Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh goodness, the ups and downs

So, I'll start by telling you a funny story from this morning. Now, yesterday from afternoon on was terrible, and I do not want to relive that. However, something stemming from last night happened this morning, but since I'd had sleep in between then and now, it was humorous to me.
So, I got on the bus this morning, on time and all that jazz. I sat down, opened my purse to get my Zune out (a lady in front of me was popping her gum), and there was chocolate ALL OVER my purse. Yes, that's right....chocolate. Last night, I had bought these chocolate covered hazelnuts for comfort food when I was feeling bad. I left them in my purse last night...I keep my purse on the apartment has heated the math. So yes, there was melted chocolate all over everything in my purse. It was quite funny actually, but a little ironic that the food I bought as comfort food was actually causing me more trouble.
On to other things. I got an email last week about an extra teaching opportunity through the district (the only other legal way for us to make money here) and so I replied right away, but 4 other people beat me to it. I was disappointed, but I continued on with whatever. The next day, Julie told me about a teaching opportunity at her school, which was more money for less work. I was loving the idea of that, so I talked with Jenny about it, and got lined up to teach there. Then today, two days later, my school asked me to teach an extra class. Lol. This kind of stuff just really cracks me up....when it rains, it pours. All that to say, I'm going to be able to make money to come home and visit this summer! Yay! I'm pretty stinkin' excited about that. And yes, I'm giving up the freedom of my Saturdays...but I'm ok with that...I think.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


In Korea, I've come to the conclusion that it's assumed that if you are a teacher, you do not have a life outside of school. This is completely ridiculous because it's impossible to plan anything outside of school without them walking all over it.
Take today for example. It's 4:20 (10 minutes before I leave for the day), and the teacher sitting across from me tells me that the teacher who sits next to me, who doesn't even teach English, wants us to help her with a speaking test. This test is supposed to be AFTER 7th period....7th period is the after school period that takes place on Thursdays. So this period would start at 4:40...(if you're a mathematician, you've already discovered that 4:40 is 10 minutes AFTER I am free to leave for the day. The fabulous thing about this is that I'm having a bunch of people over to my house for dinner tomorrow. Insert sarcasm. So, the 7ish people that I've told to come to dinner at my house, I now need to try and get ahold of to tell them that I either A: can't make them the dinner I promised, or B: make the dinner considerably later than promised. Great thing about this is...well, I'm done...there is no great thing about that.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Organization and Pre-planning: Not One of Korea's Strong Points!

So, my day today did not start out well. I woke up when my alarm went off, and I somehow convinced myself in my half-conscious state that it was Saturday. So, I went back to sleep for another hour and a half. I woke up about a half hour before I was supposed to be at school. Now, I usually leave for school about 45 min. to an hour before school in order to catch a bus there on time. The bus itself only takes about a half hour, but the waiting for a bus can be tricky at times. So, this morning, when I woke up at 8:00, I was thinking "Last night, Courtney and I were both saying 'Oh gosh, I need to go to bed' what was I thinking that for...what do I have going on today....??" Then it hit me. It's Monday. Ugh. So, I fumbled down my dangerous stairs and made my way to my bathroom. When I got ready, I knew I would have to take a taxi in order to be there a half hour late, like I had told my teacher when I called him. So, I hopped in a taxi, and told him my school. Along with every other taxi driver in Cheonan, he did not know where it was. So he, of course, took the time to enter it into his little GPS, and then the WHOLE way to my school, he was rambling on about how he is just not sure of where my school is. It was pretty funny...and I got to school about 20 minutes late, which all things considered was NOT bad.
When I got to my school, I found out that I still do not have a schedule. Now, I can do this "fly by the seat of your pants" thing for about a week....but it's exhausting having to constantly rush to a class every time someone calls and says "You're supposed to teach this class...come now."

