Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Tom and Leo . . .

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 at 9:01 am

I’m sure Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio are absolutely stunning in this.  Why aren’t they in the picture?  I can’t wait to hear them sing in Korean.

Seriously, who thought it was a good idea to make this a musical?  What’s next, ‘Hangover III – The Musical ON ICE’?

Drowning . . .

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2012 at 2:54 am

Last summer, I forced/asked/required the big little Stockdale and the middle little Stockdale to attend Mandarin immersion camp in Shanghai.  In a general sense, they had fun, but they hated the Mandarin immersion part.  After two weeks they made some friends, saw some interesting stuff, but couldn’t say anything more than hello and goodbye. 

The process of trying to learn through immersion completely confused and befuddled them.  The middle little Stockdale told me every time the teacher asked her a question, her reply was just to smile.  The big little Stockdale got so frustrated she was almost in tears.  I just kind of shrugged my shoulders at their experience and told them to do their best. 

Sometimes things come back to haunt you.

For the six months we’ve been in Korea, my need to get some basic understanding of the Korean language has been growing.  A goofy smile and hand gestures can get you someplace, but it really all depends on which hand gestures based on how mad you get.  It’s pretty easy to let your frustrations with yourself spill into a complete and total contempt for this entire country and every single one of its inhabitants, even though the reason you are mad is due to your personal inability to speak the language, not the complete and total lack of common sense from anyone on the entire Korean peninsula.

In an effort to remedy my lingual shortcomings, I enrolled in a three-week intensive immersive Korean language class at Yonsei University.  Supposedly, this is the best place to learn Korean in the country, however that information was provided by people who were born here, which gives them an unfair advantage.  It would be like asking me for the best place to learn English in Kansas City.

While I never ever ever ever ever thought I would exit this class fluent in Korean, I figured that I could probably get to the point where I could read the crazy alphabet and perhaps know enough to ask a cab driver to drive me UP the hill to our apartment, not purposefully leave me at the bottom of the hill by our apartment.

First, let me apologize to the big little Stockdale and the middle little Stockdale.  Immersion is the absolutely positively WORST way to learn a language.  It is like drowning.  When someone is drowning you don’t throw a bucket of water to them.  You don’t throw them a bag of rocks.  You don’t throw them a rabid Thai puppy.  You don’t throw them a totebag.   You HELP them.  You reach out your hand and pull them to safety.  Immersive learning is not helping, it is pulling you up on shore, kicking you in the stomach, filling your pockets with hammers, and pushing you face first back into the ocean for four hours day, five days a week, for three weeks.

I would equate this to trying to teach your dog to speak English by talking to them four hours a day, every day, for three weeks.  At the beginning, your dog knows one English word – ‘RUFF’.  At the end, he still knows one English word – ‘RUFF’. 

Three weeks ago I was confident enough with my pronunciation to speak one Korean word – ‘NAY’.  It means ‘YES.’   If you can guess what is still my only Korean word, please come to Seoul and grab a free tote bag.  I’ll be at the bottom of the hill by our apartment.

This week I start using Mrs Stockdale’s Korean tutor on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Maybe in a month or two I’ll be able to talk to our neighbor’s dog.  He may be small and furry, but he seems to understand Korean pretty well.  Worst case the dog and I can just bark at each other.  At least we both can say ‘RUFF’.

Nothing new . . .

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Not much new here.  Korea is cold.  Therefore, I am cold.


All three of the little Stockdales are home from school sick.


Three of the three little Stockdales have the flu and will be home for a school mandated five days of ‘rest’.  The flu is rampaging their school.   Seven kids in the crazy little Stockdale’s class also have the flu.


Two of the three little Stockdales have EACH puked up three doses of the flu medicine prescribed by our doctor and filled by my third world pharmacist ( Remember when barbers did surgery, that is what a Korean pharmacy is like. )


Mrs. Stockdale is conveniently in Singapore of all places.


Mrs. Stockdale has returned from Singapore, however she also has the flu.  ( Note, she is the worst sick person EVER. )