Showing posts with label my life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label my life. Show all posts

Friday, February 19, 2010

The next 24 hours

  I am currently at my in-laws with my son.  soon, I will drive into Busan and pick up Kwandongwife and drive to sokcho (the little guy is staying with the in-laws).  I will crash until my wife wakes me up.  We will bax all our belongings and the movign truck will arrive in the afternoon.  We will load it up, then I will drive to Jinyoung (near Busan) to stay the night with (other) in-laws (not entirely sure why).  Sunday morning (OK, we have moved beyond 24 hours by now), we will drive into Busan and mee the moving truck and begin settling into our new home.

24 hours, about half of that driving - oh, boy!

I can't decide if I will make a clean break with this blog and move to a new one -already chosen and with a few posts on it- or if I will continue to follow Gangwon-related news story and post them here.  This blog hasn't been very active in February, yet it will not become any more active.

I will miss Gangwon and am sorry that my current schedule doesn't allow for much in the way of face-to-face goodbyes.  I am certain to visit it when I have the chance in the summer though.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kwandongbrian has a job!

Tomorrow, I will sign a contract with a university in Busan that is situated on a steep slope of a mountain.  I will probably leak more details later.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

In Busan

Kimhae, at the  moment.

A quick  refresher: my wife has been transferred to a Coast Guard station in Busan.  She  was going to travel alone on Monday, settle in somewhat, then have us join her.
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At the last moment, my wife and I decided to travel  to Busan together.  The three of us (son included, of course) made the long, long trip in our two-seater Korando on Monday.  I  have continued to flood the market with  resumes, even resorting to applying to a few hagwons.  I continue to wait...

The toughest thing about being here is learning how to get around not one, not two, but  three cities.  I am fairly capable of reading a map but in Korea, there  are few street names.  (Most) highways are numbered, but  a few are not.  The trick is to  look  near your destination and remember a few landmarks.  Then you look for  signs for those  landmarks and follow them. I have found travel in Busan to be really interesting due to using a map more than five years out of date.

"Why three cities", you ask?  We are staying with in-laws in Jinyoung, a tiny town near Changwon.  We are also visiting with in-laws in Kimhae.  Depending on how and when we get settled and what job interviews come up,  the little guy will likely stay in Kimhae while I  go to interviews and make whatever other arrangements.

This is my brother-in-law's computer and I shouldn't stay too long on it.  More news when I have time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Is this...Is this the end of Gangwon Notes?

In the next few weeks, I will be moving to Busan, to join  my wife who will be leaving sooner, as she has been transferred there.

I have been looking for work there and have some good prospects.  If nothing comes up, I will look at teaching from my home.

I love Gangwondo and have enjoyed my time in Sokcho and Yangyang.  This is a beautiful place to live and raise a child.  Busan will be nice, too.  I will enjoy having a bookstore with English language books in stock.  Still, from this apartment in Sokcho I was able to walk to the beach and to a mountain.  I was able to ride my bike in safety.  The friends I have here have been wonderful.  I will certainly have many reasons to visit after I leave.

I will not start a 'Busan Notes' blog but I will work on a name and a new (but linked) blogging identity.  The 'Kwandong' in Kwandongbrian is the name of historic tourist areas in the region and won't be all that appropriate in Busan.

This blog is fairly smalltime but would anyone like to take it over?  I might post here once in a while, but I don't know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Let go

I received an email last week letting me know I would not be offered a contract for the next year.  The formal letter gave no details but thanked me for 'excellent service'.

-I started writing this post on Sunday, Dec 20, but will keep it in draft for a while.  I don't know when I will release it. As you can imagine, my emotional state has not been good and the emotions themselves change almost by the second.  When I am ready, when there is something useful to share with my readers, I will post this. -

Although I am confident of finding something to do by March, I don't think I will get as good an arrangement as I had with the job I have left.  Yes, they let me go, and yes, I had a few complaints with how the classes were run and the teachers were managed (and yes, those two things may have led me to my current position.  'May have', as I don't have a clue why as yet (Dec. 20)), but I still recommend the university as a place to work.  I don't think I should name the university here, but you can find the name quickly enough on this blog.

Anyway, it was a good job and included a lot of free time.  I am disappointed, in hindsight, with how poorly I used that time.  I did write two textbooks for the science class of a summer camp and did prepare for classes somewhat beyond what was absolutely required of me but after seven years teaching with all that free time, my qualifications have aged terribly and I do not have a Masters degree or other qualification that could  get me the next job.  I am even looking, for this January, at getting a '100-hour- TESOL certificate' online.  I am told it will be very easy and will not take one hundred hours, so the only reason I would get it is to improve my paper value rather than my actual teaching skill.  I do expect, though, to learn a few things from it.

