Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Today saw the start of .M.T. In other words, 3 days a drunken debauchery. It didn't officially start until 12noon which put me in an awkward position given that I had class in the morning. I went to class thinking that I would have them for around half the allocated time. As it turns out, they couldn't be bothered, were hyperactive and ready to kill me if I had proceeded with the lesson. So, being 'in touch' with my students needs and wishes /haha/ I let them go early. They better give me a decent score at the end of the semester for that!

Actually, looks like myself and a few other teachers will be going to the English Departments .M.T. It's at the beach and the weather is looking decent, so it might be a nice day out. It looks, though that we will be going and coming back the same day which is probably an excellent idea. Means that the students can't get me into a drunken stupor...

On a completely different note...Juninho, Celtic's handsomely paid Brazilian 'star' has criticised Scottish footballs style. He maintains that Celtic play a long ball style which means that there is little for the midfield to do in matches, hence his inability to get into the team. Well, 1st up, i'm not so sure about that. If we had no need for a midfield then we would be 4 men down and thats just silly. And secondly, if you are that great, why is an 18 year old keeping you out of the team? Stop yer whinging and get on with the day job. You're paid to kick a ball around a grass field. Not give soundbites. Leave that to the Politicians.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Never tired as I am in the morning. Lately, i just can't sleep late. It's really getting bad. Usually I would get up at 8 /ish/ but with the srping nearly on us, the sun actually shines right into my apartment, waking me up much earlier. Not impressed with the sun for that. It should have some more consideration for us mortals.

To quote Scarface 'You better watch out, theres a bad guy coming through'. I'm the bad guy.

A the start of todays class, I told my class to switch off their phones. I even told them that 'vibrate' mode was not o.k. So, i'm halfway through class when suddenly, I hear a hmmmmmm. It's someones phone. I stop the whole class and ask who's phone it was. No-one says anything. I ask again. Still nothing. I then get a couple of muffled 'not me', 'no'. Still no-one admits their guilt. So, in an act of supreme confidence and power, I tell the whole class the I'm marking them all 'absent'.

There were gasps and some questioning protests but who's the boss ... who's the daddy.

And then, I continued with the lesson.

Monday, March 28, 2005


To cancel class or not to cancel class.

____..._This week sees the annual .M.T. thing at University in whch each class goes away to the beach for 3 days for a 'bonding' session. In other words, it's an excuse for all the students to get off classes, head to the beach and drink, eat and puke for 3 days. Apparantly, .M.T. starts at 12 noon on wednesday and continues until friday. Most of my classes have suggested that they are all going on their classes .M.T. which means that thursdays classes are probably all off however, I have class at 10.30am on wednesday and finishes at 12noon - when .M.T. starts. Will the students turn up or should I just call it...thinknig that I will just turn up and if less than half the class isn't there, then i'll call it.

And with thursday classes being off - I might even go to .M.T. since i'm off friday anyway. That, however might be dangerous since the English students will be hoping to get their 'Professor' mingin. hmm. They might even try to pull me. haha.

Sunday, March 27, 2005


Word of the week: 'Banging'

Is that with the 'g' or without - I'm not cool enough, so maybe it's with the 'g'. Anyway, seems like there is alot of it home, at University, in the street, on tv.

Phrase of the week: 'Opportunities...missed or otherwise'

Brought on by a couple of movies. Million Dollar Baby and Before Sunset. Both excellent. Recommended.

Sight of the week: 'Dust'

China has attacked. Not through military means but by the dust they annually send over at this time of the year. Apparantly, it's from the Gobi Desert. Sucked up by the air currents, transported over the sea and deposited on me and my windows. Not sure if the rest of the country has noticed yet but it's mingin' /and thats without a 'g' 'cos i'm cool enough!/

Song of the week: 'Oh my gosh' by Basement Jaxx

Who said 'dance is dead' ... it is but no-one told these guys. Complimented by an excellent 'Singles' collection.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


Another saturday, another Scottish defeat. Another grim day.

Alas, not quite. Beaten by Italy. The result was never really in doubt, however, it was the performance that mattered. We stood up and were counted. We were not the disorganised, shapeless, headless huddies that drew with Moldova. We were comitted, passionate and for a period looked like we were causing the Italians probelms.

