Friday, August 19, 2005

Last minute, my director, and.. thank God it's Friday!




I really admire my director. She has a good heart, and she is always busy and very willing to help out her teachers. But I'm learning a few things about her.

I've always been familiar with the term 'waiting until the last minute' until now. Of course, *I* always did, wait until the last minute, that is-----to finish college papers, leave for a rendez-vous to be on time.. yeah, the story of my life. And I've never been much of a complainer, but more of a sounding board for my friends, the complainees. But my director, Susan, loves to wait until the last minute!

I'm remembering back to a Saturday when all of my school got together for a day for me supposedly to teach English, a fun day to challenge the kids, to know more where they stood in the wave of understanding English, and for the other teachers to see how I taught and for them to give me advice on teaching. This included suggestions from Susan on what other methods I could use to help facilitate better teaching on my part.

The day was really fun---and not as difficult as I thought---plus I got paid for the 3 hours that I worked. But I wasn't given advice. In fact, I wasn't even given directions on what to do until the very last minute.

I wasn't given ideas on how to teach better, either. And I felt a bit in the dark on what exactly I was doing until the very moment when the games began and we started playing the 'guess-this-word' game that Susan directed us to play. So did it mean that I did well, and I didn't need advice on teaching? Or they couldn't understand me well enough to make a judgement call? How can you judge a teacher on the basis of a 'guess-the-word' game? It's hard to tell. I felt sketchy, like everything was not clear. And totally last minute.

In any event, today is Friday. My school has hired two new teachers! Moon (english name Anna) who will replace Angelina, her cousin actually, because Angelina is leaving to join her husband-to-be in Canada; and Seungbo (english name David), my good friend, who'll replace Kelly---who's leaving to start her own school.

So you can imagine, it's been hectic lately, and everything has been up in the air. Sort of, yeah... last minute. Moon was hired just a hair over a week ago, Seungbo was hired like, Thursday. Everyone finally got their class schedules today--as it was both training/observation day for the new hirees and the 'last working day' for the girls who are leaving. The new schedule will begin next week, and that means (Halleluia!) I've got at LEAST 30 minutes break a day---some close to 2 hours break, until a new class begins (which no one knows anything about yet, thank God!).

The one hour prep period before classes begin is actually more of a 'social hour.' It doesn't do much to help me prepare unless I'm already set on what I'll be teaching for the day, and I just have a few copies to make or anything left to finish organizing. Heck, on some days that I have no break at ALL, I use that hour for eating lunch before the day begins!

Anyway, onwards to other things: Angelina is moving this weekend. I'm sad because she lives right next to me, and she's been a great friend, helping me out when I first arrived in Korea. She took me to restaurants, showed me 시내 (downtown) and the nightlife to be had there, with her cousin Moon (see my Korean Experience photos) and the other people that I have met along the way. But I have faith she'll be back---afterall, I took her fiance Michael's teaching spot. When the time comes, Angelina will return with her new Husband, and they'll BOTH teach again at JCEI.

On updating: Wow, I've taken SO MANY pictures. Traveling to GyeoungJu to check out the old Buddhist temples last Monday (Korean Independence Day and holiday!), including many photos that I've taken along the way--my town (seobyundong), including many, many Korean foods. Now I just need to buckle down and post more!

Next Posting Preview: GyeongJu. Wow, awesome, historically-filled place. Seungbo and I visited the Bulgulksa Temple laiden with several Buddhist temples that age back to the Silla Dynasty between 57 bc and 935 ad (..I did my homework, but there's SO much more to see!)




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