Scene 1: A random morning before work.
Me, Myself and I: Good morning computer. I need some upbeat music to wake up.
Big Bertha: (Ten seconds later) "Okay."
Windows 8: "My designers know what's best for you. We have determined you need to sign into you account before you can access Big Bertha."
Me, Myself and I: (After typing in my password five or six times, but no more awake than I was five minutes ago.) "*&%%&^&!"
Windows 8: "Ha, ha, ha , ha, you can't get into your own computer."
Me, Myself and I: "Sorry Big Bertha. Good morning Sexy Computer!"
Sexy Computer: (Twelve seconds later) "Good Morning!"
Windows XP: "How can I be of service?"
Me Myself and I: " Go to YouTube and play The One Eyed on Horned Flying Purple People Eater. "
Sexy Computer and Windows XP: "That's an odd choice at your age, but we're here to serve."
Music plays and the day gets started.
Scene 2: A random evening just before bed
Me Myself and I: "Good night Big Bertha... Windows 8 please make your %$^&! "charms" menu appear, so I can shut her down."
Windows 8: "Big Bertha only does what I tell her to. Further more you have her attached to an external monitor, and because I'm me, I sometimes show you my charms menu over there or over here, and mostly not at all."
Me, Myself and I: "You sure are hard to get along with. "
Windows 8: "Yup."
Me, Myself and I: "Just turn off Big Bertha, okay. "
Windows 8: "I don't feel like it now, but I'll be happy to show the menu when you're trying to do something else."
Me, Myself and I: (Falling to my knees, reaching to the sky) "Microsoft !!!!!!"
**Ancient is a technical term used to describe a computer that is older than two years, but less than four years of age (at which point the technical term Older Than Dirt applies.)
Last week, when the temperature was over 30 C (about 90F) and the humidity was at 85%, New Guy decided to wear a long sleeve hockey jersey. Due to the humidity factor and that we can only set the thermostat at 26 C, even the office was hot at 8:30 am.
One by one, as we came in for work, New Guy drew attention to his clothing choice. I was not spared.
"I wanted to wear it for the Olympics class," he said to right after he'd said it to J, S, and A. "But maybe it was a bad idea."
"Well, I don't think the kids will understand," I replied.
There's this gap. We can and do communicate with the kids, but there has to be a link to their own lives. Baseball is very popular in Korea. So is soccer. If he'd worn a soccer jersey, the kids might get it. But ice hockey is so far removed from their experience that combined with the limits of the English they know, the purpose of sweating like a drowned rat in the August heat. This is the long truth. The short truth is, New Guy wasn't wearing the shirt for the kids. He was wearing it for attention and sympathy.
The principal showed up on that day. He poked his head into my class. I was playing a spelling game with kids who don't know the alphabet and can't read in English. I'd taught them five vowels (y is complicated) and they were trying to complete the spelling words with vowels. For example, b_ _ K. Most of the classes are not very active. Olympics is active because mostly the kids play sports.
Anyway, after viewing all the classes, the principal was most impressed by New Guy who had somehow conveyed why he was wearing that shirt and sweating like a drowned rate.. Like so many other things, observing something from the outside versus looking at it from the inside equals two different things.
On the inside we see that, having lived with his parents until a month ago, New Guy is thirty-four year old child. He often mumbles, speaks fast and makes long, passive sentences. After a gazillion " we can't communicate with him," from students A. said, "New Guy, the kids are having a hard time. Please speak slowly and enunciate."
"I am," he wailed.
"Well, the kids are having a hard time," A. said. "So try to speak clearly and make simple sentences."
"I am," he wailed.
This continued forever and when it was over, he was near tears again. This is the guy the principal praising to the parents at parent camp. Sigh.
"Next time he cries, we should send him to the principal," I said to A. later.
She smiled, "I just might do that."
Have you ever been on the inside and had someone on the outside misunderstand what they observed?
Just about bedtime lastnight, I remembered a topic that I wanted to post about and the gazillion things I've been wating to add to Second Blog. I've froggent the blog toppic and though I remember most of the Second Blog topics, my brain is just too tired.
Today was a busy day. I taught three camp classes. I had four with another teacher, but I was given leave to go bake some samples for tomarrow's family camp lesson. I ended up in charge of baking because I sometimes make yummy apple pies for everyone. Then I got a hankering for lemmon bars and now that's the bakery lesson for tomarrow. I made a PPT weeks ago, but supplies for tomorrow didn't arrive until today and nothing is quite as simple as it is in the states.
Take butter for example. In the states it comes in sticks and each stick measure shalf a cup. Here it comes in bricks of 425 ounces. I've yet to meet a reciepe that called for 1/6th a block of butter, so I had to convert ounces to 1/2 cups, multiply that by 160 families and divide again by 425 ounces to know how many bricks of butter we needed. And this was only the tip of the conversion iceberge.
Most of this was done prior to today, but our last test bake proved that 200 ml doesn't convert to exactly 1 cup. Actually, it appears that 225 ml is closer, but to keep it simple (for the families, not me) I reduced the butter and did a few test bakes.
Between baking samples, with the wounderful help of co-workers (Not the New Guy, thank the mighty stars or I'd be having a nervous breakdown.) we preportioned a gazillion bricks of butter into just the right amount. By the time this and that and all the other things was completed, I had five minutes until class time.
Two more classes later, I finally got to scarf down some congealing dongasu.
Dongasu is Korea's version of a Japanese pork cutlett, comes doused in a sauce somehwere between gravy and ketchup that isn't half bad. (However, that's not to say it's good =). Then it was back upstairs with the help of co-workers to cut up all the samples and finally, I had five minutes to breathe.
What was your day like?
Mariel R. is an ESL teacher, horse trainer, writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. She lives in South Korea with two cats, three horses, a German Shepherd and 17 chickens.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Goldy in English) R.I.P February, 23, 2018