I've been eating watermelon alot lately. It's funny, you buy one whole big watermelon for a near 12,000 Won, and seriously, you're up to your ears in water and melons for over a week!
Okay, okay.. so I've been contemplating. It's unfortunate that every post of mine---which by the way, I think I've posted a total of 7 posts since January of this year---has turned out thus far to be quite dramatic... but this time around, I've had a few good reasons or two for lagging.
In my last entry, May 1st, I was contemplating the idea of bringing up the fact that Ahsan and I are expecting, but nothing seemed to flow right. I tried putting the right words together to 'come out' to the real world, but alas, in a nutshell, it really didn't matter. I have essentially been transitioning myself from the 'world traveler, nobody holds Chelsea down, girl' to the momma to be, still geographically located in a challenging environment! When it all boils down, at least on this part of the world's trunk, we have but a few weeks left (approximately, oh, 7 weeks and a handful of days) before this little kicker is born~ and alas, everything is going as planned.
In a nutshell, work has been chaotic. Actually, that's an understatement: my work been abusive, not to just myself (as I was the Head Teacher, until recently felt the need to step down) but as well to our other teachers who have no less, come to our school based on reputation, intention and hope of working better hours and teaching in a stable environment.
We have recently come together as a bit of a 'union' amongst us teachers in order to negotiate our terms of working with our school. I know, I never thought I'd be apart of another disastrous blog allocated to the misgivings of an unfortunate situation: a school once again taking advantage of its teachers. We only believe it is our right, particularly since as of a week ago, we were given the exact dates of a weekend camp in which we are now all required to participate in. And the disgusting thing about it, is that it's not even at our school: it's for the kid's of Daegu Bank employees, at a camp in Palgon Mt., and of whom are paying us a whopping 300,000 Won for the entire weekend (9am to 9pm, Friday, Saturday and 9am to 5pm or so Sunday). Believe me, we've broken down the hours. According to our Manager, we're working 21 class hours that weekend; according to us, we'll be there for 31 hours, and that's not including the 'sleep' time (since they recommend we stay there...) Who's going to fall for this? Working less than 10,000 Won per hour? Ridiculous!
And then I recently find, supposedly in order to work off-campus for your school, you need to have a special permit linked to your Alien Registration Card. So you'd think a legitimate school would have made sure it's ass(es) was/were covered in case of an uproar such as this one.
This summer has definitely thrown us teachers for a loop. The crazy thing is, I am just coming down from a two week period of working almost 12 hours days (okay, 12 hours a day the first week, then I realized I was a sucker and letting management take advantage of my 'lead position'). The worst part of this is not that our original Vice-Director was given the boot (non-renewal of contract) at the worst possible time~ beginning of summer, 3 camps, and a whole shit-pile of a mess; but that our new manager hasn't a clue how to run a school~ and the fact is, there is NO authoritative figure in our school who has the final say, who puts the last period on the final sentence. We are supposedly under the mighty umbrella--aka jurisdiction--of the larger, more established college. I laugh at that, really. We're being tooled around like mules, and our manager acts like a wet noodle when it comes to the requests of our supposed higher powers who appear to be calling the shots more frequently: I want X done as of yesterday because... why? I have asked myself. This guy needs to be more of a whip and stand up for not only the sanity of our teachers, but for the reason and logic needed~ to keep our school afloat and the most basic functioning of our school. If not, we are due to capsize.
Are we planning to involve the Ministry of Labor here in Korea, yet? You bet your Daddy if it comes down to it. Mismanagement and ignorance is not an excuse to mislead, miscommunicate and misguide teachers. I don't care what kind of reputation the school has (and mind you, we are supposed to have a great reputation. Pfff!)
So with that said, we had a bit of a scare yesterday with the baby.
I had a few classes swapped in order to make up for a class at Kyungbuk National University, a French class at the Alliance Francaise (of Daegu) that I absolutely could not miss. I am studying for the B2 DELF exam in September, donc je ne veut pas le raté!
Of all days, Friday was the last day à m'inscrire, to sign up to take the DELF exam. I rushed a bit, with the help of the Assistant Director at the Alliance (after class) and very soon thereafter needed to get back to work in order to catch my class and teach. I had already been stressed early yesterday because of our plan to negotitate working terms with our school (needless to say, it was unresolved and a pathetic meeting, once again, with no concrete result). Upon leaving the Alliance and in plan to take a taxi, I had the most horrible stomach cramps: it felt like my belly button was in-process of splitting open! I had to grab my self and head to the nearest bathroom, in hopes to calm down and see what was going on.
No luck. Still wasn't feeling well. So I called Ahsan to come get me and take me over to our baby hospital Prime to have things checked out. Luckily, everything was fine. I did have a few pre-labour contractions, which means that the stress (work related, ha..) needs to decrease pronto. They hooked me up to a nifty machine where they measured contractions (only had one during an hour and a half, so that's good) and the fetal heartbeat. The baby sure was kicking.. and the doctor said the baby is trying to make space now that he's growing very fast~ and to expect that the kicking and pushing (boy, does he love to put his feet under my ribcage!) is normal, and may hurt and be uncomfortable.
Great stuff to look forward to!
Well, I think that's it for me today. Once big entry and it's time to get to doing something on this great, cool Saturday. I've been ordered to chill, and that's certainly what I've been up to! Hmm..now that it's 3pm, where is Ahsan..
Until next time~ Chelsea
(original post started 6/27/07)