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About

"So I guess this is where I'm supposed to introduce myself. I'm a Canadian male teaching ESL in Seoul, Republic of Korea. This will be my second stint teaching ESL, only this time I'll be teaching at a High School, using my actual teaching experience to use. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me - no question's too small. Take care, and enjoy the ride."

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  • Student in Korea
  • Seoul Man
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  • Surviving South Korea
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  • "Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire" by Niall Ferguson
  • "Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World" by Haruki Murakami
  • "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order" by Samuel P. Huntington
  • "The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth" by Benjamin M Friedman
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  • Graduation and....baking?

    So today brought about the graduation of my school's third grade middle school students. Normally a rowdy, loud, disrespectful bunch, today they were quiet, reserved, and respectful (because their parents were here).

    Now, the graduation ceremony is nothing like what you would expect from back home - with so many students, freezing cold temperatures outside, and no gymnasium to squeeze all of the students and parents into, everyone just watched the "ceremony" with their parents in whatever classroom they were assigned to....a very boring, unexcited affair of watching the whole event on a jumbo television. Not my idea of fun, but then again, I wasn't required to participate - only third grade homeroom teachers are required to dress up, and the rest of us just loafed around, and did the stuff that teachers do when they aren't teaching.

    What was comical however was the Korean tradition (from what has been explained to me) of what the students do once they've graduated. Because theirs no offical ceremony of passing the certificate to the students, the students just show up in their uniforms....and at this point, they're "itching" to rip it off for good. So after all of the formalities are over, and the parents have gone back to the work, the students whip out......flour and eggs; Lots and LOTS of eggs. What happens next is hard to witness, as the flour somewhat blocks a clear view. However, when the "dust" settles, what you have are students covered head to toe in egg yolk, shells, and tonnes of flour everywhere - most importantly, all over their uniform.

    So that's middle school graduation in a nutshell. At my school, the administration purchased huge flower bouquets for display outside of the school. Some of the third grade "better-behaved" students decided to give the school one final reason to be glad they're gone. They took ALL of the flowers, took them to the road, and proceeded to backup traffic while they threw, stomped, and egged all of the flowers. You'd almost think that a wedding ceremony had taken place outdoors. In secret, the teachers lauded their final sendoff, but when they came in after showering, they were warned to NOT do that once they got to high school...i'm sure they've forgotten it already :)
    take care all, and
    God bless

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