EDWISE  - EDITOR AND EDUCATION CONSULTANT
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A Year of Living Positively -Day 24

It's a little hard to concentrate because the washing machine is operating right now. Otherwise, I'm feeling very content and comfortable right now.

Actually, I'm a tad sleepy because I just had a pile of linguine covered in my own homemade tomato sauce. Well, I don't make it from scratch; I start with a tin of stewed tomatoes and add ingredients, but I skip the tomato paste. I just chop up whatever veggies are handy at the time, and try to include some kind of protein, like tofu, shrimp or seeds. This time, I put in eggplant, leek, mushrooms, green olives and celantro. I always jazz up the stewed tomatoes, which usually come seasoned with some oregano and whatnot, with a dash of vinegar, a little olive oil, dried flaked basil, and ground black pepper. As a meat substitute, I threw in some pollock--you know, that fake crab stuff.

Today was a wonderfully short work day and I got home by around four o'clock. This past semester, I only used to have one two-hour class on Mondays, plus an hour of office time, but I would always feel quite tired after that class. I guess that's because it was a freshmen conversation practice course, and it is hard work for a language teacher to lead and keep the shy and inexperienced freshmen engaged and practicing. Also, from Sunday evening to Monday afternoon, I'd have been concentrating hard on how to conduct the class and on what to do all week.

The general English conversation class, on the other hand, only takes place for 50 minutes a day, and it is mostly a listening class. They don't converse much at their stage; rather, they just read aloud and mimic the audio files and me.

Today, I had to arrive a bit early in order to prepare a test for this group. I also had to work over part of my lunch hour. After grabbing a sandwich (and sandwiches are terrible here--always spam-ham and processed cheese, or sweetened deviled eggs on sweetened white bread), I hurried to make up the test questions and write them down on individualized score cards. I make a marking scheme, then a marking sheet with all the students' names, then I prepare a series of test questions with some variations on slips of paper, so that I can pull one slip and write a student's name on it, then read the questions on that slip, and give it back to the student later as his/her notice. It should have been handled comfortably in the rest of the lunch period, except that a couple of people dropped by to chit-chat, one an always exuberantly cheery former student whom I'm always happy to see.

I have been teaching the civic employees' class for 50 minutes every Monday too, but it's been easy because they are advanced speakers and we don't grade them. Besides, that class is winding down. 

Tomorrow will be my last day teaching them. I'm not sure how to wrap it up. Well, there will be some closing and farewell activities on Thursday, so I don't have to do anything special tomorrow. These women are reluctant to finish their program because they must return to their regular office duties next week. I'll miss them not only because they're such a nice group of women, but because they're keen learners who like to discuss things.

I had to do an hour of open office duty, and I stayed a bit longer so as to write some new year's letters to friends in Canada. I used some lovely greeting cards that I bought from the public Post Office. On a sparkly white background, they depict a black horse charging happily through boughs of cherry blossoms next to the figure, "2014" in bold black script. This is the year of the horse, you see.

I arrived to my office this morning to find a stack of folded packing boxes and three big spools of packing tape beside my door. I'll start packing my stuff up later this week. I took home more computer hardware from the office today.

We've come to last days of work at the Uam-dong campus. I've another 40 days left in my present apartment. It will be exactly five years of living  in this are by the time I move to Namsan-dong. We'll be happy to be working in a new facility, although there are concerns about the daily commute. (I plan to live pretty close to the campus, however.) I should take photos of the old office to compare with the new one.

Well, I need to stop writing. I'll check out a movie or documentary instead.


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