Archive for January, 2011

the teacher as a bully

January 24, 2011

I am in Canada now and unwilling to research Korean reports of bullying, although I am sure I recently saw instances of students bullying their teachers and the fears teachers have of losing their ability to beat students.  Still, I want to note this blog post by Dr Deb on bullying by teachers so that i can see it when I return to Korea.


I guess its not profitable to serve fish at restaurants

January 19, 2011

The Chosun Ilbo suggests a way to “Reduce the order of fish“.  Strangely, suggestions do not include raising the price or serving it with strawberry jam, for example.

Tongdo Fantasia, Lion King and the pox

January 15, 2011

The last few days have been busy ones for me.

On Thursday, the camp I finally ended up working at took kids and teachers to Tongdo Fantasia.  I had fun and the students had more fun.  I’m not sure how much English they spoke, though.  It was cold, but not too much so and there were no lines.  The roller coaster ( the big one, not the children’s one) was plenty exciting if a little short.  I rode it perhaps five times, sometimes just standing up and seeing no one wanted my seat, then sitting down again.  Aqua Fantasia was closed, including the indoor portions but it looks like it would be fun in season.

The bad news is that my son has come down with Chicken Pox -I think a few blisters can be seen here, if you really want to look.  He was feverish before the blisters appeared but seems troublingly energetic now.  He and I fly out in one week to visit Canada so I hope he recovers quickly.

To cheer him up, we saw the Little Lion King.  He really didn’t care for it and I had trouble keeping him quiet through the last twenty minutes.  I could follow the plot but not recognize all of the animals by their costumes.


This blog is nearly a year old and I still don’t what it’s purpose is.  When in Gangwondo, I wrote about all things Gangwondo, as well as environmental issues and tourism.  I am so new to Busan that I don’t think my opinion is valuable enough yet to pontificate upon local issues.  I enjoy discussing education and how to teach creativity in class, but again, I am not so sure that’s what I want here.

I will try to keep this blog going as it is through blogging that I have met and made some good friends here in Korea.  I will keep it going, but going where?

two unrelated stories

January 10, 2011

1) One day last week, I went to the local pool with 60 campers.

2) On that same day, I called two people, “Shark girl”.

Ok, I’m starting with the second story.  I had learned over Skype that my niece had an adult tooth appear before the baby tooth fell out.  She had, as my mother said, “what looked like two rows of teeth.”  Hey, just like a shark.

At work, but before I went to the pool, a coworker told me about a mysterious gap in his girlfriend’s swimming ability – she couldn’t tread water.  Quote, “If she stopped moving, she would drown.”  Hey, just like a shark.

Man, I worked so hard at the pool to find an excuse to call someone shark-girl, or even shark-boy, but with no success.

Maybe now Otis can remove the ‘Door Close’ button

January 6, 2011

The new Google computer will not have a ‘CAPS LOCK’ key.  I guess the people at Google feel it is unnecessary.  My understanding is they will replace it with a ‘search’ key.

Perhaps now the elevator people can either remove the ‘door close’ button or install one that actually works.

I recall, but cannot find, a list of clauses finishing the sentence, “If God were a man, ….”  One of them was “pushing the elevator door close button would work with a promptness that might cause injury”.

I did find many people questioning whether the buttons actually work.

At Snopes, people are debating the question.  At The Straight Dope, it is claimed that:

The grim truth is that a significant percentage of the close-door buttons in this world, for reasons that we will discuss anon, don’t do anything at all.

Naturally, this is not something the elevator companies wish to have widely known, lest there be social unrest. When I talked to the folks at the Otis elevator company in Farmington, Connecticut, they were all innocence.

At wikipedia, it seems that the button works when the elevator is being used in non-standard ways:

This mode was created for firefighters so that they may rescue people from a burning building. The phase two key switch located on the COP has three positions: off, on, and hold. By turning phase two on, the firefighter enables the car to move. However, like independent service mode, the car will not respond to a car call unless the firefighter manually pushes and holds the door close button. Once the elevator gets to the desired floor it will not open its doors unless the firefighter holds the door open button. …

and with “Independent service”: The elevator will remain parked on a floor with its doors open until a floor is selected and the door close button is held until the elevator starts to travel. Independent service is useful when transporting large goods or moving groups of people between certain floors.

As the Straight Dope suggests, maybe I need to visit Farmington:

Among other things, I was told that the close-door buttons at Otis HQ (which, the views of the cynics notwithstanding, is not located in a one-story building) always work like a charm.

This is comforting news, needless to say. I would suggest that any harried city dweller who has never seen a close-door button that actually did something might want to make a field trip out to Farmington to inspect the genuine article.

My mother may see the start of the next millennium!

January 5, 2011

Scientific American has an article online with the title Walking Speed Predicts Life Expectancy of Older Adults. I seem to be unable to post a link – here it is to be copied and pasted:

From the Article:

A new analysis of walking speed studies shows that—down to the tenth of a meter per second—an older person’s pace, along with their age and gender, can predict their life expectancy just as well as the complex battery of other health indicators.

So instead of a doctor assessing a patient’s blood pressure, body mass index, chronic conditions, hospitalization and smokinghistory and use of mobility aids to estimate survival, a lab assistant could simply time the patient walking a few meters and predict just as accurately the person’s likelihood of living five or 10 more years—as well as a median life expectancy.

My mother has always been a fast walker and this is heartening news for a son who lives too far away.

I didn’t see the camera…

January 4, 2011

Stafford has a xtranormal video on his site showing a relative new ESL teacher in Korea speaking to a student outside of class.  It is not ‘realistic’ but I definitely see myself in the video and also I see a lot of students.

He posted it a month ago but its taken me this long to research what an intransitive verb is.  Okay, I did know something about it but couldn’t recall if the transitive or the intransitive form needed the object.  Now, and for at least a little while, I do.