Saturday, July 30, 2011

In the Kitchen: July 2011

This months Top 5 Eats from the Harrington Kitchen are...

5. Peanut Butter and Oreo Crumb Cookies - sweet, peanut buttery and delicious baked or un-baked


Elementary Summer Camp: Seongchon and Bongam

An experience in photos and video. Dear THT Readers, enjoy a glimpse of English Summer Camp Seongchon and Bongam style!





Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teaching Success: Shark Tale Movie

If you haven't watched the movie Shark Tale, you might as well. Particularly if you can do so as part of your after school class two weeks before school is out for vacation.

Some common sense tips for 'teaching' 3rd and 4th graders using a movie:
  • Pre-teach vocabulary - especially to ensure your principal will look on you favorably as an English instructor
  • Watch the movie in small parts
  • For low level students use subtitles in English or Korean depending on student need
  • Review vocabulary and parts of the movie throughout the instruction process
  • Guide students in drawing some characters, the setting and a favorite scene of the movie. Advanced students can add a written description of any or all the movie.
  • Enjoy the movie with the students, you'll probably understand the humor and such more than they will anyway ^.^

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

About Nuclear Power: A Middle School Teacher Trip

Common amongst South Korea's teacher population are 'Teacher Trips'. On July 19th, Mike Harrington was lucky enough to find himself loading onto a party bus, complete with karaoke and dried squid snacks to head to...Techno Valley. A little area about 10 minutes drive time from his school. Here, he began 'learning' about nuclear power (although actual learning would have required a more advanced Korean vocabulary than either of the Harrington's possess). After a few hours of touring near home, Mike and his co-workers made their way to Gyeongju for a series of tourist site visitations, all night eating, snacking, singing and drinking followed by a morning visit to a nuclear powerplant before returning home and conducting final preperations for his summer camp.






Good-bye Dear Seongchon, It's been a Year!

Seongchon 4th Grade Students

Seongchon 6th Grade Students

Seongchon Grade 5 Students

Seongchon Grade 3 Students

A few days back, the Harrington Times presented a list of reasons that Melissa Teacher will be missing her co-workers and students at Bongam Elementary school. Having presented her final lessons to the students of Seongchon via a Dear Diary activity and summer camp activities ranging from a lesson on animals, hobbies and ice cream sundaes, the end has finally arrived. Before moving into a middle school setting, Melissa Teacher has taken another moment to jot down some favorite memories and lessons from her year at Seongchon Elementary School:

  • Paris Baguette Hamburgers with primary co-teacher Miyeong.
  • First day teaching jitters and eager faces of my first students in South Korea.
  • Opportunity to teach phonics and develop a teaching style for phonics
  • Leading games, games and more games
  • Reading about Doggy Poo
  • 5th grade students committed to teaching Melissa Teacher their names (Korean AND English)
  • Afternoon hikes and melt your mouth spicy squid, octopus and bean sprouts
  • Winter Camp and freezing toes
  • Peppero Day
  • From Head to Toe - Open Class
  • Sex Iron Tiger - co-workers with a sense of humor and dose of boldness
  • A relaxing, non-stressful summer camp

Monday, July 25, 2011

Celebrating Six Sweet Months with Lady Annyeong

Dear Readers,

Can you believe the Harrington's have had this sweet little puppy face in their lives for a whopping 6 months?


It's amazing how quickly time goes. Not only has Lady Annyeong been a member of the Harrington clan for 6 months now, but the Harrington's are currently days away from returning the home-land, friends, and family that they so dearly love and have missed for more than a year. Unfortunately, Lady Annyeong does not get to be a part of that journey. She will remain in Korea under the loving care of trusted friends and if all goes according to plan will return to the Harrington's at the end of August with the same depth of love and connection as she now shows them (awwwww...)

Anyway, six months into dog ownership the routine has melded a bit and is a constant showcase of the mutual love the Harrington's have for Lady and Lady has for the Man and the Woman. Each morning begins with a walk through the park or neighborhood street followed by breakfast for the Lady and a farewell which Lady accepts with increasing contentedness (which leads the Harrington's to question her actions during the day...hmm.) Upon the return of the Man or the Woman Harrington Lady greets each excitedly, grinning, spinning and chasing either Harrington until they finally stretch out on the floor where she is finally able to hop onto their torsos, stretch out and snuggle for an undefined amount of time. Eventually, the evening walk and meal are cared for in-betwixt additional snuggling and cuddling. As the day comes to a close every Harrington in the household, whether of two-legged or three point five - legged variety, makes their way to bed for a solid nights rest.

