Friday, June 23, 2006


I guess I have been accused of being vague and cryptic at times. Indeed. My nature. No point in continuing to do that right now, so I'll just come out and say that it looks very much like I have broken up with my other half, my S.
Where to begin with that?
I have deliberately kept her away from these pages. I have my reasons for that given the circumstances of our relationship. Yet, 18 months is a long time to not mention her here. I think I did well in that respect.

So, S.
Short, slim, black wavy hair and black coloured eyes accompanied with dazzling white teeth which flash when she smiles. A youthful vigour both physically and mentally yet with a determined and steely resolve. Outwardly, intelligent, strong, beautiful, caring, cute yet that is the persona. On the inside, selfish, short tempered, rude, clumsy and opininated + all those mentioned above + everything else that I can't really find the words to describe. How can you really describe someone special. You can say she is xyz but that doesn't do her justice. I can't just put my finger on them - she is 'x,y,z'. It's more complex than that. All I can really say is that she just is. It's a feeling, isn't it?
A sentence isn't enough.
a sentence.
i can't write a sentence to sum up all that /goodandbad/.
in fact, i would go so far to say i can't really write anything that would completely express what is going on. i'm hurt, shes hurt. hurt being an approximation. a 'close' fit.
i guess you 'know' when it's not there anylonger.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Noticed in the 'uk' news, that some bloke who was wearing an England top in Edinburgh was assaulted because he was wearing it. I can't condone that kind of behaviour, in fact it makes me shudder to think that it still goes on. It's pathetic. There really isn't any excuse for it.

So what if someone is different from you or has a different point of view. That doesn't give anybody the right to go and whack them one. Have a bit of banter about it, no problem. It's light hearted but to go assualting someone.
Hope these 'neds' get nailed.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


Signed, sealed and almost delievered.

Grades are calculated and inputted and printed off. I've probably made a few mistakes along the way but when you have 300+ students i guess it's hard to be exact. To the best of my knowledge, my grades are correct.

Strangely, my grades seem to fit comfortably inside the recommended grade curve. I'm not complaining and perhaps it's a good sign - that my tests are able to separate the students out. Or perhaps my tests were too hard.

I have a couple of students who are borderline 'whatevers' but I've tried to be fair. If they didn't attend their tests, then I can't justify passing them. How can I?

I'll just have to sit back and wait for the complaints to flow in.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


These 4am games are not doing much for my sleep patterns. I certainly not getting up to watch some second rate nation play a meaningless 3rd match, although I did indulge myself by catching the 2nd half of the England game.

My god, they are mince. How anyone can realistically say that they are World beaters without bursting into a smile, is beyond me. Perhaps they were astonishing in the 1st half but all I saw was Sweden hit the bar 3 times, perhaps should have been awarded a penalty /hand ball/ and some rather dodgy defending.

The Swedish goals were from set pieces. The 1st, a very nicely worked header. Not many teams will be able to deal with something like that. The second, though should never have been allowed to bounce and make it's way to Larsson. I'm sure Hansen had something to say!

I just can't see them getting past the Quarter Finals. Owens injury and the emergence of Hargreaves might force Sven's hand formation wise and that might force them to play better. Yet, what puzzles me is the fact that they only took 4 strikers. 1 of them is now out whilst 1 is getting back to full fitness, the other is Crouch and the 4th is the untested Walcott. I'm sure the Italians et al are hardly quaking in their boots. And perhaps I should just whisper this - Beckman should be dropped. He's a peripheral figure. Controversial but true.

Anyway, Why could France have beaten Korea? Come looked good in the 1st half. Yet, we had another shocking refereeing moment that cancelled out a second French goal. I thought it was fine. Clearly over the line but no. That would have been it all over for the Koreans but they got their just rewards by equalising. It sets it up nicely for the final game on Saturday morning.
Prediction: France to beat Togo by the necessary goal difference. Switzerland to draw with Korea. Switzerland and France to progress on goal difference. Cue the Koreans moaning about 'conspiracies'.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Of course, this time of year sees the beginning of the great 'what will I put on my mp3 for my marathon flight home' debate.

It's a headache. You have to weigh up the 'what I want vs/ what I can get' angle.