Well, New Year's resolution #1: If my work schedule allow this, I will start a Master's degree in TESOL.  I will also work hard to ensure my work schedule allow this.

Updated Dec. 28:
I mentioned that I was depressed about losing my job that is definitely true, but I am also somewhat buoyed by the unanimous opinions of my friends and acquaintances that I am an excellent teacher and that the dismissal from the university is their loss and has nothing to do with my teaching.  Thank you to my many friends and my apologies if I overstated your opinions about my teaching - just a little.

Updated Jan. 26, 2010:
First, I should thank Alistair at Korean Horizons, a recruiting agency.  He wasn't able to find me a job because of my personal situation.  My wife's job appeared to tie us to Sokcho (although now that is changing and I am looking at another city with a Coast Guard station) and I approached Alistair a little late in the hiring cycle for the winter.  Indeed, this is my major complaint with my university - the late notice they offer.  Anyway, Alistair wasn't able to help me find work, but he has been a great help in other ways and even offered a contact name for a location nearby.  He did this after hearing I had already applied so he wasn't in a position to make a commission.  I think he's a good guy and I recommend his services.

He suggested I take a 100 hour tefl course and the classes have just arrived.  I will start Unit one after finishing these next few sentences (but probably before I actually post this).  I do hope to learn something but I am doing it to improve my pay schedule if I am hired with EPIK more than anything else.

Updated Jan. 26 (Later- just started unit 1)
I find myself thinking about how to study most efficiently for the test.  I am sure that there will be useful material in the course - there will be things I already know but better articulated, entirely new material and well-tested material (I've been doing something two ways and the course may show that one method is much better than the other) - but I'm taking this course for the certificate more than for a desire to learn.

Perhaps this is how my students see the academic world!

Anyway, I don't particularly want to read the bulk of the material more than I have to.  If I can understand and absorb it in one reading, I don't want to read it twice.  I am now using mindmapping to take notes while I read - to test how mindmapping works and to pick up the points in one pass.

Updated Jan. 28
I have had trouble deciding when and how to put this message out.  Happily, life has intruded in a way that makes me grateful for being let go.

My wife is being transferred to Busan and will leave in a few days to start work there and look for an apartment.  I guess I will be packing and such, getting ready to leave February 8th or the like.  I wish my university had told me earlier that I would not be offered a contract for this year, but the notice I did get has put me six weeks ahead of where I would otherwise be.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Serious time management

I am posting this mostly to put it in an accessible place to me to read, and possibly study, later.  I understand that most self-help books and guides are crap, and the ones that do what they are supposed to, involve working smarter, not less.  Still,there's nothing wrong in working smarter.


Today, I asked my friend Cal Newport to illustrate how he completely dominates as a post-doc at MIT, author of multiple books, and popular blogger. How does he do it all?
Cal writes one of the best blogs on the Internet: Study Hacks. His guest post shows how you can take I Will Teach You To Be Rich principles — plus many others — and integrate them into a way to use your time effectively.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Someone comes to town, someone leaves town.

Doctorow wrote a cool and weird story with that title, but my story deals more with how someone came and left.

My brother-in-law drove here on Saturday evening and took the bus home on Sunday afternoon.

He left us with...

A Mercedes! Alright, a Mercedes licensed engine, in a Korando (and that is now three times that I have tried to spell the vehicle name and written Korean instead).
The truck is not new but seriously 'like new'. My B-I-L took excellent care of his truck and actually took a lot of time into explaining how to care for it. He learned basic mechanics on the farm and was a driver for a general during his military service so he has the right background.

You might wonder how or why he would decide to sell or give us his car. Well, he is getting a new one for himself and we helped finance him eight years ago when he bought this one.

I am excited to own a car again. Previously, I had bought a car, a Honda Civic and two weeks later, my girlfriend came to Canada. Three weeks after that, I proposed and began planning how I would move back to Korea. Nine months later, I sold that car.

I have ten months of car ownership experience and, as with most North Americans, several years of driving experience. I briefly worked for an ambulance service and so qualified for my small bus license and considered myself, again briefly, to be a pretty good driver.

Honestly, though, I am not. I might have been a fair driver (maybe) but I foresee taking the car to an empty parking lot and practicing a lot of parallel parking and reversing and such to make up for several years of being a passenger.

