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Unending Love by Rabindranath Tagore

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I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

About the girl

Hi, I'm Stacy. I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living and teaching ESL in Busan, South Korea. Busy getting into lots of adventures, challenging myself, and loving people. Something more than an ethereal will-o-wisp.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading.

Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, LastfmFlickr, and FacebookAsk me anything


ESL Speaking Games and Activities

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esl speaking games and activities
ESL Speaking Games and Activities

If you're looking for some solid ESL speaking games or activities for your classes, check out these posts over on my other site, ESL Speaking.

Small talk ESL speaking game- adults, beginner--->advanced levels.

Problem/Advice: Reported speech speaking activity- adults, intermediate--->advanced

Daily Schedule interview activity- kids and adults, beginner--->intermediate

Conversation Starters for ESL students- kids and adults, beginner--->intermediate

Role Play ESL speaking activity- kids and adults, beginner--->high-intermediate

Even more awesomeness, delivered straight to your inbox once a week. More than 40 ESL game and activity ideas, as well as lesson plans, website recommendations and other good stuff. I promise to respect your privacy and nobody has unsubscribed in weeks!

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My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

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Small Talk ESL Activity

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small talk

Small Talk ESL Speaking Activity

This small talk ESL activity is the perfect way to get your ESL students speaking in English. It’s ideal for a warm-up activity to start the class, or as a way to finish off a lesson on small talk. You can use it for beginners to advanced students-you’ll just have to adjust the length of the conversations.

The way it works is that you print off this grid, one per every 4 students.

Small Talk ESL Activity

Put students into pairs, with 2 pairs in one group (4 students total). The first pair chooses a topic such as “this morning” and must talk about it for 2 minutes (advanced), 1 minute (intermediate) or 30 seconds (beginner). The other team is the “timer” and can use their cell-phone to do this.

If the team can keep up a conversation about this topic for the full time, they get to mark that topic on the board with either an “X” or “O,” with the goal being three in a row, which equals one point. If they couldn’t do it, there is no penalty but they don’t get to mark that square off on the board (like tic-tac-toe style).

Then, the next team chooses a topic and the game continues.

For a short activity, the winner can be the first team with one row of three. For a longer game, continue for a certain amount of time (10 minutes is good) and the winner is the team with the most rows.

Like this ESL speaking activity?  39 more ESL games and activities, delivered straight to your inbox. I promise to respect your privacy.

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TOEIC Speaking Mini-Tests

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Here are some TOEIC speaking style tests that I’ve used in my own speaking exam preparation classes in order to do a pre and post evaluation of my students. They can also be used as very simple level tests for your speaking or conversation classes, if you’re required to do them by your school.

Sample TOEIC Speaking Test #1:

Read the following:

Are you a global company needing to deal with many foreign currencies? Do you find your bank’s exchange rates too low, and their service fees too high? Then take your business to Rapid Exchange. We’ll satisfy all your foreign exchange requirements with our one-to-one service combined with our always available online web page that includes instant rate quotes. We even pick-up an deliver your checks and drafts. Give us a call today!

Describe the following picture:

sample toiec speaking test

Sample TOIEC Speaking Test

Answer the Following Questions:

How often do you watch Television?
What kinds of programs do you usually watch?
Describe your favorite television program?

Some people prefer to take a job that does not pay well but does provide a lot of time off work. What is your opinion about taking a job with a low salary that has a lot of vacation? Give reasons for your opinion.

Lesson plans, ESL games and activities, and lots more resources. Sign-up for the mailing list.

Sample TOEIC Speaking Test #2

Read the following:

If you’re shopping, sightseeing and running around every minute, your vacation can seem like hard work. To avoid vacation stress, come to the Blue Valley Inn on beautiful Lake Mead. While staying at our inn, you’ll breathe clean country air as you view spectacular sights. With its spacious rooms, swimming pool and many outdoor activities, the inn is the perfect place for a vacation you won’t forget. The Blue Valley Inn prides itself on the personal attention it provides to every guest. The Blue Valley motto has always been “A happy guest is our greatest treasure.

