Thursday, November 24, 2011

You know you're from Washington when...

Stolen from the internet...

1. You know how to pronounce Sequim, Puyallup, Enumclaw and Issaquah.
2. You consider swimming an indoor sport.
3. You keep snow chains in your trunk but they've never been used.
4. You see a person carrying an umbrella and know they must be a tourist.
5. Eating seafood isn't anything special.
6. Your lawn is mostly moss and you don't really care.
7. Your daily commute to work involves riding a ferry.
8. You know the difference between "showers followed by rain" and "rain followed by showers".
9. The sight of Mt. Rainier is still awe inspiring.
10. You're extremely picky about your coffee.
11. You yell at the TV if they pronounce the name of a city wrong or make an inaccurate Seattle reference on "Frasier" or "Grey's Anatomy."
12. You rarely wash your car because it's just going to get muddy again tomorrow.
13. You wouldn't dream of putting an air conditioner in your house.
14. You go to Eastern Washington to get some sun.
15. You can drive from your home to a lake, a river or the Puget Sound in 20 minutes or less.
16. You've seen or know someone who has seen Bigfoot.
17. You remember where you were on May 18th, 1980.
18. You get a terrible sunburn on the first really nice day of summer.
19. You look forward to SeaFair and all its related activities.
20. You take a heavy coat and a hat with you for a day at the beach.
21. You have learned to assume Christmas will be rainy, not white.
22. You've owned the same bathing suit for years because you never have a chance to wear it out.
23. You still can't believe the new Seahawks stadium is open air.
24. Your phone book contains a tide table.
25. You only visit the Space Needle if you need someplace to take out of town guests.
26. You or someone you know works at Boeing or Microsoft.
27. You "Do The Puyallup" every year.
28. You feel guilty throwing something away that could be recycled.
29. You use the word "sunbreak" and know what it means.
30. You know more than 10 ways to order coffee.
31. You know more people who own boats than air conditioners.
32. You know the difference between Chinook, Coho and Sockeye salmon.
33. You never go camping without water proof matches and a poncho.
34. You have no concept of humidity without precipitation.
35. You can point to at least 2 volcanoes even if you can't actually see them through the cloud cover.
36. You wear shorts when the temperature gets above 50 but still wear your hiking boots and parka.
37. You switch to your sandals at about 60 degrees but keep your socks on.
38. You have actually used your mountain bike on a mountain.
39. You buy new sunglasses every year because you've lost last years pair after such a long time not needing them.
40. You measure distance in hours.
41. You often switch from heat to a/c in your car in the same day.
42. You use a down comforter in the summer.
43. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them.
44. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit under a raincoat.
45. You choose your vacation spot according to the best latte stands.
46. You purchase a new car and the 'Northwest Package' includes a built in umbrella holder.
47. Your children don't get chicken pox; they get 'rust spots' instead.
48. When you think 'big hair', you think of Kent.
49. You can't make it two blocks without seeing a Starbucks.
50. When you hear people from Eastern WA say they're going to the coast, you assume they mean Ocean Shores.
51. You make reference to the new neighborhood going up down the street and people have to ask, "Which one?"
52. You can't believe that people in Spokane actually have yellow grass in the winter and green grass in the summer.
53. You know how to pronounce geoduck and know that it doesn't quack or have feathers.
54. You expect snow for Valentine's Day, not Christmas.
55. You get upset when a store doesn't carry your favorite brand of bottled water.
56. You can tell the difference between Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai food.
57. You can taste the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best and Tully's.
58. It's not a real mountain unless it has snow and has erupted within the last 200 years.
59. You go to work in the dark and come home in the dark even though you only have an 8 hour workday.
60. You've ever stood alone on a deserted street corner in the rain.
61. You can tell its summer because the rain is warmer.
62. You know what a Frango is.
63. You think the "Middle East" is Ellensburg and the "Far East" is Spokane.
64. You realize no education is required to be a weatherman. Just predict, "Partly cloudy with a chance of rain."
65. You have an earthquake story, and so does everyone else you know.
66. You can identify seven different types of rain.
67. You can identify five different cities by smell alone.
68. You think espresso was invented in Seattle, along with Starbucks.
69. You know what 'Sodo Mojo' is.
70. You can turn in any direction and be within a stones throw of an Indian-run casino.
71. You think summer starts in July and winter in September.
72. It's not a real windstorm until your lawn ornaments blow away.
73. You know exactly where Tom Hank's boathouse was in "Sleepless In Seattle".
74. You know who J.P. Patches is.
75. At least one of your neighbors has a hot tub they haven't used in over a year.
76. You know who really 'let the dogs out'.
77. You become frightened by the bright yellow orb in the sky until the 9-1-1 operator tells you it's just the sun.
78. You've used every setting on your intermittent wipers.
79. You know you better enjoy the snow the first day it falls before the rain washes it away.
80. You marvel when the autumn leaves stay on the trees for more than three days before the rain knocks them to the ground.
81. You can't imagine living through a tornado or hurricane but you secretly think earthquakes are kind of fun.
82. You give directions using the Puget Sound and Cascade mountains as points of reference.
83. You lose your sense of direction if you go east of the Cascade mountains.
84. You know at least 5 different ways to kill slugs.
85. You know at least 10 different recipes that call for blackberries.
86. You are not sure of the color of your house because of all of the rhododendron bushes planted in front of it.
87. You know the difference between a rhododendron and an azalea.
88. You know what a Dick's Deluxe is.
89. You or your family member live "in the woods".
90. You can endure 100 days of rain and wind but an inch of snow means school cancellations.
91. You consider an antique anything mad before 1970.
92. You know someone whose house has been partially crushed by a tree.
93. You know the difference between an evergreen and a deciduous tree.
94. You don't know what a turnpike is and have never paid a toll to drive over a bridge.
95. You own a barbeque that has rusted.
96. You change your wiper blades more often than your oil.
97. Your idea of dancing is nodding your head vigorously.
98. You use your defogger and your AC at the same time.
99. You don't own anything made of wool.
100. When someone honks at you, you think they are trying to say "hi".
101. You get a least 5 e-mails a week from friends asking you to come see their band.
102. You know what a 9-inning lunch is.
103. You think you're working late if you stay past 3 pm.
104. You have more unemployed friends than friends who have jobs.
105. You prefer one mountain range to the other.
106. You know the state flower (Mildew).

