Monday, December 21, 2009

this sounds scary.

Read this:

Elizabeth Esther is a blogwriter I enjoy reading. Introduced to me by Molly Piper (whom I also don't know).

I like Elizabeth Esther because she's blunt, has an interesting backstory, and is fun to read.

But reading this past entry scared me because I hated being the child left at school waiting (this happened often; to the point where the librarian knew us since Joy and I would just go to the library after school.. well to be fair, we were supposed to since for some reason my mom was scheduled to be late every day...) either that, if oma didn't show, we'd walk to the YMCA to see if she was working out or go to swim club or walk home. memories are hazy.

I remember in 1st or 2nd grade I missed the bus or my parents didn't come and I walked home and cried the whole way. My parents told me I was brave. I remember walking over a bridge and all the cars were wooshing by and there were more cars underneath.

Anyway, I don't want to be the mom who forgets. But this already shows me I will. And that a strong woman might suddenly swoon at blood, and go crazy that her brains will melt out.

I know this is way far for me, but it still scares me. Especially as I teach middle school kids and see how different students turn out due to different parenting techniques, especially as I volunteer at a Woman/Children's AIDs shelter where I see how little children don't get consistent discipline and love... especially as I live in Taiwan where children are treated... differently (compared to America), and as I reminisce back to my own childhood.. I get scared.

In other news of scared-ness, I'm afraid I'm going to get lost at the airport going to Korea, and later have a hard time going to my grandparents' place. I'm afraid that people are going to despise me because I suck at Korean. I'm afraid I'm going to be tongue-tied and stutter. I'm afraid I'll be selfish, or tired, or act up like a big drama queen. I'm afraid I won't want to show mercy and patience when injustice rears its ugly face. I'm afraid I won't be able to yield my rights.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

hello my teacher

so finished watching a drama this semester called "hello my teacher."
the premise is understandably disturbing as it unfolds a plot about a student-teacher relationship.

while trying to shrug off that part (and also reminding myself that all the high school 'students' are around 6' something and look like college grads), I couldn't help but be drawn to the wonderful way this drama portrayed teaching.

i could relate with the first day of school and Na bori's hopes of trying to win over the students and also figuring out what to do about teacher-student dynamics since she's so young.

i also loved the conversations about helping the students or what to do as a teacher and the semi-helplessness and then the acceptance of making do with the situation.

i also remembered what it's like to be a student and the issues concerning that (love, family, poverty, grades) and how in high school those WERe the life-death situations. hence a lot of tears were shed while watching this drama.

it's very similar to Gokusen with a little random smaller plot within the episode, and i liked that. i loved just the.. old school love and care that the class displayed and the solidarity.

so unrealistic; random stray storylines.. but yeah i liked it. <3

and you can write off irrational behavior to the fact that tae-in is still a high school student.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

william carlos williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

i like this poem now.
i still don't really get it.
i still like it.

i remember freshman year my teacher Ms. Sarles made us read this poem and I thought it was so stupid (I also thought she was so stupid... my reasons being she described "Happiness" as "being happy" [which i'm not sure if this memory is true or made up] and she said "ironical" which I used to think wasn't a word. ... it is. and happiness as "being happy" seems perfectly reasonable to me now.. plus i notice that i sometimes adopt her ditzy way of talking at times. i guess it comes with the age. looking back it was her first year teaching and i DO use things that she taught. sorry Ms. Sarles for being mean and bad and calling you a racist.) ... -_-


Reading short stories from LM Montgomery and getting teary after each story.
I wondered in the MRT, why I get teary.
Perhaps the idea of people learning gratitude makes my heart ache a little.

When I was little I prided myself in being a rock. I didn´t cry. I looked down on my mom´s constant crying (praying, movies, talking, sharing) and I was definitely uncomfortable when others cried.

I cried only in movie theaters in that safe haven of dark and make believe.

Now, I tear up a lot. Maybe I'm more my mom than I thought; or I guess tears don't equal weakness to me anymore.

Watched Becoming Jane last night. Felt so hopeless and helpless for Jane Austen... yet also drawn to her situation. I always like to imagine myself in the heroine's shoes (provided she's a heroine i admire).

