There hasn’t been too much going on around here lately, thus the relatively long time between posts. The weather has finally turned nice, with the gray, rainy skies and humidity of the past few months giving way to cool mornings and crisp, sunny days along with lower, but still high, humidity. Very nice and just in time for Korean Thanksgiving, Chuseok, of which there is a nice writeup here.
This year, the holiday falls on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the upcoming week. It makes for a short week of teaching, but, unfortunately, we do have classes on Monday and Friday. Most of the students are whining about this, of course, since they want to leave early for their hometowns and don’t want to come back until next weekend. I don’t blame them a bit. If it were me, I’d take off and not worry about being counted absent for the one or two days I’d miss. I told them that and said that if this were the U.S., almost all the students would turn this into a 9-day vacation and wouldn’t worry a bit about being counted absent.
I told my students that one or two absences are not going to affect their grades all that much, especially if most of them are absent. The grades are based on a curve system here and they are only graded within each individual class, not with all the other classes combined. But some of the kids are so overly worried about missing even one class that they probably have trouble sleeping at night thinking about that particular stain on their otherwise spotless record. Darned overachievers anyway. 🙂 Sheesh, take a break, go home and enjoy the extended holiday, lighten up.
Oh, well, whatever the case, I have to be in class on Monday and Friday, though I expect there will probably be a pretty light turnout, especially on Friday. If most of the students are in class on Monday, maybe I’ll give them homework to do over the period, so that if they want to be absent on Friday, they can get some extra credit for doing the homework. Something like that, anyway.
Also over the last few weeks, the teachers’ apartments have been without cable TV. We had the admin people check into it, and we were told that the cable is no longer available. We’d always had it, and I assumed it was part of the annual maintenance fee that we pay every year. Apparently not. It was hardly worth it anyway, with only 15 channels available and of those, 3 were English channels — CNN, a sports channel and Animal Planet, which never came in good. The rest were Korean, Chinese or Japanese broadcasts, and whenever a lightning storm or heavy rain hit, the reception was knocked out for several days.
But, today we’re going to have a new cable package installed, one that brings with it close to a 100 channels, including quite a few more English stations. We have to pay a one-time installation fee of 30,000 Korean won (about $25) and a monthly subscriber fee of 14,000 won (about $12), but it’s worth the price. Now, in my two years at the Yankee baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, I never had a television, so I could do without, but it’s nice to have anyway.
P.S. TS Malou never did amount to much; it eventually passed quite a ways to the south of us, so we got only a few inches of rain and a small amount of wind.