Archive for March, 2010

(Most of) My students are so enthusiastic and energetic! It’s still the ‘honeymoon period’ so maybe this will change. I get kind of embarrassed when they see me outside of school. There are a few different middle schools in my area so I’m not sure which kids are my students when they’re not wearing their school uniforms. But I know soon enough when I hear them yelling “MARIA TEACHER~~!!!” They always get excited and yell my name. Usually goes something like this:

Teacher! Hi!! How are you?!?! Bye!!!!

Yesterday, I bumped into one of my first year students. He forgot my name so he just said, “California!!” then he shook my hand. 😀 cute, huh? He said he was on his way to taekwondo class. These kids never go home. Always off to another class after school.

And, of course, they sing my name. Usually it’s the line from West Side Story,

Maria! I just met a girl named Maria!

Here’s the song in Korean!

Most of them just sing my name like they do in the song whenever I walk into the classroom. Or sometimes it’s the Santana/Matchbox 20 song, Maria Maria. Or even Ave Maria. Yes, Ave Maria. Soo random.

I should’ve known they’d do that! Well, at least it puts a smile on my face :).

EDIT: My co-teacher informs me that a Korean actress (Kim Ah-Jung) sang a song called ‘Maria’ in a movie that came out a couple years ago. So I looked it up and the movie is 200 Pounds Beauty. The San Diego Asian Film Festival screened this movie but I didn’t get to see it :(. Here’s the trailer and the song ‘Maria’. I don’t think I can embed the video, so if it doesn’t work you can just click on it to watch it on youtube.

Here’s the scene in the movie (2:00). I’m pretty sure this is a cover of Maria by Blondie. Now I know this is definitely what most of the kids are singing!

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Korean teachers take away students’ cell phones when they misbehave and they usually keep the phones in their desks for the rest of the day. Sometimes I’ll hear a song start playing while I’m sitting at my desk and I realize it’s someone’s cell phone. Not a teacher’s cell phone, but a student’s cell phone!

So what does this have to do with music? Everything! Students usually set the latest songs as their ringtones. So throughout the day, I’ve been hearing all the latest songs thanks to some badly behaved students. Ah, gotta love the perks of being a teacher.

Heard this one a few times. It has a pretty catchy chorus. I’d make it my ringtone 😉

UPDATE: I did make it my ringtone!

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Meet My Family!

Had a great first lesson today! I did a lesson on introducing family members and I made a powerpoint on the Wild Thornberrys for my first year (7th grade) students. I used to love that show! The intro is too fast for my students, so I recorded myself saying pretty much the same dialog but in simpler words. I made the pitch higher so I would sound like a little girl haha. I think it turned out pretty good.

This was my first actual lesson because I did intros for the first two weeks. The class loved it and I had fun too! I’m soooo glad because I stayed up all night making the powerpoint and sound files. The school computers are ancient so it took forever to load the presentation and we couldn’t figure out how to play the sound either :(. I just ended up saying the dialog, which was fine in the end.

After the Wild Thornberrys, I introduced my family. The students loved that too. I showed one of my brothers with a giant pizza and all the students were like WOWOWOWOWOW!!! I showed my other brother with a computer game and all the boys were like YEAHHH!!! So when I reviewed and asked Who is this? and What do they like to do? They were like YOUR BROTHER LIKES TO EAT PIZZA!! YOUR BROTHER LIKES TO PLAY COMPUTER GAMES!!

Then I had the students draw pictures of their families and write a sentence describing each person. They enjoyed this a lot. The students asked me how to spell ‘alcohol’  and I was like… why? Then one student was like

“This is my dad. He likes to drink alcohol!”

hahahahaha!! Actually a few students wrote this!

A lot of the students had pets and their descriptions for their pets were hilarious.

“This is my pet turtle. He likes to sleep, eat, poo.”

“This is my pet gold fish. He likes to do nothing.”

“This is my pet hamster. He is fat and lazy.”

“This is my pet see monkey. . . . . . . . (dots are the sea monkeys)”

I didn’t take pictures of all of their drawings but here are a few:

Super cute!

Nice, CY World lol

Great work, don't you think?


Very creative!

I wish I had taken a picture of the particularly scary looking Korean moms and dads. One kid drew devil horns and a pitchfork on his mom o_o;

My students are a hoot!

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Too lazy to write a long post about food. Anyway, I know you all prefer looking at pictures of food anyway. So here you go!  Here’s some of the stuff I’ve eaten the past couple weeks.
Samgyetang – spring chicken stuffed with rice and cooked in broth. Considered a refreshing food to eat during the summer, even though it’s still boiling when they serve it to you, because it gives you extra energy. I think it’s great during the winter, especially when you have a cold!


