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State of Affairs

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I’ve been a naughty blogger again. I know. I gave myself until the end of June to come up with a real and actionable plan for the future, and I’ve been busy making contacts, brainstorming, sketching and re-sketching plans, doing accounts, etc. I’ve picked up some more translation work and have more possibly coming down the pipe. Hooray for properly paid work — I think translators may actually be paid more money than the people who originally write articles, in most cases. Sad state of affairs, but it goes to show how little is thought of writing as a cultivated skill set. Writers are supposed to just be grateful to have their name put on something, while translators are often invisible and unacknowledged but at least paid.

I’m also working on getting my food handler’s certification, which I’ll be explaining more about soon, hopefully. I’m doing it in Korean, which would be a laugh a minute were I a sadomasochist. Nonetheless, I think I’m going to manage it. B, B’s brother and I have decided to take a cross-country bike trip at the end of the summer, too, so B and I have started a kind of lighthearted training to prepare. I’ve started pottery classes, as well, at a nearby studio with a teacher who is quite unique. He’s a high school dropout with a motorcycle who chats a mile a minute and doesn’t seem to realize I’m only catching about 70% of what he’s saying. His approach is decidedly laid back, which is why I chose him. He made it clear from the start that he only teaches basic techniques, and it’s up to me to guide myself through a lot of the learning process, but he offers unlimited studio time and clay and is there to answer any questions and offer critique and guidance. I was at the studio for five hours yesterday, when I’d only intended to drop by for a couple. It’s nice, after focusing on words and language for so much of the day, to sit and quietly work with my hands.

The studio is located in an interesting little alley that is full of other various kinds of studios — sewing, weaving, painting, topiary (?). The studio owners all seem to be friends, and several of them take classes at each other’s studios, and as a result, I’ve had the opportunity to meet other studio owners when they drop in while I’m working. At the same time, the neighborhood is still a neighborhood, with school kids calling out greetings as they pass and older folks sitting out in front of the buildings listening to music, singing and chatting. It’s peaceful. I like it there.

It’s a much different vibe from last year at the magazine surrounded by workaholics. Yesterday, the potter handed me his phone and asked me to take a photo, and before I knew it, he had whipped off his t-shirt and was standing there bare-chested and smiling. I thought, I’m an American. I can handle this. It’s not that strange….

Unlike at the company, where I would sneak cigarettes out behind the car park and hope not to be spotted by the editor-in-chief or any of the (male) company executives, because I’m a female, the potter nearly pushes me to join him for a smoke when the studio is empty besides us.

It’s comfortable, and it’s a side of Korea I need to experience after the competitiveness and backbreaking work with very little thanks of last year. The studio owners chat about being broke and receiving criticism for not having graduated university with a major in their field of work or at all, and how silly it all is, how the work is the work and either you do it well or you don’t. I’m not trying to be a broke artist, or an artist at all, but I feel more at home there, already. At the magazine last year, even the coworkers I really liked would regularly patter over lunch about who needed what plastic surgery procedure or who had gained or lost weight or who had a new car. It’s all fine — it’s part of life. But I’ll choose the seriously invested conversation about whether or not alien lifeforms will arrive on our planet within our lifetime any day, to be honest.

Whatever you’re surrounded by becomes your reality, I think even more so, in a foreign country, where you can’t help but scan for categories and definitions. I desperately needed to re-categorize my definition of Korea after the past year, and I think the simple choice to take up pottery making will go a long way there.

All of this aside, up until this week, the past couple of weeks in the kitchen have been extremely unpleasant. B and I have a hard time being middle class, despite our now middle class combined income. Last week, when B and I dropped by the pottery studio, B pointed to another studio up the road and said it was a good thing I’d found mine. I asked him what he meant. My pottery studio is an open-faced, unfinished building full of mounds of clay and discarded work. The walls are covered with primitive raw-wood shelving stacked with piles of unorganized pottery. The place he’d pointed at was a carefully refurbished shop with delicate displays of painted ceramics in the windows.

