Anticlimactic is the Name of the Game

19 Dec 2008
Posted by Marisa
Marisa's picture

And so, without pomp or even realization by me, my first semester in Korea has ended. I thought I had one more class today, but as I got up to go Miss Kim informed me that there is no fifth class. What the rest of the school is doing I don't know, I will watch some Veronica Mars for a few hours before the weekend actually starts and I can leave. We have three days of school next week too, although as far as I can tell I won't be doing anything but watching more tv shows and doing some final preparation for my vacation school which starts a week from today (also known as the day after Christmas). I have most of my plans done though, as I hurried through them this week because I thought I'd be teaching next week. Now I just have lots of free time.

My Sauter uncles, aunts and cousins should be excited to know that they will be part of an activity in my vacation school where the students will have to reconstruct my family tree from clues I give them. Many other thrilling things are planned like playing Scattergories and watching High School Musical.

This week involved going to to class and watching the Grinch many times. I played Frosty in my last class and they were the only ones who did not stare quietly at the tv. The Grinch put my students in a spellbound daze, Frosty made them turn to their neighbor and yell loudly. I don't know if it was the movie or the class that was the dud, all I know is that I would rather watch The Grinch 5 million times than watch Frosty twice.

At some point there was talk of more snow this weekend. It seems fairly warm at the moment, although you never know what will blow in from China, or wherever our weather comes from. Even if it did snow this weekend, it would likely melt before Christmas actually arrives.

The school is unusually quiet. Maybe today was a half day and all the students have left. Many of the teachers seems to be missing as well. There's not much to do in Korea but wonder what is going on and hope that at some magical moment in the future it becomes clear. Or watch Veronica Mars.



1. You are much better and more efficient at planning things than I.

2. It is a tautology to say that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is better than Frosty the Snowman. Were you showing your videos with Korean subtitles? I'd be pretty astonished if the kids watched through the whole thing without them.

No Korean

I did show the movies in English with no subtitles. I had to pass it off as an English class after all. All my classes, aside from the one that watched Frosty, stared quietly at the screen and watched the movie. I thought at first it was because Miss Doo has good control of her classes, but it turned out to be true even in the more rowdy classes. I guess The Grinch is just magic.

PS: Will they still let me teach English if I don't know what a tautology is?


One entry found.

Main Entry:
tau·tol·o·gy Listen to the pronunciation of tautology
Inflected Form(s):
plural tau·tol·o·gies
Late Latin tautologia, from Greek, from tautologos

1 a: needless repetition of an idea, statement, or word b: an instance of tautology2: a tautologous statement


One of the favorite words of Rationalists Baruch Spinoza and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, who each enjoyed pointing out that certain arguments were "mere tautology"---often several times per page. This strange idiomatic predilection ensured that Jordan and I would never forget the word after our time in PhilTrads II.

Ah Baruch...


Need I say more? I should probably have his picture next to W.K...

Just thinking...

Donguri, Veronica Mars, tautology - where else could you find such an eclectic array of topics and conversation/comments around such topics? Throw in the Grinch and Frosty and some game dealing with my extended family and you've got the beginnings of a syllabus for a college class, maybe even at the graduate level. Doug, what do you think?
I'd enter the Donguri survey, but thanks to Marisa and Jordan I know the answer, so my vote would not be a guess, and I don't want to appear smarter than I really am.
I don't know much about Veronica Mars; perhaps Marisa can provide some information, especially to those of us who have little or no connection to Veronica, who I assume to be a person.
After practicing pronouncing the word tautology a few times, I feel smarter, ready even to philosophize. I do, however, question how a tautology differs from a redundancy, which is a word I tend to use. I'm willing to stretch my vocabulary to incorporate tautology, but need a few more examples before I feel comfortable enough to incorporate into my everyday conversations. Please help me.


As I understand the word's philosophical meaning, a tautology is a specific type of redundancy: it is defining a thing using a descriptor that is already an intrinsic component of that thing's being. For example, any statement about God is automatically tautological assuming that God is omni-everything.

I, too, have barred myself from voting in the poll...