An overdue update!

by Sharon -- September 15, 2011

After weeks of trying to get me to write again, Jason got his wish. It’s not that I don’t want to write posts, but my job is (to say the least) tiring. I enjoy having my free time after work to unwind after a stressful day and I absolutely relish my weekends because I get to spend more time sleeping and recharging my energy.

But, since my school year is halfway over and we have been in Korea for over 6 months, there’s a need for an update! Here is what I/we have been up to since my last post — 

  1. Work seems to be burning me out at a steady pace. I recently experienced what it’s like to be a Native English Teacher in Korea during summer break. While 90% of the teachers at my school got 6 weeks off, I had to teach English summer camp for 3 weeks and “deskwarmed” for another 2, leaving me with only one week of vacation. Granted, I have 21 days of vacation to take during breaks and I chose to take only a week off during summer, but nonetheless it was disheartening being in an empty office by yourself all day.
    If you’ve read my previous post about how I don’t have a Korean co-teacher during the regular school year, you’ll know that the main reason that my job is so difficult is singlehandedly because of this. I have to teach English to classrooms full of elementary students who mostly only speak Korean; most of the time it’s a struggle to understand each other so it ends up being a lose-lose situation, class gets out of hand, students misbehave, etc. Anyways, during those 3 weeks of summer camp, one of my coworkers was there with me as my co-teacher in the classroom, so I got to experience the gloriousness of co-teaching with a Korean who could translate when needed and discipline the students when they misbehaved (with the students actually understanding things! What a concept!). Going back to the regular semester, without a co-teacher, was like going back to jail after being free for 3 weeks. It’s sucking the life out of me. Apparently it’s also making me even more dramatic than usual.
  2. On a happy and embarrassing note, I FINALLY started taking Korean class again. What took me so long to start up again? Many reasons, of which I won’t get into now.
  3. I’ve started playing guitar; as in actually learning the chord names and practicing every day. Jason bought me a used guitar for $20, which I took to the music store mall to get its strings changed. To my surprise, they informed in their own words that my guitar was “too old, ghetto, and if you want to play guitar you better fix everything on it or get a new one, dumbass”. So I walked out with my same, unaltered $20 guitar and decided it wasn’t worth buying a new one if we may only be here for another 6 months. But before that, I slapped the cute, little old Korean guitar-expert lady who embarrassed me.
  4. I’ve started taking ballet classes twice a week, which has proved to be quite the eye-opener. Not only is my technique as rusty as an old Korean nail, but it is an unfriendly reminder that I’m no longer 16. I feel my joints popping when I stretch and when I’m leaping I feel like an elephant. Unfortunately, there are two women in my class who could be anywhere from 45-60 years old, and me complaining about being 27 completely goes out the window when I think about how awesome they are.

Random thought of the day: It was Jason’s birthday last week (9/9) and I couldn’t help but think about our time in Macau. We were getting ready to leave, but wanted to play one more game. We couldn’t find any blackjack tables, so on the way out we decided to play some roulette. We played three spins and before the last one we both agreed it was the last spin. We bet on number 9. It hit, and we left winners!!

Despite the lack of free drinks, free food and casino bonuses, we were able to leave Macau as winners — breaking even including our hostel, food and entertainment. Good times!

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