And that dear readers, is how life looks at the six month mark with an adorable pup.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dear Diary: A gift for the replacement GET

In transitioning out of her two elementary schools, Melissa Teacher wanted to create a lesson that would honor her students need to know she would no longer be teaching them in the fall while also providing some potentially valuable information for the Guest English Teacher (GET) who will come into this position next. The solution? A 'Dear Diary' activity where students read/listened to the diary entries of SpongeBob, Homer Simpson and Melissa Teacher then answered some questions about what they had heard. Students who answered questions or remembered a word from the diary, had the chance to throw a 'ball' into a a 'basket' Following the reading and listening activity, students were instructed to create their own 'Diary' entry that would tip the new GET off to student interests as well as language abilities. The folowing excerpts are some Melissa Teacher's favorites from Seongchon Elementary Schools students.



Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Renewing: A Beast to be Reckoned With

For readers who are unaware, the Harrington's have opted to re-new their teaching contracts and continue living life in Daejeon, South Korea. Staying in Korea was always a part of the plan, and thankfully, Korea has been kind enough to the Harrington's that the couple is willing to carry on. The next contract will begin at the end of August 2011 and go through August 2012. Michael Teacher has opted to remain with Namseon Middle School whereas Melissa Teacher has requested a change of teaching location and has said good-bye to the majority of her students at both Seongchon Elementary School and Bongam Elementary School. The decision to change was not an easy one, however in pursuing a master's degree online while teaching, it shall prove beneficial for Melissa Teacher to go from teaching two elementary schools to teaching one Middle School. (You read that correctly, Melissa Teacher is going to take on Middle School, prayers and positive thoughts are welcomed).

Now, the Harrington's have entered the process of renewing their contracts, a beastly process that has been made easier by the efforts of Daejeon's current English Teacher Coordinator. The process began about mid-June when Guest English Teachers were asked to check some boxes and mark their interest for staying in Korea, Daejeon, their current school. Following each GET's decision, the schools conducted an evaluation (slightly sketchy timing). From this point, GET's waited approximately one month before heading to the Ministry of Education to sign their next year contract and receive some important information regarding renewing, severance pay, and renewal bonus. In order to cash in on the money opportunities, GET's in Daejeon need to download, print and complete the forms found on the Hello DaeJeon GET's site under the 'What's New Tab' (as of August 2010).

Diligent GET's also went to one of the following hospitals for a medical check-up prior to signing the contract, however, a late check-up was also acceptable. On average, the medical check-up cost 90,000 - 100,000 won. Specifically, the check up is called:

건강채용검진 or “Gun Gang Chae Yong Gum Jin”

을지대학병원 – Daejeon Eulji University Hospital Tel: 042-611-3000
건양대학병원- Konyang University Hospital Tel:1577-3330
대전선병원 – Daejeon Sun Hospital Tel: 042-220-8000
유성선병원 – Yuseong Sun Hospital Tel: 042-609-1000
충남대학교병원- Chungnam National Univ. Hospital Tel: 042-220-9114
대전성모병원- Daejeon Saint Mary’s Hopital Tel: 042-220-9114

Renewing GET's should be sure to take 2 passport size photos and their ARC card to the hospital with them.

In addition, renewing GET's need to renew/extend their visa which is done via the Immigration Office. Again, the details for this process can be found on the Hello DaJeon GET's website. Visa renewal requires:

  1. Application Form - available at Immigration Office

  2. Passport and ARC card

  3. Paper/Business Certificate from the Ministry of Education (for Daejeonites this is included with the contract signed mid-July)

  4. Copy of new contract (August 2011-2012)

  5. Processing fee of 30,000 Won
Additionally, American citizens in particular need to update their Criminal Background Check and go through the FBI rather than state level. Detailed information on this process is not currently available as this is where the Harrington's have lost diligence.

If you have additional information regarding renewing in Daejeon or in other locations, feel free to share in the comments.

Thanks to Facebook groups and GET friends who've assisted in getting out this information for all who are renewing.

