Sunday, June 27, 2010

In Which There Is Mentioned Ghosts, Dancing Detectives, And Kelly Link.

Hello, readers.

The semester of school which was my first as a teacher of Korean type children is coming to a close. The students just finished turning in their final video projects. They were given five options: news broadcast, cooking show, music video, foreigner interview, or commercial. Many did cooking, some did news. A few brave souls interviewed foreigners. Less did commercials and music videos. A handful, asked, and received permission, to do something completely different. Something completely different ended up meaning such things as television parodies, folk and fairy tales, and horror movies.

In most cases, the videos turned out quite well. A few had sound issues and format wonkiness. A few seemed a bit rushed. A few became famous--at least inside our school. A parody of a drama called Boys Over Flowers, for one, as well as a music video in which a group of dancing girl super detectives investigate my kidnapping by boogying across Seoul, for two, became popular enough that students in different classes began requesting them.

All of this has taught me many things of which I shall three.

1) Video projects are, whatever frustrations and stress they may entail--both for teachers and students, awesome.

2) Korean students need more creative outlets.

3) Korean girls love horror movies. They also love dancing. If someone does not show them The Rocky Horror Picture Show then I fear the universe will have failed them.

Speaking of the universe, here's a video of Carl Sagan singing about the universe.

Also, if you didn't know, Gwenda Bond has been keeping track of Kelly Link's blog tour in which Kelly Link has discussed, among other things, her fears of possessing inadequate driving skills should a zombie apocalypse arise.

Finally, Laura Miller thinks maybe bloggers should avoid embedding links inside their posts, waiting instead to post them at the bottom. She believes this may induce better, and less superficial, writing.

She may be right.

I feel quite superficial at the moment.

For example, all of these recent things came via Gwenda Bond's blog in which they appeared as embedded links to click.

ttfn, readers.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Snow Crash, Stories, and A Third Thing I Haven't Thought Of Yet..

Hello, readers.

How are you?

Well, I hope.

Here's a bit of bookish rambling.

If you haven't read anything by Neal Stephenson, that bearded and balded plotter of speculative/historical/mathematical stories of which, very often, there are secrets and cults and, as mentioned, math, then you are very much like me, as I was, about a week ago, before I finished Snow Crash, a book about religion, virtual worlds, ancient mythology, and the greatest sword-fighter who ever lived. It was a deeply intellectual, at times lecture-ish sort of book, that occasionally featured chases, sword fights, and harpooning. Somehow, it ended up being about the history of human language and civilization. There was also a dog.

I very much liked the dog.

I won't tell you what happens with the dog. It's very cool.

Right now I'm reading Kazuo Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans, mostly because, last night, I ran across this trailer for the movie adaptation of Never Let Me Go.

I've never read Never Let Me Go, nor have I seen the trailer. I don't want to spoil it. I've heard good things about both, though.

Speaking of things I've never seen, or read, but am excited about regardless, Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio have recently put out a collection of stories called, erm, Stories. It includes work by the editors themselves, as well as many other wonderful authors of which there are so many I feel compelled to call them a slew.

And so I shall. Just then. In my mind. It was great.

And now where's that third thing. I promised a third thing. There should always be a third thing.

Here it is.

If you ever find yourself in Seoul, during the World Cup, and you decide to go to City Hall to watch their game against Argentina, you will most likely have a great deal of fun, be impressed by the cheering and singing, and, in the end, be both saddened by the results but also happy that, for one shining moment, South Korea scored a goal and you got to jump up and down and hug and be hugged by complete strangers for no more better reason than you were there, and they were there, and there was a cause worth celebrating.

Here are pictures.


ttfn, readers.