It appears that it was 2 World class free-kicks that were our downfall - one of which was dubious in it's award, the second 5 minutes from time. Of course, such variables cannot be accounted for and certainly such free-kicks are nigh impossible to defend if hit with such precision and power. We had our chances but couldn't take them. Again, thats the difference between good teams and great ones - taking chances.

A loss is a loss but certainly there are grounds for optimism. The central defensive pairing looked strong, perhaps not blessed with pace but with the experience to read the game and hence negate their lack of pace. The midfield looked decent also with /dare i say it/ Ferguson finally putting in a Captains performance. This and a return from injury by the likes of McFadden and Fletcher mean that we could be heading in the right direction. That direction will not be to Germany next summer but at least see us climb into the top 50.
...a degree of credibility restored.

Friday, March 25, 2005


______wouldnt be a friday without moan____________________________at University, we don't have our own classrooms - clearly since some of the 'teaching' staff only 'teach' 2 hours a week. So sharing is the name of the game. Usually, there is enough time between classes to make your way to the room and get set up whether that be organising the desks or simply getting your notes ready. I almost feel ill prepared if I can't have that time prior to class. Thankfully, the room allocation this semester has meant that most of my rooms are free and I can get this 'time', however, there are occasions that this doesn't happen. Clearly, some teachers run over and thats understandable...but what does my head in, is these Korean Professors who over-run, are the 1st out of the room leaving behind them all the equipment for the students to clear away and /my pet peeve/ is leaving all their crap on the board. How long would it take 'X' Professor to wipe the board. Is he above all that? Is he b______________ks. But, clearly, some think they are. And what is with this being '1st' out of the class even allowing for the fact you have another class /which they probably don't/... are your students so worthless that you do your lecture and leave, whilst expecting them to collect projectors, tape machines and or Laptops and take back to the office.

It's almost like /some/ teaching just gets in the way of their endless lunch meetings. And the students are merely heads in the classroom that are expected to listen and clean up afterwards.

Perhaps, it's a cultural thing but I actually make a point of getting my own equipment, cleaning up after myself and most of all, I actually do pay attention to my students. If they want to see me after class, then so be it. It comes with the territory.

I wonder if I should go to my classrooms hours before class and steal all the chalk so the the Professors don't even get the chance to write anything on the board. I could hold the chalk to ransom. That would show them...clean the board or the chalk gets it. I would be brutal if they didn't give into my demands. Not only would I snap the chalk in 2 but I would stamp on it as well.militant action is required.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


Saturday sees the start of the Walter Smith era of the Scottish National team. In many ways I'm happy to be able to say that since the 'crap' Bertie Vogts was truly crap. His tenure started against the French in Paris which lead to a 5-0 defeat. The 1st time we had conceded 5 in 10 years. Not a great start. This, however, was by no means the darkest day. There were too many to mention.

Smith, though has an equally difficult opening game. The Italians at the San Siro, a venue that has only seen 2 Italian defeats, the last of which was in the 1920's. Doesn't bode well particularly given Scotland lowly 88th position in the World compared with the top 20 for the Italians.

That said, I'm not overly downbeat about the encounter. In fact, I might even say I was quietly optimistic. It would be an upset even if we scored a couple of goals but the thing that makes me fell like this is the confidence in the Manager. He will have his players versed on every aspect of the task ahead. The players will know exactly what is expected and what they have to do tactically with no communication issues. They will be organised and playing in familiar roles. I hope that the performance is one we can take heart from even if the result doesn't go our way. There has been nothing more depressing that watching a disorganised, disjointed and heartless team plodding through matches against the best teams in the World - Faroes, Moldova et al. All we can hope for is a bit of passion, hardwork and that we resemble a Scottish team in its true sense unlike the shambles we have been in the recent past. That and backed by 10,000 Scots in Milan might be enough to get the suns rays breaking through the clouds.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


__iusually find that if i'm in need of something, i would just go to the place or visit the person in order to get whatever it was i was needing. I think that I've become conditioned into doing this as a consequence of my lack of Korean language skills. Back at home, It would be the opposite. If I wanted a pizza, I would have no probelm getting on the phone. Here, though, it's not that simple. I probably could do it however that might be after going to the pizza place once or twice before so that the owner or whoever recognises me so that if and when I get the courage to call, he will think 'oh, it's that stupid foreign guy who can't speak Korean ...'

Thats my logic in that it minimises stress and stops you from looking more stupid than you already are.

