Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I have two rounds of presentations within the next month.  The first I just finished up today, with the students in my Winter Intensives course. It was pretty hands-off and I just ate Pringles and judged their performances. Second only to sitting on a couch while slave labor fanned me and fed me fruit.

rome decadence grape couch feed
For the record, finding this image was way more difficult than I expected it to be.

I have another round at the end of February with my regular course advanced students, and with this group I'm helping them a bit along the way (mostly with correcting the English in their PowerPoint presentations). This whole week, I've been bombarded with .pptx files and stilted English malapropisms. What's really fascinating about this particular round is that both groups were given free rein over the topics. In no particular order, here's what I've heard or will hear about:

  • Korean TV programs (Running Man and 2 Day 1 Night)
  • K-Pop groups (Beast and Infinite)
  • World food
  • Kim Yuna (of course...)
  • Korean MLB
  • Korean basketball
  • Soccer
  • Minecraft
  • Yiruma
  • Family
  • Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (This from an intensive student who spent all of January studying this movie, I suspect he didn't really make anything else in time and he/his mom/his teacher threw this together in a panic.)
The girl who presented on her family, Hanna, made an old-school poster instead of a ho-hum PowerPoint, with photos and everything.  She has a great little personality, as evidenced by this selection:

"My second aunt majored in voice at University, but I don't think she is a very good singer. She has two children. The daughter is in seventh grade.  She is very good at English speaking. She likes watching basketball game. The son is in fourth grade. When he was younger, he was very cute, but now I think he is a little bit ugly. He likes soccer, baseball, and basketball."

Note well that Hanna's little cousin, Roy (the ugly one), was also in the same intensive course and was in the audience when she was giving this presentation. He took it well and just suffered from giggle fits the whole time, even when she called him ugly.  I suppose insults sting less when they're not in your native language?

I'm looking forward to the Minecraft presentation especially. I'm tempted to see if I can whip up a hanok in game, screen cap it, and show it to my students in class, but really I'm too lazy to be bothered. Yiruma I'm looking forward to a lot as well, because popular Korean musicians who aren't K-pop groups always interest me. 

 But the best part about all of these are a little peek under the lid of my students' heads. Teaching is a lot more fun when you get to know your students as people outside what you do in the classroom.  I can't wait to see what they come up with.


  1. Huh. I'm pleasantly surprised to hear that the kids know about Minecraft. I don't play myself, but it's the sort of lower-key indie game that I wouldn't expect to be big in the ROK.


  2. Craft Theory: Anything that ends in "craft" is popular (or will become popular) in Korea: Warcraft, Starcraft, Minecraft, etc.

    Unrelated, but I love the reaction I get when I talk about how much I like playing Minecraft or Diablo or whatever else (complete and utter disbelief). Not sure if it's because I'm their teacher, or I'm a foreigner, or I'm a girl, or whatever else, but it's priceless nonetheless. I just wish I were more into PC gaming, none of my kids seem to be as much into consoles as I am.

  3. for the record, you sent me on a search of "free rein" vs "free reign" :-)