TYPE B in TAIPEI, PART VI: Unintentional Phallic Artwork, and Other Hazards of Teaching

2015-10-12 16.01.23The word was necklace. It was a word I had introduced to my junior high students the previous week as we used a dialogue about a woman’s lost wedding ring to practice our speaking and pronunciation skills. The boy reached into the bucket of Pictionary words I’d created specially for this review game and pulled out the piece of jewelry one wears about the neck. I asked him if he remembered the word and he assured me he did. His teammates watched anxiously as I started the 1-minute countdown in which he’d have to draw a picture that they could then interpret correctly to give me the word. I yelled, “Ready, set, GO!” and watched his teammates for a raised hand. Then, after a few seconds, the entire class erupted in laughter. I turned to see what was so funny and discovered the boy, in a hurried attempt to draw a necklace with a small pendant had instead drawn what more closely resembled a penis with urethral opening. My wide eyes must have told him he needed to try again, which he did. Seconds later, more laughter–this time, he’d done a rather fine rendition of a vagina. Thankfully, his teammates were able to guess the word, and he was able to sit down without suffering any more embarrassment. In short, welcome to my life, friends. Continue reading

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THE KOREA KRONICLES, PART X: Seoul Patrol

At the PalaceWell, it’s happened you guys. I’ve been absolutely smitten by a city. Sorry, Daegu. A light load of kids this past week at the village meant all of the teachers got a day off work. Alyssa and I, we lucked out and got last Friday off. Hashtag three-day weekend, hashtag mini-vacation, hashtag awesome. You may not have read my post from a couple of weeks ago about the Week from Hell, but just know that I needed a break. Last week was a great opportunity to recharge and be reminded of the reasons why I like my job.

Most significantly, I only taught a grand total of seventeen classes—and bear in mind that my classes are only forty-five minutes long apiece. It was like, “WHAT DO I DO WITH MYSELF?!? LOL, JK.” Trust me, I can handle free time very well. On Thursday after we’d finished teaching, Alyssa and I hopped a cab from the village to Waegwan and, from there, took the Mugungwha-ho (slow train) to Dongdaegu Station, Daegu’s version of DFW for the national rail network.

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