Saturday, October 31, 2009

recurring dreams

recurring dream themes
- flying (usually in my middle school; or above some huge landscape)
- mazes (usually harry potter-ish bush landscapes, or random pixelated landscapes.  i frequently die and come back ... sort of like a game)
- running away from tsunamis
- shark in a pool

i had another huge watery tsunami dream 2 nights ago.  basically a huuuuge wave was coming and i was running; i knew if i looked back it would be too late and i'd be overtaken by the waves.  i'd jump a wall only to have to scramble up higher as the water rushed over..  it was not waves really, just one big... wave... you know when a wave breaks but the water still whooshes?  yeah it was that.

finally i ended up at the huge peak.. probably as high as morro rock.  and then the water was just.. filled!  

i was with my family and 2 girls from eastbay ( don't remember who) and we walked across the wall and into the top floor of a hotel where they had their 360 overlooking the bay type of restaurant. we walked in and i felt embarrassed because i was in a nice restaurant but i was muddy and dirty (you know, from having escaped the tsunami).  Then the group and i took the elevator down so we could leave.  we tried to buy food and we got them in take out boxes.  it was awkward being drippy in a nice well lit glass elevator.

i don't remember the rest.

but yeah; those dreams of running away, i'm afraid, but i'm not super afraid.  i'm just.. running!  

i like dreams. i really wonder how dreams relate to reality.  it's fascinating stuff, really.  too bad crazy people have messed with it to the point where any talk of dreams point to coocoo talk.


So, I eat with the middle school lunch, 6th - 8th graders.  A lively bunch.  The eighth graders are constantly screaming, the seventh graders are pretty quiet except for the token three (D,G,T) who are always wandering around and getting lost, and the quieter but loud sixth graders (also right now there's been some ongoing feud amongst the girls in the sixth grade so one girl eats with the boys now and ignores the other girls.. and vice versa. LOL)

Anyway, yesterday we had a fall festival field day type of deal called the "Amazing Grace Race" and we were trying to hurry the kids in finishing and cleaning up so we could go.  However, the sixth grade boys were all bunched around this one boy chanting, "Shoot, shoot, shoot!"  I quickly walked over and upon closer inspection, I saw that another boy had the boy's head in his firm grasp; the former displayed a green bean clenched between his front teeth while the latter held his cheeks ready to "shoot."  

By now, being a much wiser middle school teacher, there was no middle ground "hmm, what are they doing?" but I sized up the situation right away, "Stop!  We are not going to shoot anything in here!"  I turned to the boy.  "Michael, swallow the bean!"  Some boys were still chanting shoot while Michael looked up at me and says (with the green bean still in his teeth), "but, .. but.."  I was firmly resolved.  "No, swallow.  Now."  Michael shrugged, chewed and swallowed.

As soon as he swallowed all the boys changed their chanting of "shoot" to a delighted, "But Miss Kim, it was dirty!  It was from floor!"  I hurled around in dismay as Michael sat grinning, "You make me eat green bean from floor! So disgusting!"  I was horrified.  Another boy, Allen walked by, and he's no saint himself and yet he shakes his head and says, "Miss Kim, you so bad, you make Michael eat from floor!"  The boys gaily gathered up the rest of their lunch belongings and headed off to homeroom while giggling and sending me disapproving statements of "You so bad, how you let him eat dirty bean?"  

Much to learn.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

exercise #2: Jogging

So last night i set the alarm for 5:55am to go swimming.
But alas, the alarm was OFF, but I caught Kathy on her way out to go jogging... in my soporific state, i made the split second decision....

"Kathy?  where are you going?"
"what time is it?
"... ... give me five minutes, i'll go with you"
I brushed my teeth, put on a long tee and bball shorts and tried to tie my hair, found a headband and left with her.

we jogged.  i was really pumped from having watched Anapolis last night... but.. i quickly failed and while Kathy proceeded to run another lap, I walked home.  it was.. maybe 20+ minutes total.  Eh, better than nothing.

