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This is stupid. Get on a plane.

From an old friend. Very effective guy -


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Getting Here Pt. 2

On The Very First EFL Teacher Blog Ever

Finally, my boss arrived and walked through the misty parking lot toward me, calling "Kebin?" I was about 15 hours of sleep away from making a joke like "no, I'm the other white guy stranded here," so I just said "yes!" She gestured to shake hands, extended hers slightly past her waist. Loaded with my gear, I stumbled within reach. She withdrew her hand slightly, and I firmly grasped her fingers, shaking with an earnestness that said, "this is a really bad handshake." Traditionally, Korean women do not shake hands, and their hands are not to be shaken. For those women that insist on humoring foreigners (and initiating handshakes), I would ask that they receive at least a little coaching beforehand. I can't really talk, though, because I have only bowed properly a handful of times, and am always staring people down instead of avoiding eye contact.

Our conversation was awkward and halting. At the time, I thought that we didn't talk much because my boss disliked me, but now I suspect that we didn't talk much because I had been awake for over 30 hours, she speaks almost zero English, and she dislikes me.

If you've seen The Big Lebowski, you may have still forgotten a fairly unremarkable few lines. The Dude has just told Jackie Treehorn, a serious businessman, that a child has stolen money from The Dude. Money that is owed to Treehorn. Mr. Treehorn barely understands The Dude's ostensibly BS story, so he drugs The Dude's beverage in order to get rid of him ASAP. As The Dude drifts off, he continues to embellish his incomprehensible story, dispensing mumbled advice and non-sequiturs: "...Brat. But I'm sure your goons can get it off him. I mean, he's 15. Flunking social studies..."

Flunking social studies...

This is exactly how I feel as an idea I'm trying to relate to a half-English speaker dovetails from general incomprehensibility to a bizarre, irrelevant addendum. It really comes down to being a bad conversationalist (being able to see that what was sent was received). I need to learn Korean ASAP because here, outside of the classroom, I can't even communicate in English quite right.

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