I've been listening to alot of Hot Chip and Another Late Night recently. It would be hard to try and pick individual songs but putting the whole album onto my mp3. Hmm. Could be folly.

And then there is the single songs by random artists which might have to make there way onto the final tracklisting. I definitely need some loud elctronic 'stuff'. Some of the DFA remixes will remain, 'Another excuse' for example. An epic.

But, then do you stick with what you know or go with stuff that you haven't really heard before but have heard that could be decent. Perhaps a small percentage...

I know one thing for sure, there will be a noticable lack of Korean music. K-POP is guff. It's either a rip-off of 'western' stuff /isn't that right Hyori!/ or akin to cheesy summer time euro-pop or it's a 'you've-broke-my-heart ballad or some random boy band all with there matching clothes, smiles and shockingly bad hairstyles that my students all try to copy but can never achieve. I wonder if that is a sign of age. Give me something with a bit of substance.

2 weeks to organise it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Word of the week: 'Last'

Last week of teaching/testing and the last week of Korean class. One will return. Not quite sure which though.

Phrase of the week: 'o.k. thank you...'

Students who were stopped mid-sentence got this. Especially if they were 1. not making sense 2. were boring me or 3. I couldn't be ars__d listening to them any more. I'm highly proefessional.

Sight of the week: 'Sitting'

It's amazing what you can do with a sheet of the days newspaper. You can read it, put it in the bin, cover things with it, wrapping stuff up in it or as we do in Cheonan, take it onto the main street and sit on it whilst watching the 'large' screen tv and cheering your national team.

rant:abusive tirade of the week: *might have to wait until next week. Things looking decidely dodgy.

Song of the week: 'Another Late Night' by Groove Armada

Just lovely. A bit of electronica. A bit of soul. A bit of funk. A bit of this. The summer has arrived and it's looking /. . . . . . / * *to be filled out later

Hidden message of the week: ah-ha/

Saturday, June 17, 2006


"Compulsory intellectual work never remains in the mind."
as found in Plato's 'Republic'.
Isn't it amazing to think that this was uttered over 2000 years ago, yet it is still true and still people haven't quite grasped the concept. Perhaps, in 2000 years, someone will take notice.

Friday, June 16, 2006


That's it, that's the summer well and truly here. It's hot and getting humid. Not a nice combination. Air-con at the ready.

And of course, out come the summer clothes. The t-shirt of the week surely goes to the one worn by a bloke in his early twenties which said 'It's obvious that you want me'.
wHAT else can you say to that really?
I wonder if it worked. Perhaps not.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


The overwhelming surge of relief at finishing the last of my tests didn't materialise in the slightest. That's worrying sign. It might just be due to stress or fatigue or perhaps it could be a more serious issue, namely that I can't be arsed. Motivation, as I have been reading about, is both extrinsic (from outside) and intrinsic (from inside you). Usually, I have alot of intrinsic and it is that which keeps me going but it seems that this is lacking even the 'outside' rewards which smooth the path of motivation is something that I couldn't really care about.

I was taking to one of my colleagues yesterday and he is kind of like 'well, i've done 2 years here now, what's next?' And to be fair, nothing. Not at this University.
So much for the 'whohoo, I'm done'.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


In class, I have to keep things really simple, not only in what we do but in what I say. The students level is not that great and if things are simple, then there is less chance of things going pear shaped.

Not only are things kept simple but rules are simple. Turn off your phone being the simpliest.
I've been advocating that all semester.

So, it pains me to say that some students still don't get it.

I had a team of 4 doing their speaking test. They all sat down and each, in turn, did their thing. One guy had finished. He was terrible. Very incoherent. At which point he whips out his phone and starts to send a text message whilst one of his mates is trying to finish his test. I stop him and demanded the phone. I told them that I was taking points of each of them. Once they had all finished, the inquest began.

I asked what he was doing and why his phone was on. He said that he was texting his grandmother because she was sick. I told I didn't care, this was my test and that you do not have your phone on in my class. 'Oh Sorry, sorry'.

Next I asked him if he had had a test yesterday in any of his other classes. He said 'yes'. I asked him if he had his phone on or off in that test. 'Off' came the answer. I asked him if he take a test on Monday. 'Yes'. Did he turn his phone off or was it on during that test. 'Off'.

