links i find vital

where it all started for me! (btw it starts off with like a min of music)
a seoul radio station interview about bssk
a bunch of interviews with black expats in soko
find family on facebook: Brothas&Sistas of South Korea

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

sample Lesson Plan

this is the lesson plan i wrote for my interview with aeon. feel free to use it, anybody.

Lesson Plan:Colors, Nouns, Human Simon

Routine Morning Greetings (2-3 min):
Daily- practice of general morning conversation/greetings. Teacher initializes routine morning conversation, “Good morning, class.” “Good morning, Joe.” “Did you sleep well last night?” “Yes, I slept fine, thank you.” “How are you today?” “I am fine, thank you.”
Review of Colors (1-2 min):
Review with the class colors. Use the items in the room, students hair, clothing, etc, as examples. Assessment activity: Point to an item and ask a student, or all the students, to call out what color it is.
Review of Nouns (1-2 min):
Review with class nouns. Use class posters and handouts for visual reminders.
Assessment activity: Ask some students to share what they saw on the way to class today- a bus, a tree, a bird, etc.
Class Activity (10-15 min):
Human Simon. The game Simon is where you are shown a color, and with each round, a new color is added, making a pattern. The student will then try to repeat it in the exact sequence; ie: red / red-blue / red-blue-yellow / red- blue-yellow-pink, etc. Have 2-4 students stand in the front of the class to compete. The teacher will act as “Simon” posting, and then flipping over, colored cards on the board. The students will go back and forth repeating the sequence until one forgets/messes up.
Super Human Simon. Same as Human Simon, but this time, with each color they are shown, the student must add a noun;
ie: red car / red car - blue bird / red car - blue bird - yellow flower, etc.
Encourage students to look around the room at objects and the example posters for nouns. Have the rest of the class write each “color-noun” phrase the competitors use, and act as a “buzzer” when one of the competitors gets the sequence wrong. Choose one of the “buzzer” students to stand up and recite the proper sequence, or have all the “buzzer” students repeat the sequence together. Then a new competitor can step forward.
Variations: along with colors/nouns, use a theme. For example: animals, fruits, body parts, etc. Or, have students play Human Simon, but they must recite and spell the color. Or, to simplify Super Human Simon the game, use a set of just 4 colors/nouns for the sequence, and repeat them.
Review (5-8 min): Have the students describe the things they will pass when going home that day

hey yo, Flo Jo!

Famous in the Far East

an African-American woman's experience teaching in Japan

"At a track-and-field event in Tokyo, I was one of only a few foreign spectators. I hadn't been there ten minutes when a screaming mob of young girls swarmed around me like bees, waving pens, notebooks and T-shirts in my face, shouting, "Sign, sign, sign!" I was petrified. Then it dawned on me that they thought I was an athlete. I couldn't explain in Japanese that I was only a spectator, so I surrendered." HA!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

knitting in korea

how very cool, there is a blog about knitting in korea! i took a workshop once and learned how to knit. simple knitting, i couldnt make a sweater or anything. i did make a hat once. knitting talk on daves. i dated this brotha once who said i was a "real sista" b/c i knew how to sew, knit, and crochet. yeah, ok... he thought he ws complimenting me, im sure, but i think instead he only showed his troglodytical manner. suppose he thought one day we'd marry and he'd have a wife that could mend his underwear and darn his socks? what catch i'd be! hey i only wrote this entry as a chance to use the word "troglodytical." i not sure if that's even a real word.
march 2007, i'll be in korea.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

in process

today i went to irc to see about volunteering. they have afterschool esl sessions with high school students, and morning esl sessions for adults, i start next week. my car is still broke down, so i think i may walk? it takes a little under an hour for me, but it's an easy hour b/c it's all straight road thankfully. i like the long walks, i talk to myself about my regrets, my accomplishments, my friends, my cats, my job, about what korea will be like. i can walk (working on my physical transition) to tutoring sessions (which works towards this transistion in my career). ah, that's kismet. march 2007 what?
march 2007 i'll be in korea.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

i dreamt my teeth fell out.

everyday i am on, or, or, reading about teaching abroad in korea...