Mr. Big TG Burger – There are a few places downtown that sell burgers. This is one that I just stopped by to try out. Not sure why the place is called Mr. Big because the burgers are tiny and the decor looks more like it should be called ‘Little Miss’. I got this burger which looks more like a large slider. It was actually pretty good. Wouldn’t go back for it though.

Mr. Big "TG" Burger

Half Belgian Waffle from Da Vinci Coffee – I went in to use internet and decided to try the waffles. This was much better than I expected. A little sweet for my taste, but delicious!

Da Vinci Belgian Waffle

Gorilla Burger – pretty good menu and decent sized burgers. I didn’t eat a burger though. I had the Gorilla Dog which comes with grilled onions. Yum. I’d go back.

Gorilla Burger Philly Cheesesteak

Gorilla Dog

Best dinner ever – Teachers’ Dinner with my school. We went to a BBQ place and had all you can eat meat, which is always good! The beef is Korean beef so it isn’t the cheap imported stuff (I know it seems strange that the imported beef is cheaper). Korean beef is so tender and has a great flavor. I had to ask how much it was so I could go back. It was 57,000 per plate. My table of 4 people had about 5-6 plates. Looks like I won’t be eating that again anytime soon!

Korean beef

One of the best dinners ever!

Rama & Bavana – Indian fusion restaurant. We ordered beef curry, chicken curry, this rice-stuffed bread, some kind of breaded chicken, and pizza. All of it was really good, especially the rice-stuffed bread. Decent prices. I’d definitely go back.

Indian fusion - rice stuffed nan

Tandoori Pizza

Ah bad idea to post this right before lunch. Now I’m starving. I hope we get wings again today!

UPDATE: No wings but we had octopus and ddeokbokki, dried squid, chicken soup. Pretty good lunch!

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Yesterday I got internet installed at my apartment! I’m posting pictures and posts I’ve written since I got to Daegu so go back and read some posts that I meant to put up the last couple weeks! About the hyper speed internet in Korea that is supposedly 3-4 times faster than internet in the US… it seems a little faster. Okay it is faster!

Now that I have internet, the only thing left that I need is a cell phone. I’m such a sucker for cute stuff. I’m a perfect target for all these Korean cell phone ad campaigns. I want the Lollipop 2. Damn you, Big Bang!

Girl, you’re my lollipop

Oh girl, you’re my lolli lolli

Girl, you’re my lollipop

Hey, let’s get it poppin, poppin

Wait… the phone barely even makes an appearance in that video. G-Dragon pretends to eat one at 1:02. Here’s what it looks like:

It goes, L-O-L-L-I-P-O-P...

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I went over introductions in my classes today. Each student had to stand and introduce themselves by telling me their name, something they like, and their favorite color. One of my students, I knew it was coming too, was dying to go. He said “My name is ______. I like pornos” and the class burst out laughing. I have to admit, I wanted to laugh too. But, I told him that isn’t appropriate for class and to tell me something else that he likes. My co-teacher was not pleased! She scolded him right away. Haha, interesting vocabulary, to say the least. Gotta give the kid props for his enthusiasm and for using proper grammar.

It’s usually the boys that come up with interesting answers. Another boy said “I like watching bikini girls at the beach” which made all the other boys go crazy.  Of course I’ve gotten “I like teacher” from some of the boys. Oh middle school boys. Some of the third year (9th grade) boys come up to me and say “You are so beautiful! I love you!” haha it’s so funny. They say it in perfect English, as if they’ve been practicing! I think they must learn it from the boy band songs and music videos. I’ve seen some of these music videos and the boys seem to get some of their ideas from Big Bang and 2PM. My co-teacher told me that they learn English catchphrases from Korean variety shows. No wonder my students keep saying “Oh my god!” and “Fantastic!” for no apparent reason.

You know you're at a middle school when...someone draws a penis on the Girl with a Pearl Earring

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My Neighborhood

Slowly but surely, I’m starting to find my way around. I live near a lot of small restaurants and shops as well as an open market. I’ve been to the kimbap place and the grocery store a few times and they are already used to my goofy smiling face and inability to speak Korean. At least today I was able to say hello, thank you, how much, and two kimbap for take out!


I bought some food to eat at home when I don’t feel like going out. I don’t even have a rice cooker yet so I have to buy microwaveable rice. Surprisingly, it’s not that bad. I also bought fruits from the open market. The oranges are from my landlady :). Yes, I suck at buying groceries. Don’t judge me! I still don’t know how to buy all the ingredients I need to actually cook a real meal.

Grocery shopping: microwaveable rice, instant noodles, cookies, ham

There’s some good street food around here too. The bungeoppang lady knows me too haha. Bungeoppang is a fish-shaped, red-bean filled pastry sold on the street.

붕어빵 bungeoppang


I like my apartment, landlord and landlady, and my neighborhood.  The location doesn’t seem so bad either. So I’m good for now!

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