Busted buster. Get out of that one me old mate. Case closed, get up off your knees and let go of my arm, you're not a dog. Goodbye. And that's how it happened.

Literally, 10 minutes later anither student, same class came to me wanting to take her test since she had missed it 2 weeks previously. I told her the only way she could take it was if she brought me an absence form right now. She mumbled something about how unfair it was. Then I asked her if she had been in Univeristy yesterday, or the day before that. She answered 'Yes' to both. Then, I asked why she hadn't spoken to me or given me an absence form then. Nothing. No answer. Bye, have a nice summer holiday.

Hopefully, that's the last. Probably won't be though.

How did I do Bill?!?
Did I pass?!?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I'm trying to keep the footy talk down to a minimum but sometimes I just can't resist.
Korea played and won. I had predicted a draw and for part of the game it looked as if Togo might actually sneak at least a point. Alas, 2 decent goals sealed it for the Koreans.

Here in Cheonan, the main street was completely cleared of cars leaving the street free for the punters to come and watch the 'giant' tv. There was a pretty big, colourful crowd...clearly no Togolese fans. Just a sea of red intermittenedly speckled with those white coloured plastic 'baseball bat' shaped things that they bang together when they get excited. We stayed for the first 15 minutes but in all honestly, the tv was really not that big and you couldn't see much. I wonder if they will do the same for the remaining (2?) Korean games which will start at 4am Korean time.

Alas, it's hard to really tell who is playing well and who isn't. The 1st is all important but not in terms of gauging how good a team is or might become. After all Brazil beating Croatia by a single goal doesn't necessarily mark them out as potential winners whilst Swedens laboured draw with Trinidad does not mean that they won't give England a run for their money next week.

Which leads us rather abruptly onto the Beebs coverage. The website coverage is fine but I've heard that their pundits are rather, shall we say 'biased'. Of course they are. Ian Wright anyway one...even Hansen who's bloody Scottish. It's often difficult to get a completely neutral observer but surely that is how games should be presented. It's the same here. All the attention on the Korean team but none on the opposition. I find it quite sad.

In terms of commentary, the great Bill Maclaren was one person who gave a fairly neutral prespective whilst reporting on Rugby. He gave credit when credit was due to either side regardless of whether Scotland were getting humped or where winning.

And surely, that's what we want. Just report on what you see. Nothing more. Nothing less. Thankfully, England will have been knocked out by the time I get home so I'll be spared all the raving.

Monday, June 12, 2006


So, in my idle moments of lazing around on a Sunday afternoon, not really doing much and without the Sunday papars to sit and read /i does miss that/ it occurred to me that at every single minute of the day /that's 1*60*24= quite alot/ someone, somewhere is exiting. Someone, somewhere is entering. In fact, it might not even be a 'someone'. It could be 2 or 3 or 100people all exiting for one reason or another. Or entering.

I dare say there are busier minutes in much the same way as there are busier times on the roads or busier 'electricity moments when people all put their kettle on at the same time.

And that's it. It's a cycle. In and out. And it doesn't stop. It just continues regardless of anything. Regardless of whether it's raining or if it's at night.

Equally, there will be people fighting, be drinking, yelling, smooching, being happy/sad/shy/depressed/surprised/mad/hungry.thirsty all at any one time.
We're not unique then.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Word of the week: 'Hands'

My own. Not sure what the problem is but my right hand - wel, the tips anyway - are not what they usually are. They have little spots on them. I wonder if they are caused by sweat trapped under the surface. Strange. Perhaps I have a contagious 'thing'. That would be interesting.

Phrase of the week: 'Ugh. Here we go'

Yes, the moment a student walks into the class, you get a feeling. Not really a warm feeling but more of a /see above/. Sometimes, though a student/s/ will bound into the room 'Hi Paul!' That's when you know that the 'ugh' might change into a pleasant 'oh!' Still, only half way. 1 more week to go.

Sight of the week: '24'

Hours of thunder and lightning. Fantastic. Especially when it's right next to your house and it actually lights up your room. Just a shame that it came with rain and wind.

