Category Archives: Teaching

Self-explanatory, I should hope :p

Dead Poet’s Society

Last night I watched Dead Poet’s Society, which is a fascinating movie about an English teacher at an all boy’s school and a group of students who are inspired by him. It isn’t a movie for young kids, but it would be a good choice for discussion with teenagers. Themes include: conformity, pressures on students (academic and parental), thinking for oneself, creativity, and poetry. It is not a happy movie, though the ending does shine a dim ray of hope for some of the students. There are moments of beauty and moments where teenage boys push against the great expectations of parents and headmasters in ways that aren’t always healthy.

But I’m not here to convince you to watch or not watch this movie. Rather, I want to delve into some of the themes brought up by this movie because of how they connect to my own experiences. So let this be a spoiler warning: what comes after the break will reveal aspects of the plot and ending; caveat lector. Continue reading

Reminiscing, Part 1

It has been a while, hasn’t it? As the school year winds down and I find myself with more time, I realize that I haven’t kept up on my rambling. I’ve also been reflecting on my past. It’s something I often do in my “sessions of sweet silent thought” (Shakespeare’s sonnet 30). I suppose I am drawn this time to remembering things past due to the fact that I will once more be unemployed. :(

You see, while my wonderful wife has been hired for another year at the school we’ve been working at here in Korea, I was not. To be honest, I’m not surprised. My classroom management skills are seriously lacking – a fact that has not been improved by hands-on experience – and I don’t have (and haven’t had) the time to observe other teachers. The only surprise was that I was never told by the person who decided not to hire me again why I wasn’t, especially considering the fact that he had never observed me teaching. So I’m left wondering if parent complaints, which have never really been relayed to me (and would be skewed by the fact that the parents only hear through the students and get a very lopsided picture… >.> ), played a major role in the decision and left to figure out by myself what I need to improve on. At least the person who observed me sat down with me the following week and explained why he thought I wasn’t asked back. That was the first face-to-face meeting I had on the subject. >.< A word to the wise: sit down and spend some time explaining why you aren't re-hiring someone - even 5 minutes could work wonders at preventing bitterness in your employees. The school is blessed by the fact that rather than saying, "to hell with you for how you treated me," and slacking off, I have redoubled my efforts to finish the library inventorying so that whoever they saddle with that responsibility won't have to worry about trying to figure out how I was doing things. As you can probably tell, I am still bitter about the manner in which I wasn't hired back. I don't mind that I wasn't hired again, but the way... And it's been about a month. >.>

In any case, trying to figure out what I will be doing for work next year has got me thinking back on what I have done.

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Playing Games

I’ve been keeping myself entertained recently by playing various games. :)   At school I play games such as hide-the-pingpong-rackets-and-balls-that-weren’t-put-away-properly, Fabula (I’ll explain below), and a homemade vocabulary game.  At home I play wash-the-dishes, Total War: Shogun 2, and Minecraft.  I also alpha test Antilia on Sunday, if I have time, and my former roommates are hoping to get an intercontinental Dungeons and Dragons campaign going.

Sometimes I play the computer games on my list because I need to do something that doesn’t require the sort of thinking I’ve had to do at work or because I have time for a little relaxation.  And other times I play them because it’s the weekend and my students’ stories make me want to curl up in a corner and cry, which is not the mood I want to be in for the whole weekend; it’s a way to cleanse my mind of the plot, formating, and grammatical horrors I encountered or build up my fun reserves before I march, pen in paw, against the paper giants.

But rather than just tell you that I play these games and leave it at that, I’ll tell you about them and why I enjoy them.

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The Nearer Your Destination…

…the more you slip-slide away. (there’s a song with those lyrics, but I can’t remember the details abut it) I feel this way about my den, for it seems the closer I get to finishing the re-imagining, the farther I get from actually being finished. And this feeling of sliding down a scree slope comes up with my novel (I need to do more revising than I have), with my re-inventorying of the school’s library, with taking Korean fencing 검도 (keomdo), and with staying in contact with all my various friends and family who are several time zones away. I don’t want to be distant and yet I seem to be sliding down the slope.

Perhaps if I managed to juggle my time better, I could get everything done in a reasonable manner, but… I’m distractable and there isn’t much outside incentive for most of these. The library project is closest to completion because it’s my job and I want to finish with what we currently have before all the new books arrive. z.z I’ve come to realize that my self-motivation can only take me so far, especially when I have no definite timeline to work with.

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On the Eve of School

Winter holiday is ending.  School starts on January 12th (so tomorrow).  It’s a new semester and I have new responsibilities!  You see, since three of the four students in my ESL class tested into regular class and the school has more than one ESL teacher, it was decided that I would move to more of a librarian.  In addition to my librarian duties, I will also be the Warden of the Infirmary, the Online class Proctor, as well as teach a creative writing class! ^^

I was going to say something about my adventures yesterday evening at the GOMTV studio, but I think I will hold off on that for this weekend.  I need to be getting to bed… ^_^;

Also, I’m going to be doing a little bit about SOPA and PIPA that are floating around in the US Congress this weekend because researching them is the primary cause I haven’t been writing about my adventures.  So expect more from me this weekend!

Blessings and peace!

Vulpine News

About the video:

I present you with the first broadcast of Vulpine News. Hear me talk to you about NaNoWriMo and read a poem off a tissue box by William Wordsworth (as opposed to William Wadsworth [an actual person; Wadsworth is also the middle name of a different poet], as I misspoke… I probably would have apprenticed Frederick to a pirate…). There is also a short reading from my NaNoWriMo novel – the only peek the public will get at the actual text of the novel at this stage in revisions.

