Archive for the Free-Range Tampa Category

이것은 어떻게 제가 공부하는지 예요.

Posted in Free-Range Tampa on May 16, 2020 by shenanitim

Translation: This is how I study.

Perfection. When everything falls into place. Yesterday when I walked in my classroom, I found “에 관심이 있다 – to be interested in” written on my white board. (My boss used my classroom after I left to teach a middle-school grammar prep course.) This morning when making a flashcard, I knew I couldn’t just type the blank phrase as the resulting image would be horrid. So I immediately thought, “I’m interested in music!” (음악에 관심이 있어요). Typed that into Google images and the first image was a literal translation of my thought.

(Even though if I ever saw that scene play out in real life (a duder hunched over his guitar playing his horribly shallow, little heart out cuz he feels it so bad!) I’d head for the hills.)

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…

하나님은 나비나 바퀴벌레처럼이에요

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Oldies But Baddies, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , on December 10, 2018 by shenanitim

Translation: God is a butterfly or a cockroach.

I had a fantastic realization while riding home from work today. I’m [38] years old, Jesus is commonly believed to have reached age [38]. So I am, without a doubt, better at life than God’s own son. Think about it, there’s one aspect of existence where I’m more talented than God.

So for all my 34 and up “friends” who are having bad days, just remember, at least you’re not Jesus. And thus dead.


Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Oldies But Baddies, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , , , on November 19, 2018 by shenanitim

Translation: Memories.

While checking out Facebook’s (horrid) “Live Through Your Past” function, I found this old one. Which, had I been actively chronicling my life over here, I certainly would’ve shared. So, enjoy!

When I left for work today, Trump was leading and I figured it was over. But I understood that some might still have hope.

On the way home from work the cashier at the convenience asked me, “미국?” (US?)

“네” (Yes)


She kept talking, yet, like some twisted Christmas Miracle, I could understand her dispite not knowing any of the words!

Granted, my Korean vocabulary [was] small, but I still managed to say, “슬픈” (Sad). Then, for added emphasis, “아주 슬픈” (Very sad).

사망은 창백한 말… 우체부의 오토바이를 타요?

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Oldies But Baddies, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2018 by shenanitim

Translation: Death rides a pale hors… post office scooter?

I got a letter from the government, the other day/

I opened and read it, it said [I’m?] a sucker.

There’s no feeling worse than showing up to work only to find out that the mail that is there for you (!!!) is actually from the IRS. Takes all the magic out of getting mail really.

전주에 다른 밤예요

Posted in Free-Range Tampa on October 8, 2018 by shenanitim

Translation: Another Night in Jeonju.

Oi, I was stopped twice on my way to the store today. The first conversation was great, cuz it was a good 90% in Korean. And it didn’t veer into any weird directions, or earn me weird glances, meaning I was following along well enough. Until the end, when they wanted me to go take part in a Korean ancestral ceremony (again). I told them I had already did that song and dance (minus calling it a “song and dance”), cuz if Saturday’s teacher taught me anything, it’s that THAT would not have gone over well.

Then they wanted to know “with who?”

“Look honey, I barely can remember my students’ names once our classes rotate. Seriously there’s one shy girl who comes out of her shell to say ‘hi’ to me between classes, and I have no clue what her name is. I’m guessing her parents weren’t prescient enough to name her the Korean equivalent to ‘shy girl.’ There’s not a snowball’s chance in Hell I’ll remember random Korean cult dude’s name was.”

Luckily my Korean is now strong enough to explain why I a.) never have my cell phone with me, b.) have never even bothered to learn my phone number, and c.) didn’t learn the previous teacher’s name. [Full Disclosure: I believe I have that guy as a contact on KakaoTalk, but given I’ve never contacted him, he has no clue we’re quasi-connected.] After basking in their stares of abject horror (since not loving cell phones in Korea to akin to admitting to terrorism), I thanked them for boosting my confidence in my Korean, complimenting my blue eyes, and accepting my lie about having to run and meet with a Korean friend.

I did, however, find out why remembering the name is apparently so important. It seems I was supposed to keep in contact with him, and as we talked my good fortune would accrue. At first I thought that was a silly idea, but 5hen I thought about my own religious friends.

