life list. It was a pretty awkward experience had by all. I suppose I have many more of these to come as I stay in this foreign land for 11 more months. It's bound to happen sooner rather than later.

This week at work brought an interesting experience as well. A day known as picture day. One would think this would be relatively simple too. English teacher stands in the middle of the back row of two rows, 10 students line up in two lines, and the picture is snapped. Right? Wrong. These are one by one photos. Meaning, English teacher squats awkwardly next to one student as she pretends to read, and teacher pretends to help sound out words. No actual reading involved. And we took 20 minutes of class time to do this with 10 students. I haven't seen the photos yet, but I'm pretty sure I look pretty awkward in all of them. It's pretty amazing just how foreign this land can be sometimes.

Saturday night was Alex Teacher's birthday, so we all decided to go out semi-western style. Dinner at a pizza/pasta joint north of the river (which I prefer to south of the river I figured out) and drinks/socialization at a few western or semi-western establishments. One in Itawon (which is the foreign mecca I learned, the military base is there) so the first place we went to was a Canadian pub that had a World Cup game broadcast in ENGLISH! It was refreshing to hear for once.

Then we went to a louder place south of the river closer to where we live. I prefer to stay away from these joints. For one, you can still smoke in bars here, which makes it miserable for us nonsmokers. Second, they're incredibly loud, and while I don't do this scene much in the states, why would I start here? I mean, I'm glad I did do this for the experience and it was nice to see co-workers in a non-work atmosphere and socialize a little bit and blow off some crazy Korean workaholic steam, I don't think this will be a weekly occurrence. I've got to find some friends to pal around with in other ways that are more fun for ME.

Things I'm looking forward to this week:
1. My next Korean language class
2. Giving monthly tests in two classes makes it a relatively light teaching week because I only have to review the test material in those classes. Not so much prep.
3. No more phone interviews! (for another month, I suppose!)
4. Starting a new unit in both Kindergarten classes (means new songs! and new material!) Horray for teacher not being bored in class! Don't worry, I don't show it too badly!
5. Friday. Enough said. This place is crazy. I look forward to another weekend to myself to sight see around a bit.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I poem I just heard....and like

I love Garrison Keillor and The Writer's Almanac. I miss Minnesota dearly. Thank God for podcasts and the internet.

Compulsively Allergic to the Truth
by Jeffrey McDaniel

I'm sorry I was late.
I was pulled over by a cop
for driving blindfolded
with a raspberry-scented candle
flickering in my mouth.
I'm sorry I was late.
I was on my way
when I felt a plot
thickening in my arm.
I have a fear of heights.
Luckily the Earth
is on the second floor
of the universe.
I am not the egg man.
I am the owl
who just witnessed
another tree fall over
in the forest of your life.
I am your father
shaking his head
at the thought of you.
I am his words dissolving
in your mind like footprints
in a rainstorm.
I am a long-legged martini.
I am feeding olives
to the bull inside you.
I am decorating
your labyrinth,
tacking up snapshots
of all the people
who've gotten lost
in your corridors.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Phone tests

Another assessment tool this particular hogwon uses to test children as young as five years old is the phone test. They do this so that parents can hear their children speaking English over the phone. It creates more work for me, and was one more reason why I was at school until 9pm this week. I prepare questions that we have been going over in class and call the student at home and ask them. There's only one problem. All of the visual cues that I have in the classroom are not there. How many five year old Korean kids are used to talking on the phone to their teacher? Yeah, it's weird. It was a weird experience for all.

A phone conversation would go like this:

Me: What is your favorite animal?
Kid: ... silence....
Me: not knowing what else to do but repeat myself...What is your favorite animal?
Kid: It's a turtle.
Me: What kind of animal is a turtle?
Kid: Silence. silence. More silence.
Me: What kind of animal is a turtle? Is it a mammal?
Kid: A turtle is a reptile.
Me: Good! Why is a turtle a reptile.
Kid: Because it has dry skin. (This is one of our speaking points.)
Me: Good.
Me: What time do you get up?
Kid: I get up at 1 o'clock.
Me: (Thinking this is wrong, but it's in perfect English so I'll let it go.)

And so on and so on until I have tested all 20 of my kindergarteners. I get to phone call the second graders next week. Oh joy!

Week Three Down

I know I should do an update to commemorate my third week in Korea, but honestly not much has changed. I still work long hours, I don't get out much. We found awesome Indian food near our apartment building and I had to turn in my lesson plans for my all day class five times before they told me they were OK. What kills me is the secrecy of this place. It's dawning on me more and more that English Hogwons are businesses more than schools, and that every decision made by upper management (AKA the Korean teachers/coordinators) is made from a business stand point rather than an educational one. What should be done in this situation is always answered with "What would make the parents happier so that they refer more students to our school?"

