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New Sound Board

Kevin Marinelli is magic. He’s been working on a revision to the first version of the sound board and has now made it Arduino form factor compatible. This should make it much more accessible to the DIY and student crowd. He’s sending me the latest version for testing. I’ll be writing something up on this for the UConn website as well as submission to Make. But first testing!



Dinner with the Teachers

I just wanted to post this photo of a dinner I had with some co workers shortly before I left I Kids’ Park. We were at a Japanese place I’d been a couple times before. They serve raw fish and some other sides before dinner. I had raw fish and rice all mixed up with a spicy pepper sauce and vegetables. Yummy! From top left going clockwise we have teacher Eunhee, teacher Matt, teacher Ella and teacher Nancy.

teacher dinner

teacher dinner



The Story of Stuff – You MUST See This!

A really great overview video condensed into a quick presentation. You really MUST watch this video and pass it along. You can learn more and pass it around by going to The Story of Stuff website.



The Last Days at I Kids’ Park and Student Snaps

So this Friday ended my last full week of work at I Kids’ Park. I will go in on Monday and Tuesday and then I’ll be finished up. It’s a strange feeling. I’m excited to have some free time to do some photo work and relax, but mostly I’ll be busting my hump preparing for a move to Bhutan.

It’s hard for it to sink in that after Tuesday, I won’t see any of the kids anymore. I’m really sad about that! I’ve grown very attached to some and I think I’m going to be lost without them for a while! I took some pictures on Friday and I’m planning on taking some more on Monday and Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some images as I have time to process them. Until then, here is a series of images I put together of Helen. I don’t have her in class but she comes to see me almost everyday before classes start and I think she is a special person, and cute too!


Helen - February 6th, 2009

Helen - February 6th, 2009



The Alphabet

So I just posted an old Sesame Street number animation and thought I’d balance it out with an alphabet animation. This sorta works from the darkness and light aspect as well. I think I might show this to my really terrible students… hahaha… Do you think they would remember the alphabet? Or just have nightmares about it? hahaha.



Another Day at the Office

So I don’t work in corporate America anymore, and I don’t have angry bosses yelling at me. But I do have to deal with this. 🙂



Melissa, Olivia & Jerry

I’ve taken my video camera a couple of times now to school. I’m trying to get some clips edited and posted but it takes some time. I just clipped this one quickly and wanted to post it. This is Olivia, Melissa and Jerry. These are some of my favorite students. They are very cute, respectful, listen well and really try in class. They’ve been coming to school early and just hanging out in my room before classes start. That’s what they are doing in the video.



Rally Day

On Friday’s we have all the kids go into the lunchroom area and we do chants and songs. Picture me in front of a group of like 30-50 kindergarteners singing our school theme song set to the music from the Adam’s Family. You think I’m making this up right? Nope, the truth is stranger than fiction sometimes my friends. 🙂

Anyway, this rally was special because it was the end of teacher Nancy’s first week of classes. So the director introduced her to each of the rally classes. Oh, I forgot to mention it’s a new group of students each hour for four hours. So some of the pictures are from the rally and a few remaining pictures are students from a new speaking class I am teaching. Most of the students in the pictures I know by name now and I’m starting to get to know their personalities a bit. I’ll try to name them below if I can remember. Sometimes their names still slip away from me! Maybe I am a bad teacher! hahaha.

Teacher Nancy at her first rallyCathy, the school director is on the far right with Nancy beside her. She is introducing all the students formally to teacher Nancy.
rally classFrom front to back: Ruby, Evelyn (covering her mouth), Shelby, Jane and Eddie.
ChristinaThis is Christina. I don’t have her in classes anymore but see her at rally. She is just starting to develop her English skills but she’s always fun and has a great attitude.
Jennifer and BettyJennifer and Betty. Jennifer has some pretty pinchable cheeks but her sister Julie has cheeks that just beg to be pinched.
Lion and his prizeLion is also one of my students. He’s holding a prize he got for being a “Super Student”. It’s basically an award the students get if they get so many star stamps in their books. Lion can be frustrating, but he’s still a good kid, I think…
rally classFront to back: Ellie, Evelyn, Sally and Celina. Tim is on the back left. Most days I’d pretty much like to strangle him. Michael is on the back right. He can be loud, but he’s a pretty good student.
Cathy the directorCathy, the director of I Kids’ Park English school.
WinnieThis is Winnie. Her dream is to be a professional piano player, and from the looks of it, to win a Hapkido death match. 🙂 I love having her in class.
LouisThis is Louis. He is Teacher Amy’s son.



Seogwipo Times

So I woke up early enough to come and write a blog entry. 🙂 Things are going well here in Seogwipo. This past Saturday I went scuba diving in the morning and then to a westerners party later that night. The scuba diving here is really very good. There are huge soft coral cities! Most were a purple color mixed with orange and reds. There were also these more majestic looking feathery white corals as well. The first dive was a relatively shallow dive where we skimmed through corals in rock fields. There were some great walls that would be twenty or thirty feet high around us. I saw a very large lion fish at the base of a rock wall on that dive.