Rant:Abusive tirade of the week: 'Team'

All these nations that claim they will do well in the World Cup. Tut tut. Delusions of grandeur. Half of the nations will be out after the group stage. The real World Cup starts in a few weeks. This is just the foreplay.

Song of the week: 'Truth n' Time' by Al Green

Sometimes, you need a bit of soul. Laid back, late night soundwaves.

Hidden message of the week:

Saturday, June 10, 2006


The 1stof the 2 firsts is the fact we we have just had 24 hours of thunder and lightning but not 24 hours of rain. Pretty hardcore thunder and lightning, as well. Impressive.
The 2nd of the 2firsts is the first mosquito bite of the summer. I thought I hared something buzzing away when I was trying to get to sleep. I ignored it thinking it was nothing. Clearly not though. Ba_d. I did get him later...

And an England win. Not a classic. Not even close. In fact, they were poor. Again, tactically Sven does it again or should that read 'doesn't do it again'. What's the point of having a forward on the bench yet moving one of your midfielders up to replace a forward. Pointless. Think the heat is too much for old Sven. Hopefully, he continues with his tactial acuman and England lose soon.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I don't often go on massive spending sprees but today was one of them and to be honest, it was a shock but I secretly quite liked it. I wonder if I could get used to spending vast swathes of money in an instant.

1.3million Won on a flight. The cheapest going. Not bad but equally, not great. One consulation is that i'm flying Cathay Pacific and B.A. back to Scotland via Hong Kong. Might even have time to venture into Hong Kong depending on how cocky i'm feeling. 5 hours between flights...

Then 1.6million Won on my CELTA Course. Has to be done, so there. And, it's something else on the CV. And finally, 900,000Won on a trip to Jeju-do - the 'Hawaii of Korea' - and a 5 star hotel. Why not?

I'll be skint for the rest of the summer but there you go.
World Cup today. Scotland have decided to boycott it. We don't like playing in the summer. We're men and we play in the winter when is freezing cold and snowing not like these whips who have to play it on perfect green pitches in 'nice' sunshine. England to lose on penalties.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Week 1 of the bi-annual test-fest done.
Same issues, just different faces.
Same post as 6 months ago.
You give a team of 3 or 4 students 2 weeks in which to organise themsleves and get their mini-presention of no more than 10 minutes organised.
Some do alot of work and it really, really shows. They then get the points that their work and effort demands.
Some though don't do alot of work and it really, really shows.
Some teams just read. Some teams take less than 5 minutes. Some teams try to write everything in Korean and then 'translate' it via the internet. It result is utter rubbish. I stopped a number of students because I could understand a word of it. Some teams rely on 1 person and get stitched up when the 1 person doesn't turn up.
Some teams just don't give a f_k.

I care if you do.
Thats it in a nutshell.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


What really like to comment on my students but I don't have the energy to fully say what I want to.
Alas, it's exam week.
It's going well in parts.
It's going shockingly bad in parts.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Some people have problems sleeping, others don't. I fall into the latter category. I have no problems, usually.

Although, I was really confused last night. I must start off by saying that I wasn't drunk or under the influence of any substances. Just tired. But, that was the problem. I thought that I just couldn't get to sleep. That I was awake and trying to get to sleep. In actual fact...I was asleep but it was a dream which was suggesting that I was actually awake and trying to fall asleep.

Weird. I was abit unsure of what was happening when I finally did wake up. After all, how do you wake up if you're already awake? or at least think you are.

I'm alittle bit concerned about what might happen tomorrow night.

Monday, June 05, 2006



Korea played in Edinburgh. Were crap and lost to Ghana 3-1. They were out thought, out muscled and out played. Not exactly the form of World beaters.

I did say it a few weeks ago that they would get knocked out in the 1st round and I still see no reason to change that view. In fact, I might even suggest that the Togo game is not as cut and dry as people may think. It's much, much harder to qualify for the World Cup from the African section than it is to qualify from the Asian section. Togo will be no mugs.