“You know, that place is all–” At this point he flapped his hands in the air and his voice went up several octaves. “— ‘Oh, so pretty! Look at me! I have a hobby!’ Your studio is –” He grimaced, and his voice turned guttural and low. “‘I’m an artist! I’m dirty!'”

“Did you just call me dirty?”

“…No.”

“At any rate, my main preoccupations now are baking and taking pottery classes. It’s kind of disgustingly middle class, even if the studio is a mess…”

“We’re not middle class. We don’t have a house or a car…”

“We are middle class. We’re just having a hard time admitting it.”

But I did reach my breaking point with one poor student-like condition last week. I will not continue to cook in our sweltering hot, unair-conditioned kitchen when buying a second air conditioner would not cause us the slightest financial distress. I drew a line in the sand with B and told him to pick a side — new air conditioner or wife on kitchen strike.

It should be arriving later this week.

At which point maybe I’ll get back to doing the business with this blog, although some of my current cooking effort is being diverted to other areas as well.

As a side note, I don’t feel right not at least acknowledging the massacre that occurred in Orlando on Sunday. It’s all the more heartbreaking as June is a month of safety, celebration and acceptance for many LGBT communities across the globe. What is there to say? I find myself at a loss, but I know that at the very least it is a moment to reflect on what is often considered benign “religious freedom,” and the kind of thinking and speaking we permit in our society under the guise of everyone having a right to their opinion. At some point, society has to come to a consensus that some opinions are morally wrong, and they can cause much more tangible harm than just hurt feelings.

Gun control, the US… I mean, fuck it. If we haven’t reached our breaking point by now, I don’t have much hope that we ever will. I never seen a people so stubborn as American gun rights advocates. With both hands plastered over closed eyes, they’ll run screaming through a gauntlet of evidence that change is needed, that something isn’t working, that some things are not worth the price they cost. I’m a Texan — I am outnumbered in my family by gun rights folk. These are people I love and respect and would die to defend. But they’re wrong. Unfortunately, despite not being stupid or ignorant people, there is still no event, no evidence, no argument, no explanation and no statistic or fact that will ever change their minds. I admire the people who take the time to formulate informative arguments for gun control, but I come from the heart of things and I know it’s no use. We’re just going to have to wait for another generation, if not another era.

In the meantime, my heart goes out to the LGBT community. It’s unwarranted hurt, time and time again. It’s ugly. And you better believe that as self-righteous as these kinds of people are, when it comes time to cross over, it’d be better for them if they were wrong about there being a god and a system of divine justice. I pray that I live to see the day when history books tell the story of how once, in America, gay people were shot dead, beaten in the streets, discriminated against, kicked out of their homes and exiled from their families, all just for choosing not to be excluded from love. Until that time, the rest of us will just have to love each other a little bit harder.

The post State of Affairs appeared first on Follow the River North.


Follow the River North
Followtherivernorth.com

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

Categories
Books & Stuff    Cafés & Shops     Korean Food & Ingredients      Personal     Recipes       Restaurants & Bars


ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You

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ESL-review-activity

ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You

If you’re looking for an ESL review activity, you’ve come to the right place! Got to Hand it to You is kind of like a quiz show, but instead of the teacher asking questions and the students answering, everything is on paper. In groups, students read the questions and then they have to fill out an answer sheet. It’s far more student centred than the traditional “ESL Jeopardy” game and as a bonus, students have to answer all the questions instead of every 1 in 20 or so.

Got to Hand it to You

Skills: Writing/Reading
Time: 5-30 minutes
Level: Beginner to Advanced
Materials: Question sheet and answer sheet

This is a group quiz/ review activity. In advance, you will need to prepare a quiz sheet with the questions and a blank answer sheet. If you will be repeating the activity with several classes, laminate the question sheets and reuse them. Each group will use one answer sheet, but you can give each student a question sheet or have the group share one or two. If this activity is for credit, be sure to include spaces for all group members to write their names on the answer sheet.

