Monthly Archives: November 2013

Two things I’d love to do at my schools/one morning’s mood.

    Use every smart phone for skeet shooting practice
    Smash every mirror against the wall

Nothing brings these thoughts to the fore faster when my Wednesday morning class of high school kids saunter into the room. They all work at being overworked and yet bored to the core. How that’s possible, I don’t know, but it’s there and happening all the time.

More than once I’ve had to take mirrors away and hear the incessant sine waves of complaint. The same for phones. They shouldn’t have them anyway, but kids are cleverer than they look. They whine and whine and I look at them and say, “That’s too damned bad. You’ll survive without your phone.” And once the daily reminder of phones and mirrors passes, it comes time to actually work. Every single day involves me barking orders like a battle commander to get the little twerps to actually write and speak in English. Well, half of them anyway. The other half won’t do anything. I’ve talked with them, my coteacher and I have talked to them, and my coteacher and I have spoken to their home room teacher. All to no avail. I can’t send them away. I can’t make them serve detention. They know it, and I know it.

Perhaps this is what semester burnout feels like. I’d do best to remember my days teaching in the inner-city. At these kids aren’t threatening tire slashings and stabbings. Nobody is saying “Fuck you, Mr. Buckyeye.” Nobody’s pimping or trapping. Thank goodness for that. Yeah….I’ll take apathy and self-absorption over gangbanging any day.

I’ll post some more about that sordid era later. The days have grown a bit too busy to do any long posts, but maybe I can get something up if I go back to my old paragraph at a time style of writing that served well in college. Cheers.

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Writers – Don’t Compare Yourself

Indeed, don’t worry about comparing yourself to others. I’ve never understood what people mean by “I thought I was doing well until…” Sure, it’s a compliment, but it’s also a self-deprecating comment. Why cut yourself down? By all means study from the masters and practice, practice, and practice some more. But don’t get discouraged when coming upon a (possibly) better piece of writing. Rock on. Opinionated Man.

The Korean Coffee Shop Experience

This has been my experience as well. Coffee shops are more for love lorn couples to imitate their favorite dramas or be alone together with their smart phones. This picture brought to mind a couple I saw in Uijeongbu. Fully half of their “date” looked like the picture and the other half was the two of them doing stuff with their smart phones. Sometimes they messaged by themselves and sometimes he showed her stuff on his iPad, but the phones were in use at every instant. Even as I write this, I’m at a cafe with my neighbor and we’re both plugging away on our respective blogs while surrounded by couples who depend on their phones for conversation. I have to wonder, does the man’s plan actually call for “sitting in a coffee shop and clicking on various Internet links to comment on,” or something similar? With all the emphasis the youth attach to coupledom over here, not too many look like they’re actually enjoying themselves beyond what they can about with their phones.