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Author Topic: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.  (Read 431587 times)

Offline englishrose

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A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« on: June 26, 2015, 11:04:11 AM »
Good day to you all. I thought we could have a thread just to jot down weird thoughts and ideas that may occur as the weekend looms and our leashes start straining.

I might as well start with my Eureka moment of 6 minutes ago as I listen to the atrocious sound of young kids learning to play the violin in the next classroom. People in Korea study English like they learn to play the violin. Genius!

Think about it. Nearly half the kids here study the violin. It's reached the point that the Asian kid who plays the violin is a cliché that Ivy League schools discriminate against them. So many people learn the violin yet no one plays it. No one mournfully plays alone on a rainy day. There are no violin stars in Korea. No one has ever made a party check list that goes; soju, pork belly, beer, assorted nuts and Minseok with his fiddle. Yet they are all next door to me destroying my peace with their futile caterwauling.

Hence my link with English education. I reckon the abysmal level of English in Korea despite putting huge amount of brains and effort in studying it is due to different goalposts. Very few people in Korea want to speak English. A handful at most. All of them want to be good at it though.

And so the kids keep running their bows across the strings and I keep showing them where to put their fingers. It's all so wonderfully futile. It's like I'm saddling a cow.

Anyways, what's making little circles in your brain right now?

Offline Nivea

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 11:14:18 AM »
My school has a orchestra. Each grade has an orchestra class. They are pretty decent. The music teacher is conductor for various orchestras around the province. He tells me his brother is a bass in a opera house in Germany (there are few Korean men in the company he mentions).

Anyway you are right but that's a fact of life in Korea.

Offline Timo

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2015, 11:35:17 AM »
Some good music for your Friday afternoon:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKYEYNX-Eug

Offline aklimkewicz

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2015, 11:37:37 AM »
I ate too much 돈까스  for lunch. As a foreigner I don't mind taking double the amount that everyone else does. But now I have a stomachache.  :sad:
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Offline orangeman

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2015, 11:39:49 AM »
Yeah, I think you're right and I think it's indicative of the whole education system (and larger culture) here.  Do something because you're told to do it, have no passion, desire or interest in it.  Just do it to the bare minimum of competency to pass some test and then throw it away and go on to the next 'task'.  Ask most Korean adults and they'll tell you their hobby is "sleeping".  There's very little done for pure joy or interest here.  Everything's a duty. 

Online CO2

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2015, 11:46:55 AM »
Grade 5 Lesson 7. I will (future verbs).

I will go to Busan this weekend. What will you do?

Sleep
Sleep
Sleep
Eat
Go to the bathroom.
방콕
방콕
방콕
방콕
방콕
방콕
Go to my grandparents.

It's a sad fact of life when a class of 30 students most exciting in going to their grannies house.

Offline country09

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2015, 11:47:59 AM »
I ate too much 돈까스  for lunch. As a foreigner I don't mind taking double the amount that everyone else does. But now I have a stomachache.  :sad:

Be happy yours was edible.

Online Imogen1991

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2015, 11:48:55 AM »
40 3rd graders learning the recorder in the next classroom to mine.

I don't think I'm gonna make it.

Offline orangeman

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2015, 11:51:54 AM »
Also, since this is pointless ramblings:

I have a facebook friend (who is really just an ex-co-worker, who would have been long forgotten if it wasn't for social media).  She's been pregnant for what feels like 2 years now.  I'm not just saying this as a joke.  I remember sitting on a beach on vacation in the summer of 2013 and first finding out about her pregnancy.  I found it odd that anyone would get her pregnant.  I looked, and apparently I'm not mixing things up.  She didn't already have that kid and is now having another one.  IT'S THE SAME ONE, as far as I can tell!  And she's been "just a few days away!" since about February, so even if I'm wrong your belly isn't giant and you don't pack a bag for the hospital starting in month 4 or 5.  She posts lots and I thought about blocking her, but I really want to see how this plays out.  She posts pics of her belly and the ultrasound and whatnot. She has looked ready to burst since Christmas.  Her close friends and family seem to be really supportive and excited on the messages.  Her bf/husband is has been putting together baby furniture and toys for over a year now. I just wonder if any of these people know how pregnancy works. 

I'm just really confused.  I've had several other friends who have tried to get pregnant, gotten pregnant, had the baby and are now sending that kid off to pre-school in the time this one lady has been carrying around her 'kid'. 

Offline ChickenLegsMcGee

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2015, 11:58:26 AM »
There are just some people that grinds my gears in Korea.

For about a year, there's been these two ajummas that I pass by in a narrow walkway on the bridge when I'm on my bicycle. They never hear the bicycle bell, so at first I used to just trail behind them until the space got big enough to squeeze by. But lately, they would realize to look behind them every now and then since they knew I was coming, and I would say hi to them. They smile at me and we all continue on our way with no problems. God they grate me.

Another problem I have to deal with is one of my neighbors on my floor. She occasionally brings me home-cooked Korean meals, and they always taste fantastic. The problem is I have to wash those dishes, and thank her for making it. Her kids are also very lovely, which just makes me sick.

