I always try to stay upbeat and mainly post here about things in Korea that make me happy and that I love about my new life in Asia. However, it’s been just over three months since I moved here, the weather’s getting colder, and I’m falling into a routine both in and outside of work. Same thing every day – I wake up around 8:30 am, go for a run, come back to my apartment, go grocery shopping, make brunch, hop in the shower around 1:30 and arrive at work by 2:29 pm. I work for exactly 8 hours, teaching the same classes I’ve taught for the past 11 weeks, getting frustrated at the same kids for not doing homework for the umpteenth time. I go back to my apartment, make dinner, watch a movie, read a couple pages of whatever book I happen to be in the middle of, and go to bed. My life’s not bad by any means, but I’m at the point where everything’s a whole lot less exciting than it was when I first got here.
As my kiddies would say, I’m feeling so-so.
For one, I’ve started noticing more all the reasons my job annoys me. The very being that it a business first and a school second, in particular has become really frustrating for me as of late. I have some students who are way way waaaay behind everyone else in their level, but because turning away paying customers is one of the worst business strategies imaginable, there these students are, sitting horribly lost in a system that cares more about money than whether the kid can answer me in English when I ask them, “How are you today, Jenny?” It’s so sad! It just makes me angry that I don’t have the time in a room full of rambunctious children prone to shouting at people outside the window, turning off the lights, and throwing things at each other to help catch up my poorly level-matched children! Even worse, I got two brand new students today in one of my elementary classes, literally 11 weeks into the semester. We don’t even have books for them it’s so late in the semester to be taking in new students! But of course, why would my school turn away perfectly good money whenever it’s willing to start coming in regardless of what’s good for the kids…
Moral of the story, I need to suck it up, stop feeling sorry for myself and the routine I’ve fallen into and strive to make every day worthwhile. After all, I’m not going to live in Korea forever, I need to squeeze this experience for everything it’s worth in the next few hundred days I’m here.
- Christine -