Showing posts from October, 2005

Co PPi

Korean Deconstruction Coffee... Coffee comes in long, tube packaging because the Koreans like to use the wrapper as the stirrer. Americans need a spoon or waste time with stirrers. Dan

Picasa is the shit!

So, I downloaded Picasa for my PC at school and it is a great program. I mean it works almost exactly like iPhoto, but you can't get iPhoto for the PC platform. Oh, I'm in a transitioning mode these days, last night Firefox went to shit and it broke - losing all of my bookmarks and password saves. Ok, it was unintentionally my fault. Firefox has been getting really buggy, so I upgraded it. After upgrading a window came up that asked what profile I wanted to use. I tried the default, but it gave me an error message so I had to make a new one. The new browser was cleaned out of all the bookmarks that I had saved. That pissed me off...A lot. I spent the next hour or so googling for a solution. I found one. But in the process I learned about Camino and I downloaded it. I only played with it for like 10 minutes, but I quickly added my bookmarks from firefox and was browsing very quickly. For some strange reason, I'm not a huge fan of Safari. It doesn't seem to b

I'm going to learn to use powerpoint

I'm going to learn to use powerpoint this weekend. It's my mission. I'm going to load them to my ipod and go powerpoint crazy! Engadet has a good site. Dan


I'm testing if I can post blogs simply through my e-mail.  -- Daniel Lee Gray Yeoksam, Seoul, South Korea MSN dnlgray e-mail: Read my blogs at Sometimes you've just gotta put it all on the line and go for broke in this poker game we call life.

google...the next evil empire???

gmail is totally kickass, but google is not the underdog. They are a supersmart corporation that is trying not to act like it. It's as if they are super rich vegans, living in a cabin on a 100 acres of land. On the outside, the appearance is austere, but inside that cabin is super hooked up with all the latest James Bond doo hickeys and they spend 100 dollars on a karat of carrot. They are a braintrust and they are building up capital for an empire, but it is not only to do stuff with the google website. I think they envision a google empire in the horizon and the CEOs are smart, smart, smart. But I don't think they are sticking to their principals. Or if they are sticking to their principals, with the influx of cash they are getting now, they are going to jumpstart their plans several years early. The CEOs realize right now that there is an allure surrounding Google and they are playing with their stock like a steak on a stick around a hungry dog. I mean they issued

Halloween Lesson

This whole week I'm going to do a Halloween lesson. I'm going to pit the students against each other for the love of candy. I know it's a bit devious, but in this society it's an effective teaching method and dolefully encouraged. I am going to read the students a dialogue about Halloween and ask them questions. If they get it right then I'll give them candy. For the 3/4 it'll be easy, but for the 5/6 a little more difficult. I have two dialogues. One about the Day of the Dead and Halloween. This is one possible Halloween dialogue. This is from About Halloween Halloween is celebrated on October 31st. It takes place the day before All Saints' Day. In the 700's, the Roman Catholic Church named November 1 as All Saints' Day. The old pagan customs and the Christian feast day were combined into the Halloween celebration. Many superstitions and symbols are associated with Halloween.
I used pictures from popular animes, except for the cool butterfly one. I just like that one, so I posted it. Anyway, I linked them up with feelings words like annoyed, happy, smug, devious, angry, etc. It was a successful lesson.

The Apple Polishers - Explaining the press corps' crush on Steve Jobs and company. By Jack Shafer

The Apple Polishers - Explaining the press corps' crush on Steve Jobs and company. By Jack Shafer : "" As an Apple polisher, I feel that by buying Apple products that I'm being empowered. I feel a sense of individuality and yes, the product is prettier overall. Isn't aesthetics important? Do you remember the Apple "Don't be subjugated by Big Brother" commercial in the eighties? Apple has stuck to it's guns and have always been advocates of the message (although it might have been unintentionally as their stock fell to subterrean levels). And it might just be me, but I like rooting for the underdog. Now I don't just root for any underdog, it's got to be an underappreciated genius that deserves to be in the spotlight. I mean I loved Cinderella Man (but I'll admit, I didn't want to go at first because the title was too frilly...hence further fodder to my superficial nature.) The iPod is somethi

I feel that I'm getting old

I'm getting older and it's not something I'm quite happy about Is there something that will make me younger? These days I've been spending more time at different doctors trying to find a exliser somewhere that will give me a couple of years. (It might just be Korea, it could be getting me down.) There is nothing I lack these days. I mean I feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. I'm somewhat respected in my field. I'm halfway done this semester at Wonmyeong, but I just simply don't know what is wrong with me. I think I need a girlfriend, but Korean girls just don't do it for me. You know what I need? I need to have an intelligent conversation with someone. It's driving me crazy that there is no one I can really communicate with. I've also given up alcohol these days, and right now it is irritating. I've got a minute to class. Time to sike myself up. Dan

I'm at the nexus of weirdalities

I'm at this weird point in my life where I don't know exactly what I want, but I think it's there and honestly it's not all that appealing. Today, I'm going to change things about who I am. I'm giving something up that has obviously become a vice and important. People can change, right? I'm going to take steps to do so. I'm getting older, I think that what I wanted was in reach, but it is unattainable simply because I didn't take someone elses maturity into consideration. Life just trods on. Big bangs are so subtle that you need perspective to see them clearly. It's time to say good bye. It's time to say hello. It's time to accept things as they are. The colors are a bit muted now.

