Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Return of the Tiger (That's me)

I guess I’ve beaten the system, as it is not 4am right now. In fact, it’s not even in the AMs. It is in fact 8:30pm, which is 30 minutes before I start my evening Korean study…which I think I really should do tonight. I’ve been putting it off since I came back from the US, but I just talked to the International Office yesterday, and it appears that I’m going to have to take a Korean Language level test for next semester’s Korean classes. I guess taking the class doesn’t necessarily indicate that I actually acquired any skills. Normally, I would be annoyed by this, but I actually agree with their thoughts on this. At least this way, they and I have a better idea of where my Korean level actually is, which is good because maybe this time around I’ll be in a class where I’m not constantly behind the other students. A class where I’ll be uplifted and edified by my classmates…that’d be nice.

Anyway, I’m sitting in my dorm room, listening to JYP while I type this. Why JYP you might ask? Well, I told my roommate that I really wanted the song “Honey” by JYP because it’s friggin’ awesome, and he gave me the entire JYP collection. So, now I’ve got more than enough JYP to fill my desire for a while. But I gotta say, JYP is a helluva lot better than almost all of the current K-POP acts out there, even if most of his music is love ballads. The boy’s got skills. Interestingly enough, Rain, 2AM, 2PM, and the Wondergirls are all JYP creations, so…what gives :P I mean, as infectious as “Nobody” and as kickin’ as “10 out of 10” are, really? Maybe he realized that no one will live up to the bar he set.

Well, back on topic, so I’m back in Korea after 17 days in the US. I came back and was supposed to go through “quarantine,” but that was really just a group at the Airport making me fill out a card with all my contact information in the US and Korea, and then check yes or no to the symptoms of Swine flu and then get my temperature taken. After that, I was told that if I developed symptoms, then I should go to a hospital. Two days later, I got a text from the KCDC (Korean Center for Disease Control) asking if I had symptoms. When I said no, they informed me that should I develop symptoms, then I should go the hospital. A girl I was talking to yesterday told me that she actually went to the hospital and paid $100 for the H1N1 virus test, only to discover that the Office of Education didn’t actually need it, they just wanted to make sure that she’d been checked. Yep, that was a waste of a week.

See, I even took the free time to make lesson plans for my summer school. I was under the impression that it was my extra English class, that my students were 5-6th graders. My vice principle even said when I arrived that they were going to be 5-6th graders, but when I actually got there, they were mostly 3rd graders, with only one 6th grader on my roster, and she decided that she didn’t have the time to come to my class so she decided to drop it. That makes me upset because basically all my preparation was for nothing. So, now I’m sitting back, with no lesson plans, no co-teacher and a bunch of bored 3rd graders wondering why they are even in my class. And to top it off, the powerpoint in my classroom wouldn’t read the PPT presentations I prepared, so half of prep work was gone anyway.

Talk about committing harikari. I wanted to do it right there. The class sucked.

So, now, the reason why I’m conflicted about studying Korean tonight despite the suspended Sword of Damocles (aka language test) coming up is that I really have to change my lesson plans to work with 3rd graders. And these aren’t even the really good at English students, so I’m back to the serious basics.

Changing the topic, when I was coming back, I decided to eat a Baconater Combo meal from Wendy’s in the Seattle airport. You know what the Seattle Airport Wendy’s does these days? They list the calorie count for all the items on the menu. So, while I was waiting for my food to arrive, I calculated up the caloric count for my meal, and then I had a cow. A large Baconater combo is 2000 calories. That’s right, it’s the daily caloric intake, in one meal. One friggin’ meal. So, I’ve been shocked into a serious diet, because I began to think, “If that’s the case here, at this restaurant, how many times have I eaten like 4000+ calories in a day?” Sorry, but 4000+ calories in a day is just fat. Pure and simple. So, since I’ve been home, I’ve been seriously watching my calorie intake, trying to keep in below 2000 in a day. Now, I know that being a larger guy, I probably should be consuming like 2,500 calories, but since I’m overweight, I figured that dropping to below 2,000 was a good call.

So far, aside from maybe today (I had fried chicken breasts today, and I have no idea what the calorie count on that is) I’m doing great on this diet. And I’ve already noticed a change; and not a small “Oh look, these pants fit better change,” but a real, three holes on my belt, kinda change. That and Adrienne pointed out that it looks like I lost a bunch of weight. It’s been a little more than a week and I think I’ve lost almost 10 pounds. I’m a little worried that I’ll lost muscle mass, so I started the “Ultimate No Weight Workout” from Men’s Health today. My inner legs are sore and my pushups are pathetic. I’m going to keep at it. My goal is lose like 150 pounds at least over the course of the next year, maybe year and a half. It turns out that losing 4 pounds a week is okay, but usually people lose about 2 pounds a week, which is fine with me. I’m in the OBESE category, according to the BMI thing, so I need to lose a lot and keep it off.

I think that’s the worst part, keeping it off. I just have to make sure that Baconaters are no longer on my diet. Fortunately, they don’t have baconaters here in Korea, and instead, they have a lot of stuff covered in Chili paste, which it turns out is a good catalyst for weight loss because Capsaicin speeds up the metabolism. Sweet! This morning, I added Kimchi to my breakfast menu (which I’ve been maintaining for more than a week now) only adding 35 calories to my breakfast, which is more than the milk I use on my ¾ cup of Almond Flakes. Heh. It’s a trick, since nuts are also good for weight loss. Yep, I’m eating fine and I’m using natures weight loss helpers in what I’m eating. Smart, right?

Anyway, since I’ve been back, I’ve spent most of my time working on my lesson plans. I’ve only been able to see a couple of friends, Eun-mi and Seong-hun being amongst them, but it’s starting to come together. I’m sure that by the end of the week I’ll have things together. I’d better because on Tuesday next week, I have to give a lecture on team teaching at the TALK Ulsan orientation. Okay. Me, team teaching. I don’t really know what they’re expecting of me, since that’s not a common practice at my school, but I think I know enough of the theories of team teaching to fake it. I doubt I’ll be able to pull off an hour though, so as long as they don’t video tape the thing, I figure I’ll go ahead and use some of the time talk about some other stuff that might be more useful to the talk people.

Well, that’s about it. Oh, actually it’s not. As I was coming back from the international office yesterday, I happened across the Ulsan English Conversation Club practicing “The Merchant of Venice” and I stopped to watch. Next thing I knew, I was pulled into their group, asked to give my input on their pronunciation and whatnot. I think I’ll go back again and help more later, mostly because I like theatre. Besides, I know they could do a great job if they really work on their English skills….oh, and the chick playing the moneylender should really learn how to use her face when she’s on stage. It looks as though the most passionate character doesn’t really care about anything at all.

But that’s it. Happy trails people.