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A Year of Living Positively -Day 8

It's on the verge of evening here. Just snacked on a couple more sweet potato pastries. The ones I like the best are the apple and mashed sweet potato, the whipped and swirled purple and yellow sweet potato on galettes, and the mashed squash inside a kind of pancake pocket. I did not like the green tea mix filling. Most of these pastries look like pigs in a blanket. See here.

No need for a proper full course dinner this evening because I feasted on an Indian buffet for brunch. There was a special buffet fundraiser on at an Indian restaurant just a few blocks from my place, you see. Since it was advertised to be open this morning, and I didn't yet know the set-up, I wanted to be there right at opening time to get the freshest food. It's a popular place, you see, and people talk about the charity events enthusiastically, so I thought it might get crowded right away. As it happened, however, I was the first to arrive, and I had to wait for the owner and staff to finish preparing things. It turned out that it was a weekend long buffet, rather than just a lunch time thing today. I ended up sitting alone but that was all right because the owner's a friendly and chatty guy. It was worth the wait. There was luscious lamb stew, chunky samosas with fresh potatoes, sumptuous butter chicken, and naan done perfectly just the way I prefer it done.

By noon, no other customers had arrived so I promised the owner and his wife that I would post this photo with a review on the social media site they use. Not the best photo but it is appealing, probably because of the colours most of all.

I know my post has helped, but I'm sure lots of people including my friends are going there regardless. For one thing, this kind of charity event is popular. You pay a mere 10,000 won for the big all-you-can-eat meal, and then match that amount as a donation. The restaurant owner will use the donated funds to buy supplies for a local orphanage.  

North American and other anglophones are in the habit of contribute to charitable works, it seems, and they want to contribute while they are living in this country. Donating to or volunteering to work at women's shelters or orphanages are popular activities among the expats here. There are many orphanages where most children have living parents but have been abandoned because of financial issues, taboos against teen pregnancies, births out of wedlock, and single parenthood. Women are largely blamed for divorcing, and they are seen as bad women by their peers, and women with children find it difficult to remarry because the new partner does not want the children of someone else. The ex-in-laws also shun the children of the castaway woman, too. As for women's shelters, the rate of violence against women is especially high in this country and the women (and children with them) in shelters need all the help they can get.

I just finished marking the final exams of one of the first year classes. They did well--too well in fact, for me to distribute the grades according to the institutions grading curve of 30 (A's)-40 (B's) and 30 (other). This was a case where all but two students had grades of B or higher, but I had to relegate the three B's to C+ for 70% of the 23 students had 85% (B+) or A's.

 I think these fine results are a testament to a combination of effective teaching and an eager hard-working collection of students. There was also good chemistry and great humour and attitude. I had a lot of pleasure working with this particular class, and I'll miss them. Here's a photo of them at our class party, which we had at a cafe. 

I'll have to make a syllabus for the new beginner conversation class that I must start to teach on Monday. Just picked up the books and the class list before the weekend. It's a challenge to come up with a good plan for this kind of group. It' won't be anything like the above group for the program is kind of a sideline to major subjects in other areas and taken so that students can still get the credit for spoken English on their transcripts that grad programs and employers want to see. Wish me luck! More tomorrow. 

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