Next Topic? What is your personality? He's a Slob

I have a sheet that has a picture of a sloppy roommate. I could go into personalities- talking about neat, dirty, organized, etc. It's an idea. I could do a matching game...or I could use that lesson that I'm teaching in two weeks for Seocho city. Recap of today...5th grade Jang Mi were all acting like bastards so I left class 10 minutes early. 4th grade Mae Hwa is something I have to pay attention to. The teacher is super smart and I can tell that she doesn't really like my teaching style. I should make it seem really educational, for her. I know that my class on Monday, will be interesting for the 6th graders. Now I remember that if I simply do a couple pages from who's on first it is interesting and they like it. I'm getting tired though of doing all this work and not having them appreciate it. I feel like I should just go by the book. None of them will be interested in it, but I don't care today. It's a horrible way to feel about it. I guess

Superstitions Class 5th and 6th Grade

I start with a discussion about superstitions. I ask them what it means and what are some Superstitions that they know about. Then I go into the dialogue about superstitions. Girls: Did you wear green today? Boys: Why would I want to wear green? Girls: Because it is good luck. Boys: Is that some strange superstition? Girls: No … .It ’ s the truth. If you wear Green on Wednesday, you ’ ll have good luck. Everyone knows that. Boys: Did you know that if a bird poops on your shoulder, that you ’ ll be rich and famous. Girls: Really? Boys: Yeah. It is also lucky to have a tattoo if you ’ re a sailor. Girls: Do you have a tattoo? Boys: Yeah. I have a ninja on my back. Girls: Did you know it is unlucky to meet a barking dog first thing in the morning? It ’ s a Death Omen. Boys: What ’ s a Death Omen? Girls: It means that you ’ re going to die soon. Boys: Woooo

Superstitions Class Plan 3rd and 4th Grade

3rd and 4th Grade: Start with Alphabet chart with letters ask them to find out if their name is lucky or not. There is a great superstition site on the net, I don't have it here. If you need it please e-mail me. Then tell them about some other strange superstitions like, "It is lucky for sailors to have tattoos." "It is unlucky to open an umbrella in the house. I then went into trivial about the days of the week and what colors it is good to wear on those days. Monday: White Tuesday: Red Wednesday: Green Thursday: Purple Friday: Blue Saturday: Dark Blue Sunday: Orange Then I did a lucky talisman and asked them to add up the numbers on this chart 4 15 15 1 9 7 6 12 5 11 10 8 16 2 3 13 Everything adds to 34. If you write it on a small piece of paper, kiss it, blow on it then put it in your pocket- you'll have good luck.

Today's Class worked like a charm!

I revised my sports class. I started by getting them to throw a foam ball around to count ordinal numbers from first to one-hundreth (after twenty I got them to count in increments of 10). Then I went over baseball terms and got them to read about 3 pages of "Who's on first" I got them to read for Costello, but I should have got them to read for Abbott. After that I went over spelling of ordinal numbers and did a word unscramble game. I marked a spot on the board for each team and wrote "IRFTS" on the board and told them to unscramble it. The fastest team got a point. We did this for fifteen minutes and they had a blast. Dan PS. This was for my 5th grade level.

3rd and 4th Grade class.

The problem with planning with these classes is that they could end up as a riot of overly energetic kids. I'm not a big fan of chaos and well, they simply have too much energy. They should take the sugar out of their diet. Tuesdays are interesting because they are 2 classes behind everyone else. While I've got to make a new lesson for Wednesday, Tuesday is still on "Restaurants" this works out well because Tuesday is my busiest day with 5 classes. Gosh, I'm complaining that I have 5 classes in a day. I mean in Gyeong Ju sometimes I had like 8 classes. I average 4 classes a day here. I'm fricken spoiled and I'm making more cash. I'm debating on upgrading my internet to KTF "Megapass Lite" which should get 4mbps. Apparently the wireless service is just as fast as the landline. The 4mbps service costs 37000 + 10,000 won for a modem rental. It's honestly not that bad considering that I'm paying 15,000 for a nespot connection tha