My son is eager to practice, too.
I won't be properly insured or registered until Wednesday, so I have a few days before my life is transformed.

Consistent readers of this blog will know that I am at least somewhat anti-private car and greatly interested in how public transportation works (or doesn't) and what alternative forms of transportation can do. I don't like the way cities and people have adjusted to make things more convenient - for cars - to the inconvenience of people.

On Wednesday, that paragraph will read as:
Consistent readers of this blog will know that I was at least somewhat anti-private car and greatly interested in how public transportation works (or doesn't) and what alternative forms of transportation can do. I didn't like the way cities and people have adjusted to make things more convenient - for cars - to the inconvenience of people.

Just kidding. I don't expect to entirely give up cycling or public transportation. Still, I will enjoy and take advantage of the increased freedom a car gives. I need to set some rules for myself, preferably before I do start driving, regarding how much I will drive and what situations legitimately give me a good excuse to drive to work rather than take the free bus.

Still, this blog will return to featuring more travel entries - even though they will be local, limited to the distance that the little guy feels comfortable with.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

This process might have worked for Szell, "Die Weisse Engel"


Yesterday evening, I took a night bus to Seoul, arriving at the Express terminal around 2:30am. I spent the rest of the night thinking about sleeping at the Dae Jung Sauna*. In the morning, I went to Myeongji Hospital for a complete physical. I am mostly in good health (well, there should be a long line of "except for....") but have had terrible heart burn for the past few weeks.

I am still awaiting the results of most of the tests (X-rays, pulmonary tests, bloodflow to brain, eye tests and photos and more**) but I was mostly interested in what the scope shoved down my throat would find.

First, the process itself - and if I were able to talk during it, I would have answered any of Szell's questions -"Is it safe?" or any other. Depending upon careful timing, I was given a pill, a liquid to swallow, an injection, another liquid and a liquid spray before I faced the snake (I suppose it literally was a "one-eyed snake").

The second liquid paralyzed my throat so I could swallow - it was soon after taking this that I almost choked on my own saliva. Nurses came running and I was given strict instruction in broken English on how to breathe - slowly and deeply - and to spit up the saliva in my mouth.

Oh, don't worry about the injection. It was just a standard shot in the bum, not some Tarentino-esque needle to the chest or stomach.

Finally came the tube. It went down my throat, into and through my stomach and into the top of my small intestine, nearly one metre total.

Probably the worst part was seeing the numbers on the tube as they disappeared into my mouth. No, the worst part was seeing them come back out and then go back in as the doctor saw something he missed. Yeah, that may beat out the near-drowning event before the scope started.

Alright - good news time.
Probably the best part was hearing that the polyps in my stomach wall had shrank and the pain I had felt was not from spreading cancer. I have to admit some difficult nights thinking about how my father died (from cancer) when I had recurring stomach pain. Oh, I should explain that I had the same test done at the same location a year ago. The physical checkup is a gift from the university.
Also good news was finding that the acid reflux was from a treatable problem - some bleeding in the lower esophagus. Two months of pills and I should be okay. I do hope though, that the doctor wasn't making that up and that the bleeding wasn't from his damn 'scope.
_________________________
*on one of my first trips to Seoul, ten years ago, my girlfriend (now wife) explained that "Dae Jung" wasn't named after the president but meant "The people's". This was "The people's sauna". I was so proud of my, clearer and more evocative translation; "For the great unwashed". - Good stuff, huh?
**Most of the tests are done by (skilled) technicians rather than doctors so realtime analysis is infrequent and brief. This was a good, and terrifying, example from my 2008 visit: "Fat is infiltrating your liver. Next station, please."
_____
Oh, in the title, of course I am referencing one of the best movies of all time, Marathon Man.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

All there was some rejoicing.

Quietly celebrated my birthday with some friends last night. I have reached the mystical age of 42, which means I should have some knowledge of life, the universe and everything, but still seem to be waiting to see what I'll do when I grow up.

Thanks to my well-wishers.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The summer of loving

"We can finally trade "I do"s 
With whoever we may choose."


42 years ago the court case Loving v. Virginia decided that Americans could marry who they chose, regardless of race. 47 days later I was born.  Somewhat more than eight years ago, I married a wonderful woman who happened to be Korean.  Although not American, I am sure that court decision helped pave the way for the way I feel accepted today.

