im just one person. for more soko info, please check the fb group BSSK, focused on expats of color

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Subject: it's snowing!
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 10:06:55
dear mom and dad,

we had our first snow here last week. it's so strange, i KNOW it's snow, but i still only see ash. i look at the piles of snow on the ground, and i see piles of cotton. my mind just will not accept that there's a world outside of san diego where it gets super cold.

this week is the end of my 3rd term with my job. one more term and my contract will be finished. time flies! we'll have a few new teachers coming to the staff, and many leaving.

my friend mayma (the sister from new zealand) is leaving the school, her contract is finished and she's moving on. the other day she and i were having lunch. we were eating chicken, and she scoffed at me for leaving so much meat on the bones. :) mom, i remember you'd get mad at me about that! felix scoffed too, when i had lunch with him weeks before. in fact, i remember on my second trip to ghana, my friend lomotey and i were eating chicken, and he scoffed too! people always say im wasting so much meat! i dont know why, i just never picked up the habit of cleaning/eating the bones. not like i dont get enough to eat, tho! ha! still using the treadmill daily. workin' it.

so i'll have all new classes/students come monday, i'm excited, but i miss a lot of my former students already. i didnt even get to see Greg (w/the pinoy accent) b/c he didn't come on the last day of class. well, hopefully i'll see him around next term. not that he needs to keep coming, his english is great. maybe just a voice coach to help with the accent... :)

sometimes i'll ask the kids to try harder to pronounce things w/out their korean accent. they are very young and if they try, the CAN pronounce words more clearly, this "konglish" (korean + english) seems more of a habit rather than not being able pronounce things.

they constantly say "A-pull" instead of A+, tho none seem to have a problem w/saying "s." Again, it's b/c it's so common for them. same with saying "Yes." instead, they say "Yes-uh." the sound "Uh" is at the end of nearly every word.

i was talking to one class about the importance of trying to not speak with the accent if they can, b/c they'll get stuck in the habit otherwise and maybe have trouble communicating, or have trouble being understood.

"But teacher," little Lina says, "I feel like 'Yes' is too short, so i have to add to it when i say it."

just like when the brothas and sistas say "conversate" instead of converse, or "axe" instead of ask, or the Joes saying "tow out" instead of thaw out (for the longest time, i thought mom was saying it right and the rest of the world was wrong). ah well, so long as the kids keep the proper pronunciation in mind, and perhaps be multilingual in korean, english AND konglish.

with the new term beginning, i'll finally be able to take the korean classes, i start next week, im really excited. every once in a while, the kids will be asking me something in class, and they slip and say a word in korean. I'll repeat it and say, "What is XXX?" and they laugh like crazy b/c it's so fun to hear teacher try and say something in korean b/c she says it soooo wrong.

on the last day of classes, many students begged,

"teacher, say something in korean!"
"NO! you guys just like to laugh and make fun of me!"and then they laugh some more hahahahaaha!
keep on laughing, kiddies. will it still be funny when i give you a C- for your attention and participation grades today? HA-HA-HA!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

day banners

Subject: RE: Pizza Teacher
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2007 06:26
dear mom and dad,
dad, how dare you talk to me about it being 60 degrees and almost needing a jacket in san diego. youre mean and cruel!

well, i dont have anything really to talk about, its just that i finally got around to taking and loading some pictures. here is where i live.

i dont know what all the banners were for that day, there was some sort of celebration. on my way to work the next day, there was a stage set up outside and a band, (nothing traditional korean, tho), but alas i couldnt stick around to check it out b/c i was on the way to work.

im working on the x-mas letter, maybe i'll even have it emailed to you later today. things are good, im cold, love you all, sha.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Subject: hi, finally
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2007
dear mom and dad,
hi! oh the cold weather is here already, already!!!! *sigh* i dont leave the house without my coat, scarf, and gloves. im ridiculous.

so we're at the tail end of the term with only a couple of weeks left. i will really miss a lot of my kids: joanne who i have to keep punishing for using her cell phone in class, alex who recently changed his english name to "Tony Hawk," and little Greg who speaks english with a philipino accent :)

one of my middle school classes begged me for a pizza party on the last day, which of course im not allowed to do. i lovingly told them that their test/quiz scores were too low to deserve any kind of party. that day they got me to agree that if everyone scored 7 out of 7 on that days quiz, i would buy them pizza.

As we started to correct the quizzes, holy cow i got nervous! they'd get question 1 right, and the class yells "YEAHHH!!" question 2 right, "YEAHHH!!!" question 3 "YEAHHHA!!" i started sweating by question 5! but alas, tho many of my little geniuses scored perfect 7s, most got a score of 6. *phew!* it was a great motivator, i wish i could buy them pizza. i think im allowed to give gift certificates. maybe we'll have a "note-taking" contest on the last day, and reward whoever finds the most major and minor details in the day's lecture.

so for the rest of that day, every question i asked of the class was answered with "Pizza." they held up signs "Pizza! pizza!" and when i got back from our 5 min break in class, i came back to my desk full of little drawings of mini pizzas. they're so creative! :)

one of the favorite snacks of kids here is ramen raw, like straight out of the package with the flavor packet sprinkled on top, did i tell you all this already? they always get the spiciest one they can find, and then beg me to taste it. i told the kids im not crazy about spicy food, and they went nuts, telling me that here is korea, spicy=delicious.

there's another thing they eat called "dokpokki" it's like super thick pasta noodles cut up into one inch strips and smothered in a hot sauce. the kids buy it during the break and then 5 min after class starts again, they beg me to let them out to get a drink of water. i tell them no, and then they say im so mean b/c i cant help but laugh to see them all at their desks with their mouths open, panting like puppies. hahahahahahaha!!! ~sha