I had a dream last night that i was brushing my teeth, and a bunch of my back molars cracked and broke off, i spit into the sink and i spit out blood and bits of teeth. then my canines and front teeth started to crumble, my teeth all brittle like chalk, i lost them all. i ran my tongue over my gums felt odd stubs where teeth used to be.

i googled the meaning of dreams of teeth falling out:"Teeth are used to bite, tear, chew and gnaw. In this regard, teeth represent power. And the loss of teeth in your dream may be from a sense of powerlessness. Are you lacking power in some current situation? One theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxiety about your appearance and how others perceive you. Sadly, we live in a world where good looks are valued highly and your teeth play an important role in conveying that image."

i think this dream is a manifestation of my subconscious angst that i wont find a job teaching abroad b/c i am black, i have locks, and im overweight. ive read stories (and who even knows if they're true?) about teachers who, once their employers see them at the airport, refuse to hire them, and teachers are left stuck. i've read about schools who hire based solely on your photo. i've been turned down by aeon and nova with no explanation even though i exceed all their qualifications. Yeah, im worried i wont find a job. thus this dream.

but now that i am aware of my fears, i am less fearful of them. sure, these obstacles exist for me, but that doesnt mean there is no opportunity for me either. Blaque, ever insightful, talked about the situation of the black man in the united states: you have obstacles all around you from birth, and although it is difficult, you can rise above and find a way to make a decent living. you just have to work harder... like always.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

this is working.

wow, ive gotten sooo many emails about korea! mostly recruiters galore, but for sure a fair share of schools. i got an email today asking if i could come to korea on the 20th OF THIS MONTH for a job. ive had at least half a dozen phone interviews so far. this is so great, i was so worried! Now I wish that i hadnt registered with so many recruiters at once, i cant hardly keep them straight. will i like kimchi? will i learn to like kimchi? im not one for spicy foods, but i would certainly try it. maybe it's not too spicy.
March 2007, i'll be in korea!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

i will have a job by march.

so i decided to use recruiters for my job search, i found a few reputable ones on but i've posted my resume up on job boards, too. i posted my resume on and hiteacher. i sent my resume to recruiters atc, worknplay, asknow, footprints, lingua international, eduorange, and etik. I had intended on sending to only one or two, but b/c im so nervous now about being hard to place b/c im black, i went ahead and sent my resume and photo to a bunch. despite the holiday, i got responses from a few, and a CALL last night! actually Blaque answered the call b/c i lent my cell phone to her and dont have it back yet. she took the message, said it was some guy left his phone number and email, and asked i contact him about an esl job. this is exciting! im sure i will secure a job by march. i know however that call may very well been a scam, ive read a LOT about that happening, but ive learned the basics: a recruiter wont charge you a fee, you dont send your original passport, degree/diploma, send no money, dont send your social security number, etc. its chuseok in korea right now, everyone is on holiday. Anyway, im feeling more prepared than 3 months ago. god this entry is boring. speaking of boring, don't click this link. hey know what???
march 2007, i will be in korea.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