Korean logic, though, seems to be different. Take my 1st year students. They understand what I say to them but because of the conditioning they received in School, they have real probelms actually getting an English sentence out. Which is where the probelm is. Today one of my students called me. He said 'hello' which is often a good start but from that promising start, it all went to pieces. I asked him his name, number and what class he was in. Finally we established what class he was in ... but then we couldn't understand what he wanted, which was his whole reason for calling. Finally, after a couple of false alarms he finally said 'Wait a minute'. Clearly, he said that in Korean.
_______________________so, i'm waiting for him to get back on the phone or have someone else come on the line but whilst i'm waiting on the phone, there is a knock at the door. I usually go days without anyone calling my office or even visiting my office but now both occur at the same time. The door opens and it's some student - the same one who has just been calling me.

Why didn't he just come to my office in the 1st place instead of wasting his time calling me and running up a phone bill. Within 2 minutes, I knew what he was meaning and everything was sorted out. Easy.

moral=Pictures /actions/ and words are better for finding meaning than relying on words alone.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Monday, March 21, 2005


Whoa...1st time at the gym for a while. Does it hurt?you bet it does.But, feel like I've got so much more energy. Probably won't be saying that tomorrow when i can't even walk to the bathroom.

Anyway, onto serious matters.6nations. Might be better just to call it 4 nations these days since it seems like only 4 nations are acually competitive. The other 2 'nations' are merely decent club sides ... sorry England but you are!

Actually, I'm not sure what to make of it all. Part would like to believe that we aren't actually that bad. The stats, however do not lie and record defeats against the Irish and the Welsh coupled with a record try count by England in the Calcutta Cup game tells it's own story. That said, we do at times look like a team capable of doing something, the probelm we are completely incapable of at least faking this for anything approaching 80 minutes. France we did well for perhaps 70 minutes, the Irish for perhaps 20 minutes, the Welsh for perhaps a half and then again in patches agaist England. All the positives taken from scoring a decent amount of points is the points lost by absolutely stupid, school boy errors. The defence on saturday was beyond dreadful. If we had eliminated such errors, then maybe we could have competed but at this level you get punished.

It's interesting to read that when Matt Williams, the coach, was appointed he actually fired Alan Tait, the defensive coach and a rock solid player in his day. Who took over the role of defensive coach - a certain Matt Williams. Furthermore, it has been said that Scotland played the best when they threw away the game plan and winged it.

Perhaps it's time, Mr. Williams. Taxi driver - to the airport please and don't spare the horses.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


Word of the week: 'Out'

Immense flood of emotions flowed at approx. 2.15pm on thursday afternoon when I kicked out my 1st student of the academic year. On the inside, raging at this student for trying to be a wise guy but on the outside relatively calm so much so that he and the rest of the class thought I was joking. It took him a full 5 minutes to go. Strangely, the class was somewhat subdued for the rest of the time. If he wants to be a wise guy next week, then come on mate ... lets be having you. It's always good to get the 1st one out of the way. I'm just surprised it took me until the fourth week to do so!

Phrase of the week: 'How can I say ...'

Always confused and bewildered by non-native speakers who use this phrase because it usually means that they already know how to say it. Why waste all that extra energy when you know what you are going to say and you know it's pretty much grammatically perfect. Case in point - some random bloke who had lived in California for 7 years kept saying it before he would make a sentence. Not once did I need to correct him. I did, however, want him to piss off ...

Sight of the week: 'Short temperedness'

Not only displayed by yours truly but by a number of the locals. Mostly notably by some anti-Japanese protesters but also last night at the busiest traffic lights in Cheonan. There I was enjoying a chat and a coffee when a car abruptly stopped. The door opened and the driver proceeded to drag the driver of the car behind out of his car (he was just about to get out anyway!). Cue, pushing and shoving and a few choice words. Handbags really.

Song of the week: 'Hey Sunshiney Day' by the Bravery.

Quite simply because it has been ... all day long. An early contender on the 'soundtrack of the summer'.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Oh we go. fightfightfight. In the Blue corner, weighing in as a 'repressed, kimchi loving nation' is South Korea and in the Red corner, weighing in as an 'economic powerhouse who can't cook fish' is Japan.

This time, it's really serious. Well, to the Koreans its really serious. And it's all over a rocky, uninhabited outcrop. Apparantly it's Koreas but Japan kind of thinks that it's theirs.

