Saturday, October 30, 2010

Korean lesson from me to you

There are some songs that are stuck in my head forever...Jurassic Park score, Radio Gaga, Yesterday, and this doozy from Stephen Colbert. It's nice to see Korean culture spreading to the U.S. The whole video is worth a watch, but if you want to see the singing culture war between Stephen Colbert and Rain (sensational Korean pop star), skip to 2:20 on the video. Enjoy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween...bwahahaha

One of my favorite parts of my job is giving my students a healthy amount of indoctrination into U.S. culture. I enjoy teaching kids about unhealthy foods, idioms, and holiday traditions. So far, they have the general impression that all U.S. holidays are centered around food and/or candy, which really isn't that far off. It is for this reason that they love Halloween. A day all about getting candy from strangers? Hooray!

I have spent the last week writing scary stories with all of my students. (except the five year olds. I don't need them wetting themselves in fear in the middle of my class.) The resulting stories ranged from, "Uh, ok, nice try, but I think you missed the point," to "How does an eight year old write such freaky things?" Here are a few of my favorites for you to enjoy. Start your literary criticism engines, folks:

I Go to the Zoo

I go to the zoo in the morning. Because I want to see animals. I see a lion and an alligator. The lion is smiling at me. The alligator is swimming and the alligator is very scary. It has sharp teeth. I go home.

By: David

***If you're not scared, maybe you don't get it. I sure didn't. But a good try.

Girl and Mean Doll

There is a grandfather, a girl, and a doll in the house. It is the girl's birthday, so grandfater gives her a doll. Sometimes the doll is mean, and the doll looks like eyes are green, nails are long, and hair is brown color. When the doll is nice, her face is like a doll, her eyes are blue color, and hair is orange color. In the night, the doll walks and sits on the stairs two times. The girl comes to put the doll back on the bed but the doll takes a knife and kills the girl. Then, the doll walks to Sunnyside play room and the other toys are happy. Many children come to Sunnyside play room and the doll kills every child so it is the only doll in the country.

By: Amy

*Why are dolls so darn creepy? Really? Amy also drew a really disturbing picture to accompany her story, but I'll spare you so you can sleep tonight.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Festival

The days are getting shorter and there's a hint of frost in the air, which can only mean one thing: It is time for Ponca State Park.

My family makes an annual two hour drive north to the small town of Ponca, Nebraska to participate in Halloween-related festivities as well as partaking in Busch Light around the campfire. My friends in California would say, "Oh, how you make casseroles, too?" Yes. Yes, we do.

The Halloween events range from ridiculous to traditional. On the ridiculous side, the pumpkin roll. This involves standing at the top of the hill and hurling a pumpkin down. Whoever makes it the furthest wins. I've always thought this event was silly (probably because I never won) but I remember fondly the year Dad got hit in the head by an errant pumpkin and that more than makes up for all of my mixed emotions about this one. He was uninjured, which is why it's funny now, and he wore a bicycle helmet the next year just in case. On the more traditional side is a haunted hayrack ride (I'm too cool to admit it's sometimes scary) and pumpkin carving contest (The family with knives? Sounds juicy!).

Over the years, Ponca has taken on almost mythical qualities in my head. Whenever I see something naturally beautiful, I compare it to Ponca. I have compared the mountains of Oakland, the Redwood trees of San Francisco, the rare spot of forest in South Korea, and even the ocean to Ponca. If something is outside, I will probably say it looks like Ponca. Ponca is my nature. I make no apologies.

Ponca is a time and place of simple pleasures and good conversations, and I look forward to when I can return and take Chin-Hwa on a hike through the forests before we enjoy a Phase 10 tournament with Chris's chex mix.