I think the reason that Christian fiction fails is because they are usually stories with the supernatural element of God. Yet, why read make believe when you can read truth? For every Christian romantic novel out there, you have five real stories of how so and so met their true love. For every adventure Christian novel out there, you can get a bunch of memoirs and biographies of true wars and daring escapades and displays of human weakness and dependence on a God of strength.

That's why I think for Christian books to succeed they need to be very allegorical and fanciful. Plus those are just the best.

Last Lastly:

I was reading a correspondence between a friend and i a few months ago and was just kicking myself in the foot over how he listened to me and responded in a way that was kind to my nonsensical ranting despite his mindset being completely different from mine. And yet during "his turn" I was so quick to judge and teach instead of listening and loving. I wish i hadn't done that.

Friday, December 11, 2009

posterity's sake

On Wednesday after Anne Frank presentations I showed a clip from Freedom Writers. I then offered (half-heartedly) an opportunity to watch the movie after school on Friday. I didn't have them on Thursday so I didn't expect them to come but on Friday girls asked me if I was going to show it. About 8 students stayed after school to watch it! It included a boy too! And two of the girls are poor English speakers.

The sweet thing was watching them talk and chat and chill and translate parts that the other girls couldn't understand. It's just very sweet. That's also why I wanted to show it after school; so that it wasn't a school-sanctioned event and the kids could chill. I wish I could have sat with them but I was busy finishing 2nd quarter grades.

Anyway, I was thinking, how even just a 2 year difference between my sister and I and I feel so helpless as to help her.

As I watch "Hello My Teacher" I swoon over Gong Yoo. And then I think about Kwon Sang woo (my first kdrama love) and how old he's gotten... and i think that as I grow older, I'll be past this whole youthful stage... I won't even look youthful anymore and truth be told, that makes me sad. (in Taiwan i realize how VAIN i am and how VAIN i always WAS.. lovely my worst faults are pride, unsubmission and vanity...why couldn't it have been like.. shyness, being a pushover, and trusting people too much?)

Anyway as I was watching "Hello My Teacher", Na BoRi expresses regret about how she treated her student just the way her old teachers treated her (unjustly).. it got me thinking, how even now, I get angry at my students, or call out one (out of impatience) when others are in trouble. And I'm doing stuff that I hated when I was young .... but then I also think it goes both ways.. how.. how we don't listen when we're young to people who are old. SO I WANT to write and tell myself when i'm OLDER to remember what it was like to be young and also to remind my future kids that i was young too.

it's so hard to get kids to see beyond the now. sometimes it seems futile.

but i'm easily inspired...i suppose the rest of my life will be spent depending on HIM so we'll see :-)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

again, plagiarism rears its ugly head

So i'm tired and i wanna go home so this is gonna be a quickie.
- how in HS u have a sense of justice.
- after Jake K got away with cheating in math all the time and then going to stanford, never thought lightly of cheating again.
- blah blah blah.

Our school
- don't give them an opportunity to cheat
- if they do make them re-do the test

Our school demographics
- ESL .. all of them. even if they're okay at it.
- suck at writing.
- don't understand WHY we quote things etc.
- dean/supervisors don't give satisfactory reasons since they get confused with modern ideas of intellectual property etc.

My class
- i have lots of ESL kids
- what i realized this quarter is if you bring up a problem it is up to YOU to solve it
- resulted in me emailing a parent every other night, giving the student heads ups 2 weeks in advance, providing lost/missed work over and over again... all so he could barely pull in a D- because he has a bad attitude, has ADHD, and thus never pays attn in class and has to make up classwork at home and needs to do missing hw etc. behavioral issues as well. did i mention awful attitude?

-- sooo i'm reluctant right now.. because i know for sure another student did NOT write his work. And it frustrates me to NO end because he IS ESL. HE KNOWS. WRITE me a sucky paper I don't CARE. just do it in YOUR own words! ... I hinted but.. it didn't work... he showed me his work again on the computer, and i told him he spelled "lives" wrong.. and he wrote "lif" .. -_- .. SOO for SURe a perfect paper that flows PERFECTLY cannOT have been written by you; probably by your older sister who is known to be a genius at our school. ...

and basically grades are due this friday. and if i bring this up with him, he will have to re-write it. I will have to be there to watch him and make sure he does.