It seems like national pride is at stake. Last week, there was a demonstration in Seoul, outside the Japanese Embassy protesting about Japans claim to the Islands. It all got a bit serious and some women decided to chop one of her fingers off hoping that maybe the Japanese might think 'shit, these Koreans really are mental' and withdraw their claim to the Islands. Then yesterday, there was another protest outside the Japanese Embassy. This time some guy set himself on fire!

I must be completely missing something here because why would you want to chop your own finger off, in front of tv cameras, riot police and hundreds of other people. What thanks is this women going to get? It's not like the Japanese care about her lost digit ... the Korean President isn't going to be on the phone saying 'Well done mate, you really showed them ...' And it must be the same for this guy who set himself alight. He's probably scarred for life now.

Stand up for your rights, by all means but think about it ... is some politician or diplomat really going to care if you try to maim yourself. Probably not.

We live in dangerous times. Be careful, it could be the guy next to you or the women on the bus. You never know what people will do to protest. Think carefully before loading that last loaf of bread into your shopping trolley or buying that extra apple. Someone, somewhere might be angry enough to try something.

Oh yeah...and smile like you mean it!

Friday, March 18, 2005


Reasons to be cheerful:Stunning scenary. mountains, lochs, rugged coastlines, wind swept beaches. Best city in the World. Castles, palaces, parks, royal mile, world heritige award, fringe and festival. History. The people. Most of all the people. Inventing the telephone/tv. Being world beaters. Having the balls to wear skirts. Stealing back the Stone of Destiny. Taking the Wembley goal posts home one sunny saturday afternoon. Marching out at Murrayfield. Mince pies. Being able to shout at the top of your voice 'your just a bunch of sheep shagging bastards' and not getting arrested for it. And most importantly, not being another nationality.

Reasons to be miserable:Crap football team. Crap rugby team. Crap weather. And all of Renton's rant.

***__it's great being Scottish. Wouldn't change it for the world. If that means that we're labelled 'miserable' then so be it! .....bastards however, we are not. We are merely lucky bastards!*

Thursday, March 17, 2005



eH, SO WHAT?!?





Wednesday, March 16, 2005


*warning*am probably about to beware.

Overnight, a huge banner has appeared right outside the University Campus. It is in both Korean and English. On it, it urges people to call some number if they find any 'University Native Teachers (thats me) doing illegal private lessons'.

Abit of background 1st...part of the conditions of our VISA states that you can only work for 1 place at a time and any other form of 'work' is not on. In Korea, 'private lessons' occur when a teachers goes to students house and teaches them for money. So, it's a big no, no. This doesn't stop people from doing it. I, for one, haven't since I haven't ever had the urge and to be honest, going to someones house to teach 1 on 1 isn't that exciting.

Anyway, this sign has apart right outside the place I work - actually on University property. I'm not impressed. I do not condone people doing privates. It's against the 'rules' - no question.

but to have this sign outside is, in my eyes, almost slander. It is accusing me of breaking rules and also, it's location - at the main entrance. There are only 5 'native teachers' on this Campus, so it actually is referring to me and my colleagues. I feel that is is questioning my whole integrity as a teacher and think it is somewhat offensive in that I don't see any other banners asking people to call if they see any public official being more favourable to someone or even taking bribes which could well be even more widespread.

So, now everyone who has read the sign might be thinking 'oh, there's Paul...where's he going? To do privates...?'

I asked the Head of Department to get it removed. He told me that it the Local Government put up and that we 'can't touch it'. Do you want a bet.

I wonder how much money was spent making such banners. Could that money not have gone on something more meaningful like on improving Schools or helping those in need.

The backlash is continuing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


There's always one ... no matter what time or occasion, there is always 1 person who either talks too much, or doesn't talk, or doesn't have a pen, or has too much energy. Alas, I have 1 student who the other student's don't want to sit next to. I thought that most people grew out of that phase in High School - 'I'm not sitting next to her ... she smells' or 'I'm not sitting there ... he's got dandruff' but not my afternoon class.

I have 1 student who is no oil painting, doesn't have the latest clothes or the latest gadget. He's just a below average kind of guy. Probably alittle lucky to be in University and probably not from a well off family. Of course, there are many similiar students who have a similiar profile but it seems like no-one wants to sit next to him because of it. And that's the probelm. In my class, they must have a partner in which to complete the set tasks.

