English teacher

Sneaky Selfies, Karma, and Loneliness

Right now I’m sitting in a place called Cafe Sunrise. As I type this, there is an elderly gentleman with a gold watch on sits in front of me. He’s in sunglasses smoking a cigarette. I caught him taking selfies, and thought oh how cute.  Then I looked closer, and noticed that his selfies were carefully composed to feature me typing on my computer in the background of every shot. 


why obsessed


I eventually decided to just go up to him and strike a pose.

(The Last) Letter from Korea, June 2014.

Dear Ireland,

If you’re not already aware I’ll be leaving in about a week. I know I’m going on about it a fair bit, but it is what I’ve been building up to for quite a while and it feels appropriate to me to talk about it a lot. Right now, in terms of being in Korea, it doesn’t feel like there is much else I should be talking about. One thing though that I’d like to make clear though is my intentions.

Never at any point have I turned around and said I have to get out of Korea for some abhorrent reason, like the usual tripe you hear about the inadequacies of Korea, Koreans, or indeed the inadequacies of those who cannot accept that this is a very different country to the one which they were raised in. I could go on here, but I won’t.

10 Things About Korea…

So I won’t be along here much longer, so I thought I’d give this a shot. There’s plenty about Korea that I’m going to miss, without a doubt, and then there’s a fair amount of things I won’t miss about Korea. It would be fair to say the same about anywhere, of course. So here […]

Koreaherald in Busan...anybody worked there? comments?....

Hello to all fellow teachers,


I am  looking into the Koreaherald English academy in Busan. There are two branches to my knowledge. Is or has anybody worked for them? If so, can you comment on your experience (i.e.: relationship between you and the director/other Korean staff, did they fulfill the obligations of the contract: pay on time or pay at all? vacation, etc. ).  Would you recommend Koreaherald?


Any comments or help at all would be appreciated.



The incident at the boys soccer game

If you read the last post, about how last week my girls soccer team lost a game but won a moral victory, maybe you imagined I experienced some sort of catharsis.

I didn’t – at least not that day. Because immediately after the jumping up and down and smiling and post-match hand-wringing in the name of sportsmanship, the boys team took the field. If at the end of the last post you had pictured blue skies, now picture gathering storm clouds.

No matter the country soccer is played in, you see, in my experience there is far less holy joy to be witnessed in the boy’s game than in the girl’s. Note need be made of the adjective holy and one game I played during my college soccer career perhaps embodies why.

2012 KOTESOL National Conference!

Saturday, May 26, 2012 - 09:00

May 26th is another in a series of special events for BGKOTESOL, as our chapter is host to the 2012 KOTESOL National Conference.  The conference theme is “Drive: Putting Students at the Wheel.”  The conference will be hi-lighted by two internationally experienced educators Mark Helgesen and Tim Murphey.  Here is a brief description of our presenters and the topics under consideration as well as all the details needed to get here.  We look forward to seeing you there!

I have a job.

One thing I don’t talk too much about here is work. The reasons why are because it’s work, and work is work, and there are plenty of people out there who are more suited to talking about my line of work than I am, and more importantly, I don’t want to talk about work.

I talk with co-workers about work all day in work. It’s work talk. The same work talk that everyone else talks about in work, which usually involves complaining/marvelling over something irrelevant to the rest of the immediate world. It’s not very exciting and the less I have of it the better. Sometimes I talk with Herself about work, and she politely grunts and changes the subject, which I’m grateful for. I do enough talking about work and you don’t deserve, need, or really want to hear me go on about work.

Greetings from Korea!

Greetings from Korea! I can't believe how fast time flies here.

All Foreingers Go Home

I picked Jim up just down the road from the apartment which had been his home for the past four or five years. He was standing on the corner dressed in black with the hood of his jacket pulled over his head as he paced up and down beside his suitcase and the few plastic bags holding his last few odds and ends. Loading these into the back of the car we drove back to my place and Jim settled into the spare room. Later on we walked down to the nearest Family Mart and bought a few beers. Back home, we settled in for the night.

I first met Jim over four years ago. We had similar interests but as people we were quite different. At time Jim reminded me a little more of my brother, especially in terms of these interests, but they are also quite different. We first met when we were going to the same open mike together to read out poems and then Jim joined the short-lived Drunken Writers Guild, a writing group that I and my friend Jeremy Toombs started.


I've been very lazy lately, I had meant to blog more often, since we are traveling so slowly and I have the time. Yet I find myself always finding something else to do! From laying on the beach, to walking through a street market and stopping at several vendors for some snacks (fried bananas, YUM!), or learning about the history of the country I am falling in love with. Talking with everyone, tuk tuk drivers and children, makes you think about what's fair in the world and sometimes question God, and that takes a lot of time! After riding go karts or spending our day at a museum that was once a school then turned into a Khmer Rouge prison and torture house for four years, we can finish off our night with dinner, where we share our meal with a 6 year old boy with holes in his clothes, who eats every grain of rice, even the vegetables he obviously didn't like.

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