This is also my way of trying to make up for not rambling on here for the last month or so. Now that I am considerably less busy, I should be back to a more regular rambling schedule. Also be on the lookout for more broadcasts of Vulpine News!

In other news, I had a lot of fun last night at the Christmas party the church I’m attending threw.  They had a banquet and I surprised the English service pastor by how much food I piled on my plate! :D   Naturally, I finished it all and enjoyed chatting with a teacher/editor and with some friends from university who are teaching at a hagwon not too far away.  Before the banquet was a variety of performances, including Taekwondo and traditional Korean music.  All-in-all a good time! ^^


NaNoWriMo Report #1

This is Direlda reporting in from the front lines of NaNoWriMo for Vulpine News.  Today has been a long day for writers, as they should be a fifth of the way done with their novel by the time the day has ended.  I started the weekend with a massive deficit, but now have a gain of 871.  This coming week at school will see if my gains will hold.  Or will a bear in tennis shoes come and ruin it all?

In other news, the past week was especially tough with extremes in emotional highs and lows.  La Niña wrecked some havoc, but this too shall pass.  The providential arrival of the superintendant has appeared to set a more moderate trend, but keep checking your barometers!

Finally, the Three Musketeers sang their way through my evening.  While I only recognized a few words (one of which being fool…), translations floated nearby them.  In Japanese.  So I understood slightly more than I would have without them, but not as much as I could have.  At least I recognize more kanji than I can write: 愛(あい)being one of them.

Tune in next week to find out if the 20k mark is reached.  And remember, we’re Vulpine News – our tales are fluffier and our spin is both admitted and more eccentric than the foxes on the tube.

Direlda signing out.

Breaking Radio Silence

I dust off the transceiver and hit the transmit button.  “Is this frequency in use?”


No response, so I repeat.  My words fade into the silence.


Satisfied that I wasn’t intruding upon giants debating how best to protect their castles in the sky from invasive vines, I say, “CQ, CQ, CQ.  This is Kitsune calling.”


Twice more I utter those words, but, aside from the brief techno power washer that leaves my ears ringing, I hear nothing.  I check the time.  I glance at the map and double check that they are within one of the reachable swaths.  They are.  I check my frequency.  I try again and wonder if the only reply will be light years away and won’t be able to answer until long after I have figured out how to have more than one tail.

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Floating in a Sea of Fables

A sudden squall came up last week and I was pitched from my orderly boat into the wind-lashed waves. I thrashed about in the waves; the waves kept marching on, rolling up and down, over and over until the whale road had carried me far from my boat. Once the wind and rain let up, I could see flotsam not too far off and swam for it. There was enough wreckage to make a raft.

I spent several days adrift on my raft. The first night was a bit uncomfortable because my fur hadn’t dried out yet, but I managed. I made it to an island and enjoyed a bit of a respite. However, the rolling waves are calling to me and across them is where my path leads.

What you can take from this creative rambling is that I’ve had a bit of a hard spot with teaching, but have made it through with a lot of help from the Lord. I meant to post last week and I meant to post earlier today because that is when I want to have my weekly ramblings occur, but school is still having a field day with me. So expect me to start posting regularly on Sunday mornings Korean time in a week or so (I’m realizing I need to be prepared ahead of time). Continue reading

Pizza and Chuseok (추석)

Today is Chuseok (추석), which is the traditional Korean harvest festival.  But more on that later.

I need to take care of a few maintenance things first, and rather than stick them at the end (as I would normally do), I am dealing with them now, since I feel they need emphasizing.

First, I am planning on changing the appearance of the emoticons.  I will be using TaniDaReal’s Foxy Mood Icon set.  Here is what the readme says:

I hope you like the Foxy Mood Icon set. :) Feel free to use it as you wish. Giving credit is always welcome. Please upload the images to your own webspace to use them (please do not just link to my website). The pictures are transparent gif files that work on all backgrounds. Enjoy! :) ~ TaniDaReal (

So there is credit where credit is due for when the emoticon appearance change takes place.

Second, to those businesses or spammers who have posted comments that my on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t that great: No duh!  That’s not my goal.  I’m naming pages with my own names rather than use the standard because I’m trying to fit a certain theme.  If not many people read my blog, then that is fine (yes, it would be cool to have many readers, but that’s not my primary goal).  I would rather spend my time and effort on creating worthwhile content than advertising and I don’t have a current need to pay anyone to advertise and optimize for me.

Third, I’ve dug out the tunnels to what should be the last of the main areas.  Since some of you may be lost or confused, I’ll provide a guide.

  • Fox’s Den = The home page (because a den is a fox’s home)
  • Ramblings = The blog (because my blog is a collection of my ramblings)
  • Scriptorium = Writing/art showcase (because the scriptorium is where monks copied books and illustrated manuscripts)
  • Chapel Ruins = Bible study information page (because you study the Word in both)
  • Scones & Tea = About me (because you might be served these if you sat down to get to know me in person)
  • The Meadow = Links (because a meadow is filled with a variety of paths going many different places)
  • Starwatching Rock = Contact Me (because of what my name means, this is where you are most likely to find me)

I hope that has provided enough clarity on the matter. If you think I need to provide this guide on a “static” page, then please comment on this post!  And with that, I will get back to rambling on Pizza and Chuseok. Continue reading