random things about me

random things about me that have nothing to do with nothing.
  • i fear no one.
  • i cry easily.
  • im a terrible driver.
  • i always use the cross walk so that if anybody hits me, i can sue.
  • my favorite sound is raindrops on rooftops.
  • i had my first french kiss at age 16.
  • i dont like vanilla pudding b/c i think it looks like phlegm.
  • i've often been told that i sound white over the phone.
  • sometimes i smell my fingers like mary katherine gallagher.
  • my favorite book is Anthem by Ayn Rand.
  • i didnt have my first alcoholic drink until i was 23.
  • i used to only wash my hair 1/2 or 1/4 at a time b/c i didnt like to have them all wet at the same time. i had locks, and when wet, they were very heavy and took a day to dry.
  • my favorite chocolate is dark chocolate, but my favorite candy is Almond Roca.
  • when i was 25, i lost 68 lbs in 5 months by fasting. A year later, I had gained 85.
  • i dont like flowers as gifts b/c i think about how they died as soon as they were picked.
  • i started my period at age 11.
  • the first time i remember being in church was when i was 19, i was dating the son of a preacher.
  • korea will never profit from my hair b/c i keeps it natural.
  • i didnt start using tampons until i was 25.
  • my favorite smells for perfume or cologne is anything citrus: orange, peach, lemon, etc.
  • i didnt learn to swim until i was 24, when i took a beginning swim class in college.
  • i dont like porn, but i do like hentai.
  • i have an abnormal attachment to my pet cats and secretly hope they die before i leave for korea, b/c i dont think anyone will be able to take as good of care of them as i do.
  • i didnt learn to ride a bike until my boyfriend taught me. i was 25.
  • i dont like bananas, but i love banana bread.
  • i am afriad of dogs.
  • i can type approximately 72 words per minute.
  • i dont cook b/c my mother tried to teach only me, and not my brother, when i was young.
  • i was 18 the first time i had sex.
  • i am one inch taller than my on-paper husband.
  • i cry every time i watch the movie spirited away.
  • i cut coke zero with water b/c i drink so much of it.
  • i was baptised catholic but i dont really practice any religion.
  • in my early twenties, i had my nose, ears, tongue, nipples, and navel all pierced, some with multiple holes. now i wear one earring in each ear and occasionally a small stud in the nose.
  • my favorite fruit is cherries.
  • post high school, many former classmates told me they thought i was gay.
  • i never litter.
  • i've smoked marijuana less than 5 times my entire life.
  • i dont like spicy food, but i love wasabi on sushi.
  • if im walking and there's a van parked ahead of me, i cross the street b/c im afraid that the door will slide open and i'll be abducted, anally raped, and murdered.
  • i will never eat white chocolate, b/c i think it's weird that it's white.
  • my favorite pizza topping is pineapple.
  • i never go to taco bell b/c im from southern california where there's a Roberto's on every corner.
  • most of the time, i dont answer my phone. just b/c.
  • at age 30 i was on my 5th car.
  • i dont like that smokers leave their cigarette butts just anywhere.
  • i dont want to have children.
  • my favorite show was Buffy the Vampire Slayer, even tho i thought it was blatantly racist.
  • i like my nails to be polished blk w/white tips or white w/blk tips.
  • my favorite online expression is owned.
  • sometimes it's spelled pwned.
  • or pwn3d.
  • i love yoplait non fat strawberry yogurt.
  • my favorite mcee is jean grae.
  • i hate it when white people touch my hair.
  • i think don cheadle is hot.
  • i took a written test when i renewed my driver's license and i got every question right
  • i want to eat vegan, but every so often i have to have a hamburger.
  • i dont like to hug or shake hands. ever.
  • i love the way the streets smell after it rains.
  • at the bar, i only drink hard liquor. i never developed the taste for beer.
  • i like to eat raw red bell peppers like apples.
  • i dont think pomegranates are worth the time it takes to eat them.
  • i want to spend my money on stuff like this.
  • i dont follow sports, but i like sports movies.
  • brad pitt is hot, but johnny depp is forever.
  • it tickles me that i can use chopsticks and my mom can't. ha!
  • i only use ob tampons b/c i worry about the environment and how applicators are wasting space in landfills.
  • when i was about 12, i set my hair on fire b/c i wanted to know if hair burns.
  • i like men w/a little facial hair.
  • i always use proper spelling and grammar, even when txting on the cell phone.
  • i hate cold weather.
  • sometimes if im reading something "classic," i'll concurrently read the cliff notes.

Monday, October 02, 2006

oh blessed white saviors

uhm... so, i dont really get caught up on forums. i used to read on Lost the Series forum (yeah, so?!), and learned about trolling and sock puppets and flaming, and wow people really take things personal/out of context. communication is so funny... our word choice is so important, b/c once feelings get poked, people will only turn what you say into an attack and refuse to learn anything from it. for instance, i was on on a forum about african american teachers in korea. a woman was venting that she had trouble finding a job. most said, "color is an issue here, but keep trying." I think that's great advice, honest, straight forward. but then a couple of people, these white saviors, swoop in with their brotherly advice for her to NOT come to korea. you know i had to say something...

from Yo!Chingo (bold & italics mine): I'm quite white and I get stared at constantly in and around Seoul. I thought that I'd get used to it, but after a year it still makes me uncomfortable and squeamish. If I was black there is no way in HELL i'd come here to teach unless I was making mega bucks ,and I was exceptionally thick skinned. Many times I've mentioned Africa in my classes in some context and the automatic responses are dirty comments or the making of apelike gestures. That's highly offensive to me and it's not even directed at me. My advice would be to find a more progressive country like Japan to teach in. Good luck to you!

from me to him (after i made one post telling the girl that her color is an obstacle, but not an impassible): big friggin deal. perhaps koreans will discriminate to your face, as opposed to the states where they do it behind your back... we still know they're doing it. no difference. once again, being black doesnt stop us from doing a got-dammed thing. jaundice, my advice is keep applying, there is a job out there waiting for you.

