Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hard day at the coal mine

It's official. Asian people under the age of 25 aren't short. These kids are 14 or 15 years of age.

I'm often asked about my job here. As much as I like to think I've been sent here as an "international ambassador of sexy" and to stir the local women into a tizzy, I actually have an official appointment of teaching. If you've read any of my posts, in all of their inaccurate grammatical splendor none the less, you're probably having a hell of a time comprehending that I teach English. I don't blame your reticence. For the record, however, I do teach me some good fuckin' "Engrish-ee" here.

In the states, my degree is in Ed. (Ed., in this instance stands for Education not Erectile Dysfunction). I have a few friends that teach back in US, and the popular topic whilst walking around the hallowed halls of the prestigious University of Montana was the pros and cons of either a) staying in Montana and working for 4 dollars an hour or b) moving somewhere, anywhere, else. Recruiters and hustlers alike took notice of this and posted advertisements in reference to teaching abroad. I'd never truly entertained the notion myself until a bit over a year ago. If you would have told me 3 years ago that I'd be living in an Asian country, by myself, teaching English, I probably would have stabbed you in the throat with a philips screwdriver. Not because I wouldn't have believed you, more so because I was kind of an asshole that was really into assaulting people with screwdrivers back then.

My normal week consists of teaching 22, 45 minute classes. This shakes down to about 17 hours of "actual real work" assuming I'm not late to any, or all, of my classes by several minutes. If you deduct potty breaks and the ever so frequent "oops I didn't hear the bell" excuse, I'd say it's closer to 13. So all in all not too particularly strenuous but I would like to see that number drop to the single digits, with strong preference to a flush zero. And while we are talking about hopes and dreams, down the road, and I'm talking way down the road on this one, maybe negative work hours. I'm not sure how that would work but I've dedicated a yeoman's effort to this one.

Between movies, songs and Scrabble, we hammered out some actual work.

This wee, however, is different. The kids are currently on vacation. The smart ones, or the not so smart ones if you ask me, have elected to partake in what is called "Winter Camp." It's 5 days for the week and 3, 45 minute classes each day. Instead of talking about traditional school camp fare that I absorbed empirically such as grand tales of a young lad who finally touched a boob or a ballsy chap who broke into his ole' man's stash of Hustler's, in Korea, the students are supposed to learn English .... well, sort of. I had to create a booklet of activities to entertain the kids for an entire week. Thus far, we've done crossword puzzles, word searches, and fill in the blank activities. Shit, I've even taught them "Yellow Submarine", "You Are My Sunshine", with tomorrow's big finale being "If I Had A Million Dollars" with them. The kids that are here are really well behaved and excited, for whatever reason, to be here at school as opposed to anywhere else like, I don't know, sleeping or creating general mayhem. Here is a recap of my Friday.

8 a.m: Get up.
8:10 a.m: Get on the horn (Skype for the laymen). Pester people back in gold ole' Miegook.
8:45 a.m: Eat my sugar flakes (yep, still out of oatmeal)
9:00 a.m: Eject the rest of the Ebola from the bottom half of my body
9:15 a.m: Waddle to school
9:30 a.m: Arrive at school
9:33 a.m: Talk to Mr. Kim about "a simple misunderstanding"
9:55 a.m: Arrive in class 10 minutes late. Assign 45 minutes worth of book work.
10:30 a.m: While students work, watch Bruins/Pens finish 2nd period. 10 minute break time.
10:45 a.m: Pass out scrabble games just in time for start of Bruins/Pens 3rd period.
11:30 a.m: Assign another 10 minute break.
11:45 a.m: Load "School of Rock" with Korean Subs from USB drive. Watch first 45 minutes of the movie. Think to myself whilst watching the movie, "That Jack Black can be really annoying but damn that Sarah Silverman has some big titties." (Weird eh, I've only been here for two months, and what would be average sized breasts back home look like giant Hindenburgs to me now - "Oh, the humanity!")
12:30 p.m: Lunch. Hyun Mi was nice enough to buy lunch for the crew though I was barely able to touch the chicken for obvious reasons.
2:45 p.m: Rinse and repeat previous classes
5:10 p.m: Waddle to gym

I need the help of Stephen Hawking on this one because somewhere during this hectic day, I managed to accrue 2 hours of overtime. TIK!

I walked upstairs to borrow a camera to take this photo. The whole time the only thing I could think of was "Ma and Pa! will sure be proud of their baby boy!" If this thought alone isn't proof of a maladjusted upbringing, I'm not sure what is.


Pa! said...

Well, a guy could always rebel against his upbringing and aspire to blissfully follow the rest of the herd, and be societies version of well-adjusted.

Colette Reid said...

Good one G. How does one work in the 'negative' hours? It sounds like you are really living the life over there.

Garrett Hohn said...

For the record, the sandals/socks thing is beyond my control. I wear shoes to work, but then as per Asian tradition, I exchange them for slippers, ergo the socks!

Next item.