Describe the following picture:

Sample TOIEC speaking test

Sample TOIEC Speaking test picture

Answer the Following Questions:

What is your favorite way to spend a vacation
What did you do on your last vacation?
What do you think is a good way for a family to spend a vacation? Why?

Some companies make donations to local charities and community groups. Other companies do not and leave it up to their staff to decide whether to make personal donations. Should companies donate part of their profits to charities? State your opinion and provide reasons for your view.

Free: More than 40 ESL Games and Activities

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Student-Centered Teaching

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student centered
Student-Centered Teaching

A request from one of my readers about student centered teaching in preparation for his interview at a Korean university.

I talk a lot about in upcoming book about No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking activities, which you can get for free if you sign-up for my email list before I publish it. Do it soon--the book is in the final editing stages and will be out in a week or two.

But, in the meantime, check out some of these posts I've done in years gone by about just this very topic:

Teacher Centered vs. Student Centered Classrooms

Grammar Teaching: Student Centered Style

Relative Clauses, Student-Centered Teaching Style

Teacher-Centered is Bad!

Hair did at Hwamiju

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Most of my friends are aware that when I'm stressed, frustrated, or bored I change my hair.  My Mom does exactly the same thing, and it always seems to make me feel a lot better.  Better to change your hair than eat your feelings, right?

I had tried to get my hair done at Hwamiju in Hwamyeong back when I first arrived, but communication was difficult (I didn't have a proper translator on my phone) and I went on a Saturday when it was pretty busy.  After trying out a salon in Seomyeon, which was nice enough but didn't do what I wanted AT ALL, I decided to give Hwamiju another shot.  My hair was pretty dark and damaged from the Korean hair dye I used, and I wanted to lighten up my look.  I had a photo of Olivia Wilde (well...a few) and my stylist decided to do some lighter ombre and highlights.

Upon arrival price was discussed and agreed upon, my bag and coat were taken, and I was given a key to my locker.  I was escorted over to the waiting area and was told it would be about 15 minutes.  I had no appointment, so this was great news!

I was given really delicious coffee and some ginger snaps, which was great because I wandered into the salon on a whim after work and hadn't had dinner.

With the language barrier I was a little worried, but I had a Top Senior Stylist and the assistant (who actually spoke some English!) told me I had nothing to worry about and that she would do a great job.

I had two people working on my highlights and was brought a pillow and a Vogue (which came with an apology for not being in English.  I'm in Korea...all good!!).  My stylist checked out my highlights, had my hair washed, and then asked if she could pop in some more highlights (included in the price) and if she could trim my hair.  She also made sure to deep condition my hair so that I would leave with soft tresses.  Always the perfectionist, she also decided to use a straightener to add a "natural wave" to my hair.  All in all it took about 2.5 hours, and I'm very happy with the results.  I now know that I don't have to leave Hwamyeong to be properly pampered! 

For highlights, a trim, deep conditioning, coffee, and snacks from a Top Senior Stylist the total was KRW 77,000 ($85.61 Canadian).  I don't know of anywhere in Canada where I could get that wicked a deal!

Da Jeon (다전) translates to ‘tea field’ in Korean, but it’s both...

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Da Jeon (다전) translates to ‘tea field’ in Korean, but it’s both a tea shop and a vegetarian restaurant. It has attentive service and great atmosphere. Da Jeon is located on the 4th floor, above WA Bar, behind the Seomyeon Lotte Department Store. You could get there from Seomyeon subway station (exit 1) or Jeonpo subway station (exit 5).

Hours: noon-11 p.m., Tues.-Sun.

Address: 240-12 Bujeon 2-dong, Busanjin-g

Phone: 051-808-6363

Google maps: link

Selfie with the PM

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Today I got to meet an interesting person and world leader!

