우습지 않다 (fall flat with sb)

우습지 않다 (fall flat with sb) (그의 농담은 나한테는 하나도 우습지 않다); 싫증나다 (sick of ~); 눈에 확 띄다 (glaring); 시종일관 (all along); 안일함 (complacency); 스며들다 (seep into ~

A YMCA locker-room neighbor’s joke usually falls flat with me. Valuing diversity, uniqueness, originality and creativity in life, I feel sick of his invariable joke: “Have you received a call from President Obama, who is inviting you to become his Vice President?” The unattractiveness of his joke is glaring to me, who, as a career teacher, have fought to keep complacency, monotony from seeping into my life. In a given semester or academic year, I taught multiple classes at a university or high schools in Korea. Even though under an academic protocol there was no difference in textbook between classes, my ways of delivering curriculum differed from class toclass. In what has enabled the diversity, in Korean or Canada, all along my teaching has been revolving around interactions with students; and catering to individual students’ newly observed needs. Individual students are so diverse and unique in their opinions/perspectives and needs as to defy complacency on a teacher’s part. Being pedagogically valuable, their opinions/perspectives are the kind of resources that should be tapped into their effective and meaningful learning experiences; and, along the way, I feel that every single student as a human being deserves respect.

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귀 쫑긋 (ears prick up)

귀 쫑긋 (ears prick up) [잘못된 이념 (ill-conceived ideology)으로 양육되어서 (weaned on~), 영어공부에 방해된다고 한국어를 멀리할대로 멀리한 (distance myself from ~) 내가 세상에서 제일 반가운 언어 한국어에 귀가 쫑긋해졋다]; 피는 물보다 진하다 (thicker than)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

 Weaned on the ill-conceived ideology that the more exposed I would be to Korean, the less predisposed I would be to acquiring English. I had distanced myself as far from Korean as possible since my freshman year (1977) in Korea, while reading and writing only in English. In what repudiated the ideology, my M.A. and Ph.D. studies at Canadian universities occasioned my encounter with tons of empirical research findings that, to a large degree, effective teaching methods for ESL adolescents and adults boil down to maximally tap their first language-based cognitive competence into learning ESL.  Apart from this kind of turnabout in my attitude toward Korean, here in Canada, I normally use only English, with few Korean acquaintances. Although Korean has a really scant presence in my daily life this way, I doremember the moment when Korean gladdened me the most in my entire life. Once I finally got a long-awaited Canadian visa after medical re-examination, almost two decades ago, I was so excited with the visa that, with several huge pieces of luggage, I arrived in Vancouver for my M.A. studies at UBC even though I had no pre-arranged accommodation. Perennially strapped for cash, I couldn’t afford a hotel room as an accommodation evern for  one or two nights. In a storm, these piecessnarled me so much that I was reduced to helplessly crying. Then my ears suddenly pricked up and my face lit up. I heard passers-by speaking Korean, the gladdest language in the world! Although normally thin-skinned rather than thick-skinned, out of character, I mustered courage to run after them and asked in Korean “Are you Korean?” Coming from a large Korean company, they were doing a stint and were kind enough to allow my luggage to be left in the balcony of their on-campus residence until I would find an accommodation. Thinking of their kindness reminds me that blood is thicker than water.

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천양지차(a far cry from ~)

천양지차(a far cry from ~) [유학준비한다고 한국에서 10년간 김치를 먹지 않았던 (refrain from ~) 과거의 나와 캐나다에서 여행가는 두 딸들에게 김칫 국물을 배탈시 대비 약으로 챙기라고 권하는 지금의 나는 천양지차다]; 정해진 휴가기간 보다 더 많이 갖다 (get a jump on ~); 떼다 (wean ~ off ~)

Friday, August 1, 2014

My attitude toward kimchi is among the most radical changes I have made in my life so far. Today my two daughters get a jump on a long holiday weekend (the 1st Monday of  August: civic holiday) by getting Friday off and leaving for Montreal where a weekend concert features many famous North American pop singers.   Continue reading