Thursday, February 24, 2011

Once more, with feeling.

The second semester of my year in Korea starts next week.  At this point before the first semester I was in a blind panic.  I arrived at school on a Thursday knowing nothing about it, my job, my coworkers and students and their capabilities and expectations of me, or the textbooks I would have to use.  On the following Monday I taught more than 100 students.  My blind panic didn't subside for several months. 

As the semester's apocalyptic desperation dragged on I learned how to get the work done without raising any immediate complaints.  I'm not any good at it but I know my current ability is sufficient to get through it, which is all I care about anyway.  I lowered my personal standards, stopped taking the job seriously, practiced pretending the school doesn't exist when I'm not there and now I'm mellow as I approach the second round of this gig.  For at least the next 5 months I'll be teaching straight out of a textbook (harder than it sounds) and I know I can keep 35 Korean juveniles busy for three quarters of an hour with minimal preparation and three pages of it.

I'm writing this on Friday morning.  There's a don't-come-to-school holiday next week and I don't know if it's Monday or Tuesday.  The official school calendar showing all the holidays, special activity days, midterm/final exams, etc. has not been finalized, much less printed (in Korean) and handed to me.  I don't know which day next week I'll teach my first classes, which classes those will be or who I'll be teaching them with.  I don't know anything about Stealth Korean's replacement.  I haven't seen a textbook for one of the grades I'll be teaching next week.

These unknowns could conceivably be a source of anxiety for me, but they're all just work and I don't take that home with me.  There are too many books for me to read, too much iron for me to shift.  This afternoon I'll visit my lovely companion.  We will enjoy The Naked Gun 2 and I will tell her she's pretty; this will be good for what ails her.  Tomorrow we'll attend a book club event at which I will eat gourmet food, drink wine I'm told is very nice (but tastes like mouthwash), and complain about the book we all read.  I haven't decided on a Sunday plan yet, but I can assure you it will involve sleeping in.

No comments:

Post a Comment