MontanaRon

An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Month: September 2008

This ‘n That

Today’s weather in Yeosu felt a lot like early autumn in Montana. The wind was blustery, threatening to strip the trees of their early fall foliage, there was a slight chill in the air and a wan sun competed with a slightly overcast sky. Still, that hasn’t’ stopped the last day of a 3-day student festival at the university. Various student departments (majors) and clubs have set up tents on one of the main open areas on campus, where they’ve been selling food, beer, and soju (the unofficial Korean national drink) from 6 p.m. to the wee hours of the mornin’. There are also various arts and crafts exhibitions, and one of my classes has a caricaturist, one of the students, drawing interesting portraits (for a price, but cheap = $3) of customers. He did a decently humorous job on me and I’ll try to take a photo of the final “work of art” and post it here soon. All in all, it’s been a very good time.

Yes, I’ve been keeping up with the developments in the U.S. about the economy and the campaigns. I won’t post my thoughts here about them–it’s not worth the heartache that might ensue–but those of you who know me know where I probably stand.

But the bigger news is that the Yanks won’t make the playoffs this year for the first time in eons. Well, in the immortal words of the late, lamented BROOKLYN Dodgers–Da Bums. No, no, that’s not right. The correct quote should be “Money can’t buy me love.” (If you actually click on the link and watch the video, I’m not really sayin’ that the Fab Four’s antics remind me of the way the Yanks played this past season.)

Finally, to all my Muslim friends–I hope you’ve had a blessed Ramadan, Insha’Allah. More later. (Insha’Allah)

Weather, Baseball and Down Home Guys

Although Tropical Storm Sinlaku might have an effect on our weather tomorrow, with a 70% chance of rain predicted, the conditions here have been beautiful lately, with blue skies and moderate temperatures. We had a bit of rain Monday evening, but overall it’s been very nice.

It looks like the season is over for the Yankees, with only a snowball’s chance in hell of making the playoffs. Hmmmm, then who am I rooting for? Not Boston, not ever, no way, no how–except for one condition. I would root for them, possibly, only if they made the World Series because I HATE the National League, but as far as the American League Championship goes, may the Red Sux be playing golf in late October. I suppose I might be prodded into rooting for Tampa Bay, but — and a BIG but — and in contradiction to what I stated above about the NL, I might root for the Cubs if they make it into the Series and if they play against the Red Sux, if they make it. That would actually be a fantastic Series, one for the ages. Not sure if it’ll happen, though. Both teams tend to disappoint. (An understatement, at best.)

So far, Yeosu, and, in particular, the university, has been superb. My students, for the most part, are very nice kids — respectful, willing to learn and willing to interact with me outside of classes. (Remember, I posted before that I live on-campus.) The city itself, which I haven’t seen enough of yet, is also quite nice. In many other cities in the country, foreigners are, in a way, frowned upon. Yeosu citizens, however, have been nothing but friendly to me. It’s really a nice place, the city and the university working conditions. I can see staying here for at least a few years, and I recommend the area, especially since it is hosting the 2012 World Expo. One upshot of having the Expo here is that the Yeosu City Hall is pushing for their employees to take English lessons, so I’m teaching a couple of classes a week that are exclusively for City Hall workers (very welcome overtime hours).

One observation that is quite a bit late. I was VERY impressed with Montana Governor Schweitzer’s address to the Democratic Convention a bit back. The guy was very folksy, yet oratorical. A credit to the state. I hope ALL Montanan’s, whatever their political persuasions, are proud of his appearance in Denver. More later.

Settling In and Hurricanes

No, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth–just busy settling in at Yeosu and teaching classes at the university. This weekend and Monday is the Korean holiday of Chuseok (chew-sock), so I have a bit of time off to catch my breath and make a post. I promise I’ll try to do better with the frequency of entries.

Right now, though, I’m watching CNN International and following the landfall of Hurricane Ike along the Texas Gulf coast, an area where I lived when I was a youngster. It looks to be quite bad in Galveston and other areas, so we can only hope for the best for those folks. My brother in Fort Worth might also see some severe effects of Ike as it passes through his neck of the woods.

And speaking of hurricanes, the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, has also been hit extremely hard in the past month or so. I guess I left just in time, more or less, and my sympathies go out to those people, also.

We’ve also got a typhoon, Sinlaku, heading in our direction, but it’s predicted to turn to the north east and rake the eastern coast of Japan. For now, though, we’ve had some very nice early fall weather, with clear, blue skies and mild temperatures. The area is quite beautiful, where mountains meet sea, and I’ve posted a few photos below and more on the new Yeosu section of the Photo Gallery.

Everyone I’ve met so far has been extremely friendly and I’ve struck up good friendships with the other 4 foreign teachers. There are 2 Aussies, a Canadian, and a fellow from just north of Boston (but I forgive him for his baseball loyalty to you know what team). Word is that the uni is hiring another teacher from New York, so maybe we Yankee fans will be in the majority.

Here’s a night shot of Yeosu from the campus, which sits high upon a hill overlooking the city.

Yeosu_at_Night1

I took a hike in the surrounding mountains last weekend and caught my first view of the ocean from the top of high hill. The photo I took is below. I rode my motorbike down to one of the beaches (didn’t have my camera), and it was quite nice, though not exactly the type of beach I’ve been used to for the last few years. 🙂

Yeosu_Harbor1

Here’s a view of the Cheonnam National University campus.

Yeosu_Campus1

And, finally, a shot of the building in which I work, the Health and Human Sciences building where the Language Education Center is located. More later.

LEC_Bldg

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