This ESL review activity is simple enough: each group races to be the first to fill in the answer sheet correctly and hand it to you. If there are errors, you return the answer sheet and the group must keep working. My rule is that I require groups to wait 5 minutes between me checking answer sheets. This prevents students from randomly trying to guess answers. When all groups have finished or time is up, review the answers together as a class.

Procedure for Got to Hand it to You:

1. In advance, prepare a quiz sheet with the questions and a blank answer sheet. Each group will need one answer sheet and at least one question sheet.

2. Have each group races to be the first to fill in the answer sheet correctly and hand it to you. If there are errors, they must keep working. Require that students wait five minutes before checking with you again in order to prevent random guessing.

3. When all groups have finished or time is up, review the answers together.

Like this Simple ESL Review Activity?

39-ESL-Review-ActivitiesIf you like this ESL review activity, we have good news for you! There are 38 more of them just like it in this book: 39 ESL Review Activities: For Teenagers and Adults.

Review lessons are often not liked by the students and for good reason-they’re often quite boring! But, they don’t have to be. This book will help you plan some fun, engaging and useful review lessons in no time. Check it out on Amazon today:

39 ESL Review Activities: For Teenagers and Adults

The post ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You appeared first on ESL Speaking.


Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea

Amazon
amazon.com/How-Get-University-South-Korea-ebook/dp/B00ORLRP2Y 

My Life! Teaching in a Korean University
eslteacherinkorea.blogspot.com

University Jobs Koreauniversityjobkorea.com

YouTube: youtube.com/playlist?list=PLL0Q8kr18oQIo12jZrwIUdnU4C6eJV5rK


 


The Complete Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial Launch

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Have you ever wondered how I create the cinemagraphs that you see on my blog or insagram feed? Now you can with my all new cinemagraph pro course. I will take you through my workflow using Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro and give you some sample videos to edit as well. Again, this is a complete course so I will not only show you how the app works on both the mac and iOS but I will also show you specifically how to edit for different subjects.

Enrol now in the Complete Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial and get a special discount from Flixel

Recently, cinemagraphs have been taking off and Facebook has even started integrating them into their platform. The Flixel team has been there on the front lines. Now is better than ever to get started learning how to make cinemagraphs with one of the easiest apps to create stunning HD images.

With this tutorial series, I show you just how simple it is to create these one-of-a-kind images. Cinemagraphs are great for getting more views and likes. Up until now, it was a difficult process to make them and even harder to export a quality GIF from inside photoshop. Using my workflow and Flixel’s Cinemagraph Pro, you can make your images come alive without having to fuss with manually creating layer masks and duplicating clips. I will show you how to make an amazing cinemagraph simply and easily.

As an added bonus, I am not only showing you how to create your own cinemagraphs but giving you a $40 discount for the Flixel Cloud + Apps yearly subscription! So that means if you want to take your cinemagraphs to the next level and get all the flixel apps plus storage then check out my tutorials and get the discount code at the end of the video!

Enrol now and start making eye-catching images that grab your attention fast than a photo and are more effective than a standard video.

Enrol Now for only $47!

The post The Complete Cinemagraph Pro Tutorial Launch appeared first on The Sajin.


The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan....

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The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan. It’s easy to get to by bus. It’s impressive inside and out. It has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks. Also, it’s a nice, cool place on a typically hot Taipei day.

Hours: Sunday - Thursday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30 am - 9:00 pm

Address: No. 221, Section 2, Zhishan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

Phone: +886 2 2881 2021


About 

Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.

 


The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan....

Printer-friendly version






The National Palace Museum is located in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan. It’s easy to get to by bus. It’s impressive inside and out. It has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks. Also, it’s a nice, cool place on a typically hot Taipei day.