Far outside the normal bounds of this blog, a group of people, in the U.S. and elsewhere, are fighting for the right to get married now.  I think they should get it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Born with the gift of laughter and the knowledge the world was mad

The quote above might be as true for me as it was for Sabitini's Scaramouch.

Random bit of bad news: KwandongAlex was sick and feverish ten days ago, KwandongWife was sick and feverish two days ago (and may still be) and now I, too, have tonsillitis.  It looks like I won't need surgery, just medicine and I've started taking the normal-for-Korea pack of six pills after each meal.

I have always had a cold or a runny nose.  I have a few allergies and foreigner's long nose but mine is pinched and narrow so all my life I have sneezed a few times a day -except now.  Tonsillitis has given me a sore throat but my breathing is so much clearer and easier.

I don't really understand the random illnesses I have had here. I've had pneumonia, Bells Palsy and now tonsillitis.  Bell's Palsy, in particular, is disease that strikes randomly and I've always considered myself too healthy to worry about pneumonia.

Random bit of good news: MSN Messenger on the Windows side side of the partition has 'found' the video camera so KwandongAlex chatted with GeorgianBayGrandma last night.  I had started to investigate why the camera wouldn't work, wasn't recognized, in Windows, but hadn't done anything.  Suddenly, now it works.  woo-hoo!
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Oh, Scaramouch is a great, swashbuckling sort of movie, but the end of the book resorts to some ugly politics (for our era, at least) to sort out the plot.

Monday, May 04, 2009

The limping man says

Clean up your fucking sparklers at the beach when you leave!

I am not crippled, but I am limping.  It's ironic that it happened to me as I frequently take some time to collect them and remove them from the beach.
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Every one knows what a 'sparkler' is, right?  It is a length of wire that has 30 cm or so covered in some bright-burning compound.  When the tip is lit, it will burn brightly and shoot sparks.  It is mostly safe when in someone's hands (although I have been burned once or twice).  The ones I find, twisted and mostly buried in the sand, are half-ass caltrops.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

In the market for a new camera

A few months ago, I learned that my camera no longer had the strength, or possible had a slipping belt or other mechanical problem, to zoom in. In holding the zoom down, I would here it try but not get anywhere. Last week, the camera would not turn on without being plugged in. Three screws in the base were loose and I lost two but was able to tighten the third. There is one yellow always-on pixel on the viewscreen.

It was a great camera when I got it and I will try a new battery to get some functionality out of it but the camera is about seven years old - it came out just as digitals were taking off. People laughed when they heard I bought a huge four megapixels camera. "Kwandongbrian [in fact, this was well before I had hear of blogs], are you going to make posters? Why do you want 4 megapixels?"

Anyway, I am now looking at either the Nikon Coolpix p5100 or the Sony Cybershot DSC-T500.


The Sony has a great video feature - possibly the best in it's class. But, it uses touchscreen and some large fingered people have trouble with it. Even for regular-fingered people, you have to look at the screen rather than through it at your subject.
The Nikon uses wheels that you can learn the positions so you can click-click-click and get to the setting you want. The video function is not as good and it is a bigger camera, but I suspect it is better for stills.

Comments or suggestions for a camera that is under 400,000 won and easily portable?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Kwandongbrian Health Report

For the past few years, I have participated in a seven km run on March 1 in Sokcho. Koreans call any run of five km and longer "marathons" which sounds strange to me, but I guess I am a marathon runner.

To prepare for it, I start exercising in December as the fall semester finishes. I try to exercise year-round but late in the fall semester I tend to be doing nothing athletic. So, each December, I start from around zero and return to some kind of regular program.

Indeed, I was close to absolute zero this Dec 1, despite having a good routine through the summer, until around September 10. I was increasing my running mileage and preparing for the Terry Fox run. The day I learned it was cancelled in Korea I put down my shoes and did not run again for two and a half months.

This year, I joined a health club and have been running and pumping iron for three months.

Each March 1, Sokcho has a seven km run around Lake Yeongnang which has great participation. Several hundred men, women and children do the circuit.

This year, I ran the fastest I ever have around the lake and was close to the speeds I managed ten years ago (for the record, 7km in 33:20).

I am also the heaviest I have ever been. Usually, during the winter exercise period I would lose a few kilos and occasionally see 89.--kg at the end of February. This year, 92 kg was the best I achieved.

Still, I am happy enough about the run, and have learned of another run in mid-April to motivate me. I hope I can find a way to work around my schedule and my wife's to keep running.

