Eun Jeong called me last night (see December 9, 2002 for who this is... long story short, a girl I'm falling for) and asked me to come out and meet me and her sisters. We had a couple of pitchers of Hite (Korean beer) at a bar she likes. She said she quit her job at Parthenon (the bar she used to work at) because she wants her evenings free. This is good news for me, since I want to make her my girlfriend, and I think she feels the same way. Only being able to see her after 2 AM or in the morning/early afternoon would be a pain.

She and her sisters speak not a single word of English, so my Korean always gets a good workout whenever I see them. She's one of those rare Koreans who actually understand how to speak to a foreigner who is learning Korean. She doesn't speak too quickly, enunciates clearly, uses simple words and rephrases herself if I don't understand. Yet another thing to love about her. Her younger sister, on the other hand, mumbles, and I can't understand anything she says.

After the beer, we decided to go to a norae bang. For those who have never been to Korea (most of you, I imagine), this is a Korean singing room, or karaoke parlor. I sang a few songs, and managed to do a pretty good rendition of Sarah MacLaughlan's "Angel" (the Westlife version :-P ). Meanwhile, Eun Jeong and her older sister tormented the younger one by randomly increasing and decreasing the tempo whenever she was trying to sing.

Today it was Tuesday, generally a very good day for teaching. I taught algebra to my incredibly gifted student Michelle, who is in second grade, and speaks English and does math better than most sixth grade North American kids. As I promised last week, I played a game with my 5:00 class. I taught Canadian geography to my lower-level returning class (Korean kids that have studied abroad, and consequently speak English fairly well), and lastly did poetry with my genius returning class. Bella almost cried when I read "Ten Years and More" by Miriam Waddington. So did I, for that matter.

Playing Go on the Internet in the morning, I discovered that my rating on IGS has slipped to 15k*. This is annoying, because I don't like playing against 15k* players, and it's hard to get stronger players to play against you. I've noticed a strange difference between the style of play at different kyu levels. The 21k players still haven't grasped the concept of attacking to make territory, rather than attacking to kill. So those games tend to get determined by whose groups die. At 17k, players know how to attack to make territory, but are scared to fight, so the games are passive. The players who are 15k got there by winning fights against the timid 15k, so again, things get complicated, and games are often won or lost because someone dies. The 13ks are the ones I like playing against, because they don't let things get complicated when they're winning, and win their games by finesse. I learn much more by losing to them on technique than I do by winning or losing against a 15k because someone blundered in a complicated fight.

In the middle of the day, I went to a local bookstore, to try to pick out English textbooks for the next semester. The vice principal, who'd driven me there, had to suddenly rush back to the school, and I was abandoned there for about an hour. It only took me 15 minutes to look through the available textbooks, so I picked up a comic book version of Anne of Green Gables in English and Korean and tried to understand the Korean without peeking at the English. Unlike the last time I tried one of those English-Korean comic books, I only had to peek once every three pages or so. I was so pleased that I picked up a similar version of Beauty and the Beast to continue my reading practice at home.

11 days until I get to go back to Canada for Christmas vacation.