On a different note, I had a really good experience last week at Bible Study. We've been studying the Old Testament, and it'd been a few weeks since we'd had Bible Study because of Hal being gone. So, we got there this week, and we just talked about why we come to this Bible Study, what God was doing in our lives, and what we were struggling with spiritually. Normally I hate conversations like this, because I feel like everyone is just going to analyze everything I say. However, this was a really positive experience, and we all got to really share things that were happening in our lives. It was also a bit comforting, because it seems like most of my foreigner friends here also struggle with finding a routine with God, getting life balance in order, etc. It's funny how going to a different country will throw you off kilter! Anyway, we're taking a break from the OT and studying John for a while. It'll be good to have something that's a bit easier to chew for a little while. Even though I was really enjoying being challenged by the OT, I feel like I have more to contribute to the Bible Study when I feel like I understand the scripture better!
So, all that to say, Bible Study was good, and quite encouraging. And now, I am SO hungry (lack of breakfast due to extra sleep), so I'm going to go to lunch now. Yay for not having a 4th block class and for being able to go to lunch early! :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

And the Whole Office Cheers....for Coffee!

So, today has been a day that I've wished I brought my journal with me to school. #1 because I don't teach today, #2 because I didn't have internet for a large portion of the morning, and #3 because there has been so much going on, it's hard for me to just mentally process all of it.
This morning started out with me being SO tired because last night I came to find out that the pictures I'd put together last semester as an introduction were nowhere to be found. I stayed up late looking for pictures to use for my presentation, knowing in the back of my mind that if I didn't put it together, I'd have to teach today and would not have anything prepared. So I finally got out of bed, putzed around and got ready, then headed downstairs. I didn't have any milk, so I thought I'd just go grab some kimbap at the GS 25 (like a convenience store, a gas station with no gas) that's attached to our building. I love that seems to have everything I need in it...any sort of random groceries that you'd need last minute, my morning kimbap, an ATM, a place to charge my bus card....everything. I went down this morning and it was closed....not just shutting down. I just love how they do things here with businesses. They just close down without any forewarning, and we're just left to figure something else out. So, I went on, without breakfast, thinking surely my bus would come before I could go grab something somewhere else....which it didn't....I sat there for about 15 minutes waiting for my bus. Good times.
So, I get to school today and realize just how clueless I am at this point. See, in Korea, they like to play office swap at the beginning of every year, and the teachers just all get moved to different offices...maybe it's for co-worker dynamics...I don't know. Anyway, there had been some hussle and bustle about where my office would be up until today. I didn't know where to go, whether I'd be teaching or not, and I now no longer know even half of the staff at our school! I called my head teacher only to realize that there was a meeting starting and I was unaware. So I rushed off to the library, sat through a meeting full of stuff that I didn't understand, and then found out that I would be placed in the office on the 1st floor, where i was sure to be lost and confused. My head teacher is now on the 5th floor...great. I also found out that until who-knows-when, I'm not teaching...I'm not teaching at all today. Of course I'm not teaching at all today, because I stayed up all night getting ready to teach! haha.
I also decided today that the IT guy who works for our district must HATE his job....everyone gets jumbled around and then they expect him to set up their internet and printers and all that at the drop of a hat...and as he was in our office, his phone rang at least 20 times, no joke! That poor guy....I wanted to give him a pat on the back, but he didn't have time. :P
So this whole "new teachers"'s like being the new foreign teacher all over again. I'm this novelty that all the new teachers are staring at, wondering how on earth they're going to communicate with me. The teacher sitting next to me said something to the effect of "I want to communicate with her, but can't speak English" earlier...the English teacher that sits on the other side of her was just like "she understands." Which I's just always an interesting process at the beginning!
Alright, one of the funniest parts of the day was this: the teacher sitting next to me held out a packet of coffee and offered it to me...then someone else saw and was like " have coffee??" So then she just started handing out coffee to everyone who wanted one, and the whole office just lit up with excitement. I think it was just what they needed in their day. But they were all just going on and on about coffee! Yay coffee!! was great, and definitely made me smile. It made me feel like someone knows how coffee makes me feel! :)
Oivey, I think I'm going to end this for brain is a little scattered for the time being. Maybe I will be able to study some Korean something productive with my time!