Hours: Sunday - Thursday 8:30 am - 6:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 8:30 am - 9:00 pm

Address: No. 221, Section 2, Zhishan Rd, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111

Phone: +886 2 2881 2021


La Indomable… Mi primer Gran Fondo

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I picked up a bicycle again a little under two years ago. It had been a sabbatical of almost ten years, the time in between having been filled with various team sports, a few gym memberships and a mild interest in running. When I look back at my more youthful years now I recognise that I always had an affinity with the bicycle.

In the beginning there was the bicycle I learned to ride on, I remember the first ride with no stabilisers being on the road that led to the neighbourhood’s garages. Then there was my Raleigh NightBurner BMX that had red handle bar and top-tube pads that I loved, neglected (on arrival of a new mountain bike) and then cried over when I discovered that my Dad had given it away.

I clearly remember an image of the mountain bike that replaced the BMX being in a photo taken in our front garden, a Universal twelve speed in two-tone bright green and white colourscheme sat proudly against the garden wall. I was always jealous of my friends who flashed their fancy eighteen speed mountain bikes around, but that didn’t stop me from bicycle rides in the Devonshire countryside with them (or even sometimes my Dad on a Sunday evening) or racing around the local industrial park when it was abandoned at night or on a Sunday.

Finally there was a bright yellow mountain bike with Grip Shift gears that a work-colleague won in  Corona Beer sales competition at Tiger Tiger and which I immediately purchased so I could commute between work and university in my third year of university, and for a few more years after that. I distinctly remember blowing my nose after cycling home through traffic, along Oxford Road in Manchester, and a rather disgusting black, car exhaust fume infused snot always being dispelled when I got home. That bike was given away when I finally got my driving license, it was heavy and I was tired of it lingering unused in the hallways.

Almost two years on from the return of a bicycle in my life I find myself enjoying the whole experience, football, Ultimate Frisbee and running had left me with niggling injuries and pains, some that still haunt me today, but for the most part cycling just leaves me fatigued rather than being unable to walk properly on a Monday morning. My fitness levels are the best they have probably ever been and I have managed to ride across an entire country in South Korea, to the highest point in Thailand, as high as it was possible to ride in the Sierra Nevada and also a ride that encircled the Sierra Nevada. This means I feel there is more to give, so the logical advancement is more specific challenges, amateur races like Gran Fondos.

Earlier this year I picked out a local Gran Fondo, ‘La Indomable’ (the indomitable for those English speakers amongst you) a mass start amateur race that both begins and ends in Berja, a small town in the bottom reaches of the Alpujarras, a mountainous region that extends from the southern slopes of the Sierra Nevada to the Mediterranean coastline. I paid my entry fee, booked a hire car and over the following months upped my training schedule accordingly.

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Pre-race jersey and number collection

I drove from Granada to Berja on the Friday evening on the eve of the race, collected my competitor number for my bike and shirt before heading to El Ejido, a nearby farming town in the middle of the ‘plastic sea’ (Google it!) to rest for the night. The following morning my alarm rang at 06:00 and I showered, geared up and drove back to Berja. I put my bike together (small hire car…) and nervously made my way to the start line.

I waited patiently on the start line as in the region of 1,200 other competitors made the same journey along the start grid toward the start line. I had got there a little early before the scheduled depart and found myself about fifty bikes from the front, as the crowds increased behind me we gradually bunched up. To add to the nerves the inflatable marker that stretched above the start line lost power and collapsed on the riders at the very front and the guy that was immediately to my right suffered a dramatic hissing puncture despite not even having moved yet.

