Saturday, June 13, 2009

Workday Profile

It occurs to me that I've never blogged about what I do all day in Korea.

On weekdays, I get to work a little before 8. I don't have to be there until 9:30, but I avoid the larger subway crush by going in early. It is still crowded at 7:30, but you don't get pushed around much. You can judge how crowded it is by how many people are touching you at any given point. Normally, you are wedged in between two to four people. Crowded is four to eight. If I can leave my backpack on for the whole ride, I consider the subway empty.

I usually teach one class each day - sometimes it is two a day. The classes I teach are for preparing students for Sara's class - the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) certificate course. All my students are adults (why I chose this job) and class lasts for three hours. I enjoy teaching way more than I would've expected - the students make it great. I've learned so much about Korean culture through them.

I am contracted to teach a maximum of six hours a day, five days a week, so if I only have one class a day, I have three hours to work on writing projects. My company mainly does online stuff - they are one of the biggest in Korea - and they have no end of things to edit or write. Most of the stuff I'm asked to edit is in pretty poor shape - 26 pages of text with no articles or prepositions - that sort of thing.

Sometimes I work on example sentences for test preparation (What is your favorite holiday and why?). I also have to come up with five multiple choice questions a week for an online quiz program, called "Quiz Quiz" (I believe they got the name from the free paper's "Quiz? Quiz!" section). Content doesn't matter, so I've taken that cue and gotten creative:
What were the flowing hair styles painted by Alphonse Mucha, the Czech Art Nouveau artist, famously satirized as?
a. Mucha's Mackerel
b. Alphonse's Alfredo
c. Mucha's Macaroni
d. Alphonse's Melted Mozzarella

The Rural Cemetery Act of New York was passed in 1847 to make way for development in Manhattan by moving graveyards and many graves to other parts of New York. What long term effect has this created?
a. There have been ongoing problems with water quality.
b. There are more dead people than live people in some districts.
c. Families of the deceased who were forced to move receive taxpayer money.
d. There are ongoing disputes about property ownership.

Recently I was tasked to rewrite a Korean folktale into something easier for young readers. This was a lot of fun.
Heungbu and Nolbu

A long time ago,
It was windy, windy, windy.
A little bird got hurt.

Nice Heungbu helped the bird.
The bird got better.
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

Next year, the bird came back.
The bird said, “Thank you Heungbu,
Now I give a gift to you.”

It was a big gourd seed.
Heungbu planted the seed,
Hoping it wasn’t a weed.

The plant grew a big gourd.
What a great reward!

Heungbu’s family sang,
“Let’s have a gourd, let’s have a gourd.”

Heungbu’s family opened a gourd.
What was in the gourd?
Treasure! Rice! Oh so nice!

The family was so happy.
They had a magic gourd!
They danced and danced a silly, happy dance.

Was everyone happy?
Not Heungbu’s brother, Nolbu.
Nolbu was mad.
He wanted treasure too.

Nolbu found a bird and hurt it.
Nolbu was so mean!
He wanted a magic seed.

Next year, the bird came back.
The bird said, “You were mean Nolbu,
Now I give a gift to you.”

It was a big gourd seed.
Nolbu planted the seed,
Hoping it wasn’t a weed.

The plant grew a big gourd.
What a great reward!

Nolbu was happy.
He opened a gourd.
What was in the gourd?
No treasure, no rice. It wasn’t very nice.

It was a huge ogre!

The ogre was angry at Nolbu.
The ogre said,
“You are so mean!”
“You hurt a bird too!”

Nolbu was scared.
The ogre hit Nolbu.
Nolbu cried, “Boo hoo!”
Nolbu said “I’m sorry for hurting the bird.”

The actual story goes on a while after this, but the children's version ends here.

My workday wraps up at around 2:00 or 2:30 and then I go home on an empty subway, have some lunch and hang out or ride my bike. Sara gets home around 5:30 or 6:00 and we will go out for bi bim bap (rice and vegetables) or occasionally kalbe (thin strips of beef you grill at your table), or we'll eat at home.

The answers are: c and b.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i love the children's version of the story!!!