I'm tempted to accept it since I didn't catch him and our school actually (although tacitly) seems to FROWN on catching... so i have to be slick..b ut OH how much EASIER it would be to just ACCEPT it, give him an A.. he's not going to pass anyway, why not just..


is NOT

If anything, i see fear of man here.. I so desperately want the stupid students to like me.. and yet I can't even tell them directly to their FACES that they need to be quiet. If a student protests my reprimand, I back down right away... or laugh it off.

I can't believe i FEAR little kids! and then I puff up as soon as they like me.

This week was difficult. In light of my review last week and noticing how the 8th graders aren't quiet and how the 7th graders are.. but... i don't know.


Psalm 139: <3

Saturday, December 5, 2009

what can i say, i'm a hater.

Ugh this is what NOT to do if you're a guy

cutesy pose: okay fine.
little pucker: a little border line.
lip gloss and eye liner? NO
greasy part in the middle/shaggy hair do a la Snape? DOUBLE NO

at least this time you're not wearing a deep v-neck or anything too girly.

I don't hate Jang Geunseok or anything, and i like his characters etc, but i feel like there's a line between metro-hot and ... uhh.. whatever he's pulling.

that's all.

and i know no one from dramabeans reads this, but seriously, having girls clamor all over this dude.. i gotta rant somewhere!


this was a fun read because
* interesting points
* well read/informed/researched
* interesting, plausible readings of the text
* not the normal blah blah psychosocio musings of why people like Twilight.

I almost regret not publicizing my thoughts about Twilight in a coherent manner just to say "What you're writing is NOT NEW!" to all those twilight critics out there.

oh well, they write it better/more concisely/humorously than i do.

anyway, ultimately, lately, i've been anti-Twilight.
It's fun to like the characters, it's fun.. but i think for me, I was just really profoundly affected when I first read the four books. (I actually physically got sick from not sleeping and my grades fell). and then let us NOT get into the emo-ness. LOVED the phone talks with beth tho.

Anyway, I see my 8th graders devouring those books, gushing over Taylor Lautner and stuff, and honestly I really don't like Twilight anymore.
It's one thing to eat ice-cream for lunch for a week; it's a totally different thing when you feed that to your kids.
Not that my students are my kids, but I just don't want them to get the wrong idea, to get messed up by idealizations from books, and to read the CRAP that's in there too (like the 4th book is way too inappropriate for middle school kids.. and come to think of it, maybe it's too inappropriate for older girls like me too..)

Anyway, i hope this is my last twilight-related post.
so embarrassing and lame that i know this.

but for me, i acknowledge it as an entertaining series.. what i don't like is when people blindly LOVE it.. because there is just so much wrong with it. i'm glad other blogs/magazines have pointed them out.
for now, i'll just post links instead of writing something substantial on my own.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Find out what it means to me!

So, I had a classroom observation session and my dean didn't say much except that it was fine.. that he wasn't quite sure. sort of how it seems disorganized (not his words; mine) and he's not sure if the kids respect me. Or he was sort of hemming and hawing between the fact that they like me but aren't afraid of me, which is good, but not sure if they respect me... perhaps he'd have to come back and reserve.

Anyway i told him this is my first year teaching and I'd be open to feedback, just b/c i know on his part it must be awkward to criticize a fiery teacher.

Funny thing is that today my kids were better behaved.

Anyway, the FUNNY thing is that what irks me is how he mentioned that the kids might not respect me. I think that sort of rankles.

Pros were he could tell I knew what I was talking about, he was glad I was using certain terms with the children..

i mean there wasn't anything bad that he said; except that maybe the kids didn't respect me.. and that really does sort of sting because out of ANYTHING that's what I want/expect from the kids...

but you know what?

