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4 March 2004
South Korean Flag

Korea Life Blog - Bad Day/ Bad Week

One of the newer Korean teachers rarely talks to me, despite the fact she speaks English better than anyone else. She will go a week without saying so much as a word - even if I ask a question straight to her face. She'll smile and look away but not answer me. Then other times she becomes bubbly, energetic, talkative - bouncing around the office singing kids songs in English. I couldn't handle her mood swings so I took to ignoring her. Well suddenly out of nowhere today she says, "Good news, Shawn! You have to teach my new class tomorrow! Aren't you excited? Don't forget!" She didn't wait for my reply, she bounced out of the room on another merry high.

I looked up at my schedule. Sure enough, there it was penciled in - the new class. Another new class. Yet another goddamn class! Now on Friday I have two elementary classes, three horrible 50 minute middle school classes, then Windy for an hour.

To add insult to injury, the new classes consist of one student each. Oh boy.

I mentioned that all the classes are now five minutes longer. That doesn't sound like much, but it adds up over the course of a day and a week. Especially since the kids have been used to 40 minute classes for the past two years since the school opened. Now they've been getting antsy and restless more than usual: "Teacher, go home time! time to go home! bye bye! see you! see you again teacher! game over!"

Plus that extra time means less time between classes. We used to have ten minutes, now just five - which is not enough. By the time you sit down, you look up only to groan - it's time for your next class. Today I felt tired, really tired for the first time. It's becoming a real job.

Before you jump all over me, keep in mind where I live and why I came here. I live in the middle of nowhere. I came here because of the laid back job and schedule. I would NEVER have come here otherwise. And when I started it was really an easy schedule. I only taught four days/week, 3-4 classes each day. I had no adult class. It was a perfect trade-off. Living in a tiny town in isolation in return for an easy job. Then they added the 5th day. I had almost felt guilty before, so I didn't say a word. I expected it.

Then I had to teach the Korean teachers and the boss's wife from 10:00-11:00 AM everyday. Even though it was embarrassing and stressful to teach them, I didn't complain. Next they cancelled that and gave me the new adult class at night. Then a new class here, a new class there over time. This week, as I said, two new classes and the increased class time. Why am I living here in nowhere anymore? The trade-off is gone.

Anyway, I thought I may have a relief tonight as Windy had to go to see her co-worker who was in the hospital with brain cancer. Take a look here to see how it went. The Windy Times.


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