Skip to Content


Beijing: 10 For the Weekend

Click to view slideshow.

[Click here for more photos of Beijing.]

If you have never been to Beijing then it’s time you went. It’s true it can be very polluted and overcrowded, but it is just one of those places you have to visit before you die. You’ve got the Forbidden City, Great Wall, and a number of new cutting edge buildings going up. Not to mention China is about to take over the world.

“Ayyy Girl” Made Worse by Mr. West

So today I planned on posting on some thoughts I had over the weekend, but something better fell into my lap whilst desk warming at the J.O.B.

American colleges and graduate degrees

Scientific American has a long and thought provoking article about the hierarchy of teaching professionals at American universities. Actually, the article appears to be excerpted from Higher Education: How colleges are wasting our money and failing our kids and what we can do about it.

Here is a list of the hierarchy of contingent faculty, with further details at the link:

Instructors and Lecturers

visiting Faculty -not the celebrity kind


Teaching assistants


The news is grim for these contingents or temps:

Busan Blog Love

In a quest to get more eyeballs looking at my K-blog scribblings, I requested to be added to the Korean Blog List website. It took the bastards almost a month to add me (some bullshit about them needing to make sure I post regularly) but they finally did. Am I jumping for joy? Not quite, but I have gotten a few more hits from the link so I can’t complain much.

A day in the life…



First alarm goes off.  Hit snooze.  Second alarm goes off.  Hit snooze.  Third alarm goes off.  Hit snooze.


Roll up out of bed to put on water for coffee and check the interwebs for news from the other side of the planet.  Find that not much has happened since 8 hours prior during the last check.  Get on Skype for a chat with Mom, then put down (at least) one full french press of black coffee.  Kill another hour mindlessly meandering social networks and travel articles on the laptop.


Korean Pajong

Octopus pajong and mek-ju at a plastic picnic table in the mountains. Mmmmm...

I like the Donga Ilbo

But seriously, Tweeter? (My bolding)

Paperless teaching at ChungKang College

The Joongang has an article describing ChungKang College’s plan to ride a fad to fame use iPads in all aspects of their education delivery.

From the article:

The university said yesterday that it will start the “i-College,” a system of education featuring the use of the iPad, starting next year. The university said the system will be used in all aspects of education, such as homework assignments, lectures, the submission of homework, test-giving and student evaluations.

The goal is to improve communication between students and professors and make the relationship more interactive.

It’s interesting that they are using a platform that is almost entirely new to Korea, but i definitely applaud the idea.

tools for writing analysis online

As a conversational (sometimes controversial) English teacher in Korea, I don’t see a lot of writing.  What I do see is short and simplistic.  My students see more writing from me than I do from them, I think.  Huh, I should look into the volume of written input vs output…

At the Six Things Blog, Lindsay Clandfield lists six writing analysis tool available online.  Four of them are mostly for entertainment value, “Which famous writer you write like”, but one is a ‘vocabulary profiler‘ and another is a ‘text content analyzer‘.

Feral Cats

A co-worker recently posted a notice in the office of a baby cat near his apartment and asked whether anyone would be interested in taking it home.

I love animals and grew up with there always being a dog or a cat and often both in the home.  Yet, I didn’t even bother to bring the subject up with my wife.

If we opened our apartment to cute little furry critter, we would do it again for the next and the next…

I honestly – and sadly and despairingly – wonder if poison or traps or other lethal tools should be used to clean out the feral cat populations in Korea.  I guess that in Busan they are doing no harm – I am sure I could think of some way they might be- but the constant sight of them just fills me with pity.

For lack of a better word..or any words, for that matter.

I am a little worried that one of these days I will get a knock at my door to deliver notice of fine for all the banana peels I throw out my 8th story window.  The thing is, I wouldn’t know it if I were holding it in my hands anyway, so I continue to throw them out to avoid the evil little fruit fly infestation around my college dorm room style trash can.    I received an unintelligible notice about a month back, which after staring at quizzically and in slight frustration for a good while, decided to snap a camera phone picture of and send to a Korean friend.  My hope in this was to dodge bringing the mystery notice to work for translation in fear it may be in respect to my garage can window (only biodegradables, of course)

Sexual Soju Korea

I would like to welcome myself, once again, to the 21st century.  I just uploaded my very first YouTube video!!     …Wooooooooow.  Since I don’t yet have the capability to upload videos directly onto here (because I am too cheap), I will prompt you to click the link below if you would like to see it.  As they say in Korea, it’s “nothing special”, but I found it rather hilarious at the time.  Enjoy! 

–Click Me–


Letter of intent

I was asked by my university about my intentions for the new year:

Your committee work record form and letter of intent are required for your 2010 evaluation.
Thus, please submit them to the office by
Monday, October 11 (6 o’clock)

1. Letter of intent (Re: renewing your contact)

things i’ve been seeing a lot of lately

fires. there have been three in the general vicinity of my house in a week. today, there was one just a few blocks away from my apt. haeundae arsonist? it all started with this one last sunday at songjeon beach.

For-pay fire department lets non-subscriber’s house burn.

I had lunch with a fellow blogger and he kindly described my blog as eclectic.   That was much kinder than scattershot, or without-a-focus.  His blog, by the way, has razor focus and thousands of hits per day.

I’m still trying to find my way in Busan.  I was comfortable in Gangwon and being Gangwon’s premier blogger (woop-de-doo!).  Do I need a niche or a specific focus for this blog?