Being in Taiwan, you're allowed to do weird things you'd never do in America.. I took full advantage of my liberty and swung my arms wildly, tried pounding my stomach for a bit to see if that would make it go in, and did some random lunge-like things on my walk home.  No taichi for me yet.

Anyway, by the time I got home, I took a semi-cold shower (the warm water probably got used up) and was at school, wired and ready!  I was wired for the morning up until mid-Chapel.

Then, I was fighting the fatigue.
When I taught grammar, I felt like the back of my eyes were puffy.  I felt like I should be asleep.
During lunch, I just chewed, and ate.

Then as I was walking up to teach my last two classes I was thinking in my head "I can't believe this......"  

I seriously felt like I was teaching in my sleep, or falling asleep while I was teaching.
The sun was streaming into the room and kids were melting... in the middle of class I told everyone to sit up straight.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear certain people reading when they previously didn't.

By the time 8th grade reading came around, it was definitely a winged "review session" and by the end, I went up to my office, attempted to finish writing a test, and just decided to take a nap.

My nap lasted an hour.
I was out! head on my desk, semi-self-unconsciously watching out for drool..

During my nap, I dreamt that Jeffrey, a boy who NEVER talks in class, who doesn't do homework and doesn't respond, and who (I have a sneaking suspicion) doesn't really respect me, was saying "yes" and filling out his homework and just talking and reading and demonstrating that he really did understand!

I woke up, and realized it was just a dream.  

Then about an hour later, I laughed because I thought about that dream and how it was really a dream (ie: not real), and how it was ACTUALLY a dream (ie: my hope)... and it was only a dream (ie: it would never happen)... and then I thought it was funny that I would dream about that.

What doesn't kill you...

Is Mighty Delicious!

Last night I meandered around my school looking for a quick place to grab dinner.
I saw a woman in front of a lone stand and it said "shao cong bing" .. but it looked different.

The old lady making it only spoke Taiyu, so I was sort of in trouble.

Anyway, she grabbed the previous woman's money, put it away, then grabbed a lump of white
, green-onion specked dough and dipped it into the pan of old oil.
Then she began to use some random rod looking thing and rolled it out into a thin pancake.
then she lit the grill, and sifted out chunks of old fried dough and threw my pancake into the pan.
She added an egg and a buuunch of fresh green onions.

Then I requested she added spicy stuff, and she folded it, cut it and put it into a greasy bag for me.

I knew in my head, "this is either gonna be realllly good, or it's going to make me reaallly sick."

It was reallllly good!
(time will tell if i'll also get realllly sick)

All resolutions to only "eat food for which you know every ingredient"* and to "eat breakfast alone, eat lunch with friends, and give dinner to your enemy"* flew out the window.  i finished this dinner with a yummy egg tart.  Whee~!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sample of Actual Emails I receive as a teacher

I don't know; maybe it's this new generation or the Taiwan culture, but whatever happened to coming to school on time or simple cutting and accepting your fate as a truant?

Nowadays the parents call in and say things like "my child needs a rest today."  How is that an excuse?  Now because your kid is "sleeping in" or "coming later," I have to take my precious time to e-mail your kid their homework and hope they complete it on time?

I'm required to accept late homework and "show grace?"

What gives?!


At least that's how I'd feel if those kids were in my class.  Thank goodness for later classes and relatively on-time/non-class-missing 7th and 8th graders.

(btw: actual date: 10/26/09 at 10:13am.  time difference)

Friday, October 16, 2009

All Recipes JACKPOT!

I made this once for guests we had over.  AMAZINGLY good:  make sure that you don't leave it in the oven too long; then when it cools it's just very very crisp, and not that good actually.  I like it b/c there's a BUNCH of oats in it.  i like that.
i omit nuts b/c I don't have any, but I think they would add a LOT to the cookie in terms of texture.

Finally, trying to cream frozen butter = a pain in the butt.  a big big pain.    a, brownsugar/whitesugar mixture flies out of the bowl all over your feet kind of pain.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Prep Time: 15 MinutesReady In: 55 Minutes
Submitted By: PANTHERACook Time: 12 MinutesServings: 42

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1.Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
3.Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Made a bunch for the students today to celebrate end of first quarter.

