Archive for December, 2008

Few Photos of Seoul

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008
2008-12-27-Seoul

Boxing Day with my co-workers in Gangnam

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Some pictures of the Boxing Day lunch with my co-workers in Gangnam.

Makino Chaya is a really great restaurant that I would recommend to all (except those unfortunate enough to be vegetarians).

2008-12-16-Boxing Day

Christmas in Insadong

Thursday, December 25th, 2008
2008-12-25-Christmas

Large Heads

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

As an English teacher, I have to be careful about the things that I say to my students. A few days ago, one of my co-teachers told me that one of our students would not be coming to school today, because he was ill. Normal enough at this time of year, I thought. She went on to say that his mother had mentioned to her that the student did not want to come to school, because I had said something about him having a big face. I insisted that I had had said no such thing and that I had never commented in any way on a single student’s appearance and never would.

I taught the class, without the student, a little concerned about how I could have upset him. The other students seemed happy enough. As I finished the class, I worked out the problem and went down to the staff room to explain what had happened to my co-teacher so that she could relay it to the student’s mother in Korean.

In a previous lesson, I had tried to encourage the students to complete a lengthy homework assignment by telling them that they were very clever. As they were quite young (8 years old), they did not understand the word “clever”. To try to explain the word, I had drawn a quick cartoon on the board of a balding professor with an enormous, domed cranium bursting at the seams with brains. The students seemed to understand at the time, but I guess that kids sometimes get the wrong end of the stick, and this had thought that I was calling him and the rest of the class mutants.

I hope that we have fun in the lesson tomorrow.

Daegu

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

I’ve just gotten back from a short trip to Daegu.

2008-12-21-Daegu

A very nice city, with remarkably friendly people. The red bean pancakes that we ate were great. Apparently, eating them on the winter solistice is a tradition to keep the body warm throughout the winter. If the temperature drops to -14C again, that will come in handy.

How much efficiency is lost in a recession?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Many in the car industry are suffering because of the current global recession. Understandably, politicians are reluctant to let manufacturers go under. For example, some of the French manufacturers are turning to the state for aid (in French):

http://www.lefigaro.fr/…la-filiere-automobile-francaise-.php

Unsurprisingly, one of the conditions of the French bailout is the car makers should not relocate any jobs to factories outside France.

Has anyone done a calculation of the total loss of efficiency of the global economy that is caused by decisions about how companies are run being made for political rather than financial reasons? Am I wrong to assume that it would be a loss in efficiency? Do such measures really increase efficiency?

Gyeongju

Monday, December 8th, 2008

We just got back from a quick trip to Gyeongju, which was the capital of the Silla kingdom from 57BC until the collapse of that kingdom in the tenth century.

2008-12-07-Gyeongju

There are several temples and pagodas in Gyeongju that we did not have time to see, and we hope to go back there at some point before we leave Korea.