Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer vacation

I finally have some good news. After months and months of asking for the same bonus pay and vacation time that my wife gets, and being repetidly being told yes and then a few days later no again, I finally got it. I am getting three weeks of vacation for summer, instead of two weeks and one week of so important desk warming. My co-teacher is ecstatic too, because that means she does not have to come to school and babysit me for that extra week.

I also got back pay for eight months deposited into my account, with that and my after school classes that I am once again the top bread winner for my household and as such I collected my ball sack back from my wife yesterday. I also get to be on top from now on, which is good for me because my back door will have a chance to heal.

Now comes the difficult part, figuring out where I am going to spend three glorious weeks this summer. Right now we have our eyes set on China and Borneo, but it all depends on our actual vacation times matching up, which did not happen last winter and we were unable to go anywhere.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The future

My wife and I got accepted to go teach English in Spain, which is far different from teaching Englishee in Korea. For one thing, far, far less money. Together we will be making a little more than one of our paychecks here. There is also no free apartment, so not only are we making half the cash, we have to pay rent too. But those are the only negatives, besides the impending meltdown of the Spanish Government turning the country into a apocalyptic hellscape straight out of mad max. Or at least according to Mr.Wonderful.

I agree, that Spain, is just steps away from being like Greece, but we wont be going for a while, so we are taking the wait and see approach. We are waiting to see if it is destroyed by an economic meltdown or covered in volcanic ash first.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today man schools are having fire and earthquake drills. The siren has been going off at my school for a good ten minutes and the only students outside are a PE class that was already out on the soccer field.

It does not really matter anyway, the fucking school will probably come down like a deck of cards if there ever was a reasonably strong earthquake. In the area I work in they have been building like crazy, or more accurately crazily building. Back in America when we built buildings, we had certain standards for safety that are not even close to following here.

For a large building to survive an Earthquake you need a good foundation, with several feet of hard compacted gravel for it to sit on, and large footings to keep the damn thing from tipping over in an earthquake. They just build these things straight on top of mud. There is no compacting, there is no ground prep, they just pour the concrete right on top of the bare earth. The footings are tiny, and would not be acceptable for a 2 story house in the states. Anyone who has ever played in mud knows that when you start to vibrate, or shake it, it liquefies. That is not a good thing to build straight on top of.

You also need strong, straight support columns, to hold up the floors above you, and large deep pilings to keep the building from shaking off the foundation. But then again that costs money. These things are going to snap like twigs if this building ever shakes and the six floors above me are going to come straight down on top of me. Standing in a doorway, or under my desk wont stop several hundred tons of concrete from crushing the life out of me. Consider this a 3X3X3 foot (roughly one meter) cube of concrete weighs around 4,800lbs or around 2400kg for the rest of the world. I can guarantee that unless you are on the top floor of your building, there is more than that above your head.

Not only that, my school is already showing stress cracks in all the hallways, and sloping in the classrooms. They fill in the cracks with caulk every once in a while, but they keep growing. I know that if my school ever gets hit with a big earthquake this thing is just going to crumble.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another term

We are starting a new term at my school, and starting it out right.

At my school we have mandatory material to be covered in every class, and it is dictated to us by means of a CD rom. There are certain units and certain chapters that must be covered by a certain time. At the beginning of the year the materials were ordered late, and we had to wing it until they arrived. Two weeks ago, knowing that we are about to start a new unit, I asked about it.

"Can I get the CD Rom for the new unit?" I asked the head teacher.

Blank stare.

"I don't have a CD ROM for units 4-7." I clarified.

"No one does." Was the reply. Then the head teacher began furiously digging through the stacks of paper on her desk. She had not ordered them yet.

I checked in again at the end of the week.

"The book store say they will deliver it this week."

"Oh good"

"But I don't believe them."

She was right not to believe them. They still have not delivered. I guess I am winging it again.

In other news, after our midterms, and my co-teacher asked me to look over some of the written answers.

"There is a dog and two trees in park A" Was marked as incorrect. I told the head teacher that this was in fact correct.

She said "No, it should say There are a dog and two trees in park A."

I said "No, that sounds fucked up." This is the way all their books and teaching materials say to do it. I believe that it is technically correct, but un-natural. Of course you would probably say "There are two trees and a dog in Park A" Which sounds more natural, but you could say it the other way as well. But the head teacher and all the co-teachers think that saying "There is a dog and two trees in Park A" Is incorrect. Then they wanted me to prove it was correct by showing them the grammar rules for it.

The only rule I could find was for neither or nor, where it states "The noun closest to the verb determines the verb" But they say that is only for neither or nor and does not apply to this situation, with fucking park A. I think it holds true in any situation, but I have no idea what that is called or how to prove it. So I am just going to forget about it. If they want proof, they can look it up themselves.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Breakfast in bed

Today my wife did something nice for me. In the thirteen years we have been married today was the first time she ever brought me breakfast in bed. I was very appreciative, yet very tired, I said "thank you", and because I was still tired and not feeling well (I just have been sick since friday) I set it down next to the bed and rolled over, planning on eating it later. After a while I decided to get up and have my breakfast my wife had thoughtfully brought for me.

Only the breakfast was gone. She had of course eaten it.

Thanks dear.