To friends and family in the states, renewing means the Harrington's were 'awarded' 2 bonus weeks of vacation on top of the 8 business days they'd already been granted, therefore, the Harrington's will be in the lovely states of Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana in less than two weeks and would love to see your smiling faces!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Seoraksan is for the Manly: A Photo Entry

On July 8th, Mike Harrington loaded a bus with some dudes. The crew made their way up north to the famed mountain range of South Korea known as Soeraksan. As the main reporter for The Harrington Times was not present for the Seoraksan excursion (due to a lack of manliness), the trip must be presented as a tale told by photographs since it so happens the primary photographer of The Harrington Times is manly (beastly, really) and captured the event well through the lens.

Dear Readers, enjoy, Seoraksan!





P.S. The excursion included a day on the beach near Sokcho. Hense the last collage of photos.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Good-bye Dear Bongam, It's been a Year!

Bongam Elementary School - August 2010 - July 2011

With many questions and doubts, concerns and uncertainties, Melissa Harrington has opted to change schools for her 2011-2012 contract in Daejeon, South Korea. The reasons for leaving are left for table-talk over a cup of coffee or tea. The reasons why Bongam will be missed however, have found their way into the blogosphere.

The following is a list of things which Melissa Teacher will forever carry with her from her year at Bongam Elementary school:

  • An entire year with enthusiastic, energetic and adorable 1st and 2nd graders
  • Making ABC Books
  • Students choosing English names of dear friends: SaraJane, Erin and Cailin
  • Learning kids songs and making up dances
  • Learning how to implement Classroom Management regardless of age and language barriers
  • Planning lessons solo, on the fly, and with occasional loads of time and inspiration
  • The delivery of notes and ramyeon dok pokki on Christmas Eve day from students who never showed an interest in English class
  • Watching a 5th grade class transition to 6th grade with as much energy, kindness, friendship and willingness to learn as they had had pre-hormones (Melissa Teacher admires them...<3)
  • Pulling off an entire week of Winter Camp dedicated to the stories of Eric Carle
  • Sports Day shenanigans, conversations, participation and relaxation - for once
  • After-school classes with sweet 3rd and 4th graders and a dinosaur name Gogo
  • Enjoying 9 out of 10 school lunches - especially pancakes and fresh fruits
  • Celebrating birthdays with thoughtful gifts and cards from students
  • Student determination to ensure Melissa Teacher would remember their names
  • An amazingly talented and passionate co-teacher who has a mutual love for the Mountain West
  • Gaining super-human flexibility regarding when, where and what materials would be available for lessons
  • And the students...oh the students. Bongam Elementary Students are surely some of Daejeon's finest. Those who are a bit rough around the edges are still fine and kind and lovable. They will be missed.

Class 4-1: Penguin, Mario, Luigi, Yoishi, Ca-uen, William, Jinu...

Class 4-1: Ji-su, Ji-won, Ji-you, Eu-gene, Min-seo...

Class 5-1: Cindy, SaraJane, Erin, Myeong-kong...

Class 6-1 <3: Rebecca, Rina, Amy, Hermione, Chris, Kelly, Grace...

Class 6: Sam...oh Sam.

Class 6-1: So much love

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Picnics, Meat, Pizzas, Fording Rivers and Fireworks - All in the Name of the USA

There's really nothing like being an American and celebrating the 4th of July. It's the absolute best day in the summer - complete with the best grilled meats, salads, games in the park, cold brews and of course fireworks. There's really nothing like being an American and celebrating the 4th of July as an expat. With Koreans, Canadians and South Africans and your American brothers and sisters from North, East, South and West.

This year, the Harrington's celebrated the 4th of July twice. Twice on the river. Twice with Lady Annyeong. Twice with good friends. Once with grilled meats. Once with pizza and kimbap. Once with a football and home brewed Apple Cider. Once with fireworks and a Pepsi. Once on the weekend. Once on a weeknight.


And, it's monsoon season. So the river walk ways are submerged. Lady made it safely. So did the Harrington's and their Monday night, pizza and kimbap, firework friends.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stories from the Couch: June 23 - 25

(As we begin to fill out this post, a realization is hitting...there have been CS guests whom we have not blogged about! Minor Crisis...will work to correct the problem in due time, for now, the story of the Harrington's most recent guests).