Don't even get me started on the maintenance man.
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Offline pantsu

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2015, 11:59:43 AM »
OP might be on to something linking English and music education in Korea. From the various schools I taught, not all music teachers actually knew music and just followed the teacher's book, likewise with English.

Offline Lurch

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2015, 12:00:54 PM »
Now that you mention it, Korean English education is circling my brain.

Test time is coming in middle schools, and my co-workers are bringing me their questions to check them over for trouble.

The questions are awful.

They expect students to notice tiny, nitpicky grammar details in sentences that are already grammatically incorrect in far more obvious ways. On top of that, many of the questions are so ambiguous, I can't understand them until they explain that "that" is a conjunction in this sentence, and a relative pronoun in these other sentences, therefore that one is different and the correct answer!

Never mind that these students can barely write a coherent paragraph, they're supposed to be able to discern between a digression and a paranthetical statement. They're dismantling a concrete wall with a scalpel and tweezers instead of a sledgehammer.

It is literally the most inefficient method of learning a language I can imagine short of reading a dictionary.

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2015, 12:03:14 PM »
Last year during my after school class, there was a cello class in the next room, and as a cellist myself I had no idea what they were doing. The teacher did not lead them in any way, and the class was just all the students practicing on their own, which lead to a lot of awful sounding white noise. I mean, how could they hear what they were doing?

Offline AndyKanerva

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2015, 12:07:52 PM »
On this Friday I've been thinking a lot about my friends back home and, like Orangeman, I really just wonder what's up with their weird lives. Some friends I hadn't spoken to for years before I moved to Korea and honestly, it seems like they haven't aged or changed a wink since highschool. They are all still sitting in their respective mothers' basements, smoking bongs and playing video games. No major developments of thought or progress in life. I don't care what they DO, but they all still listen to the same bands, and think the exact same way as in highschool. It just really chaps my ass, since they are all smart guys who just got too caught up in a scene (the weed scene). I wonder what it will be like when I get home...
I also miss my pet chinchilla too much. I hardly miss my friends and family (very random things will get to me, like a song or even smell). But when I think of my pet chinchilla and my stupid little boston terrier/pug mix, I get instantly teary eyed. Is this the case for anyone else, or have I finally lost it?
Also, Sixto Rodriguez IS the perfect music for today.

Offline Dixie Wolf

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2015, 12:17:28 PM »
I've recently been mulling over the fact that one of the few things I really like about Korea is that I have no social obligations. I unwittingly cultivated very asocial relationships with all the friends I've made here, which is great. If I don't want to see them, I just don't and there's no drama about it. All my close friends back home would be really bleak with me if I told them that occasionally I'd rather mouth-breathe and stare at my hideous wallpaper than see them. I'm going to really miss that.

Offline Nick P

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2015, 12:18:06 PM »
Guys, there are just too many hotels in Vietnam.

Offline cjszk

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2015, 12:19:30 PM »
I learned today that some homeroom teacher I don't know, a Korean man in his 40s has been telling his students that I am a "loser." Racks up the count of people who I don't know in this giant school who hate me for no apparent reason.

Offline johnny russian

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2015, 12:23:33 PM »
Also, since this is pointless ramblings:

I have a facebook friend (who is really just an ex-co-worker, who would have been long forgotten if it wasn't for social media).  She's been pregnant for what feels like 2 years now.  I'm not just saying this as a joke.  I remember sitting on a beach on vacation in the summer of 2013 and first finding out about her pregnancy.  I found it odd that anyone would get her pregnant.  I looked, and apparently I'm not mixing things up.  She didn't already have that kid and is now having another one.  IT'S THE SAME ONE, as far as I can tell!  And she's been "just a few days away!" since about February, so even if I'm wrong your belly isn't giant and you don't pack a bag for the hospital starting in month 4 or 5.  She posts lots and I thought about blocking her, but I really want to see how this plays out.  She posts pics of her belly and the ultrasound and whatnot. She has looked ready to burst since Christmas.  Her close friends and family seem to be really supportive and excited on the messages.  Her bf/husband is has been putting together baby furniture and toys for over a year now. I just wonder if any of these people know how pregnancy works. 

I'm just really confused.  I've had several other friends who have tried to get pregnant, gotten pregnant, had the baby and are now sending that kid off to pre-school in the time this one lady has been carrying around her 'kid'.


Offline meepmoopimmarobots

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2015, 12:25:52 PM »
I don't understand why showing a movie to the first graders means "it's time to run around like ****** crazy."

I don't understand why my coteacher refuses to do her job in any way.

I really hate my school and I can't wait until I am 100% finished with this place as of August 13th.

Offline greenmind

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2015, 12:27:01 PM »
I just showed my kids one of the book's videos about time and Cinderella. And now it's just really bothering me! How did Cinderella just "accidentally" lose her slipper? The whole point was that the shoe was a perfect fit right? Well if it was a perfect fit then it wouldn't have slipped off as she was running away! Only a loose shoe would fall off as you were running! It's just really bothering me and I'm wondering why I never questioned this logic before.....

tl;dr Cinderella was actually quite cunning