I'm just sad I made them so small :-/

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I am going to apply for the UCI terminal Master’s in English program for Summer 2010.

Perhaps maybe even to Stanford’s STEP program.

Maybe even a longshot and apply for Berkeley English PhD. (ha. yah right)

Examine my heart and maaayyyyybe oxford/cambridge English masters. (but that’s a secret / don’t tell my parents b/c they’ll be way too excited and I am not sure if I would apply).

Taiwanese GRE red tape: It’s a split-test process and they offer the computer part many times a year, but the written part is only offered 2x a year - October and June. 

Plus the subject exam is only offered 2x more this year.  I missed the November registration deadline, but the admissions contact told me I could take the April one.  April 12th.  I don’t know if I’ll be in the USA or.. in Asia then. …  

I e-mailed the admissions btw.  it was a ridiculous email.. basically “can i not take the GRE?”  he was like “uh GRE is the basic standard for your application”  i kind of knew that was coming. especially when Selina was all “Uh it’s like the SATs.. you can’t apply to college without the SATs!”

Oh shoot.

So what I’m planning right now is either to take the split test Taiwan GRE and turn in the second part super late (I *may* be admitted on a provisional basis) but right now I’m looking at Japan and Thailand …  … yeah, I’m going to one of those countries for ONE weekend to take a test and then come home .. woo.  …  .. -_-

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I love having talented students in my class.  Er scratch that.  I love having students with ambition.  Not “ambitious students” but students who like to do certain things and are fine with it.

And obviously, when their interests coincide with mine, I geng adore them. HAHa. ew mixing chinese and french = yuck.

A is trying to write a book and her friend A is artsy and creates cool fonts when she writes (love it love it!)  anyway, tis typical middle school fare, but still, it’s cute to read their notes. HAHA  (it’s their fault! they should think twice before writing notes in class … especially in their CLASS NOTEBOOKS!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

15 books 15 minutes

Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books you choose.

1. Song of Solomon - Toni Morrison
2. Bible - God  
3. 12 Ordinary Men - John Macarthur
4. Battling Unbelief - John Piper
5. Anne of the Island - LM Montgomery
6. Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli
7. The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (7 books. so shoot me)
8. Til We Have Faces - CS Lewis
9.  To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
10. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince - JK Rowling
11. Lies Women Believe - Nancy Leigh Demoss
12. Give Me This Mountain - Helen Roseveare
13. Decision Making and the Will of God - Garry Friesen
14. Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston 
15. Captivating - Stasi Eldredge (b/c it was so bad ... I'll probably never forget it... first time I ever read a book like that ... claiming to be filled with truth, but actually full of laughable misinterpretations  (but also some good points.. not enough to outweigh the ridiculous)) 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good Song

We sang this during chapel.  I like chapel because we sing these super old school songs and it's just fun(ny).
but i thought this was cool. THEN i forgot it.  THEN i as I was trying to encourage a sister, i REMEMBERED IT!

"Count Your Blessings" - Johnson Oatman, Jr.

When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done!

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey's end.

Monday, October 5, 2009

fitting sequence

The end of the first story:
These two things fight together in me as the snakes fight in the spring. The water comes out of my eyes; yet I laugh while it falls. Why? I am two Mowglis, but the hide of Shere Khan is under my feet. All the jungle knows that I have killed Shere Khan. Look—look well, O Wolves! Ahae! My heart is heavy with the things that I do not understand.

The beginning of the next story:

Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us, 
And black are the waters that sparkled so green. 
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us 
At rest in the hollows that rustle between. 
Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow; 
Ah, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease! 
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee, 
Asleep in the arms of the slow-swinging seas.
Mowgli is a child/wild/wise/young/immature.  
i wish he had a mother who could assure him with that lullaby.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

NBA players are variable; thus we can touch them.

-a sentence from a Semicolon homework set that I received from an 8th grade student.

i don’t get it either.