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19 July 2004
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Korea Life Blog - House-Husband

I feel like a house-husband. Today so far I've made breakfast, cleaned and vacuumed, washed and hung laundry, made rice, cooked dwen jang chigae for dinner later, and have been waiting for our free Canon color printer to come. (We got it as a promo for signing up with KT Internet).

What I haven't done: look for a job for more than 10 minutes. I will after this post, though. The hagwon job near my home, at Kids Herald, turned out to be not so great. I think the teacher who had been working there was trying to make his job sound better than it is not knowing I was going to attempt to apply. Turns out it's not 3-7:30 but rather 3-10:30, a whopping 8 40 minutes classes a day, 150 hours /month. That's 30 more than the norm. I told the owner as politely as I could that he must be out of his mind to think I would teach that schedule. He tried in vain to assure me this is the standard schedule these days and that it's not as hard as it sounds. I just sat there trying not to laugh. I said that it's impossible to be an effective teacher if I have to teach more than 6 (and even that's too many!). he said he couldn't make a special schedule just for me. That's OK, I already know I won't be working there...

The salary was also lower too, surprise. He tried to say he hires usually at 1.8 Mill, but for me, with my experience, 2.0. Again, BS! I wouldn't work that schedule for 3 Million. Keep in mind I was making 1.8 teaching 3 or 4, 40 min classes a day in Nowhere-dong. I may not be able to find such a sweet deal in Seoul, but no doubt I'll find a better job than the Kid's Herald in Songnae, Joong-dong (Bucheon City). I may even switch over to reading the Korean Times from now on I'm so disgusted!

On top of that when I went there it was a Saturday and the teachers were there preparing tests. I spoke briefly with a guy from the states who told me they were making him and his wife move out of their office-tel because it was too expensive. One last thing, to add insult to injury, there are cameras in every classroom so that you are constantly monitored.

What I hate most is imagining a new teacher coming here fresh off the plane and having no idea what is good and what isn't and finding themselves stuck in that kind of job for a year...I'm glad I already learned the ropes. I'd rather be jobless and poor for a little bit longer and take my time looking for the right job than get myself into that kind of situation again. There are good jobs out there, you just need to be patient and motivated to find them. Also, it helps that I have an English Education degree. I should put it to some kind of use this time.

In other news I sent a few sample sections from the Geoje-do story to Hollym, a publisher I stumbled across that specializes in a variety of books in English about Korea. They have an office here in Seoul and in New Jersey in America. They publish books simultaneously in both countries (and others) which is just perfect! Hopefully they will be interested, though I'm not sure what kind of deal they offer yet.

If anyone wants to send them a brief note expressing you're interest in seeing my book in published form, here's the addresses:

hollym2@optonline.net (America)

info@hollym.co.kr (Korea)

The tentative name of the novel to refer to is Geoje-do Foreigner. Speaking of that, I'm having the worst time trying to name the book. I want to use the name of the island because I know Koreans are curious about it and would spark interest. However, I'm not sure anyone unfamiliar with Korea would know how to pronounce it! (In case that's you, it sounds like Kaw Jay Doe). I welcome any suggestions for a title.


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