So, this guy doesn't have a partner - how do I not offend him or offend another student by asking them to move? ..........thankfully, one other student made that decision very painless. This other guy was being 'cool'. Swinging on his chair, chewing his gum and not actually doing ANYTHING. He didn't even have a pen. Prime candidate for moving. Plus, he was playing with his fone. Decision made.

I put the 2 of them together. The 'cool' guy was not impressed but since I had taken his fone, he really wasn't in a position to argue.

And that was that. Sorted.

Monday, March 14, 2005


Scotland got humped. Not just defeated but completely outplayed. The brutal stats. suggest that the game against Wales was over in the 1st 18 minutes. A 38 - 3 interval scoreline tells it's own story. Some crumb of comfort must be found in the knowledge that we didn't play as badly in the 2nd half but by that time, did it really matter?. The Welsh could afford to take their foot of the pedal as the job was already done. 2 record defeats at the hands of the Irish and the Welsh both at home. Disgusting. Serious questions of the management must now be asked. Each time we play someone, it's a record loss. Surely this does not show any form of progress. Of course, we have won the same amount of games as England but then at least they are competitive even though they have lost half of their World Cup winning team. We play them next week. I wouldn't like to think what the final result will be. - it could be a modern day massacre.'s 'white day' here in Korea. Another marketing scam in which men are meant to buy something for the women that they desire. Probelm is, I desire a lot...alas, I don't have the money to give a gift to everyone - and anyway, they didn't get me anything for Valentines Day. Ladies, it's ur loss.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Word of the week: sometimes one word is never enough ...

Phrase of the week: 'You're not Korean'

'My god ... you could be right. Hang on, I'll just check' - Doesn't give you the right to charge me more to get tv. Still a touchy subject.

Sight of the week: 'Red Mist'

Strangely, you never see it on the weather forecast although does periodically descend irrespective of the time of year or even time of day, however, does manifest itself with increasing regularity.

Song of the week: 'Dirge' by Death in Vegas

Dark and brooding that starts simply but as the song progresses builds and builds with layers of guitar, crashing drums, deep bass and a haunting female voice.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


i heard that today is saturday. I heard that Keegan quit.I heard that everybody's falling in love.i heard that that i'm handsome. I heard that it's the saddest night out in the country. I heard that the government finally passed it's anti-terror bill. iheard i have 16 students later. I heard that i need to pay more.I heard a premiership player is having a relationship with an openly gay pop star. I heard that scotland will lose to wales. I heard that scotland will win. I heard your city is a sucker. I heard that you heard. I heard that the ice-caps are melting. I heard that they're not. I heard scientists said that they usually melt and reform in cycles. I heard we're not alone.iheard your having an affair. i heard my friend had a baby this week.............................iheard that spring is coming. I heard that it is a wonderful world. i heard that older siblings are smarter. I heard that driver8 should take a break. I heard that the usa is the land of the free. I heard that thats a lie.______________i.....heard that the sea of japan, isn't japans. I heard that everybody pushes. I heard that we only drinkfuckandtake the money. I heard that Darwin was wrong. I heard god has all the answers. I heard that isn't true. i heard nothing.

Friday, March 11, 2005


just have a really large urge to go out and get absolutely mingin' but where would that get me. Probably nowehere fast. I might end up getting really sarcastic and end up abusing someone due to lack of tolerance - not of the beer but of the person. Plus, I would have a hangover which would put me in a bad mood tomorrow and the last thing I want tomorrow is a hangover given that I have 3 hours of hardcore teaching action - with teachers who probably have way better teaching skills and miles more experience than me. Actually, just writing that makes me think that it might be a good thing - getting mingin'.


ohyeah...and i've just heard that in order to get some tv installed into my apartment, i have to pay MORE than my next door neighbour or the guy on the floor above because 'I'M NOT KOREAN'. The company in question is SKYLIFE.

you can make up your own mind as to way that is but it appears to me that the reason I need to pay more is because i don't have a Korean passport. perhaps i'm naive. perhaps its something more than that...

WHAT EXACTLY DOES 'YOUR NOT KOREAN' have to do with my ability to pay and watch tv.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


........good apples and bad apples..

