Saturday, December 23, 2006


Merry Christmas everyone! I'm going to Malaysia for nine days, to sit on the beach, ride elephants, and get massages and great food for cheap.

I love you all, I promise I'll post some stories and maybe even pictures, and I hope you all have a great Christmas and new year with people you love!

love: Rob

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A Christmas Movie

Who DOESN'T love the movie Love Actually? If you watched it, I mean, properly watched it, paying attention and all, and hadn't just been dumped by your honey (so that it brought back the sadness), but you still didn't enjoy it, please, let me know why? I totally don't get it when people don't think that movie's sweet, funny, warm, and romantic. (Responses saying things like "needed some wild nekkid sex scenes" or "I h8 awl moovies wiht no kung foo so it sukkd," need not reply.) And don't say "it's too sappy and cute" either -- of COURSE it's sappy and cute. That's what you're signing up for when you get a movie called "Love Actually" -- that's like renting "Cheerleader Chainsaw Massacre 5" and then disliking it because it was kinky and gory. I suppose the "too many storylines" beef is legitimate: if you don't pay attention you'll get lost, but if you DO pay attention, it's so charming! And if you DON'T want to pay attention, if you just rent movies to snuggle with your sweety, then get The Santa Clause 2, so that you have a reason to look away from the TV and snuggle more, by gum, and rent Love Actually another time! That's right. I refuse to allow anybody reading my blog to dislike Love Actually! Unequivocally! (You can't tell, but I just pounded my fist on my desk.)

Also: if you haven't seen "A Christmas Story" (unavailable in Korea, and it hurts me, it hurts me so, that it isn't), go out right now and find it. Track it down if you must. It's the best movie that nobody's seen (though people with cable TV will say it's as overplayed as Shawshank Redemption (or Jean-Claude VanDamme and Steven Seagal movies in Korea -- they're always running on one channel or another)). I'd put Christmas Story right up there with "Army of Darkness" for cult classics. I'll even go as far as to call it the "Princess Bride" of Christmas Movies (and anyone who knows me could attest to my feelings about The Princess Bride -- tie me down and give me a lollipop, that movie's better than spaghetti!)

I'm going to Malaysia for Christmas. When I get back, I'm gonna put up something Sally (the bright one) wrote and sent to me, and tell you about our adventures in Saccaria. I'm a bit worried right now -- my stuffed elephant Zooey seems to have been kidnapped by aliens, and we hope to rescue him before anything really terrible happens. It might be the subject of my next story.

Merry Christmas all, love love love:

(ps: here's a video from the movie "Love Actually" DVD special features. You know how every Christmas, some sell-out washed-up rockstar records a crap Christmas record to grab some cash? Well this video mocks those cynical stinkers every bit as much as they deserve.)
Christmas Is All Around - Billy Mack

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another student crack-up.

They were in fine form today. It was parents' day, so the parents could come, and sit in on a class, to see how their children were coming along. It's a stressful day for the teachers, but we made it through OK. Before the parents came, I briefed my kids on how to behave properly during the open class. I told them to sit properly, raise their hands, and wait to be called on.

James piped up, "Or else mommy will take you to bathroom, pok pok pok!" (he mimed a spanking motion with his hand.)

I said, "I hope your mommy won't take you to the bathroom and spank you, but I also hope you're very good boys and girls today!"

Then Willy said, "But mommy is a girl. I'm a boy!"

So I rubbed it in: "Yes, Willy! Maybe your mommy will take you into the girls' bathroom!" All the boys shrieked, thinking, "wow, that would be doubly embarrassing!"

One of my girls, Arooh, smiled smugly, "I'm a girl that's OK. I can girls bathroom going that's OK."

To which Willy promptly replied, "Your daddy will come."

Wiped the smug smile off her face like lightning, and made me laugh out loud.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I'm gonna post links and things like that on this blog, and just assume everyone has an internet connection fast enough for streaming video, large graphic files, etc.. If you don't, check out file sizes on pictures or whatever you want to download, to make sure you don't tie up your computer for long stretches of time, and just. . . kind of . . . be aware of that. You might miss out on some of the fun stuff. Sorry.

This one made me laugh out loud.

There's also a pretty good clip on the same website about Lord Of The Rings.

Silly conversation in class.

Had a lot of bloody noses in school today. Yuk. My student Danny's like a geyser-- get him excited and suddenly blood's flying everywhere.

Our former teacher Ashley came to visit at lunch time. She taught at SLP for quite a while, so the kids remember and miss her; a handful of the kids in my class now were in her homeroom back in the day. Ashley came to my class just after lunch finished to say hello to me and the students, so I encouraged the kids who knew here well to get out of their chairs (I've finally trained them well enough that they USUALLY wait for my say-so before they're up and about) and give Ashley a hug. Or a kiss. Or a tickle. You know, just to keep things interesting.

Once everybody returned to their seats, Kevin started teasing James (who used to be one of Ashley's favourites) that he wanted to give Ashley a kiss, so I kept pretending I heard Kevin saying he wanted ot give Ashley a kiss. Once most of the students were giggling, I asked Kevin if he wanted to marry Ashley. He, sensing the humour in the moment, agreed. "Yes, teacher."

I offered to phone Ashley on my cellphone and make the proposal. Kevin agreed, so I got out my phone, pretended to push some buttons, and then made a big show of asking Ashley if she wanted to marry Kevin.

"Oh. Kevin, before she agrees to marry you," I said, she has some questions.
"OK teacher."
"Do you have a car?"
"Do you have money?"
"Does your daddy have money?"
"Yes." (I'm relaying these yes's into the phone.)
"Will your mommy be nice to Ashley if she marries you?" (I've heard some really remarkable stories from women who married firstborn sons in Korea, and the epically harsh treatment some mothers in law give to their sons' wives -- Western mothers-in-law really have some catching up to do, if the stories are true. And it's much harder in Korea to convince your husband to move to a different city, because of the cultural, familial obligation of the firstborn to the parents -- sometimes, when Koreans find out that I'm a firstborn son, they're surprised that I'm here in Korea rather than living with my father and taking care of him, especially because 1. I'm not married, and 2. My mom died.)

"Yes," Kevin assured me his mommy will be nice to his new wife.
I passed that last "Yes," into the phone, and said, "OK, Kevin. Ashley says she'll marry you!"

The class had a good laugh together. I've had to spend a lot of time breaking up arguments and things in that class, so it's a really nice release to have a few good laughs with them, too.

One of my students told me I'm funnyman, so I answered, "I'm not funnyman. I'm BATMAN!"
(and I have the t-shirt to prove it).

In a related story, to file under "Rob is a nerd", this photo was taken when the photographers came to my school. We took another one that looks normal, but this is the one that got the best reaction when all the teachers looked through the proofs.