Archive | September 29, 2011

Quotidian Pohang

The momentary thrill of drinking can end your happiness forever.

Banga Waeyo!

I started taking a Korean class at one of the colleges here. Most of my fellow students are exchange students from across Europe and Asia. (It’s fun being in a class where the Austrian guy makes an “oh la la” joke about the French guy.) Another student is the wife of one of the school’s visiting professors, and the rest of us (three including myself) are Public School English teachers.

Let me first say I am lousy at languages. If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you’d have noticed I can barely speak English with ease and it’s my native language. I’ve screwed the pooch in every language class I’ve ever taken.

But I’m making the effort here, because I consider myself better organized than at those times. I know what’s in store and I have a grasp of what I need to do. It doesn’t mean I do it. I don’t study everyday like I should, but it’s better than never, which is an improvement. I’m also living in the culture and living with a native speaker so I’m learning in a different environment (not to mention it’s the only class I’m taking).

One positive side effect is it’s making me approach my own teaching differently. I can see the why behind some of my students’ mistakes and possible ways to explain tricky pieces of grammar to them by relating it to something in Korean. So overall it’s a net plus, even if my brain feels a bit more fried than usual.

Another side effect is I keep trying to form a narrative out of all these examples and illustrations in the book. The main character is a vapid umbrellaless American named Andy who travels across Korea asking women questions with all the blond-haired charm of a rather boisterous but earnest puppy.

Banga waeyo, Andy-si!