Sometimes the Harrington's aren't really that great at hosting. Such as the weeks when they're both planning English Summer Camps, Melissa's doubled up on the Master's courses and friends are leaving the ROK peninsula. Nonetheless, when someone comes a-knockin' (or requestin') the Harrington's nearly always say ... "Well, sure. We may not be able to give our full time and attention, but crash here anyway"...and so it was that the Harrington's hosted over the course of three days:

June 23 - 24: Racheli from Israel - Touring East Asia

June 24 - 25: Mark born in Manchester, living in Tawian 20+ years - en route to visit his mum

Racheli arrived first, by bus and impressively made it within just a few minutes of the Harrington's Galma home. Racheli and Melissa stopped at the grocers on the bottom of the hill, picked up some veggies and trekked up the hill, in monsoon rains, to prepare a bit of dinner and begin the lovely chats that are guaranteed when hosting CouchSurfer's. On the menu for the night was Black Bean Hummus Wraps with fresh Veggies and chatting about Racheli's previous travels around China and Taiwan as well as mapping out a plan for the next days Racheli adventures (Harrington's would be working, of course).

The following night, the Harrington's and guest Racheli welcomed in yet another CS soul, Mark. Mark is a champion on the bike (and on foot and occasionally in the water). However, at this leg in his journey the bike was giving him fits and he was carrying the beast in a large size duffle bag. Regardless of such hardships, Mark arrived ready to chat and make multiple attempts to bring Lady Annyeong into his good graces (he won some, he lost a few...she's apparently fickle at times). In addition to chatting and friendship building, Mark got to work in 519 Kitchen, a much welcomed 'intrusion' for the Mrs. as she was starving and exhausted and slightly fed up with cooking while trying to complete course work. The first night, Mark made 'three-cups tofu' in similar fashion as 'three cups chicken'. The following morning, it was a thick Taiwanese Pancake that the Mrs. has been trying to recreate on a regular basis since...


It's delicious. Anyway, following breakfast, the CouchSurfers headed their separate ways - Racheli off to Nonsan, Mark off for a run. The Harrington's hunkered down and got to work on various odds and ends for those camps and courses mentioned previously. Upon Mark's return, the three made their way to Weizen-haus for all you can drink brews and all you can eat buffet for 18,000 won (5:00-10:00 - not a bad deal at all!) as well as to say good-bye to some dear folks heading home to Colorado after nearly a year in the ROK. The night ended with all folks hitting the hay and sleeping well until morning when Mark once again served up another Taiwanese style pancake - this time more crepe-like and filled with sauteed veggies.

Regardless of what was on their to-do list, the Harrington's always enjoy the company of CouchSurfers, hearing their stories, learning new things and having someone else prepare the food for a change is an added bonus. (Now, to work on remembering who of our CS hosts we The Harrington Times have failed to write about...)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

In the Kitchen: June 2011

June was actually a bit rough on the Mrs. which occasionally means amazing dishes made out of desperation to escape the 'hellish' moments of teaching, studying and simply being, because for the Mrs. cooking (and enjoying finished products) is a great release. However, a rough month can also mean a true lack of time, inspiration and well as an increased sweet tooth, all of which is relatively apparent from June's kitchen creations. Regardless, here are 5 that are likely to happen again!

5. Thai Veggie Salad - Fresh, light, perfect for a hot and humid summer afternoon or evening, particularly when paired with good friends at a favorite coffee shop near home.


4. Choco-Coco Bars - A little slice of heaven after two weeks of MAED hell...seriously.


3. Nutella Mug Cake - amazingly quick and delicious and incorporates Nutella, what's not to love? P.S. Is made in a microwave so it's the PERFECT dessert for any and all living life in Korea sans oven. You can thank that Mrs. later, now you should just make the darn mug cake!


2. Vanilla Pudding - Absolutely scrumptious, especially if you're the man of the house and staying up late into the night watching TV and reading books...1/2 cup of pudding for the Mrs. and 4 cups of pudding for the Mr.