I think this was what was going on this week with my Kindergarten class. A parent called and said there was too much homework, so instead of OKing my HW plan like they did the week before (with three assignments per night) they revised it so that they only had to do two assignments per night. What they don't realize though is that HW affects the entire week's lesson plan, because whatever we do in class the kids copy for HW. So by chopping my HW plan to pieces, it causes me to rearrange my entire weekly lesson plan as well. Also, everything has to be done in the EXACT SAME ORDER as the day before. I thought I could get away with moving it around a little, especially after lunch, but NO. I'm growing bored of what I'm teaching and it's only the fourth week.

I'm the kind of person that needs reasons why I do things. This is the kind of place/school that doesn't like to give reasons. Just do this. OK. This will last for a while, and then they'll tell me to do this. It doesn't make a lot of sense. But I suppose then again it doesn't have to. Nothing is making a lot of sense lately. I suppose this is the culture shock talking. The Koreans want teacher's reports already, and while I've only known these students three weeks, I don't feel equipped to do reports on them without making something up out of thin air. Which I suppose all of the other teachers are doing just fine and don't have a problem with it. I just think too much and make everything more complicated. URG. Why do I have to be such a thinker? For Pete's Sake. Just do it. Don't ask questions.

I shouldn't complain though. I'm being compensated well, and I have little expenses. I can do anything for a year. The whole experience is making me realize that maybe I do want to move on and move up after this year. Maybe I do want to try my hand at teaching adults for a change. Maybe I want to go back to graduate school in a different field. I have no idea. It's intimidating when I think about it to think that I can do anything. Cost won't be a factor either.

I also need to work on taking that ONE class I need for Minnesota teaching certification. But if I'm not going to be teaching K-12, then I find it kind of pointless. But from an "I need a job" perspective when I get back to the states, it better happen. I better make it work.

I do want most of my experiences here to be not about work too. I want to find somethings to do that don't revolve around teaching children. While taking a walk around the lake this weekend was good, I need more than that. I need to go hiking in the mountains. I want to sign up for a Tae Kwon Do class and some language classes. The English teachers are talking about using their end-of-July vacation to go to Thailand, and I just might join them if my bank account gets set up in time to put my first month's salary in it.

Somethings have to change around here if I'm going to stay sane. That much I know. I'm fine. Really, I am. Just whining.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Here's a thought that's been resonating with me lately

"But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads; they say I've changed
Well something's lost and something's gained
In living everyday" ~Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now

Saturday, June 5, 2010

This is my new acquisition: His name is Gus

Isn't he cute?

Second Week Down

Second week is down and left me with a Friday night at 9:15 pm at school.

There's just so much to do. I end up prepping all week for Kindergarten that I don't get my weekly tests they want me to give done until last minute. I did get it all done, and now it's all in the delivery. Class continues to go well, if not a little repetitive. I suppose that's me being selfish though. They say that when you are learning a second language repetition is key, but if I have to sing "What are you doing/I'm playing a game/watch what I do/and then do the same" one more time with my K7A class I'm going to scream.

Same thing with the second graders. They are set to do two units a week, but every week it's the SAME PAGES in their text book and workbook. Practice speaking, practice speaking, practice speaking the SAME PHRASE over and over and over again. That's what I signed on to do though.

Me: What do you do after school? (This is our target language for this week.)
Kid: I (pause) stu- sud- sku
Me: Study?
Kid: Study!
Me: What do you study?
Kid: I studies English.
Me: I study English.
Kid: Yes.
Director: (who is always standing in the back of this class) REPEAT!!! (In scary Korean accent.)
Kid: (timidly)
Me: Perfect. (Award star.)

Next kid. Same thing. Now I'm starting to see why class sizes are limited to nine kids.

When I think about it, this is exactly what happened in my Spanish class in high school. We'd have a textbook with conversational phrases in it, the teacher would introduce a lesson, have us practice speaking the target phrases to her, and then have us practice with a partner. Students would ALWAYS try to get away with only writing or reading silently, but the teacher would always be calling on kids to speak. This is exactly what I see as a teacher. Funny how that works.

On another notes, I like that all the kids have English names for the purpose of learning English. I was afraid that in coming over here I would have to learn some serious Korean nicknames for children. But no, all the children choose their own English name upon registering at this particular Hogwon. There are lots of Dorothys, Sallys, Jessicas, Thomases and Joshuas here, which are names I haven't heard in America in a long time. 6

I did hear from my recruiter too, who was so obviously checking up on my performance. She had a good report though. Apparently, my director thinks I am doing a good job for my first week officially on the job and also said that "I am a very sweet person." Awww. I have a reputation to uphold. Damn. And I thought I could get away with completely changing my image. As the G6B sixth graders like to say because they just learned this particular slang, "Fiddlesticks!"

I own a bunny now too. Pictures and more posts to come. Stay tuned.