Oh, Gord and Sean, get outside and run. Man, I turned into a human waterfall on the treadmill. I suspect that anyone walking behind me while I ran was sprayed by sweat falling from my body and launched by the moving conveyer belt. Outside, the fresh and moving air kept me comfortably dry.

Of course, every March 1 that I have run has had beautiful weather and been unseasonably warm, so that may be a factor in how great I felt.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Help me get the best job in the world!

About two weeks ago, I applied for the best job in the world. The application took the form of a homemade video. I was rejected because the video needed to be 60.0 seconds or less and mine apparently was 60.1 or so long.

I applied again, it was accepted and you will find a link at the bottom of this post.

The "Best Job" is really a marketing tool by Tourism Queensland to promote their province, their coast and specifically Hamilton Island area. Officially, the duties include swimming and watching fish, cleaning your own pool, some diplomatic duties, promoting the island and making a video blog post every week. Really though, It's a excuse to attract interest to the area.

It is working. They have have hundred of thousands check their website and look into the application process. I think more than ten thousand have applied.

On March second, the selection panel will announce 50 short-listed candidates. At some point after that, the group will be narrowed to eleven; ten that Tourism Queensland select and one chosen by popular vote. These eleven will be flown to Australia for interviews and, well, hoop-jumping.

I think my video is good but I don't know if it is top-fifty good. I consider the selection process to be basically a lottery and I hope mine is good enough to make into the lottery bucket. It is the best I could make and I don't want to give excuses but my old computer and original version of Movie Maker were pushed to their limits. The newer version, free and down-loadable, of Movie Maker doesn't work on my computer: after a refurbishing and memory upgrade, some functionality were lost.

Anyway, I think that voting for the eleventh spot does not take place until after March second. Still, you could rate my video highly if you want. It sure couldn't hurt.

I also suggest looking at other application videos. There are twenty-six that I saw from Korea (evening of Feb 17 -five more days to apply); have a look and give them some love while you're at it.

Note, the videos are little slow loading. Please be patient -with mine, you're welcome to be impatient with the others!


Ashley's video (another entrant from Gangwon)

List of entrants from Korea.

Coincidentally, I see it on Yahoo Canada's home page: a news report with a video link (I think it'll work - it will pop-up, however)

Updated Feb 22: another Gangwon entrant is on the list. Choi.

Friday, February 13, 2009

deja vu disease

A year ago I had the flu or some other stomach bug. Mostly, I had the regular symptoms: a group that the author James Blish described as "polybathroomflourine", and lack of appetite, weakness and exhaustion, and one other. The symptoms came and went and when an episode began, I became aware of it from the physical symptoms and from a strange case of Deja vu.

My dsecription will sound vague and confusing. That's exactly like the memories.
I would be sleeping and the dream would consistently take the same path; I would be outside, sledding with my son and ... well, the dream had great detail but they didn't last.

When I was awake, the same thing would happen. I would be doing something and remember doing it in the past, but some other clear details that faded when I concentrated on them. Immediately after, I had to stumble to the bathroom.

I am having the same problem now. I haven't been sick but do feel weak and have no appetite at times and am having deja vu episodes through the day.

What the hey?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dunkel Beer

This photo is from Pack the Elcamino's blog. He thinks this isn't the best beer at E-Mart, but agrees that its pretty good.

The name sounded familiar and I reopened a fantasy book which had beer practically as a main character. "The Herzwesten Brewery has a good reputation as the Weihenstephan in Barvaria." Drawing of the Dark, by Tim Powers.

Its not a big deal, its just that Sokcho is a bit of a backwater for foreign beer.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallowe'en

Hallowe'en and April fool's Day are two of my favourite days.

Sadly, this is the first year I didn't have classes on Oct 31,so I wasn't able to dress up there. In fact, I can't find my black cycling mask so dressing up would have been a challenge.

I tried to make a doll that would hang from the ceiling of the teacher's lounge that would swing forward as the door was opened but was unusually busy at home during the week and couldn't get the stuff to work.

The best I can do, blogwise, is send you to my video from 2006.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Bew's Fawsy

I can't blink my right eye normally. When I start concentrating on something, I forget to blink. I need to stop what I am doing and take a few seconds -and sometimes to actually use my fingers - to close my right eye. I don't plan to type for long and I will let small errors go - this is my excuse for errors in this post and is there anyway I can make this retroactive for four years to cover all my many previous errors?

Four days, fourteen hours of classes and 48 steroid pills (and many others) after being diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, i have had my second, follow-up visit to the doctor.