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The start line

Eventually the cavalcade of police cars, motorbikes, ambulances and race control cars ahead of the riders organised themselves and a flare was shot in the sky to signal the start. To my great relief I clipped into my pedals first attempt and we all rolled away through the streets of Berja. The mass of riders couldn’t pick up much pace through the town’s twisty roads, lined with locals clapping and cheering, but when we hit the main road the pace gradually built up and as we climbed steadily to a closed dual carriage way the pace lit up. The descent to the coastline and the ensuing 30 km along it set a frantic pace that didn’t dip much below 40km an hour and often crept upto 70km an hour. I somehow avoided a lost water bottle that sent riders scattering across the highway taking evasive action, but there were none of the serious pile ups that I had feared.

The road snaked inland towards Albunol where the first major climb of the race began to Alto del Hazo del Lino, 28km long and rising to 1,295m above the sea level that we had just turned away from. This was where I realised my true place amongst the amateur cycling ranks. I climbed at a solid pace for me, knowing there was still another 137km to go after the peak was reached, but I gradually dropped places to those who were lighter than me and those (who seemed to be everybody) who were riding carbon fibre bikes that were 2kg lighter than mine. Physics and genetics are a cruel beast, and when you are giving away 20kg+ to most Spanish riders because you’re 193cm tall you’ll inevitably lose time. That being said I had looked at the profile and knew that if I conserved energy now I would benefit in more suitable terrain later in the race.

Where the road forked near the top of the climb I reached the first feed station, which was essentially breakfast as I had failed to be particularly organised in the morning, and the riders would spilt in two, those on the full 197km ‘larga’ course and those on the shorter 147km ‘corta’ course. I of course was on the ‘larga’, being English.

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Pained face

The climb continued on for another five or so kilometres before a long twisty descent. The benefit of closed roads meaning all riders could enjoy the full width of the tarmac rather than the usual one side, which was fortunate as I flirted with the edge on a few misjudged hairpins. In the valley below the next climb began immediately. I had followed some of this climb the previous week when I had gone through Orgiva, Pampaneira and onto Capileira on a training ride. This time the route took a different direction after Pampaneira through Portugos and then onto Trevelez, the highest village in Europe at 1,480m (obviously discounting ski resorts) the climb peaking out at 1,537m above sea level and lasting a mere 35km…

It’s safe to say I shed a few more places but I also kept a steady pace, didn’t go into the red and as the climb went on the air, although thinner, became cooler. The summer sun was now blazing above and my biggest task was staying hydrated, I utilised a natural spring to replenish both bottles (the natural spring turned into a bit of a scrum as about ten of us descended on it at one time) and there was an extra drinks station halfway up where I could grab an isotonic drink.

Reaching Trevelez was a massive psychological boost, the two hardest climbs were in the books, the halfway point of the race had been bridged 13km prior to the village and the rest of the route was much more appealing to my physical strengths. In the centre of the picturesque village there was a food station, many riders were milling around the shaded tent where you could grab a bocadillo with some of the local ham as well as the high carb fruit, sweets, sugary coca-cola and refreshing watermelon.

After a quick stretch I was back on my steed and spinning out of Trevelez, a steady climb followed where I had my first conversation with another rider who had come down from a region not far from Madrid.We exchanged pleasantries and cycled together for a while reeling in some other riders before we lost each other on a descent, I didn’t see him again until the finish, he’d had a spill somewhere en route and one of his legs was bloodied.

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Looking a bit more relaxed

The profile of the remaining 85km of the race was much more suited to my strengths and I regularly reeled people in on both descents and on the shorter climbs which I find it easier to power over. At one point I had pulled back 98 places in the overall standings but somehow I lost 66 of those with time spent at the last feed station, with lots of people opting to ride straight through, on reflection I maybe should have just pocketed food items to go and not stood around for 5 or so minutes eating and drinking.

