LGBT History Month: A Salute to Dan Choi

I recently found out that it is LGBT history month, which got me thinking about what this means to me as a Korean and as an adoptee. This year was the 20th year of Seoul’s gay pride march. And although I was not in attendance, I was in Korea during the 2nd annual Incheon Queer Culture Festival. Last year’s festival in Incheon did not go off without incident, and so it feels good to know that there is progress being made toward tolerance, even if it is slowly. The News Lens documented some of the progress in their February 2018 article. For those of you who don’t know, I am now the Website Coordinator for the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN). KAAN recently launched a blog and is working on content for its social media channels. I suggested that a post about LGBT history month could be of relevance to KAAN Members. But that’s all I had. My first thought...
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My Experience Learning Korean

This summer, I was a student in the Short-Term Korean Language Program at Ewha University. Although I learned a lot, the pace of having classes and field trips from about 9 am to 5 pm every day, combined with needing to do at least 10 hours of studying a night, was too much for me. The program was terrific, and I was able to read, write, and speak some Korean by the end of the class. However, I just was not ready to take the 5-hour final exam at the end. I don't consider this a failure, as I accomplished what I set out to do - learn more Korean than what I knew when I started. However, upon reflection, the one thing that would have been the most helpful for me while taking this class would have been to have flashcards made before the program began. I spent a large amount of my study time each evening, making flashcards instead of taking...
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Do you want me to translate that for you?

On Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at about 5 p.m., I was at Peepo's Subs & Shawarma at 10890 Beech Daly Rd, Taylor, MI 48180. I asked for chicken shawarma and rice. The employee told me that the only way that I could order that is if I ordered 'Peepo's Plate, a.k.a Peepo's Bowl, which their menu describes as 'Turmeric Rice topped with your choice of Africano Meat, Tomatoes, Lettuce & drizzled with our Homemade Ranch.' So, I ordered the 'Peepo's Plate' and asked for it with chicken shawarma instead of Africano Meat, tomatoes, no ranch, and add pickles and Fattoush dressing. When the meal came to the table, it had grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers, & cheese on the bowl. My friend Matt took the food up to the counter and explained that I could not eat it because I am allergic to the unexpected ingredients. The employee told him that the grilled onions, mushrooms, peppers, & cheese came with the bowl,...
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The Benefits of Online Office Hours

I recently read a post in a Facebook Group by a math instructor who described her office hours as "throwing an hour of my life away every week." This comment upset me much. I have an average of one student show up for my online office hours each semester. However, I never feel that holding office hours is a waste of my time. I feel that holding online office hours has helped to increase overall student satisfaction in my courses. From the student perspective, I believe there is something psychological about knowing an instructor is available to help, even if the student doesn't ask for help. And from my perspective, hosting the online office hours is not an inconvenience to me at all. At my college, we use Zoom, which has a web version and a mobile app. I tend to open the Zoom session on my phone so that I can hear the chime if a student enters the meeting. Then...
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Student Engagement In and Out of the Classroom

On November 7, 2014, I attended the ETOM Conference at St. Clair Community College in Port Huron, MI. One of the underlying themes of this year conference was student engagement in and out of the classroom. As an instructor who hasn’t taken classes in quite some time, sometimes I forget how difficult it is to be a student in the 21st century. Between the rising cost of college, the changing nature of technology, and the demands at home, it is often a struggle to engage students in the classroom. This conference helped give me a different perspective of how I can look at my classes in a new way. The opening session focused on Open Educational Resources and how the cost of textbooks has an impact on which classes students take and how engaged the students are with the college. The statistics are clear that higher textbook costs lead students to take fewer classes and sometimes not to take any classes...
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A #hernia2013 Update

I wasn't sure if I wanted to write this post because I thought it might end up sounding bitter, but the fact of the matter is that I'm not bitter about anything.  I am just writing this to try to inspire those who might be struggling with issues in their life right now, especially around the Christmas season. For those of you who don't know, I started on a weight loss journey back in March 2013.  Since that time, I've lost around 60 lbs.  And since I had been on a diet before that, I've lost a total of about 90 lbs overall.  But this post isn't about the weight loss, it's actually about the side effects of the weight loss. See, what I didn't know about weight loss is that it can lead to a hernia.  Apparently, your intestine is held in place by a fatty membrane.  As I started to lose weight, the fat holding the intestine in place started...
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SCORM Objects and Camtasia Quizzes in Instructure Canvas

So, what exactly is SCORM? Yeah, I don’t know, either.  I can tell you that SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model, but other than that, I really have no idea. Why would someone want to use SCORM? Many textbooks these days have publisher-provided SCORM content.  So, if you want to import pre-made content into a Learning Management System, such as Instructure Canvas, SCORM is one way to go about doing that. However, the reason that I wanted to learn about SCORM is because I wanted to create quizzes in Camtasia and have grades read to the Instructure Canvas Gradebook. So, can Instructure Canvas do what you want it to do? Absolutely not!  Instructure Canvas will allow for importing of certain SCORM objects, but not all.  In addition, there are security problems with allowing SCORM content to write to the Instructure Canvas Gradebook. Oh well.  Better luck next time....
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The Problem with Math is English

There have been several separate occasions in my math classes this semester where a student has asked me a question about a vocabulary word and I simply just didn't know the answer.  I took 3 years of Latin in high school and I was an English teacher at one point, so I generally can guess the meaning of a word from the root word.  However, some words just have me stumped.   My new ‘go to’ tool in class is dictionary.com.  Let me give you a few examples of some words that I have looked up during class this semester. Linear Algebra In linear algebra, we were talking about inverse matrices and a student asked me what it means to be an inverse.  I explained to him that it means that the inverse matrix, if it exists, is the matrix that when multiplied by the original matrix yields the identity matrix.  Although that explained what the inverse is mathematically speaking, that really didn't give any...
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Nevermind is a Very Rude Word

I would like to make the case that the word 'nevermind' is quite possibly one of the rudest words in the English language  In fact, if you check the dictionary, the definition of the word actually states that nevermind is a word that is usually used in negative contexts. So, why am I ranting and rambling on about this word? Well, last week I was in my office helping a student on a problem on a take home quiz. I know, I'm nicer than I should be, as I shouldn't have been helping the student on a take home quiz to begin with. However, I knew it was a hard problem and I had given other several other students who had come into my office earlier that day a hint, so I thought that I should give this student a hint as well. But that's beside the point right now. Anyway, what happened next really made me angry: I gave the student the...
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