First, about the four days and classes. I began each class by explaining my illness and assuring them it was not contagious. Trying to talk clearly was very tiring an dgave me pains in the right side of where the spine meets the skull. I guess I was tightening muscles there to try to give that side of my face some kind of rigidity. Luckily, I had games planned for some of the classes and didn't have a lot of talking to do. I also used students to call out the roll to save my voice. Still, there were a few classes where I wanted to dopronunciation drills. The students usually couldn't hear a difference in my speaking but I really could -hence the title of this post - that is what "Bell's Palsy" sounds like to me when I say it.

Students were understanding but I am a little disappointed that only students from three classes wished me well.

It has been annoying to be unable to read for any length of time, or use the computer or even watch TV. The MP3 player has been my friend.

I have taken to eating in private to hide the way I need to push on my cheek if food falls between my teeth and right-side cheek . Also, I need to hold my right lower lip against the cup or can when I drink.

My wife and some good friends have suggested that I go to a Han-oi-won or traditional hospital for acupuncture to complement the western treatments. I am quite a sceptic, but will go this afternoon (explanations to follow).

At the doctor's office today in Asan Hospital, I heard a new set of percentages regarding recovery rates. I had been told, and had read from various sources, that 85% or so with Bell's Palsy recovery completely but today I was told thenumbers were more like 30% fully recover, 30% partially recover and 30% don't recover responsiveness in their faces. I don't think there is a missing 10%; I think he meant thirds. Anyway, this is much more terrifying! I will be looking further into this. The doctor also very clearly told me that acupuncture would not help me.

I agree with his opinion on acupuncture and felt the same way before I asked him about it despite this article from an acupuncturist in Toronto*. Still, I am willing to grasp at straws a little and getting the treatment will be easier than arguing with my wife about why I shouldn't get it.

---___---
*The Asan Hospital doctor had said that there were no studies confirming the effectiveness of acupuncture in Bell's Palsy cases and the Toronto acupuncturist's account was of a single anecdote. This reminds me of the efficiousy of headache medicines. My understanding is that most headaches fade after twenty minutes or so, regardless of treatment. For one person, having his/her headache disappear after twenty minutes proves nothing. If I get acupuncture and my symptoms fade, there is no way of knowing why or how they faded. I need to also accept the corollary - Western medical treatments are known to be unable to cure viral diseases - if the symptoms fade or remain, I cannot apply too much blame or credit to the medicine I was prescribed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bell's Palsy

In a previous post I wrote that I had suffered another allergy attack, making my face swell and causing me to drool when I drank. It turns out that this is not due to allergies but to Bell's Palsy. The right side of my face is drooping and unresponsive. I cannot easily blink my right eye and must hold my right lower lip tight against a glass with my hand when I drink. I am having trouble focusing my right eye so I am using the larger font size.

In the upper pic I am trying to smile evenly. Below, I am trying to forcefully close my eyes.
Bell's Palsy is of unknown origin and tests typically rule out other possible causes for the unresponsiveness. It is likely of viral origin and my blood test confirms that; I have a high white blood cell count, particularly of E-Lymphocytes, which fight viral infections. The doctor told me that another type of white blood cell, which primarily fights bacterial infections was low but I didn't keep track of the name, I think it was the E- neutro(cyte).

I have been given a whole lot of pills - 12 steroid pills to be taken each morning as well as three other pills to take three times a day and eye drops to lubricate my eye as I often have to use my finger to close it completely.

It is amusing that I am now on steroids as I have just started the 100 pushups workout plan suggested by the EFL Geek - I hope he doesn't think I am cheating - look out Barry Bonds!

In researching Bell's Palsy, I have learned that former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien had Bell's Palsy as a child and apparently suffered permanent damage as he was easily caricatured as speaking from one side of his face. A friend of mine, Rowdy Roddy Swimmer also seemed to speak from one side - I will have to ask if he had Bell's Palsy. Anyway, it is typically temporary and I should be fine in a few weeks. In the meantime, I will be working hard to speak clearly for my students -my 'P's are now a Korean style 'F' - "I like to eat affles!"

More info at WebMD or at Wikipedia - and thanks to my mom, a retired nurse who explained some of the details to me. Great thanks to my wife who came with me to the hospital and took care of the little guy after working a 24 hour shift at the Coast Guard.

Oh, some words I may need for classes:
not contagious
전염성이 있지 않음

Bell's Palsy
Bell's 마비