Posts from the Black Magic Category

A collection of Facebook status updates narrating my daily life in Seoul, working as a high school EFL teacher

Part 1 [2010]

October 15
Explaining complicated words and phrases with other complicated words and phrases.

November 26
Today, one of my students asked if I had a cold. I said yes. She said she liked the way my voice sounded. I said thanks.

December 1
Spent a fair amount of time this morning explaining the difference between ‘That’s bomb,’ and ‘That bombed,’ to my co-teacher. Such intellectual, American expressions to clarify.

December 2
My favorite ‘descriptions’ given by a group of students during today’s speaking game: 1. Hotel=’Motel’s friend!’ 2. Train=’Subway’s friend!’ Garbage=’Trash’s friend!’ Beautiful=’Pretty’s friend!’

December 5
Mentally preparing for my professional development day tomorrow: early morning, 2 hours of desk warming, 2 hour bus ride (my school rented 2 buses to hold all 100+ teachers), lunch, jump rope contest, hula hoop contest, dodgeball tournament, dinner, 2 hour bus ride home.

December 31
One of my students just came to (optional winter camp) class with a neck brace on. Apparently, she fell on the ice yesterday.


Paul Willis Chalkboard
Sometimes, at the end of a class, my fingertips
are hard with chalk as if frostbitten
high on a peak, and the powder of it
snows my hair.  I wonder then if this is a quest
I wish to become old in, if already it has aged me.

Saturday mornings I wake up and stare at the homes
outside my door.  They seem to grow more distant
near the failing end of each semester.  The first
book I ever read, I never told anyone.  I did not like
to hear my cousins spell the winters of Narnia.

For when the fairies bring you gold, it is a secret you must keep.
Twenty years I’ve told this secret—not well,
but I have told—turning gold to pale dust
that stings in the throat, an alchemy of poor returns,
a slow descent to the sorry tombs of explanation.

Previously published in SnowApple.

Paul J. Willis is a professor of English at Westmont College and the current poet laureate of Santa Barbara, California. His most recent collections of poetry are Rosing from the Dead (WordFarm, 2009) and Visiting Home (Pecan Grove Press, 2008). He is also the co-editor of the anthology In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare (University of Iowa Press, 2005).

christy internet
Dear Jordan’s mom:

  1. I’m sorry I included you on my weekly email, letting you know what’s happening in history. I’m sorry I emailed you in particular to let you know your son was failing. I guess I should have stayed silent.
  2. If you have given up on the school district, and you hate the district because its teachers don’t care about your son, why in God’s name don’t you pull your kid out of school and enroll him in one of the magical charter schools or magnet schools or online schools or military schools? They are abundant and obviously solve all the problems of the entire world. (more…)

Normally your good-witch mentality keeps you sensitive to the plight of munchkins, but sometimes you need to say what’s on your mind. So sometimes you say the worst; you vent, gripe, and cast a curse. Magical Teaching knows this black magic all too well and wants to make your mid-afternoon dreams of anonymous gritching come true. So send us screenshots. We won’t say which one is you. (Compiled from around the web by Dyana Herron and Derek Smith)