I like the way my reading classroom is relaxed. I like the camaraderie I have with them.
And maybe if that doesn't look like respect, unless it gets so that kids are saying "Hey you" to me and not thanking me or raising their hands... I think I'm okay with that.


i did find out what it means to me. hahah. r e s p e c t.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

but it's attractive.

"Some wonder why many of us are making such a big fuss about the Manhattan Declaration, and I’d submit that it is because some of us see a dangerous drift happening. Packer, who signed the MD and also the original ECT document, is representative of this drift. It seems, and this deserves further exploration, that Packer’s initial steps in this direction started in the mid-1960s, then bloomed more fully in the decade following. Packer’s biographer, Alistar McGrath, acknowledges that Packer’s support of ECT “can be seen to rest on precisely the theological foundations developed by Packer in England during the 1970s” (J. I. Packer, p. 160). Specifically, Packer took the side of evangelical ecumenism in opposition to Lloyd-Jones in 1966, then co-authored a work with two Anglo-Catholics in 1970 (Growing into Union) that many evangelicals felt conceded too much biblical ground on critical doctrinal issues. The publication of that work led to the formal break between Lloyd-Jones and Packer, bringing an end to the Puritan Conferences.

I think this backdrop is important so that we see this issue in relation to the larger issues. Too many defenses of the signers of the MD err precisely by seeing only this document, not the larger questions on the table and trends at work. Once ecumenism has been embraced, common ground becomes the goal. That almost without fail means that differences are minimized or dismissed altogether. Perceived piety or devotion to good works gradually trump soundness on the gospel as the evidence of genuine Christianity. That seems like the only way to explain how Packer can claim that Teresa is a model Christian because “what one does for others is the real test of the genuineness and depth of one’s love to God, and specifically to Jesus Christ the Lord” (p. 262).

As I said earlier on this subject, the Manhattan Declaration represents another step toward accepting the false notion that being a Christian is demonstrated by doing something about social issues. It seems clear to me that J. I. Packer has taken that step."

ecumenism is attractive to me. a desire to be friends with everyone (people pleasing), a desire for social justice (perhaps stronger than a desire for personal piety and holiness a la James 1) makes the perfect formula for a wish for "why can't we just all get along?"

but, i'm also really stubborn and i don't like to be self-contradictory, and it doesn't make sense for me, to "hold hands and kumbaya" with people who don't hold to the same core views. If we have different reasons for wanting the same outcome, it's bound to turn out like a man on two horses. The horses might run together for a while, and he'll look really cool, but one horse is bound to turn one way or another and the man will fall; or even worse, the horses will approach a tree and the horses will naturally swerve to avoid the tree and the man will slam into the tree. It's bound to happen - at least it does in cartoons anyway.

the point of this is just to say, i wish, but i understand why not. and perhaps this is a good time to understand this as many of my friends go onto humanitarian efforts... just because we both seek relief for the downtrodden, doesn't mean we do so with the same motives or even that we can cooperate together beyond a certain superficial point.

i feel regretful, but it's only surface regret. i think right underneath that little crust, i know what i know.. but i want to at least acknowledge that it's not a single, determined, ignoring-all-other-options knowledge.


in other news. it makes sense that true Christians would have the gift of literacy... since true Christians want the Word and since the Bible isn't easy literature, people are naturally going to get better at expressing themselves and understanding. Furthermore, I think logic also gets a boost since we're not as blinded by sin. Really! Does this sound bigoted? I hope not. I KNOW there are plenty of non-Christian geniuses with great literacy. .. but there's also a lot of not-smart Christians, who for some reason can write or speak beautifully, logically, simply, or clearly.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


today abba and i went to see move '2012'. today was senior's day! hmmm, soon we will be quallified for that status!

if i were a grandmother by then, agae 55, it will be fun! :] no pressure at all!!! i mean it! God makes alll things beautiful for us all!
just start praying and asking God for the direction and hear from him then He always makes our path straight!

so much in the email to laugh at.
first of all the spelling and stuff.. she's actually good. i'm surprised at her random punctuations....

i like how she gives me a hint; then says no pressure; then slightly implies that i :"just" need to "start praying and asking God for direction" ... perhaps my path is not straight right now? hahaha.