I hate to do this but here are some pictures I skimmed off the local dive shop site that we used to go diving, I wanted you to get an idea of the things I saw. I’m just sad I didn’t have a camera!

soft coral Soft Coral
Lion Fish Lion Fish
Box Fish Box Fish

The second dive was even better. We dove off the southern face of the island. It was a wall dive and it was spectacular! We dropped down to around 33 meters (100 feetish) and the bottom looked to be around 130-150 feet in places. The corals were very big and hung off the rock wall out into the ocean. This is where I saw the most of the white feathery corals. I saw a bunch of box fish, another lion fish and these Nemo type fish. They were black with orange stripes if I’m remembering right. I also saw these little crayfish looking guys that lived on the top of sea anemones. They were translucent and very tiny. I’m sure all the divers out there are like, duh they were “such and such”… I can’t remember their names. I’m bad with fishy identification! Anyway, the dive was superb and I can’t wait to go again.

Teaching the munchkins has been great. March is the start of a new school year here and some of my classes have changed. I think one that had my favorite student has changed but I’m not sure yet. I’ll be sad if this is true.

Anyway, I wanted to post some photos that I didn’t get a chance to post last time. Here they are:

Melissa and Olivia Melissa and Olivia
Julie Julie
Hellions Hellions!
Ally Ally
Nancy Nancy. It’s funny, Nancy Kam and I were talking about how people with the same names share similar personalities in some aspect. This girl is no exception. She never pays attention to anything in class and just draws the entire time.
Nancy, Ally, Megan and Andy Nancy, Ally, Megan and Andy
Nancy’s cousin and wife in Jeju City Nancy and I went to Jeju City to visit her cousin. They took us to a restaurant that overlooked the ocean and we had “hway”. It basically means things that live in the ocean, all served raw. I ate many of the things I look at while diving. I had raw hermit crab, clams, oasters, fish in many varieties, sea cucumber, and many others. It comes in courses, I think about 4 or 5 in all. The items in this picture were only the first course!
Halmony at the everyday market Grandmother at the everyday market selling vegetables
Nancy’s cousin’s family Nancy’s cousin’s family



Monday morning update

It’s Monday morning. I’m having coffee and a coconut pastry, that means I’m happy. It seems the Paris Baguette “bange cheap” is the best place in the city for coffee so far… I still have to try a few other places. Most coffee shops serve the watered down, weak, weak, WEAK variety. This place serves up a low-medium viscosity and it’s organic. I think this might be the best I can do aside from having it shipped.

Teaching is good fun, the kids are lively and exciting. They can also be a pain in the neck as well. I’m still getting used to the flow and my approach for teaching changes daily, but I’m settling in a bit. Today will mark the beginning of my third week teaching. Nancy is still looking at the moment.

We travelled up to the northern city, “Coo Jeju” this weekend to meet with her cousin. It was fun and interesting. We also took a driving tour of the east and west sides of the island with our new friend Robert. We visited a traditional korean village in the east and a beach on the west side. It was so cold and windy this weekend!!! I think California weather has thinned my blood or something.

Anyway, I’m going to post a bunch of pictures now… I don’t have much time to write because we’re still settling in and there are a million things to do. It seems we just keep looking around and having fun lately instead of getting things done, like figuring out how to use the washing machine and cleaning the apartment a bit.

So here goes the barrage of pictures… They are pretty random at this point and deserve explanation, but that will have to wait… If I have time I’ll try and add some quick captions… Here goes…

FreyaThis is Freya, one of my students. Cute as a button.
Wallace This is Wallace. I think his expression says a lot about him…
Ellen This is Ellen. She’s in Freya’s class. This is a great class. They are all cute, excited to be there and somewhat obedient… Which is probably the best you can hope for.
Juan and Rachel
Ellen, Freya and Sallyl
Vetro CafeVetro Cafe in downtown Seogwipo. This place is ok, but very weak coffee for my standards. I didn’t try the espresso however. It’s small and fashionable, but lacks the deep flavors my bitter heart craves.
Street Food There are street vendors like this all over the city. They sell waffle type treats and this one that looks like a fish and has “paet” inside. “Paet” is a bean paste that is sweetened… Very yummy! Some other places like this one sell “odeng” which is a kind of processed fish cake on a stick. That’s the stuff on the sticks in the hot broth. They also sell a lot of fried goodies with a kind of batter on the outside.
Roasted ChestnutsRoasted chestnuts on a cold night are very yummy while walking around the city!

I have many more to post but I’m having connection problems at this cafe!!! They will have to wait until later… 🙁 More soon…