How many of us have religious friends who go to church( every Sunday, no matter what? How is that any different from their luck accrual belief? You ever wonder just what your religious friends are doing so much of that forces them to continuously atone for their sins? Or why they don’t select a spiritual system more in line with their own values?

팀 선생님 시가 괴수입니다

Posted in Hogwan Hijinks!, Oldies But Baddies, Tales From the Hogwan with tags , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2017 by shenanitim

Translation: Tim Teacher is a kaiju.

File this classic under: First year teaching ESL in Korea (October 2nd, 2015).

It’s not often that I don’t have an answer in class. Today was one such day.

“Tim Teacher is tall.”

While that statement is grammatically correct, and also correct within the confines of said class, in any other situation it is completely wrong.

How do you break it to a 9 year old that while I am taller than him, I’m still not actually “tall?”

어제 밤에 도서관에 입니다.

Posted in Free-Range Tampa on September 21, 2017 by shenanitim

Translation: Last night at the library.

Yesterday, after work, I met up with a friend to practice my Korean. I talked about my day (i.e. asking a student if he’d eat the dead bug he was carrying around), and we reviewed my Korean writing. Which is where I noticed a trend.

Every time I write, it’s usually in the same format. 4-5 basic sentences (Subject – Object – Verb is all I can really handle) about something that happened fairly recently. And the first 3 lines go great, a few minor subject/object marker errors, but nothing horrible.

Then we reach the last line where the verdict is always the same: “There’s nothing objectively wrong with this sentence. It says exactly what you wanted it to. Only… we don’t say that in Korean.”

Apparently self-deprecation hasn’t crossed the cultural lines yet.

ShenaniTims Vs. Anki: Round 36

Posted in Free-Range Tampa with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2017 by shenanitim

Much ado about nothing on the Anki front this week. Besides practice, practice, practice! And I honestly think that’s been paying off. I spent the week reading Korean children’s books, and I can suss out the meaning in most of the sentences. And if you squint hard enough, you can see that my Forecast overage has now finally receded below 100!

Which means not killing myself daily adding new words while also doing 200+ reviews is paying off. Even if the payoff is slow and steady rather than immediate.


A bigger surprise came this week on the “I’m going to write for myself” front. As per an old(er) routine, sometimes I go to Hanok Village on Sunday and try my hand at writing in Korean. This week my focus was on the “because” conjunction V(으)니까, because it’s backwards to an English speaker. In Korean, you start with the 2nd clause, and finish with the 1st.

So instead of “I’m scared because the ghost killed my mom,” you say “Because the ghost killed my mom, I’m scared.” Which makes things extremely difficult (in speech, if not writing), because you have to think of your sentence in your head, translate it into Korean, and then say it backwards.

The upside to this is that once I get a handle on it, using the “if” conjunction (V면) will be just as easy, as it runs on the same basic principle.

So here’s what I came up with yesterday:

Now those corrections aren’t as bad (or as extensive) as they look. In the 1st picture the one big change is “날지” to “하지 않았어요.” Two mistakes there, one I could’ve avoided (않았어요” (past tense didn’t), as well as one I could’ve have known (“하지” rather than “날지”). It turns out that in Korean, you don’t say “I play soccer.” Instead you say something along the lines of “I did soccer,” or, I guessed, “I soccered.” Like I said, that’s something I would’ve never known had it not been pointed out to me.

The 2nd picture also isn’t real bad, as the extensive red there is listing other options for saying “because” in Korean. It’s not just (으)니까, there’s also “-서” and “-기때문에.” Though I believe, after a little discussion, that “-기때문에” is used more for past tense becauses. But those are just more options for the speaker.

The other correction, changing “저는 가쁜 나분 캍아요” to “저는 기분이 나빠요.” The first one (my original), says “I think/feel bad” if you can get past the numerous misspelt words. (I’m looking at you “나분.” Trying to say “bad” by modifying “나쁘다” without the aid of spellcheck.) The correct way to say the sentence would be by using “기준,” which is a word I learned (and associate) as “mood,” not so much “feel.” So that’s a(nother) bit of cultural-language lore for me to wrap my head around.