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2 May 2005
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KLB - No Fan for You!


The weather is getting hot already. After the long trek to work, I arrived dripping with sweat. It's too early to use the air conditioning so I got the fan out from the back of the room. As I was attempting to plug it in, Ally yelled, "No, don't use that fan!"

"Why not?"

"It's dusty."

That's funny because for one, the last few weeks the air was full of dust from China. CNN kept showing the dust storm engulfing the peninsula on the radar. It was pretty bad for a few days there. For another reason, the gigantic dirt playground for the kids is right outside the classroom window and, with all the windows open, it's always dusty, especially on a breezy day. And finally, the fan wasn't all THAT dirty anyway. It looked fine to me.

Well, it was hot and the kids were also sweaty from playing outside so I continued to plug in the fan.

"Shawn, please don't use the fan."

"I'm sorry, but I'm going to use the fan. I'm hot. The kids are hot."

"Shawn, please don't. We don't have time to clean it."

This time I simply ignored her and turned on the fan. As I expected, it worked fine. Barely any dust blew out. I don't get what all the fuss was about, but I obviously pissed her off. She barely spoke to me for the rest of the day. Not that she really says much anyway. We have a lot of kids this semester who come in at different times because of schedule conflicts, so I have her teach them privately in the back of the room since they are in the wrong class and have no books. The rest of the time she just watches me and writes down everything I do - something I find annoying. I guess it's better than having a camera on you all day long as most hagwons have nowadays, but still, it's just weird.

At least she's given up on the whole "co-teacher" bit. I didn't mention it before, but I got into a heated argument with her about that one her third day. She kept telling me exactly what to teach, and in an ever irksome tone, "Please, understand our agency's policy, Shawn," over and over when she just started that week! I basically told her I've been there 8 months now and I know what I'm doing. I couldn't let it go on as long as I did with Cathy. And, since then, Ally has been pretty quiet, thankfully. I think I just don't like having an assistant. It's not nearly as nice having one as it sounds, at least not when they take their job too damn seriously. We have 64 students, up from 20 when I first started so relax a little - I'm doing fine.

Later in the day she told me we might have Wednesday off too, in addition to Thursday and Friday. I guess the school is holding some sports day activities and the kids will probably be too tired to study. That'll be nice. Three days off for Children's Day. God bless children!

Back home, I had a quick dinner and went to the health club for an hour. Chest and 20 minutes of jump roping. Tomorrow I will swing by What the Book? in Itaewon after work and drop off some copies of my book there. I also desperately need deoderant. I still can't believe you can't buy that in any store here. Koreans don't have body odor like we do, lucky dawgs, but still - they must stink sometimes in the humidity or after a workout.

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