Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tuna Surprise!

The other day, Nana and I had a hankering for sushi, and while we've had some pretty good stuff at the U9 (a chain Japanese-ish restaurant), they always insist on bringing weird stuff with the platter, too. So we thought we would check out what appeared to be another Japanese place in our building (the pictures of raw tuna on the sign were pretty promising)--especially since our lunchtime success at a little sandwich shop downstairs had left us emboldened to try something else new. (I swear, the cole slaw and sketchy beef patty made it taste VERY vaguely like Primanti's. Oh, how I would kill for Primanti's!)

Anyway, the restaurant. No picture menu, it turned out--in fact, not much of a menu at all. Our dinner choices consisted of tuna, tuna, or tuna, sliced and raw, in various portions (the cheapest of which was 18,000 won per person). But, hey! We chalked it up to cross-cultural experience, sat down, and opened our collective wallet wide.

Now, the good news is that the food was excellent. After an utterly inexplicable aperitif consisting of one shot of cold whole milk, we had several different cuts of several different kinds of tuna (ahi, yellowfin, albacore), all very high quality, and thanks to some gesture-laden instruction from the server, figured out that we were supposed to dunk the tuna in either salt oil or soy sauce before we laid it on a sheet of dried seaweed (with a dab of wasabi, of course). She did not, however, show us that we were supposed to eat the resulting contraption with our hands, and no doubt got a good laugh out of whitey fumbling needlessly with chopsticks. Bonus: the tuna came with a creamy roasted corn casserole of some sort and a really tasty salad.

When the corn casserole was scraped clean, then, and the last bit of tuna devoured, Nana and I, very satisfied (but very much $36 poorer), stood to pay the tab, at which point the waitress all but shoved us back into our seats. To our utter and lasting horror, she returned with another heaping plate of raw fish! Which means that the 1-person, 18,000-won portion would have been plenty for us, in fact not much more than dinner for two at the KBBQ! Curse you, Korea, and your ban on two people sharing one plate!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Video Links

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video clip of sequential images must be the equivalent of War and Peace. Okay, maybe just One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. It's more than this blog, at any rate.
These are Korean news clips on the opening of APIS. They're a little old (that's my fault for not getting them up here) but now you can finally check out what our school looks like on the inside! And even more excitement, continuing his Korean megastar trend, Justin shows up on camera in the second one. I have yet to have a star turn here, but I remain confident that great things are in store.

The APIS segment here goes from 3:00-5:35 and doesn't show either of us, although you will see Shelby the math teacher and Colleen the science teacher. For the record, our principal is much more articulate in person.

The second one is a little bit harder to find but it's totally worth it because that's the one where you can see Justin gettin' his English instruction on.

Basically, ignore all the Korean and go to the BOTTOM link - the last NBS orange box that says 8/21 and then some Korean.

You can see Justin in the frozen frame when the APIS segment starts, at about 4:24, and then there's clips of our opening ceremony and some other teachers until you see Justin again at 6:25 and, less flatteringly, his butt (he's facing the other way helping a student!) at 7:10. And once again, I promise you, our principal is actually a really articulate guy. Not sure why the camera did that to him.
So that's what our classrooms look like! That's what SMART boards are! That's who are students are! Exclamation point!

BONUS KONGLISH NOTE (from Justin): In that second video, right after you see me (Justin), but before you see my butt, you can totally hear the voice-over say "miguk ibee leeguh," which, of course, means "American Ivy League."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Konglish quiz!

Just so you can see what we're up against.

Note: Unlike Spanglish or Germisch, Konglish doesn't refer to English-speakers mangling Korean, but to Koreans . . . not mangling, but . . . appropriating English words into their native tongue. And many of these appropriations are complete fabrications, or at least a total stretch. Example: "skinship," which, as far as I can tell, is the middle-school equivalent of "friends-with-benefits." Let me tell you, I had students who were appalled to learn that I had no idea what that word meant.

Reasons Why Being Married to the Social Studies Teacher is Awesome

1) Collaborative projects.

Seriously, we're having the eighth grade start a current-events/research-skills/media-literacy mini-unit on the (sadly waning) uprising in Burma-Myanmar (has that been getting as much coverage in the States as it has here?), and we're setting the seventh grade out on a research-skills/proper-citiation mini-unit on the Roman Empire. Not only is this going to be really cool for the kids, it will make meeting some of my standards SO much easier! Plus, we'll get to synergize a lot with our work.

2) The social studies teacher totally cute.