Wednesday, August 29, 2007

how many times can I say I'm still here?

I want to keep this blog going. I just don't always find stuff I deem interesting enough to post. I was excited about pouring scorn on the mystical value of eating dog, only to find that the entire k-blogosphere had their fun with the report.

I will try to post twice a week.

I am back at school now. This week, I am only introducing my classes so I spend more time in transit than in actual classroom work but that will change next week.

I have time on my hands so I am able to hike up the big hill -too small to honestly call a mountain - behindmy apartment. For no good reason, I have decided to try to hike it 52 times this year - once a week would be reasonable but I had only hiked up seven times before setting the goal. I am now up to eleven summits. Here are some views from Chungdaesan.

(Ulsan Bowi in the distance and an exercise station centre)
(my apartment is in the warren)
My coworker, Marcus Peddle, has started a new blog and on his first post, he describes a protest going on on campus.

Apparently, the 'education technology' department has been absorbed by the 'computers' department. One way or another, there is no more education technology department and students who are learning this halfway through their year are upset.

Come back sometime. There'll probably be new stuff here. I don't know.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Lefthanders Day

I got the news from mom, a fellow lefty, that August 13th is Lefthanders Day and visited this website, printed a few posters and got silly(er than usual). Click to enlarge photos.

I am pointing at a sign that says no right handed people allowed! Notice the empty classroom behind me.

This kindly moth was next to the door, so I included him in the display.
The pages to the right of my head, seen in the upper photo, deal with long-distance space flight and relate the them class's month-long theme of Earth as an integrated ecosystem, an island in space.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

at least Aug 11 looks like summer!

Commentary later - the star of these pics demands attention! Now updated.
Yes, it was a great morning at the beach with the little guy. He is quite a mimic now and if Kwandongwife or I wear a hat, he wants to. If I wear sunglasses, he wants his on, too. He just isn't aware that glasses have a topside and a bottom side.

A new Tourist information booth has opened on the beach and they gave us a beach ball during a previous visit.

KwandongNana gave us a little inflatable pool and the little guy prefers it to the ocean. In the pool, the water is calm and nonthreatening... and warm. The ocean was surprisingly cold over the weekend. Although he did splash around in the pool a little and get his feet wet a few times, we mainly made sandcastles together and walked along the beach.

You know how it is: once you have a child of your own you realize how grateful you should be to your own parents. I love taking the little guy to the water and want him to enjoy it. I can't enjoy the water while he is there, though. I went in knee-deep a few times and splashed around to cool off but he didn't want to come with me so that was the limit of my swimming.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Nice work, professors

I have never eaten dog that I know of, but I really don’t begrudge people who do. Actually, I do. If the dog is killed in the traditional manor, beating it to death, slowly, I would call that barbaric.

The Joongang has an article about dog soup (with no mention of how the dogs meet their end) that sounds like Dr Hwang (‘the man who can clone anything) Woo-seok’s best.

Dr Ann, in the article, says dog is especially nutritious, but that his own claim cannot be proven.


“Professor Ann Yong-geun of Chungcheong University waded into the controversy last
month when he said that there is a nutritious property of dog meat that cannot be proven by Western medical science.
He said in a CBS radio program that although dog meat has less protein and fewer minerals than pork, chicken or beef, eating dishes like gaejangguk and boshintang (dog stew) mysteriously allow more energy to enter the body.”

Another snippet (not from Professor Ann):

“Also, dog meat eaters believe that the meat is low in unsaturated fat and high in protein with low levels of cholesterol.”

This might be a translation error or a simple mistake on the reporter’s part: unsaturated fats are the good ones. I would expect, by the way, that dog would have lower cholesterol than beef, for example.

In answering the question, “Is dog meat really good for stamina?”, Dr Joo baldly states, “Yes”, then goes on to describe how dog-soju is made. That’s a great way to avoid the question.

Stamina, by the way, is usually code for, “sexual endurance” and Koreans seem very concerned by it. As an off-topic example, my sword-fighting instructor once pulled me away from the younger students and suggested an exercise that increased stamina. I don’t know if he had just learned that English word and wanted to try it or thought I wasn’t getting enough at home.

Throughout the article, the professors describe the doctrines of ancient oriental medicine as though we should care. This offers another interesting correlation with Dr. Hwang. Recent reports (couldn’t find a cite) suggest that Dr Hwang did do a few things right and his work has some value.

Likewise, oriental medicine may be effective in certain situations but that doesn’t mean its value is a given when looking at other situations.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Goshdarn, son of a ..., friggin, corksucker!

(I'm at a children's camp)
And that's how I feel about the weather.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Scenes from Sokcho Beach

I remember going to Florida with my family and spending days at the beach. I don't think I was ten years old for our first trip but I know I wanted a metal detector! How cool was that; finding money and jewelry at the beach? I'm not so excited by the idea now, but this sight brings back memories.

The Coast Guard made several passes through the morning; one with this ship and a few more with a pleasure boat-sized vessel.

It was a good morning at the beach with the little guy. I'm not sure why I didn't photograph him, I guess I wanted to experience the moment, not get wrapped up in saving it for later.

Anyway, we waded and jumped as the waved climbed up the shore but Alex didn't want me to carry him deeper.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Just finished my run

I'm at camp now. I teach through the day and have the evenings off. this evening, I ran four kilometres and am embarrassed at how how proud I am at completing it. I could have gone further - and will soon, but 4k felt long.

I've managed to run every day while at camp and hope to get the distance up to around 7k per run in the last week. The big trick will be to continue running while at home.

Camp is going well. I am not teaching strict ESL here. My class is ecology and environmentalism and the content is a little beyond what my students have learned in school so part of the class is vocabulary but mostly, well....its gross stuff.

To make the classes interesting, three lectures were 'Trips to Uranus'. The first, actually imagining making a self-contained ecosystem inside a spaceship for a trip to the planet beyond Saturn, and the latter two about horrible, horrible parasites and those lectures were titled, "A trip to Uranus: the smelly place". About a quarter of the students understand the joke.

For me, the more frightening parasites, and also part of the curriculum, were the ones that change behavior.
The article linked to compares their actions to those of science fiction monsters.