"Ok, you have the jewels. Now where do you want to go?" "Go north."

"There is a cave."

"Going in?"

"Not 'going.' Go in."

"Ok, go in."

It's deskwarming season in Korea again. Deskwarming is that magical time when you're contractually obligated to sit at school from nine to five with nothing to do. The kids have spring break, and this is when you're supposed to do all your prep work for the coming semester. But I can personally attest that even if you teach at three schools and two of them change their textbooks and one wants an after-school class program, you're still going to have down time. Filling it can be a challenge.

"Inside the cave is a troll."

"Oh my god!"

"He looks angry."

"Oh my god!

"What will you do?"

My coworker wanted to take her English to the next level, so we were engaged in a deskwarming training course designed to boost confidence and practice simple declarative sentences. Otherwise known as playing Zork.

"Kill a troll."

"Ok, that's good. But there is only one troll, so instead of 'a', let's use..."

"The. Kill the troll."

"Great. What will you kill it with?"

"What's geom?"


"Ok. Kill the troll...with the sword?"

"You go, girl."

What can I say? Eight empty hours in front of a computer gets old really fast. You might as well do something useful with your time. As the classic text-based video game (think Final Fantasy without the visuals), Zork is  a perfectly valid and worthwhile solution. It's Advanced English language education through troll-i-cide.

Though you should see our P. E. curriculum.
Though you should see our P. E. curriculum.

"Kill it again, Erin Teacher! Killing the troll!'

"I'm trying! It's very strong."

"Oh no!"

So I'm delighted to report that a few sessions of intensive study have elevated my coworker's confidence using English, even in unlikely circumstances. Also, it's kept me from going totally bananas all day.

"The troll is dead."

"YES! Erin Teacher, we are victory!"

We are victory, indeed.