1. Biscuits and Gravy - A craving finally fulfilled...twice (or more if you count the vast amount of leftovers. Purchasing real butter at Costco and an Oven while in Korea are worth it if you get to enjoy a meal of this caliber, although, nothing can beat Grandma's biscuits and gravy....mmmmm, maybe Grams will read this post and figure out a way to make the Harrington duo some Biscuits and Gravy while they're home in August...hint, hint. (I Love you GRANDMA!)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Everland: Where Everyday is a Holiday

The weekend of July 18th the Harrington's found themselves on the road with Kolt and Holly Callaway, drinking smoothies from a Ziploc and hoping that Everland would live up to it's hype. Just under a couple of hours by Kia Matiz and the couples were parking, gathering thier water, cameras and peanut butter jelly sandwiches and heading into the main gates of South Korea's Everland Amusement Park owned by one of Korea's leading companies, Samsung. Upon entering the park, the couples were greeted by the magic of dolphins hanging from trees and European mountain was bound to be a good day.


Not wanting to waste any time, the group of four quickly made their way to Everland's claim to fame, the T-Express. Known for being the world's steepest wooden roller-coaster, T-Express draws in the crowds year round. For the Harrington's and Callaways, the T-Express was first on the list of rides to ride, and the four were far from disappointed. After a short 40-50 minutes of standing in line, the crew took their seats near the back of the coaster, buckled up and hoped for a thrilling ride. After a steep climb the couples were SHOCKED by how quickly and how steep the 'steepest wooden roller coaster' lets the riders fall into a series of twists, turns and near decapitations. Having survived the coaster once, the four friends made a few rounds in the animal 'kingdoms' before returning for another go on the T-Express. That's right, T-Express, 2 Times because they're champions!
For the Callaway's and the Mrs. of the Harrington clan, the animals always hold a special appeal. Everland's animals were no disappointment. From 'Wild Babies', to swimming seals, to acrobatic monkey's, prehistoric turtles to oddly functioning kangaroo's the animals of Everland are constantly entertaining and fascinating. Between one zoo enclave to the next, the four friends made their way into an animal show which highlighted birds that fetch 1,000 won bills, dogs that play pianos, and a myriad of animals that run across a stage. All in all, very good times to be had amongst the animals of Everland.
The following photo collage serves as a warning message to all who may one day venture to Everland. Should you be on your way to chow-down and have not been drinking much water nor eating, the following is not highly recommended. The Callaway's were not too thrilled with their decision to "Spin It" right before a picnic lunch. Learn from their mistakes dear readers, learn from their mistakes.
As is true of any day amongst Koreans, the opportunities for photos abound. Cute children and cute couples rule the lay of the land at Everland. For 35,000 - 38,000 Won, (check the Everland website or chat with Korean friends to find out about discounts) Everland is a perfect value. Food prices are reasonable (2,000 for Churro and 4,000 for Hot Dog, etc.), there is plenty to do, and the shows (animal, acrobatic, Summer Splash, Parade of Lights, etc.) are free of cost.


Were the Harrington's to make any complaints it would be only two things: 1) So many fake store fronts promising beer and European foods offer nothing of the sort and 2) There's not enough time in the day to do all that one would surely love do on their Holiday at Everland!

For a bit more insight, check out some video footage from the Harrington's day in Everland.

Getting There: The Everland website provides information regarding 3 buses that leave from Seoul. Tours likely go from other locations around South Korea. Everland attendees are best to team up with a driving friend or ask a Korean friend for assistance in finding the best way to go to Everland from their particular starting point.

When to go: Everland is open year round. Even on a Saturday in June, the park wasn't too busy, nor was the whether unbearable. From what can be gathered, the heart of summer (July and August) through the fall are the most busy but perhaps also the most comfortable times to be outdoors!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Man's Best Friend: An excerpt from the life of Lady Annyeong

As their first contract comes to a close, the Harrington's are preparing not only to return stateside for a quick visit with family and friends, but also to say good-bye to some dear Daejeon friends that have made the past year meaningful, enjoyable and totally worth crossing oceans and boundaries. A handful of friends will remain and new friends are sure to work their way into the lives of the Harrington's. However, should the next batch of English teachers be lacking in meaningful friendships for the Harrington's, readers of the Harrington Times should not fear, for the couple will always have the companionship of their 3.5 legged darling, Lady Annyeong.

Recently, Lady Annyeong proved her loyalty to the man Harrington by engaging in a game of Pandemic. Lady worked diligently to assist the man in ridding the world of all disease.

To whatever the future may hold, the Harrington's say "Bring it on! We've got a forever friend in Lady Annyeong and have no fear of what the future may or may not hold!"


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