The view from this layman is that the Korean team are not playing the sort of formation based on the players they have at there disposal. They played 4-3-3 against Ghana. Ghana have a very tidy midfield. Strong, powerful and not lacking in ability. Korea just couldn't dominate. They don't have a natural 'enforcer', someone who will dictate the play in a Keane, Gerrard or a Ballack. Someone who can get dug in and makes things happen. It appeared that the Man. Utd bloke was in the centre of midfield. Great touch and pace but isn't anything other than a left winger. If they continue with a 3 man midfield, they will get over-run. Simple as that. But, they don't have a goal scorer, hence the 3 upfront. What to do? Increase your chance of scoring but get over-run in midfield.
'If you don't have the ball, you won't score' he said in his best Hansen-esque accent.

Also, the defence is suspect. Not the quickest and certainly less assured. That's why is seems strange to play only 3 in midfield. The defence needs protecting.

Perhaps, they should considering something abit more defensive. With there obvious speed, they can hit any team on the break. That's seems to me, how they might be able to do some damage. Otherwise, it will be curtains.

But, what do I know. Next week will reveal all.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Word of the week: 'Students'

Had quite a long discussion last night regarding them. Hate to generalise but... as Mr.Bill rightly pointed out, they have no common sense, are happy to cheat and generally do the exact opposite of what you instructed them to do. I'll get this in the coming week. The students who have missed the last 2 weeks will come to my class expecting class but finding us in the middle of tests. My question will be 'Where have you been for the past 2 weeks? That is how long the class has known about the tests.
You are the weakest link.

Phrase of the week: nothing was said by anyone at anytime.

Sight of the week: 'Peel'

That'll be my skin. Coming off at an alarmingly fast rate. Arm dandruff.

rant:abusive tirade of the week: 'Then again, too few to mention'

Not exactly true. Change 'few' and insert 'many'. I need a holiday.

Song of the week: 'Coming on Strong' by Hot Chip

Album. Still onrepeat. Quite something.

Hidden message of the week:the outside world is not safe.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


I'm quite interested in theoritical concepts at the moment. Think it's been brought by reading Plato's 'Republic'. It's hard going at times but certainly book that should be read at least one. More about that when I'm finished it.
Anyway, imagine if you had a bird /not the fluffy type/ but her family were not particularly 'in favour' of her relationship with you progressing, in fact, they actually indicated that it would be better for the bird if, in fact, she should break up with you.

1. Do you continue with the bird despite this.
2. Prove to the birds family that you are a decent, law abiding individual.
3. Punt her.
4. Go in the huff.
5. Have a slanging match.
6. Tell her you 'need time'.
7. Indicate that the family should let the bird decide what's best for herself.
8. Let it be known that you understand the family's point of view and that you will try to disprove their impressions.
9. Claim that the family are a bunch of knobheads and hint that they should look after their own affairs before commenting on others.
10. Do nothing.

Feel free to continue from 11.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Sometimes words aren't enough.


*nothing to do with me.

**if it's 'inappropiate' let me know and i'll take the pic down.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Finally, the time had arrived to head back to the Doctor in order for him to examine my rather itchy, dirty and sweaty arm. I had been feeling o.k. I was lifting with it and making of use of my limited mobilty so I was hopeful that my cast could come off.

Alas, it was. The X-ray looked fine and the doctor recommended that I could take it off. And that was when it got interesting.

I went into a small room and was asked to sit down. The Doctirs assistant then pulled out a hand drill. Strange instrument to pull out, I thought. The then took off the drill bit and replaced it with a circular saw attachment. It's amazing what you can do with a Black and Decker these days. And off he went. I was slightly nervous as he was really forcing the saw into the cast in order to cut through it. For a full minute or two, I neither moved nor breathed, my eyes fixed on some imaginary point at the other side of the room.

The cast finally came off. I was then instrusted to wash my arm. That is when my real problems started.

Since my arm had been immobile for a month, I had lost all muscle strength and I couldn't really lift my arm or anything. The cast had been taking the weight but no that it wasn't there, my arm had to take the load and it wasn't impressed. I was in some pain because of it. I thought that they had made some terrible mistake, that the bone actually hadn't healed. But, it had.

The rest of the day wasn't great. Little movement and aching muscles. Hopefully, after a few days, my arm can readjust to moving and lifting becuase right now, I can't do much. But, the weekend is close and that'll give me a chance to try and get some power back.