On the whole, I quite like apples. I am more of a fan of green ones though. Red ones are o.k. Green and red together, now they are good too. Bad ones though. Don't eat them, there might be a worm or some other bug in them which could be harmful.

When I think of apples, I always think of the green ones. Good, wholesome. Sometimes they can be sweet but sometimes alittle bitter but generally pretty good. Red ones, they are functional. They do the job. Not flashy but solid and dependable. Red and green together well, they can be something special. At times, great but at times perhaps not so inspired. I guess it depends on the variety and the conditions it grows in. And the bad ones. Hmm. Sometimes you don't really know they are bad until you bite into them. But, most of them time you can tell they are bad simply by looking at their colour or shape or how they 'act' compared to the others around them. At times, you can salvage part of the bad apple - it depends on how hungry you are and how bad the apple is.

and that, is how my students are.

in 1 class, their are 6 bad apples. no doubt about it. they have been spoken to. if they decide to be bad apples next week, then we have a big probelm. i might need to get some insecticide out and get them hosed down since i don't want the rest of the harvest to go bad.

Anyway, I took one students phone off him. It was ringing in class. A big no:no. At the end of the class I explained that it should be off. The class rules clearly state in both English and Korean that it should be off. Even at the start of the class, I told everyone - in fact I showed everyone - what I wanted. He didn't listen. So, after class he proceed to 'throw a wobbly' ... and stormed off. So, I am the proud owner of a new phone. He hasn't come to collect it yet. If he wants it, he can come and get it. Otherwise, I'm going to call EVERYONE with it. That'll teach him ...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Wednesday successfully completed. A relief. Particularly since I had 2 full lessons with 2 new classes - 7 hours apart. Not great timetabling. The 1st class was 1st year English. Went o.k. They were very receptive with little probelm encountered. I hope all the classes will be like that. I suspect they won't be however. And then the 'teachers' class. Oh my. It's hard to tell with adults. They don't really give much away. With kids, you know you have had a good or bad class. They tell you! I felt it was o.k. Perhaps not perfect /is any class?/ but I guess it's hard for the students since they have been working before they come to class and then they have to listen and put up with me for 3 hours. Not an easy task. Glad thats over. Have it all to do again on saturday. hmm.

|\\|anyway,its warming up nicely over here. Last week there was snow but today it was great. Sunny and relatively warm. My office windows were open and in class the students even took their jackets off. You know something is wrong when they do that. Although, I did have 1 student last night who kept her duffel coat on ... I don't understand why because it was roasting in the classroom. I was | | this close to switching the air-conditioning on because it was so hot.Spring is /almost/ here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I kind of feel that I have a big couple of days ahead. It's completely irrational as it's only the 3rd week of teaching at Uni. but it's as if the whole semester might actually be dictated by what happens in the next couple of days. It's the 1st full class with the 1st years. If it goes o.k. then I can .potentially. look forward to the semester. On the flip side however, if the classes don't respond to me or what I have planned for them, it could be tricky. With the following week doubling in importance. This coupled with it being my week to teach the TESOL class - basically, I teach teachers - means that I need to get through this week intact both mentally and physically! ....and thats never really know what will could plan it all to a tee but then it could go pear shaped.i can only do soo much.the students do the rest.make me or break me.

Anyway, it seems like alot of my new 'male' students have got this fashion thing going on ... the guys like to have longish hair which is in keeping with the pop stars etc at the moment. However, they also want side-burns. Not a difficult task. It's pretty natural. But, Korean mean, particularly the majority of my students are not that 'hairy'. So...what do they do to stay in fashion?well, they can't grow /much/ facial hair so they grow the hair just infront of their ears long, so from a distance it looks like they do actually have sid-burns but when you are up close, its obvious that they aren't real. It looks stupid especially when it's windy, they just flap about! It's definitely a 'comb-over' of sorts. It's like women in the 80's who grew those trianglar shaped 'side-burns' ... I think Demi Moore might have had some in 'Ghost' ... i think if anybody annoys this week, I might just cut them off in one fell swoop and keep them as a prize.

See how bored I get sometimes.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Minor attack occurred today at approx. 4.30pm when it was revealed that I should have, in fact, been teaching instead of getting a mighty fine head massage /and haircut!/ at my hairdressers. It was a very nice massage. It certainly was soothing until the message came through that I had class. Thankfully, it was a false alarm. The English Department Assistant thought that I had class today but as it turns out, I have class at the same time on tuesday instead. It's an easy mistake to make, so I'm not going to give her a hard time over it. Plus, she did manage to get me a better classroom to teach this class in ... that was a nice touch.