ESL GAME Natural Enemies

This is a game for my 3 and 4th grade. Just write the numbers on the board and tell them to pick two numbers if it matches they get a point. If not the next team goes. This is the key 1. Harry Potter 13. Voldemort 2. Elephant 24. Mouse 3. Mosquitos 21. Dragonflies 4. Fox 20. Hound 5. Students 18. Tests 6. Snowman 19. Sun 7. Cops 22. Robbers 8. USA 23. Terrorists 9. Cats 17. Dogs 10. Shrek 16. Lord Farquaad 11. Computers 15. Viruses 12. Golem 14. Sam I want to do a complement expercise also like Peanut butter and jelly, Willy Wonka and Chocolate, Milk and Cookies, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (of course my examples will be more elementary for my 3rd and 4th grade) It's a fun game and they ask for it over and over again. Dan I need to change this...24 is too much for a 3rd grade kid's class. I want to make it 16.

Full Metal Alchemist

Full Metal Alchemist The Movie: The Conqueror of Shambala Edward Elric: The Full Metal Alchemist Roy Mustang: The Flame Alchemist Edward and Alphonse Elric So this is my new favorite anime and obsession. I'm trying to get all the episodes now. I've got a good bulk of them 01, 02, 03, 05, 08, 10, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31, 35, 37, 39, 43, 45, 47, 49, 50, and 51. There are only 51 episodes in the series, which is good because I'm just coming off my Bleach obsession, which I have almost every episode of now - however, I don't know when it is going to end. I should check that out. Anyway the story is that Edward and Alphonse Elric live in a world where alchemy is real and it is highly developed. It is a seeming similiarity and a foil to our own world. From an early age, Ed and Al are able to do magic, or alchemy. Every show they say that the law of alchemy is that you must replace something of equal value if you're going to change it. Or something like tha

ESL Games Idea

I have to think of how to make classes interesting and engaging for a class of 25-40 students. This is a bit tasking. I am trying to find the format that works in class and I think I have found it, but I always find myself changing the format because I think I need to make it more dynamic. The thing is, I don't have to make it more dynamic. They see me once a week. If they see the same act over and over, then they'll be fine with it. I think I'm the one that has to make it more dynamic because I'm the one that's afraid to get bored. Here's the format that has worked so far. 1: A short 3 minute dialogue 2: Going over picture vocabulary 3: A short class discussion about the topic 4: Going into a game that takes about 10-15 minutes of class Basically I need to plan for only 25 minutes of class. I need to teach them either pronounciation, some phrases, or some vocabulary. I don't have a window to more than that. What else has worked are Mad Li

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday

I am doing my cops and robbers class again and it is really effective. I think the double whammy of the game and actually having a piece of paper (I know that seems really ridiculous, but I've found that Korean students really like to hold a piece of paper.) I have generally gotten more participation out of this lesson then others. Also the game because it is challenging, while being team oriented makes them really excited. I should keep this in mind as I prepare for future lessons. I can put stuff on a piece of paper and do more team games. I would like to do a word unscramble and like 4 letter word decrypters (out of a longer word like encyclopedia) in the future. Make the teams rush to the board and write the solutions on the board. I have another mentally challenged student in my class. He is in 5th grade Mae Hwa. I sent him out of the room today, because he was disturbing the class. I know. I feel awful about it, but he and another student, were talking and causing a p

The Running Boy

There was a woman named Marie and a man named Warren that fell in love one day as they sat on opposite park benches on a spring day. They were married that summer in the park and by the following spring they had a son, William. William, they didn't have in the park but in the van on the way to the hospital. Now William was an extraordinary boy, for he was always in motion. When William lived in Marie's tummy, many curious onlookers were amazed by her constantly moving belly. And whenever Warren put his ear to her stomach, he would get motion sickness because, he said, "it's like riding a tugboat in a storm." Warren didn't like to move much and honestly, neither did Marie. These two were most content spending a quiet evening drinking Darjeeling tea and reading a book on how to properly raise children. When Marie went into labor, Warren rushed faster and faster to get her to the hospital, but it was as if William refused to lose the race. Before they even made i

It was a hit and a miss

This is kinda how I feel today T.T The Abbott and Costello bit was a hit and a miss. It was a single to the right field in the first class-Baek Hap, a Homerun in the second class-Guk Hwa, and a strikeout in third 6th grade class-Na Ri. It really sucked because the Na Ri class were all little bastards about it the whole time. They were utterly despondent and smart alecky. I had a couple bite in the class and they thought the exercise was worthwhile, but overall it was a bomb. I need to put my foot down the next time I see them, or I will have nothing to look forward to but dread... The smart aleck who likes to heckle needs to be put in his place. Anyway. The third grade class was fine. I did a couple of phonics exercises at first: Billy Battle bit baseball brats betting on better butter butts. Barry brought bananas to Bob's birthday brunch but Bob bought both bananas and bandanas. Alex ate apples in Alaska after artfully arfing. AJ ate eight apples at eight. Then I did ordinal numb