Every once and a while I get homesick.  Reading over this list makes me miss home just a little bit more.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Teaching English in Japan - Just an observation

Today I taught some classes in elementary school, with the help from some of my second year students, from one of my JHS.  You should have seen the looks on their faces when I spoke to my fifth graders.  I wanted to say to them, ''don't worry guys, I would challenge you. I'd drag you through the coals like I do my elementary students.  The thing is, that's considered 'too difficult'.  I would really like you to grow as an English speaker but a lot of that is out of my hands.''

The sad thing is, it's generally true.  I have confidence in my students and their ability.  It's ok to fail, as long as you can grow from your mistake.  We can have fun, have a challenge, and learn.  Isn't that the whole point to education?  Well, in Japan its not so much the case.

I could go on but for now I will stop.  I need to sleep and I don't want everyone to read this.  Maybe when I'm done with the whole ALT business, I will let it all out; every feeling and complaint.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Next Stop Gyeongju

Every time I complete an episode, I feel a small sense of accomplishment.  It might be big or small but it's always there.  After that feeling of pride wipes away, I am left with the next challenge.  Which is the next video?  

Mentally, I keep a checklist of what I want to work on next.  Sometimes, starting a new video is a huge chore.  There might be little visuals to work with and creating a narrative might feel impossible.   I'm in luck this time.  

For the Gyeongju episode, I found that I have nearly twenty five minutes of footage to use.  This is not normally how much I have for a single video.  I'm lucky if I have ten minutes.  

Right now, I'm sifting through what is useable and what isn't.  I'll be aiming to get this episode down to around five minutes.  That's the goal for now.  If I can keep it around seven minutes, I'll be happy.  There might be more I'm willing to hold onto.  

Gyeongju was one of my favorite places I visited in Korea last year.  It's a quite historic city that's off the east coast of Korea.  Generally, it doesn't snow much there.  On this occasion it did.  This was something most Koreans living in the area never see.  Not only did I get to see a historically rich city but I was able to see it caked in snow.  

Anyway, final cut awaits!  I hope to see you next week!

Korea 7 of 9 - Busan