and then from me again, 10 min later b/c im so very passionate:*sigh* im sorry, Yo!Chingo, but this is really making me mad. my apologies, my anger is not directed right at you and i dont mean to target you. but good lord, white esl teachers have to deal with stares for a year? so what? you cant know what its like to have dealt with stares and comments your whole life, and to continue to deal with it for the rest of your life. having it done behind your back, to your face with backhanded comments, by your boss, by your school mates, by your so called friends who swear they dont see color, having it done in political policy creating obstacles to obtaining unity or financial independence, it is just as bad, worse even, as someone calling you monkey to your face. personally, i am forgiving of foreigners who discriminate, b/c i am a guest in their country, and perhaps they've had little to no exposure to black culture. i am not tolerant of it here in the states, b/c this is my home and i should be able to do whatever the fvck i want. everybody who reads this, please for the love of god, STOP ADVISING PEOPLE OF COLOR TO NOT GO TO KOREA. we KNOW our color is perceived as a strike against us, ok? we KNOW it already. we learned it back home a long, long time ago.

from duloz:Why are you knocking yourself out to get here? Don't obsess over this palce. If you want to teach ESL, join the Peace Corps, get a master degree while you serve and then work for the State Department with your hiring preference.

from me:*sigh* i only meant to express that i think white people shouldnt advise people of color to not come to korea. helpful advice is one thing, "So&so, there is a lot of discrimination here," i appreciate, but saying "dont come to korea" or "go to japan, they're more tolerant there" or "yeah, black people couldnt handle this, b/c im white and i cant handle it sometimes," i am saddened that you dont find that a little insulting. forgive if i come off as obsessive. but if i want to come to korea and go the hagwon route, then i can try if i want to. b/c im black, i should have to join the peace corps, get my masters, and find a place that maybe tolerates black people a little more? do you hear yourself, dulouz?forgive if im passionate. its frustrating, and we dont keep our mask on straight all the time.

from duloz, who didnt hear a goddamn word i said:ESL is largely a bad career choice. Its unprofessional employment. I can say that because there are plenty of threads that refer to these jobs as McJobs. They are. These people are not real teachers. We don't assign grades, nor make real curricula, nor participate in the students' longitudinal growth. We make the cash registers go ka-ching and then leave town before the parents can really figure out what has gone on. Long term involvement here is not a good idea. There a few people here that have legitimate careers but most of us do not. The public school teachers have more comfortable accomodations but still they are in a postion not knowing if they are having any real effect in learning. Life here is an opiate. These jobs for many of us here are easy to get but many times I wish they were not so. Its the same stuff every year and there is no growth. I would not give advice to anyone that I would not give to myself and as we speak I'm waiting form peace corps app to get approved. I have 10 years of fed gov't employment and that all applies to the 20 year state dept retirement. If you are young and have a degree, I'd recommend the military as an officer. Thats not bad but its still pretty dull. If you like languages, they always need more language workers. I think you just need a job right now and that plane ticket and $500 a week plus housing looks really really good. Yea well, I can pee most of that money away quickly and the apt is really really small. It aint that great.

i didnt respond, b/c im seeing that people do that thing again, about taking things as an attack, dont see your apologies or explanations. i instead put a post suggesting the original poster take another photo to send with her resume, one in business attire and flattering light. i end my post asking others what their photo looked like when they were job hunting.

from Yo!Chingo (bold mine, and really pay attention and compare to previous bold):It seems that you've had some unfortunate experiences in the States. I feel sorry for you, but I simply told the OP what I'd do. It's their choice to come to this country, but shouldn't they know what they're getting into b/f they do?!? BTW getting stared at is horrible for someone (like me) with a touch of social anxiety disorder. Being in Korea is at times torture for me. I'm also sorry that you feel being a minority makes you an expert on other people's experiences in Korea We're all minorities here. (he inserts a "rolls eyes" smilie here)

from me, this time really reminding myself that some white people just arent going to listen: my apologies that you got nothing out of my posts aside from my personal frustration. this will be my last response related to color on this particular forum. i've expressed what i wanted to, i've nothing more to add.

fuuuuuuuuuck! people are so goddamned selfish! fucking selfish, egomaniacal, self-involved assholes!! where the fuck did i say they couldnt talk about something b/c they're white? how you gon' talk about "im telling them what they're getting into" but advise her to NOT EVEN TRY. nah, man, you DONT know. and how the FUCK this guy gon' talk about "im so thick skinned, and i cant take the stares" and then go straight to "oh, you meanie, dont make fun of me b/c i have social anxiety disorder!" im not racist, i dont see color, im so progressive! if the discrimination bothers me, it must be so awful for those poor black people! ... selfish. SELFISH fuckers. the world is so much bigger than you all, idiots. see outside your bubble, it aint all about YOU.

anyways, March 2007, i will be in korea!