Some of the best roads were enjoyed towards the end, winding descents, lower category climbs and flying through villages where you were cheered on by spectators and locals enjoying cafe and bar terraces, I even felt quite emotional at one point, a combination of the unexpected support and the endorphins rushing through me. I particularly enjoyed the stretch through Lucainena and Darrical, a mostly single lane road precariously perched on a valley cliff face above the Rio de Ugijar that wound up and down. However I nearly had a big crash as I took too much speed into a corner, fluttering the brake levers as my rear wheel skidded and threatened to throw me into the cliff wall, I ran out of road and onto the dusty run off area and came so close to the rock face that my leg brushed the plants growing out of it as I let the wheels run and pulled myself back onto asphalt. If it had been on a corner on the drop-off side of the road I would have had to lay the bike down and take my chances on the asphalt.

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Going down, always the best bit

Despite this hair-raising moment I survived the course, the final stretch into Berja was along a duel carriage way, the last chance to reel in a few riders I could see further up the road but I also lost a place or two to some fast finishers. I turned off the carriage way and into the main high street towards the finish, one big effort to fly down the start/finish straight was abruptly ended at the finish lane as I was headed the wrong side of the timing beam. I had to slam on the brakes, skid and swerve to make sure my timing chip was registered. It was quite a comical end. I finished the 197km course in 08 hours 39 minutes and 55 seconds.

Following the race there was a race finishers meal in the Centro de Usos Múltiples de Berja of a plato alpajurreno, something not to dissimilar to a traditional English breakfast. They gave me a knife and fork but I didn’t have the energy to cut into my chorizo or lomo so I just used my hands. There was a presentation for the various overall and age group winners (not me), but I left half-way through to get ready to head home.

My overall impression of the event and experience was extremely positive, the organisation was far beyond what I had expected. The organisers really paid attention to detail and the services they provided from photographers and medical staff to food and drink provisions was impressive. Personally I took away a level of satisfaction of having completed the event successfully and now I have a position that I can look forward to improving on in my next event.

There are some links below to both my results, the route and the event:

http://www.cruzandolameta.es/clasificaciones/resultados/ii-marcha-cicloturista-la-indomable—291/informe/689/

https://www.strava.com/activities/605929457

http://www.laindomable.es/index.php



SIM cards are easy to get in Taiwan, and coverage and speeds are...

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SIM cards are easy to get in Taiwan, and coverage and speeds are great in well-populated areas. To purchase a SIM card in a store, you need to have two photo IDs. Your passport and another ID, such as a driver’s license.

The country has four GSM-network providers:

  • Chunghwa Telecom (Emome)
  • Taiwan Mobile (myfone)
  • FarEasTone
  • T Star (formely Vibo)

All other operators are on incompatible WiMAX or CDMA standard. 

I choose Taiwan Mobile (myfone), which is Taiwan’s second largest provider. You can get their prepaid starter packs at one of their service centers, or at the Taoyuan Airport (exit the arriving hall to your left side and you will see the Taiwan Mobile Service Center at this side of the hall). The airport store has limited hours from 8am-10pm, though. 

I bought 350 minutes of talk-time and 7 days of unlimited data for NT$900 ($27.78 USD). Service worked well in Taipei and Kaohsiung. 


SIM cards are easy to get in Taiwan, and coverage and speeds are...

Printer-friendly version


SIM cards are easy to get in Taiwan, and coverage and speeds are great in well-populated areas. To purchase a SIM card in a store, you need to have two photo IDs. Your passport and another ID, such as a driver’s license.

The country has four GSM-network providers:

  • Chunghwa Telecom (Emome)
  • Taiwan Mobile (myfone)
  • FarEasTone
  • T Star (formely Vibo)

All other operators are on incompatible WiMAX or CDMA standard. 

I choose Taiwan Mobile (myfone), which is Taiwan’s second largest provider. You can get their prepaid starter packs at one of their service centers, or at the Taoyuan Airport (exit the arriving hall to your left side and you will see the Taiwan Mobile Service Center at this side of the hall). The airport store has limited hours from 8am-10pm, though. 

I bought 350 minutes of talk-time and 7 days of unlimited data for NT$900 ($27.78 USD). Service worked well in Taipei and Kaohsiung. 