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting Korea after his tour of China and Mongolia. He was greeted by Indians in Korea with a lot of enthusiasm and love.

All Indians and others were invited to view the speech of the PM at Kyunghee University auditorium. At first, the embassy had invited just a few of the Indians to a formal luncheon with the PM but seeing the tumultuous response from the Indians living in Korea, resorted to a bigger venue. The program was free of charge and all were encouraged to register with the embassy by sending an email.

The PM was scheduled to arrive at 1PM. But I reached the venue at 11:30AM. Over enthusiasm, i guess :) It was heartening to see so many saris and colorful salwars amidst the formal suits and volunteers. There were many shuttle buses to help us to the auditorium from the subway station. The sign in process and the security check was so smooth and easy. Only the wait for the PM was so long and exciting.

I guess I was expecting punch lines, double talk and drama (I blame the IPL for this). The speech made by the PM was more factual, clear, to the point and in Hindi. He insisted that the Indians in Korea learn from the technologically advanced Korea and implement in India. He asserted that implementing and educating people to have toilets in every home was a difficult task, but he was going to get it done. He maintained that India is the fastest growing economy and developing nation in the world and he would do more for it with his "Make in India" mantra.

The auditorium and the people
Free snacks, water and juice on the far end tents. Registration and confirmation at the entrance.  
Modi did a costume change between his arrival at the airport and his speech at the auditorium! 
Big screens on both the sides of the stage gave us a larger than real look at the PM

His talk was not motivating or engrossing but the auditorium was in pin drop silence until he entered with his entourage. 
Closest selfie I could get of the PM :)
Yay! Another selfie with the PM :)

S for- Selfie with the PM for ABC Wednesday

Training Day 1: A Terrible Afternoon at the Medical Center

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I know I said I wasn’t going to post this week because I’d be too busy, but my first day of orientation was a special form of hell that definitely merits a ventpost.

Part of training with my company (that shall remain unnamed) includes, on the very first day of orientation, a medical exam. I never expected that a job position as an English teacher would demand such a humiliating, physically draining medical exam.

For one thing, we were told to fast before the medical exam, so during the morning training session I wracked with hunger. That’s why it was physically draining. It’s no big deal for me to skip breakfast and be a little hungry, but something about the jetlag and the act of being in a completely foreign environment made me SOOOO motherfucking HUNGRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! I could hardly pay attention to the material we were covering!

Our training session went until 1:30 PM. Which seemed like forever to my famished mind. Then all thirty of us filed in a megabus together and went to medical center. Once we got there, we had to take off all our clothes and change into absurd pink outfits.  Here’s me, looking gross as fuuuuck!

This captures the awkwardness of the moment completely.
This captures the awkwardness of the moment completely. So hideous. So, so hideous. 

The medical center looked pretty slick on the inside. There were a series of rooms inside with corresponding beige cushy chairs. We all sat down together in those embarrassing outfits waiting for our names to be called. We had to see about six different people. And it took forever. The whole time everyone was starving and awkward, and the vibe of the group was (sorry guys) really not enjoyable. Everybody in the orientation group seems cool, and I’ve found so many people that I have a ridiculous amount in common with. But I’m definitely not a fan of get to know you conversations in the midst of a medical exam. So, if anyone from orientation ends up reading this blog post, please excuse any standoffish behavior on my part!

What was so humiliating about the exam, you ask? Getting weighed in front of everyone. Carrying my pee around in front of everyone. Getting my blood drawn and consequently freaking out in front of everyone. Yeesh.

What’s the bright side of this situation? My instructor and the other trainers for orientation were passionate and knew their stuff. The job still seems fun, and everyone I’ve met who is also going to Cheonan seems cool. And I finally got food today!!!!!! Potato chips!! A triangular rice thingy with mayonnaise and fish in it!!!  A coffee bubble tea!!!!!


otter eating

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