To continue my eclecticism, let me discuss a Salon article that has nothing to do with Korea, or Canada, or the environment or anything else I normally cover.  In a Tennessee town, the fire department is subscriber-funded.  Subscribers pay $75 a year for the department’s services.  One man did not pay and when his house caught fire, the fire department stood there and watched it burn.

NEW! The fat kid, a man on a ladder and smut.

Don’t burn the Koran…D’oh!

This afternoon I listened to a BBC World Service interview with Rev. Terry Jones.*  He had publicized a plan to burn many copies of the Koran on Sept 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.  Eventually, he cancelled the event, saying that in simply planning the event, he had generated enough attention to the issue of militant Muslims.

Cabbage and frogs

I’m back early from a trip to the farm.  Yesterday, I helped weed a cabbage patch.  It was a great job, because I was given a sharp hoe and could stand most of the time.  I just reached under the cabbage and scraped the soil around the side, scything several weeds down.  There were some bugs in the weeds and a few leaves looked well-gnawed, but the cabbage had defenders as well:

The Hominid and Mohammed

The big Hominid recently had a post about cartoonists being threatened with violence for drawing Mohammed.

Those Muslims had a choice: set fire to Danish embassies or protest in a civilized manner. They chose the former, and should be held accountable.

I, for one, side with the cartoonists. No one should live in fear of reprisal for their religious irreverence, and anyone interested in fairness should recognize that, if it’s permissible to ridicule Christianity and Christians– routinely and relentlessly– through written satire, cartoons, etc., then it’s permissible to do those things to other religions and their adherents as well. That’s how fairness works.

Want to know about religion? Ask me

Via blogs and news reports too numerous to link to them all (here is the New York Times on the subject), The Pew Forum ran a survey entitled, “How much do you know about religion?”

The result was that atheists and agnostics knew the most about religion.

As for me, according the New York Times quiz – six of the original 32 questions – I did great 6/6.

According to the quiz the Pew Forum- 15 of the original 32 questions-I scored better than 97% of the public. To brag even more, here is the screen shot.

Road to Namhae

Tuesday, early as hell AM.

It was 5:45; the earliest I had been up in years and it was still dark when I left the apartment.  I arrive at the bus terminal for the second time in 12 hours to try to snag tickets in the midst of the busiest holiday in Korea.  I was accused of lunacy the night before for waiting till the day-of to purchase tickets.  You can’t get tickets in advance anyhow, and I had already promised all my friends I had it in the bag, just meet me at 9:15 at the terminal.

The East Sea will get very salty

Or so claims the Donga Ilbo.

In an article titled “East Sea to Turn Into ‘Dead Sea’ in 100 Years: Report“, the writer seems to have mixed up “Dead Sea” with “The Dead Sea”.

From the article:

Japanese researchers say the East Sea will turn into an oxygen-less body of water like the Dead Sea in 100 years, the Japanese daily Mainichi Shimbun said Tuesday.

“The Dead Sea”, of course, is in the Middle East and has a huge salt content that is lethal for any fish that wanders down the river into the Sea.  More here.

songjeong beach and yonggungsa temple

i’ve been wanting to go to the beach temple since the week i got here. last week, i finally made my way out there. there was just too much wonderful stuff there to even photograph it all, not to mention everything that can’t go in a photo — the smells of the incense everywhere, the cooking bean paste cakes, the steaming pots of tiny sea snails and silkworm larvae that they served for snacks. missing, too, is the sound of buddhist chanting and wooden sticks clanking, the sea pounding the cliffs on which the temple’s situated. still, i did my best.

It’s his honesty I’m concerned about.

A fellow Canuck, a Mr. Kokoski, has written an opinion piece in the Korea Times about Pope Ratzinger’s visit to the UK.  He has many kind words for the Pope and all of them may well be true.  However, we can find good points for most people.  The way the Pope is unwilling to take responsibility for obstructing justice for children molested by RC clergy is enough of a negative to make all Kokoski’s  points irrelevant.

However, even if I wish to stick to the Pope’s UK visit, there is plenty for room for concern.  The Pope may be, “…a man rich in spiritual passion, humility, self-denial and love for the cause of God and of man. ” but still be a liar.

rural rooftop solar energy collectors

My understanding is that the warmth of the building extends the growing season somewhat for these squashes.

jeju, days three and four

when they said to get to mount halla early, we didn’t think they meant 9 am. so we missed a 7 hour round-trip hike up a dead volcano. but we had a nice little stroll through the woods, where people like to pile rocks.

it was a lazy day for photos.

jeju, days one and two

chuseok finally came, which meant i had to go

to jeju-do.

along with a visitor from the West.

My presentation at the Local Kotesol Meeting

Yesterday, I discussed ‘Creativity in the classroom’ at the Busan-Kyeongnam branch of KOTESOL.  My talk went for about a hundred minutes and I am mostly satisfied with it.

I posted about the upcoming meeting a week or so beforehand and mentioned that I was nervous about it.  I can say now that I was indeed nervous, very nervous, for the first few minutes of my talk.  Teaching students now seems comfortable.  Speaking before my peers remains, well, less comfortable.

chuseok party!

i know it’s about time to stop posting only pictures of the kids in my class, and i promise this will be the last one for a while (i’m going to jeju island tomorrow!) but omigod, it was chuseok party today!

all my kids dressed up in traditional korean hanbok and bowed to the teachers.

the many faces of kelly

more photos of this week upcoming, but for now, you get this treat. click for a full-size version.

Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group