How Long Does It Take?

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Phelan M. Ebenhack—AP


I'm so tired. I'm so sad. The same terrible things keep happening to the same people, to different people, to MY people. I want to be positive, I try to stay hopeful, but for every wonderful story I feel like I read 5 stories of violence and hatred and just pure ignorance. When are things going to reach the tipping point? Or are we just going to destroy ourselves out of existence?

Sometimes I feel bad, because I'm just not capable of crusading and fighting on the front lines like so many of my friends are. I can't read the news every day. I can barely check Facebook. I want to be stronger, to be more resilient, but it's hard enough to keep my inner sadness and anxiety at bay without adding in politics, mass shootings, racism, and all the things I'm supposed to be yelling about. Is this part of getting older? Does it all accrete like the mercury that's apparently filling the fish we eat, does each exposure increase the reaction like my shellfish allergy until a single bite leaves me sick for a day?

I want to be angry but I'm tired. So tired. I've been angry about this for so long. I've written the words. I've shared experiences, educated the uninformed, and made mindful choices. I've learned from my mistakes and helped others to learn from theirs. But what's the point? Is it getting any better? I've believed in movements and hashtags and leaders, but everything disappoints. Every fave will eventually be problematic. Eventually I just don't want to hear it. There's a saying about ignorance for a reason.

Sometimes, I feel like a coward for running away to Korea. If you care so much about these issues in the US, why don't you go home and fight for them? My mom even straight up asked me why I'm spending my time teaching Korean kids when the kids back home need teachers too. HYDRA really is the perfect villain for a modern fantasy; for every injustice or world problem we begin to right, a thousand more appear to take the place. This will always be the case, and I'm sick of being criticized for not talking about the "important" issues, for not fighting the "right" fights.

I'm sick of all these false equivalency arguments. If you've ever looked at the internet or spoken to a human, I'm sure you've encountered them. For your reading pleasure, I will recreate one here:

Person A: Wow, I really hate how women in the US are slut-shamed for wearing short skirts.
Person B: Well at least you don't live in a totalitarian regime where you're forced to dress like a prisoner!
Person A: Um...yes?

Even better are the accusations of calling attention to causes that aren't "important enough," whatever that means.

Person A: Check out this article about teenage girls getting sent home from school for stupid dress code violations!
Person B: I can't believe we're so upset about this when there are people dying in [insert country] and no one is talking about it!!?!
People are dying EVERYWHERE. Bad things are happening EVERYWHERE. None of us is capable of caring about every single cause at the same level, and shaming people for trying to bring attention to what is important to them is just mean. If someone tells you they are bleeding, do you tell them that someone else is bleeding more, or do you give them a bandage?

I'm writing all this in the wake of the horrible tragedy in Orlando at the Pulse nightclub, but these feelings are nothing new. This is just the most recent tragedy. I'm not here to talk about gun rights or the US's lack of response to mass shootings. Other people have done that better than I ever could. I'm just here because I'm tired and sad I want to feel like someone is listening.

There are two main sentence structures I'm teaching my students this week, and seeing them on the board was rather poignant today. Or heartbreaking. The first is "What's up? You look upset." Yes, I am upset. I'm upset that the media is refusing to accept that the shooting in Orlando was fueled by homophobia. I'm upset that even after so many mass shootings we haven't done anything. I'm upset about the underlying political corruption that allowed that to happen. I'm upset and I'm angry and scared.

The other sentence, which struck me even harder, was "How long does it take?" How long does it take, America, before you realize that you have a problem? How long does it take for things to change? How long before we stop allowing children and parents and friends be killed for the crime of living?

How long?




Teacher Pretty
Middle school ESL teacher, lover of pink, eater of kimchi, addicted to Etude House, expert procrastinator, meeter of 2-dimensionial popstars: Ana. That's me.

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