Thursday, May 19, 2011

Calippo Calippo Calippo

Dude. Seriously. Why are there so many people looking for pictures of Calippos??? If you don't know what a Calippo is, it's a fruity ice-block in a cardboard tube, and also apparently the main search word for people coming to my blog. Looking at my stats, "calippo" (and various mis-spellings) and "calippo ice-cream" were the top six search words leading to my blog, as well as the actual name of my blog and for some reason "ballerina loves ninja". I have no idea what the last one was linking to but there you go. Oh and "beast li gi gwang sexy" came in at sad number seven^^

Another K-star I like: Kim Su-Hyeon, better known as Song Sam-Dong in "Dream High" (a Korean drama featuring pretty much all of JYP's idol-flock as well as himself). Thanks to Michelle for introducing me to it! I'm not a fan of dramas in general (can't stand the terrible acting and highly improbably situations that they are entirely serious about) but this one is manageable, mostly because of Su-Hyeon. I have to admit, as cute as he is, I liked his shaggy hair look at the start of the drama when he was the dorky country boy dancing in a costume made out of a rice-sack best (briefly seen at about 0:20)^^

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Looking for a random game to play to fill a lesson? Not really new or improved, but why don't you try:


I play this with my students both to revise specific grammar and as a general game. Here's the link to the basic Murder Wink powerpoint which is in a format compatible with earlier versions, and also the Microsoft Office 2007 version I used with my 2nd graders (year 8) to revise textbook material which also has the explanation for another revision activity and the end of a Speaking Activity on giving explanations that I had to cob in. Just some guidelines to playing it: before you start, make sure that all of your students can actually wink. It's best to go around and check this one by one. Also, I try to choose an odd number of murderers, as murderers can also kill each other and you never know. Third, make sure the kids understand that only the murderers can kill people, not everyone (you should also choose them before you start and keep track of who they are). Last, although this game works with Beginner - Intermediate ok as well as higher level classes, in my experience it doesn't work with a boys/girls mixed class because none of them will want to talk to the other gender if they have a choice about it. The explanation will take between 20 - 35 minutes to give and check understanding, but it should only take about 7 minutes for the first group of students to get to the top level. If they get there faster they are obviously cheating (you should also make sure they understand that when you lose the rock-scissors-paper game you go DOWN a level, you don't just stay where you are). Anyway, hope it helps! My kids love it, but it does get a bit noisy, so be prepared to stand back and let chaos erupt. Good luck :)

Also, because this wouldn't be my blog without some sort of story about one of my kids, a few anecdotes to see you off. So I was discussing dol parties with my first grade boys (Year 7). A dol party is a baby's first birthday party where they choose from an array of objects which supposedly predicts the baby's future profession. This is traditionally rice (= rich, will always have food to eat), money (= rich), a pencil/brush (= smart/a great scholar), etc, but these days can also include more modern items such as a computer mouse (= computer expert), a mike (= famous singer), a judge's gavel, etc. So when I asked them to tell me what they had chosen at theirs, it was feasible that there were going to be some unusual objects. However, when one of them told me that they chose a gun, meaning that he will be a policeman, and another told me that he chose a knife, meaning that he will be a gangpae (gangster) I wasn't entirely convinced that these would be included. Later, I was practicing "going to ~" with my 2nd grade boys (Year 8) and showed them a picture of a baby in a doctor's coat. Because I'd told them that "going to" didn't mean absolutely certain, I asked them what he might be if he didn't become a doctor. Answers included: "a boy", "an adult", "a woman", "gay", "old" and "fat". But the best answer? "Homeless." ㅋㅋㅋㅋ

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

♥ Amber's back! ♥

Sorry that I haven't posted in a while. I've been a combination of busy, lazy and unable to connect to the internet. This last one is because my neighbour who also works at my school is getting married at the end of the month and so has moved out, taking her wireless with her. I now have that sorted however (an interesting afternoon of watching the SK Telecom man climb out of my balcony window and balance on the railing in his socks to reach the internet cable and then drill holes through my aluminium/fake wood plastic window frame to connect it).

But anyway, onto the K-pop! This is really just a short post functioning as a shout-out to my favourite female K-popper (and really the only female K-pop singer I actually like, rather than just liking the occasional song): Amber! Amber is the rapper in the SM Entertainment produced girl-group F(x), made famous through the song Nu ABO (뉴 예삐오) which is a great song in itself. Here's the music vid if you haven't seen it already (Amber is the one with the short hair).

Now before you judge me for going over to the dark side of girly 공주병 (princess syndrome), I should make a disclaimer. I like the SONG. And I love Amber - I'm not so keen on the other members of the band (Victoria, Sulli, Luna and Krystal). This is mainly because their girly Korean aegyo (애교 or affected cuteness) drives me up the wall, especially since Victoria isn't even Korean and Krystal grew up in America and Sulli always acts like the maknae (막내 or youngest member) and frankly like a baby even though Krystal is younger than her. Actually Krystal isn't too bad (probably b/c of the American thing and realising how freaking annoying aegyo is) but the others kind of make me grind my teeth if I see them on anything where they are being 'themselves'.

Anyway, back to the main and much less bitchy point; this is a great song, with a great beat and rhythym, and the group does have pretty consistently good choreography so I appreciate that the girls do work hard. But seriously, if it wasn't for Amber and her funky tomboy attitude, I wouldn't even bother looking up their new songs (rather than waiting until they become so mainstream you just learn them by osmosis). Now Amber is actually Chinese-American and like Krystal, probably realises the difference between 'cute' and 'sickeningly cute'. She does have her cutesy moments but these are pretty rare and nowhere near as intense as the others. She's also a really good dancer and rapper, and pretty much stands alone as the only successful female tomboy artist on the K-pop scene - she's known for her short hair cuts and I'm pretty sure she only ever wears pants (at least for anything publicised).

 Amber from F(x) vs Raina from Orange Caramel

In fact, looking her up on Google images, in a group picture of F(x) wearing hanbok or traditional Korean clothes, she's actually wearing a male hanbok (and looks like a boy). So yes, she's a bit butch, but there's virtually no such thing as lesbians in Korea (at least, not in public) so she makes the look work well without too many aspersions being cast on her sexuality. Oh and haha, yes, if you can't tell by now, she's totally my girl-crush^^

Anyway,  she has also been away for a while due to some sort of injury and is now back in time to be in their new song 피노키오(Danger) ["Pinocchio (Danger)"]. It's a pity that her injury prevented her being in F(x)'s short TV show 코알라  ("Koala") last year following them around their international tour (which was otherwise fairly boring) and also from not being featured more in last year's season of 우리결혼했어요 ("We Got Married") - a 'reality' show where two celebrities are paired together and have to pretend to be a married couple - with Victoria and Nikhun from 2pm. I'll have a whirl at translating the lyrics to some K-pop songs I like one of these days if anyone is interested, but then and again there's always Google :p Enjoy!^^