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Friday, February 24, 2017

Coughing

Groups of teenagers loitering on the street near my house have started to greet me when I come home from work with shouts of "Hello!" followed by giggling. The groups do not include any of my students. I think I shall start responding to them with "Greetings, jujubes. Do you come in peace?" and work out from there.

I'm exhausted, I've been sick all week with a bad croaking and coughing cold, and for the last 24 hours I've been repeatedly biting a spot on the inside of my bottom lip every time I eat something. And I've got an entire month's worth of grading to be done Saturday – I got an extension, since it was due Friday. I was just too tired to deal with it. Classes this week seemed to go pretty well, though, praise God.  Most of my students are so sweet, and many of them are really funny, with one yesterday making a role for himself as a talking coffin in a dramatic adaptation of a textbook birthday party conversation in Dracula's castle. I am so grateful for the elementary and middle school curriculum--it has manageable portions and random juxtapositions (Dracula, the Wolfman, and Frankenstein's monster all appeared in the chapter we're doing on how much/how many), and because it's so neatly organized, it doesn't take long to prepare for the day's lessons. The adult classes take much, much longer--I spent between six and seven hours organizing material for the two hour class I taught on Thursday morning on the English consonant sounds, their phonemic symbols, and the many wacko spelling variations representing that sound which students might encounter. I would say that's normal prep time, given that I'm having to generate almost all the worksheets from scratch. Of course, when they are applicable, materials that my able predecessor composed are what I prefer to use, but for the sounds class there wasn't anything that was in the right format with the details I needed.

We said goodbye at lunch on Friday – shabu shabu at a different restaurant, where we finished the meal with kimchi fried rice -- to my American colleague who is the living image of a famous comic character, down to the round black glasses, the black curly hair, and the stocking cap which he was wearing the moment I met him. My first thought at the time was, "I've found him! It's Waldo!" But like Carmen SanDiego, he's disappearing again into another landscape. An avid outdoorsman, he hopes to do trail maintenance in the western US while he considers his next move.

The marketing site suddenly and inexplicably cancelled my dehumidifier order on Thursday. One of my Korean colleagues mentioned it might be because we are on Jeju, to which many mainland companies don't deliver, or only after being paid a hefty fee. Well, they didn't say anything to that effect on the website. But I need my dehumidifiers, so I'm going to roam around town looking for likely specimens  once I feel up to getting out of bed. I also need to go grocery shopping. The cupboard is getting sort of bare. Gosh, I hate cooking. I need to marry a chef.


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