Anyway, we have the Departmental Dinner tonight. In the past, nothing really gets done or decided. I would be surpised if this was the case again. Actually, it seems that there is a very 'us' and 'them' feel to these get togethers with the Korean faculty members sitting at one end of the room whilst the non-Korean faculty members sit at the other end. Perhaps we smell or something.

Hoping it will be short and sweet.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Word of the week: 'Thursday'

Because it is the new monday. I used to like thursday. A couple of classes in the morning and then finished for the week. Alas, this is not the case now. Start at 2pm and finish at 10pm. 4 classes. 2 stupid breaks between the later classes. And a late start. It would be o.k. if I could sleep in until 12. I can't though. Would be infinitely happier starting at 9 or 10am ... but 2pm. I hate it. Already.

Phrase of the week: 'Hello, my name is ...'

How many times do I need to say that in a week? Too many ...

Sight of the week: 'My guys'

Seeing all last years students - even the ones I failed.

Song of the week: 'Galvanise' by the Chemical Brothers

I read a report that Dance music was dead. In many ways it could be however, it won't be going without a fight. The candle is still flickering. It might not be bright but it's there. 'Don't hold back'.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


wellwellwell.seems the shithaswellandtrulyhitthefan with Hearts essentially accusing the Standside Linesman of cheating. They haven't actually said that but it seems like that is what they are implying.

I guess I should fill you in. Hearts were playing Rangers in a league match last wednesday night. The match was at 1 - 1 going into injury time with Rangers on the attack. The ball went out of play and the Referee - probably the most respected Referee in the country - signalled for a goal kick. However, the afore mentioned Linesman had his flag raised indicating that 'something' had happened. The Referee consulted the Linesman who successfully convinced the Referee that an infringement had occurred and that Rangers should be awarded a penalty. No-one - not even the Rangers players or management - had even appealed for a penalty or had even 'seen' an infringement. The Hearts players were insensed, 1 barging the Linesman and subsequently getting sent off. Anyway, Rangers took the penalty, scored and won the game 2 - 1.

It's a running 'joke' in Scotland that this kind of incident usually happens with the majority of favourable decisions going the way of the 2 big clubs - Rangers and Celtic and against the 'rest'. Certainly, their are numerous examples of decisions going the way of these clubs however, no-one has really complained this vigourously before.

Of course, such claims are impossible to prove - that some Referee or Linesman has been biased towards a particular team. The beauty of football is that you never know what will happen. Sometimes incidents are clear cut and obvious however there are times when human error does occur during a match and it is these decisions which can effect not only the match but perhaps wider issuses like who wins the Championship or who qualifies for Europe or even which team gets relegated. Such is life. A Referee needs to make a split second decision based on the evidence in front of him at that instant. It's not an exact science.

Hearts have been roundly criticised for this course of action of essentially accusing the Linesman of cheating or as they have worded it questioning 'the integrity of the decision'. It's a bold move. Knowing the S.F.A. - Hearts will probably be punished for such cheek but it does raise some interesting points.

Are the big 2 clubs favoured in some way? It's highly unlikely that Livingston, for example, would be awarded a last minute penalty at Ibrox or Celtic Park. However, if Celtic were attacking in the last minute and some innocent challenge occurred in the penalty area the Referee would be placed under huge pressure by the baying 60,000 Celtic supporters to give something favourable. It's a question of nerve. Is the Referee strong enough to clearly and objectively make the correct decision without being swayed?

Perhaps that is Hearts' point.

Personally, such variables as human error should be reduced. Football should welcome the technology available. Rugby has. American Football has. God, so has Tennis. Traditionalists may argue against it but by the same token the Referee would be able to look at the available evidence and make a better informed decision - within a minute or 2 of the incident occurring. Surely that makes more sense given the importance of such decisions. If it had, Rangers may not have had that penalty. Spurs would have had that goal against Man. Utd allowed and perhaps, England wouldn't have won the World Cup ... that blind Soviet Linesman - the cheat!

