그들은 저를 저에게 거짓말하고 있을지도 저를 사랑할지도 몰라요. 누가 알아요?

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on June 14, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: They’re Either Lying to Me, Or Love Me. Who Knows?

So today in class I was teaching my youngest students how we read years in English. Which is really quite bizarre when you think about it. 1979 becomes “19” followed by “79;” instead of the more logical “one thousand, nine hundred, and seventy-nine” a foreign learner would expect.

To illustrate my point I wrote the only year that’s near and dear to my heart, my birth year: 1980. “19” “80” the more attentive half of the class rattled off before wondering why I picked it. So I placed “2017” on top of it, threw placed a minus sign besides it, and was dumbfounded when my newest student immediately answered, “Teacher, you’re thirty-eigh…seven?”

Seriously. It took her less time to mentally do the math than it took you to read the preceding sentence. Have fun, ask your child to do that in their head without the aid of a calculator, a pencil, or even enough time to hear the full problem. I was shocked, and I like to thank I’m getting immune to their daily feats of supergeniosity.

My shock soon morphed into sadness when I realized that I’m now older than most of my kids’ parents. Such a let down… and then: “Teacher, you’re 37? [Sure, just twist the blade!]”

[Sheepishly] “Yes, I am.”

“Wow, you look, you look 27!”

And with that, everything was right with the world again.

한 글자만 큰일 치를 수 있어요

Posted in Off-Season Reviews, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on June 10, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: One letter can be a big deal.

It’s amazing what one little letter (figure?) can do to the meaning of a sentence. Here I was, happy to be practicing “서운하다” (to be annoyed with something) and the “더라고요” verb conjugation (used to indicate something you saw/experienced but NOT tied to your emotions/thoughts), and in my original draft I left out the “-ㄴ.” That’s it. One little “-ㄴ” and my sentence transformed from maybe understandable into a fantasy about rampaging money.

This helps answer a question I’ve longed pondered, mainly why if I mispronounce or use one wrong vowel, Koreans will have such a difficult time understanding me. Like, if you were to say “That caT is beautiful” while walking down the street looking at cars with your friend, and he knew you weren’t a native speaker, I assume he’d make the mental correction. (And possibly correct you as well.) Yet, without fail, when using Korean there never seems to be any kid gloves. You’re either spot-on or incomprehensible. (Granted, that could be because I tend to speak in non sequiturs.)

But after seeing the gaff above, I’m beginning to see the light behind the dark cloud of Korean incomprehension.

그번역을 위한 기다리세요…

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on June 7, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: Please Wait for the Translation…

It’s funny, as comfort with thinking in a language just sneaks up on you. Today I as I was walking to my usual weekend lunch (BIBIMBAB WAFFLES!), my blood sugar was low, making me quite angry. Only this time I was composing my insults in Korean rather than English, which I imagine is like an insult coup de grace. See? Even there, I first wrote “cue-de-grae” or something equally stupid. My insult? According to the almighty Papago Gods was nearly spot-on.

So here it is, in all it’s hypoglycemic glory!

“He’s boring as shit. Please stop talking about him,” becomes “그는 재미없는것이 젠장(똥)만큼 이예요. 그에 대한 말하는것을 멈추세요.”

[Actually two flavors of vitriol there, as I believe using “젠장” makes it “…fucking boring,” versus what I thought (i.e. wanted) “…boring as shit.”

어느날 이학생은 누군가를 행복하게 만들거에요

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on June 3, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: This Student Will Make Someone Happy Someday

Ever feel like you’ve peaked as a teacher? Yesterday, as we were reviewing the new vocabulary, we also went over the picture here – discussing the organs. And, like magic, the girl who wants to move to Mars to get away from her brother, is like, “Teacher, what’s inside the intestines? Is that?”

“Yes, it appears our model has recently eaten. And is ready to make a deposit. High five!”

꽃을 “선생님날을” 위한 받았어요

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on May 31, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: Receiving flowers for “Teacher’s Day.”

어제는 “선생님날”이었어요. 그래서 저는 제 두번째 수업안에 학생중의 하나 꽃다발을 받았어요.

Yesterday, I received a bouquet of flowers from a student in my second class in honor of “Teacher’s Day.” (I also received a piece of “Dubble Bubble” but I believe one of the students lifted it after class. Different class though, as my first class is still rather cutthroat.) Receiving a gift like this makes me understand why random flowers have such an effect on women. Cuz getting something nice for no understandable reason (I had no clue that today [editor’s note: actually 05/15] was “Teacher’s Day”) really makes the rest of the day fly past. I’d go so far as to say it’d be tough for me to have a bad day after receiving a gift like that.

I was set.

미래에 천국의 옆에 아마 살아야 할 거예요

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on May 27, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: In the future, I’ll probably have to live next to heaven.

I think I was just given the best backhanded compliment ever. Apparently I’m “too logical” to believe in God. They were clearly correct though, because now I’m wondering how someone could say that without immediately thinking, “Shit, there’s something seriously wrong with my God here.” Or, to quote Sage Francis, “I don’t have a ‘God complex,’ you have a simple God.”

지금 화장실종이를 사용헐 거예요

Posted in Hobo-licious, Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on May 25, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: I will use toilet paper now.

I was making a vocabulary study card for “resign (사표)” and this image came up. While I’m still sad I no longer have the picture of the two week notice I gave Target, I think this pretty much makes up for it.

I told them that in two weeks they’d have to find “a new punching bag.” Which apparently confused them, as I was then called into HR’s department on Monday wondering why my weekend recap email had a count down (13/14!…12/14!)

The upper management couldn’t be bothered to write their own. One of the things I got in trouble for was making one for my team and not sharing it with everyone because… simpletons. It took around 15 minutes for the store manager to tell HR to stop asking me questions as I clearly wasn’t answering them.

My friend told me I should’ve written the notice on toilet paper, but by the time I received the text, I was already in the store and didn’t wantto go back to the car to get a pen/marker. And everywhere I’ve worked since hasn’t sucked…

옛날에 기억이에요

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Oldies But Baddies, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on May 20, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: An old memory.

So I taught a (completely useless) unit about Zeus, Hera, and Hercules today. (I mean, these kids aren’t going to encounter any of those three in their own country, and what’re the chances of them needing to know about any of those three if they visit the States?)

But it did get me thinking, do you think the reason the religious right is so up in arms about gay rights and trans people is because their own deity is… kind of fruity? I mean, Zeus had Hera AND mortal women on the side. Who does God have? You figure he must have the largest spot in Heaven, and it’s just him, the Holy Ghost, and Jesus living there? Like My Two Dads? Only the girl’s a guy with suicidal tendencies?

Just saying…

전투가 계속해요…

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on May 17, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: The battle continues…

새로운 그림을 볼때마다 그 상황이 같은 상황이되요. 보자마자 그것과 사랑에 빠지고 바로 사고 싶어요. 운좋게도, 요즘 제 스스로 더 좋은 조절이 가능했어요.

Every time I see new artwork, the situation is the same. As soon as I see it, I fall in love and want to buy it. Luckily, my self-control has been improving lately.

We’ll see how this attempt works out. I wrote it after visiting the gallery, while suffering from a day-long low blood sugar.

진짜 생일은 뭐예요?

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on May 12, 2019 by shenanitim

Translation: What is a real birthday?

Special birthday post!

When you’re taking a shower and think, “Shit, it’s almost my REAL birthday! What should I buy myself?” Then you realize you still have an unopened Christmas present on the living room floor. Maybe i should put it on double-duty and just carry it around with me to every birthday celebration. Really sell the idea that I care…