Friday, March 04, 2005


I was alittle suspicious last night. I had about 30 student's in my class. I thought that I was only getting 20ish. Today, I found out why. Most of them were in the wrong classroom. D'oh. Seemingly they came to may class by 'mistake' leaving the other teacher with only 1 student in his class. Wish it had been the other way around. It happens ... I suspect it will happen for another couple of weeks until it all settles down.

-----anyway--it was my mate Un-Moon's yesterday. Otherwise known as Scott and now otherwise known as Un-Moondinho, so called because he looks exactly like Ronaldinho. Hmm. He certainly doesn't play like him. He's a funny man. Was pretty tipsy last night, so much so he was trying to kiss alot of people and gobbing everywhere. Disgusting. But, he's just doing what alot of Korean men do ... spit out everything. Sometimes it seems like they are about to spit out their lungs. Usually such behaviour is seen on the football field. Alas, it is alive and kicking in Cheonan!

Have abit of a dilema to contend with. I could get tv with 51 channels for 17,000 Won a month or I could get 120 channels for 20,000 Won. Now, it might seem like an open and closed affair given that I could get double the channels for only 3,000 Won a month more, however, do I really need 120 channels. I mean, god, their could be 119 channels of total crap. And how long would it take to check out the channels. Not only that but my tv only goes upto channel 99. What if all the good channels start at 100. It's a worry---

Thursday, March 03, 2005

rocknrollbaby news.i'm your teacher.

Words to scare the 1st year students who are in my class. I do feel sorry for them because they have to put up with me for the next 16 weeks. I don't envy them.

4 classes today. All different despite the fact that each had a similiar sounding lesson plan.thefirst. probably the worst of the day. More than I had expected and certainly mostly 'boys'. I have a few mouthy ones which could be helpful in the coming months or they could be unhelpful in the coming months. Helpful in that I might be able to use them to get the class 'going'. However, they could be unhelpful in that they could easy be disruptive and have a negative impact on the running of the class. We'll see how we get on.THESECOND class was the complete opposite. All girls. We had fun and they are very lively and receptive. thethird class. Dead. Usually when you walk into the class, they are talking amongst themsleves but this class was completely devoid of noise. It could be a difficult class to get motivated particularly given that there are only 25 students. THEFOURTH class. Mixed bag. Not as loud as the 2nd class but not as dead as the 3rd class. It seems like half the class actually were'nt meant to be in my class. We'll see how many re-appear next week.

Think I need a 'big week' next week both in terms of lessons and how they are handled after all the initial weeks are the ones which dictate how things will run during the semester. I need a strong start.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005


So, we are into March already. Shocker. I woke up this morning thinking 'it's pretty dark outside' ... I open the blinds to find that the reason it's so dark is because it's snowing!
Wasn't expecting that particularly since the weather was springlike on tuesday. This happened last year as well with snow falling during the 1st week of the semester. Although, on this occasion, it hasn't lasted with the streets clear of any evidence by the time I left Uni. this evening. Speaking of which, I got my Air-conditioning installed into my office this afternoon. Don't worry, the irony wasn't lost on me ... Question=how many grown men does it take to install an Air-Con unit?answer=loads.about 5 men to hold it but only one to drill it into the wall.and of course, the women to come in and clean up after them. Even more ironic.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


My next door neighbour has a dog. Disaster. I haven't got anything against dogs - I certainly wouldn't eat one - but i'm not sure I want one living next door. I haven't actually seen it yet so I'm unsure if in some Fish Called Wanda-esque way, I can bump it off. It might be a massive thing but knowning Koreans, it's more likely to be an overgrown rat with dyed green ears, sporting the latest in designer doggy wear - /what's new this season?/ - the bark indicates this but without a visible sighting its hard to tell. All I can hope for is 1. it doesn't bark all night and 2. doesn't shit all over the corridor. No doubt I'll be rushing along the corridor, late for class when I will suddenly feel a sliding sensation, followed by a ripping sound coming from my trousers as I step/slip in a nice little present left by the afore mentioned 'overgrown rat'. It certainly wouldn't be the 1st time. \\\Actually, the streets are surprisingly free of such 'stuff'. I'm more likely to stand in someones puke when walking along the road. It seems as if these Koreans just puke anywhere - if it flows when they are on the street, so be it. If it flows when they are in the lift, so be it. It's almost as if they would rather puke in the street or some other public place than wait and puke at home. The shame of puking at home must be less than puking infront of randoms ...